July Fourth falls on Tuesday this year, which means a four-day weekend for many of us. There’s lots to do in Santa Barbara over the weekend and on the holiday itself.
Actor Val Kilmer has played real-life characters, such as rock icon Jim Morrison in “The Doors” and Doc Holliday in “Tombstone.” Now he’s literary icon Mark Twain in “Cinema Twain,” a 90-minute film of a live performance taped in Pasadena several years ago.
Kilmer wrote and directed the film, and appears in person at the Lobero Theatre on Friday, June 30, at 8 p.m. to both introduce it and for questions and answers after. In it, Twain is in our present day, interacting with the audience, discussing his own life and the current day of iPads and Kardashians. His political commentary is particularly relevant. Tickets start at $23.50. (963-0761, www.lobero.com)
Hold an actual asteroid and tour the Las Cumbres Observatory on Friday, June 30, starting at 5:30 p.m. as part of International Asteroid Day. The observatory is actually one of 18 in a network of robotic telescopes around the world, which act as a single instrument to study the heavens. Their findings are released in the public domain for the benefit of researchers everywhere. Find out about their current work and past discoveries and meet the people who made it happen at this free celebration. (6740 Cortona Drive, Goleta; 880-1625, www.lco.global)
Academy of music
The Music Academy of the West’s internationally renowned summer music festival has begun, with eight weeks of concerts, masterclasses and special events -- and many are free. This year, 137 fellows (young singers and musicians) have come from more than 20 states and 10 countries to learn and perform with the eminent faculty. Local audiences reap the benefits. This Saturday: a free concert at the Santa Barbara Library at 1 p.m.; Operafest and opera scenes at the campus’ Luria Hall at 2:30 p.m.; and Academy Orchestra concert, featuring Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” at the Granada Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Whew! That’s just one day! More festival info and tickets are at www.musicacademy.org.
July 4 happenings
- Artsy: The Old Mission Art Show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, and is a terrific way to start the day. There’s more than just art at this free show: food, music, pottery, jewelry, clothing, hats, and one-of-a-kind gift items, to name just a few. (www.oldmissionartshow.com)
- March-y: Santa Barbara’s July Fourth Parade sets off along State Street from Micheltorena at 1 p.m., concluding at Cota. Look for authentic military vehicles, historic autos, floats, equestrians and more. (www.pcvg-4th-july.com)
- Sparkly: Though the fireworks don’t start until 9 p.m., the fun begins at 11 a.m. at Stearns Wharf with live music, face painting, food, merchants, water taxi rides and fun for the whole family. (https://goo.gl/1RZTHS)
- Spiritedly: The West Coast Symphony performs a free concert at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden at 5 p.m., featuring tenor Steve Amerson singing Broadway hits and patriotic favorites.(www.cieloperformingarts.org).