Southern California's Top Festivals & Fairs 2010

By Alesandra Dubin August 19, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Photo: Dan Eldridge

1. Los Angeles County Fair
Typically drawing more than 1.3 million visitors, the largest county fair in the nation takes place at the Pomona Fairplex. The next fair runs from September 4 to October 3 and offers live entertainment, rides, games, and vendors selling food and crafts.

2. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
The 11th annual event on April 16 through 18 brought nearly 150 acts to Indio’s Empire Polo Field. After a format change, festival organizer Goldenvoice, led by Paul Tollett, sold out all three-day passes for the festival this year, which created a packed environment and drew a frenzy of marketers for related events.

3. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
The 2010 installment of this newspaper-sponsored festival took over U.C.L.A. on April 24 and 25, with Target as the presenting sponsor. The event brings more than 300 exhibitors and 100 author panels to the campus every spring for a celebration of books that draws as many as 140,000 attendees. Admission is free to the public.

4. Orange County Super Fair
 In the last decade, the fair has jumped from the 34th to the 13th largest fair in North America, with an estimated attendance of 1.1 million. The 2009 fair ran from July 10 through August 9—a week longer than in the past. The 2010 fair runs from July 16 through August 15.

5. Abbot Kinney Festival

The 26th annual street fest is coming up on September 26. Volunteers produce this popular free community festival of live music, arts and crafts booths, and food offerings. Close to 150,000 people attend the good-natured, elbow-to-elbow event.

6. Sunset Junction Street Festival

This late-summer festival is set for August 21 and 22 on Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards in the Silverlake district known as Sunset Junction. The festival’s packed performance lineup and carnival rides attract about 60,000 music-minded hipster types.

7. Sunset Strip Music Festival

Now in its third year, this event is set for August 12 through 14 in West Hollywood and will kick off with a tribute to a Sunset Strip icon, Slash. The 2010 event will include a street festival between San Vicente Boulevard and Doheny Drive, with performances on outdoor stages as well as live music in the clubs within the enclosed area, street vendors, and interactive entertainment.

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