Your Ultimate Guide to March 2020: 20 Awesome Events Happening in SoCal

We found 20 spectacular events happening in Southern California this March to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

March 5-Apr. 11

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Your Ultimate Guide to March 2020: 20 Awesome Events Happening in SoCal
Power to the People! Festival © Los Angeles Philharmonic Creative Services / LA Phil

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Power to the People! Festival is a month-long celebration of artists’ roles in advancing social change. Curated by Gustavo Dudamel and Creative Chair for Jazz, Herbie Hancock, the fest features more than 20 artists, scholars and activists in performances and programs that take place at Walt Disney Concert Hall, California African American Museum and A Noise Within. Events include The Movie Music of Spike Lee & Terence Blanchard; Patti Smith and her band; Place, co-created by Ted Hearne, Patricia McGregor and Saul Williams; “Does this cardigan make me look gay?” by Wesley Morris. Ticket prices vary

March 5-18

NOWRUZ

NOTE: This event has been canceled. Farhang Foundation celebrates Nowruz—the Persian New Year—at UCLA, throwing the largest celebration in the US. Nowruz is a colorful and lively event with music, dance, food and children’s activities. At 6:00 p.m., there’s a concert inside Royce Hall with Paris-based opera star Darya Dadvar. All outdoor activities run noon to 5:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public, taking place in Dickson Court North and South. The Darya Dadvar concert begins at 6:00 p.m. and is a ticketed event. Concert tickets: $25-$220

March 6

FIRST FRIDAYS

Your Ultimate Guide to March 2020: 20 Awesome Events Happening in SoCal
Wajatta headline First Fridays at NHM in March
Photo credit: The1point8

The Natural History Museum’s First Fridays live music and science discussion series returns on Friday, March 6 from 5:00-10:00 p.m. The series’ 2020 theme is “The Future is Now” and features a range of XPRIZE foundation scientists and stakeholders as speakers, including futurist Dr. Roey Tzezana in a conversation about the future of medicine. Bands playing live are Cafe Molly, French Vanilla and Wajatta. Tickets: $20 for nonmembers

March 6-15

NOIR CITY: HOLLYWOOD

Your Ultimate Guide to March 2020: 20 Awesome Events Happening in SoCal
ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949) still features Mary Astor and Van Heflin, courtesy of the Film Noir Foundation.

The 22nd Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir runs March 6-15 at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica as well as the American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood. The series features a slate of 35mm prints and new restorations. Films featured in Noir City include the opening night films, The Beast Must Die (La Bestia Debe Morir) and Gilda, as well as The Naked City, The Prowler, The Spiritualist, El Vampiro Negro and Black Gravel.Ticket prices start at $13-$15

March 7-Aug. 13

INSIDE THE WALT DISNEY ARCHIVES: 50 YEARS OF PRESERVING THE MAGIC

The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana opens the exhibition, Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic, to the public on Saturday, March 7. Get a peek at more than 400 objects, including original artwork, costumes, and props that tell the story of the archives, The Walt Disney Company and Walt Disney himself. See never-before-displayed sketches for Fantasia and ghouls from the Haunted Mansion attraction, as well as modern-day favorites like superhero costumes and maquettes from Frozen. A full slate of programming and events accompanies the exhibition. Admission: $23 – $25 for adults

March 7-8

LA BIG 5K / LA MARATHON

The LA Big 5K is a 3.1-mile race that begins and ends right outside of Dodger Stadium on March 7, the day before the Los Angeles Marathon. The fun-run features a challenging (hilly) 5K loop through Elysian Park with scenic views of Downtown Los Angeles. On Sunday, watch and cheer on the elite runners and weekend warriors taking on the 26.2-mile endurance race from the stadium to the sea, ending in Santa Monica. Cost: $55 to participate in the 5K, the LA Marathon is sold out

March 8-9

ADAM SANDLER

The actor and comedian Adam Sandler returns to his standup roots, performing two shows on March 8 and 9 at Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth. These shows are 18+. Tickets: $30-$35

March 12-Nov. 22

HAMILTON

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical returns to Los Angeles for an extended run at the Pantages Theatre. The story follows the life of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant and orphan from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. The memorable score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap and R&B. Tickets begin at $55, with a $10 lottery for orchestra seats at each performance

March 14-15

SELECTED SHORTS: IT TAKES TWO

It takes two to make a thing go right…or wrong. That’s the theme of this year’s Selected Shorts radio show/podcast as it returns to the Getty Center on March 14 and 15 at 4:00 p.m. Hosted by Nate Corddry (Saturday) and Kirsten Vangsness (Sunday), featured actors—including Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces), Anika Noni Rose (Little Fires Everywhere), Justin Kirk (Weeds), Natasha Rothwell (Insecure) and Rainn Wilson (The Office)—read short stories by Jac Jemc, Zadie Smith, Dorothy Parker, Jonathan Blum and Peter Orner. Tickets: $20

March 14

BURGERAMA
The music festival presented by Burger Records returns. More than two dozen bands and artists are playing the Echo and Echoplex on March 14, headlined by The Mummies, Flamin’ Groovies, Apache (last show ever), Hollywood Stars, Tomorrows Tulips and many others. This is an all-ages show. Tickets: $28

March 17-Summer

THIS IS NAT KING COLE

The Grammy Museum opens a new exhibition dedicated to the great crooner Nat King Cole, one of the most honored recording artists of all time. The exhibition showcases his professional and personal achievements, which bookend his centennial celebration. Fittingly, the exhibit opens on March 17, which would have marked Cole’s 101st birthday. The exhibit will run through summer 2020. Museum admission: $13-$15

March 18-22

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

Your Ultimate Guide to March 2020: 20 Awesome Events Happening in SoCal
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Photo: Paul Kolnik

The venerated dance company returns to The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion from March 18–22 with three separate programs performed at different times and days. Program A features new works, including Aszure Barton’s BUSK and the West Coast premiere of Jamar Roberts’ Ode. Program B (Trailblazers) features renowned works Lazarus and Revelations and Program C features family-friendly pieces. Tickets start at $34

March 19-25

BACH IN THE SUBWAYS

Bach in the Subways returns to LA from March 21-25 to celebrate the 335th birthday of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with free pop-up performances of the composer’s music on the Third Street Promenade, in Pasadena and at the Glendale train station, among other locations. If you are a musician, it’s not too late to join in the fun. Visit the website for details on the performances or performing. Free

March 19

PEPPA PIG LIVE! PEPPA’S ADVENTURE

Watch the adventures of Peppa, her friends and family (including brother George) live onstage at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside. The show begins at 6:00 p.m., and children ages one and younger may sit on a lap for free. Tickets are $40 with VIP packages available

March 21

SWALLOWS DAY PARADE

The city of San Juan Capistrano celebrates the birds’ springtime return from Argentina at the Swallows Day Parade that winds its way through the city. Street closures begin at 10:00 a.m. and the parade begins at 11:00 a.m. Shop and eat from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the accompanying Swallows Day Mercado Street Faire located at the Historic Town Center Park. Free admission

March 21

SANTA MONICA AIRPORT ARTWALK

The exploration of art and artists’ studios takes place on March 21 from 12:00-5:00 p.m. In addition to the art, view more than 60 art studios and creative spaces, watch demos, take part in art workshops, listen to music, or snack some of the foods from vendors and food trucks on site. While there, don’t forget to explore the airport’s history! It served as the former home of the Douglas Aircraft Company and the birthplace of the DC-3. Free admission

March 24-Apr. 12

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL

Stephen Hillenburg’s colorful creatures come to life on stage in this musical, which is making its LA premiere at the Dolby Theatre. This family-friendly show celebrates friendship, cooperation, unity and inclusion. Tickets start at $39

March 27

INTERNATIONAL MARIACHI WOMEN’S FESTIVAL-COMMUNITY SHOWCASE

The three-day International Mariachi Women’s Festival kicks off with a community showcase on March 27 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The concert at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes celebrates Mariachi women and girls and includes performances by Los Angelitos and Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles, The Mariachi Conservatory, Mariachi Rubor from Phoenix and Las Amazonas from Mexico City. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, but lawn chairs are allowed. Free

March 28-29

2020 PASADENA FESTIVAL OF TEA

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden holds its annual festival on March 28 and 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission includes a tasting cup and access to tea purveyors, who will also present talks throughout the day. The highly popular Tea Ceremony Demonstrations take place at noon, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. in the Niko-an Teahouse and require reservations and additional fees. Festival admission: $12-$15

March 29

LIVE TALKS LOS ANGELES: JERRY SALTZ

Live Talks LA presents an afternoon with Jerry Saltz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic of New York magazine and its entertainment site, Vulture. Saltz discusses his new book, How to Be an Artist, a guidebook for creatives. He offers insight for emerging artists on persistence, originality and self-belief. The program takes place at 3:00 p.m. at Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Tickets: $20-$50

Looking for even MORE things to do? Check out the events section of our website.

Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.