Not one to shy away from anything food-related (and free), I decided to visit the 2nd Annual Vegan Faire at Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim this past Saturday afternoon. Hosted by The Healthy Junk, this free and all-ages outdoor event brought the vegan community together for a day of vegan eats, vegan drinks, music, activities, and more. Visitors could snag samples of various things, especially drinks. Visitors could also view demos of crossfit, karate, and zumba. Other than that, this fair mainly set out to spread the vegan propaganda, what with the signs attempting to dispel myths about veganism. Non-vegan visitors would likely not find much to do here, other than try all the samples around. While a Vegan Faire has all the right tools to end up a successful hit, it falls short with lack of content.

The 2017 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival returns to Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach this weekend. This annual race brings teams from across the world here to compete and race their dragon boats against each other, eventually winning the tournament’s grand prize following the finals on Sunday afternoon. Registration to participate in the races closed a while ago, but spectators of all ages may still attend and watch the races for free. Although this festival appears as an event for the participants only, the festival features a handful of things to do that non-racers will also enjoy.

As mentioned above, this festival features other activities besides the racing that non-racers will enjoy. A tent in the parking lot will house a small stage for traditional Chinese performances, such as balancing acts, music, dancing, martial arts, and more. Nearby this tent, all attendees will find the vendor village, complete with booths selling food, drinks, cold treats, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more.

The hundreds of teams set up their stations along Paoli Way, past the vendor village. Strolling down Paoli Way allows everyone a glimpse into the areas of the teams, but also allows spectators to walk down to the shore and watch the races, which all starts at the north end of Marine Stadium.

With everything that the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival has to offer, everyone comes here mainly to watch the races. However, unlike most water-based races, dragon boats involve more than simply your sight. Any sound can shake the air, but a dragon boat team shakes the heart! The combination of the drummer and paddlers working in unity really gets your heart pounding, similar to the feel of a NASCAR race or the Long Beach Grand Prix. When a race actually starts, spectators simply hear drumming, the drummer shouting commands at the paddlers, the paddlers chanting, and the sweep retorting the commands. One cannot help but get excited and cheer on a team, despite not knowing which teams to cheer for!

The Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival runs on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, providing ample time to attend. On both days, the main festival area opens at 9am and runs until 6pm. The actual races follow their own schedule, so please refer to the website, linked above, for the race schedule. Spectators can find plenty of free street parking on Naples Island, Belmont Park, or Belmont Shore – do not attempt to park in the Marine Stadium parking lot, as that entrance will remain closed to the festival goers. Find some time this weekend to bring your friends, family, and pets down to watch these races – as one of the world’s grandest dragon boat races, you ought to catch a dragon boat race in all its glory.

2017 LA Restaurant Week
July 14-28
Greater Los Angeles Area
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

Hundreds of restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area will participate in this 15-day feast. All participating restaurants will offer either discounts on select items, or prix-fixe menus.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Presented by Crunchyroll
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 26
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana
http://thefridacinema.org/event/the-ancient-magus-bride-presented-by-cruncyroll/

A highly-anticipated anime movie will screen one time this week in Santa Ana before its release. Admission to this screening costs $15 per person.

Beachwood Pint Nite
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 27
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia
http://www.meatupbbq.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/422743131442021/

Meat Up BBQ brings back their monthly pint nite this Thursday night. Buy a beer, and keep the glass while supplies last.

10th Annual Supergirl Surf Pro
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 28-30
Oceanside Pier, Oceanside
http://supergirlpro.com/

Over a hundreds of the world’s top women surfers will compete this weekend in Oceanside. Visitors will also find various demos, vendors, booths, and entertainment all weekend at this free and all-ages event.

Nagoya Fair
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, July 28-30
Mitsuwa Marketplace, Torrance
http://www.mitsuwa.com/event/nagoya-fair/

Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance will have a free and all-ages event all this weekend. Visitors will get to experience a taste of Nagoya culture with unique food and entertainment.

Urban Hive Market
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 28
The Pike Outlets, Long Beach
http://www.urbanhivemarket.com/

Free to attend for all ages, a night market containing dozens of vendors takes place in Downtown Long Beach every fourth Friday night.

24th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 28
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 29-30
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/

Indulge in crawfish, beignets, drinks, and other New Orleans eats this weekend in Long Beach. In addition to all the food, attendees will find a TV lounge, dance contests, live music, souvenir photos, and more. Entry to this all-ages festival cost $13 presale and $17 at the gate for adults, while kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Adding a two-pound crawfish feast will cost $28 presale and $38 at the gate. Adding a three-pound crawfish feast will cost $35 presale and $48 at the gate. The parking lots across the street charge for use – park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

27th Annual Taste of Yorba Linda
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 28
Yorba Linda Community Center, Yorba Linda
http://www.yorbalindachamber.org/

Sample the best of food & drinks in Yorba Linda this Friday evening. For $55 presale or $75 at the door, guests get treated to a night of unlimited food tastings plus two drink tickets good for beer or wine. Guests may reserve a table for ten for $100.

6th Annual LUCKYRICE Feast
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 28
Vibiana, Los Angeles
http://luckyrice.com/event/los-angeles-feast-4/

Join in on this night of Asian-style food tastings and cocktail sips this Friday night in Downtown LA. General admission costs $88 and starts at 8pm, while early admission costs $150 and starts at 7pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and cocktail tastings while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Every Time I Die: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 28, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 29, The Wiltern, Koreatown, Los Angeles
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 30, The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://everytimeidie.net/

Post-hardcore band Every Time I Die currently tours across the nation, and that tour will swing through Southern California this week. Ticket prices to these all-ages shows vary in price, so check with the venue for prices.

Late Night Street Eats
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 28
Kaya Street Kitchen, Beverly Grove, Los Angeles
http://kayastreetkitchen.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1889577004701407/

A popup night market will take place near West Hollywood this Friday night. Free to attend for all ages, visitors will find dozens of local food vendors showcasing their signature goods.

Ten Years of Tease
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 28
Harvelle’s, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

The Dirty Little Secrets Burlesque troupe will perform an anniversary show this Friday night in Long Beach. General admission costs $10. If you want seating, those admission prices will cost more. No one under 21 may attend.

2017 US Open of Surfing
July 29 – August 6
Huntington Beach, south of the pier
http://www.usopenofsurfing.com/

This week-long competition takes place on the shore south of Huntington Beach Pier. Come see professional and amateur surfers compete to take a spot for the ASP World Tour. Visitors will also find skateboarding demos and live music all week. Completely free to attend, this weekend will see thousands of spectators on the beach for the US Open. Expect heavy traffic all week. Try to find parking in the neighborhoods, but prepare to walk a long distance if choosing to park in neighborhoods, since the neighborhoods closer to the beach will remain full all week.

12th Annual Unleashed by Petco Imperial Beach Surf Dog
8:00 am – 3:00 pm, July 29
Imperial Beach Pier, Imperial Beach, San Diego
http://surfcitysurfdog.com/

Catch a weekend of surfing and dogs this weekend in Imperial Beach. Various events will take place throughout the day, with a few taking place on Sunday as well. Events vary in price, so check the website for a price for each individual event.

Adventure Hunt – Huntington Beach
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 29
Huntington Beach
http://adventurehunt.co/products/huntington-beach

Go on a scavenger hunt all around Huntington Beach this Saturday and race against others to compete for prizes. Registration starts at $49, and the more you pay, the more advantages you get.

28th Annual AVCC People’s Choice Car Sho[sic]
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 29
Grand Avenue, Arroyo Grande
http://www.arroyovalleycarclub.org/

Check out a free and all-ages car show up the coast of California this Saturday afternoon.

Long Beach Dragonboat Fest 2017
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 29-30
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.lbdragonboat.com/

Come watch numerous teams race Dragonboats in Marine Stadium, with the finals on Sunday. Expect to see Chinese traditional art demonstrations, Chinese Acrobats, traditional dance, hip hop, music and martial arts performances. Spectators may attend and watch for free.

Belmont Shore Summer Sidewalk Sale
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 29-30
Along 2nd Street, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/sidewalk-sale/

Various shops in Belmont Shore will offer sales on their items. Many shops will also place their items out on the sidewalk for people to browse as they walk by.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Northridge Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, July 29
Northridge Fashion Center, Northridge
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/244242902733826/

SoCal Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss this rare opportunity to experience the Hello Kitty Cafe. This weekend, visitors will enjoy macarons, minicakes, and other Hello Kitty treats not found anywhere else.

HessFest 2017
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 29
Mike Hess Brewing, North Park, San Diego
http://www.mikehessbrewing.com/

Hess Brewing will celebrate their seventh anniversary with an afternoon beer tasting event this Saturday at their tasting room in North Park, San Diego. Hess Brewing will pour many of their beers plus some rare and exclusive beers just for this event, and other local breweries will make an appearance to serve their refreshing brews as well. General admission costs $45, starts at 12:30pm, and includes unlimited beer tasters and food samples. VIP admission costs $60, starts at 11am, and also provides access to VIP-only beers. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters for the duration of the event while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

9th Annual Vista BBQ Classic
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 29
Historic Downtown Vista, Vista
http://www.vistabbqclassic.com/

A free and all-ages street fair and barbecue competition returns to Vista this Saturday afternoon. Visitors can check out dozens of vendors, food booths, rides, games, entertainment, and more.

Midsummer Scream 2017
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 29-30
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://midsummerscream.org/

A horror and Halloween expo comes to Long Beach this weekend, filled with vendors, entertainment, activities, and more. Tickets range from $25 to $75.

4th Annual Love Long Beach Festival
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, July 29-30
Shoreline Aquatic Park, Long Beach
http://lovelongbeachcelebration.com/

This FREE and all-ages event will feature a plethora of family-fun things to do at the beach. Expect to find sports, games, arts & crafts, food, drinks, beer & wine garden, and more. On Saturday night, catch a fire show down on the beach as well.

1st Annual North Long Beach Tomato Festival
11:00 am – 1:00 pm, July 29
North Long Beach Victory Garden, Long Beach
http://www.insidedistrict9.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1458023390924122/

At this free and all-ages event in North Long Beach, sample some locally-grown tomatoes, partake in arts & crafts, and browse the goods of local vendors.

LMU’s 2nd Annual BeerFest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, July 29
Hannon Field @ Loyola Marymount University, Westchester, Los Angeles
http://alumnicommunity.lmu.edu/s/1013/lmu16/interior.aspx?sid=1013&gid=1&pgid=3616&cid=5455&ecid=5455&crid=0&calpgid=61&calcid=919

LMU will bring back their beer festival this Saturday afternoon to their campus in Westchester. General admission costs $50 and starts at 1pm. VIP admission costs $70, starts at 12pm, and includes an event t-shirt and pretzel necklace. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters from over a dozen participating breweries while supplies last. Attendees should bring cash for parking and food, and dress appropriately for hot weather. No one under 21 may attend.

Summer Fun Feast
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 29
King Harbor Brewing, Redondo Beach
http://www.kingharborbrewing.com/event/summer-fest-cornhole-tourney/

Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing will host a cornhole tournament this Saturday afternoon, and they will also serve up a pig roast. Entry into the tournament costs $25 per person. All other visitors can attend for free – they will pay for food and drinks as they go.

Puente Community Arts Festival
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 29
Puente Learning Center, Boyle Heights
http://www.puente.org/event/community-arts-festival/

This free and all-ages event will have art, music, food, crafts, entertainment, demos, and more.

Punk Invasion 2K17
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 29
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/1326000534152453/

An all-day all-ages punk concert comes to Santa Ana this Saturday. Tickets to this concert cost $35.

6th Annual Taste of Summer
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 29
The Victorian, Santa Monica
http://www.fulfillment.org/tasteofsummer

Mix and mingle with rich people at this luxurious tasting event in Santa Monica this Saturday evening. Admission costs $85 presale or $150 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Pinup Prom 2017
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 29
Pinup Girl Boutique, Burbank
http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/807320619436888/

Free to attend for all ages, a pinup-themed prom event will take place in Burbank this Saturday night.

Skylent Disco
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 29
Skyspace LA, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/skylent-disco

A big dance party will take place above Downtown LA this Saturday night. Admission costs $30 presale or $35 at the door, and grants you access to the dance floor, complimentary beverages, glow sticks, and one ride on the slide above Downtown LA. No one under 21 may attend.

5th Annual North Pacific Beach Sip ‘N Stroll
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 30
Cass St, Pacific Beach, San Diego
http://www.sipnstrollpb.com/

Discover all the local shops and restaurants in North Pacific beach at this free street fair this Sunday afternoon. Cass St will close to traffic to allow visitors to roam the street and check out all of the booths, vendors, food, drinks, merchandise, games, rides, and more.

Swiss Fair 2017
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 30
Swiss Park, Whittier
http://www.swisspark.la/

The Annual Swiss Fair returns to Swiss Park in Whittier this Sunday. Guests of all ages will find Swiss food, drinks, desserts, vendors, dance, music, cheese tastings, games, and more. Entry costs $5, which includes parking.

To Live And Dine In L.A.
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, July 30
Fairmont Miramar, Santa Monica
http://modernluxury.com/los-angeles/

A food & alcohol tasting event will take place this Sunday evening in Santa Monica. The $95 admission gets you in to enjoy unlimited food and drink samples for the duration of the event while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

D.I. performing Johnny’s Got A Problem at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 16, 2013.

Opening weekend of the annual Orange County Fair took place this past weekend. As it does every year, the OC Fair this runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 14 with the final day on August 13. The fairgrounds open 12pm until 12am on weekdays, and 10am to 12am on weekends. Every year, a new food gets introduced, such as deep-fried Kool Aid, donut cheeseburgers, or the Pepsi Dog. This year, the OC Fair has delivered yet again with a slew of new foods. Lots of the new items have piqued the interests of many, but only one truly caught my eye instantly – the Unicorn Leg. They call it that due to the rarity of the pig that it comes from, but this Unicorn Leg basically represents an entire pork leg with meat all around the bone. Basically, you get five pounds of meat on a stick. That weight does not include the bone, so the entire thing weighs more than five pounds. If you order one, you may struggle to hold it with one hand! This massive plate of meat will set you back $29, and with all that meat, I highly advise sharing it with friends or family.

Watch my visit to this year’s OC Fair below, as I walk through the fairgrounds and finally lay claim to the fabled Unicorn Leg. If it does not play, click here to watch the video.

The 39th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival returned to Alondra Park in Lawndale this past weekend. Always taking place on the third weekend of July, this free and all-ages, this Hawaiian/Polynesian cultural fair contained numerous cultural vendors, food, treats, games, music, dance, entertainment, and more. Most of the action revolved around the main stage, where they had the music, dance, speakers, occasional comedians, actors, and more. Spread throughout the park, visitors could stroll through the dozens of vendors selling things from accessories, apparel, house goods, food, treats, trinkets, souvenirs, and beyond. At the left side of the event space, visitors found the food stalls plus the games for the children to win toys at. Due to the small size of the park, the organizers had to fit everything in to a tight space, meaning that visitors could stroll through the entire festival within ten minutes or so. Regardless, anyone who visited surely had a great time checking out all the different cultural goods around.

The 2017 South Bay Greek Festival returned this past weekend to St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. This festival normally contains a lot more to it, such as rides, another stage, and church tours. Due to construction on the property, the organizers could not have any of that this year, so we will have to wait until next year to check those out. However, we still got to enjoy lots of yummy Greek food as they always serve up. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

2017 LA Restaurant Week
July 14-28
Greater Los Angeles Area
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

Hundreds of restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area will participate in this 15-day feast. All participating restaurants will offer either discounts on select items, or prix-fixe menus.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, July 19-20
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore
http://www.belmontshore.org/stroll-savor/

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through August on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street. Buy tickets presale now at Olives Gourmet, La Strada, We Olive, Mail Boxes etc. & Sweet Jill’s, or purchase tickets in front of CHASE BANK during the event.

3rd Annual Stars Of Pinot
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, July 19
Sofitel LA, Beverly Hills
http://www.winela.com/starsofpinot

A wine tasting gala comes to Beverly Hills this Wednesday evening. Admission comes at three separate prices. Silver admission costs $85 and starts at 7:00pm while gold admission costs $175 and starts at 6:00pm -both of these admission types receive unlimited wine samples and appetizers while supplies last. VIP admission costs $210, starts at 5:30pm, and also includes a panel, dinner buffet, and gift bag. No one under 21 may attend.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 19
The Rookery, Pomona
http://rookeryalehouse.com/Events.html

Share your favorite craft beer with other craft beer enthusiasts at this bottle share this Wednesday night in Downtown Pomona. Bring in a 750ml bottle of craft beer and order at least $10 of food in order to participate. Guests can find plenty of free parking in the area, and can avoid paying for parking entirely.

Hop-Con 5.0
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 19
Stone Brewing World Bistro, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.stonebrewing.com/hopcon

Stone Bistro in Liberty Station will shut down this Wednesday night for this festival that will include lots of beers, cask ales, and free-play arcade games. General admission costs $75. No one under 21 may attend.

AVP Hermosa Beach Open
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 20-23
Hermosa Beach Pier, Hermosa Beach
http://avp.com/event/avp-hermosa-beach-open/

Come watch some of the world’s top beach volleyball players compete this weekend in Hermosa Beach. Visitors of all ages may attend the matches for free, but seats come at a fee.

Venice Art Crawl
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 20
Windward Ave Circle, Venice
http://www.veniceartcrawl.com/

Venice gets their own free and all-ages art walk this week, complete with a plethora of exhibits on display.

Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 20-21
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, July 22
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 23
Honda Center, Anaheim
http://www.marveluniverselive.com/tickets/details/112305

Basically, a live-action Marvel movie with play out on stage in Anaheim this weekend. Tickets to this all-ages show start at $30.

Dead Kennedys – Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 20, The Echoplex, Echo Park
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 21, Brick By Brick, Linda Vista, San Diego
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 22, House of Blues, Anaheim
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 23, Borderline Bar & Grill, Thousand Oaks
http://www.deadkennedys.com/

Legendary punk rock band Dead Kennedys will headline a handful of shows in Southern California this week. The prices and age limits vary by location, so check with the venue for information.

1st Annual Ska-Mic Con
11:00 am – 1:00 am, July 21-22
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://www.skamiccon.com/

Dozens of ska bands will perform at this all-ages concert in Anaheim this weekend. Single-day admission costs $40, while two-day admission costs $65. These only grant you entry to the concert, and do not include parking, food, or drinks. VIP admission costs $80 and grants access to both days, a private bar, the restaurant’s menu, and the after party. No one under 21 may purchase the VIP admission.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 21-23
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America returns to Santa Anita Park this weekend. For just $3 to enter, this flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more.

2017 FYF Fest
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 21
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 22-23
Exposition Park, Los Angeles
http://fyffest.com/

FYF Fest really requires no other description. If you have heard of or attended Coachella, FYF Fest will feel similar. This three-day concert will feature the largest names in music. Surprisingly, tickets have not sold out yet! I recommend getting dropped off or taking the Metro, as parking will not exist on these three days.

Delicious Little Tokyo 2017
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 21
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, July 22
10:30 am – 9:00 pm, July 23
Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.golittletokyo.com/delicious/

A handful of food & beverage events will take place around Little Tokyo this weekend. Some of these events have an admission fee, while some do not, so check the website for the full list of events.

Pirate Con
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 21
Maritime Museum, San Diego
http://sdmaritime.org/visit/public-events/pirate-con/

A pirate-themed adult party takes place in a museum this Friday night. Admission costs $40 and includes a Funko Pop Barbossa collectible, one drink ticket, and complimentary appetizers while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Underground Alliance in LA
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, July 21
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1350254855066030/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night in Northeast LA. The cover for this show costs $3. No one under 21 may enter.

36th Annual Cypress 5K & 10K Run + 36th Annual Cypress Community Festival
6:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 22
Oak Knoll Park, Cypress
http://cypressfestival.com/

Two events occur back-to-back this Saturday in Cypress. Starting early in the morning, participate in a 5K or 10K run through the streets of Cypress. Following the run, a FREE all-ages & all-day festival will take place at the nearby park. Bring the family out to enjoy this fair with a car show, food, drinks, games, rides, arts & crafts, live entertainment, vendors, and more.

Insect & Ladybug Festival 2017
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 22-23
San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas
http://sdbgarden.org/insect.htm

Check out insects, lizards, snakes, and other invertebrates this weekend at this special exhibit in San Diego. Admission into the venue costs $14 for adults, $10 for seniors/students/military, or $8 for children. Parking costs $2 per vehicle.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Torrance Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, July 22
Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/805276009649773/

SoCal Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss this rare opportunity to experience the Hello Kitty Cafe. This weekend, visitors will enjoy macarons, minicakes, and other Hello Kitty treats not found anywhere else.

Tequila & Taco Music Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 22-23
Plaza Park, Ventura
http://www.tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com/

Indulge on tacos and liquor this weekend in Ventura. Entry into the festival costs $10 per person per day. A $40 Saturday admission exists that comes with six half-ounce tequila samples plus a souvenir glass, but this sampling only occurs from 11am to 3pm on Saturday. All admission does NOT include food or drinks – those come at a separate cost.

4th Annual Chili Cook-Off & Poetry Slam
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, July 22
Michelle Obama Library @ DeForest Park, Long Beach
http://www.deforestpark.org/

Free to attend for all ages, sample some chili made by locals this Saturday afternoon in Long Beach.

5th Annual Los Angeles Bacon Festival
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, July 22
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles
http://www.labaconfest.com/

As the name suggests, if you love bacon, this fest has nothing but bacon. Come indulge in all things bacon, as you explore every possible way to consume bacon. This year, they will run two 3-hour sessions: 12pm-3pm and 4pm-7pm. Tickets cost $60 per session, and sell out every year, so act fast if you want to go.

Sneaker Con 2017
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, July 22-23
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://sneakercon.com/

Discover hundreds of shoe vendors this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. Admission to this all-ages event costs $25 for one day or $40 for both days.

5th Annual Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 22
Waterfront Park, San Diego
http://heroesbrewfest.com/

Coinciding with Comic Con, this beer tasting event will take place at Liberty Station this Saturday evening. As the title suggests, this beer event will bear a costume element, encouraging attendees to arrive in some sort of cosplay outfit. They have changed the admission tiers for this year’s festival. General admission costs $20 and starts at 4pm but does not include any beer – these ticket holders will have to pay for all beers consumed. Early access admission costs $50, starts at 2pm, and comes with unlimited beer tasters for only the first two hours while supplies last. VIP admission costs $99, also starts at 2pm, but allows unlimited beer tasters for the entire duration of the event. It also provides access to a VIP area. No one under 21 may attend.

4th Annual Vegan Faire
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 22
Healthy Junk, Anaheim
http://www.thehealthyjunk.com/

This Saturday, check out this FREE and all-ages festival showcasing the full spectrum of healthy lifestyle goods & services with booths & workshops focusing on food, environment, clothing and fitness. Catch live music on the promenade all day too.

SPOCOM 11th Annual Super Show
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 22
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://spocomusa.com/2010/01/27/event-info-2017-spocom-super-show-anaheim/

A car & trade show comes to Anaheim this Saturday evening. Admission to this all-ages event costs $30.

Sausage & Bierfest
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 22
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
http://www.thephoenixclub.com/?upcoming-event=sausage-bierfest

$5 gets you in to this event that will have sausages and beer for sale, as well as live music throughout the night.

Fried Chicken & Champagne
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 22
Eat Drink Americano, Arts District, Los Angeles
http://www.winela.com/chicken

Partake in a blind champagne tasting along with fried chicken pairings this Saturday night in the Arts District of Downtown LA. Admission costs $140 per person or $275 for a pair of tickets, and includes all food and drinks for the duration of the event. No one under 21 may attend.

Beat Swap Meet
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 23
East End, Downtown Santa Ana
http://beatswapmeet.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1952387895047880/

Free to attend with the donation of one canned food, this outdoor event will celebrate traditional music through vinyl, records, mix tapes, and other mediums of all genres.

The popularity of craft beer continues to remain ever strong. The current times feel like the peak of the trend, with third parties attempting to capitalize on the popularity. Take the gourmet food truck trend for example. In the first year or two, we saw lots of great food trucks with actual good food. Afterwards, event organizers started to try to take advantage of this by charging exorbitant amounts to get into to food truck festivals. As the trend started to fade away, we saw a lot of gimmicky food trucks with less than stellar food. All of that appears to happen right now to microbreweries, as lots of bad beer festivals exist to take advantage of the fact that people will pay lots of money for a few hours of drinking. Throughout all of this, local entrepreneurs still desire to enter the microbrewery business to deliver a quality experience, as opposed to the ones just looking to turn a quick profit. It takes some careful searching to discover hidden gems, such as a fresh young microbrewery in Los Angeles County, Angry Horse Brewing.

Located in Downtown Montebello, Angry Horse Brewing opened just a few months ago sometime in March. They have not even had an official grand opening yet. Regardless, Angry Horse Brewing has managed to gain quite a solid following in such a little time. Like most of Southern California’s breweries, Angry Horse Brewing does not specialize in a particular style of beer – they brew it all. I did not spot any fermenters in the back – only a handful of brite tanks. This allows them to carry a lot of different beers, from IPA’s to Belgian beers to stouts and more. All of the beers that I tried have an approachable feel to them – not too strong in any particular note, and with familiar flavors that anyone can enjoy.

Despite still operating in a “soft opening” phase, Angry Horse Brewing already has a lot of fans, evident by having a full house late on a Saturday afternoon. Support this local microbrewery and stay updated with what goes on here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The 8th Annual Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair returned for its semi-annual Summer Market this past weekend at its original home of the LA State Historic Park outside of Downtown Los Angeles. This free and all-ages event sees thousands of visitors all coming to see over 250 select independent artists, crafters, and vendors all exhibiting and selling their wares. Among all the possible merchandise, visitors could purchase anything from clothing, accessories, home goods (candles, soap, wind chimes, etc), kitchen supplies, artisanal eats (candy, preserves, etc), music records, pet supplies, and so much more. What makes Renegade Craft appealing revolves around every single vendor, all independently crafting their own handmade goods as opposed to manufacturing them in a factory. In addition to the multitude of aisles filled with vendors, Renegade Craft also offers various hands-on workshops, art installations, live DJ’s, a photo booth, gourmet food trucks, and more.

With the change in location came a change in the lineup of vendors. This past weekend’s event appeared to have fewer amount of vendors compared to the past couple of years at Grand Park. This does not denote a bad thing, as the organizers had to deal with a smaller area this time, despite returning to its original location. Renegade Craft exists to introduce the locals to new vendors that they would have never heard of, and this past weekend’s event certainly did that for me.

If you attended Renegade LA this past weekend, I would love to know what you purchased. Please share your items by commenting on this post, or by posting on my Facebook page. Keep in mind that Renegade runs twice a year in Los Angeles – the holiday show will occur on the weekend of December 9-10 later this year. As a free event open to the public that lasts two days, Renegade Craft Fair can easily fit into anyone’s schedule. Shop local, and support local business – doing so drives the local economy and greatly benefits your local community. Support Renegade Craft Fair by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.