Keeping cool: Pasadena Jazz Festival swings into the Arboretum

Bring chairs, blankets and fellow music enthusiasts to the hottest coolest jazz extravaganza in the San Gabriel Valley.
This weekend, the 14th redwhite+bluezz Pasadena Jazz Festival will set up shop for a two-day outdoor concert at the scenic Arboretum.
Over the years, the festival has boasted more than 50 performances and 275,000 festival-goers, and this year seems no different.
Expect jazz with a twist — reinventing the tradition with a little bit of funk, blues, rock and more.
Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. (626) 304-0333,

(File photo)

Chalk it up: The Pasadena Chalk Festival colors your world this weekend

What happens when more than 500 artists go back to the drawing board — and the drawing board is a bunch of pavement in Pasadena?
The result is the Pasadena Chalk Festival, an explosion of color and style on the walkways of the Paseo Colorado shopping center. Face-painting and designated areas for kids to try their hand at their own variety of beautiful chalk art make this event a Father’s Day weekend classic. 
The Pasadena Chalk Festival this year will also attempt to set a world record for largest display of chalk pavement art.
Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Paseo Colorado, 280 E. Colorado Blvd. Free. (626) 795-9100,
More photos from festivals past, after the jump:

Continue reading

Weekend guide: All the Doo Dah day; South Pasadena turns up the volume; and the Homestead Museum takes you back in time

Saturday, May 1
  • Doo Dah Parade
It’s that time again; Pull your crazy hat out of the closet for the 34th occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. It’s the best free fun you could imagine, and by fun we mean hanging with the zaniest of the Pasadena underground as they shed their inhibitions (Ed. note: Did they have any?) kinda like your crazy aunt Margie did that one time after imbibing too much sherry on Thanksgiving. On Doo Dah day, they’re not-so-underground anymore, invading the normally-staid Pasadena streets in the form of more than 1,000 marchers, each of them wearing their wacky, wacky hearts on their sleeves. Take in your perennial favorites like the Men of Leisure and the BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team along with the regal new Queen Erica Valentine, the Electric Squirrels, Martinis in the Morning and the Howdy Krishna. This year, the parade moves eastward for the first time in its colorful history.
Saturday, 11 a.m., kick-off at Colorado Boulevard between Sierra Madre and San Gabriel boulevards, free, (626) 590-1134,, live-streaming at

Continue reading

Weekend guide: Earth Day at Descanso and a show-stopping Showcase House


SATURDAY, April 17
  • Earth Day at Descanso
Spring is in full bloom at Descanso, from the lilacs to the roses, so there’s no better place to celebrate Earth Day. From 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., a butterfly appreciation corner will spotlight one of nature’s most colorful creatures, including demonstrations and hands-on activities for the whole family. “Green” displays on the main lawn will range from compost tea making to organic gardening and more. Live, family-friendly entertainment scheduled throughout the day, and Patina Catering offers eco-friendly barbecue with local, organic foods from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring a blanket and settle down for a picnic among the trees.
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Earth Day events are free with admission. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Caada Flintridge.

Continue reading

Weekend guide: Cal Phil, gourmet eats, music junkies and a barbecue deal, sweetened


  • FRIDAY, 5-8:30 p.m.

Cal Phil Family Night, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Did we mention it’s free? Bring a guest or pack your 30-member extended family into a bus and, guess what, it’s still free. Music education activities begin at 5 p.m., and the free California Philharmonic performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Get there early, bring a picnic spread and enjoy the Arboretum in its twilight glory. (No alcohol allowed for this family event.)

301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

  • SATURDAY, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Open warehouse sale, Nicole’s Gourmet Foods

For the first time ever — and for this day only — Nicole’s is offering wholesale prices on its cheeses, charcuterie, foie gras, beverages, grains, pasta, rice, spices, specialty oils, vinegars, chocolate, tart shells, fruit purees, vanilla … you see what we’re getting at? The South Pasadena gourmet heaven is opening the doors on its neighboring Alhambra warehouse to the public, and sophisticated palates everywhere rejoice.

961 S. Meridian Ave., Alhambra
(626) 403-5751

  • SATURDAY, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and SUNDAY, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Sunset Junction Street Festival, Silver Lake

It’s the definitive hipster street festival on crack. Come with an open mind and deep wallets — you’ll need the cash flow if you want to stock up on the millions of bizarre goods for sale from street vendors. The weather promises some reprieve from the sweltering fests of years past. It’s not supposed to break 80 this weekend, so you can brave the crowds and blacktop without fear of heat stroke. Oh, and there’s a pretty sweet music line-up, including these headliners: Mary Wilson, Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, Sly and Robbie, Built to Spill, Les Nubians and Nortec Collective. Check the schedule to catch your faves.

Advance, $15; $20 at the door. 12 and under and 65 and older get in free.
3700-4300 Sunset Blvd. and 4000-4200 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake
(323) 661-7771


Gus’s Barbecue, South Pasadena

UrbanDaddy‘s got the lush scoop on this one:

“In case you need some added incentive to make a pilgrimage for some no-frills ‘cue,  Gus’s has unleashed a little contraption called the Bourbon Box — it’s a sampling of three bourbons. In a box. For $12. Incentive approved.”

808 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena
(626) 799-3251

(File photo: A variety of sheep’s milk cheese is on sale at Nicole’s Gourmet Foods in South Pasadena)