Redondo and Pedro Lobster Traditions: Southern California has enjoyed a mayonnaise-scented, butter-drippy lobster roll renaissance in recent years, with many seafood restaurants vying to serve the best Maine-style sandwich. But lobster lovers still seek out the big September whole lobster parties that pop up close to the coast, bashes that come complete with live tunes. Both Redondo Beach and the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festivals roll simultaneously -- Sept. 25 through 27 -- and both come with sides that lend the meaty oceany crustacean oomph. Doing both? You, sir or madam, are serious about matters of lobster.
Feast of San Gennaro: It's a rather stirring sight, all of those twinkling small light bulbs by night and flapping red, green, and white banners by day, and it all signals this: One of SoCal's sauce-iest, cheese-iest, most traditional Italian street festivities. Galbani's the host -- hello, cheese goodness -- and while food is the centerpiece of the Hollywood bash, music, bingo, bocce, and charity giving-back fill out the three-day weekend. And that weekend? Friday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Sept. 27.
Day of the Drum Festival: Rhythms, percussive joy, and a celebration of the Watts Towers Art Center merge into a day brimming with tunes and tradition. The 34th Day of the Drum will feature the Afro Cuban Folkloric beats of Nclave and an appearance by Luis Rodriguez, our city's poet laureate, as well as a host of other acts, on Saturday, Sept. 26. On Sunday, Sept. 27, the jazzy notes reign at the 39th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival. Look for Art Webb's tribute to Johnny Polanco and Carmen Lundy on the stage.
Knott's Scary Farm Opens: Dare you enter a maze called "The Tooth Fairy"? If you're attending this Halloweened-out extravaganza at Knott's Berry Farm, we'll guess yes. Knott's Scary Farm is one of the long-timers in the theme park Halloween biz, and its large number of themed mazes, its scare zones, and the spooky shows reflect its decades of dastardly haunting. Opening date: Sept. 24. Closing date: Oct. 31. You clutching a friend at "Carneval," while cowering from clowns? Yeah, that's probably happening, regardless of date.
Museum Day Live! You've looked longingly at a particular institution as you've driven or strolled passed, numerous times, vowing to enter on day and see what's beyond the door. Here's your chance to take a chance: The Smithsonian magazine is hosting free admission at a swath of great cultural and art destinations across the country, including several in SoCal (Grammy Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum...). You do need a ticket, but that ticket is free, and that ticket can be found here.
TARFEST: Free live tunes, over several afternoon hours, at an all-ages show, adjacent to one of the best-known ice age fossil sites in the world? It must be time for this early fall favorite, which also brings the craft beers, the wines, the kid-fun to-dos, and live painting before your eyes. Did we mention this is a pay-nothing, see-lots kind of thing? We did? Cool, but we didn't say the date: Saturday, Sept. 26 (the place, of course, is the La Brea Tar Pits).