Mon. Mar 27th, 2023


“The Alley Cats” to Open Palm Court Arts Complex at 2011 Great Park Anniversary Celebration

IRVINE – Nationally-known doo-wop group The Alley Cats will open the festivities and debut the new Palm Court Arts Complex during the “Growing the Park” anniversary community celebration on July 9th. The Palm Court Arts Complex is Orange County’s newest center for major arts events, featuring a gallery and artists studios. A variety of exciting musical and dance performers will be showcased throughout the day to highlight the opening of the Palm Court Arts Complex, including Festival Ballet, Ten West, Clair de Lune, and the Butler Fearon O’Connor School of Irish Dance.

As guests arrive at the Palm Court they will be greeted by the sounds of The Alley Cats a cappella music from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Alley Cats, known as America’s Premier Doo-Wop Group, have made it to the forefront with their renditions of timeless Doo-Wop classics and their zany improvisational comedy for over twenty years since forming at Fullerton College in 1987.

Festival Ballet will perform Nutcracker Characters Alive! as they perform short excerpts from the beloved Nutcracker at the Great Park from 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Ten West, with their signature blend of physical virtuosity and inventive comedy, will engage audiences of all ages in a unique theatrical style inspired by vaudeville and clowning that is as poignant as it is humorous from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy Clair de Lune, the all-female a-capella group from UC Irvine. Originating in 2008 with 6 girls who wanted to sing for the community, the group has grown to 21 members singing a wide variety of styles. They will perform from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Butler Fearon O’Connor School of Irish Dance, one of the premier Irish dance academies in the world, will perform from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A number of prominent local arts organizations are helping the Great Park develop programs for the Palm Court Arts Complex organized by Arts Orange County. These organizations include Irvine Barclay Theater, the Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, OC Arts Center, the OC Museum of Art, the Pacific Chorale, the Laguna Playhouse, the Festival Ballet Theater, the Laguna Art Museum, Backhausdance, and South Coast Repertory.

“Growing the Park” is a day and evening of non-stop fun for all ages featuring air show style aerial performances, sports activities, a petting zoo, military vehicle displays, cooking demonstrations and arts activities.

Growing the Park is Saturday July 9, from 3:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free. There will be a special Great Park entrance for this event: Take Jeffrey Road exit from either the 5 or 405 Freeway and turn right on Trabuco.

Growing the Park features five themed areas for visitors to enjoy, each representing an aspect of the Great Park: The Back Forty, The Runway, Sky’s the Limit, Great Park Gallery, and The Outfield.

1. The Back Forty: Agriculture & Environment – Highlights agriculture history. The area includes a petting zoo, hands-on agricultural craft activities and cooking demonstrations.

2. Great Park Gallery: Arts & Culture – Showcases arts and culture in the new Palm Court Arts Complex. The area includes art displays and exhibits, demonstrations, local performers, hands-on activities and community partner booths.

3. The Runway: Military & Aviation, Technology & the Future – Presents military history. Includes vintage aircraft and military vehicle displays, aerial entertainment and more.

4. The Outfield: Sports & Recreation – Features sports, health and wellness. It will include sports and fitness play area, demonstrations and community partner booths.

5. Sky’s the Limit: – Represents the future of the Great Park. Includes Kids Rock playground, open play area and viewing area of aerial entertainment.

About the Great Park

The Orange County Great Park, with its 1,347-acre master plan, is the focal point of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The Great Park is currently 27.5 acres and includes an iconic tethered helium balloon that rises 400 feet in the air, providing an aerial view of Park development.

A $70 million development plan to expand the Park to more than 200 acres is currently underway. The plan will build out a core section of the Park for the most immediate and wide-ranging public benefit, including the initial components of the sports park, a 114-acre agricultural area, and an art and culture exhibition space. For more information, please go to


By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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