MANY, MANY: The charms of the annual swing dance festival on Catalina are many, but some aren't as apparent as others. Let's start with the biggie: Catalina Island. The golf carts, the buffalo, the Zane-Grey-ness, the taffy, the historic pip of an airport, the flying fish. It's almost like the island has borrowed on several other places' charms, it has so many. (We absolutely do not want Catalina to return them, if this is the case; sorry, other places.) The other biggie? The Casino. Dancing in the big, historic ballroom. It's like 1935 in room form. And the last biggie? That place and event have rarely been as well-matched. The next swing festival Lindy Hops onto the island from Nov. 18-20.
MORE CHARMS: While we do indeed like the Casino setting of much of the festival, our favorite part is when the swingsters take to the streets. We actually did see this once, on the island, and watching pairs shimmy and flip against a beachy backdrop filled the eyes and spirit in a way that kind of surprised us. Why, we wondered? And then we stopped wondering and simply enjoyed. There will be both swinging in the streets and the ballroom, and loads of hobnobbing, at the 2011 festival. Get ticket information now, and find out about lodging, too.