Catalina Island Visitor Information
Catalina's Mad Social Whirl
For a fairly small island with a relatively small population, there's a great deal on Catalina's social calendar throughout the year. No matter when you plan to visit, there's something of social and/or cultural interest going on.
Dance Till You Drop
The Avalon Casino Ballroom is one of the largest and best example of Art-Deco design still standing - and because it is set up so nicely for dancing has such a large capacity (6,000 dancers!), it gets a lot of use throughout the year.
The Catalina Island Conservancy, the non-profit organization that manages the island, holds a black-tie ball every April in order to raise money for its efforts on behalf of their environmental efforts. This event features a local "Big Band" from the mainland, live and silent auctions and dinner, and is considered the one of the foremost of Catalina's yearly social events.
The Avalon Casino Ballroom was host to many of the great big bands of the 1930s and 40s; however, today's big bands tend to play more modern arrangements. However, at the Avalon Ball, held in May, one can attend a dance in a genuine Art Deco ballroom and dance to authentic music of the Art Deco period. The band is LA's own Mora's Modern Rhythmists, a "jazz collegium" that faithfully reproduces the sounds of the late 1920s and early 30s with arrangements from the period. This annual event is sponsored by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.
Eat Till You Pop
One can work up quite an appetite ballroom dancing, and fortunately, there are a number of food-themed events in and around Avalon throughout the year.
Every April on Earth Day, the Catalina Conservancy sponsors an event that features local organic foods as well as demonstrations and workshops on ecologically-friendly living. Admission fee includes admission to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden.
May is the annual Taste Around of Avalon. Sponsored by the Catalina Chamber of Commerce, this is an opportunity for people to sample dishes from the best restaurants in and around Avalon; participants are invited to vote for their favorite food and drink as chefs compete for the title "Taste of the Year."