the park's restrooms. Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters
President Bruce Rasner ought to be ashamed of himself for the letter
he wrote to Village Laguna (concerning Village Laguna not being
allowed to use Festival grounds as a staging area for the Charm House
Many years ago, as chair of the Charm House Tour, I received a
voicemail from an official of the Festival of Arts who saw our banner
and noted that I did not have permission to use the facility or their
bathrooms. I turned to then Mayor Neil Fitzpatrick on how to respond.
He advised that the Irvine Bowl Park is a public park, the bathrooms
are there for the public and to ignore him.
When San Clemente tried to take the Pageant of the Masters from
Laguna Beach, former president of the Laguna Beach Historical Society
Belinda Blacketer told the history of the park. She noted that the
original deed included recreation as a use, and at one time it was to
have a children's "play area." Belinda's written comments include:
"The site of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters was
to be a community park, which was chosen in 1938. In April 1940, the
citizens of Laguna Beach passed a 'Park, Music and Advertising Tax'
of 10 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation to purchase and
develop the Irvine property.
"The area that is now the festival grounds was shown on a map of
the proposed park site as the 'play area', the canyon where the
police firing range is now was to be used for 'rustic trails' and the
amphitheater the Festival wanted to build was to use a very small
portion of the park land.
"The Pageant of the Masters was to use the park (Irvine Bowl Park)
only two weeks of each year for the Pageant and Festival of Arts. In
exchange, the Festival of Arts agreed to pay the city of Laguna Beach
rent of $1,000 and 50% of the net income."
If the public cannot use a park's public bathroom, something is
* GENE FELDER is a member of Village Laguna, president of Laguna
Beach Historical Society, vice-president of Laguna Canyon
Conservancy, and board member of Top of the World Neighborhood Assn.