Old Pasadena Summer Fest
Central Park, between Raymond and Fair Oaks aves., south of Green St.; May 26-28, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; (626) 797-6803; free.
San Gabriel Valleys most anticipated attraction includes not one but five events going on simultaneously: Playboy Jazz in Central Park stages 20 jazz, blues, R&B, Afro-Cuban and salsa performances. The Family Fun Fest has everything from rides and games to dancers, mimes, magicians and more musicians, as well as hands-on projects and art displays courtesy of the California African American, Pacific Asia and Southwest museums. A Taste of Summer spreads the culinary wealth of a dozen restaurants and cafés. The Summer Art Fest displays clothing, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, pottery and toys for both your viewing and your buying pleasure. And for the adventuresome athletes, the Sports Zone features a playing field, extreme-sports shows and autograph signing with pro players.
Summer Nights at the Ford
John Anson Ford Theater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; May 26-Sept. 24, various times; (323) 461-3673; various prices.
Tucked into a serene setting of greenery, birds and a waterfall, the Ford provides art enthusiasts of all ages an intimate way to experience music, theater, film and dance. This years highlights include the 100th-birthday celebration of Kurt Weill (May 26), Brazilian Summer Festival 2001 with samba-reggae drummers and dancers Olodum (June 16), Outfest film screenings (July 18-22), I Palpiti orchestras tribute to Jascha Heifetz (Aug. 2), a live concert and documentary on Bob Dylan (Aug. 3), jazz courtesy of the Jazz Bakery (Aug. 10), and the internationally renowned Lula Washington Dance Theater (Sept. 1).
Valley Greek Festival
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 9501 Balboa Blvd., Northridge; May 26-28, 1-9 p.m.; (818) 886-4040; free.
Become an honorary Greek as St. Nicholas transports you to the Parthenon of Athens and the Mediterranean beaches of Mykonos, with bouzouki (mandolin) music, dancers clad in traditional costumes, cooking demonstrations, a childrens area and, at the belly of every Greek gathering, food: gyro, souvlakia (skewered lamb and beef kabobs), moussaka (eggplant dish), pastitsio (Greek casserole), saganaki (cheese on fire), and enough baklava (13 different kinds, to be exact) to make you scream yasou! (to your health).
UCLA JazzReggae Festival
UCLA Intramural Field, 308 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd.; May 27-28, noon-7 p.m.; (310) 205-2555; $4.
Whether youre a goatee-stroking jazzbo or reefer-rollin reggae man, the lineup here is a must-see for all musical minds. Sunday is dedicated to jazz artists Dakah, the Kenny Garrett Quartet, the Nikolas Payton Quintet and Bobby Matos Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble, while Monday is set aside for reggae performers Buju Banton, Mad Cobra, Tony Rebel and Wayne Wonder. Remember, this is a festival, so plan on gaining a couple of extra pounds with international foods and spend a few dollars at the crafts marketplace.
Salute to Recreation
Northridge Park, 10058 Reseda Blvd.; June 1, 5-10:30 p.m.; June 2-3, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; (818) 756-8060, 349-0535; free.
Fun under the sun for everyone, courtesy of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Arts and crafts boutiques for moms and dads, an entire village of strolling clowns, petting zoo and carnival rides for kids, with rock climbing for the older offspring. Of course, this wouldnt be a legit partay without continuous live jazz, salsa, mariachi and disco music. And after gorging on international foods all day, the entire family can reunite for Saturdays fireworks show.
Valley Jewish Festival, a Tapestry of Jewish Life
Cal State University, Northridge, Sierra Quad, 18111 Nordhoff St.; June 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; (818) 464-3215; free.
Ambassadors of this cultural exchange of Jewish arts include Israeli singer David Broza, Hollywood Klezmer and the Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, among others. The Sunday Funday Childrens Park, boasting rides, arts and crafts, storytelling and educational activities, courtesy of the Zimmer Childrens Museum, Zany Brainy and TreePeople, is strictly for the younguns. And for galloping gourmands, foods from Budapest to Beijing and beyond. Learn to go eco with exhibits by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, displays of electric and hybrid cars, and a rescued- wildlife show.
Beverly Hills Summer Arts Festival 2001
Various locations; June 2-Sept. 16; various times; (310) 285-1045; most are free.
A multitude of cultural events from concerts and art exhibits to literary gatherings and tours scattered along the entire 5.6-square-mile city. Highlights include the Public Art Walking and Art and Architecture Trolley tours, Shakespeare Roundtable, Roxbury Concert and Kidfest Koncert series, Los Angeles Doctors Symphony, Beverly Hills Municipal Gallery, Family Storytelling Festival, and much more.
San Fernando Valley Fair
Hansen Dam Recreational Park, 11400 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace; June 7, 4-11 p.m.; June 8, 2 p.m.-mid.; June 9, 10 a.m.-mid.; June 10, noon-10 p.m.; (818) 557-1600; $6, $4 seniors & children 6-11, kids 6 & under free.