New LA Folk Festival: Dozens of acts -- Dustbowl Revival and Madame Headdress are two of the names -- take to historic Zorthian Ranch for a day of musical magic-making. Know Zorthian Ranch? The colorful, story-filled junk- and rusted-car home sits above Altadena. There are animals, too, on the rambling property, and a pool. It's the perfect setting for a warm-hearted songfest committed to doing its own thing. Saturday, Aug. 4
NASA Rover Landing: Kicking around Griffith Observatory after 10 p.m. on a Sunday night? It doesn't happen often, but then NASA rovers don't often land on Mars. Griffith'll be open through midnight on Aug. 5 to cover the action, and provide commentary, too. There's stuff to know about shuttles and gates closing at 10 p.m., so make sure you study up before heading up the hill.
Ventura County Fair: It's hard to begin any discussion of this annual August hoedown without immediately saying the word "ocean." The fair is just dang close to the Big Water so you can add salty breezes to the other pleasures of a traditional fair. The midway, animals, and concerts by the likes of Joan Jett are on the schedule. Through Sunday, Aug. 12.
Television Costume Exhibit: The first thing to be said about this yearly sartorial display at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is this: These are the actual clothes worn by the actual actors on the shows we watch. No knock-offs. The second thing? It's a must-see for TV-ites. The third thing? Admission's free. The fourth? It's closed on Sundays and Mondays. The fifth? This is weekend #1. Now we're all out of things. Wait, are we? Yep. We are.
International Surf Festival: It isn't all about the boards at this multi-beach bash (Redondo, Manhattan, Hermosa, and Torrance are all participating). Nope, lifeguards get to compete in lifeguarding competitions, volleyball aces show their smokin' spikes, there is paddeboarding, and, yep, sand soccer, which sounds incredibly challenging. It's on now through Sunday, Aug. 5. Want straight-up surfery and music? The U.S. Open of Surfing continues to hit the waves in Huntington Beach; last day for that is also Aug. 5.