No plans for the weekend? Book your calendar with a fake wedding or festivals dedicated to Israeli culture, cartoons and strawberries.
Cartoonists, comics creators and their fans will descend on downtown Huntington Beach for the National Cartoonists Society’s first-ever NCSFest. Browse artists’ work along Main Street, watch students draw a giant comic strip at Huntington Beach Pier and catch a “90 Years of Popeye” exhibit at the Huntington Beach Arts Center. Check the event website for a list of guest speakers, which includes “Mutts” creator Patrick McDonnell, “Half Full” creator Maria Scrivan and several people behind “The Simpsons.”
When: 10 a.m. May 17-19
Cost, info: Many Saturday and Sunday events are free; daily passes for workshops and seminars are $15 to $20. Family friendly. Dogs permitted in some areas. ncsfest.com
Bring your appetite to the California Strawberry Festival at Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave. The festival’s 50 food vendors will incorporate strawberries into funnel cakes, popcorn, margaritas and more — and the eating continues into free contests. Race to finish a strawberry pie in record time, or go through an obstacle course that requires you to assemble and eat a berry-topped treat. Work off the sweets by dancing to live music or strolling through the kids’ zone.
When: 10 a.m. May 18 and 19
Cost, info: $5 to $12. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (888) 288-9242, castrawberryfestival.org
Animators and artisans will showcase and sell their work at the Downtown Burbank Arts Festival along San Fernando Boulevard. When you’re all shopped out, listen to roaming musicians, watch storytelling sessions by animation artists or collect a series of original doodles for a chance to win a prize.
When: 11 a.m. May 18 and 19
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (818) 238-5180, bit.ly/DTBurbankArtsFest
Score a piece of artwork and get your daily steps in at the 25th Balboa Island Artwalk, where local artists and musicians will set up shop seaside along more than one mile of the South Bayfront Promenade. Art ranges from sculpture to oil paintings and photography to jewelry.
When: 9 a.m. May 19
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. bit.ly/BalboaIslandArtWalk
If you’ve always wanted to make the perfect loaf of challah, the Celebrate Israel Festival at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center is the place to do it. After the mega challah bake, you can try Israeli folk dancing, eat kosher street food and shop for goods made by Israeli artists. Dancers and musicians will entertain all day, and kids’ activities include camel rides, crafts and a carnival.
When: noon May 19
Cost, info: $30 at the door; reduced prices online. Family friendly. No dogs. (818) 451-1201, bit.ly/LAcelebrateisrael
Whether you’re planning a wedding or just like love, you’re invited to the Big Fake Wedding at the Unique Space, a bridal show that aims to feel more like a party. The downtown event kicks off with a vow-renewal ceremony between a real married couple and ends with a cocktail reception. Between trips to the Airstream mobile bar and the dance floor, find inspiration for bridesmaids’ dresses, floral arrangements, desserts and more at the Tunnel of Love vendor space.
When: 5 p.m. May 19
Cost, info: $25. Best suited for those 18 and older. Only service dogs permitted. bit.ly/thebigfakewedding