This month made for food, music, festivals

In the Loop


Reading this month’s roundup of tips for short hops and longer trips around California could convey the impression that May was made for food, music, and festivals.

To the northwest, the 2nd Annual Oakland Art Month returns all May with a packed calendar dedicated to highlighting the diversity of the city’s creative community – including the Friday-Saturday May 17-18 Armenian Food Festival, Friday-Sunday May 17-19 Oakland Greek Festival, and Beat Generation Exhibition Wednesday-Sunday through May 31 (; 510-839-9000).

Down below, the J. Paul Getty Museum explores “The Bestiary in the Medieval World” with the free exhibition “Book of Beasts” Tuesday, May 14, to Sunday, Aug. 18 (; 310-440-7300). Around L.A., China Week revels in culture, fashion, music, and food through Sunday, May 19 – running the gamut from the Friday-Thursday, May 3-9 “Against the Wall” world cinema premiere to Saturday, May 4, “Taste of Chinatown Walking Tour”; Monday, May 6, Chengdu Street Food Party; and Saturday, May 11, Food Bowl Night Market (; 626-658-7944).

To the south and scheduled to open on Friday, May 31, Disneyland’s breathlessly awaited Galaxy Edge park brings “Star Wars” to life with attractions from Millennium Falcon and Rise of the Resistance to Savi’s Workshop where you can build a customized lightsaber. Don’t expect to go without booking in advance prior to Monday, June 24, and even after that, allow for huge crowds. From May 31-June 23, each guest staying at a Disneyland Hotel receives a reservation (; 714-781-INFO).

To the southwest in Long Beach, AAA members enjoy an exclusive Member Night on Friday, May 24, 6-9 p.m., at the Aquarium of the Pacific, making them among the first to experience the new Pacific Visions Wing, as well as animal meet-and-greets, free movie, and a 20-percent discount in the gift shop (adult tickets, $34.95; aquariumof; 562-590-3100). Coming up soon in Long Beach, the 14th Annual LA WineFest at Pike Outlets will feature wines and artisan beers from around the globe, combined with gourmet treats and lifestyle goods (Saturday-Sunday, June 1-2;; 818-994-4661; tickets on sale now).

To the southwest on the coast, Oxnard’s sensational Saturday-Sunday, May 18-19, 36th Annual California Strawberry Festival delivers arts, crafts, performers, rides, giveaways and an expansive array of all things strawberry from dishes to demos (; 888-288-9242).

For great sounds, children’s activities, and a world market in the desert, head southeast for the Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19, Joshua Tree Music Festival (

Over the Sierra in Bakersfield on Saturday, May 11, the 3rd Annual Haggard Boxcar Music Festival presents Noel and Ben Haggard with a special line-up of talent on the grounds of the Kern County Museum (; 661-437-3330).

Up north on Hwy 395, Bishop’s Mule Days, Tuesday-Sunday May 21-26, hearken back to the Old West with parade, 10-team pack scramble, chariot races, roping, food and music (; 760-872-4263).

Story First Published: 2019-05-03