By Christopher Trela | NB Indy
On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters held its glamorous end-of-summer soirée, a jam-packed night of fine art, living pictures, strolling entertainment, and giveaways.
The Wonderful World Soirée welcomed the legendary Priscilla Presley to host the evening, and 10-time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval, who performed an intimate concert on the Festival’s green.
The evening kicked off with a red-carpet entrance for all guests and VIPs in attendance. Many guests posed on the red carpet with photo booths capturing the special moments. Among those who walked the carpet were celebrity guests Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Michael Tucci (“Grease”), and Priscilla Presley.
Loge Center ticket holders had 1-hour early access to the event and enjoyed a special wine reception with Celebrity Cruises. Each VIP guest received a commemorative wine glass and gift bag.
A Chinese Lion Dance excited ticket holders as it danced through the queue line, next to the red carpet, and then through the entrance of the Festival of Arts. Attendees were welcomed by strolling entertainment throughout the entire grounds including African stilt walkers, Japanese geishas, circus performers from Le Petit Cirque, and more.
Those in attendance enjoyed the sounds of the Grammy-winning musician Arturo Sandoval whose vivacious melodies and infectious rhythms filled the Festival grounds. “The concert was fantastic. Arturo put on a fun and exciting concert that the audience loved,” said Special Events Director Susan Davis. Attendees also enjoyed a private showing of the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show with the work of 120 Orange County artists on display.
After the concert, guests proceeded to the Irvine Bowl to enjoy a special performance of the popular and crowd-pleasing Pageant of the Masters production of “Wonderful World.” Festival of Arts Board President, David Perry, kicked off the performance by noting that this summer the Festival was celebrating its 90th anniversary.
“I doubt that the folks who put together that very first Festival in 1932 could have envisioned the changes we’ve witnessed during the past nine decades,” Perry shared. “The first festival was a modest community event with everyone pitching in to create a week-long art show and street fair. What hasn’t changed since then is our firm belief in the importance of art in all our lives. The histories of Laguna Beach and the Festival and Pageant are, and will always be, inseparable.”
Priscilla Presley echoed Perry’s sentiments about the importance and power of the arts. Presley, a longtime fan of the Pageant, also spoke about the magic of living pictures, bringing friends to the show for the first time, and the hundreds of volunteers who participate in it.
“I’ve been moved by not only the volunteer’s dedication to the success of the Pageant, but the joy they feel being a part of it,” said Presley.
Presley then pulled the winning ticket for Festival’s summer-long raffle. The winner of the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge ($60,690 value) was Kelly Clark from San Marcos, CA. After the winner was announced, guests enjoyed a captivating performance of the critically acclaimed Pageant of the Masters production of “Wonderful World.”
Proceeds from the night support arts programming for the Festival of Arts. The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization that produces the Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters.
The 2022 event was sponsored by Volvo Cars, Celebrity Cruises, KOST 103.5 and Yamaha.