Central Avenue Jazz Festival: Mention the epic arc of jazz history, and, without hesitation, Central Avenue will weave into the conversation, given its reputation as a world-renown destination for fabulous, flow-filled tunes and top-notch musicians over a large swath of the 20th century. The thoroughfare remains an essential hub for jazz enthusiasts today, and, each summer, at this major music scene, which will mark its first quarter-century anniversary in 2020. Be there on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 to savor gifted songcrafters on four stages, and be sure to make time to visit the four pavilions running along Central Avenue between Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.
Long Beach Crawfish Festival: If the hot-hot-hot times lately have had you thinking about some of the spicy foodstuffs you dig, then be filled with a fiery hankering, one that is all about this spice-laden Louisiana classic. This festival, which rocks "the world's largest crawfish pots," isn't just about the succulent eating; there's zydeco music to move to, and chicory coffee and beignets to savor when you're taking a break from the dance floor, and the other hallmarks found at a NOLA-style shindig. The dates? Stomp your way to Rainbow Lagoon from July 26 through 28.
National Carousel Day: Life can be a bit of a carousel, to be honest. You're constantly bobbing up and down, and going in circles, and sometimes the reins are out of your reach. But a real carousel? That's so stress-free, and utterly delightful, truly. If you want to celebrate the horsey icon, and, in particular, the historic merry-go-round found in Griffith Park, ride your own horse (or drive your car) there on Saturday, July 27. There's a party on, hurrah and hooray, for National Carousel Day. Rides on the spinny attraction aren't free, but there will be a few free things to do, like games and such. Pure sweetness? That's what we're saying here.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Christmas in July: It's a common and cheerful trope, when a holiday-style event pops up during the hottest pocket of the summertime. Screenings of Christmas films are common, as are Christmas-fun sales, but finding a bar that's been fully decked out in December-cute decorations? That's a bit harder. But not if you make for Blitzen's, at Here and Now, in the Arts District, through Sunday, July 28. A number of cocktails with a yuletide flavor are on the pop-up menu, and there's a snow machine, too, to keep things cool. Will you wear your ugly snowman sweater, though, during these toasty July days? That's up to you, of course. (You should though, probably.)
Scary Stuff: Of course, Halloween arrives before Christmas, and there are events around town that are starting to get mighty spooky, a fourth of a year before the haunting holiday even arrives. Look to Long Beach, where the Queen Mary will hold its annual auditions for Dark Harbor, the maze-filled event that takes place next to the ship each autumn (the July 27 and 28 tryouts are off-site, do note). And Camp Fangoria is holding a fright film marathon at The Montalban Rooftop in Hollywood on Saturday, July 27. Big chills for a hot month, but, then again, Halloween is just around the corner...