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What's up for next weekend? Horror films and rodeo cowboys, early California and Japanese culture

Celebrations of early California, the cowboy era, Victorian sci-fi, Japan. The coming weekend is all over the map.


Screamfest, the horror film festival that has been called the Sundance of Horror, screens short films and “new genre” features from around the world as well as classic scary films. This is definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart; some of these films are bizarrely weird and creepy.

When: Oct. 10-19

Cost, info: $11. No children. No dogs. (310) 358-3273,

Costa Mesa

Immerse yourself in Japanese traditions and culture at the eighth OC Japan Fair. Sample Japanese food, then take a look at innovations, live performances and a traditional kimono show. For a pop culture and technology experience, watch “Innocent Forest” in which a visual novel combines with virtual reality.

When: Oct. 13-15

Cost, info: Adults $8, children younger than 6 and adults older than 65 free. Service dogs only. (617) 875-9602,


Dip into the traditional cowboy West. The California Circuit Finals Rodeo includes team roping, bareback riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bull riding and tie-down roping.

When: Oct. 13-15

Cost, info: Adults from $15, children 2 and younger free with adult. No dogs. (661) 575-9800,

Santa Barbara

The Harbor & Seafood Festival celebrates sustainably harvested seafood with clam chowder, seafood tacos, paella, uni (sea urchin) and more. Visitors can listen to live music, take a boat ride and tour a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and a tall ship. Entrance to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and its Children’s Gallery is free.

When: Oct. 14

Cost, info: Free admission; food and wine additional. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash only.(805) 897-1962,


Steampunk Fest is all about fantasy costumes — and the more incongruous and mixed up, the better. Combine Victoriana and sci-fi, or be an Asian cowgirl – and do dress up your leashed dog. This year’s theme is pirates, but also look for music, a boat trip in Channel Islands Harbor and, of course, the costume contest.

When: Oct. 14 and 15

Cost, info: Adults from $10, child younger than 12 free. Dogs on leash OK.

Agoura Hills

The Reyes Adobe Days celebrates early California culture on the site of the historic 1845 Reyes Adobe. Watch a community parade and a magic show or compete in 10K and 10-mile runs. Kids can join a scavenger hunt, visit the petting zoo, ride ponies, make puppets and watch puppet shows.

When: Oct. 14 and 15

Cost, info: Free except for special events. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. (818) 597-7361,

Note: Always check before you go because weather or other factors can affect events. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Assume dogs must be on a leash. To suggest an event that’s cool and close to home, email

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