When does summertime officially start in Southern California?
If you answered "July 5," you're probably in the right arena, for that's when the heat finally comes to settle in and stay, for the most part, and June Gloom has thoroughly vamoosed.
But if we were to say that the day after the Fourth of July is also the start of the Halloween season, simultaneously with summer's true start, would you grok to such ghoulishness?
What to do, where to go and what to see
You might, if you knew that the theme parks begin to hold auditions for their Halloween spectaculars around the middle of July, and the mondo scare conventions, Midsummer Scream and ScareLA, pop up just a few weeks later.
It's during that first convention, Midsummer Scream, that something a little eeky'll be going down, with ghosty oomph, just a short drive away: the Queen Mary Sinister Circus Ball. The first-ever summertime spooky soiree will take place on Saturday, July 29, right in the middle of the Midsummer Scream convention weekend.
The "new haunted summer costume ball" will include some cameos from Dark Harbor, the Queen Mary's falltime fright extravaganza, which will run in 2017 on select evenings from Sept. 28 through Nov. 1.
That's not far-off, but the ticket on-sale date for Dark Harbor is even closer: Saturday, July 1.
As for the late-July costume ball? If your outfit for Sinister Circus is amazing enough, it could net you a prize, which should give you and your pals plenty to cackle over. (There's no traditional laughing at a Halloween-themed ball, only deliciously loud cackling, of course.)
Why is the Sinister Ball happening during Midsummer Scream? That's as easy to explain as pulling seeds out of a pumpkin: The spine-tingling festival is unfurling, eeriely, at the Long Beach Convention Center, which is about a ten-minute drive from the landmark ocean-liner.
There's sure to be a lot of fan cross-over between both convention and party, in short. And that the Queen Mary is believed to be one of our state's most spirit-rich locations will definitely draw those who have an affinity for the after-world, and celebrating it, even in the heat of summertime.