The 117th Golden Dragon Parade: Gatherings to welcome the Year of the Monkey started in a celebratory spirit in late January, but the major centerpiece of the Lunar New Year season, this venerable procession through Chinatown, will dance on Saturday, Feb. 13. And "dance" we do indeed mean; lion dances and colorful costumes all aswirl are hallmarks of the happy occasion, one that draws tens of thousands of spectators. The concurrent Chinese New Year Festival features acrobatics, calligraphy demos, teapot juggling, and martial arts galore.
Skechers Performance LA Marathon: Ever tied on your favorite soles and hoofed it from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica? Many, many runners shall on Sunday, Feb. 14 as part of our city's most major run extravaganza. Cheer Alley, a vocal and vivacious tradition, can be found around Mile 18, just after Beverly Hills, but count on plenty of Angelenos to line the streets, cheering both their pals on and you, too. What's at the end? The Finish Festival, a beer garden, and accolades and glory, natch.
Valentine's Weekend: Those who purvey in roses, fancy dinners, and boxes of chocolates will stay humming through the weekend, but if you want to add a little whipped cream to your love sundae, consider taking a gondola ride or booking a hotel suite where a president honeymooned or watching vintage burlesque or visiting the biggest kiss-in, hug-a-thon around, the Bulldog Beauty Contest in Long Beach (a heartfelt Valentine's Weekend happening, year in and year out). "Woof" means "I love you," as anyone knows.
Presidents Day Celebration: Where will Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington be on Monday, Feb. 15? Three of our Commander in Chiefs always make a point to stop by the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, to chat with history buffs and perhaps indulge in some complimentary cherry pie. The U.S.S. Iowa, "the Battleship of Presidents," will honor the holiday with special happenings and birthday cake (it's the San Pedro-based ship's 73rd).
Queen Mary ScotsFestival: The landmark ocean-liner that's called Long Beach home for nearly a half century was built in Scotland, and each and every year that fact is celebrated with a hoot of a party. Bagpipes are central to the bash, as is whisky and haggis, as are Highland-style athletics. Ever seen a caber tossed into the air, in person? Quite the stunning, "how'd they do that?" sight. The festival jigs through the Queen Mary's grounds on Feb. 13 and 14.