The Open Streets event held on the streets of Garden Grove’s civic center-downtown core on April 2 is touted as something of a big success.
According to the city, a crowd of about 35,000 people showed up throughout the day enjoying an array of free attractions including a Ferris wheel, the annual “Art in the Park,” entertainment and more.
“It was fantastic to see thousands of people coming together to celebrate our local community and culture,” said Mayor Steve Jones. “This event gave everyone the opportunity to see how much we’ve done to re-imagine our civic center and downtown area.”
Jones was pretty visible in re-imagining himself. One of the new features of the event were the lucha libre (free-style wrestling form from Mexico) exhibitions. One of the acrobatic wrestlers was the mayor himself, garbed in a striking red, white and black costume.
He reportedly took it all pretty seriously, practicing– should we say “rehearsing”? – at some length to give a creditable performance. Either way, the crowd loved it and it may well be a feature of future events.
This year, “Open Streets” ran from 2-6 p.m., but there was an “after party” on Main Street that ran until 10 p.m. A good time was had by all and the restaurants did well, so well so that one restaurateur, said, “Can we do this every year”?
Edison Park plan sparks concern
In Huntington Beach, a community gathering is being held to discuss plans to redesign Edison Park, located at 21377 Magnolia St., near Edison High School.
Members of the community are especially concerned about the fate of many of the mature trees – some of them nearly a half-century old – in the face of possible renovations of the 39.69-acre park.
There are also concerns about the possible effects on neighbors of stadium lighting if it becomes more of a sports park, as well as environmental issues that might arise from digging up an area that has been used as a landfill.
The event will be at the corner of Stilwell Drive and Poston Lane from 12-3 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. There will be food trucks from Ruby’s Diner and Northside Café and a free performance by Let it Be, a Beatles cover band.
Better Latte than never
The Cottage Industries project planned for the area east of Civic Center Drive and north of Garden Grove Boulevard in Garden Grove has been planned for, well, a long time.
But patience is rewarded and the first partners in the repurposing of older, smaller homes in that area into eateries and shops is underway. At the recent Open Streets event on April 2, several vendors-to-be were on site to talk with visitors about what they have planned.
Here’s the lineup so far:
- White Elephant: Modernized Thai cuisine
- Spotless Burger: Vegan burgers and ice cream
- Smoke Queen Barbecue: Asian Fusion smoked BBQ
- Boba Guys: Artisanal bubble milk tea and more
- Eco Now: Zero wastes shop and refill station
- Gamecraft Brewery: Craft brews and games.
While dates associated with this project have always been difficult to pin down, some of the vendors expressed hope they would be open for business by the end of this year.
If successful, this phase of Cottage Industries – and another to follow – would push Garden Grove’s downtown core all the way to 9th Street and help make the city’s original central business district more of a destination for locals and out-of-towners.
“Usually Reliable Sources” alternates – usually – with Jim Tortolano’s “Retorts” column.