Like master mini conductors, the children waved their batons with precision and enthusiasm following cues from the Pacific Symphony’s Maestro Carl St. Clair. With smiles and vigor, they beat drums, made their own tambourines and enjoyed meeting a talented musician or two. On Saturday, children and adults alike enjoyed the pre-concert “musical playground” festivities during the Prelude in the Park of the Target Symphony in the Cities event.
This Mission Viejo tradition attracts thousands of people each summer, many who line the manicured Village Green at Oso Viejo Park with picnics and lawn chairs for an enjoyable and memorable summer experience. Target is the title sponsor of this grand community event.
The festivities began late afternoon with a Parisian-themed “Prelude in Paris” that boasted fun family activities for all ages, food and a talented brass band, Bones West. This trombone choir played in the “big band” style and prompted a rousing applause.
“I loved the Bones West band … it was beautiful and my daughters loved them too, ” said resident Jarrod Perdon. “I have never heard that many trombones playing together before!”
Game enthusiasts enjoyed blindfolded chess with live human chess pieces along with the Waiters’ Race that pitted local servers in a competition that benefits the Saddleback College Scholarship fund.
In this first-time race, waiters from Delizie Ristorante & Bar, Piccolino Ristorante & Pizzeria, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Company, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, Villa Roma, California Pizza Kitchen, Café Mimosa, Avila’s El Ranchito, Chili’s Bar & Grill, and Pasty’s Irish Pub competed for the $500 grand prize sponsored by South County Lexus. (Other race sponsors include Walker Financial Advisors, Inc., Eric Johnson-Keller Williams Realty, Don Lewellen-Lewellen Accountancy and Kwik Kopy Printing.)
The waiters were cheered on as they weaved in and out of cones and a plant maze, stepped through ladders and walked up and down jazzercise steps all while carrying a loaded tray. In the middle of the course, they uncorked a bottle of wine, poured it into two empty wine glasses and then finished the race by trekking through salon doors. Chris Cherrie from California Pizza Kitchen clinched first place and the $500 grand prize followed by his co-worker Jake Southall in second and Jenn Tofani from Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in third.
Along with this excitement, Saturday included art workshops and a plethora of other family activities.
Dana Running enjoyed working on the mosaic bear community art project.
“All of the city events keep getting better and better,” she said. “Mission Viejo is the best and I feel so fortunate to live here.”
The evening was capped off by classical and pop music from Orange County’s Pacific Symphony. Indeed, this was a night to remember and one this community is proud of.
“I love Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony and that it is on the green,” said Sue Dunbar. It’s so easy to park with shuttle service. It’s fun to participate in this summertime event and come together as a community.”