Event to feature Devine lady

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 Celebrity Christine Devine, KTTV Fox 11 News anchor and winner of 16 Emmy Awards, has been named theme grand marshal of the 55th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival parade in honor of the 2013 theme “Celebrating 55 Years of Helping Local Kids.” 

 Celebrity Christine Devine, KTTV Fox 11 News anchor and winner of 16 Emmy Awards, has been named theme grand marshal of the 55th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival parade in honor of the 2013 theme “Celebrating 55 Years of Helping Local Kids.” 

The festival will be held Memorial Day weekend Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27.  The parade will be Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m. at Ninth and Chapman in Garden Grove. 

Devine hosts "Wednesday's Child," the adoption segment which has aired on Fox for 18 years, with more than 450 children from foster care finding forever families. She received the Governor’s Award and has been honored by the U.S. Congress and the Child Welfare League of America and has authored "Finding a Forever Family, A News Anchor's Notebook." She is also co-founder of multi-award-winning "The Good News Foundation,” which has built computer labs, a park and library for children.

Festival organizers have also chosen two celebrity grand marshals: actor James Hong and the current reigning Miss California, Leah Cecil of Garden Grove. 

James Hong will be starring in this summer's Universal Pictures "R.I.P.D." with Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker opening July 19 nationwide.  He also will reprise his role in the third installment of DreamWork’s Animation "Kung Fu Panda 3," currently set for winter of 2015.

Including his award winning voice-over work, he can be seen on the Disney XD Channel show "Pair of Kings" in his recurring role of the island’s elder.  Other Disney shows include "A.N.T. Farm" and "I’m in the Band." 

Working with many famous stars over the years, James Hong has over 450 on-screen credits to his name and the list continues to grow.  He will sign autographs (Tent 25) on Saturday afternoon of the festival to help raise funds for Young Variety, a part of Variety — The Children’s Charity of Southern California.

Miss California Leah Cecil is the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival’s home town pride and joy. 

This former Miss Garden Grove 2011 went on to win Miss California 2012.  At the competition, she was a triple preliminary winner in talent, swimsuit, and evening wear categories.   Miss Cecil earned a bachelor of arts degree in music from California State University, Fullerton, and plans to obtain a master’s degree. 

She has been principle harpist of six symphony orchestras and is the recipient of the 2011 Bernie Rose Outstanding Musician Scholarship.  She is the on-call harpist at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), a frequently requested vocalist for the national anthem, and was the featured harpist on the 30th Anniversary album of Mariachi Sol De México. 

Cecil performed as violinist in Wes Craven’s movie "Music of the Heart" starring Meryl Streep.  She is also the recipient of the 2008 Soroptimist Award for Community Service.

Ten additional TV, film and radio celebrities will also be honored guests in the parade:  Karan Brar (Disney’s Jessie); on-air talents Christine Martindale (KKGO-FM "Go Country 105) and Rachin (Exitos 93.9); Mckenna Grace (Joe&Joe&Jane; Crash and Bernstein); Alicia Sixtos (East Los High); Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World); Cierra Ramirez (The Fosters); and sisters  Savannah Paige Rae (Parenthood) and Emily Evan Rae (Parenthood); Daphne Blunt (Fanlala’s Daphne’s Look of the Week).  The parade also features Knott’s Berry Farms’ Snoopy, Ronald McDonald, and two characters from Despicable Me, plus the world famous Sk8Kings skateboarding troupe.

The festival takes place every year over Memorial Day weekend. Friday hours are 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday the festival is held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  All four festival days will offer 35 exciting carnival rides, contests, over 200 food and shopping booths, games, autograph signings and live entertainment in the Showmobile and the 550-seat amphitheater.  Admission is free. 

Contests include the Berry, Berry Beautiful Baby Contest, Redhead Roundup, Strawberry Idol Karaoke and Tiny Tots King and Queen.  And there's a new contest:  The Kids Helping Kids Contest where contestants can be submitted online at the festival website. 

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Association is a non-profit organization which has raised more than $6 million for local charities since its inception in 1958.