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A guide to summer fetes and flights of fancy

Wednesday, May 26 1999
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It is generally quite sunny in Los Angeles, thereby allowing the natives to read contracts by natural light. —Fran Lebowitz, “Lesson One”

MAY

Memorial Day Weekend Fair

Valley College, Coldwater Canyon & Burbank boulevards, Van Nuys; May 27, 5–11 p.m.; May 28, 5 p.m.–mid.; May 29, noon–mid.; May 30, noon–mid.; and May 31, 5–11 p.m.; (562) 495-5959; free.

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Kick off summer in the Valley with this old-fashioned carnival, including rides, lots of food and live entertainment all day; proceeds from sales will benefit the American Heritage Foundation.

Art & Soul Festival

Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; May 28–June 2, 9 a.m.–10:30 p.m.; (310) 385-0297; free.

The Art & Soul Festival features hundreds of performing and visual artists with disabilities, from 38 states and 37 countries. Among the performers will be representatives of the fine arts, theater, dance, and music from classical to bluegrass to folk. Also included is ArtCareers 2000, a program at the L.A. Convention Center providing artists and visitors with information on understanding career options in the arts for disabled individuals.

Aloha Concert Jam

Rainbow Lagoon, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 Ocean Blvd.; May 29–30, noon–10:30 p.m.; (888) 386-8497; $8, $4 children 5–12, children 4 and under free.

Now in its eighth season, this popular music festival features a traditional Hawaiian celebration, plus fireworks, prime picnicking atmosphere, and music over two days from Cecilio & Kapono, Shaka, Island Breeze, Willie K., the Peter Moon Band and more.

UCLA JazzReggae Festival

Intramural Field, UCLA; May 30–31, noon–7 p.m.; (310) 205-2555; $3.

Thousands will descend upon the UCLA campus for this annual festival of fun in the sun and excellent music, featuring an international food market and plentiful arts and crafts in addition to the fantastic lineup. On the bill this year are Roy Hargrove, Roy Ayers, Tanya Stephens, Hepcat, "Mr. Bongo" Jack Costanzo and Latin Combustion, Mingus Amungus, Rocky Dawuni and more.

JUNE

Gilmore Heritage Auto Show

Farmers Market, Third Street & Fairfax Avenue; June 5, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; (323) 549-2140; free.

The history of the corner of Third and Fairfax includes auto races and the nation’s first self-serve gas station, so it’s only fitting that the Gilmore Auto Show is back for a fifth year of heralding Angelenos’ favorite mode of transport. This year’s show is a tribute to American â convertibles, featuring a display of pre-1964 vehicles, plus live entertainment.

Festival del Maiz

Arroyo Seco Park, 5568 Via Marisol, Highland Park; June 6, noon–5 p.m.; (323) 259-0861; free.

A celebration of the staple food of Native Americans, the Festival del Maiz (Corn Festival) has lined up an international slate of entertainers, including Latin-beat master Johnny Polanco, blues artist Greg Walnum, swing stars Los Chucos Suaves, the CalArts African Ensemble and Filipino artist Rondalla. Also on hand will be 12 free crafts workshops, including bread-dough sculpture, straw baskets and seed mosaics.

Gay & Lesbian Pride Celebration

West Hollywood Park, San Vicente Blvd.; June 11–13; (323) 969-8302; $12; $6 seniors, youth & disabled.

"More floats, more guests, more acts, more sponsors and more revelry" are promised at the 29th annual pride fiesta in the heart of WeHo; close to half a million are expected to attend the celebration. The always anticipated parade takes place Sunday, June 13, at 11 a.m.

21st Annual Playboy Jazz Festival

Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave.; June 12, 2:30–11 p.m.; June 13, 2–10:30 p.m.; (310) 449-4070; $85–$15.

The third decade of this steadfastly popular event kicks off with yet another fantastic two-day lineup, including Ray Charles, Etta James, Grover Washington Jr., Chick Corea, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the L.A. Multi-School Jazz Band and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars. Bill Cosby returns as MC.

Mariachi USA Festival

Hollywood Bowl; June 19, 6–10:30 p.m.; June 20, 5–9:30 p.m.; (323) 848-7717 or (800) 627-4224; $127–$10.

Mariachi USA celebrates its 10th anniversary with a superb lineup of performers from Mexico, Texas, California and even Japan. Mariachi Campanas de America (San Antonio), Mariachi Imperial de Mexico (Los Angeles) and Mariachi Femenil Tecalitlan (Guadalajara) are slated to appear, along with the Ballet Folklorico Tonantzin and the Bowl’s trademark fireworks show.

Common Ground Festival

MacGowan Hall, UCLA; June 23–27; (310) 478-9ASK; free.

Celebrate the diversity of theater at this fest of innovative works in progress. Sponsored by ASK Theater Projects, the series features an intensive three-day workshop guided by performance artist Karen Finley, which is open by application to theater professionals, and a two-day open-air theater fair. Stagings include workshop productions of Julie Jensen’s Two-Headed and Quincy Long’s The Lively Lad, plus performances by Diavolo Dance Theater, Fabulous Monsters, House of Dames and more.

Hollywood Bowl Opening Night Gala With Sir George Martin

Hollywood Bowl; June 25, 7:30 p.m.; (323) 850-2000; $75–$7.

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