Southern California's Top Festivals & Fairs 2009

February 16, 2009, 8:00 AM EST

The Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice

Photo: Abbot Kinney District Association

1. Los Angeles County Fair
The Pomona Fairplex is home to the largest county fair in the nation. The monthlong fair features live entertainment, rides, games, and vendors selling food and crafts. The fair runs from Labor Day weekend through October 4 and drew more than 1.3 million attendees in 2008. 

2. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Goldenvoice’s Coachella festival, which has swelled to three days in recent years, now brings about 175,000 cool kids into the desert near Palm Springs every April for music and art installations on the Empire Polo Field—plus a long weekend packed with parties off site. The 2009 event will be April 17 through 19.

3. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
This newspaper-sponsored fest brings 140,000 attendees, more than 300 exhibitors, and 100 author panels to UCLA every April for a celebration of books. The 2009 event will take place April 25 and 26.

4. Abbot Kinney Festival
Now in its 25th year, this popular community festival takes to the Venice streets at the end of September. The volunteer-produced free festival includes live music, arts and crafts booths, and copious food offerings. The festival draws about 130,000 attendees.

5. Sunset Junction Street Festival
In late August, this festival takes place in the Silverlake district known as Sunset Junction. The festival includes a packed performance lineup and carnival rides, and attracts about 60,000 music-minded hipster types.

6. Sunset Strip Music Festival
With a successful debut in 2008, the festival will return to venues on Sunset Boulevard June 25 through 27 and—new for this year—part of the street itself. The first installation of the fest drew 25,000 attendees; this year, that number is expected to increase to 40,000.

7. Redondo Beach International Antiques Fair
This annual fair at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center features more than 75 exhibitors showcasing antiques and collectibles for between 2,500 and 5,000 attendees. The show is produced by the OSAT Company and takes place the last weekend of July.

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