LA County Fair Opens: If you've been to what's billed as "the largest county fair in the nation," you know that it has had some time to build upon the things fans love since its founding in 1922. That means a mondo midway, cute farm animals aplenty, fried treats on sticks, and new offerings like Jurassic Planet (dinos, rrawr) and The Igloo (sledding and skating, cooool). Day one is Friday, Sept. 2, it all says goodbye on Sunday, Sept. 25, and it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except for Labor Day. Who's up for a bacon Nutella pickle?
LA Fleet Week: The big ships are pulling into the Port of Los Angeles, and the on-the-dock, on-the-ship celebrations are scheduled throughout the three-day weekend. Take a free public tour of a cutter, watch a fireworks show, or catch a concert (Jefferson Starship is performing, as well as a host of other bands) There are discounts for active military members at spots around Southern California, too, so check out the whole roster. LA Fleet Week's official run? Make for the port from Sept. 2 through 5.
LA River Fishing Derby: You don't need to drive to the hills, or hours away, to join an old-school cast-a-line fishing derby, for there's one on the banks of our city's famous waterway on Saturday, Sept. 3. You'll be releasing your catches, but only after on-hand scientists have a moment to weigh and record what you reeled in. It's an exercise in knowing our river better, helping kids learn/love fishing, and enjoying our nearby river on a sunny holiday weekend Saturday.
Fiesta Hermosa: There are summer starters and there are summer farewellers, and this large-scale close-to-the-ocean festival has both bases covered. The 44th annual Hermosa Beach to-do lands upon Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend each year, with bunches of craft booths, stroll-and-snack eats, live tunes, and good vibes. Lots of people like farewelling the summer season this way, so find your way to the Sept. 3-5 party, and parking/shuttle possibilities, ahead of time.
Gene Wilder Tribute: A number of ArcLight Cinemas around Southern California will remember the beloved actor a week after his passing via two classics: "Blazing Saddles" and "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." You'll want to reserve your ticket to either or both ahead of time, and find out what theater is showing the film you'd like to see. Remember Mr. Wilder and his comedic genius on Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4.