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Global Village Festival 2016

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016


Irvine may have a reputation for uniformity, and it's true that this city of carefully-planned villages gives a sense of sameness. But you only need to meet the people of Irvine to find the rich cultural diversity that thrives here.

Since the city of Irvine is made up of a collection of villages, it's only fitting that its annual multicultural celebration would be a village as well.

This Saturday, September 24th, locals will be able to experience sights and sounds from around the world at the 15th annual Global Village Festival from 10am to 6pm at Col. Bill Barber Park in Irvine. The event, now recognized as one of the best cultural festivals in Orange County, features international cuisine, live entertainment, a kids village with crafts and activities, cultural and religious exhibits and an interbational marketplace. 

In 1998, a group of Irvine residents established the city's first Multicultural Festival to help promote understanding and build harmony within cultures.

A second Festival in 2000 sparked interest to expand the Festival to a larger venue, enabling attendance and participation to grow. In 2001 equipped with a new name and location, the Irvine Global Village Festival moved to the Irvine Civic Center where it drew an estimated 4,000 visitors.

The Festival features more than 90 live performances on five stages, plus roaming performers and food from local restaurants. Plan your day by browsing the full lineup of performers and participants:

  • Walk for Unity: Join the “Walk for Unity" to bring Irvine’s community together in support of global harmony. The 3K walk is hosted by The Tiyya Foundation, and begins at the corner of Harvard and San Juan at 9 a.m. Click here to register or for more information. 

There will be no onsite parking at the events, but the Irvine IShutte Service will be running. Perhaps the best way to get to the Global Village will be on your bike, since the festival will be adjacent to one of the city's many trails. A complimentary Bike Valet will be on hand to safely store your two-wheeler while you enjoy the festivities.


5 Can’t Miss Irvine Markets

Posted by: Guest
Posted on: Monday, Sep 19, 2016

Katie Dillman, Outrech Specialist at Goodlinks

With an assortment of flea markets and farmers' markets, Irvine is a one-stop shop for people looking for fresh produce and a wide range of goods. The farmers' markets serve as venues to taste Irvine's culinary culture, while the flea markets allow visitors to indulge in Irvine's arts and culture. Here are some of the best farmers' and flea markets in Irvine:

Irvine Farmers Market

As one of the largest in Orange County, the Irvine Farmers' Market at Mariner's Church offers everything from whole wheat products and hard-to-find veggies to baked goods and Asian fare. But aside from food, this market also sells clothing, flowers, and jewelry. It's a wonderful destination for those hunting all-sorts of just about everything.

The Irvine Farmers' Market is open every Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm. Visitors are advised to bring cash, as most merchants don't accept credit cards.

The Original Manassero Farms Market

Looking for enormous, organic, and divinely delicious strawberries? The Original Manassero Farms Market is a favorite among berry lovers all over Orange County, thanks to its certified organic and conventionally grown strawberries available almost all year round.

But aside from offering organic strawberries and other fresh fruits and vegetables, this little market doubles as a gift shop, where jams, preserves, marinades, and sauces are sold. It also features a pick-your-own-herbs garden bed, where visitors can personally handpick their own bunches of basil, chives, oregano, parsley, fennel, and lavender and purchase them at an altogether reasonable price.

Open every day from 9 am to 6 pm, the Original Manassero Farms Market accepts credit cards and has its own parking lot.

The Groves Antique Market

Set up every first Sunday of the month in the Irvine Valley College's parking lot, the Groves Antique Market features a selection of home décor, costume jewelry, and vintage artwork. While not as popular as the Rose Bowl, Long Beach, or Pasadena flea markets, prices are generally cheaper, and one shouldn't let the opportunity pass to pick up something special.

It is also centrally located and easily accessible, even for those who are not familiar with the area. Admission and parking are free so that visitors can spend all their money on the great finds available!

Orange County Market Place

The Orange County Market Place  has been in existence for more than four decades and remains one of the most popular flea markets in Orange County. On average, it attracts an average of two million visitors every year. With nearly 1,000 merchants offering a remarkable selection of products and services, the Orange County Market Place is the place to find branded clothing, shoes, sporting goods, electronics, jewelry, home décor, furniture, and electronics.

The Orange County Market Place is open every Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm. It charges a small admission fee of $2 for adults.

Sprouts Farmers Market

The Sprouts Farmers Market is one of the very best places to buy fresh produce in bulk. It has a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables, as well as meat products, fish, seafood, deli, frozen foods, and dairy products available at a much lower price than grocery stores. Its warm and friendly staff add to its good reputation.

The Sprouts Farmers Market is open every day from 7 am to 10 pm.

Have you been to other flea markets or farmers' markets in the area recently? Add your favorite Irvine markets in this flea market directory and let everyone know about it!

City of Irvine Celebrates 45 Years

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016

The Master Plan is Unveiled


On March 19, 1970, The Irvine Company made national news when it announced plans for the largest planned city on the North American continent. The City of Irvine would cover 53,000 acres and have an expected population of 430,000 citizens by the year 2000. The new town would be twice as large as the city of San Francisco with a population greater than all of the surrounding Orange County cities combined.

At the time, there were already people living on the Irvine Ranch. Nearly 20,000 people lived in the newly established villages such as University Park, Turtle Rock and Culverdale. The area provided 30,000 jobs and 5,000 students attended the University of California at Irvine. Each new village had its own community association of residents, launched and supported by the Irvine Company. The villages were within the jurisdiction of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The company intended for Irvine to be a self-governing, incorporated city in the future, when the population and development had matured. However, several factors caused the Irvine Company to change its position and speed up plans for incorporation.


The Push For Incorporation 

The successful Irvine Industrial Complex and its valuable tax income had become a target for neighboring communities that wished to annex the area for themselves. Santa Ana, Tustin, and Costa Mesa had all made plans to absorb portions of of the area near the Orange County Airport. The Irvine Industrial Complex provided the essential tax base needed for the proposed city and incorporation would protect this important resource.

In addition, Collins Radio, a lessee on the Irvine Ranch, had announced plans to annex their site to the City of Newport Beach. Locally there were concerns that these annexation raids by surrounding cities signaled the beginning of the end to Irvine’s future as a separate city.

Another reason for the push for incorporation was the changing composition of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. This governing body had always been supportive of the Irvine Master Plan in the past, but newly elected supervisors were more skeptical.   The environmental movement had gained momentum and the Irvine Company was gaining the reputation as a greedy developer anxious to eliminate precious open space. Incorporation would place civic decisions in the hands of elected residents of the city of Irvine, not with a Board of Supervisors from other parts of the county.

The Great Debate 

In response to these threats to the future of independent cityhood, thirty Irvine community associations joined together in June of 1970 to form the Council of the Communities of Irvine (CCI). This organization of residents, along with the Irvine Company itself, began to raise awareness and community resolve for incorporation. It was not an easy task.


Incorporporation of the City of Irvine met resistance from many who felt that the move would be disastrous to the future of the area.

There was concern that the city was simply too small and inexperienced to govern itself effectively. Questions were also raised about the role that the Irvine Company would play in the new city government. Many felt that incorporation was a strategy to bypass the Orange County Board of Supervisors and give the Irvine Company an easier path for their development plans. Environmentalists warned that the newly incorporated city would develop some of the last remaining open space in the county, covering valuable agricultural land with tracts of houses.


Irvine Becomes a City 

In the end, the residents were given the chance to vote.

On December 21, 1971, people came to the polls to cast their ballots. They also selected a five person City Council from a field of 32 candidates, most of whom were members of community association boards. When the final vote was tallied, incorporation had won by more than a 2-1 margin. The newly elected Irvine City Council consisted of William M. Fischbach, John Burton, Henry Quigley, Gabrielle Pryor, and E. Ray Quigley. Orange County’s twenty-sixth city was born.

If the Irvine Company had the strategy to gain more control in the newly created City of Irvine, it did not come to pass. The City Council asserted their independence by immediately enacting a 90 day freeze on development so that its members could fully analyze all planning project


Local reporter George Leidal wrote about the first Irvine City Council meeting.

  “It isn’t every day a reporter gets a chance to observe the birth of a new city.  People I’ve met in Irvine, thus far, exude an infectious spirit of hope for their new city.  It may indeed set the standard. The difference between Irvine and any other new town is that while others are truly company towns, dominated by the master planning of the developers, Irvine is the lone experiment in residential land use now controlled by a citizen selected city government.


Filed In: Events

StyleWeekOC Returns to Irvine Spectrum & Fashion Island Sept 15-17

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, Sep 09, 2016

Alright OC Fashionistas, as fashion weeks all around the world take place, STYLEWEEKOC is taking place right here in Orange County bringing you Fall 2016's hottest trends (and you can shop them at Irvine Spectrum and Fashion Island). Enjoy runway shows; in-store events and promotions at brands such as Michael Stars, Anthropologie, Gary's and more; and for the first time - blogger meet and greets at various stores (meet with some of my fave bloggers like Lyndi in the City, Carrie Bradshaw Lied and The Style Riot). Check out the entire schedule and more details for both shopping centers on the Orange County Zest - Irvine Company's Blog. 

Want to see coverage from previous STYLEWEEKOC events at the Irvine Spectrum? Click below:

2015 | 2014

Images c/o Orange County Zest 

Filed In: Events

Patti LuPone in Concert at Segerstrom!

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Monday, Sep 05, 2016

Have you ever had the opportunity to experience a bonafide Broadway Diva?  Now's your chance.  The iconic Patti LuPone is performing a one night only concert at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Friday, September 9.

Ms. LuPone, a two-time Tony Award winner and dependable dynamo, will deliver classic Broadway favorites from her Broadway shows. She's also looking forward to performing classics from shows in which she never starred. That's why she dubbed her tour "Coulda Woulda Shoulda... Played That Part."

"I get to sing these songs but I didn't work on the productions," LuPone said. "There are so many songs out there from incredible productions I love that I get to do this time out. It's an amazing opportunity."

The two-time Grammy Award winner plans to perform songs from a buffet of Broadway's best musicals that include "Hair," "Bye, Bye, Birdie," "Funny Girl," "West Side Story" and "Peter Pan," as well as selections from her performances in "Evita" and "Gypsy."

Have you ever thought you COULDA, SHOULDA WOULDA?  Come join me at Segerstrom Center for the Arts for what's going to be a fabulously inspirational evening where my inner diva will be bursting to break free. Not gonna lie, Ms. LuPone is my inspiration and gold standard for delivering the perfect performance. I'll be there. She'll be great. We'll have the whole show on a plate...

What: Patti LuPone, "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda .... played that part"

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 9

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Cost: Tickets start at $19

Information: (714) 556-2787 or visit

Last Days to Experience Mummies at Bowers Museum

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016

(ABOVE) This mummy is that of man named Nes-Hor, which means "the one who belongs to Horus". Horus is the falcon-headed god of hunting and warfare and is a symbol of power. Nes-Hor worked as a priest in the Temple of Min, in the city of Khent-Min (Akhmim). Nes-Hor's sarcophagus was constructed from wood and shows many patches and repairs made during ancient times. A detailed study of the symbols on the sarcophagus identified Nes-Hor's name, parents' names and occupation. On loan from: Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.


When visiting the Mummies of the World exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, I was in absolute awe. Of course mummies exist worldwide and there are numerous mummification processes, but the only exposure I've had to mummies has been of Egyptian origin. What was so exciting about the Mummies of the World exhibit were the vast artifacts and variety of mummies from so many different places like South America and Europe on display. The exhibit is split into various galleries such as: Natural Mummification, Aritificial Mummication, Experimental Mummification and Science & Medicine. 

You not only get to physically see mummies but you learn more about where the person or animal came from; the preserved state of the mummies gives you a glimsp into their cultures, way of life and how they became mummies whether through a natural or intentional process.

Over 1.4 million visitors have experience The Mummies of the World exhibit and this is the first time it has been on display in Orange County. Enjoy and learn about the wonders of Mummies of the World at the Bowers Museum for its last fews days - the exhibit closes on September 5, 2016. 





Visiting Hours & Ticket Information 


Three Shrunken Heads
Shrunken heads were prepared and worn by the victor of a battle, believing the victim's power would then be transferred to that victor. Popular in the mid-19th century, shrunken heads were a collectible which became so popular that Europeans created replica shrunken heads from unclaimed bodies. On loan from: Buffalo Museum of Science and San Diego Museum of Man. (Photo credit: American Exhibitions, Inc.) 
The Orlovits Family
The Orlovits family is part of a group of 18th-century mummies uncovered in two long-forgotten burial crypts dating back to 1674 just north of Budapest in 1994 during reconstruction on parts of a Dominican church where 265 naturally mummified bodies were uncovered, including religious leaders and important local families who had been interred in the crypts between 1731 and 1838. Michael Orlovits (born 1765), Veronica Orlovits (born 1770) and Johannes Orlovits (born 1800) were among those preserved by the cool, dry air of the crypt and the oil from the pine boards used to build their coffins. 

Egyptian Cat Mummy
Dating back to the early Roman period, the Egyptian cat mummy in Mummies of the World shows how Egyptian cats were ritually embalmed in a lengthy process using salt and various resins. On loan from: Buffalo and Erie County Historical

Naturally Mummified Lizard Mummy
Spiny-tailed lizard naturally mummified in the Sahara desert is an example of a modern-day mummy, probably less than 100 years old. Part of the Mummies of the World exhibition at Cincinnati Museum Center, it was mummified by the hot, dry air of the desert. 
Baron von Holz
The Baron von Holz is a 17th-century nobleman who is believed to have died in or near Sommersdorf, Germany during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48). He was discovered in the family crypt underneath the church of the von Crailsheim family's late 14th-century castle, where the bodies of five people had mummified naturally due to the environmental conditions. The Baron was found still wearing his leather boots, as depicted in an 1833 lithograph of the mummies in the crypt.
Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus
The hieroglyphs of this beautiful sarcophagus tell us that it was made for a woman of wealth, likely more than 2,000 years old. Made by imported Lebanese cedar planks and joined with wooden dowels, decorated with columns of hieroglyphs, which are flanked on both sides with images of the four sons of Horus - from top to bottom: Hapy the baboon, Qebehsenuef the falcon, Duamutef the jackal, and finally Imsety the human-headed god. On loan from: San Diego Museum of Man. 
Information & Images provided by Blaze PR on behalf of Mummies of the World at Bowers Museum. 

Embassy Suites-Irvine Celebrates 30 Years

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Sunday, Aug 21, 2016


Embassy Suites is celebrating its birthday with a 12 million dollar renovation and guests are invited to join the party.

When Embassy Suites appeared on the city’s landscape since 1986, a gallon of gas cost .89 cents, Ronald Reagan was President, and Tom Cruise soared across movie screens in “Top Gun.”

The hotel offered travelers revolutionary new conveniences like free, made-to-order breakfast, a complimentary cocktail hour, and a configuration of suites that felt more like an apartment than a hotel room.

30 years later, these groundbreaking  concepts are still the foundation of Embassy Suites’ success and the same familiar comforts continue to greet faithful customers. But this year, returning guests are in for a big surprise. 




The 293-room airport hotel has undergone a transformation.  All guest suites and event spaces have been revamped. Its signature 10 story atrium has a modern, California-fresh look and features new architectural elements and waterfalls. Adding to the guest experience, a Starbucks coffee shop will open in late September. 



The dining experience has added new flavor as well. In addition to the traditional morning breakfast and Manager’s Reception in the evening, Embassy Suites is now home to the newly opened Vibrante SoCal Kitchen and Bar, an original dining concept featuring regionally inspired small and share plates modernizing the Mexican tradition.




Sample menu items include Local Rock Cod Fish Tacos, Short Rib Enchiladas, South Coast Farms Stone Fruit Salad and Avocado Hummus with House Flat Bread. There is also an emphasis on local wines from Temecula and Orange County craft beers.

“Reaction from our guests has been wonderful and we are excited to share our new enhancements with our local community,” said Swietlana Cahill, General Manager at Embassy Suites Irvine. “Now with these wonderful new improvements and the inviting Vibrante restaurant and Starbucks Coffee, we’ll be the go-to Orange County location for business or leisure that is just minutes from the Disneyland Resort, world class beaches, shopping, and dining.”



               Embassy Suites - Irvine
               John Wayne Airport
               2120 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614

5 Ways Orange County Celebrates Diversity

Posted by: Guest
Posted on: Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016

Orange County California is a household name; almost everyone has heard of the famed county nestled in sunny Southern California. Though it is widely recognized as a bustling tourist area with an incredible 42 miles of coastline and variety of beaches, you may not realize just how
exciting and diverse Orange County can be. There is a distinct difference between having a diverse population and celebrating that diversity, and Orange County excels in both. Here are a few ways Orange County works to appreciate diversity.

1. St. Paul's Annual Greek Festival

The annual Greek Festival, held in Irvine, CA, is a full-fledged celebration of the many aspects of Greek culture. Live music, Greek dancers, and tours of local Greek Orthodox churches are just the beginning. The festival also boasts a free lesson on basic Greek and, of course, food.

The Greek Festival guarantees a good time for the whole family with carnival rides and pastries for the kids and cooking classes and a slew of shopping opportunities for the adults. Most importantly, however, guests will leave with a comprehensive overview of what makes Greek culture wonderful.

2. The Annual Tet Festival

The Tet Festival is organized and funded by a community-based group devoted to Vietnamese Youth together to celebrate and cherish their heritage. The Tet Festival celebrates Lunar New Year while immersing guests in a vibrant display of Vietnamese culture.

Festivities include live entertainment, games, a wide selection of traditional and less traditional foods, and a firecracker show. The 2015 festival was the largest one of its kind in the world and should be expected to be equally extravagant in the years to come.

3. Orange International Street Fair

The Orange International Street Fair, held in Downtown Orange, is a decades-old celebration of diversity dating back to 1973. Fifteen different streets, each focusing on a different ethnicity, are
the main attraction.

A street devoted to crafts and games is available to keep kids entertained while 42 food and alcohol booths can be found scattered throughout the streets. This is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the diversity of the area, all in one place.

4. Irvine Global Festival

The Irvine Global Festival is a truly fantastic display of international pride. Over 50 countries are represented with traditional dancing, music, food, and traditional crafts. Guests can view as
many as 100 live performances, take the kids to the "kids village", shop the many handicraft booths, visit the world religions village, and enjoy food from every corner of the world without leaving Irvine.

5. Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Too many places in the U.S. turn Cinco de Mayo into an excuse to drink and wear offensive costumes. Orange County proudly boasts an authentic, respectful celebration that includes Mariachis, Aztec dancers, and authentic foods and drinks.

Festivals like these are how people get in touch with other cultures and learn to see the world in new ways. There is nothing more valuable than cultural sharing, awareness, and acceptance. Orange County's efforts to celebrate diversity have made it a sought-after region with a robust, healthy real estate market. The beauty of Orange County truly lies in its diversity, creating a lively culture and an enriching experience for visitors and residents alike. 

Catherine Workman
grew up in a small town where she yearned to stretch her wings. Now that she's left the nest, she spends every available weekend exploring different cities across the country and someday, across the world. She started with her friends to share her travels and experiences and hopes to inspire others to embrace the hidden gems of the world.

Image via Pixabay by DharmenRajput


iHeartRadio and Alessia Cara at the Irvine Spectrum this Weekend for the Endless Summer Festival

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016

The Endless Summer Festival is back in its second year to kick off Back-to-School Shopping at the Irvine Spectrum Center this Thursday August 18-Sunday August 20 in which shoppers can enjoy fun activities, and in-store events and promotions at select retailers between 2pm-7pm.

“We had such an amazing turnout at least year’s inaugural event that we’re expanding the festival to three days this year,” said Easther Liu, chief marketing officer for Irvine Company Retail Properties. “This event officially marks the start of one of our busiest shopping seasons at Irvine Spectrum Center and it’s our way to help shoppers find everything they need as they head back to school, plus extend summertime fun."

Event Highlights Include: 

  • Friday, Aug. 19 at Giant Wheel Court. The singer will perform hits such as “Here” and “Wild Things” from her debut album, “Know-­-It-­- All.” Cara is currently on tour with Coldplay
  • An Active Ride Shop Skate Village at Edwards Court, featuring multiple skate ramps for open skating sessions to the public, as well as demos and lessons from pro skaters
  • An Open-­-air Yearbook Photo Booth at Carousel Court
  • A Nordstrom Beauty Lounge Airstream at Giant Wheel Court will feature complimentary hair styling by T3, as well beauty makeovers by MAC and Dior
  • Enjoy in-store parties each day from 5pm-7pm at select retailers such as Anthropologie, Cotton On, Active Ride Shop, Hurley I NIKE SB, Quiksilver, Irene’s Story, Old Navy, Windsor
More Information and Event Details can be found at the ORANGE COUNTY ZEST!
Images & Information provided by Cornerstone Communications on behalf of the Irvine Spectrum Center 

LA Rams Return to OC Fans

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Thursday, Aug 04, 2016

Football fans can be a crazy bunch. 

We wait in long lines wearing fuzzy wigs and face paint. We spend hours outside in the freezing cold or the blistering heat in the stands when we could be at home watching from the comforts of our couch instead. We consume food that would never be part of any reasonable, healthy adult's diet.

All for the love of the game.

And any sports fans will tell you that the best part of any fan experience is rooting for the guys on the field. 


This summer pro football has come to Irvine, if only for the month of August, and I had a chance to check out their practice and get a first look at the newly-christened Los Angeles Rams. The UC Irvine campus is the summer home for the Rams, who trotted out onto Crawford Field, wearing new logos and fresh jerseys, ready to make their first impression. 

Orange County has been without a pro football team for decades. The Rams left Anaheim in 1994, leaving thousands of faithful fans behind. So even though this Open Practice was all about new beginnings, there was something very familiar about the experience.

Names like Dickerson and Ferragamo were written on the backs of fans who remember the good old days. But right along side them were throngs of little guys, boys and girls wearing jerseys with names like Goff and Gurley, representing the next generation of Los Angeles Rams fans. 

The Open Practice at UCI is a great idea. It's a chance to heal old wounds with bereft fans who still remember the team's bitter departure. But it's also an opportunity to create new memories with the kids they brought along with them.

There's plenty of seating for the free practices and there are lots of opportunities to see the team in action.  After every practice, kids 14 and under will have a chance to get a few autographs. You can buy a spiffy new jersey or a flag for your front porch. Maybe even pose for a picture with a Rams Cheerleader.

The Rams will pack up camp at the end of August and move back up to LA.  But it's only fitting that they begin this season's campaign right where they left off 22 years ago...

In Orange County. 

For more information and practice schedules...check out the LA Rams website

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