Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

It’s the beginning of that time of year where everything is going on – we start you with the 2nd Annual Battle IN THE BAY water polo

Hopefully, you’re reading this here first. The 2024 Second Annual Battle IN THE BAY water polo matchup with Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar high school teams will take place at Marina Park on Wednesday, May 22.

Please take notice of the “in the bay” in the event title above. The designated “pool” site for the event will be IN THE BAY, sectioned off in the dock area just east of Marina Park. It was utilized last year and offered a fantastic natural stadium area, with plenty of viewing opportunities from above and on the surrounding docks.

This year, there will be two matches featured with both the boys and girls teams from NHHS and CdMHS doing battle. The girls will get underway at 3:30 p.m. and the boys will follow at 4:30 p.m.

The matches are free to the public and, as an added bonus, event organizers are arranging for TK Burgers to be onsite with their food truck offering a $13 burger combo deal.

This my friends is something you can only find in Newport Beach…two celebrated water polo programs battling it out in such a unique setting. Mark it down on the calendar to join in.

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Don’t forget, today the 76th Annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race sets sail beginning at 11 a.m. off the Balboa Pier.

Before the end of the day, the fastest of the nearly 150 boats will begin arriving at the Hotel Coral and Marina in Ensenada.

We wish all of our sailing friends “fair winds and following seas.”

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Also this weekend, put in a visit to the 34th Annual Southern California Spring Garden Show taking place today through Sunday in the Crate & Barrel/Macy’s Home Store wings of South Coast Plaza.

“Attendees can explore numerous plant and garden vendors offering a variety of spring gardening essentials. Additionally, they can marvel at eight unique outdoor living spaces designed by top landscape designers from Southern California, in collaboration with home boutiques at South Coast Plaza.”

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One of the next exciting events taking place in Newport Beach will come next Saturday, May 4 from 12-4 p.m., with the return of the Newport Beach Surf & Turf Polo Classic in Peninsula Park.

Polo, horses, food, entertainment, drinks, decorated hats and more, all on the ocean front. It’s brought to you by the Newport Beach Foundation.

It’s going to be a party you shouldn’t miss. Purchase your tickets here. BTW, it’s nearly sold out.

• • •

Take your choice, you can run in it, jog in it, walk in it, or just sit on the sidelines and cheer them on. It’s the 2024 Hoag OC Marathon & Festival coming next weekend, May 4 and 5.

The OC Marathon will start in front of the VEA Newport Beach, run down through coastal areas of town, up into the streets of Costa Mesa, on into Santa Ana, before heading back for the finish at the OC Fair & Event Center…26.2 miles later.

And, for those of you saying, “wow, 26 miles…that’s a lot”…don’t fret because we also have you covered. You may also choose between the half-marathon and a 5K.

Here’s the weekend schedule:

Friday night (May 3) from 4-8 p.m. – Enjoy the OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo at the fairgrounds.

Saturday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. is the completion of 7,500 youngsters running their final mile in their own marathon (that started weeks ago).

That’s followed by the OC Lifestyle & Fitness Expo from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s open to the public.

From 2-7 p.m., also Saturday, is Celebrate OC which translates to brands, bands and sports teams from the OC, which includes the running of the Celebrate OC 5K from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Then on Sunday, it’s the big stuff – the full marathon heading out at 5:30 a.m. from the VEA, followed by the beginning of the half-marathon at 6:30 a.m.

Then waiting all morning (7 a.m.-12 p.m.) is the Ultimate Finish Line Party at the fairgrounds.

Register to participate in the excitement here. For road closures, visit https://ocmarathon.com/road-closures-2/.

• • •

This from our friends at the Newport Beach Public Library: “Time to soar! Our butterflies and ladybugs are ready to fly – grab your wings or dress up in your favorite spring colors and join us for the 6th annual butterfly release on Tuesday, April 30 starting at 4 p.m. in the Central Library Children’s Room.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of NBPL

“The event will begin with a butterfly-themed craft followed by a procession at 4:30 p.m. to the Civic Center Park for the BIG butterfly and ladybug release.”

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At yesterday’s OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC) Board of Directors meeting, Fair CEO Michele Richards explained the new vision for the current equestrian center at the fairgrounds. Effective immediately, it has been rebranded as The Ranch Community Equine Center. The facility will focus on community programming for all while maintaining the current boarding and training activities.

The Ranch Community Equine Center will become an extension of the OCFEC’s agriculture education programs in support of its mission, similar to the free public programming offered at Centennial Farm.

The Fair Board has been working to continue the organization’s emphasis on education and to expand opportunities for the public to interact with, learn about and enjoy hands-on experiences with horses.

The vision also includes providing equine-assisted therapy for veterans and others, conducting educational tours for students and community groups, hosting horse shows free to the public and developing hands-on equine exhibits.

“I’m very encouraged to see this new vision continue to move forward,” said Board Chair Nick Kovacevich. “It’s great to offer access to a broader group of public constituents who otherwise would never have the chance to experience these wonderful animals.”

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This Sunday is a party at the American Legion Post 291 located on the bay. Enjoy fun and food at what they’re calling “Family, Family, Family!

It’s their own brand of a friend-raiser with hopes along the way of drawing in some new members from veterans and families of veterans, encouraging them to join the Post, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL), or the Auxiliary.

Here’s what’s in store: $10 meatballs and spaghetti or $12 meatloaf, join in a sandcastle-building competition, or test your skills in the cornhole challenge. I’m told there will be accolades for first, second and third place finishers.

“At American Legion Post 291 Newport Harbor, we believe in honoring our veterans and their families while fostering a sense of community and belonging,” said Evin Planto, commander. “Our event theme of ‘Family, Family, Family’ mirrors the sentiments suggested by National, and we are proud to provide a platform to showcase the vital work of the American Legion Post 291 Newport Harbor.”

For more information, check it out at www.al291.com.


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