Free Chocolate Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 18
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/274577442689182/

Love chocolate? Sample some artisanal chocolate treats this Tuesday night at the Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa, free of charge.

Summer Cocktail Preview
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 19
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton
http://hopscotchsummercocktailpreview.eventbrite.com/

Hopscotch Tavern’s new summer cocktail menu debuts Friday, but you can order any of these at happy hour prices this Wednesday evening. RSVP using the provided link, where each RSVP works for the registrant plus one.

Taste of Little Italy
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 19
Little Italy, Downtown San Diego
http://www.tasteoflittleitalysd.com/

Sample the local flavor of Little Italy this Wednesday night, as attendees stroll through Little Italy and sample food directly in each participating business. Attendees pay for a stamp card with boxes representing each participating business. After receiving a sample, that business will stamp their corresponding box. Two different stamp cards exist for a north route and a south route, and each route’s stamp card costs $28 each, while purchasing both costs $42.

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

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.

Dom’s Favorite Burgers
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 19
West Elm South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa
http://domsfavoriteburgers.com/

Snag some free burgers, and take pictures with pin-up models on the red carpet at this blogger’s summer kickoff party.

Take Your Dog To Work Day
All day, June 21
Worldwide
http://www.takeyourdog.com/

As the name suggests, this holiday celebrates man’s best friend by granting a day where pet lovers can bring their darling dog(s) to work. Please consult with your boss/manager/supervisor if you can bring a dog to work!

Jack Bradshaw Dog Show
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 21-23
Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.jbradshaw.com/

Watch multiple dog shows and competitions this and next weekend in Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, breeds will compete in show and athletic contests throughout the weekend. Expect parking to cost $15. Take public transportation (free on the Passport bus) or ride a bike to circumvent the hefty parking fee.

San Diego International Beer Festival
Various times, June 21-23
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
http://www.sdfair.com/index.php?fuseaction=festivals.beer_festival

The San Diego County Fair will import over 400 beers from around the world for a weekend of beer at the fairgrounds. Over the weekend, the fairgrounds will host five different four-hour sessions of unlimited tastings, and each session will feature different seminars and presentations. General admission costs $55, and includes admission to the rest of the fair plus the souvenir cup. Parking on-site costs $10, while off-site parking with shuttles costs nothing. Although the beer fest takes place in the arena under a roof, the rest of the fair takes place outdoors, so prepare for sunny weather if you choose to venture outside. I highly recommend arriving as early as possible, as each session tends to run out of beer an hour before a session ends.

To Kristen With Love
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 21
Old Towne Pub, Pasadena
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/377604

A punk show, art show, and film premiere take over this small pub this Friday night in Pasadena. For just $10 entry, guests will see lots of local punk rock bands, art, and a film premiere by Seraph Films. The bar will serve drink specials all night, as well as free nachos. You will find the entrance to Old Towne Pub at the end of an alley on Holly St right next to Cafe Linda. Although free parking almost does not exist in this area, a few spots on Corson St have no meters. No one under 21 may enter.

A Wilhelm Scream & The Flatliners @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 21
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/wilhelm-scream-flatliners

A Wilhelm Scream and The Flatliners will start a tour soon, and that tour sweeps through California this week. Catch these two bands plus local openers at this all-ages show for only $13. The venue contains a free parking lot, but late arrivals may need to park in neighboring lots, which require a parking fee.

Steampunk Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 12:30 am, June 21
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/484900361582946/

Art, merchandise, food, music, gadgets, live tattooing, body painting, and more will grace The Vex with their presence this Friday night. For just $20 admission, guests can explore a night of steampunk music and art. Guests under 18 must attend with an adult. Guests can park behind the building, but should take care not to park too deep or risk getting blocked by other cars.

2013 Rental Car Rally – Los Angeles
9:00 pm – 3:00 pm, June 21
Location TBA, Los Angeles
http://www.rentalcarrally.com/

What do you get when you mix Halloween with Mario Kart? You get the Rental Car Rally! This race abandons all conventional means by pitting themed teams against each other as they drive from point A to point B overnight. Instead of which team arrives first, winners reach the destination with the fewest miles traveled while hitting every single checkpoint along the way. Along the way, teams may attempt to interfere with other teams, using methods such as water balloons, water guns, powdered balloons, and other wacky ways that you would normally see in a video game. Words cannot accurately describe the mayhem behind a Rental Car Rally. To understand this, one must commit to competing in this wacky ride.

2nd Annual Long Beach Art in the Park
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, June 22
Bixby Park, Long Beach
https://sites.google.com/site/bixbyparkpreservation/home

Enjoy an afternoon of plenty of family activities, arts & crafts, live music, food trucks, and more, free for all ages.

34th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, June 22
Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach, San Diego
http://www.oceanbeachsandiego.com/special-event/street-fair-chili-cookoff-festival

Have some fun in the sun in Ocean Beach this Saturday at their annual street fair and chili cookoff. At this free and all-ages street fair, tens of thousands of people will stroll through Ocean Beach to check out all the art, live entertainment, vendors, and of course, the chili. Attendees may purchase chili tastings on the day of the event. This area gets extremely crowded with traffic, so plan alternate routes on arriving, and prepare to walk long distances to reach the street fair.

27th Annual Long Beach Bayou & Blues Festival
11:00 am – 9:30 pm, June 22
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, June 23
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://longbeachfestival.com/

Enjoy a weekend of Blues & Jazz music, specialty Cajun & Creole food, a Mardi Gras parade, dancing, kids’ activities, and more. Ticket prices vary, with general admission costing $25 presale, and discounts available for seniors and students. This fest takes place outdoors with very little shade, so dress for the warm weather, and prepare sunscreen.

2013 Tomato Assault – Los Angeles
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 22
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.tomatoassault.com/

Time to get down and dirty! Tens of thousands of pounds of tomatoes will fly through the air at this glorified tomato fight. Tomato Assault brings together live music, inflatable objects, a beer garden, food trucks, costume contests, and more all for the love of smacking other people with tomatoes. Registration costs $60, and no one under 21 may attend. Attendees must print, sign, and bring a waiver, found on the website, to the event in order to participate.

Balls For Balls 2013
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 22
Nirvana Bar & Grill, Los Angeles
http://www.ballsforballs.philanthroproductions.org/

In a nutshell, gather a team to competitively eat meatballs for charity. The winning team does take a cash prize home. A team of four enters for $60, while individuals enter for $20 and get placed in a random team as a filler. Spectators may enter and watch for free.

Bite Flite
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 22
Bar & Garden, Culver City
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7012846613/efbbt

Sample burgers, beers, and desserts at this food pairing dinner this Saturday in Culver City. The $22 admission includes a 4-beer flight, a choice of one of four sliders ($3.50 for each additional), and desserts from Mwokaji Cakery. Guests can find free street parking on nearby streets. No one under 21 may attend.

Nekromantix @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 22
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/nekromantix

Catch a psychobilly show this Saturday night in Santa Ana, as Nekromantix headlines a show with Graveyard Johnny’s, Dragstrip Demons, Black Rose Phantoms, Crash Cadillacs, and Butchery Boys. The first band starts at 8pm. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $18. The venue contains a free parking lot, but late arrivals may need to park in neighboring lots, which require a parking fee.

CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 23
Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
http://www.ciclavia.org/

Wilshire Blvd from Downtown LA to Miracle Mile will close to bikers this Sunday. Cars may not enter the designated areas during this time – only bikers and pedestrians may roam the streets.

4th Annual Summer Solstice Festival & International Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, June 23
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton
http://themuck.org/june-23-summer-solstice-festival-fullerton-sister-city-associations-international-taco-fest/

Sample worldly cuisine in a tortilla at this taco fest this Sunday afternoon at The Muck in Fullerton. The Summer Solstice Festival, which contains live music, arts & crafts, merchandise, and more, occurs the entire time, and costs nothing to attend for all ages. The Taco Fest starts at 1pm, lasts two hours, and requires an entry fee, which guests pay for at the gate. No one under 21 may attend the Taco Fest, as it also comes with complimentary beer tastings from Bootlegger’s Brewery. Guests may park for free at the venue.

1st Annual Tacolandia
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, June 23
Hollywood Palladium Parking Lot, Los Angeles
http://microapp.laweekly.com/tacolandia/

Gorge out on tacos from over 30 chefs from around Southern California and some from Baja at this taco fest in a parking lot. General admission costs $20 and includes unlimited food until it runs out, while VIP admission costs $40 and also includes a hosted bar. Guests of all ages may attend, but adults must have ID to drink.

Santa Monica Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 23
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
http://drinkeatplay.com/winefest/

Sample wines from over 50 wineries on the pier this Sunday evening. General admission costs $50 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $60 and starts at 5pm. Food comes at a separate cost here. Both admissions include access to Pacific Park, the mini amusement park on the pier. Bring extra cash for parking. Dress for chilly weather, as this takes place at night near the ocean.

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