Archive for May, 2014

The 12th Annual Taste of Alhambra returns to Downtown Alhambra this Sunday night at the Civic Center Library. Taking place at the same time and place as last year, this food fest contains more than enough food & drinks to satisfy all the attendees. As a 21 & over event, guests can find a handful of ways to get their drinking on, yet admission only includes unlimited drinks while the supplies last. Beyond the main stage where the tribute bands play, guests can receive samples of beer and take the glasses home too. Other than those, guests may not really take anything else away except for marketing material from individual booths.

Looking back at last year, Taste of Alhambra hosted lots of corporate businesses on board, which amounted to about half of the booths present. Any city aiming to throw a taste of their city event should bring on only local businesses, but instead end up inviting plenty of corporate businesses and claiming those as the local flavor. I hardly see how Little Caesar’s represents the local flavor of Alhambra. Historically speaking, Alhambra has not come up in people’s minds as far as trendy restaurants, bars, or pubs go. Alhambra holds many corporate businesses, and then many hole-in-the-wall businesses. In the past few years, a few trendy places opened up, such as 38 Degrees, Boteco, and Grill ‘Em All, bringing new life to a city dwelled by mostly Asian and Hispanic/Latino citizens. Other local businesses in Alhambra and surrounding cities have capitalized on the importance of social media, and use those tools to attract new customers as they revamp their product offerings and make other general improvements. Many local businesses in Alhambra have made an effort to improve the city’s economy by attracting a younger customer base, so why did the organizers of Taste of Alhambra not invite more local businesses over the corporates?

Many attendees still had a great time at last year’s Taste of Alhambra. The tribute bands that played entertained a gathering audience throughout the fest, and the unlimited food & drinks kept everyone happy with their stomachs, though not as much so with some of their livers. This year, I would love to see the Taste of Alhambra feature many more local businesses, and severely tone down the corporate business involvement. If you have a suggestion of a favorite local business to invite, contact them by visiting their website, lined above. Keep in mind that they do not mind inviting local businesses from surrounding areas; for example, they invited Fluff Ice from Monterey Park.

For Best of the Fest, I select the Kalua Pork Taco from Shakas Hawaiian Flavors.

The 12th Annual Taste of Alhambra starts this Sunday, June 1st, at 5pm and runs until 8pm at the civic center in Downtown Alhambra. Admission costs $50 presale or $60 at the door. Guests should park in any of the various parking structures in the area, such as the one on the corner of 1st Street and Main Street. The entrance to the festival lies on 1st Street – once you find the civic center’s library, the entrance awaits around the corner. Keep in mind that since no one under 21 may attend the festival, all guests must show a valid ID to enter. Dress for warm weather, as this event takes place outdoors with limited shade, and the temperature will reach the mid 80’s that day. Remember to stay hydrated too – the combination of warm weather, salty food, and alcohol can quickly dehydrate any attendee.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Since the beginning of time, civilization has always asked what came first. While the public can typically attribute tangible items with an origin, everything else requires documentation to pinpoint an origin, unless generally accepted. For example, today’s gourmet food truck trend started in early 2009 with Kogi BBQ, which everyone will say started it all. When you look at expos for comic books, all fans will tell you that the San Diego one started it all. But with the San Diego Comic Con selling out in seconds every year, what else can fans do? Sure they can shell out the cash for super inflated after-market passes, but why not travel up the coast two hours to Long Beach? After all, Long Beach plays home to the semiannual Long Beach Comic Expo, which costs less and never sells out.

The 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend, now serving both Saturday and Sunday. Returning to Hall C and the foyer on the southwest side, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists will travel here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans can gain access to the entire show floor for the low price of $15 per person for Saturday, or $10 on Sunday, with children 10 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars will occur in the promenade meeting rooms for those who register ahead of time. Diehard fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly don their best gear for this expo. Watch in amazement the best of the best of last year’s Long Beach Comic Expo.

As shown above, I reused my Dilbert costume that I had used since 2009. I had used this costume enough times, and decided to retire the costume for good. I currently do not have any plans to create anymore costumes, but if an opportunity swings my way, I shall rethink my stance.

Earlier I had mentioned that this expo occurs semiannually. The Fall expo coincides with Halloween, where this expo operates as the Long Beach Comic & Horror Con. The Fall event will take place at the end of September, much earlier than the first or second weekend of November that this expo occurred on in the previous years. The Fall event generally takes place in Hall B, a larger space than the Expo, and also includes the horror theme, such as zombies and monsters. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as Anime Expo in early July or Anime California in August. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

The Long Beach edition of the Spring 2014 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday at Marine Stadium. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at four different locations: Long Beach, Oakland, Phoenix, and Santa Ana. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the hundreds of vendors present. Some vendors return each time, such as Bad Pickle Tees or Pop Candy. Many vendors make an appearance for the first time, such as Brown Box Bakery or Teddy Bear Republic. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

The Patchwork Fest series happens twice a year: in Spring and Fall. With each series, it runs weekend after weekend at different locations. The next Patchwork Fest will occur in Santa Ana on Father’s Day in a few weeks. In addition to new foods to try, the lineup of vendors changes, so you may find some great new gifts for your friends & family. For a free fest, what have you got to lose?

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
The Rookery, Pomona

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.

Beer Punks Show in Huntington Beach
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, May 29
Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub, Huntington Beach

Catch local bands Lowbrow, Eken is Dead, and The Final Upset performing this Thursday night in Huntington Beach for just $5. No one under 21 may attend.

Brea SummerFest 2014
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, May 30
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, May 31
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 1
St. Angela Merici School, Brea

Brea brings all of the elements of a state fair into one weekend with their annual SummerFest. Find food, rides, live entertainment, games, vendors, and more at this weekend-long fair for the entire family. Guests may enter and park for free – please adhere all signs for parking and entering the fest.

Bacon & Barrels – San Diego
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, May 30, Bassmnt, San Diego
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 31, Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego

Pig out on bacon eats and barrel sips this weekend in Downtown San Diego. On Friday evening, participate in a VIP 4-course dinner complete with beer and wine pairings at Bassmnt in Downtown San Diego for $100. On Saturday, head down to the waterside park in Downtown San Diego for a day in the sun with bacon and booze. General admission costs $75 and starts at 1pm, while early admission costs $95 and starts at 12pm. Admission includes access to all food and drink stations until last call at about 4:45. No one under 21 may attend any of these events.

Tartar Control, Not A Chance, Argyle Street, Tanzler @ The Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 30
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Get your weekly fill of punk rock at this show featuring some great local bands this Friday night at the Doll Hut. The cover for this show costs only $5. No one under 21 may enter.

D.I. @ The Garage in Ventura
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 30
The Garage, Ventura

Orange County punk pioneers D.I. headline a small show in Ventura this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Punk Rock Karaoke
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, May 30
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Think you have what it takes to front a punk rock band? Prove it this Friday night at Alex’s Bar, where you get to sing your favorite punk rock song backed by an all-star band! In addition, catch music from other great local bands as well between sets. Tickets to this show cost $8 presale or $10 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

13th Annual Walk for the Animals
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 31
Marina Vista Park, Long Beach

Go on a walk with pets to raise money for charity this Saturday in Long Beach. At the park, find vendors, games, food, raffle prizes, and more.

2014 Long Beach Comic Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 31
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 1
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Comic fans rejoice! The Long Beach Comic Expo returns for its annual installment at the Long Beach Convention Center this Saturday. For just $15 general admission, guests receive all-day entry to the all-ages expo, where they can find plenty of merchandise, vendors, workshops, seminars, comic book signings/autographs, and more. Expect hundreds of cosplayers, as both exhibitors and attendees will dress up as their favorite fictional character. The convention center will sell food to hungry guests, but you can also check out the other great restaurants nearby if you get hungry, plus the bike fest going on across the street. Convention Center parking costs $10, so I suggest taking carpooling, taking public transportation, or parking in the neighborhoods east of Alamitos Ave and walking to the Convention Center.

6th Annual Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 31
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 1
Riverview Pkwy & Town Center Pkwy, Santee

Tens of thousands of visitors will roam the streets of Santee this weekend during their annual street fair, now combined with a craft beer garden. Free for all-ages to attend, the fair will contain live music, entertainment, food, drinks, games, arts & crafts, rides, vendors, and so much more. Pricing for the beer festival varies depending on how many tasters a person wants, ranging from $10 to $30.

Anaheim Packing District’s Grand Opening + Farmers Park Market Opening
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 31
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, June 1
Anaheim Packing House, Anaheim

On Saturday, this free and all-ages event will have live music, a ribbon cutting ceremony, landmark tours, games, arts & crafts, line dancing lessons, hayrides, giveaways, and more. The building now contains a world-class food hall complete with a butcher, fresh juicery, baker, tea house, and others. On Sunday, the new Farmers Market will debut right here at the Packing House, so stop on by and check out the best in local produce, as well as local music.

Punk Rock Luau #1
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 31
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

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.

9th Annual Los Angeles Wine Fest
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, May 31
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, June 1
Raleigh Studios, Hollywood

Want to sample up to over 500 wines, brews, and spirits from around the world? Head to LA Wine Fest this weekend, where you will find plenty of good drinks, cooking demos, live entertainment, seminars, food trucks, boutiques, merchandise, and more. Ticket prices vary depending on how you choose to attend, with a general admission ticket starting at $70. This fest takes place outdoors with limited shade, so prepare for a day in the sun. Bring cash for the parking lot across the street, unless you get lucky and find street parking.

Ska Punk Night @ The Glass House
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 31
The Glass House, Pomona

Get your skanking on this Saturday night at the Glass House in Pomona. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $10. Guests can find plenty of free parking in the area.

D.I. @ Granada Theater Ontario
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 31
Granada Theater, Ontario

Orange County punk pioneers D.I. headline a small show in Ontario this Saturday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Decry @ The Tower Bar
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 31
The Tower Bar, San Diego

Catch some good local punk rock in the Mid City this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs only $6.

17th Annual SoRo Community Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 1
Robertson & Cattaraugus, Los Angeles

This FREE and all-ages street fair takes place in West LA between Culver City and Beverly Hills. Attendees will find live music, a kids’ zone including rock-climbing, arts & crafts, food trucks, and more. Guests can park for free in the neighborhoods surrounding the fest.

30th Annual Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off
11:00 am – 5:30 pm, June 1
Old Town Tustin

Once again taking over the streets of Old Town Tustin, this FREE street fair contains lots of activities to keep the entire family busy and full the entire day. Attendees will find arts & crafts, live entertainment, merchandise vendors, kids’ area, the multitude of chili teams, and much more. This event gets highly crowded each year, and w3hile it requires no admission to enter, guests will end up parking on city streets a few blocks away. To sample chili, guests must purchase tickets for $2 each, and redeem these tickets at the chili teams for samples.

9th Annual Lummis Day Festival
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 1
Heritage Square Museum, Northeast Los Angeles

Catch music, dance, poetry, art, and more at this free multicultural festival this Sunday afternoon in Northeast LA. Guests may park for free at the venue.

Taste of the Nation – Los Angeles
12:30 pm – 4:00 pm, June 1
Media Park, Culver City

Sample culinary creations from over 30 of Los Angeles’ greatest chefs and restaurants, while quenching your thirst from various wineries, breweries, and other non-alcoholic drink producers. General admission costs $110, while VIP costs $160, which the website does not indicate what benefits the VIP admission comes with. Attendees can find nearby parking structures designated for this event, though the website does not specify any parking fee.

The Gears @ Alex’s Bar
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 1
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Local punk bands The Gears, Dime Runner, and more will play a daytime show this Sunday at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost just $5. No one under 21 may attend.

Taste of the Eastside 2014
2:30 pm – 8:00 pm, June 1
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens

Sample the best of East LA’s restaurants this Sunday evening. At this all-ages tasting, guests can receive unlimited food samples from all of the 20+ participating vendors. General admission costs $40 and starts at 4pm, while VIP admission costs $70, starts at 2:30pm, and includes a VIP gift, front-row seating for the cooking demos, preferred parking, and three bar tastes.

12th Annual Taste of Alhambra
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 1
2nd & Main, Downtown Alhambra,com_eventlist/Itemid,49/func,details/did,46/

Savor the local flavor of Alhambra at this annual all-you-can-eat food fest on the streets of Downtown Alhambra this Sunday evening. For $50 presale and $60 at the gate, guests 21 and over will receive unlimited food samples from various Alhambra restaurants and unlimited drinks from local establishments. Guests may park for free in nearby parking structures.

Reverend Horton Heat @ Stingers Bar
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 1
Stingers Bar, San Bernardino

Catch the Reverend Horton Heat, The Dwarves, Piñata Protest, and more this Sunday night in San Bernardino. Tickets to this show cost $20. No one under 18 may attend.

JFA performing Beach Blanket Bongout at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 22, 2013.

JFA performing Johnny D at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 22, 2013.

Although I had known about the 13th Frame Lounge since over a year ago, I had never actually gone to the venue until this past weekend, when Whitekaps headlined a small show there. The venue makes a huge difference in the quality of the audio, and acoustically, small bars such as this one rarely have great sound quality. Larger venues designed for big music shows have better sound quality, so when I went to the 13th Frame Lounge for the first time, the setup of the room lent very poorly to the sounds of the bands. I say this because I have heard Whitekaps in a larger venue before, and they sounded much better there than in small venues. As such, I cannot accurately review the music for this show due to the loss of audio quality in a small venue. Despite allowing all ages to attend, I may have only seen no more than two others under 21 in attendance. Everyone present appeared to know each other, so this show felt like a hangout for the friends and families of the bands. For a punk rock show, seeing everyone act so friendly with each other certainly felt refreshing, as opposed to big shows with circle pits and aggression.

Starting off the night, TRHINOCEROS opened with their set. Their mellow rock reminds me of the Black Keys.

Up next, Bear Fight played their set. They look so young, and it makes me wonder if they can play at any other venue that does not allow minors.

Chuy Poluka & the Barroom Junkies played third in the night. Not surprisingly, most of their songs involve drinking. Maybe they had a song or two about drugs.

Locally famous hardcore punk band Sorry State came up next. For as long as I have heard of them, I had never seen them live in the past. I cannot wait to see these guys perform in a larger venue.

Aptly abbreviated as V.D., Visual Discrimination served as the night’s sub-headliner. They appear to perform only a few times per month, based on their Facebook history. Their set went over by about ten minutes since the sound guy stepped out of the room for a while. I doubt anyone cared about that though.

Closing out the night, we have the Whitekaps. Whitekaps always entertains at their show, and come off as sort of a comedy/punk band. Due to the small nature of this show, a lot more heckling occurred, much to the humor of the band, but in both directions. For example, when two women left for the restroom, vocalist KC stopped the music to ask why they left in the middle of the song. At the end, when they tried to hold a sing-along with two sides of the room on mics, it almost turned into an open-mic session. Luckily things got under control when the band started playing music.

Check out all of these bands on Facebook, and check out their future shows. Always support your local music scene, because local musicians play not just for money, but for the love of the music.

Coincidentally landing at the end of American Craft Beer Week, Hangar 24 Brewery celebrated their 6th anniversary with a two-day AirFest and beer festival at Redlands Airport this past weekend. This anniversary celebration took place just across the street from the Hangar 24 tasting room, allowing guests to roam much of the airport grounds to view all the airplanes on exhibit, and check out all the food and beer available. All around the festival area, all of the attractions evenly spread out, from the food vendors to the beer tents to the airplanes on display and more. Throughout the day, live music would occur on the main stage, and various aerial acrobatics would occur overhead, demonstrating cool stunts performed in airplanes.

New this year (or not marketed much last year), AirFest lasted two days, starting on Friday afternoon, and running for most of the day Saturday. Naturally, admission for Saturday cost more than Friday. This year, I attended on the Friday of the celebration; however, I could tell that most of the fun would occur on Saturday. Some of the main attractions that occurred on Saturday for AirFest included the 30+ varieties of beer that they advertised, more varieties of aerial acrobatics, a fireworks show at night, longer hours, and more well-known music acts. On Friday, we only got ten varieties of beer, and besides the anniversary beer, anyone could obtain any of these beers at any time at the tasting room. Although I enjoyed the air shows, they started to get stale halfway through the runs. The night also did not feature any illuminating acts – just a staged airplane stunt. The beers also stopped way earlier than I recall, as beers kept going until after 9pm last year. Everclear also headlined the music on Saturday, whereas JT Hodges headlined the music on Friday. Lastly, Friday just did not have that many people there. Last year, the festival contained tons of people everywhere. Friday felt dead, as if Hangar 24 did not advertise the Friday event. At least Hangar 24 stepped it up with the food and merchandise vendors, now adding 400% more vendors than last year.

As far as the music went, Friday mainly revolved around country music. Country bands like Redneck Rodeo and HER played that beer-drinking music that everyone loves.

Aerial stunts took place throughout the day, giving everyone a reason to not slouch and look up. These pilots always amaze everyone viewing, and serve as great interruptions to groups of people. After a few hours though, most of the stunts start to look the same. Allegedly, Saturday’s stunts featured a lot more danger and variety.

Once all that ended, we got to see some parachuters, and one of them deployed a flag during the national anthem playing on the ground floor.

Some more aerial acrobatics occurred while waiting for the next music act to set up.

Country singer JT Hodges headlined the night with two sets. His sets contained a mix of his own original songs and cover songs. While he performed, little activity occurred elsewhere around the festival, as he captured the attention of nearly everyone present.

As I suggested to everyone I encountered, the sunset out here looks beautiful, and everyone should always seek to capture a great photo of this moment.

Between JT Hodges’ two sets, one final air show took place. Unfortunately, the fireworks show only occurred on Saturday.

I remember having the time of my life at last year’s AirFest. This time, my choice of attending on Friday may have soured my perception of this event, though I cannot say the same for anyone else that attended on Friday only. Perhaps the lack of true content compared to a previous year may have lowered my perception. Perhaps last year’s event went so well that it spoiled me from future events. Since the weekend, I have heard mixed reviews of this and last year’s AirFest. As best as I can say, just like the president, you cannot please everyone. Just do the best you can to inflict the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Hangar 24 always does their best, but I think at least for the Friday event, it should wither away and leave everything to Saturday.

The first of this year’s summer series of Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor of Long Beach wrapped up last week. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through August on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Free to attend for all ages, guests participate by paying $10 for a booklet containing 12 tickets that get redeemed at participating businesses along 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. The products offered by participating businesses range from appetizers to drinks to desserts to even full plates of food. Ticket costs vary based on the location, with some offering more than the value of the tickets, and many offering less than the value of the tickets. Although most of the participating businesses served the same things that they serve yearly, sometimes things will stand out from the crowd. I took just one booklet last week, and went on a nice stroll through Belmont Shore.

Domenico’s always makes for a local favorite stop on Stroll & Savor, largely due in part to their signature pizzas with toppings like ground pepperoni and ground sausage. This time, they took one ticket off the regular Stroll & Savor price, so visitors could savor their signature pizza for less!

Known for their Danish-style ice cream, Paradis always delights visitors, especially on hot days. They always have a cooler outside where they serve four of their popular flavors during Stroll & Savor.

Due to the extreme heat last week, I had to hydrate myself with an iced tea from the local Starbucks, who also participates in Stroll & Savor.

Sweet Jill’s remains a favorite during Stroll & Savor because of their full-sized items that cost just three tickets.

La Creperie Café served one of their standard items from previous Stroll & Savor years – their chicken carbonara crepe.

Nick’s On 2nd always serves up something new with every Stroll & Savor. For this event, they served their heaviest item yet – their hickory burger. Take a western-style bacon cheeseburger, then place that on a biscuit rather than a bun. I regretfully started with this, and it ended up making me full after the serving. Still, for only three tickets, Nick’s delivered a standout tasting.

Within the last year or two, Aroma di Roma closed their former location and moved down the street. They still serve wonderful espresso, paninis, and gelato, of which they served a collection of the latter during Stroll & Savor.

Newcomer Gallo’s Italian Deli participated in their first-ever Stroll & Savor last week.

With their new chef, Tavern On 2 finally strayed away from their classic Pulled Chicken Sliders, and opted to serve Pulled Pork Tacos.

Eat Shabu whipped out something new this time: ice cream freshly churned on the spot with liquid nitrogen. I seem to see a lot of this around lately. Perhaps this will turn into some sort of hipster trend?

Last but not least, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe served their classic mini cones that only cost one ticket. Flavors vary each time, and range from ice cream to sorbet to gelato.

If you missed Stroll & Savor last week, fret not! Stroll & Savor returns four more times this year: June 18-19, July 16-17, August 20-21, and September 17-18. Do not miss out your chance to taste the best of local flavor in Long Beach!

Anti-Nowhere League – On Tour
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, May 20
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona

Anti-Nowhere League leaves California this week on their tour, so do not miss out! Tickets to this show in Pomona this Tuesday night cost $16. No one under 21 may attend. Guests can find plenty of free street parking in the area, and can avoid paying to park in any of the lots.

Barrel-Aged Mrs. Stoutfire Event
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 21
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

Beachwood Brewing and The Bruery collaborated last year to create Mrs. Stoutfire, and the barrel-aged version of it has ripened to perfection. Taste it and other rare Bruery beers, including Grey Monday, this Wednesday night at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Beachwood BBQ will also have some food specials that they will only serve on this night.

Angelic Upstarts – On Tour
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, May 21, Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 22, The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26, 333 Live, Los Angeles

Old school punk band Angelic Upstarts will tour through California this week, head up to Las Vegas for Punk Rock Bowling, then return after the weekend for more shows. The listed shows only barely cover what they will do in the next week, so check them out on Facebook for information regarding their upcoming shows.

56th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 23
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 24-25
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 26
Village Green, Garden Grove

This free annual all-ages city fair features rides, games, vendors, food, contests, live entertainment, a parade, and more. Despite its name, the festival does not liberally give out strawberries or sell it – it just uses strawberries as its theme. Guests may go on rides with all-day wristbands, which cost $30 each, or just $25 on Friday. New this year, a 5k will take place Saturday morning in the area. Registration has already closed, so just plan to avoid driving around this area in the morning.

O.C. Crust Stock Vol. 2
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 23
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 24
Mirror Image Studios, Anaheim

Check out some local crust punk bands this weekend at Mirror Image Studios in Anaheim. Tickets to this all-ages concert cost $13 for one day or $22 for both days.

The Adicts – On Tour
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 23-24
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Legendary punk band The Adicts go on tour this week, starting with a two-night concert in Orange County. Tickets to this weekend’s all-ages shows at The Observatory in Orange County cost $25.

6th Annual Children Today 5k/10k Run/Walk
6:30 am – 11:00 am, May 24
Marina Green Park, Long Beach

Run a 5k or 10k for charity this Saturday morning in Long Beach, as the path takes runners along the bike path on the beach. All runners receive a t-shirt and goodie bad with their admission, which costs $35 presale or $40 at the event. All nearby parking lots charge for parking, but you can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave for free.

Long Beach Fine Art Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 24-25
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 26
Marina Green Park, Long Beach

This FREE and all-ages event takes place at the Marina Green near Shoreline Village in Long Beach. This event features art from local designers, plus gourmet food trucks ready to serve delicious eats all weekend. Visitors may purchase any of the works from participating designers. Visitors will find paid parking at the park’s parking lot. Visitors may also park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Bottle Share #13
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 24
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

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.

3rd Annual Latin Jazz & Blues Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 24
Houghton Park, Long Beach

Bring out the family to this free and all-ages music festival this Saturday in Long Beach, and enjoy live music, food, arts & crafts, vendors, and more.

2014 Vista Village Strawberry Festival
7:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 25
Historic Downtown Vista

At this free festival, guests of all-ages can experience a plethora of activities all day in Vista, formerly the Strawberry Capital of the World. The day starts with a 5K run, and when the run ends, the main festival begins. The multitude of activities include a beer garden, pie-eating contests, cooking contest, golf/putting contest, homebrew contest, video contest, strawberry costume contest, demos, live entertainment, car show, rides, games, food, and so much more. Visit the website for a full schedule and list of activities, plus directions on where to park.

Spring 2014 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival – Long Beach
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 25
Marine Stadium, Long Beach

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at multiple locations. 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. 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. The surrounding neighborhoods contain plenty of free street parking.

Propagandhi @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Propagandhi will tour through Australia next week, but before they do that, they will play an all-ages show in Orange County. Tickets to their show this Sunday night cost $20.

The Slackers @ The Constellation Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25
The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana

The Slackers make an Orange County appearance at this small show this Sunday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $22.

City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run
5:30 am – 11:30 am, May 26
Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills

Celebrate this Memorial Day with a run down in sunny Orange County. Register for any of various distances, and head to the starting line by 7am for the race start. Registration fees vary based on the distance, with the half marathon costing $75.

Run or Dye – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, May 26
Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale

Color runs have surged in popularity recently. This all-ages run takes place this Saturday morning at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale. As with any color run, runners should wear all white to absorb the most color by the end of the run. Registration costs $52 per person in a team, or $57 for an individual, and the race starts at 9am. Take warning: thousands of runners all start at one time. Do not get caught in traffic & parking nightmare – arrive at least an hour early.