JAMES TURRELL RETROSPECTIVE: The Roden Crater in Northern Arizona is one of the most famous volcanic cinder cones in the world, but not because it is active. Rather LA-born artist James Turrell has been creating a major artwork inside it for decades. LACMA celebrates the light-focused visionary with full-scale retrospective (less the crater, natch, which remains in the AZ). It opens on Sunday, May 26. Want an extra interesting experience? Reserve a ticket for a few minutes in the "Perceptual Cell," a rather space-like orb that presents a "program of saturated light."
MEMORIAL DAY: There are a number of places around Southern California and the desert resorts honoring those who have served. The Queen Mary will waive admission for active military and veterans all weekend, and the Palm Springs Air Museum will once again hold its much photographed "flower drop" in memory and respect. Canoga Park is set to hold its annual parade and the U.S.S. Iowa has a full day of activities planned for Monday, May 27.
GARDEN GROVE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: Strawberries have been around for longer than 55 years, of course, but few fruit festivals have been around as long as this giant, which crossed its half-century mark a half-decade ago. Admission is free, though carnival rides and treats cost. Oh, except one famous treat: The mammoth strawberry shortcake that's cut into small squares and given away on the Friday evening of the fest, gratis. Dates are Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27.
FIESTA HERMOSA: Beachy-breezy parties are one of the universal signifiers of the start of summer season, and Southern California happens to be home to one of the classics. A food court, 300+ arts and crafts vendors, a beer garden, and a sand-close setting all make this festival a pre-summer staple. Dates are Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27, but be sure to check out the parking sitch before making for Hermosa Beach. It'll be bustling.
ELECTRIC RUN: There've been a host of interesting running events over the last few years, from costume extravaganzas to color-type jogs (picture participants doused in hue-bright dyes). The event set to hoof it through the Home Depot Center on Friday, May 24 is at night, which is hint one as to what it will be like, and hint two? Well, it's in the name. Glowing lights, lots of tunes, and strange illuminations will lend an atmospheric jolt to this lit-up run. Things get humming at 8:20 p.m., so just after sundown.