ScareLA: There's no need to snarl or growl over the notion that LA is a leader in all things Halloween. Not only do some of the world's top movie effects and make-up people live here, but our theme parks get into the spooky scene way ahead of Oct. 31. ScareLA, a mega convention focusing on the macabre, celebrates yard haunts, costumes, decor, haunted houses, and lots more. It has a new location this year -- Pasadena -- so don't get spooked by heading to the old locale. Aug. 8 and 9.
CicLAvia: It's a total gas to see gas-powered vehicles sent away from a major street for a couple of hours, partially because it is so strange to see a wide street so free of cars. But not free of bikes, skateboards, and runners, not when CicLAvia, the mega bike-the-streets event, returns. It's in Culver City and Venice on Sunday, Aug. 9, and it is free for all. How many attend? Thousands x thousands.
OC Fair Cattle Drive: If you're in Costa Mesa on Saturday, Aug. 8, an hour or two before noon, and you're within roping distance of the OC Fair & Event Center, chances are that A) you'll find some of the streets closed and B) with fine reason: Over 200 head of cattle'll be hoofing it around the boulevards surrounding the Orange County Fair. Cowpokes on horses and cattle dogs'll be part of the cattle drive, a slice of the rustic country in the heart of bustling Costa Mesa. Nice: It's free to see.
Ventura County Fair: You're within shouting distance -- well, maybe driving distance is more accurate -- of not one but two fine county fairs this weekend. The Costa Mesa party is still partying on, cattle and all, and the ocean-close Ventura gathering rides the Ferris wheel into its first weekend. Love a fine Pacific breeze while riding midway rides? This is your place, fair fans. Through Aug. 16
Avocado Ale: Our regional craft brewers whip up a lot of fascinating foams, but the one that arrives at Angel City Brewery each August really takes the cake -- or, er, the pit. It's an avocado- and cilantro-tinged brew, and the Arts District brewery throws an afternoon-long affair on Sunday, Aug. 9 to celebrate the sip. Not into avocado-flavored beer? LA Zoo throws its annual Brew at the Zoo on Friday, Aug. 7.
Clean Up Commerce: A large, community-wide, dig-in-and-help happening is always a heart-cheerer, especially when the result is a spiffied-up city. Citadel Outlets will again host Clean Up Commerce, a volunteer-nice effort that spans the streets of the city. Spend a lot of time in Commerce, work there, or call it home? You can find out how to pitch in at the Saturday, Aug. 8 pick-up trash party. It has been around for a half decade this year; perhaps more cities could follow spiffy-up suit?