Memorial Day: The three-day weekend that traditionally starts the summer season -- if not summer itself -- is full of meaning and memory for those seeking to honor those who have serve and have served. One of Southern California's biggest expressions of the day is Canoga Park's Memorial Day Parade, which tops off a weekend full of activities. The 2016 theme? "Saluting the Price of Freedom." The annual Flower Drop at the Palm Springs Air Museum is another major happening, and the Blue Star Museums program officially opens on Memorial Day.
Queen Mary's 80th: The big boat in Long Beach isn't marking the anniversary of when it first came together, bolt by frame; rather, the occasion is the ocean-liner's maiden voyage. Sir Winston Churchill's great-grandson is visiting the WWII icon for a special unveiling of the prime minister's paintings on May 26, and other to-dos are grandly afoot, including free admission from 1 p.m. to close on Friday, May 27.
A Jacaranda Celebration: Anyone who is a fan of the purple bloom that visits Southern California each May knows that the jacaranda tree is a pleasure to be enjoyed in the moment. But what if you could view the flowers in a fresh way, in an art-interesting, industrial setting? An anonymous collective of artists will be presenting the petals in an offbeat fashion, at a too-be-revealed site, on Sunday, May 29. Details on how to get the 411? Find them here.
Topanga Days: As strum-nice jamborees go, this Memorial Day Weekend treat is one of the most venerable and vibrant. The three-dayer is all about a bevy of bands -- think banjos, story-weaving tunes, and such -- and there are kidly activities and other small-town sweetnesses, too. Do you need a ticket? You do, so start here before heading into one of SoCal's come-together-iest villages.
Fiesta Hermosa: If starting off summer at the beach, with inexpensive eats and crafts to browse, is important to you, you've likely been calling up this free (and huge) festival for the last 44 years. It also bookends the summer on the other end -- Labor Day Weekend -- and it is, for many SoCalers, the easiest, breeziest way to get this warm-weather, ocean-lovely, no-worry-no-hurry party going. Dates? The easy-breezy reigns from May 28 through 30.