Early morning Saturday, more than 300 eager volunteers lined up to plant trees and shrubs around the Village Green.
The environmentally-friendly gesture, which beautified Oso Viejo Park, has become an annual tradition for many families and individuals who give of their time and efforts to benefit the community.
The volunteer planting was a component of the City’s Arts Alive Festival, which kicked into high gear a couple of hours later with chalk street painting; UNESCO mural painting; Circle Art; arts and craft vendors; interactive art workshops; live entertainment; and more.
With a 1940s theme, Arts Alive melded expression, education and the environment into an interactive community event. On this first day of the two-day festival, excitement wafted through the air. It was also seen on the faces of young and old who watched several artists work to painstakingly transform the pavement outside the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center into a walking performance museum of art. The Madonnari (street painters) showcased works depicting popular subjects and techniques from earlier centuries all the way into the current contemporary street pavement movements.
Along with street painting, five or six community-based art projects were underway and visitors were moved by the 105 UNESCO murals on display from artists around the globe.
On this day, the festival was vibrant with live entertainment from the Swing Dolls; Marie Dawson – Milo Green Band; GREASE Medley by Trabuco Hills High School students; and the Orange County High School of the Performing Arts Divas Down the Street. Inside the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, audience members enjoyed a KSBR Radio livecast of the Breakfast with Gary & Kelly show featuring Diane Schuur – dubbed the new first lady of jazz. Outside, many people took part in the Green Expo, which catered to all ages and included booths, vendors and exhibits of all things “green.”
The City’s annual spring Arts Alive Festival continues from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday at 24932 Veterans Way with entertainment, street painting and more. For more information and a detailed entertainment schedule, visit http://cityofmissionviejo.org/artsalivefestival/.