Celebrating heritage, surfing and anime at weekend events near L.A.

You can see more than 600 horses during Old Spanish Days July 31-Aug. 4 in Santa Barbara.
(Fritz Olenberger / Old Spanish Days)

Weekend events in Southern California cater to fans of anime, Ecuadoran food and outer space.

Santa Barbara

Equestrian parades, international food markets and historical music and dance performances are part of the fun at the 95th Old Spanish Days, a five-day celebration of Santa Barbara’s multicultural heritage. Shop for handmade crafts, tour Santa Barbara Mission and play at a family carnival by day, then head to the Casa Cantina for live music and dancing by night.

When: Check website for event times and locations. July 31-Aug. 4

Cost, info: Free (although a charge for some events). Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (805) 962-8101,

Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach

South Bay surf fans unite each year to swim, paddle and run at the International Surf Festival, which takes place near the piers on Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. Watch lifeguards compete in multisport relay races, check out the winners of a sandcastle design contest or follow swimmers on the sand as they swim from pier to pier.

When: Check website for event times and locations. July 31-Aug. 4


Cost, info: Admission is free for spectators; participation in events costs as much as $45. Family friendly. No dogs. (310) 405-4275,


Hang with gamers, cosplayers and lovers of all things anime and Japanese pop culture at Animanga at the Pomona Fairplex. In addition to costume contests and gaming tournaments, the weekend includes arcades, anime screenings, souvenir shopping and panels and performances.

When: 10 a.m. Aug. 2-4

Cost, info: $15 to $125 (premium weekend pass). Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (786) 878-9766,


Take an evening yoga class, listen to roaming acoustic musicians and craft a paper lei at the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair at Central Park. More than 200 artisans will sell jewelry, home decor and other handmade goods. Food trucks and a beer garden will offer refreshments.

When: 5 p.m. Aug. 2, 3 p.m. Aug. 3

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (323) 989-2278,

Agoura Hills

Gaze at the Milky Way as it shines over the Santa Monica Mountains at the Night Sky Festival at Paramount Ranch. Astronomers will help you spot Saturn, Jupiter and distant galaxies through telescopes, then park rangers will lead you on a bat-detecting expedition. Kids can craft their own planispheres and play games about the night sky.

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 3

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs OK. (805) 370-2301,

Los Angeles

Celebrate Ecuadoran independence with an international feast at Taste of Ecuador, on Los Angeles Street near the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. On the menu will be hornado (roast pig), patacones (twice-fried plantains) and other regional meat, seafood and fresh fruit dishes. You can also watch a parade, play carnival games and shop for gifts from crafts vendors.

When: 10 a.m. Aug. 4

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Not recommended for dogs. (818) 734-2701.