The Fall 2014 Santa Ana Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival returns to W 2nd St & N Sycamore St in Downtown Santa Ana this coming Sunday. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fairs in Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd. As I describe it to others, imagine an art fair full of hipsters, but in a non-offensive way. The many local vendors set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, a perfect follow-up to Small Business Saturday that takes place this Saturday, a day prior to Patchwork Fest.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets will feature over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Check out the few music booths around the area, which will host local musicians. Visitors who get hungry can enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats.

As a FREE event open to all ages and all pets, Patchwork Fest presents a welcome opportunity to support the local community. Commuting visitors should look for parking in the neighborhood to the south. Come experience what makes Patchwork Fest a repeat success, and support local businesses while having fun this Sunday.

Lindsey Stirling performing Phantom Of The Opera at House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on April 2, 2013.

Barbeque exists all around the world in multiple forms. Most Americans visualize barbecue as Southern style, such as smoked chicken, pulled pork, ribs, tri-tip, brisket, and so on. In Mexican cuisine, grilled meats have the word asado/a in it. Korean culture has introduced the western world to Korean BBQ. Pacific islanders have graced the world with their renditions of barbecue that include short ribs and Kalua pork. Regardless of the nation of origin, people worldwide recognize the general savoriness of barbecue foods. Due to the general craving of it, some crafty people have started to learn how to utilize every piece of the meat. While some methods go to rather extreme lengths to utilize all parts of the meat (see Rocky Mountain oysters), most people prefer to consume these extraneous cuts of meat. Commonly, Southern style BBQ restaurants may serve rib tips and burnt ends. If you have yet to try either of the aforementioned, you owe it to yourself to seek it out soon, such as at Smoqued BBQ.

With a handle on what the people want, Smoqued BBQ ensures that they rarely run out of customer favorites. This BBQ restaurant in Old Towne Orange delivers classic BBQ dishes using their own recipes, while slinging out over a dozen different types of craft beers at any given moment. Their extensive food menu carries multiple variations of their signature BBQ meats, from brisket to pulled pork to tri-tip to ribs and more. Perhaps the one dish that brings customers back the most resides on their appetizers section. In the appetizers section lies the appropriately named Brisket Burnt Ends. Sure they list this in the appetizers section, and they present it in a way that multiple people can share it. However, after you bite into one of these juicy morsels, you will want the plate all to yourself. This half-pound mound of meaty goodness consists of double-smoked brisket cube ends, which they caramelize in their house BBQ sauce. For burnt ends, the pieces retain their juiciness, as the seared caramelization of the sauce on the outside seals the meat’s natural juices inside. As if the outside did not contain enough heavenly flavor, the meat itself gives a rich, hearty, beefy taste that only true grillmasters can produce.

Smoqued BBQ vows to always have the Brisket Burnt Ends available for customers to order. However, if they get slammed on any given day, they may run out by the end of the day. As a result, if you desire some top-notch burnt ends, head on over to Smoqued BBQ in Orange as early in the day as possible, and order up some burnt ends for yourself for $13. The price tag may appear steep, but once you get hooked, you may quickly overlook that.

The 2014 Long Beach Turkey Trot takes place Thanksgiving morning, this Thursday, as early as 6:30am. Spectators should expect to see thousands of runners over the course of four start times: 7am, 8am, 9am, and 10am. Participants may select to run a 5k or 10k at 7am or 8am, a 10k at 9am, and a 5k at 10am. Kids may enter a half-mile run starting around 9:10-9:15. Online registration already closed, so those still wanting to participate will have to visit the starting line at the Belmont Olympic Pool this Wednesday from 1pm til 7:45pm with the $40 registration fee. Participants may also pick up their race bib and packet during this time frame. Because of Thanksgiving, anyone can park at any metered parking spot for free, allowing for plenty of free parking, in addition to the nearby neighborhoods.

The race takes place mainly along the shores of Long Beach, ranging from Granada Beach all the way to Shoreline. The starting line begins at Bennett Ave and launches eastward before turning around at Granada Ave and running along the beach. 5k runners will turn back before Junipero Ave, while 10k runners will continue all the way to Shoreline Village Dr before turning back. The run ends on the north side of the Belmont Olympic Pool building.

Turkey Trots will occur in many places across the nation this weekend, so you have choices on which one to pick. Looking for a way to either build up metabolism or burn off your Thanksgiving feast? Check out a Turkey Trot near you, and get your body back into motion.

CH3 @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, November 26
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/187037

As they do every year, original punk band CH3 headlines a show this Wednesday night at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost just $8. No one under 21 may enter. Guests should park on Orizaba or the neighborhood across the street.

3rd Annual Guttermouth Turkey Bowl
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 26
Character’s Sports Bar, Pomona
http://gonzopresents.com/event/186304

As they do every year, Guttermouth headlines this pre-Thanksgiving show in Pomona this Wednesday. Presale tickets cost $13, while tickets at the door cost $15. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking nearby.

Long Beach Turkey Trot 5k/10k Run/Walk
6:00 am – 11:00 am, November 27
Belmont Olympic Pool, Long Beach
http://justinrudd.com/trot.html

This fun run takes place on Thanksgiving morning. Participants should pick up their bib and packet from Belmont Olympic Pool prior to that morning – see the site for schedules. Four different runs start at 7am, 8am, 9am, and 10am. The registration fee now costs $40 per person for any run. As a fun run, participants do not receive any actual prizes – only bragging rights. Participants may park in nearby beach parking lots for free until the end of the event, upon which officials will enforce the parking meters.

37th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot
6:00 am – 11:00 am, November 27
Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point
http://www.turkeytrot.com/

Another Thanksgiving fun run takes place in Dana Point. Registration costs $40 per person. As with any fun run, participants do not receive prizes for winning.

Turkey Trot Los Angeles
6:30 am – 11:00 am, November 27
Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://turkeytrot.la/

Moving from Santa Monica to Los Angeles, the Turkey Trot will combine a fair with a race, with a costume contest, turkey calling contest, potato sack races, and other fair-themed activities. Registration currently costs $35, but will increase to $40 starting Thursday.

LosCon 41
November 28-30
LAX Mariott Hotel, Los Angeles
http://loscon.org/41/

I have very little information about this event, but it has something to do with science fantasy. Approach this event at your own risk.

Hangar 24 Brewery’s Chandelle Release
10:00 am – 12:00 am, November 28
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands
http://www.facebook.com/events/828449650511767/

Hangar 24 brings back Chandelle, one of their most anticipated beers, this Black Friday. Anyone visiting the tasting room can sip on Warmer from draft, as well as take bottles of it home. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy live music, as well as food from the local mobile eatery.

Blackout Friday – No Thanks For The Taking
12:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 28
The Lexington Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/742407499183807/

A bunch of local punk rock bands will perform at this all-day concert in Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs only $5.

Goose Island Tap Takeover @ Beachwood BBQ
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, November 28
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1497827020502458/

This Friday, Goose Island will release this year’s lineup of Bourbon County beers, and Beachwood BBQ will have four variants of it available. In addition, find other Goose Island beers on tap, and enjoy some goose-inspired special menu items.

Death March @ Redwood Bar
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 28
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/364335633744079/

Get crazy in Downtown LA this Friday night at the Redwood Bar. The cover for this punk rock show costs $6. No one under 21 may enter.

Bo Huff Rockabilly Extravaganza Cavalcade of Beauty 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 29
Riverside Airport, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/499909853472683/

The Riverside Airport will have lots to do this Saturday. Visitors will find live music, pinup models, airplane rides, classic cars, vendors, and more.

The Turkey Cat
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, November 29
Los Amigos High School, Fountain Valley
http://www.facebook.com/events/347027832144710/

Go on a bike ride this Saturday afternoon. In addition to bringing your own bike, all participants must bring their own bag, helmet, and five canned foods to donate.

4th Annual We Heart Eagle Rock Block Party
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, November 29
Eagle Rock Blvd & Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock
http://wehearteaglerockblock.blogspot.com/

Several shops in Eagle Rock will participate in this local Small Business Saturday celebration with sidewalk sales and other specials. Every shop will host their own specials, and some will have public activities, such as bounce houses or arts & crafts.

Bottle Share #16
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 29
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/1487661761494630/

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.

Circus Jerks @ Loaded Hollywood
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, November 29
Loaded Hollywood, Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/856744584359693/

Check out some great local punk rock bands in Hollywood this Saturday night. The event page has yet to specify price, parking, and age information, so take all of that into consideration if traveling here.

Vintage Clothing & Textile Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, November 30
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.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 30
The Road Less Traveled, Santa Ana
http://dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show/upcoming-shows/

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at different locations: Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Those who have attended Renegade Craft Fair will view Patchwork as a hybrid of that and a traditional art fair. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. Guests should park in the neighborhood north or west of the festival.

Connected Fashion Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, November 30
Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.connectedfest.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event, several blocks within the Arts District in Downtown LA will close for visitors to experience a multitude of things to see and do. Visitors will find food, music, art, fashion, vendors, live entertainment, and more.

Tiki Bandits @ The World Famous Doll Hut
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 30
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/309682385887380/

Get your weekly fill of punk rock at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Sunday night. The cover for this show costs $6. No one under 21 may enter.

Agenda 21 @ The Redwood Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 30
The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/607711279354278/

Check out some local punk rock bands in Downtown Los Angeles this Sunday night. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Orange County continues to build its craft beer momentum with the introduction of Barley Forge Brewing. Tucked away behind The Camp in Costa Mesa in the triangle created by the 405, 55, and 73 freeways, Barley Forge had already forged a legacy of their own among Orange County’s craft beer enthusiasts. Although I had not personally heard of Barley Forge up until this month, the name easily spread out through the veins of Orange County and as far down as San Diego County during the Brewers Guild Fest. One look at their tasting room, and one will understand how this brewery has generated so much buzz prior to their grand opening this past Saturday. In stark contrast to another brewery that also had their grand opening that same day, a waltz into the Barley Forge tasting room will have you feeling like you just walked into a millionaire’s playground. I mean, just how much money went into building this masterpiece? I can safely say that the folks behind Barley Forge proved their point that they intend to stay in this industry for a very long time.

Barley Forge has brought an important craft beer presence to this neglected central county area. With only Bayhawk Ales nearby (who does not have a tasting room), folks in this neck of Orange County finally have a haven to sip on some sophistication with their pinkies held high in the air. For future updates on Barley Forge, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Who knows – they may get into something really big within the next few weeks!

The 5th Annual Nuke the Fridge Con returned to the Frank & Son Collectible Show in Rowland Heights this past Saturday. This FREE and all-ages event showcased countless forms of pop culture, reaching out to fans of nearly anything imaginable. Taking place inside a large warehouse with multiple aisles filled with vendors and booths, the Nuke the Fridge Con has all the memorabilia to satisfy any collector’s dream. From comics to video games to anime to sports, any visitor could easily find something that would interest him/her, or at the very least find the right gift for friends and/or family. In the previous years, this event had lasted two days: Saturday and Sunday. This year, it only lasted for one day due to the celebrity appearances, namely those of professional wrestling. Although I expected to see cosplay, very few visitors participated, not enough to grab any outstanding photos.

The Nuke the Fridge Con attracts thousands of visitors annually due to its free cost and amount of content. As it takes place in mid-November typically, this event makes a great opportunity to search for holiday gifts for your friends and/or family. With so much to see here, you have little reason to not go to Nuke the Fridge Con. Give them a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter to see what else they have planned. As a matter of fact, I had heard that the organizers will bring Nuke the Fridge back for an encore show in late January, so keep an eye out for it when January approaches!