There are tons of art-gallery openings happening this week. None is mentioned here; see Art Galleries.

FRIDAY, September 8

“Hi, my name is Thummer, and I’ll be your mascot.” Did you know that the L.A. County Fair has a mascot who’s been around since 1948 named Thummer? He’s a pig with a goofy smile wearing sort of a trucker-hat thing. Yep, it’s fair time. Do we really have to go over what’s at the fair? A teensy sample: water buffalo, Hussong’s Cantina and Donna Summer. Now, on to the food. It was the county fair that introduced the concept that everything tastes better when it’s on a stick. This year, you can gnaw on crispy coconut shrimp on a stick and savory egg rolls on a stick, plus the good old hot dog on a stick, pork chop on a stick, frozen banana on a stick and cream puff on a stick. But not everyone’s an on-stick devotee. Some people like it deep-fried. Imagine how bad you’ll feel about yourself after sampling not only deep-fried Twinkies, Snickers, Oreos and pickles, but deep-fried green olives stuffed with garlic, deep-fried asparagus and deep-fried cauliflower. And deep-fried avocados and tomatoes and deep-fried apples with real whipped cream. After all that, you may have to get your fried Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich to go. Last year, it was Spam sushi that won the Great American Spam Competition. What will win this year? How about Spam S’mores: a slice of Spam on an English muffin with Velveeta? I am going to be sick now. Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; Sept. 8 thru Oct. 1; Wed.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-mid.; Fri., 11 a.m.-mid.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; $15, $10 weekdays. (909) 623-3111.

SATURDAY, September 9

L.A. has two big Greek festivals every year. The one in Northridge is, unfortunately, not fun. The music’s good, the food’s good, but there are literally 50 people per square foot. The Greek fest you want is St. Sophia’s Greek Festival, a huge affair with all those yummy dishes, folk dancing, dramatic performances, handicrafts and tours of the beautiful architectural wonder that is St. Sophia. No deep-fried Twinkies though. St. Sophia Cathedral, 1324 S. Normandie Ave.; Fri., Sept. 8, 5-11 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 9, 1-11 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 10, noon-10 p.m.; $3 (free on Friday). (323) 737-2424 or

For more than a decade, the Imperial Crowns have been one of L.A.’s most successful blues bands. Or more appropriately, one of the more successful L.A. blues bands you’ve probably never heard. That’s because, like other bands before them, the Imperial Crowns seem to be more celebrated the farther away from their hometown they play. “In some markets, we’re major cult. Places like Holland, Belgium, and farther east like Hungary (we’re massive in Budapest), Czech Republic and Serbia. France and Germany are falling under our spell,” says the Crowns’ dynamite singer and harmonica player, Jimmie Wood. “Of course, we wanna feel love in our own backyard, but to this point, Europe has been really hospitable.” That’s an understatement. In Europe, they consistently draw thousands at the major blues festivals. If you’re not planning on being in Holland anytime soon, here’s your big chance for a real Imperial Crowns experience stateside. Harvelle’s, 1432 Fourth St., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 9, 9:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 395-1676.

SUNDAY, September 10

Attention, publicists: Beginning today, it will be a misdemeanor to add the suffix “-palooza” to your event. The fine will be unlimited uppity comments by local blurbologists and public humiliation over a misuse of positive press attention. That said, the press release for Parlor-Palooza promises “comedy, cabaret and solo artists from the historical to the hysterical!” It’s an afternoon and evening of 12-minute segments by Ann Randolph, Vicki Juditz, Carla Zilbersmith, Ray Jessel, Annie Korzen, Marie Cain and Marc Maron. Steinway Hall, 12121 W. Pico Blvd., W.L.A.; Sun., Sept. 10, 2-5:30 p.m. & 6-10 p.m.; $25. (310) 471-3979.

MONDAY, September 11

September 11. Nine Eleven. 9/11. However you spell it, we’ll never forget that horrible day and its aftermath. Many people will choose to avoid the memorials and the movies and the TV specials because it’s too painful. KCRW is rebroadcasting the American RadioWorks presentation Sonic Memorial, a gripping documentary of found audio from the World Trade Center site and environs, plus oral histories, voice mails and more. KCRW, 88.9 FM; Mon., Sept. 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

TUESDAY, September 12

It’s autumn in L.A., and that means only one thing: It’s time to go back to school, i.e., the Museum of Television & Radio. MTR: In the Prime gives us sneak previews of the most talked-about new shows of the fall season. Tonight (Wednesday), it’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Heroes, Kidnapped, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock and Twenty Good Years. Tomorrow (Thursday), be the first on your block to catch The Class, Jericho and Smith and Shark. Museum of Television & Radio, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills.; thru Fri., Sept. 15, 7 p.m.; free, but resv. required. (310) 786-1099.

WEDNESDAY, September 13

If you see a short bald man in a robe poking his head into the Pez store on CityWalk, it may be His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, who’s in town for an appearance at the Gibson Amphitheatre. No word on the opening act, but we hear HHtXIVDL gives and gives it live, Springsteen-style. Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City; Wed., Sept. 13, 2:30 p.m.; $25-$50. (213) 480-3232.

THURSDAY, September 14

Best Friends Animal Society runs pet-adoption festivals, spay/neuter programs and campaigns to reduce the number of homeless pets. It also knows how to throw a great fund-raiser masquerading as a party. Or is that the other way around? This year’s Lint Roller Party features a buffet dinner, silent auction, live entertainment and Charlize Theron. Smashbox Studios, 8549 Higuera St., Culver City; Thurs., Sept. 14, 7-11 p.m.; $175 (yeah, but you get to breathe the same air as Charlize Theron). (323) 934-6655.?

LA Weekly