Could it be a movable festival?

THE 2021 Strawberry Festival and parade could take on a different shape or location (OC Tribune photo).

No one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will last. Public health officials are predicting the availability of a vaccine for the general population by late March 2021. The element of uncertainty is leading some businesses and organizations to plan for the possibility that COVID-19 and the restrictions it brings may last well into the new year and deep into spring or later.

One of those organizations is the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Association. The GGSFA canceled the 2020 event – the first such occurrence in the history of the festival – as the coronavirus spread. Now, nearly half-a-year later, ideas are being floated about how to conduct the event even if the battle against the virus is not completely won.

Josh Lindsay is the entertainment chair of the association. He and public relations counsel Steve Moyer showed up recently at Garden Grove Park to consider alternatives.

“We’re working on a Plan B and C,” said Lindsay.  In order to better accommodate social distancing, it might be useful to move the location of the festival from the Village Green park in the downtown area to the much larger park on Westminster Avenue, adjacent to Bolsa Grande High School.

The festival was held there from 1959 to 1972. It was moved to the Village Green after disturbances prompted relocation to a park closer to the police department facility.

Another possibility would be to hold a “virtual” parade rather than the traditional Saturday event. The procession of bands, floats and notables could be filmed and assembled for broadcast on local cable TV and digital media such as YouTube.

Since the festival is, in large part, a way for non-profit organizations to raise funds, another possibility is to skip the carnival rides, but to allow food booths to be set up – with proper sanitary safeguards – on the grounds.

Nothing has been decided, but the knowledge that the Association is considering the possibility of second year of COVID underlines just how little is known for sure about our future.

Fair political practice complaint vs. candidate

The campaign of Kim Nguyen for re-election to the District 6 seat on the Garden Grove City Council has filed a complaint with the state Fair Political Practices Commission against her opponent, Huan Nguyen.

Her campaign is alleging that Huan Nguyen and the political action committee known as the Vietnamese American Voters Foundation have violated election rules for failing to file the proper campaign finance disclosures and for illegal coordination between a candidate and an organization making and independent expenditure.

Huan Nguyen filed a Form 470 with the Garden Grove City Clerk’s office stipulating that he planned to raise or spend less that $2,000 on the campaign.

Kim Nguyen’s campaign argues that the VAVF has paid for his campaign signs, an advertisement on a website and a “mailer/walk piece”(pictured at right) without disclosing that to the city clerk’s office. The return address to the latter is the same as the address at which he is registered to vote.

The Tribune sought to contact Huan Nguyen for comment by e-mail and phone. No reply was received via e-mail.  He was reached by phone and said, “My campaign manager will get back to you” and hung up. No return phone calls have been received.

Musical chairs after the election?

While most attention is being focused on the presidential election in less than two weeks, there are some interesting what-ifs in local elections.

For example, Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones is facing a strong challenge for re-election from Councilmember Phat Bui (District 4) for that post. If Bui wins, that creates a vacancy on the council for his seat, since his term runs to 2022.  The mayor’s post is a two-year term; Jones has served since he was elected in 2016.

Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (District 3) is the Democratic candidate for the 72nd Assembly District seat against Republican Janet Nguyen, a former state senator. Her term also runs to 2022, so if she wins, it creates another vacancy on the council.

Vacancies can be filled either by appointment or by special election. Appointment is almost always the choice, because special elections are very expensive.

Throw the book at history

Tribune editor Jim Tortolano’s history of his hometown, “Garden Grove: A History of the Big Strawberry,” is now available in a hardcover format. It retails at $31.99, but you can get it through Amazon.com for $23.12. This one-volume account of the birth, growth and development of the community also includes many photographs never before published.

“Usually Reliable Sources” appears on alternate Wednesdays.

Leave a Reply