September is lobster month in Southern California, celebrated with three major Lobster Festivals. Although most of the lobster is coming from Maine, Southern Californians make the event their own.
The first event is the Long Beach Lobster Festival at Rainbow Lagoon. The same folks who put on the Long Beach Crawfish Festival will be dishing up Maine lobster out of the giant steamers and bringing music from Cajun to Latin Jazz, magicians and more food and vendors.
When: Sept 6-8, 2013, Fri 5-11 pm, Sat noon - 11 pm, Sun noon - 10 pm
Where: Rainbow Lagoon at Pine Ave and Shoreline Drive, Long Beach 90802
Cost: $13 advance general admission, $15 gate, special online offer $28 ($38 at gate) includes admission and 1 1/4 lb lobster dinner, $55 ($58 at gate) includes admission and 2 1/4 lb lobster feast. Children 12 and under Free with adult. Active US military with ID get in Free.
Parking: For a fee at Marina Green, LB Convention Center and the Pike
Discounts: $2 off coupon on the website
Note: Lobsters sell out
Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival and Music Weeken at Ports O' Call Village in San Pedro. It is billed as the largest Lobster Festival in the world, and includes three days of music and dancing with up and coming local bands and favorite tribute bands. There's a Pirate Camp with daily treasure hunts for kids, as well as plenty of magic. In 2009, they broke the Guinness World Record for most lobsters cooked at one event.
When: Sept 13-15, 2013, Fri 5-11 pm, Sat 11 am - 11 pm, Sun 11 am - 7 pm
Where: Ports O' Call Village, San Pedro
Cost: $10 festival admission, kids 12 and under free, Lobster dinners ($20-$34) and ride tickets are additional. Weekend passes are also available. $1 Off Adult Admission Coupons available on the website.
Parking: Free at the Long Beach Cruise Ship Terminal. There's also a free shuttle from the parking lot at 22nd and Miner St.
Discounts: $1 off coupons on all flyers, ads and on the website.
Info: www.lobsterfest.com, (310) 798-7478
Note: No credit cards. There is an ATM inside. Sunday is the busiest day and they may run out of lobster by later in the afternoon.
Vegan Bonus: During the Lobster Festival order the salad bar at Ports O'Call Restaurant and bring your receipt for free admission to the Lobster Festival.
The following weekend lobster lovers can proceed up the coast a couple miles to the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival for surf & turf specials. Live music, mechanical bull rides, and family activities for all.
When: Sept 20-22, 2013, Fri 5-11 pm, Sat noon-11 pm, Sun noon-8 pm
Where: Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, 90277
Cost: (2013 TBA) $12 Festival admission (Online Fri $6, Sat-Sun $10), $7 children 3-12 ($5 online) (children's play area is free once you're inside), under 3 free, lobster dinner is additional. $33-$53 admission+dinner packages available in advance. Free admission for military with ID.
Discounts: $2 coupons and pre-purchase lobster packages available online.
Parking: Free shuttle parking is available Saturday and Sunday. Street and paid lot parking is also available. Check the website for locations.
Info: www.lobsterfestival.com, (310) 937-5555
Note: Best deals are the online Guaranteed Lobster Packages. Packages include dinner and admission plus a festival T-shirt for less than dinner and admission on site.
Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com