STRIPS DONE SEVERAL WAYS: Are you a bacon classicist? Do you take it straight, next to some eggs? Or are you someone who gets jazzed over seeing the salty-savory foodstuff show up in myriad forms, from a burger topper to a salad addition to an ingredient in milkshakes and cupcakes? The Saturday, Aug. 2 party on the Queen Mary is for you. "40+ bacon- and pork-infused dishes" will be at the Big Bite Bacon Fest for the sampling, and there shall be fancy beer, too. Where will bacon end up next? If you can think it, some chef's already tinkering.
LONG BEACH CRAWFISH FESTIVAL: It's an annual to-do that's going down fairly close to the bacon-y doings at the Queen Mary. (Question: How many strips laid end-to-end would stretch from the ocean-liner to Rainbow Lagoon? Maybe 300,000? Just a guess.) You purchase your crawfish meal by the pound and in a bucket, so, yep, that's true summertime weekend eating. Shall there be zydeco tuneage for moving to and silly, crawfish-cute pictures to take? You betcha. Best keep that shirt clean for the photos, what with all the bucket-eating. Saturday, Aug. 2 and Sunday, Aug. 3
OLD SPANISH DAYS: Santa Barbara's multi-day, mercado-rich, parade-tastic fiesta stretches for five days, landing at various points around the American Riviera. Some highlights? The Children's Parade on Saturday, Aug. 2 has been around nearly as long as Old Spanish Days (which marks its 90th this year). And those horse stock shows, too, are much-attended. One song-filled heart of the party? Flor y Canto on Friday, Aug. 1 at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
VENTURA COUNTY FAIR: True, the OC Fair has another week to go, but a little overlap never stopped the warm weather rollout of all the area county fairs. Ventura's nestled next to the ocean, so you'll keep on the cool side while eating popcorn, doing the Ferris wheel, catching concerts from The Spinners and Little Big Town, and visiting all the cutie patootie farm animals. Ready for the snuggest, sweetest fair in the region? Be there before the closing date of Sunday, Aug. 10.
SUMMER NIGHTS IN THE GARDEN: The first half of the year, at the Natural History Museum, is all about those First Fridays, where nighttime partying is concerned. But it is summer -- spoiler alert -- and thoughts have turned to the outdoors. Botanical-type cocktails, garden tours, and nature mapping shall reign. Nature mapping! You? You just need to RSVP. Aug. 1, 8, and 29.