Across the Area

New Miss HB, free rides, a bright Main St.

MARA JAMES (center) is the new Miss Huntington Beach. She is flanked on the left by first runner-up Natalie Peart and second runner-up Gianna DiLiberto (Photo by Xander Robertson).

Mara James, an Orange Coast College student, is the new Miss Huntington Beach. She won the crown in her third attempt and win soon add the title of “judge.”

The first runner-up is Natalie Peart and the second runner-up is Gianna DiLiberto. The trio will serve as members of the Royal Court judging winners of the costume contest of the annual New Year’s Day Surf City Splash. They will judge winners in categories of hat, sea creature, Roaring 20s, New Year’s Eve attire, group, youngest, oldest and “traveled the furthest.”

Also serving on the “Court” will be Susan Hopkins (Miss Tall International Queen) and Calvin Free (Mr. Huntington Beach King).

James is the president of the speech and debate team at OCC which is competing for a national title. She is employed by the Hilton Waterfront Resort in Huntington Beach, where she is concierge at the spa. James was sponsored by the Soroptimist Club of Huntington Beach.

Peart is a pilates and dance conditioning instructor with a goal of become a college professor of dance.She received her A.A. degree from OCC. DiLiberto also attends OCC.

Free bus rides to ring in 2020 safely

People ringing in 2020 with some adult beverages can get free rides home from the Orange County Transportation Authority.

The OC Bus rides will run from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) to 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1).  Your trip can be planned ahead by visiting, which includes an interactive planner showing routes, times, and a map of popular Orange County destination, such as downtown Fullerton, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Over 257,000 people have used this free bus service since it began in 2002.

Turning it into a Main attraction

Main Street – Garden Grove’s original central business district – is looking brighter than ever with lighted trees and buildings, as well as holiday banners.

The City of Garden Grove is financing the electrification of Main Street from the Gem Theater south to Garden Grove Boulevard. The 19 banners on street lights were the gift of the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association, led by the self-styled “Elfettes,” DBA officers Susie Lerma, Jennifer Stewart, Marilyn Tortolano and Rebecca Weimer.

MAIN STREET in downtown Garden Grove is decorated for the holiday season with lights wrapped around the trees and banners on the street light poles (Orange County Tribune photo).

1 reply »

  1. Miss James wasn’t sponsored by Soroptimists rather her social platform was a Soroptimist National
    Program, “Dream it Be it” which coaches high school
    Woman to make great education, career and life choices for success.

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