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What To Do This Week In Orange County - May 22

With only a month left until summer, there is plenty to keep you busy as the weather heats up. Cool off with the opening of Knott's Soak City or listen to stories from veterans. There is also a fantastic local tiki-themed exhibit at Chapman University. Later in the week, your pooches will love Yappy Hour at the Ritz-Carlton, and Friday marks the start of the Blackest of the Black music festival. When the weekend rolls around, head to Disney's California Adventure for a new superhero experience or take in some stellar country tunes at Boots on the Beach.
Monday, May 22
Knotts Soak City-Knotts Soak City
(Credit: Knott's Soak City)

Visit Knott's Soak City Water Park
Knott's Soak City
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200

After the grand opening this past Saturday, Monday marks the first full week of Knott's Soak City's summer season. The water park features a recent two-acre expansion that includes seven new slides. One new slide tower, the Shore Break, contains six of the new slides, with two tubes of dueling slides that allow riders to compete as they race through various twists and turns. The other four slides on the tower are Aqua Launch chambers, which offer free-fall experiences down a 60-foot slide. The other new slide, called The Wedge, is a group-ride that seats up to six people on a raft that slips and slides across the water. New seating and cabanas have also be introduced this season, and a renovation to Longboard's Grill gives visitors the chance to try new menu items like chicken tenders or wraps. The season will last through September 10th.

Tuesday, May 23
Voices - Veterans Storytelling Project-Courtesy of Arts Orange County
(Credit: Courtesy of Arts Orange County)

Voices: Veterans Storytelling Project
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 708-1500

The third year of the Voices project brings more first-hand accounts that help the local community understand what life is like for a veteran in America. Held in Heroes Hall at the OC Fair & Event Center, the free event features an evening of Veteran's Theatre. The showcase gives local veterans a platform for telling stories and sharing experiences; since it's open to the public, it's also a way to connect local veterans with friends and neighbors in the community. Voices focuses not only on the challenges veterans face, but also on the pride they feel from the duty they have served. The fairgrounds is partnering with the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Orange County, Chance Theater and the Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation to present the important workshop. It starts at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 24
Tiki in Orange County-Chapman University
(credit: Chapman University)

"Tiki in Orange County"
Leatherby Libraries
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 532-7756

Now through August 25th, catch "Tiki in Orange County" at the Chapman University Leatherby Libraries. The exhibition, which is being held on the fourth floor in the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, focuses mainly on the Tiki aesthetic, its place in pop culture and the overall Orange County post-war scene. It also includes a selection of Oceanic art. Curated by Chris Jepsen of the Orange County Historical Society, the multi-month showcase is meant to reveal information about how Orange County residents used Tiki bars and décor as a method of escapism following the war. The exhibit suggests that the film sets and bars that were such a pivotal part of this style were created by those wanting to explore the outdoors, surf California's shoreline or get their creativity out at nearby Disneyland.

Thursday, May 25
Yappy Hour-Pacific Dream Photography
(Credit: Pacific Dream Photography)

Yappy Hour
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
1 Ritz-Carlton Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2000

Bring your furry friends down to the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point this Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. for a yappy good time. While the dogs sniff out new friends, feel free to schmooze with other owners at this fun, happy hour event. In going with the dog theme, guests can sip on a variety of wines: Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, or Chateau d'Og Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition, there is a selection of cocktails, beer and barbecue meals for sale with proceeds benefiting The Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. The dogs can take part as well, with deliciously flavored waters—bacon, chicken, beef or even vegan. The event will repeat the fourth Thursday of each month through September.

Friday, May 26
Blackest of the Black-Courtesy of A12 Entertainment
(Credit: A12 Entertainment)

Blackest of the Black
Oak Canyon Park
5305 East Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Escape the stresses of everyday life at the Blackest of the Black music festival. Held at Oak Canyon Park this Friday and Saturday, the event will feature two different stages with performers that were curated by Glenn Danzig. The event includes some of the most metals acts in the area, including Suicidal Tendencies, Deafheaven, Corrosion of Conformity, Atreyu, Vamps, Devil Driver, Ritual and Danzig himself. Aside from the music, participants can enjoy the ever-unique Castle Danzig. This interactive walkthrough experience showcases pleasure, pain and metal; it will also feature the artist's music and content from his graphic novels. There will be a variety of other attractions and guests may also buy a VIP pass.

Saturday, May 27
memorial day american flag parade
(credit: istockphoto)

Attend Memorial Day Parades & Activities!
Various Locations

Orange County is celebrating Memorial Day with plenty of great activities! Visit our list of the Best Memorial Day Events In Orange County this year to find out more.

Guardians of the Galaxy-Richard Harbaugh:Disneyland Resort
(Credit: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout!
Disney's California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-4636

Opening at California Adventure this Saturday, Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout! features some of the best superhero characters around: the guardians themselves. Launching shortly after the release of the successful second film, the ride tells a new story featuring the heroes. After being captured and displayed by The Collector, the guardians are encased in glass. Mission: Breakout! draws you in by allowing you to take part in the special rescue mission alongside Rocket, the popular raccoon from the series. As you help Rocket save his friends, expect to find some chaos that needs to be righted—along with some stellar mixtape songs to complete the journey.

Sunday, May 28
Boots on the Beach-Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
(Credit: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort)

Boots on the Beach
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
1131 Back Bay Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 729-3863

You won't want to miss it when Nashville meets Newport this Sunday evening. Gather on the beach at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort for a free concert by local country cover bands Pickleback Shine and the Kelly Rae Band. Performing a mix of chart-topping hits and country classics, both bands will enchant visitors with popular songs to sing along with. The Kelly Boys will also be on site to teach line dances throughout the evening. Enjoy drinks from a full bar while you dine on barbecue, but don't forget to visit the Spurs & Suds beer tasting booth where you can sample flights or full pours of some delicious brews. The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.
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