The Week in Entertainment

The Music Center's Dance DTLA and Rendering of the Plaza, courtesy of The Music Center; Los Angeles Master Chorale's Big Sing, photo credit Jamie Pham.

Oakland: The Bay Area Instagram crowd is going nuts over the 90s, as the “90’s Experience” nostalgia-heavy pop-up opened on Jack London Square last week. Experience the greatest hits of the 1990s across all media in this 6,000-square-foot ode to the decade that defined the childhoods of older millennials and the teen years of Gen Y. A dozen rooms present countless photo ops with themes like “Best F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Forever,” “Smell the Rainbow: Doodles + Middle School + Scents” and “Saturday Mornings: Cereal + Milk + Cartoons.”

Downtown Los Angeles: The Music Center announced it will re-open  The Music Center Plaza on August 28, 2019. In celebration there will be free festivities for the public over Labor Day weekend. See the $41 million renovation of the venue’s outdoor space, which will now be a fifth venue at the Music Center campus used for low-cost and free cultural events and activities. The improvements include better ADA access, new restrooms, gardens and three dining venues (Aberbethy’s restaurant, Mullin Wine Bar and the Go Get Em Tiger coffee bar). A fun new feature is a couple of huge, interactive LED screens with built-in sensors and cameras for creating “crowd activated art.”

Sacramento: The California State Fair Food Festival (at the California State Fair) kicked off last week and will run through July 29. New this year is a Food Festival Pass for $28, which provides you with four vouchers to redeem at your choice among 30 vendors. Goodies perhaps worthy of a voucher include deep-fried Fanta, orange chicken fries, a jalapeno bacon jumbo corndog and deep-fried chicken skins. Yum! The total pass value is $40. Separate fair admission is required.

San Diego: It’s time to put the finishing touches on your cosplay creation, because Comic-Con International is descending upon San Diego from July 19 to 21. The comics, movies and sci-fi spectacle started in San Diego in 1970 and has grown to attendance figures exceeding 130,000. This year’s highlights will include the world premiere screening of “Batwoman,” Popeye’s 90th Birthday Party and a Celebration of Stan Lee’s Life and Legacy.

Santa Barbara: The 16th Annual California Wine Festival is coming to Santa Barbara on July 19 and 20. Enjoy a champagne reception and rare wine tastings with appetizers and live music at the Carousel House as the event’s kick-off. Following on Saturday is the Beachside Wine Festival, with around 2,500 attendees expected. Around 300 wines plus gourmet foods will be available across East Beach. See ticket options here.

San Luis Obispo County: The annual California Mid-State Fair, held since 1946, opened in Paso Robles on July 17 and will continue through July 28. The 12-day event includes an artisans’ marketplace, craft beer tastings, pig races, livestock exhibits and a job fair. Click here for more info.

North Lake Tahoe: The inaugural Wanderlust Festival in North Lake Tahoe celebrates all things wellness over four days from July 18 to 21. It’s a celebration of yoga, meditation, nature hikes, live music, organic food and art for the wellness-minded (and wellness-curious) crowd, all augmented by the glorious backdrop of Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley. See here for details.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival. Photo by Glen McDowell Photography.

Gilroy: The Gilroy Garlic Festival is back. On July 26, 27, and 28, sample some famous garlic ice cream and pungent, garlic-infused everything else at this fun celebration held since 1979. This year, Colbie Caillat with her new band Gone West will perform and celebrity chef Tom Collichio will appear live on stage. A dedicated Caltrain “Garlic Train” connects the festival grounds with San Francisco and other hubs.

Statewide: The Bureau of Land Management has unveiled a new resource for climbers – a series of interactive online maps promoting climbing and other recreational opportunities on BLM-managed public lands. It’s now easier to discover and plan adventures at climbing spots in three areas in California: Volcanic Tablelands and Alabama Hills in the Sierras, plus New Jack City in San Bernardino County. Check out the map here and find photos and information about seasons, characteristics, difficulty levels and nearby attractions.

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