Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect on war, peace and the sacrifices of America’s veterans. You can also explore Mexican American culture, art fairs, food festivals and the world of wild horses.
Poet Walt Whitman’s involvement with injured soldiers during the Civil War is the inspiration for the opera “Crossing” at the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. In the opera, Whitman listens to the veterans’ tales and looks at what brings people together — and pulls them apart.
When: 8 p.m. May 25 and 26
Cost, info: From $30. Recommended for children ages 10 and older. No dogs. (310) 746-4000
Deep Fried Vegan, Temple of Seitan, Herbivorous Butcher, Yoga-Urt and Dutch Weed Burger are among the more than 100 restaurants and food sellers at the Eat Drink Vegan beer and food festival at the Rose Bowl. Avoid plastic, and bring an empty water bottle to refill. A portion of the proceeds benefit Wags & Walks, a dog-rescue organization.
When: 2 p.m. May 26
Cost, info: Adults, from $50 plus fees, children ages 5-12, $20, 4 and younger, free. Service animals permitted. (323) 930-5700
Watch mustangs and learn about the history of horses in North America on the docent-led walking tour of the Return to Freedom wild horse sanctuary in Jalama Valley.
When: 3 p.m. May 26
Cost, info: Advance registration required. Adults $50; children ages 12 and younger $15. No dogs. (805) 737-9246
Visitors will find more than 300 food, craft and vendor booths at the Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival at Town Center Parkway and Riverview Parkway. View a memorial for the Fallen Soldier of California; military families will be honored during the festival.
When: 10 a.m. May 26
Cost, info: Free, but fees for food, beer and carnival rides. Dogs on leash OK. (619) 449-1515
For more than 40 years, Art in the Park has displayed fine artists’ works. Some artists will demonstrate their creative techniques at their booths.
When: 10 a.m. May 26 and 27
Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. (805) 646-0117
Heartbeat of Mexico (El Latido del Corazón Mexicano) showcases Mexican and Mexican American dance, music and folklórico performances on three stages at the Aitken Arts Plaza at Chapman University. Music includes folk songs, traditional and rock.
When: 1 p.m. May 27
Cost, info: Free. Dogs on leash, outdoors only. (844) 626-8726
A color guard service and dedication will honor American veterans on Memorial Day on the battleship Iowa. The Iowa is the only battleship on the West Coast that is open to the public.
When: 11 a.m. May 28
Cost, info: Memorial Day event is free. Museum admission: adults, $17.95; children ages 6-11, $9.95; children 5 and younger, free. No dogs. (877) 446-9261