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Newport Beach Blog

May 16, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Here We Come!

Memorial Day Weekend is often thought of as the kick-off to a summer of fun in the sun. Many are planning backyard barbecues, walks around Balboa Island, lazy morning coffee meet-ups and kayaking in the Back Bay. However, once again Newport Beach is chock full of some wonderful events that you will not want to miss! Whether it’s a wine festival, a beer fest, gardening, a Harbor cruise to celebrate The Duke’s birthday or country western dancing– there is something for everyone!  Here’s a run-down with all the details to make your upcoming long weekend “extra special”.

Newport Beach Wine FestivalNewport Beach Wine Festival – Balboa Bay Resort- All Weekend- May 26-28th
The 14th Annual Newport Beach Wine Festival will be gracing the shores of the Balboa Bay Resort. Beginning Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28, this beloved event includes five different venues to select from and this will be the place to be on this long weekend!  Executive Chef Rachel Haggstrom and her culinary team will join some of the region’s top winemakers to present a celebration of fine wines and amazing cuisine. The festivities begin Friday, from 6:00-10:00pm, with the Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel Winemaker Dinner and Reception (the cost is $175 per person). Limited to 70 guests, this intimate event will showcase four courses paired with fine wines selected by master mixologist James Woods. On Saturday, guests are invited to attend an afternoon Winemaker Luncheon with Trinitas Cellars (Napa Valley) from 11:30am to 2:30pm (the cost will be $76 per person).  In the late afternoon, a VIP Pre-Grand Tasting Sunset Reception and Harbor Cruise aboard The Ambassador will begin at 4:30pm. This cruise is available to guests for $100 per person with the purchase of a Grand Tasting ticket (which begins at 7:00pm that evening). The Grand Tasting in The Grand Ballroom will be from 7:00-10:00pm with live music setting the mood (the cost is $125 per person). This event will be epic, offering samples from more than 50 wineries from the around the globe. Small bites, seafood, caviars, cheeses, meats and delicious desserts will be the perfect complement to the wines being poured. The festival draws to a close on Sunday with a Mumm’s Sparkling Wine Sunday Seafood Buffet Brunch at Waterline Restaurant. This will be held from 10:30am to 2:30pm offering sparkling wine paired with the Chef’s selection of seafood and classic brunch favorites (cost is $75 per person). Guests wanting to stay the night at the resort, or perhaps for the weekend can enjoy a 10% discount on their guestroom with the purchase of two tickets to any event. Learn more and get your tickets here.

Wild GooseJohn Wayne Birthday Celebration Evening Cruise- Friday May 26th
Did someone mention a birthday? Well, this year Newport Beach is celebrating what would be John Wayne’s 110th birthday (he was born on May 26, 1907). His yacht, Wild Goose, is now part of the Hornblower fleet. And on Friday, May 26th, 2017 join in the fun for this exclusive event. The John Wayne Birthday Fundraiser Cruise will also include a live performance by the band “Runway June”. This 3-hour yacht cruise will begin embarkation at 6:00pm and will cruise from 6:30-9:30pm aboard Wild Goose. Complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres buffet with steward passed selections will be served. A full premium bar including special recipes made with Dukes Bourbon will also be available. Guests can also meet Bert Minshall, John Wayne’s former Captain of Wild Goose and author of the book On Board with The Duke. John Wayne’s wax figure will be on loan from Madame Tussauds Hollywood for selfies. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation to help fulfill his last wish—to find a cure for cancer. To book tickets for this very exclusive evening click here.

Annual Amateur Rose Show & Contest24th Annual Amateur Rose Show & Contest- Roger’s Garden-Sat/Sun May 27 & 28th
Guests and gardening aficionados are in for a real treat as they enjoy the spell-binding floral fragrances and array of such unique roses. Guests will see flowers they have never seen before and marvel at their delicate beauty. There is a judging contest on Saturday, with nearly $1,000 in awards that will be given out. Now that is impressive! Entries can be brought to Roger’s Gardens between 9:00-11:00am and the judging will be from 11:00-12:00, so those participating may want to arrive early. Don’t forget the name of your rose too!  Roger’s Gardens is open from 9:00am to 6:00pm both Saturday and Sunday. There is no cost to attend this event. Learn more here.

Newport Beach BeerfestNewport Beach BeerFest at Newport Dunes- Saturday Evening May  27th
The Newport Beach BeerFest is an “all inclusive” event bringing guests to the sandy beaches of Newport Dunes. Guests can sample unlimited tastes of over 150 craft beers, wines, and spirits. Live bands and DJ’s will set the stage and get the crowd on their feet dancing to their favorite tunes. The event will feature a “Food TruckeFest” as well. General Admission is $35 with admission at 7:00pm. The VIP Admission is $50 with early admission at 6:00pm. (This includes admission to VIP Lounge with a separate Entertainment VIP Lounge and 12 VIP Only Breweries.) This event supports and raises funds for the 1/1 Marine Foundation of Newport Beach a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Their mission is to provide community and financial support to the men and families of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines during their overseas deployments and while here training for their next deployment. Learn more here.

Boots On the Beach- Nashville Meets Newport At The Dunes- Sunday, May 28th
If you enjoy country music and dance, this is a lively event to consider for your Memorial Day weekend. Sunday in the late afternoon, the festivities will get underway at 5:00pm with a Spurs & Suds Beer Tasting.  The event is free, however there is a $10 parking fee. Barbeque concessions and a full bar will be available for purchase by guests. Enjoy country favorites at Newport Dunes from musical groups: Pickleback Shine to the Kelly Rae Band and The Kelly Boys will be leading us all in line dancing and instructions for those not yet sure on their feet. So get your dancin’ boots on and let’s scoot! This is going to be a wild party and we will still have Monday to regroup. This is what long weekends are all about. Learn more here.

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Written by Deirdre Michalski

Deirdre Michalski is a travel and culinary writer covering topics near and far. You can read more about her adventures on her web site www.TastesAndTravel.com

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