SANTA BARBARA: Step back a few centuries at the Renaissance Festival, when Live Oak Camp, off California 154 at Lake Cachuma, substitutes for the 16th century English town of Coventry. Queen Elizabeth I and her court will be among 1,000 costumed performers, including Irish step dancers, madrigal singers, soldiers re-creating battles and Lady Godiva on horseback. $7, $5 children 5-12, under 5 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 14. (805) 682-0310.
CALEXICO: The 16th of September Fiesta marks Mexican Independence Day, based on a revolt begun Sept. 16, 1810. Ethnic food, arts and crafts will be for sale, and mariachis, folklorico dancers and others will perform. 5-11 p.m. at Crummett Park, Encinas and Ethel streets. Free admission. (760) 357-1166.
RIDGECREST: From livestock to a laser light show, the 47th annual Desert Empire Fair has a full lineup. Carnival rides, livestock exhibitions, a petting zoo, music and shows featuring Western stunts are among highlights. 5-11 p.m. Sept. 18, 5 p.m.-midnight Sept. 19, noon-midnight Sept. 20, noon-10 p.m. Sept. 21. At Desert Empire Fairgrounds, 520 S. Richmond Road. $4, $2 children 5-12, under 5 free. (619) 375-8000.
AVALON: More than 120 artists and artisans will display their works along the bay front Crescent Avenue on Sept. 20 and 21 at the Catalina Festival of Art. Artworks, many of which will be for sale, will include mixed media, photography and sculpture. Free admission. (310) 510-0808.
SAN RAFAEL: The more the merrier at Criunniu! Celtic Music and Arts Festival, Sept. 27 and 28. Criunniu is described as a Gaelic word that "evokes the love of communal merrymaking." There will be traditional as well as contemporary music, with a fiddler, a Gaelic vocalist and a Scottish guitarist. Among highlights will be the U.S. debut of the Dublin-based band Kila. Food, musical instruments, jewelry, books and other items will be for sale. $15 ($12 in advance), $10 for those 55 and older, free for children 12 and under. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Lagoon Park, at the 101 Freeway and North San Pedro Road. (415) 472-3500.
Call listed phone numbers for directions.