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Best Fall Festivals In LA

(credit: Sean Naugle/

As the summer heat eases, Southlanders will be out and about enjoying the cooling weather or taking in the last of another passing summer. As the outdoor festival season ends, a mix of comedy, music, art, and general entertainment is close at hand. Singles and families, the young and young at heart, have some of the best choices here.

Neighborhood-wide Happy Hour
Washington Blvd and Dusquene Ave.
Culver City, CA 90034
(310) 202-6060

Dates: Every third Wednesday, Sept.–Dec. 19, 2012 at 5–9 p.m.
Price: Free

Historic downtown Culver City opens its doors wide open every third Wednesday throughout the fall. More than 30 local businesses and the city promote the community with giveaways, drink and dining specials, discounts, and free samples. Calling it "California's best kept secret," this neighborhood happy hour offers live entertainment, open art galleries with later closing times, and free parking at municipal structures for two hours. The tree-lined downtown is an eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and theaters.

Doheny Days 2012
Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 496-2704

Date: September 8–9, 2012 at Noon
Price: $60 General Admission Single Day; $100 Weekend Pass
Click here for tickets

Doheny Days 2012, held on September 8, is an all day music-fest. This eclectic collection of pop-rockers are on the verge of fame. The unconventional rockers of Delta Spirit is still reeling in the limelight after their 2010 album. Beats Antique, out of Oakland, adds a low tempo electro-acoustic sound. Female artist Anuhea, songwriter and guitarist, combines pop, jazz and soul with her strong stage presence. With more artists and more talent than the day can hold, this festival is a revival of rock-n-roll for a new generation.

Related: Best Coffee Boutiques In Los Angeles

Moompetam: Native American Festival
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100

Date: September 22-23, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Price: $25.95 for adults; $14.95 for children under 11; $22.95 for seniors (62+)
Click here for tickets

The Aquarium of the Pacific hosts the Eighth Annual Moompetam Festival celebrating California's Native American maritime cultures this September. Crafts, storytelling, music and dance combine with educational programs and demonstrations at this family-friendly festival. Acjachemen, Chumash, Costanoan, Kumeyaay, Luiseno and Tongva tribal members come together to share with the public their enduring traditions during this weekend celebration of culture.

19th Angel Festival
Memorial Park
222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
(626) 794-4458

Date: October 6, 2012 at 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Price: Free

The non-profit group Angel Festivals presents the 19th Angel Festival this October 6. An event for the entire family, including pets, it's a break from the serious and a celebration of all things angelic. Wear your angel costume and get a $5 coupon to use at the booths, and if your name is "Angel," you get a free book on angels — I.D. required. The outdoor venue will have arts and crafts, exhibits, music and fun to be had. There will be a mural chalk art event, a children's craft area, face painting, and more. It is all about angels because "angels are not a fad — they are real!"

Joshua Tree Music Festival
The Joshua Tree Lake Campground

2601 Sunfair Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Date: October 12–14, 2012, Friday: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $70 for the event, $15 for camping
Click here for tickets

Reminiscent of 60s counterculture outdoor musical festivals, the 7th Annual Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival brings together fellow music lovers October 12 and the following Sunday. Organized by "funsters," they guarantee an intimate outdoor experience celebrating music as the "soul of life." Nine miles from Joshua Tree National Park, the natural beauty of the high desert surrounds festival goers. The music? Well, it's not the Top 40 hits; but the likes of Birds of Chicago and Musketeer Gripweed be prepared. The dozen artists are variously described as "beatnik," and "surrealist." You can camp at the event or stay at nearby lodgings. Just note that this is one camping trip your furry friends won't be invited on––no dogs allowed.

Related: Best Music Clubs In LA

Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on

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