LA COUNTY FAIR OPENS: It's only a few more years before we celebrate the Pomona party's big centennial, but for now the everything-in-one-place extravaganza still stands upon its billing as "the largest county fair in the nation." Pig races, fried treats, and the new Luminasia walk-through Chinese lantern area will draw the thousands of SoCalers who adore that classic midway, some juicy corn-on-the-cob, and snapping pics of prize-winning cows. Through Sunday, Sept. 28
SENDING SUMMER OFF: People will argue that summer doesn't wrap until the third week in September. They are correct, technically, but shall we just call Labor Day Weekend the observed finale of the summer season? Let's. Doing so puts the emphasis on getting out and enjoying a pool (like at the Annenberg Community Beach House) or a mondo crafts-nice, beach-close street fair (like Fiesta Hermosa) or a mondo tunes gathering (like Shoreline Jam or Long Beach Funk Fest, both at the Queen Mary) or an outdoors food extravaganza (like Orange International Street Fair). True, summer has three weeks to go, starting now, but don't put off summery good times.
THE TASTE: There was once a day, in this very town, where chefs remained behind restaurant kitchen doors and fans never got a glimpse. Now famous food wizards meet with fans at top events like this one, which is from The LA Times. Place? Paramount Studios (the backlot, no less). Will there be tidbits, samples, drinks, music? Oh yes. And what of chefly cooking and explaining? So much of that, too. Find the demo you just can't miss and buy your ticket before that chance disappears, like butter in a pan. Aug. 29 through Aug. 31
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOS ANGELES: Cities across the country see their anniversaries marked in a variety of lively, community-building ways, but our own home-sweet-metropolis is all about a nine-mile, starts-just-about-at-dawn historic walk. Starting point is Mission San Gabriel, end point is El Pueblo, and the footsteps or bike tracks in-between recall the Poblodores who made the same journey back in the 18th century. Oh, and LA's age? A very spritely 233. Join the party on Saturday, Aug. 30.
ART DECO FESTIVAL: Call this Queen Mary happening the end-all-be-all in '30s-vintage-fashion-rockery 'round SoCal (though Dapper Day is coming at Disneyland on Sept. 12). People don their sateen and pearls, learn about architecture, sample Prohibition cocktails, dance and gossip and generally raise genteel heck aboard the iconic ocean-liner. And this lively scene is a long one, too, overlapping both ends of the holiday weekend. Through Monday, Sept. 1