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Best 2014 Summer Festivals In Los Angeles

April 21, 2014 6:00 AM

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(credit: Santa Monica Festival)

(credit: Santa Monica Festival)

(credit: Hollywood Bowl)

(credit: Hollywood Bowl)

Every summer the Southland bursts with festivals for everyone’s tastes. These five selections are chosen for their growing popularity and unique character. From folksy to environmentalist, and from mariachi music to hot-rods, and a comedy-fest, every one is one of a kind. Each has an established following, and each is sure to become an annual event for you, family and friends.
(credit: istockphoto.com)

(credit: istockphoto.com)

WorldFest 2014 Earth Day Festival
Woodley Park
6350 Woodley Ave.
Lake Balboa, CA 91436
(818) 756-8060
Date: May 18, 2014 from 10:30am to 7pm

WorldFest is all about ‘entertainment, education and enlightenment,’ and the kids’ events make it a family-friendly festival. Since 1970, Earth Day has become an international annual celebration in over 100 countries. More than mere entertainment, it is a day when local environmentalists reach out to the broad public with information and a positive message of hope. It’s a message that is mainstreaming. This ‘Earth-friendly’ festival celebrates with music venues and food courts. Lake Balboa, the festival’s venue is an urban enclave of nature and worth a visit itself. While the speakers will take on serious subjects, they intend to keep it upbeat and motivational. Animal welfare, environmental and humanitarian organizations will have informational booths. All in all, fully expect a great experience.

Related: Best Filmmaking Classes And Workshops Around Los Angeles

(credit: Darleene Powells)

(credit: Darleene Powells)

Comedy Ninja Film Festival
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-0414
Dates: May 30 – June 1, 2014

The outreach is on to attract the best comedy films out there, and by June, the Comedy Ninja Film Festival promises to bring out the best the Southland has to offer. With sponsors like the Laugh Factory, it’s a promise easily kept. This first annual event is building to become an annual event for years to come. Leading writers, directors and performers are competing for a chance to network and ply their trade – it’s a showcase of the best – expect nothing less.

(credit: queenmary.com)

(credit: queenmary.com)

Ink-N-Iron Festival
Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 499-1771
Dates: June 6-8, 2014

Ink-N-Iron Festival is a trip to the 50s and a warp back to the present. Evolving from a tattoo convention, since 2003’s first Long Beach Tattoo Convention, the festival has become a custom hot-rod show with live music, art shows, 50s fashion and more. The festival is the capital of the world’s most accomplished tattoo artists. Held at and on the Queen Mary, this 10th Ink-N-Iron Festival is ‘laced up and racing for port!’ The event is more than a celebration of the Kustom subculture; it’s an opening and welcoming of everyone interested in the unique. From greasers to punk rockers, and from bikers to hot rodders, to include folks like you and I, it’s a festival that drops pretense and takes on life to its fullest.

(credit: Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

(credit: Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

Mariachi USA Festival
Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90068
(323) 848-7717
Date: June 28, 2014

Mariachi music is steeped in tradition and culture, and it’s part of the heritage of two nations. Since 1990, Mariachi USA has brought together the best and most accomplished talent from Mexico and the Southwest to the Southland. This year, once again, the music festival returns to the iconic Hollywood Bowl creating an uncompromisingly authentic performance. Rich color, traditional dress and sound combine with Ballet Folklorico producing the richest of entertainment experiences. For 24 years, producer Rodri J. Rodriguez has ‘brought the best of mariachi’ to the Hollywood Bowl, and this year he expects an ‘atmosphere that is powerful indeed.’ Families and individuals of ‘countless ethnicities’ have enjoyed the power of mariachi music and Ballet Folklorico, and this is your chance to immerse yourself in an unforgettable evening.

Related: Free Live Music Events In LA This Summer

(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

Watermelon Festival
Santa Anita Park
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
(800) 955-1277
Dates: July 19-20, 2014

The Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club provides financial support for local schools, youth activities, cultural service programs and more. The Watermelon Festival at Santa Anita Park is an annual fundraiser that has grown to become a Southland ‘destination event.’ Every traditional festival activity from food booths to live music and from demonstrations to games comes together for a family-friendly day of entertainment. Why is it called the Watermelon Festival? Well, why not? Of course, there will be all-you-can-eat watermelon for free.

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Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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