Q: Has there ever been a Woodstock-type event in an O.C. park?

A: Although the OC Fair & Event Center is not technically a park, it’s owned by the state and was home to one of the biggest concerts in local history. An estimated 100,000 people attended the 1968 Newport

Illustration by Blair Thornley

Pop Festival to see acts such as The Grateful Dead, Sonny and Cher, and Jefferson Airplane. One of Southern California’s first major music festivals, it received a harsh review in the Los Angeles Times, which declared the event “one indication of the trend away from music towards sensationalism.”

Incidentally, one of the largest gatherings at an Orange County park took place in 1984, when Ronald Reagan kicked off his re-election campaign with a rally in Mile Square Regional Park. There were reportedly 50,000 people at the park, and another 15,000 just outside.

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