Goodness Report, News

Summer 2021: In-Person Fairs and Festivals in Southern California through September

May 27, 2021
Source: OC Register
Source:OC Register

By OC Register

After more than a year of large-scale fairs, festivals and events being a no-go because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s actually the sun, in case you’ve forgotten what it looks like.

There are things to go and do this summer all over Southern California, from family favorites like the OC Fair and Pageant of the Masters to music festivals such as Hard Summer and BeachLife. While many of the events happening will be modified, and in many cases with smaller audiences than before the pandemic, there are still ways to get out and celebrate.

There’s one big caveat here: If we learned anything in the last year, it’s that plans can change fast. Be sure to check refund and cancellation policies before plunking down your cryptocurrency. And you will need to stay on top of COVID-19 precautions, which are also a moving target. Your best bet? Checking with the events’ websites and social media pages for the latest updates and pricing. Be advised that tickets for many events are required to be purchased in advance.

And even though events are being scheduled well into the fall, we’re capping our list as events through the end of September for now.


San Bernardino County Fair

The SBC Fair is back for three weekends, but you will need to purchase tickets online in advance. This year, the admission price gets you access to the entertainment and includes the carnival rides. You can also nosh on fair food and see livestock exhibits.

When: May 29-31; June 4-6; June 11-13

Where: San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th St., Victorville



Home Grown Fun

The San Diego County Fair is scaling back for 2021 with a smaller event that has the spirit of the fair. Expect a Ferris wheel, carousel, food, agricultural-themed exhibits and more.

When: June 11-July 4 (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar


Palm Springs ShortFest

The annual festival of short films had more than 5,500 submissions. The schedule will be released in early June.

When: June 22-28

Where: Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs


Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival

The Redlands Bowl will start its season online before moving to in-person programming. The lineup has not yet been announced.

When: Select nights June 25-Aug. 13

Where: Redlands Bowl, 25 Grant St., Redlands


Summer Roots Craft Beer and Music Festival

Brew Ha Ha Productions will debut a new festival featuring reggae and rock bands and craft beer. Performers include Fortunate Youth, The Expendables, Pacific Dub, Arise Roots, Eli-Mac, Bikini Trill and Roots of Mine.

When: June 26

Where: Oak Canyon Park, 5305 E. Santiago Canyon Road, Silverado



Festival season in Laguna Beach

This seaside enclave will again draw hordes of visitors as Laguna Beach’s three summer art festivals are back. The Festival of Arts will boast work by more than 100 artists, hands-on art demonstrations and live music. The Sawdust Art Festival spotlights the creations of Laguna Beach artists, with more than 200 locals represented. Laguna Art-A-Fair is a juried competition of more than 100 artists from around the world.

When: Festival of Arts, July 5-Sept. 3; Sawdust and Art-A-Fair, July 2-Sept. 5

Where: Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach; Sawdust, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach; Art-A-Fair, 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach


Pageant of the Masters

One of Southern California’s signature events returns with nightly displays of tableaux vivants, or living pictures, featuring volunteers in elaborate costumes and makeup posing to recreate classic works of art. This year’s theme is “Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories” and works depicted will include John Trumbull’s portrait of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks,” as well other iconic paintings by Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt and Norman Rockwell. Pageant tickets include admission to the neighboring Laguna Beach Festival of Arts.

When: July 7-Sept. 3

Where: Irvine Bowl, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Information: 800-487-3378;

Mission Fest

Headlined by country band Midland, this fest will also include performances from Devin Dawson, the White Buffalo, Daring Greatly and The James Kelly Band. Expect wine, local food, vendors and activities.

When: July 10

Where: The OutPost at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, 27174 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano


OC Fair

Cute baby animals, carnival rides and vats full of deep-fried wonderment — there’s nothing like a county fair. While the dates, hours and prices will be familiar to veteran fair-goers, organizers plan to have capacity limits, fewer rides and booths and a new layout of the fairgrounds to avoid crowding. Admission tickets must be purchased in advance online. The 2021 Toyota Concert Series will present shows at Pacific Amphitheatre most nights of the fair. Concert tickets are sold separately but include fair admission.

When: July 16-Aug. 15 (Wednesdays-Sundays)

Where: OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa


Hard Summer Music Festival

Insomniac’s big EDM/hip-hop crossover festival moves from Fontana to San Bernardino this year with artists including Future, 2 Chainz and Dillon Francis. Note that it’s open to guests 18 and older only.

When: July 31-Aug. 1

Where: NOS Event Center, 689 S. E St., San Bernardino



Uptown Jazz Festival

The 10th annual event went virtual in 2020, but in 2019 attracted nearly 10,000 jazz fans. The city announced in May that the event would return in August, but lineup information has not yet been revealed.

When: Aug. 21

Where: Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave., Long Beach

Beyond Wonderland

Insomniac’s massive EDM fest announced in April that it was moving from June to August. The lineup includes Tiesto, Kayzo, Dillon Francis and more. Attendees must be at least 18.

When: Aug. 27-28

Where: NOS Event Center, 689 S. E St., San Bernardino



Orange International Street Fair

It’s simply not Labor Day weekend in SoCal without this massive food and beverage festival, which began as a celebration of Orange’s centennial in 1973 and grew into a sprawling event attracting half a million visitors. Booths run by nonprofits will offer a vast array of food items, from egg rolls and gyros to cheesesteaks and brats, plus craft beer and wine. The 3-day event will also have arts and crafts booths, kids’ activities and continuous live entertainment.

When: Sept. 3-5

Where: Area surrounding Chapman Avenue and Glassell Street, Orange


Same Same But Different

This year’s festival will feature Big Gigantic, STS9 and J. Worra and is going bigger with its production, with larger stages and LED screens and lasers. There will be limited attendance and guests will have to either be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test before entering.

When: Sept. 9-12

Where: Lake Perris State Recreation Area, 17801 Lake Perris Drive, Perris.


BeachLife Festival

The event’s second edition has moved from May to September and will include sets from Jane’s Addiction, Counting Crows, Ziggy Marley & Stephen Marley performing the music of their father Bob Marley, Fitz and the Tantrums, Cage the Elephant and more. This year will mark the debut of the Speakeasy stage, curated by Pennywise’s Jim Lindberg and celebrated South Bay chef David LeFevre will curate the chef lineup for the stage-side pop-up restaurant.

When: Sept. 10-12

Where: Seaside Lagoon, 137 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach


God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Fest

This Christian hip-hop, Latin Christian hip-hop and gospel hip-hop festival will finally make its debut after having to cancel its inaugural plans in 2020. Performers include Alex Zurdo, Derek Minor, Flame, WHATUPRG, Angie Rose, Canton Jones, Manny Montes and more.

When: Sept. 17-18

Where: Banc of California Stadium, 3939 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles


Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion

Celebrate Route 66 with classic cars, tribute acts and family fun in Ontario. The event usually draws more than 1,000 vintage rides and lots of car lovers.

When: Sept 17-18

Where: More than 22 square blocks along Euclid Avenue in Ontario


So Cal Hoedown

In April, the festival announced a move from June to September. The fourth edition of this punk-leaning fest will include the Horrorpops, Face to Face, Fishbone and more.

When: Sept. 18

Where: Port of Los Angeles, 3011 Miner St., San Pedro


Idyllwild Renaissance Faire

Travel back in time to “The Shire of Idyllwild” for this mountain community Renaissance festival with vendors, entertainment food and more.

When: Sept. 24-26

Where: Camp Emerson, 53115 Idyllbrook Drive, Idyllwild


Ohana Festival

The fifth edition of the festival will be headlined by Kings of Leon on Friday, fest curator Eddie Vedder on Saturday and Pearl Jam on Sunday. Other performers include Brandi Carlile, Spoon, Cold War Kids, My Morning Jacket and more.

When: Sept. 24-26

Where: Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point.


Other events to be determined

LA County Fair

The Los Angeles County Fair, which usually opened Labor Day weekend and runs for weeks at Fairplex in Pomona, plans to hold a scaled-down Fair Food Experience on weekends in September. In 2022, the L.A. County Fair will permanently move to May. Information:

Long Beach Greek Fest

The Long Beach Greek Fest has announced that it will bring back the food, dancing and more on Labor Day weekend at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church but hasn’t released specifics. Information:

Vans U.S. Open of Surfing

Organizers say this popular annual event will return this year, but have yet to announce dates. Besides featuring the world’s best surfers, the U.S. Open also offers skateboarding and BMX competitions in a temporary arena south of the Huntington Beach Pier. Information:


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