What to do close to home for the weekend: Orchids, cherry blossoms and classic cars

The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show is March 15-17.
(Santa Barbara International Orchid Show)

Foster a new or existing passion at one of next weekend’s festivals, be it orchids, chili or classic cars.

Los Angeles

Learn about housing issues and homelessness prevention on a Skid Row walking tour with the Inner City Law Center. The organization offers monthly tours to combat the stigma of homelessness and educate participants about volunteer, advocacy and donor opportunities.

When: 10 a.m. March 15

Cost, info: Free. Suitable for those 18 and older. No dogs. (213) 891-3209,

Santa Barbara

Stroll through enchanting indoor orchid displays at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The festival showcases more than 25,000 orchid species and offers orchid art, photography and floral arrangements for sale.

When: 9 a.m. March 15-17

Cost, info: $14. Family-friendly. Only service animals permitted. (805) 403-1533,

Huntington Beach

The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival at Huntington Central Park features a night market with Japanese-style hot dogs, okonomiyaki and other street food, as well as cultural performances and arts and crafts. The festival began as a fundraiser for the Huntington Beach Sister City Assn., which organizes cultural exchange programs between Huntington Beach and its sister city, Anjo, Japan.

When: 5 p.m. March 15, 10 a.m. March 16 and 17

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Not recommended for dogs. (844) 648-6222,

Hermosa Beach

Hermosa will host its 25th St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 16.
(Flying Lion Photography / Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce)

Wear your most spirited green garb to the 25th Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Bagpipers, floats and four-legged friends will parade down Pier Avenue from Valley Drive to Hermosa Avenue.

When: 11 a.m. March 16

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs OK. (310) 376-0951,

Costa Mesa

Love classic cars? Head to the Classic Auto Show at the OC Fair & Event Center to see more than 2,000 iconic 20th century cars, celebrity vehicles and more. You can also watch restoration demos, hear from influential figures in the automobile industry and buy parts and products for your own car projects.

When: 10 a.m. March 16 and 17

Cost, info: $6-$30. Family-friendly. No dogs.


Be a chili connoisseur for a day at the Buellton Wine and Chili Festival at the Flying Flags RV Resort and Campground. Bands Noble Grizwald and the Rincons will set the mood as you vote for your favorite chili and salsa, taste wines, and play cornhole, boccie ball and table tennis.

When: Noon March 17

Cost, info: $10-$45. Family-friendly. No dogs. (805) 688-7829,

Always check before you go because weather or other factors can affect events. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Assume dogs must be on a leash. To suggest an event that’s cool and close to home, email at least four weeks before the event.