One of the most talked-about annual events in Orange County, the Orange International Street Fair returns to the streets of Old Town Orange this Labor Day weekend. Free to attend and open to all ages, thousands of people gather on the streets to see and experience everything: food, drinks, music, dance, arts & crafts, merchandise, and more. From the Orange Circle at the intersection of Chapman & Glassell, four roads radiate out, each with different themed “streets” where guests can experience a particular culture or region from the world.

This year, the organizers have shuffled the deck as far as the layout goes. In previous years, visitors could experience culture from any of twelve different themed sections at this fair: Italian, Japan, Irish, Greek, English, Swiss, Denmark, Polynesian, Norwegian, German, American, and Mexican. Every section has its own food, drinks, vendors, entertainment, and activities. To add variety, the cultural sections now have new homes within the street fair area.

Hopefully returning visitors take note of this and do not get lost when looking for certain things!

The Orange International Street Fair starts TONIGHT at 5pm, while the fair starts at 10am the next two days: Saturday and Sunday. The fair ends at 10pm every night. The fair costs nothing to enter, and anyone can enter or leave at will. All visitors wanting to eat, drink, or purchase anything else from the participating vendors should bring cash, as many of the vendors will not accept other forms of payment. Most of the local businesses will remain open for regular business hours, but they will usually operate differently to accommodate for the increased foot traffic. Any visitor wanting to drink must bring their ID to show proof of age, and keep all drinks within the fair area. The fair takes place outdoors on the busy streets of Old Town Orange, so dress for warm weather, and apply sunscreen if visiting during the day. First-time visitors may not have an easy time finding parking. Visitors should look for parking the neighborhoods far from the site, and prepare to walk up to a mile or more to reach the fair. Try your luck at finding parking anywhere within the square mile enclosed by Walnut Ave, Cambridge St, La Veta Ave, and Batavia St. Aside from that, all other details should unravel as you stroll towards the fair and wiggle your way through the massive crowds. Though you may lose yourself in this crowd, you may find yourself having so much fun that the crowd will guide you to a delightful and pleasant visit.

Once upon a time, some brave souls collaborated together to transform water into beer. They received a blessing from the goddess Ninkasi to acquire the knowledge to take the bounty of the earth, and extract from it the delicious refreshing beverage we now know as beer. I may not possess the ability to tell elaborate stories, but I sure can recall information like no tomorrow. The history of beer dates back so long ago nobody knows for sure when beer first came into existence. Since then, the thousands of variations of beer have branched out heavily, based on the numerous amounts of ingredients that can go into beer, as well as regional variances. You can even take plants grown out of your own backyard and turn that into beer, and the clever geniuses behind the eponymous Dr. Strangematter delved straight into that idea.

For those planning to attend the 5th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha in less than ten days from now, I have awesome news for you. Iron Fist Brewing and Bottle Logic Brewing have teamed up to work on a special collaboration beer that they plan to release this week just before this year’s OC Brew Ha Ha. Known to the world as Dr. Strangematter, this collaborative imperial saison contains pink peppercorns and holy basil grown in the garden of Bottle Logic’s head brewer, Kyle Manns, and caramelized wild flower honey. Subtle hints of citrus and tropical fruits derive from New Zealand Wakatu and Wai-Iti hops used in the brewing process. Bottle Logic will age 30 barrels of this brew in chardonnay barrels, while Iron Fist will receive 60 kegs of the non-aged brew.

Looking forward to tasting this amazing brew? Starting TODAY, you can bag your own Dr. Strangematter from the Bottle Logic tasting room in Anaheim, no limit! You can bet that this brew will pour during the inaugural OC Brew Ha Ha next weekend, but until then, you can taste it on tap at Pizza Port in San Clemente starting this Saturday evening, or at Brü Grill in Lake Forest starting next Wednesday evening. Trust me, you will not want to miss this unbelievably smooth and sweet brew that only comes to us once in a lifetime.

Back again for their third year in a row, the Fullerton Arborteum hosted their 3rd Annual Brews, Blues, N’ BBQ Festival this past Saturday evening. As the name suggests, this event combines blues music, craft beer, and BBQ all into one locale. The $45 admission included a souvenir pint glass, ten 4-oz beer tasters, free parking, and live blues music. A total of 13 breweries attended to serve their brews, plus a Straub collective that consisted of three brands. A local winery also made their presence felt.

All of the breweries enclosed the main seating area, complete with a small stage for the live music. All attendees received a souvenir pint glass, but only received ten 4oz tasters with admission. As a result, all attendees walked away from each booth with their glass only a quarter filled.

For an event called Brews, Blues, N’ BBQ, one would expect to find much of all those things, no? We found plenty of beer and blues music, but not nearly enough BBQ. Only two food vendors served up food: Big B’s Barbecue, a local dive bar & grill, and Knowlwood, an Orange County chain restaurant. Everyone already knew that they had to pay a separate price for the food, since admission clearly stated that it did not include food. However, everyone expected more options overall. The prices also appeared inflated for the event, such as $10 for a chili dog, costing significantly more than even gourmet food truck prices.

Lack of food aside, nobody complained about the beer. By the end of the night, most of the breweries had plenty of beer left, and started pouring more than the stated four ounces.

I doubt anyone complained about the steadily increasing beer pours as the night progressed.

Considering that I missed the first two years of this event, I had high hopes for this beer festival coming into this weekend. Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations simply due to the lack of food options. For a small festival like this that has less than 20 breweries, I would expect at least four different food vendors, and greater food variety. What about people who do not eat meat, or have certain food allergies, such as gluten? Next year, I hope to see more food added so that the BBQ part of the name deserves to remain in the name of the event.

To commemorate the release to their latest album, The Mad Caddies went on tour starting last week that runs throughout North America, and that tour started off in Southern California. While some shows will see larger crowds than others, the Mad Caddies generally draws in their true fans, making for a fun show with devoted fans in attendance. I attended the show at M15 in Corona last Friday night, which originally had three other bands playing prior to Mad Caddies. However, two of the bands, Slow Children and Skunkdub, mysteriously dropped out of the lineup, and I really wanted to see Slow Children too. Instead, two bands got replaced by one, the band that opened the night.

Speaking of the opening band, enter Penetrators. They made it clear that their band name does not contain the word “The” to prevent confusion. Calling them punk seems a bit of a stretch, since they have a very poppy sound to them. At times, their music would remind me of The Misfits, but the overall pop feeling killed any similarity to The Misfits.

Deviating further away from the last band’s genre, we have The Infamous They. This band out of Temecula does not label themselves as any particular genre. Instead, they mix up genres and end up sounding like a lounge rock band. This amalgam of sounds makes them fit the role of an opening band perfectly, which does not resonate well with anyone who wants to grow big.

After a 30-minute setup, the Mad Caddies finally entered the room to adoring fans. Their set list has remained somewhat identical to their previous shows, with songs 2-8, 10-12, 14, and 16-19 in the same order as other shows they have played. For the other spots, the Mad Caddies have added in some songs from their new album, Dirty Rice. The room remained relatively calm the entire time aside from the pit, as much of the audience behaved and stayed put, rather than bounce around frantically. They did a great job of transitioning between songs, not leaving too much downtime between groups of songs. This set included lots of fan favorites, like Leavin’, Tired Bones, State of Mind, Monkeys, Drinkin’ For 11, and more. Although they could not play all of the fan favorites like Souls For Sale or Silence, they still generated limitless energy from the crowd, and attracted a handful of people to this show.

  1. Shot In The Dark
  2. Backyard
  3. Leavin’
  4. Without You
  5. Tired Bones
  6. Mary Melody
  7. Lay Your Head Down
  8. State Of Mind
  9. Down And Out
  10. Monkeys
  11. Weird Beard
  12. Dub (instrumental)
  13. Brand New Scar
  14. Coyote
  15. Shoot Out The Lights
  16. Drinkin’ For 11
  17. Contraband
  18. No Hope
  19. Distress

The Mad Caddies currently tour across North America, so check out their Facebook page for a list of upcoming tour dates, and remember to give their page a Like so that you can stay up-to-date with all things Caddies.

Pride of cHops – Bottle Release
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 26
Beachwood Brewing, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1459085871019948/

This marvelously hoppy and aromatic IPA contains a blend of Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, and Mosaic hops. Come to Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach this Tuesday evening to purchase a bottle of this limited release for $8 per bottle.

Long Beach Indie Film Festival
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 27
10:00 am – 12:00 am, August 28-29
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 30
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 31
Cinemark at the Pike Theatres, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachindie.com/

Showcasing global diversity through film, television, and digital media, this international film festival takes place all this week in Downtown Long Beach. Screening more than 100 international & domestic films, this event brings together established & aspiring filmmakers, scholars, creative professionals, and movie lovers from around the globe. Ticket prices vary depending on the movie, while a few other events exist, such as an opening night party happening at Club Sevilla.

Indycar Fan Appreciation Party
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 28
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands
http://hangar24brewery.com/events-admin/?p=3259

Race fans will want to stop by Hangar 24 in Redlands this Thursday night to see a real Indycar, as well as meet the driver. In addition, visitors can purchase discounted tickets to the upcoming Indycar race.

Los Angeles Times: The TASTE
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 29-31
Paramount Pictures Studios, Hollywood
http://events.latimes.com/taste/

Los Angeles Times presents The TASTE, a series of food-based events at Paramount Pictures Studios. Each event will feature unlimited food & drink tastings from over 40 of LA’s top restaurants, along with live cooking & mixology demonstrations, wine seminars, and panel discussions. Tickets vary in price depending on the event attended, starting at $100.

2014 E Hula Mau
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 29
8:00 am – 12:00 am, August 30-31
Terrace Theater @ the Long Beach Convention Center
http://www.ehulamau.org/

The annual E Hula Mau returns to Long Beach to exhibit various Pacific Islander performances, arts & crafts, food, vendors, and more. The actual fest requires no admission, while spectating the competitions requires a ticket purchase. Nearby parking structures east of Pine Avenue between 3rd & 6th Streets provide free parking for up to two hours.

LA County Fair – Opening Day
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 29
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.lacountyfair.com/

Your local fair will open this Friday at the Fairplex in Pomona. If you missed the OC Fair, you will not want to miss the LA County Fair. Ticket prices range from free up to $17, but stores like Walgreens and Costco sell discounted ticket packages.

Orange International Street Fair
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 29
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 30-31
Streets of Old Town Orange
http://www.orangestreetfair.org/

One of the grandest events to grace Orange County, the annual OISF returns this weekend to the streets of Old Town Orange. Completely free to attend and open to all ages, the OISF brings together regions of the world and their food, drinks, merchandise, dance, music, and so much more. The four roads radiating from the Orange Circle each contain 3-4 themed “Streets” based on a region of the world. This year, the organizers have shifted. You have never seen a street party this huge – trust me.

Druglords Of The Avenues @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 29
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/248779598645648/

Get your weekly fill of punk rock at this show this Friday night at the World Famous Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

3rd Annual Long Beach Psyclone Weekender
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 29-31
Seaport Marina Hotel, Long Beach
http://www.lbpsyclone.com/

Lots of psychobilly bands will invade Long Beach this weekend for this annual rockabilly festival. Live music will go on all weekend, and other events will circulate around town to coincide with this festival too, such as BBQ/pool parties, brunches, bus rides, and more. Find tickets for sale at select retailers, or purchase them online. Friday night costs $15, the weekend costs $35 per day, and the full weekend pass costs $80.

Fiesta Hermosa
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 30 – September 1
Downtown Hermosa Beach
http://fiestahermosa.net/

Fiesta Hermosa returns to the streets of Downtown Hermosa Beach this weekend. Free to park and attend, this street fair will have food, drinks, music, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more. You cannot park AT the event – for those driving, you must park at the Northrop Grumman Building at Marine & Aviation in Redondo Beach, and a free shuttle will carry you to and from the fest and parking lot.

Long Beach Greek Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 30 – September 1
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Long Beach
http://www.lbgreekfest.org/

At this Greek Festival, you will find Greek foods & desserts, drinks, dancers, music, games, rides, arts & crafts, vendors, exhibits, and more. CSULB provides free parking and shuttle rides. Print the voucher from the website to waive the admission fee.

Bottle Share #15
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 30
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/319862354844892/

Brew your own beer? Got an interesting craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

Punk Rock Luau #4
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 30
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/675716699175015/

Don your flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts to this daytime punk rock show at the World Famous Doll Hut this Saturday. The cover for this show costs $7, or $5 if you wear a Hawaiian shirt. No one under 21 may enter.

Pacific Plate Brewing’s 1st Anniversary Ale Release & Car Show
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 30
Pacific Plate Brewing, Monrovia
http://www.facebook.com/events/485387501564661/

Pacific Plate Brewing turns a year old this week, and to celebrate, they will release a special brew to commemorate the occasion. In addition, check out all the classic cars on display outside their tasting room. Visitors of all ages pay no cover to visit the tasting room or the car show.

2nd Annual East LA Zombie Walk’n
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 30
Legion Comics, East Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1639245006301431/

Get a head-start on Halloween with this free zombie-themed all-ages event this Saturday in East LA. Starting at 2pm, find makeup artists, vendors, food trucks, live music, and more at Legion Comics in East LA. The actual zombie walk will commence at 7pm.

D.I.Y. Music & Fashion Fest 2014
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 30
The Glass House, Pomona
http://bricktoyaface.com/

Check out this all-ages music & art fest this Saturday night in Pomona. Admission costs $12 presale and $17 at the door.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Art Show
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 30
A Shop Called Quest, Claremont
http://www.facebook.com/events/1491069424470307/

Free for all ages, fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will not want to miss this art show this Saturday night in Claremont.

Nothing To Live For – East LA Punk Show
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 30
Sabotage Tattoos, East Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1484400145135599/

This all-ages punk show in East LA costs only $4 to attend.

Tartar Control @ 13th Frame Lounge
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 30
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra
http://www.facebook.com/events/1429069654032189/

Let out some aggression at this all-ages punk show this Saturday night in La Habra. The cover for this show costs $8.

He Who Cannot Be Named @ The Redwood Bar
9:30 pm – 12:30 am, August 30
The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1446499825624955/

Rock out at the Redwood Bar in Downtown LA this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may attend.

Vintage Clothing & Textile Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, August 31
The Pickwick Gardens, Burbank
http://www.caskeylees.com/Vintage/Vintage.html

This expo features over 65 vendors selling their antique textiles, vintage clothes, accessories, and more for attendees to exhibit and purchase. Admission costs $8 per person and comes with free parking.

Lakewood’s premier microbrewery turned a year old last week, and to celebrate, they threw a bash on Saturday where they released several new brews to the public. In addition, they had three food vendors visiting to serve food, plus live music all day. Along the back edge of Long Beach Airport lies a track of industrial buildings, of which Timeless Pints Brewing Company sits nestled at the back of one of the parking lots. Located between Signal Hill, Bixby Knolls, and the heart of Lakewood, Timeless Pints has found a home in the boot of Lakewood. This new microbrewery brings a necessary craft beer presence to the 562 area, a region dominated by tons of craft beer restaurants and bars, but lacking in actual breweries, save for a few brewpubs (Beachwood Brewing and Belmont Brewing qualify as brewpubs, not microbreweries). Certain areas in the greater Los Angeles area contain a greater density of breweries, such as the Anaheim-Fullerton-Orange triangle, the South Bay, and the San Gabriel Valley. However, the entire middle section between Los Angeles and Orange County lacks any clusters of breweries. The introduction of Timeless Pints to this region hopes to shatter that notion.

Timeless Pints offers a standard selection of beer varieties, as far as microbreweries in Southern California go. Any visitor (21 or over, of course) can snag a 2oz/taster flight of the first five beers on their list for just $5, which consists of a wit, blond, amber, stout, and pale ale. Going further down their beer list, we find the bolder stuff, such as some IPA varieties, a Belgian, dark beers, and seasonal beers. Although not immediately present in the tasting room, Timeless Pints does have barrels stashed away in the production area, meaning that they intend to delve into stronger beers in the future. For a brewery that just opened late July last year, Timeless Pints has created a microbrewery oasis for craft beer fans in an area where people never imagined finding such a place. Give them a Like on Facebook, and give them a Follow on Twitter for all the news on this brewery serving the 562 area.

How does a musician celebrate turning 21? By headlining their own show, of course! Slow Children‘s drummer Justus turned 21 last week, and on Saturday night, they headlined a local all-ages punk show at Maya’s Cafe in Home Gardens. Although the show only cost $5 to get in, the place certainly felt like it had seen better days, as the acoustics sounded rather bad, and the place does not have air conditioning, making for a very heated space to stand in. With the sound quality that low, one could not accurately absorb the bands’ music unless you already have heard them perform.

Starting off the night at 8:15pm, Pull Punch Pray opened to an instant circle pit. For a band that has no standardized internet presence, they sure brought their own old school presence with their decent fan base to this show. Although I have not heard of these guys before, nearly everyone present already knew what to expect. Their original hardcore sound lends very well to the hardcore punk genre, all leading up to their cover of I Love Livin’ In The City.

Next up, The Dogs played their grity set. Described as Riverside Happy Punk, this band with no internet presence played a solid, consistent set. They prefer not to muck around between songs, and jump right into the next while minimizing transitions. Despite this, they still played longer than half an hour, longer than any of the other bands of the night.

Before the headliner could go on, Heartless Folk played their punk set. Straight out of Berkeley, this young punk band currently remains on the road touring through who knows where. They went down to San Diego last week, and last mentioned their location in Oregon. But anyways, they played their set fast and direct, with no bells or whistles. They set the stage perfectly for the night’s headliner. They also bought a cake for Justus!

As the night’s headliner, everyone came into an already cramped and hot room for Slow Children. The crowd wasted no time occupying the space directly in front of the band. In a small venue like this, circle pits cannot occur naturally, so instead, the crowd decided to throw themselves onto the stage, which meant onto the band. Slow Children played a nice, hard set consisting of songs from their current album, such as Velvet Gloves, Mind Of My Own, plus many other of their classic songs. Listening to their studio songs do them no justice, as they sound infinitely much better in person. The screams plus the distorting song tempos make for an unforgettable performance that deserves a larger stage.

Want to see more of Slow Children? Give them a Like on Facebook (linked at the top of this post) to see where they will play next, such as tomorrow night in Corona.