Garden Grove | United States

Garden Grove is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) southeast of the city of Los Angeles. The population was 170,883 at the 2010 United States Census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove.

An annual event held over Memorial Day weekend, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is one of the largest community festivals in the western United States, attracting an estimated 250,000 visitors. It began in 1958 and celebrates the city's agricultural past, which includes cultivating crops such as chili peppers, oranges, walnuts and strawberries. Part of the festivities include the cutting of the world's largest strawberry shortcake, carnival rides and vendors and a celebrity-filled parade. Numerous Garden Grove organizations, including the Miss Garden Grove Scholarship Program, are part of the Memorial Day weekend festivities every year. In commemoration of Garden Grove's 50th anniversary, the city painted some of its fire hydrants with a design that featured a strawberry, recognizing the festival as a big part of Garden Grove's history.

Garden Grove uses a council-manager form of government. In July 2015 the city was sued by a resident who claimed that the longstanding at-large elections had affected the Latino vote and was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. On January 26, 2016, the city council voted to settle the lawsuit, and therefore adopted that council members would be voted by district (six districts total) and no longer at-large; the mayor, however, will continue to be elected at-large. The city council consists of mayor Steven R. Jones, mayor pro tem Phat Bui, Kris Beard, John R. O'Neill, Thu-Ha Nguyen, Stephanie Klopfenstein and Kim B. Nguyen. According to the city's most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's various funds had $206.0 million in Revenues, $193.0 million in expenditures, $1,098.9 million in total assets, $251.5 million in total liabilities, and $196.3 million in cash and investments.

The following list of city officials is current as of December 2016.

Garden Grove is home to two stage theaters, the Gem Theater and the Festival Amphitheater. The Festival Amphitheater hosts Shakespeare Orange County, which presents an annual Shakespeare Festival each summer. Both venues are owned by the City of Garden Grove, but operated by outside entities. The Gem Theater is currently operated by Damien Lorton and Nicole Cassesso of 'One More Productions'. The Festival Amphitheater is managed by Thomas Bradac, the producing artistic director of Shakespeare Orange County.

The Garden Grove Playhouse used to be an active theatre, now closed down. It was operated by a non-profit group of the same name.

The song "Garden Grove" by Sublime details taking a trip to Garden Grove.

Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232 making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than twenty-one U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county's four largest cities, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have populations exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County's cities are on the Pacific coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.

Orange County is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in the county; the newest is Aliso Viejo, which was incorporated in 2001. Anaheim was the first city, incorporated in 1870, when the region was still part of neighboring Los Angeles County. Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center in Orange County. It is mostly suburban except for some traditionally urban areas at the centers of the older cities of Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Orange, and Santa Ana. There are several edge city-style developments such as Irvine Business Center, Newport Center, and South Coast Metro.

The county is known for tourism with attractions like Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and several popular beaches along its more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline. It is also known for its political conservatism—a 2005 academic study listed three Orange County cities as among America's 25 most conservative, making it one of two counties in the United States containing more than one such city. (Maricopa County, Arizona also had three cities on the list. ) Orange County is part of the Tech Coast.

A severe drought in the 1860s devastated the prevailing industry, cattle ranching, and much land came into the possession of Richard O'Neill, Sr., James Irvine and other land barons. In 1887, silver was discovered in the Santa Ana Mountains, attracting settlers via the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroads.

This growth led the California legislature to divide Los Angeles County and create Orange County as a separate political entity on March 11, 1889. The county is said to have been named for the citrus fruit in an attempt to promote immigration by suggesting a semi-tropical paradise–a place where anything could grow.

Other citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction were also important to the early economy. Orange County benefited from the July 4, 1904 completion of the Pacific Electric Railway, a trolley connecting Los Angeles with Santa Ana and Newport Beach. The link made Orange County an accessible weekend retreat for celebrities of early Hollywood. It was deemed so significant that Pacific City changed its name to Huntington Beach in honor of Henry E. Huntington, president of the Pacific Electric and nephew of Collis Huntington. Transportation further improved with the completion of the State Route and U.S. Route 101 (now mostly Interstate 5) in the 1920s.

Residents sometimes divide the county into north Orange County and south Orange County. In effect, this is a division of the county into northwestern and southeastern halves following the county's natural diagonal orientation along the coast. This is more of a cultural and demographic distinction perpetuated by the popular television shows The OC, The Real Housewives of Orange County and Laguna Beach. The distinction exists between the older areas closer to Los Angeles and the more affluent and recently developed areas to the south. A transition between older and newer development may be considered to exist roughly parallel to State Route 55, also known as the Costa Mesa Freeway. This transition is accentuated by large flanking tracts of sparsely developed area occupied until recent years by agriculture and military airfields.

While there is a northeast to southwest topographic transition from elevated areas inland to the lower coastal band, there is no formal geographic division between North and South County. Perpendicular to that gradient, the Santa Ana River roughly divides the county into northwestern and southeastern sectors. Each sector comprises 40 to 60 percent of the county respectively by area. There are significant political, demographic, economic, and cultural distinctions between North and South Orange County, with North Orange County having greater populations of people of color, younger populations, greater percentages of renters, lower median incomes, higher rates of unemployment, and greater proportions of voters registered as Democrats versus as Republicans. However, certain areas in both North and South Orange County vary from these general trends.

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