SANTA BARBARA--Exotic specimens are showcased at the 51st annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show, March 15-17 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, U.S. 101 and Las Positas Road. "The Art of Orchids" is the theme of the show and sale, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $6, general; $4, seniors and students; free for those under 12. In conjunction with the show, orchid growers in the area offer open houses; maps and information available at the show. (805) 967-6331.
PACIFIC GROVE--Bid farewell to winter at the "Burst of Spring" celebration, March 16, along Lighthouse Avenue. The free event is all day, starting at 10 a.m., and features a farmers' market, ongoing entertainment, children's activities and a plant and flower giveaway by merchants. (408) 373-3304.
NEWPORT BEACH--The Newport Beach International Film Festival makes its debut March 21-31. The first-time festival features screenings and special events at various venues, including Edwards Big Newport, Planet Hollywood, Edwards South Coast Village Theater, Hard Rock Cafe and the Megaplex 21 in Irvine. Among the highlights are the Bosnian film, "Vukovar," the British animation film, "The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb" and an opening night gala. Ticket prices and information: (714) 851-6555.
AVALON--Pull on the boots for line dancing, country swing and more at the third annual Country Dance Celebration, March 22-23 in the Casino Ballroom. Festivities are at 6 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday. The Doo-Wah Riders play Friday; Lonesome Prairie and the Doo-Wah Riders play Saturday. Friday: $15, general; $7.50 kids 6-12. Saturday; $20, general; $10, kids 6-12. Both nights: $30, general; $15, kids 6-12. Those 5 and under are free. The free "Stampede Street Dance" is 1-3 p.m. Saturday on Sumner Avenue, and the El Encanto Country Western Chili Cook-Off is Saturday afternoon in the El Encanto Market Place. (310) 510-1520.
BORREGO SPRINGS--The seventh annual Circle of Art Juried Show and Sale is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 23-24 in Christmas Circle. The free event features diverse works by 55 artists. Proceeds benefit local community projects. (619) 767-5374.
Call listed phone numbers for directions.