Markets, music and Mexican heritage

In the Loop

Markets, music and Mexican heritageBy DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

August runs the gamut from markets to music to Mexican heritage. Pick not just one but many from this roundup of tips for short hops to nearby destinations and farther off.

To the northwest, San Francisco’s Exploratorium at Pier 15 rolls out special evening hours in the tactile dome on Fridays and Saturdays August 3, 4,10, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31, and gigantic, air-filled artworks through Monday, Sept. 3 (; 415-528-4444).

To the west in Paso Robles on Saturday, Aug. 25, until 3 p.m., find astounding treasures at Trading Day and Kids’ Flea Market, a giant yard sale famous for antique furniture and vintage memorabilia (free admission;; 805-238-4103).

To the southwest in Santa Barbara, head for Old Spanish Days-Fiesta, Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 1-5, a spectacular celebration packed with markets, tours, bull riders, Mexican buffet, and parades (; 805-962-8101). In Long Beach, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 17-19, enjoy live music, dancing, a reptile exhibit, arts and crafts, a kids’ zone, and an all-you-can-eat Ribs Village at the Long Beach BBQ Festival (; 562-495-5959).

In Orange, “Free Your Inner Farmer” until Sunday, Aug. 12, at the OC County Fair. According to the organizers, “Watch your mama pet a llama, soar up high on La Grande Wheel and dare your friends to try the newest bacon-wrapped, deep-fried, sugar-coated concoction. Don’t forget to check out the best in visual art, woodworking, jam-making and more. Barns full of animals? Check! Zany and delish food? Check! Concerts under the stars? Check! Midway games and rides? Check! Blue ribbon winners? Check! Acres of shopping? Check!” Expect something for everyone (; 714-708-1500).

To the south in San Diego, magic happens through Sunday, Sept. 2, with San Diego Symphony 2018 Bayside Summer Nights under the stars at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. Programs include screenings of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (Aug. 4-5), “West Side Story” (Aug. 10), “Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert” (Wednesday, Aug. 22) accompanied by live orchestra. Other headliners feature the Temptations and the Four Tops (Aug. 24-25;

At Broadway Pier and Pavilion and the Cruise Ship Terminal through Monday, Sept. 3, participants carve and mold more than 300 tons of sand into beautiful sculptures for the annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition. Live entertainment, food trucks, and experiences for kids add to the fun (

Outside San Diego over the Aug. 24-26 weekend, the 15th annual Carlsbad Music Festival presents 60+ performances of “Adventurous Music by the Beach,” an eclectic mix ranging from contemporary classical, to indie rock, to world music, to electronic music, plus a beer garden, food trucks and artisan vendors a few leisurely steps away (; 800-227-5722).

Over the mountains to our south, the always popular Tehachapi Mountain Festival Friday-Sunday Aug. 17-19, offers a pancake breakfast, carnival, arts and crafts and a car show (; 661-822-4180).

Story First Published: 2018-08-03