Free: Friday Night Music at Farmers Market

To dance or not to dance? The answer is always A) at this summertime tradition.

If any form of go-out, dine-out, spend-money form of entertainment has an unfairly high barrier to entry, it is the concept of dinner and dancing.

For while many people enjoy a fancy meal, and the chance to spin with a partner to some swinging songs, the notion of getting overly gussied up and spending a pile of cash can dissuade those diners and dancers looking for a fine time on a budget.

The Original Farmers Market has an answer to that dilemma each summer, in the form of Friday Night Music, which opens on Friday, May 27.

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It's free -- as in, don't pat your pockets looking for admission cash on your way in, because you won't need it -- and it offers a few dozen dining options that are definitely of the delicious but don't-pay-too-much variety.

As for the dance area? It isn't capacious, but you're right up there with the band, feeling the horns, the drums, the strings, and all of the rocking, jazzy, rhythm-infused flow from just feet away.

Friday Night Music is a longtime tradition at the Third & Fairfax landmark, one that's about delivering some warm-weather good-timing to locals and visitors without the usual good-timing price tag.

For sure, bring a tenner or a twenty for food and drink, if that's your pleasure, but if you just want to hear live tunes, and cut a proverbial rug, that's free.

The International Swingers open up the series on May 27, and Vibraphonist Otis Hayes III bids it adieu on Sept. 2. The Podunk Poets, Louie Cruz Beltran, and The California Feetwarmers fill out some of the Friday slots between the start and finish.

And as for dinner and dancing in a swanky setting? That's a-ok, too, of course, and perfect for marking a special event.

But if it is just a summer Friday, and you just want to have a glass of wine and maybe step up for a samba or two, that can be found in LA. Find it at one of our oldest, and neighborhoodiest, meeting places, a place with supreme hang-out-a-tude at the center of its very heart.

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