Wacky Pics, Tasty Bites: Long Beach Crawfish Time

It's a Mardi Gras kinda thing in the very un-Mardi-Gras-y month of August.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Long Beach Crawfish Festival
    Yep, it's zany, it's colorful, and it is very, very crawfish-y. It's Long Beach's mondo crawfish Mardi Gras, and it dances over the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4.

    Some people quibble when holidays show up outside of their expected time frame. Should we start with Christmas in July? The little red-and-green sales and treats that pop up in the heart of the heat are too often greeted with hard stares and wishes that the yuletide return to December.

    But Mardi Gras, which tends to fall in the late winter, is a celebration perfectly suited to the summertime. Figure this: people are dancing in the streets. There is the eating of shellfish. There is the wearing of costumes, some of which can be on the scantier side. And there is a lot of outdoor time.

    Which means that Long Beach's big, costume-y, summertime Crawfish Festival, which marks its 20th year on Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4, is pretty well timed for a Mardi Gras that's going to jump months.

    And, nope, there won't be a mondo Bourbon Street-style parade but there will be the wearing of outlandish hats and beads, the dancing to zydeco, and the eating of crawfish, red potatoes, and corn on the cob, that classic low-country-ish trio.

    Tickets are $28. This includes the crawfish feast.

    But you can pay thirteen bucks and come to shake it and see the lively haps of the Rainbow Lagoon-based bash. There's a ton of music and kids' to-dos and such. Nope, $13 won't net you the crawfish meal but you can attend without committing to crawfishing it up.

    You also want to hit the fest's famous photo set up. People willing don crawfish hats and pose for pictures. Oh yes they do.

    This two-decade-old party is perfectly timed, too, because consider this: The first of the slew of lobster festivals, which typically hail the coming of fall in Southern California, is set for Newport Beach on Saturday, Aug. 10.

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