Category Archives: Events


Since the City of La Habra Heights was incorporated nearly 37 years ago, it has never formally welcomed the head of the largest Sheriffs Department in the United States. That ends when the city welcomes newly elected Sheriff Jim Mcdonnell later this month for a

meet and greet with the residents and to thank him and the department for the great service to the city all these years. “I’m not sure why it hadn’t happened until now” said Mayor Pro Tempore Kyle Miller ” But I had spoken with him at a few events and finally just asked him if he would come to the city and spend some time with the residents and let the city show our gratitude to the department” Mayor Pro Tempore Miller added ” He happily

agreed and said he loves our small city and the golf course, which is well known, so we’re very pleased to welcome him.

In addition to the sheriff, Supervisor Don Knabe will also be attending as well as a special performance by the Rancho Starbuck drum line core. The meet and greet takes place on Monday, September 21 from 6pm to 8pm at City Hall in the Council Chambers.

The event is open to all La Habra Heights residents. There will be refreshments as well a photo opportunity with Sheriff Mcdonnell for the residents. Please see the included flyer for more info and to RSVP.

Meet and Greet – LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell (1) (1) (1)

Meet La Habra, the corniest town in Orange County

La Habra, Ca Corn Festival 2015

A boy in the under eight children’s category races to finish an ear of corn Saturday afternoon at the 2012 La Habra Corn Festival during the corn eating contest. The 2012 La Habra Corn Festival celebrates corn with a corn eating contest, displays, and a parade.

Source: OC Register

La Habra has something no other city in Orange County has. A corn festival.

That’s right, corn – as in the plant that grows so high it meets an elephant’s eye.

Now, you may wonder why a celebration of corn. And I am here to report and reveal. But for context, you probably are asking yourself some basic questions about La Habra – like where the heck is La Habra?

Not to be confused with La Palma, another Orange County city, La Habra is arguably the least freeway-connected city in our county. And that explains why so many know so little about La Habra, including its location – north of Fullerton, west of the 57 freeway.

But that doesn’t tell you much about this city that proudly calls itself a “caring community.” To explore La Habra, you need to drive its streets, including ones the locals call “our freeways.”

After flying along Beach Boulevard and, later, Imperial Highway, where speed limits range from 50-55 mph, I get that surface-street-as-freeway thing. Still, La Habra is best seen through the eyes of City Manager Jim Sadro.

Understand, Sadro grew up here. Point to a big city map and he shows where in high school he chowed down hamburgers.


The recession hit all municipalities. But some were especially hard hit. Without a big mall and with relatively low property taxes, La Habra suffered.

“The recession was incredibly damaging,” Sadro allows. “We’re still feeling the effects.”

Consider that the city’s biggest employer is CVS and its warehouses, where some 900 people work. The next biggest employers are big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Costco.

During the recession, two new-car dealerships disappeared and tax revenue plunged. Making matters worse, an old utility tax had expired. Still, basic maintenance was needed. Streets were in poor shape.

But residents rallied with a half-cent sales tax. And today, after a six-year-project, all residential streets have been repaired or replaced. Sadro points out that one of the vacant car dealership sites will soon become a gated community with 32 homes.

It’s a series of small and large successes like these that cumulatively make a big difference in a city that covers 7.4 square miles and has nearly 62,000 people.

The support of citizens means a lot to Sadro, and not just because he’s city manager. A teacher he had at Whittier Christian High School reached back to the civic service values of the 1960s and inspired Sadro to get involved with government. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State Fullerton, focusing on public administration.

Matthew Gaitan, 2, and Destiny Alvarado, 3, play around wooden ears of corn at the annual La Habra Corn Festival. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 0808.spr.corn – 8/2/14 – NICK AGRO, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER  The La Habra Corn Festival is the biggest event in the city. The doggy costume contest begins at 2:30 p.m., with registration at 1:30 p.m. The corn eating contest begins at 2 p.m.

Matthew Gaitan, 2, and Destiny Alvarado, 3, play around wooden ears of corn at the annual La Habra Corn Festival.

The La Habra Corn Festival is the biggest event in the city. The doggy costume contest begins at 2:30 p.m., with registration at 1:30 p.m. The corn eating contest begins at 2 p.m.Approaching two years as city manager, Sadro doesn’t look to turn the city, incorporated in 1925, upside down. His goal is similar to his predecessors: “Create a more livable city.”

He explains that the city is in a valley with La Habra Heights to the north and Fullerton’s Coyote Hills to the south. He boasts, “It’s dead quiet here at night. You don’t get that constant freeway hum.”

Still, he’s quick to declare, “We’re not a sleepy bedroom community. There’s a lot going on.”

That’s especially true after council’s vote last week to completely remodel the city’s civic center.


Will La Habra try to one-up Newport Beach and its new $142 million city hall?

Sadro smiles thinly, suppressing a comment. Instead, he explains what will happen in La Habra over the next three years. His guiding principle follows previous city councils as well as new members: “Help the city become more of a community.”

The current City Hall will be replaced by 71 townhomes – which means more people and more sales tax. City Hall will move across the street and into existing buildings. The plan also puts City Hall closer to prized Portola Park, which includes baseball fields, a tennis center and the city’s Children’s Museum, which offers a hand-carved carousel, an interactive model train village and tours of a 1942 caboose.

Total funding? Sadro estimates that the entire civic center project, which includes updating other buildings, should cost $19 million. But the new civic center is only part of the focus

“We will create a new downtown community with a new La Habra vibe and restaurants, shops and stores,” Sadro predicts. “I’m a big believer in government presenting the opportunity and letting developers develop.”

Andrew Ho, director of community and economic development, admits he has his work cut out for him and estimates that it could take years before the area sees dramatic change. Still, he is encouraged with the plans as well as some newer additions already in the area such as G-Burger, a gourmet hamburger restaurant.

Mind you, the plans are a far cry from what Sadro’s predecessor handled back when Sadro was in high school. Those were days when tagging was a serious problem. The best the city could do was send crews out to paint over the graffiti. Sadro recalls one worker starting at 4 a.m. so residents could wake up to pristine neighborhoods.

Today, crime remains an issue just as it does in many areas. But Sadro reports that many of the old gangs are gone and tagging is less of an issue. As he talks, we pass El Centro Park in the downtown area. Kids in bathing suits squeal as they slip down a waterslide, and jump up and down in a bounce house.

Sadro mentions that it’s a city program. We pass La Bonita Park, where four softball fields rival the best in Orange County. We visit Vista Grande Park, where the city soon will build fields for soccer and football, and perhaps a dog park.

“If you don’t have to think about your government,” Sadro says, “then we’re probably doing a good job.”


By now, you’ve either forgotten about the corn festival or given up learning about it. Don’t worry. The corn festival happens to be one of my favorite Orange County events, if for nothing else because it has the same simple theme every year.

Realize there are no cornfields in Orange County. And even back in the day, La Habra apparently had no cornfields.

The idea for a festival started a couple of years after World War II, when the Lions Club needed a fundraiser. Soon, a member by the name of Bill Miller concluded that the city should have a corn festival because a lot of residents were from the Midwest.

It’s turns out Miller was onto something. Although few residents today hail from the Midwest, in less than four weeks the local Lions Club will launch its 67th Corn Festival.

Randy McMillan, a 26-year Lion, zeroes in on the hometown appeal: “I look forward to meeting up with my friends that I grew up with.”

The three-day festival includes what the Lions call Southern California’s longest-running summer parade, live music and, of course, corn eating contests.

Too corny? Perhaps. But in a very cool way.

2015 Community Awards Banquet

Name: Annual Community Awards and Installation Banquet
Date: July 15, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM2:00 PM PDT
La Habra Chamber of Commerce - Awards Banquet
Event Description:
Annual Community Awards and Installation Banquet
Each year we honor individuals, businesses and organizations that have shown exceptional achievements and service to our community. We also install our new Board of Directors and Chair for 2015 – 2016.

La Habra Chamber of Commerce - Awards BanquetThis is set at the beautiful Westridge Golf Club banquet room where we serve a grand buffet of cold cuts, assorted salads and more.

Selected to receive Awards are:
Citizen of the Year – Mayor Pro Tem James Gomez
Youth of the Year – Carrera Vilaubi
Business of the Year – Central Drugs Compounding Pharmacy
Entrepreneur of the Year – Living Justly Industries, Inc
President’s Award – Cindy and Danny Singer
George Rochester Award – Captain Ernie Ramirez LACFD
Chamber Award – Coach Frank Mazzotta
Business Revitalization – McDonalds Hamburgers
Scott Lawrence Award – Victor Laveaga
Chamber Appreciation Award – Ernesto Oros
Golden Apple Award – Matt Tiberg & Kathy Silvas
Special Appreciation Award – Barry Ross & Robert Morales
Chamber Night Special Award – Larry Rottweiler and Armando Gomez



FREE Household Hazardous Waste Roundup for La Habra Heights

FREE Household Hazardous Waste Roundup for La Habra Heights
Date: July 11, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM2:00 PM PDT
La Habra Heights, Ca Hazardeous Waste Collection & Disposal

La Habra Waste Round UpsEvent Description:

There will be a free Household Hazardous Waste & E-Waste Recycling Roundup for La Habra Heights area residents on Saturday, July 11, at Hacienda Park, Hacienda Boulevard and Encanada Drive in La Habra Heights from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Safely dispose of household hazardous waste such as antifreeze, unused pharmaceuticals, car batteries, used motor oil, paint, pesticides, home-generated sharps waste, e-waste, and more.
It’s a free and easy way to safely dispose of items that are too toxic to trash.
For more information, contact the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works at 1(888) CLEAN LA or or the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County at 1 (800) 238-0172 or

La Habra Heights rocks out once again in The Park

By Katelyn Chavez

The La Habra Heights Improvement Association brings families and friends together each summer for an entertaining event every Wednesday night.
Last week, the audience experienced the music of U2 performed by the Whittier worship band, 40.
Brian Guthrie on vocals, Sol Rodriguez on guitar, Josh Mervin on drums, and Ed Eller as their event manager; this has been their second time playing for the LHHIA’s  music in the park, and said they are glad to do it.
“The energy is so awesome and we want to keep coming back,” Guthrie said. “There’s people we know here, and new faces and it’s so thrilling to see!”
Melisa Villanueva and Eric Nicolson are from Fullerton, and they attended the event for the first time this year and said the band sounds just like U2!
They added that this event is sure to bring them back because it was so fun.
For over 20 years, LHHIA has sponsored music in the park, and each year the music gets better and better.
American favorites this year include tribute bands that play sounds of: The Beach Boys, U2, Swing Era, Elvis, Brooks & Dunn, Neil Diamond, Smooth sounds of Santana, and a battle of the bands with the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
This year there’s a concert tribute for everyone with good food and desserts to make this event even more enjoyable.
The event is so popular and has grown with people starting with an audience from 400 people to 2000, according to organizer Jennifer Jones .
“We start planning for this event in January, and like to create a fun atmosphere where friends and family create memories, and bring new people to create some of their own,” Jones explained.
Elizabeth Espinoza is from La Habra has been coming to the concerts for the past five years. Thistime, she brought her friends to celebrate her birthday.
“It’s my second week of summer vacation, and this is perfect to start with,” she said.  “My husband asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate, and I couldn’t think of anything better to do than this! Next week I’m bringing my family.”
Fernando Menchaca who is from Whittier has been working for this event for the past six years and puts his joy in his work to see all the smiling faces.
He describes this event … “simply irresistible!  Everyone has to come at least once because it automatically puts you in a good mood. The vibe never decreases.”

Source: La Habra Journal

2015 Greyhound Picnic in the Park

2015-fastfriends-org-picnic (1)What do you get when you mix great weather, fun, games, Greyhounds and humans? The answer is the Picnic at Hacienda Park. This year it was held on June 13th in La Habra Heights.

The annual picnic is an event to raise money that goes directly to support ex-racing Greyhound adoption and is always a not-to-be-missed event for both humans and hounds alike.

Vendors were there to support the event and to provide picnic-goers with a chance to add to their hound-related items. It is wonderful to see the support and commitment of the vendors each year and their time and dedication is much appreciated.

In addition to the vendors, there was a silent auction with many splendid greyhound items and a raffle. All items are graciously donated for both the auction and raffle.

The picnic kicked off with the Blessing of the Hounds. It opened with a remembrance of dogs past and then at least 20 hounds on site were blessed. Read more

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