119th Annual Golden Dragon Parade: Looking for a long-running, amazing, well-loved, and well-attended event around Southern California, one that can trace its beginning back to the 19th century? It's this auspicious and exuberant procession, which will dance through Chinatown on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. An equally auspicious and exuberant festival accompanies the Golden Dragon, with lion dancers, calligraphy presentations, fruit and vegetable carving, and more happenings set to flower from noon to 8 at Central Plaza. Welcome the Year of the Dog with open arms, with hope, and with thousands of other Southern Californians at one of the nation's oldest new year festivals.
Lunar New Year Fun: Several other spots will be welcoming the Year of the Dog over the weekend with music, movement, art activities, and other traditional and tasty elements. Look to the UVSA Tet Festival in Costa Mesa from Feb. 16 through 18, Citadel Outlets on Feb. 17 and 18, Santa Monica Place on Feb. 17, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens on Feb. 17 and 18, and Universal Studios Hollywood through Feb. 15 for more celebratory come-together-ness as the new year dawns. Some festivities are free, some require admission, so do check before you go.
ScotsFestival at the Queen Mary: The notion of the famous ocean-liner currently forever-at-home in Long Beach making its way back to its birthplace — that would be Scotland — for a weekend? Not going to happen, but the country, and several of its mighty and marvelous touchstones, can call upon the ship via ScotsFestival, which is turning 25 in 2018. Look for Highland Games (yep, caber tossing is on the schedule), whisky tastings, bagpipes, and other delights to fill out the two-day roster on Saturday, Feb. 17 and Sunday, Feb. 18. And will there be sheep? Oh, goodness yes. It would not be ScotsFestival without the baa-ing brigade. Baa-ing. Brigade. Baa.
Long Beach Comic Expo: Two days of cool cosplay opportunities, chances to shop for an array of graphic novels, toys, tees, and more, and meet-ups with favorite artists and performers? Yep, this is a big one on the calendar, and it brings its superheroic vibes to the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday, Feb. 17 and Sunday, Feb. 18. Events include a Don McGregor spotlight (the "Black Panther" scribe is the Guest of Honor), a GeekFest Film Festival, and a Space Expo. Details, tickets, all that? So very here.
Lotusland Reopens: Those who love gardens with history know this spread, which was once the home of singer Ganna Walska. You may also know that the Santa Barbara property was under mandatory evacuation for a time during the Thomas Fire and subsequent flooding, and while "vegetative debris" was seen on the grounds, the leafy plot remained intact. Now, as it always does around mid-February, Lotusland will open again to the public. The namesake flowers aren't yet in bloom, but you can stop by and let the peaceful place know you've been thinking of them during this challenging time. And, of course, soak in the serene sights while there, a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Opening date is Friday, Feb. 16.