IRVINE, Calif., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Vintage World War II airplanes flying overhead will pay tribute to the Orange County Great Park's rich military heritage as the Great Park showcases its transformation from El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to the first great metropolitan park of the 21st Century. Growing the Park marks the fifth anniversary of the Orange County Great Park.
This wide-ranging family event features five themed activity areas. In the "Sky's the Limit" area, the Irvine 2/11 Battalion from Camp Pendleton will showcase Marine Corps artillery equipment and give children an opportunity to try on Marine Corps gear and get the feel of being a Marine. A 1940's Sherman Tank military combat vehicle, a 1947 Piper Super Cruiser, a 1940's WACO YPF-7 open cockpit plane and more military aircraft will be on display for everyone to experience. The event runs from 3 to 9 p.m., with the military displays closing at 8:30 p.m. to make way for a laser light show.
"We are proud to showcase the Great Park's rich military history," said Larry Agran, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation. "We invite everyone to come and see how we are transforming a decommissioned military base into a new park for the region."
In addition to the aerial displays, Growing the Park will feature artwork by anonymous Marines once stationed at the base speaking to the challenges of maintaining state of readiness during times of danger. The exhibition, "Phantoms Phorever," features work by The Legacy Group, six photographers who are documenting the transformation of the base to the Great Park.
Growing the Park, Celebrate 5 will have five themed areas for visitors to enjoy, each representing an aspect of the Great Park: The Back Forty, The Runway, Sky's the Limit, Great Park Gallery, and The Outfield.
1. The Back Forty: Agriculture & Environment – Whole Foods Market will demonstrate how to make fresh summer salads using ingredients from the Great Park Farm + Food Lab. Tierra Verde Industries will show you what the inside of your TVs and electronics look like and explain how e-recycling works. The Discovery Science Center will present hands-on children's science activities, and the OC Zoo will have insects, reptiles and other critters. New West Country band will entertain visitors as they enjoy guided farm tours and agricultural craft activities.
2. Great Park Gallery: Arts & Culture – Bring out the potential in your little artists with hands-on arts activities coordinated by Arts Orange County. The Orange County Performing Arts Center's Italian street painters will invite families to create art on asphalt, the Philharmonic Society will highlight its Music Mobile, and the Bowers Kidseum, OC Museum of Art and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will feature hands-on art activities. In addition, the Orange County Performing Arts Center presents Vybration, a 6-person a capella group featuring vocals and vocal percussion.
3. The Runway: Technology & the Future – Check out the latest alternative-fuel, high-tech vehicles rarely seen in public. And when the sun goes down, get ready for the Great Park's first laser light show. The Runway is also home to great food, with five-dollar food deals from local favorites such as Chick-fil-A, Tacos & Company, Sprouts Market, Al's Bar-B-Que, Joe's Italian Ice and Pinkberry.
4. The Outfield: Sports & Recreation – Children can pick up some new soccer moves from the Los Angeles Galaxy Futboleros. Captain Fitness will award a certificate to all those kids who take on a fitness challenge to run an obstacle course and perform sit-ups and jumping jacks, and Inside the Outdoors will teach kids how to read nutrition labels.
5. Sky's the Limit: Military & Aviation – The Great Park's military history will be on display in a "museum without walls," with vintage airplanes flying overhead, then landing for an ground-level view. Last year's popular wing walkers will soar overhead this year as well. The 2/11 Marine Battalion from Camp Pendleton will display artillery equipment, and kids can try on Marine Corps gear.
Gates open at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 10, and the event is open from 3 to 9:30 p.m. The Great Park can be accessed off the 5 freeway from either Jeffrey Road or Sand Canyon. For this special event, entrances will be available off of Sand Canyon at Trabuco Road and Marine Way. Be advised that the Great Park will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 8 and 9, to prepare for this event. The Park will also be closed Sunday, July 11, the day after the event.
The Orange County Great Park and its 1,347-acre master plan is the focal point of the redevelopment of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The Great Park is currently built out to 27.5 acres and includes an iconic tethered helium balloon that rises 400 feet in the air, providing an aerial view of Park development. A $65.5 million development plan to expand the Park to 200 acres is currently underway. The plan will build out a core section of the Park for the most immediate and wide-ranging public benefit, including a sports park, agricultural area and an art and culture exhibition space. For more information, please go to www.ocgp.org.
SOURCE Orange County Great Park