One of the things done during that trip to the Prancing Skiltaire was to visit Irvine Regional Park to get the scoop on what could be in store for the SocalFurs FurBQ this spring.
In talking to the ranger on Saturday, we learned one thing …. our FurBQ is definitely going to require us to plan even further in advance simply because people have already begun reserving these areas in May, despite that this is 3 months away. Of course this requires additional resources and planning now that we are no longer in the “free to the first person” picnic areas.
From pricing and specific location within the park, we have found a great spot that can hold the size of our crowd:
The Good Stuff
- 3 Grilling Areas – BBQ Grills are scattered around this group picnic area. Each one is off to the side and therefore will keep foot traffic near hot grills to a minimum. With more grills to use, this may mean we can designate one or two of them for dietary accommodations (e.g. fish allergies, vegan diet, etc..)
- Plenty of shade – The seating area sits under a canopy of trees. This should keep guests and our grillmasters out of the sun and help prevent overheating.
- Cement surfaces in the grilling areas – For years, we have had to spend a bit of our prep time making sure we have room for food prep. While we will need to get some plastic covering for the 2 cement “tables”, we now have many more surfaces to work with.
- Open field for sports – While not part of the reserved area, there is an open grassy field where people can play volleyball, frisbee and other activities where a large area is needed. This area exists a short distance away, but is far enough away from the hazards of our grilling and eating areas.
- Parking – OC Parks offers no reserved parking with any of the group picnic areas. Parking wont be any worse than before, so we will need to remain considerate of other guests at the park by not blocking right-of-ways. This site has 2 parking lots nearby that are first-come-first-served. From there, people will have to find whatever parking available and be prepared for a walk to/from the picnic grounds.
- Less Bathroom Stalls – This group area is located towards the back of the park, which still has yet to get its modern upgrades. The bathrooms closest to this site are not unisex bathrooms like our old lot. The “men’s” bathroom has 3 small stalls and 3 urinals. The “women’s” bathroom has 4 stalls. There is another set of bathrooms in the field area nearby, but it will require a walk.
Where do we go from here? Lets Decide!
During our visit, we got a list of days that are still available for booking this area. Once the $300 reservation payment is submitted, the spot is reserved. Because reservations are first-come, first-served, we need to be quick about it. Please use this poll to choose what you want to be as our FIRST CHOICE when we set up our reservation with OC Parks.
What weekend should we book for our annual FurBQ?
The above poll will close as of Saturday, February 27th, at 23:59. Second and third choices will be gathered based on what comes in 2nd and 3rd place.