Orange County Grand Jury
The Orange County Grand Jury is in need of applicants interested in serving on this body. The group is mandated to investigate and report on both criminal and civil matters within the County. Every effort is made to recruit both men and women from all socio-economic levels, ethnic and age groups. Applicants are judged on the knowledge, skills and abilities required for successful performance as a grand juror. The complex, diverse responsibilities of grand jurors make it necessary to give a serious commitment to the time requirements. Beyond the legal requirements, there are more specific qualifications which are desirable for a grand juror. For more information on becoming a grand juror, please click here.
Sample Ballot Changes
After years of printing multiple sample ballots for each individual party, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is improving the process for the February 2008 election. Voters will find it easy to navigate and locate their party's ballot in a single sample ballot. For voters who are Decline-to-State, there will be detailed instructions on the ballots they are allowed to vote on. For a preview of the new sample ballot pages, please click here.
Reach Out and Read
As a nationally renowned, award-winning early literacy program, Reach Out and Read (ROR) has had a significant impact on increasing early literacy among children and families. ROR promotes early literacy by bringing new books and advice about the importance of reading aloud into the pediatrician’s office. The program currently operates in 42 sites in Orange County.
Results of national evaluations suggest that parents who have participated in the program are more likely to read to their children on a regular basis and to purchase children’s books. Trained pediatric doctors advise parents on the importance of reading aloud to young children and prescribe a developmentally appropriate book at each well-child visit between six months and five years of age. Volunteers read aloud to children in waiting rooms and model reading techniques for parents.
The Early Literacy Program supports clinics through the application process to National ROR, provides paid and volunteer readers to clinics running the ROR program, fundraises for new books, collects gently used books for distribution in waiting rooms, and coordinates the storage and distribution of thousands of books across the 41 clinics currently running the program.
Reading Volunteers Wanted
Reading volunteers work in local doctor offices, community clinics or agencies to provide reading to children during designated hours in the waiting rooms. Readers are also trained to interact with and model techniques for parents. Individuals who are interested in becoming readers complete a screening process through the Early Literacy Program’s umbrella agency Public Management Health Enterprises Inc. (PHFE). Screening for readers includes fingerprint clearance and other requirements to work with children. Generally, participants who seek to be a reader commit to one day a week for a minimum of two hours. All volunteers that work with children must complete the screening process before reading.
Readers may volunteer at special events or through the Reach Out and Read (ROR) program that provides opportunities to read in local clinics and doctor’s offices. For more information about volunteering, please contact Gloria Martinez, ELP Administrative Coordinator, at (714) 647-0900 x106 or via email at email@example.com.
26th Annual Victorian Christmas
Imagine you’ve been transported to the turn of the 20th Century, and you hear carolers singing as you stroll through a historic village decorated in holiday finery! Your kids are making hand-dipped candles, and the smell of vanilla cookies hangs in the air as Mrs. Claus answers questions about the North Pole. Are you dreaming? No! You’ve simply arrived at Heritage Hill’s Victorian Christmas! Costumed docents will be on hand to lead families through the old buildings of Orange County’s past, decorated to celebrate the holidays. This family oriented event enables young and old alike to learn how to churn butter, make historic crafts, and play games. Saturday, December 1, 11am – 3pm, at Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest. For more information, please call Heritage Hill Historical Park at (949) 923-2230 or (949) 923-2232.
17th Annual Winter Fantasy
The magic continues at the 17th Annual Winter Fantasy, on Saturdays & Sundays thru December 9, at the world-famous Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach. Visitors can experience the artistic wonders of 170 Laguna Beach artists and craftspeople amidst towering eucalyptus trees and tranquil waterfalls within a three and half acre canyon setting. The Winter Fantasy includes art projects for children and adults, live holiday entertainment, artist demonstrations including glass blowing, a snow playfield, 3 outdoor cafés, and visits with Santa! For more information, please click here.
Candy Cane Carnival
Children will delight in an array of holiday activities on Saturday, December 1, in San Clemente. The program starts at 12pm and continues through 5:30pm at the Community Center with a Candy Cane Carnival, live reindeer, crafts corner, cookie decorating, a mini variety show, and a toddler’s snow hill! The count-down to light the Community Tree begins promptly at 5:15pm. Kids can visits with Santa during the entire event, so bring your cameras. For more information, please call the San Clemente Recreation Division at 949-361-8264, or click here.
Christmas at the Mission
On Saturday, December 1, the official ceremony and lighting of the San Juan Capistrano Christmas tree begins in Historic Towne Center Park with a visit from Santa, a Live Nativity Presentation, Merchant Open House, Music and Fun. From there, holiday guests are invited to attend the annual Christmas at the Mission Festival. Throughout the evening, musical performers from groups in and around San Juan Capistrano entertain guests as they visit the nativity scene, St. Nicholas, and enjoy the beauty of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Santa’s workshop is set up in the Barracks Gallery for kids to enjoy crafts from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. For more information, please call (949) 234-1300 or click here.
Santa's Arrival & Aliso Viejo Tree Lighting Ceremony
Santa and Mrs. Claus are making the trip down from the North Pole to bring in the season by lighting the traditional holiday tree at Grand Park in the Aliso Viejo Town Center. Please come sing-a-long to traditional carols on Sunday, December 2, 4:30 to 6pm, and enjoy holiday cookies along with hot cider and coffee that will be available to the public. Don't forget to dress warm! Patrons are encouraged to bring flashlights, folding chairs and warm blankets to the evening’s festivities. Following Santa and Mrs. Claus' arrival, all children are invited to attend Santa's workshops from 6 to 7:30pm on Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4. Be sure to visit with Santa, make some holiday crafts and eat yummy treats at his workshops. For more information, please call the Aliso Viejo Community Association at 949-448-6263.
Santa's Workshop in RSM
Seasons Greetings from Rancho Santa Margarita! This year, two wonderful winter events, “Sing, Skate, & Celebrate” and “Santa's Arrival” will be rolled into one spectacular Santa's Workshop! Residents will be treated to a puppet show, crafts, cookie decorating, storytelling and more! Be sure to bring a camera so you can snap a picture with Santa. A palm tree lighting ceremony will top off the evening on Sunday, December 2, at 6:30pm. Activities will begin at 2pm and will run until 6pm to give attendees time to gather for the tree lighting. If you have any questions, please call Heather Phillips at 949-448-6144 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please click here www.samlarc.org or call the recreation hotline at 949-448-6215.
First Thursday’s Art Walk
Join member galleries throughout Laguna Beach on the Thursday, December 4, from 6pm – 9pm, for a festive cultural evening. First Thursday’s Art Walk is funded by member galleries, the hotel and lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. Free shuttles to participating gallery locations start at 6:15pm at the Laguna Art Museum (corner PCH and Cliff Dr.) and Bluebird Center (1590 S. Coast Highway). Shuttles run until 8:45pm. For more information, please click here.
Ladera Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony
Join the Ladera holiday tradition as they light their new 60 foot tree in Town Green. Enjoy refreshments, live music and other shows while you await Santa’s arrival atop Engine 58, their local Fire Engine. Town Green, 28801 Sienna Parkway, Ladera Ranch. Friday, December 7, at 6pm. For more information, please click here.
33rd Annual Boat Parade of Lights
This year marks Dana Point’s 33rd Annual Boat Parade of Lights with this year’s theme: A MERRY MARDI GRAS. Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the Most Entries. Landlubbers can view the parade free from anywhere in the Harbor. Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Fridays, December 7 & 14; and Saturdays, December 8 & 15; at 7:30pm by the water’s edge. But wait, there’s more! Don't forget Holiday in the Harbor, November 30, from 4pm – 8pm. Boat Rides with Santa are December 1 & 2, from 10am - 2pm. Dana Point Harbor, 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. For more information, please click here.
Laguna Hills Breakfast with Santa
HO-HO-HO! Santa will arrive at the Laguna Hills Community Center for a wonderful morning full of holiday fun. Be sure to join us for a scrumptious pancake breakfast, holiday crafts, photo with Santa, and a bag full of goodies for each child. Saturday, December 8, from 9 to 10:30am. Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills. For more information, please click here.
2007 Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade
Generations of families will gather along Crown Valley Parkway on a peaceful and brilliant Saturday to watch the largest and most creative display of community in the City’s history! This year, the parade is filled with beautiful equestrian units, patriotic and inspirational military tributes, spirit filled youth groups, classic auto clubs, talented marching bands and some of the biggest attractions in the nation! Also included in the mix of fun and eclectic entries are this year’s Celebrity Grand Marshals. Don’t miss out on this annual, hometown tradition. Saturday, December 8, beginning at 10:00am. For more information, please click here.
Heritage Hill’s 22nd Annual Candlelight Tour
The twinkle of candlelight dances in the moonlight as the sound of holiday carolers’ waft over the smell of fresh baked cookies and apple cider. Over 1000 luminaries are lit and placed along the walkways and doorways during this beautiful evening event. Children will delight as they tell Santa their last minute wishes. Parents and friends will enjoy the sights of antique holiday decorations as costumed docents lead them through the history of old Orange County. Soak up the warmth of the holidays as storytellers spin tales in the old school house and let Heritage Hill’s Candlelight Tour become one of your family’s holiday traditions. This year’s Candlelight Tour will take place on Saturday & Sunday, December 8 & 9, 5:30pm – 8:30 pm, at Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest. For more information, please call Heritage Hill Historical Park at (949) 923-2230 or (949) 923-2232.
Menorah Lighting – Hanukkah at the Ranch
Join the Ladera Ranch community to celebrate Hanukkah! This event, sponsored by residents and several local Jewish organizations will feature music, a candle-making factory, food, children’s activities and lighting the Menorah. Sunday, December 9, 3 – 5pm. Town Green, 28801 Sienna Parkway, Ladera Ranch. For more information, please click here.