Outdoor screening of MacGillivray Freeman films at Park Plaza on four Saturdays in Dec

For the next four Saturdays in Dec, movie goers can enjoy MacGillivray Freeman films in the outdoor space of Park Plaza in downtown Laguna Beach. As most already know, lower Park Avenue in downtown, behind the Library, has been converted into “Park Plaza” – a pedestrian space for the community to gather, eat, and be entertained. 

Attendees should bring low-back beach chairs, blankets, and be prepared to sit back and take in MacGillivray Freeman’s exciting movies.

The Living Sea will screen on Dec 16 at Park Plaza

The MacGillivray Freeman Team is excited to present the following film schedule (all movies will show from 6 – 8 p.m.): Dec 9: Everest and 5 Summer Stories, Dec 16: The Living Sea and Coral Reef Adventure, Dec 23: 6 Summer Stories, Dolphins, and Grand Canyon Adventures, Dec 30: Humpback Whales, To the Arctic, and National Parks Adventures.

Look for their upcoming release: American’s Musical Journey in Feb 2018.

For more information, go to: www.macgillivrayfreeman.com 

In addition, every Saturday during the month of December, Park Plaza will host Readings by Third Street Writers and Laguna Poets at 10 a.m.; Kidz Korner, Children’s Entertainment at noon; Laguna Singers and Songwriters, curated by Jason Feddy, at 2 p.m.; the MacGillivray Films at 6 p.m.; and Dance Night: Salsa, swing, tango and two-step at 8 p.m.

Park Plaza is a collaboration of Transition Laguna, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Beautification Council. The trial will run through December.

Honoree Brunch celebrates 2018 Patriots Day Parade picks at Tivoli Terrace on Feb 4

At the Sunday, Feb 4, “Honoree Brunch,” the Laguna Beach Patriot Day Parade Committee will recognize their 2018 selections for a variety of honors. The event will take place from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Tivoli Terrace, on the Festival of Arts grounds.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Participants in 2017 Patriots Day Parade

The Committee will honor as 2018 Grand Marshal Gloria Fickling; Honored Patriot George Ciampa, a World War II veteran; Citizen of the Year Heidi Miller; Junior Citizens Marisa Schatz and Joseph “Joey” Ravenna; Artists of the Year the Laguna Art Museum, in honor of their 100th anniversary, and Athletes of the Year the Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation 10u-12u-14u Girls Junior Olympics Gold Medal Champions.

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At two-weeks post op, kidney donor Heidi Miller visits recipient Bruce Cook: both are doing well 

The 52nd Patriots Day Parade will march on Sat, March 3, starting at 11 a.m. at LBHS.

Reservations for “The Honoree Brunch” should be made by Jan 22. The cost to attend is $30 per person. 

For reservations or further information, phone Sandi Werthe (949)494-6016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Great holiday gift for art lovers: 2018 Pageant of the Masters tickets on sale now for “Under the Sun”

Tickets for the much-anticipated 2018 Pageant of the Masters are on sale now and make the perfect holiday gift for art lovers. Brighten up the holiday season with tickets to next summer’s production “Under the Sun.” 

In the early years of the 20th century, a new generation of Impressionists and plein air painters set up their easels outdoors and reveled in the natural beauty to be found as far as the eye could see. 

In the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” theatrical magic, live music and light-hearted storytelling will honor Laguna’s own and other artistic pioneers from around the world who left their studios in search of new inspiration. 

There’ll also be no shortage of fun and surprises as the Pageant acknowledges two local milestones: the 85th anniversary of “living pictures” at the Festival of Arts and the 100th anniversary of Laguna Art Museum. 

“You won’t want to miss this year’s show as we celebrate the Pageant’s 85th anniversary,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and public relations. “Order tickets early to get the best seats for yourself or a loved one!”

The Pageant runs from July 7 – Sept 1, 2018, with performances nightly at 8:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the public on Dec 1. Advance ticket prices are $15 - $240. 

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

Irvine Bowl at the Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

For information and tickets, call (800) 487-3378 or go to www.PageantTickets.com

Christmas Breakfast for homeless will be hosted by Laguna Presbyterian Church on Dec 16 for 17th year

The 17th Annual Homeless Christmas Breakfast will once again be hosted by Laguna Presbyterian Church on Sat morning, Dec 16. Guests will be treated to a hot breakfast, musical entertainment, and gifts, including backpacks and sleeping bags.

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The homeless will enjoy breakfast again this year at the Presbyterian Church

Ed Sauls will serve as master of ceremonies at the event, organized by Rick Shoemaker of Laguna Presbyterian Church, and Ann Richardson from the LDS Mormon Church with the help of 30 plus volunteers.

Boy Scouts from Troops 35 and 38 will serve as wait staff and cleanup, while Brian and Sue Back will organize the kitchen “staff.” 

Missy Palino and Jennifer Baker with Girl Scout Troops 145 and1440, along with other Girl Scouts, will assemble 100 decorated hygiene kits for the guests.

All in need are invited. “This is what Christmas is all about,” Shoemaker said.

Beautiful ballerina Isabella, 10-year-old TOW student, performs in The Nutcracker


Every year, The Nutcracker ballet brings joy to performers and audiences alike. This season, American Ballet Theatre (ABT), under the artistic direction of Kevin McKenzie, returns with a cast of approximately 100, including Laguna’s own Isabella Martino. 

Choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, with music by Pacific Symphony, the ballet will be performed at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

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Isabella in London last year attending the Royal Ballet summer intensive

Talented young Isabella will dance as one of the soldiers – and that’s a great accomplishment for this 10-year-old – she is one of 57 youngsters from approximately 27 different communities across Southern California who will showcase their talents playing the parts of Clara, Mice and Soldiers. 

“Isabella has been dancing since she was three years old,” her mother Tiffany Martino tells me. “She’s travelled to New York, to Boston and to London, where she spent a summer intensive with the Royal Ballet.”

Isabella says she is “super-excited to be in The Nutcracker for the first time. I love ballet because it is a beautiful way to tell a story. I like that there are always challenges so I know I can get better and better.”

One of her goals - which she has now achieved - was to be in the Polichinelles number, when children come out from under Mother Ginger’s skirt. Her dream role is to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Right now Isabella is mostly thrilled that she’ll be in the same ballet as Misty Copeland, one of her heroes. She’s also a huge fan of Isabella Boylston and Gillian Murphy, all ABT principals. 

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Isabella at the age of four with her dad, Scott Martino

When Isabella isn’t doing her schoolwork or performing – or attending the Pacific Ballet Conservatory to hone her skills – she loves to hang out with friends or swim at the beach.  

However, with her rigorous rehearsal schedule, she hasn’t had much spare time recently – she’s been rehearsing at least once a week since September. When we spoke, she had a long day ahead of her, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with three hours of schooling included in that time.

But that’s what being a professional ballerina is all about, it’s time-consuming and exacting, and young Isabella embraces the need for hard work and dedication – so I feel assured that she will enjoy a stellar career in dance. Here in Laguna, we’ll be able to say that we knew her when…

The Nutcracker performances take place in Segerstrom Hall between December 7 & 17. Single tickets start at $29 and are available online at www.SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.

Who needs Christmas decorations when nature puts on such a good show?

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

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Natural reds and greens make for a stunning sight along our coastline

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

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