Port of LA Lobster Fest: Bibs On, SoCal

The three-day bash o' butter is now a July (not September) event.

One easy way to tell July from September? Let's start with the strikingly obvious: They don't share any letters, so you probably won't ever go mixing the two up (unlike, say, June and July, those close calendar neighbors and unabashed letter-sharers).

July and September also have sizable August keeping them arm's length apart, or, rather, month's length apart, so that helps month mixer-uppers out as well.

So you needn't ever confuse July with September when it comes to the large-of-size, plentiful-of-claw Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival.

True, the started-in-1999 bibs-on bash was long a mid-September staple, a foodie centerpiece just ahead of autumn's start. But then, following an especially warm year — the ninth month can be pretty darn scorchy around Southern California, as we all know — organizers moved the whole party to the middle of July.

Which means this: People eager to bask in some butter-dip-a-tude will soon turn up to buy "over 20,000 Maine Lobster meals" from Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16 near the USS Iowa at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro.

The cost for this meal? Twenty five clams. The fixings? They're traditional, you betcha: coleslaw, sweet bread, potatoes, "buttery dipping sauce," and squeezy lemons fill out the complementary sides of the dish.

But if you're searching something that's quirkier, cuisine-wise, consider a lobster grilled cheese or lobster fries. Lobster quesadillas are an option, too, as is lobster mac and cheese.

A ticket to the festival, which includes a big line-up of live tunes but not the lobster meal, is $12, and kids under the age of 12 are admitted for free. Also up for the gratis entry? Veterans and members of the military, as a show of gratitude from festival organizers.

So be sure to have some money on-hand for your meal once you enter the festival, and the desire to hang out while listening to acts like Parade of Lights, Honey County, and Milo Greene. Listening, noshing, and enjoying those July-style, water-close temps found at the waterfront.

That's right, July-style, not September. There are a number of lobster parties still to come around the region, starting in August, but for the earliest of the majors, best dip your toe in Pedro, before you dip your lobster in butter, over the middle weekend of July.

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