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Winging It

September 25, 1997|BOOTH MOORE

With this weekend's crop of festivals, concerts and dances, the time is right to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Friday Evening

It's been 39 years to the month since Cuban charanga group Orquesta Aragon played the Hollywood Palladium. With a new album, "Cha Cha Charanga!," and a national tour, the band is back at the legendary nightspot for one night. Promoter Albert Torres has decked the place with a 5,000-square-foot dance floor and 1,500 tables to evoke supper clubs of old (think Havana's Tropicana) so you can cha-cha with the best of them. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m. Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Standing-room-only tickets, $35, through Ticketmaster, (213) 480-3232. For table reservations, $35, call (310) 450-8770. Tickets at the door, $45.

Saturday Morning

Head out of town early to beat traffic down to San Diego and Sea World. If your energy is low, veer off the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana and stop for some sweets at Ruben's, one of Orange County's best Mexican bakeries. There you will find cinnamon-flavored coffee, delightful orejas (flaky dough "ears" covered in a sugar crust), tres leches (a rich cake made with three milks) and churros made the old-fashioned way in a kettle. 210 W. 1st St., Suites 107 and 108, (714) 571-0130. Open daily, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Wondering what Sea World has to do with Hispanic Heritage Month? In between penguin encounters, check out the park's newest attraction, Plaza del Sol, a 4,300-square-foot pavilion dedicated to Latino contributions to American culture. The pavilion also houses displays about Latino arts and culture. Sea World, Mission Bay, San Diego, Interstate 5 to Sea World Drive, (619) 226-3901 or (714) 939-6212. Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Adults, $32.95; children 3-11, $24.95.

Saturday Evening

The Hollywood Salsa and Latin Jazz Festival returns to the Hollywood Bowl for the fourth time this year. With the hot rhythms of Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Oscar D'Leon and India, the picnickers are gonna sizzle. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., (213) 850-2000, 6 p.m.

Sunday Afternoon

Children 5 to 12 and their families can learn about ancient cultures of Latin America in "Inca, Aztec, Maya and More!," a workshop at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., INCA, the Peruvian ensemble, will share the sounds and instruments of their native country. Then at 1:30 p.m., there will be a workshop about geometric patterns, sculptural forms and the depiction of animals in pre-Columbian art. Make a chocolate bowl, design a temple and hear jaguar legend stories. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 857-6000. Program included in admission price, $6 adults, $4 for seniors and students, $1 for children ages 6-17, children under 5 free.

In Long Beach, Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens, once part of the largest Spanish land grant to foot soldier Manuel Nieto, celebrates by presenting "Fiesta Cultura." This free program, noon to 4:30 p.m., will feature live music and dance and many demonstrations and workshops. Parking is at California State University Lot C (on Atherton). A shuttle bus will transport visitors to the rancho. (562) 431-3541.

While in Long Beach, visit the Museum of Latin American Art and check out the exhibition "New Worlds," a sampling of paintings and graphics by Latin American artists. The works are on loan from the Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C., 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. Through Nov. 23. (562) 437-1689.

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