Of the dozens -- let's say hundreds -- of al fresco, let's-have-a-party venues around Southern California, Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach shines. The breezes, the ocean-y air, the soft sunshine. Nice.
And of the dozens -- okay, hundreds -- of annual festivals that samba and saunter and dish up scores of regional eats around Los Angeles, the Long Beach Bayou and Mardi Gras Festival also consistently shines. It has been around for nearly a quarter century, and in that time it has drawn French Quarter-esque craft purveyors, chefs who know their gumbo, and the big acts.
In 2009 those acts include blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin, harmonica virtuoso Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and the Acadien Cajun Band. There are many others, and creole foods, and a children's area complete with a hula hoop contest and Mardi Gras-themed activities.
And dancing. Serious dancing. Come ready to move to zydeco and Cajun rhythms from 11:30AM each day through 9PM on Saturday and 8PM on Sunday. Rainbow Lagoon, Long Beach, June 27-28