Weekend: Halloween Convention

ScareLA, a foreboding of October, drapes summertime in dread and delight.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Halloween in August? It's happening at ScareLA, the first all-Halloween convention to alight, bat-like, in Southern California. Tempted, oh lover of all things creepy? It's at LA Mart on Aug. 10 and 11.

    ScareLA: We've said it before, emphatically: October arrives early in Southern California. Our theme parks hold maze auditions in the middle of summer and theme stores staff up. Add to this infernal index ScareLA, our city's first-ever Halloween-themed convention. (Yep, there've been creepy cons before, but never one fully about a certain holiday.) The dates are Aug. 10 and Aug. 11, the place is LA Mart, and the haunted haps? Masters of the monstrous -- think horror filmmakers and theme park designers -- will chitchat. There shall also be goods of a ghoulish nature for purchase. Can we get an "eek"?

    Spirit of '45: The Queen Mary played a major role in World War II. Surely you remember its designation as the "Grey Ghost"? And the fact that it carried over 16,000 troops at one time during the war, meaning it holds the "standing record for the most passengers ever transported on one vessel"? The history is deep at the Long Beach-based boat, and WWII re-enactors will gather on Sunday, Aug. 11 to remember. Also on the schedule? A wreath-laying and USO dance.

    D23 Expo: There are mega pop culture conventions -- hi, Comic-Con International -- that cover the gamut of entertainment. Then there's D23 Expo, the all-Disney three-day fan event in Anaheim. Does it have to do with Disney movies, resorts, theme parks, animation, history, games, actors, television shows, toys, stories, and beyond? It'll be at the Anaheim Convention Center from Aug. 9 through 11. (Note: Saturday is now sold out.)

    Great Sand Sculpture Contest: Yep, there are as many reasons to love this long-running Long Beach to-do as there are ways to build a sand castle. A few of them? It's been around for over 80 decades (that's a lot of grains of sand). There's a division for amateur teams, meaning a lot of families join up, as well as professionals. And three? The amazing sculptures that result. This year's theme is "literacy" and the dates? Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11.

    Brew at the LA Zoo: Sipping craft beer is an act that can be done in many taverns around the city, but sipping it at our largest animal park is something worth roaring about indeed. An extra bonus to the after-hours, made-for-adults proceedings, which are set to pour on Friday, Aug. 9? Attendees can visit LAIR, the new Living Amphibians Invertebrates Reptiles area. Ohhhh, pretty snakes and geckos. An at-the-door ticket is $50, and designated drivers get in for half that.

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