1. Cuban Music Festival, Echo Park - The 2008 Presencia Cubana en Los Angeles is a free fiesta of Cuban music, food and fun right by the lake in Echo Park Park, which is also home to Plaza de Jose Marti, dedicated in honor of the 19th century Cuban national hero. Echo Park, as well as today's nearby Historic Filipinotown, once comprised the heart of Los Angeles' Cuban community (before they all went suburban after the 1970s). The festival celebrates Cuba's independence from Spain on May 20, 1902. The festival happens Sunday, May 18 from 12 to 7 p.m.
2. California Strawberry Festival, Oxnard - Oxnaaaaaard?!?! Well, it's still SoCal. If you dig strawberries, this is the place, though from past experience going to the fest he had to contend with the dusty parking lot and kinda overpriced stuff. But there's strawberry-topped funnel cakes, strawberry ice cream, strawberry beer, anything strawberry-related can be found there. One tip, though, don't bother buying the big boxes of berries on the festival grounds, which are by Oxnard College. You can find better deals on the roads leading to the festival. If filling your gas tank and parking in a dusty lot aren't your thing, you can always take Amtrak there (kids ride free), which runs a free shuttle to the festival grounds. That dusty parking lot is of rather limited capacity, so they also encourage off-site parking and provide shuttle bus access to the fest. The fest runs
3. Staying put? Try a nice cool ethnic iced dessert. The Militant will continue this quest soon!