Happy 50th anniversary, Irvine!

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Adrian Chen

CREATING THE MAGIC OF THE NIGHT: Three musicians of the Southland Mega Groove perform at the dance party for Irvine’s 50th anniversary at the Great Park while others dance.

Karen Wang, Staff Writer

With a striking turn back to a degree of normalcy, 2021 marks the City of Irvine’s 50th anniversary. The 50/50 perspecitve takes a look back at the city’s memories from the past 50 years and propels forward to Irvine’s next 50.

Dancing Backwards in Time:
Embarking on a trip back to the 70’s, the disco tunes of “Dancing Queen” and “Let’s Get it Started” boomed as attendees of Irvine’s 50th Anniversary Dance Party strutted across the dance floor on the evening of Aug. 28.
The event began with a live DJ, featuring a glossy black and white dance floor where residents from couples to mother-daughter duos let their groove out. Traditional activities like riding the carousel and the Great Park hot air balloon were also available.
Attendees could also pick from a variety of food trucks, including local favorites of Kona Ice, Empanada Maker and Graze Burger. The event was conveniently designated by the Hangar 244 venue, a former storage facility during WWII converted by the Great Park to honor the history of Irvine. The disco-era themed event concluded with a live performance from local band, Southland Mega Groove.

Designing Irvine’s 50th with Chalk:
Forwarding the spotlight on Irvine’s youth with a focus on the fine arts, the Chalk Art Project invited all of Irvine’s residents to redesign the city’s 50th Anniversary logo. Each piece of artwork was entered into a community contest while attendees were encouraged to also share their creations on social media with a #chalkartirvine caption. Held two Saturdays a month from July all the way to September, September’s events took place at the Irvine Fine Arts Center as well as the Northwood Community Park.
“The gratifying feeling of investing time and effort into creating artwork to see it slowly come together parallels Irvine’s history,” Fine Arts Commissioner Kaylie Chao said. “As we celebrate Irvine’s 50th anniversary with the Chalk Art Project and look forward, it’s important that we all have an artist’s mindset of being unafraid to experiment to see just how much further we can take our community.”
Ongoing and future events include the Shoebox Parade where winning designs will be showcased at the Irvine Global Village Festival on Oct. 9, the 50th Anniversary Photo Contest Exhibition and the Youth Action Team Pick-Up 50 Challenge. Be sure to visit Irvine’s 50th anniversary website for more information on how to participate.