Community Link Newsletter: Happy Thanksgiving | Home for the Holidays | Donate a Toy


Community Link Newsletter

November 22, 2023 | Edition 148

Welcome to the Community Link Newsletter

Our weekly newsletter aims to keep residents and businesses connected to us and all that is going on in and throughout the City. You can connect with us and learn more about our community, cultural events and celebrations, and news of interest by reading this newsletter, visiting our website at, and following us on our social media channels listed at the bottom of this email. We look forward to connecting with you. 


Happy Thanksgiving from the City of Irvine

Thanksgiving image

Happy Thanksgiving to our residents, businesses, and visitors from all of us at the City of Irvine. 


City of Irvine offices, aquatics facilities, and community centers will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24. Additional facility information and/or modified hours, as well as street sweeping and trash collection schedule modifications can be found here


We wish everyone a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. 


Celebrate the Holidays with the City of Irvine

Holidays in Irvine

The City of Irvine invites the community to celebrate the holiday season with three signature events opening Saturday, December 2, at the Great Park. 


Illuminate Irvine | December 2, 3–7 p.m.
Illuminate Irvine offers an enchanting evening at the Palm Court Arts Complex with live holiday music and activities designed for guests of all ages that are sure to inspire festive cheer. The night's grand finale will be the dazzling lighting ceremony of the Holiday Tree and Palm Court Arts Complex, adorned with thousands of radiant, glistening lights. Guests are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift suitable for infants or children up to age 12 in support of the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee Holiday Toy Drive. 

Holiday Market | December 2, 3–7 p.m. & December 3, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
This two-day market at the Great Park Hangar 244 showcases a carefully curated selection of 28 skilled vendors and artisans featuring one-of-a-kind treasures perfect for the gift-giving season. These handcrafted products encompass a wide range of artistic creations, from exquisite jewelry and intricate ceramics to captivating folk-crafts, fine woodwork, and more. 

Holidayz at the Park | December 2–January 7
Guests can step into a winterscape as the Great Park is adorned with sparkling light displays that twinkle and shimmer throughout the Palm Court Arts Complex. This captivating setting offers the perfect backdrop for a leisurely evening stroll or snapping family photos. Holidayz at the Park is open daily from dusk to 9:30 p.m. 


Parking and admission are free at all holiday events. Great Park is located at 8000 Great Park Blvd. in Irvine. Visit for a list of all activities. For more information, call 949-724-6600. 

Pet Adoption

Bring a Pet Home for the Holidays

Are you looking to add a new member to the family this winter? Attend the 17th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair Sunday, December 10, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The fair features hundreds of adoptable animals from regional pet rescue groups and animal shelters, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals.


All cats, dogs, and rabbits available for adoption are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and have been evaluated by a veterinarian. Cats and dogs are vaccinated appropriate to age.


Tickets will be on sale at the door for $5 per adult; children are free. Parking for the fair is free. The Irvine Animal Care Center is located at 6443 Oak Canyon. 


Visit to see a list of participating rescues, shelters, vendors, and food trucks. For more information, call 949-724-7740.

Inside Irvine

Read the News and Signup for Programs in the Winter Inside Irvine Edition

The winter issue of Inside Irvine is available now at Learn about a new shuttle service connecting the northern end of the City to the Spectrum area; see how an innovative new program developed by the Irvine Police Department is helping to ensure police officers and supervisors have an understanding of the diverse cultures in the community; and discover how Irvine is once again the safest city of its size. 


Plus, browse all programs, camps, and events available for kids and adults this winter in the Activity Guide. 

The digital edition is online now, and Irvine residents will see Inside Irvine in their mailboxes. You can also register for upcoming classes now at

Holiday Toy Drive

Donate to our Adopted Marine Battalion Families

Give back this holiday season by donating a new, unwrapped gift for families of Irvine's adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion during the annual Holiday Toy Drive. 


The City of Irvine and the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee invite the community to participate by dropping off toys through December 11:

  • Irvine City Hall and Irvine Police Department, 1 Civic Center Plaza: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday.

  • Great Park Visitors Center, 8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine: 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Daily. 

Additionally, two Drive-Thru Drop-Off events will be held at Irvine Civic Center: 

  • Sunday, December 3, and Saturday, December 9, 9 a.m.–noon.
    • Drive to Parking Lot near Deanna Manning Stadium.
    • Please keep all donations in the trunk or backseat and remain in the vehicle. Staff will be on-site to retrieve toys directly from vehicles in the designated drop-off area. 

Giving to the annual Holiday Toy Drive provides support and brings joy to children whose families are actively serving in the United States military. For more information, visit or call 949-724-6606. 


This Week in DE&I  

There are many cultural and religious holidays celebrated and recognized throughout our community this month. Learn about some of the significant dates being observed in Irvine below and on our DE&I calendar.


Thanksgiving: November 23
Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada, traditionally observed as a time of giving thanks for the autumn harvest. In the United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, while in Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday in October. The holiday's origins in the U.S. are commonly traced back to 1621, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the holiday began to take on more uniformity. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the final Thursday of November as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise." This proclamation effectively set the precedent for the national holiday. The day is marked by gathering with family and friends to enjoy a festive meal, which typically includes turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. It's also a time for reflecting on one's blessings and showing gratitude.


Native American Heritage Day: November 24
National Native American Heritage Day is observed November 24. American Indians are accorded special honor on this day, and their rich cultures, accomplishments, contributions, and heritage are celebrated. 


The City of Irvine is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Acjachemen Nation; without them the building of the City of Irvine would not have been possible. Native Americans have enriched our heritage and continue to add to all aspects of our society through their culture and continued practice of teaching economic, environmental, and cultural sustainability. 


Upcoming Meetings & Events 

November 28 | 2 & 4 p.m.

Great Park & City Council Meeting


November 30 | 5:30 p.m.

Irvine CAAP Virtual Workshop

December 4 | 5:30 p.m.

Finance Commission

View the City Calendar 

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