In the Loop: Fabulous frolics planned for July


July means Independence Day celebrations, oceanic exploits, fabulous animal frolics and a whole lot more in this month’s roundup of tips for short hops to nearby destinations and longer trips in California.

You can count on glorious fireworks displays across the state on Tuesday, July 4. Among them: South Lake Tahoe (, Ventura (, Disneyland’s “Concert in the Sky”

(; 714-781-INFO), Knott’s Berry Farm (; 714-220-5200),San Diego (; 619-232-3101), and Big Bear, billed as the largest fireworks display in Southern California and enhanced with a Rotary barbecue that sells out every year (; 909-866-4607).

For another sort of illumination, head over the Sierra for Bakersfield’s Foam Glow, part of the Kern County Fair, on Saturday, July 8. The 5K event soaks runners in Glowing Foam and has plentiful black lights on the course. Participants of all ages and speeds begin in white shirts at the starting line. The more white they wear, the better. Organizers promise that all products are 100-percent natural and nontoxic. Food and festivities add to the fun. Bring a photo ID for a race packet (

To the southwest on the water, Catalina Express has announced that two passengers can ride for the price of one full-fare adult ticket when together on a round trip on one of the two’s birthday. The offer remains effective through Dec. 31, 2017, subject to availability (online preregistration required; Catalina Express; 800-429-4601). “BOGO” – buy one get one free – the Wildlands Express on your birthday (; 310-510-1445).

Also on the coast, Santa Barbara’s eagerly anticipated MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Science + Exploration opened in February. Located close to the train station and adjacent to the Funk Zone and the beach, the Wolf features 70 hands-on, interactive exhibits, a strummable giant guitar, a Foley studio for creating your own memorable soundtracks and a “makerspace” with a 3-D printer (; 805-770-5000). At the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, most Friday nights as well as indoors Wednesday nights at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, James Bond in his many incarnations stars in the free popular summer film series, July 5-Aug. 25 (; 805-893-3535).

Farther south, “Africa Rocks” at the San Diego Zoo day and night. Unusual and amazing species cavort in six new habitats, combined with stage shows and performances. Nighttime Zoo lasts through Monday, Sept. 4 (; 619-231-1515).

A summer institution, billed as “arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world,” the Pageant of the Masers in Laguna Beach, Friday, July 7-Thursday, Aug. 31, presents 90 minutes of tableaux vivants (living pictures), real people posing to replicate their counterparts from great works of art. The prestigious, juried Festival of Arts runs concurrently before and during the program and includes a wide variety of media (www.foapom/com; 800-487-3378).

Story First Published: 2017-06-30