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March 2017 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our March 2017 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite concerts

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Festival of Colors LA

Shed that extra, light sweatshirt—spring is here. Fill your lungs with the sweet, less-smoggy air on one of the best hikes in L.A. or stretch every muscle at a yoga class. Whether you're looking for things to do around town or a weekend getaway to Ojai, there are plenty of springtime happenings to find in our March events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2017

Cherry Blossom Festival

Usher in the springtime bloom with this celebration of Japanese culture at Descanso Gardens. There'll be musical performances, origami classes, guided garden walks and Patina-catered food—and of course those beautiful flowering trees.

Descanso Gardens , La Cañada Saturday March 4 2017 - Sunday March 5 2017

The Shins


Two decades later, the Shins are still at it—though the band may not be the same as the one that Natalie Portman promised would change your life. James Mercer, however, is still at the helm; he returns with the band's first album in five years, Heartworms, and an increasingly jaunty, full-bodied take on the band's former lo-fi pop aesthetic.

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Fox Theater Pomona , Pomona Saturday March 4 2017

626 Golden Streets


Walk, run, skate, bike and explore the San Gabriel Valley as Metro presents this car-free event across 18 miles of open streets, six Gold Line stations and seven SGV cities, from South Pasadena to Azusa.

Various locations in L.A. Sunday March 5 2017

Champagne Runch

While this event does involve walking or running a 5K, the big draw here is the reward when you cross the finish line. Participants will enjoy a five-course brunch (yes, five) catered by some of Southern California's most popular eateries. Plus, runners will be treated to one complimentary glass of champagne and a carb load station from California Donuts.

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Orange County Great Park , Irvine Sunday March 5 2017

ArtNight Pasadena


Pasadena's underrated collection of museums and performance spaces open up their doors for free at this biannual art celebration. Take advantage of the free shuttle buses or hoof it between site-specific installations and local institutions such as the Norton Simon Museum, Pacific Asia Museum and Pasadena Museum of California Art. And, of course, no arts fest would be complete without food trucks, often including local bricks-and-mortar Pie 'n Burger and Coolhaus.

Various locations in L.A. Friday March 10 2017

Grand Park Downtown Bookfest


Grand Park transforms into a bookworm's Shangri-La this May for an all-day literary festival, featuring poetry, a local pop-up bookshop, food, tunes and more. Last year's activities included adding your own five-line poem to a crowd-sourced installation as well as lending a brushstroke to a giant piece of sheet music. Take a load off while your little ones sit transfixed by the kid-friendly entertainment, including a sketch comedy musical based entirely on stories by children—including those written by kids at the Bookfest. The event is free and open to the public.

Grand Park , Downtown Saturday March 11 2017

L.A. Festival of Colors

What better way to ring in spring than by blanketing L.A.'s smoggy skies with a plume of technicolor yellow, cobalt, magenta and acid green powder, dancing your butt off and practicing a little yoga to boot? L.A.'s Festival of Colors brings the traditional Indian custom of Holi—during which revelers douse each other in colorful powder as a way to welcome spring—to the West coast. There will also be Bhangra (group Punjabi folk dancing) and performances by world-music phenoms. Expect to rage along with tens of thousands of merrymakers who pack protective eye gear and loving dispositions—despite the tendency to fling clothes-staining substances at fellow festival-goers, it's all about the free hugs and spiritual enlightenment and this pretty party for the soul. 

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Whittier Narrows Recreation Area , Southeast Cities Saturday March 11 2017

Dana Point Festival of Whales

Each spring, thousands of gray whales and their calves begin the journey back north from the Baja, passing just off the SoCal coast in the process. To celebrate, Dana Point hosts two weekends of festivities dedicated to the marine migration. Opening day festivities include a parade and street fair and the fest closes out with a whale-themed concert, with crafts, art shows and whale watching excursions scattered in between. The festival takes place all over the Dana Point Harbor; you'll find free four-hour parking in the harbor lots, as well as all-day parking ($8) at Doheney State Beach, with a free shuttle servicing the festival area.

Various locations in L.A. Saturday March 4 2017 - Sunday March 12 2017

Arcade Expo

Bump and tilt your way to pinball wizardry at the Arcade Expo. This three-day tournament and expo at the Museum of Pinball (700 S Hathaway) in Banning includes freeplay on 1,100 modern and retro arcade cabinets and pinball machines.

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Various locations in L.A. Friday March 17 2017 - Sunday March 19 2017

Bach in the Subways Day


As far as obscure holidays go, this one is arguably the most sophisticated. Founded by cellist Dale Henderson under the streets of New York City, Bach in the Subways Day takes place annually on the birthday of German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, to bring public enthusiam to the beautiful and increasingly forgotten art of classical music. On March 21 (as well as the previous three days), soundtrack your commute with free performances throughout Union Station, train platforms and other public spaces with everything from an organ recital to a flute choir. Check the full schedule for performance details and locations.

Various locations in L.A. Saturday March 18 2017 - Tuesday March 21 2017
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