Archive for August, 2016

The Anaheim Packing District certainly has a bold reputation as a food hot spot in Orange County to add on to the many other food hot spots, such as Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, Tustin’s Union Market, and Costa Mesa’s Bristol stretch. Everyday, hoards of people flock to these locations to spend lots of money for something that they can share on Instagram. From the $5 ice cream bar to the $8 cup of coffee (with foam art!) to the $14 Asian burrito, these places have come up with the right recipes to lire people in to drop loads of cash just so the customers can show off their oh-so unique food. Sometimes, it helps to go back to basics and enjoy something familiar that also tastes great, and the Anaheim Packing District has done just that with the introduction of the Doggone Good Soda Company.

The Doggone Good Soda Company has existed for a few years already and have delivered countless amounts of all-natural sodas all over Orange County and beyond. Though lots of companies can claim the use of all-natural ingredients in their beverages, DGSC takes it a step further by allowing customers to order custom labels on the sodas. This ranges from small batches such as for parties to larger needs such as a company picnic, an organization holding a fundraiser, a mom & pop shop that needs to advertise their business, and more. DGSC has had a location in Old Towne Orange where it functions as a production facility and a storefront, but this past Friday, they opened another stand in the Anaheim Packing District. Taking over the former Buy’n Bulk, DGSC now has a satellite location where they can serve up custom sodas and good comfort food. The food mainly consists of hot dogs and various toppings, providing comfort food in an environment filled with other businesses trying to push the limits of creativity. However, I strongly urge visitors to check out DGSC’s beverage selection – I mean, why not taste what they started the company for?

Support this local business by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The 67th Annual Long Beach Greek Festival & Cultural Event returns this Labor Day weekend to Assumption Greek Church on Pacific Coast Highway between Bellflower and Loynes. Open this Saturday through Monday from 12pm to 9pm each day, this all-ages festival will present a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, and more to keep guests full. A tent will house a stage with live music and dance performances during the entire festival. Guests can participate in the dance too, as instructors will provide free lessons to anyone willing to try. A full carnival zone will contain many rides and games to keep kids occupied while you get your ouzo on. Guests may also take a stroll through the church to observe the artifacts that they possess.

I highly suggest spending quite some time here, as this festival has much to do. A large portion of this festival takes place outdoors with limited shade, so attendees should prepare with sunscreen and attire for warm weather. Hydrate well for this festival, as the warm weather combined with flavorful food can quickly dehydrate a person. The website does not specify the entry fee, but it has cost up to $5 in the past. Speaking of which, come with extra cash, as most of the vendors here only accept cash, including the entry gate. Attendees should NOT park in the church’s neighborhood. Instead, guests should park at the nearby VA Hospital on 7th Street, where a complimentary shuttle to transport guests to the festival and back to the parking lot.

Looking for something fulfilling and entertaining to do this weekend? You have a 3-day weekend, so make the most of it by visiting the Long Beach Greek Festival with your friends and family. To see what else they have in store for the upcoming weekend, check out the Long Beach Greek Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

2016 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 28-30
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.westernfoodexpo.com/

The food and hospitality industry will have its own expo this weekend, featuring many aspects from food, ingredients, equipment, accessories, services, and more. This time, they have opened the expo to the public, so you no longer need to work in the industry to attend this. Attendees should expect lots of food and drink samples, plus lots of information about businesses and the industry. Registration for an attendee starts at $65. No one under 18 may attend.

Haven Gastropub 7th Anniversary Celebration
11:00 am – 12:00 am, August 29 – September 1
Haven Gastropub, Orange
http://www.havengastropub.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/668535763310192/

The long-standing Haven Gastropub turns seven years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have four days of food and drink specials at their restaurant in Old Towne Orange, where they will tap a bunch of rare brews for your enjoyment. They will also have a handful of food specials served during these days.

Great Society Cider & Mead’s Grand Opening
4:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 30
Great Society Cider & Mead, Long Beach
http://www.greatsocietycider.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/160375111035292/

After weeks of launching as a soft opening, Long Beach’s Great Society Cider & Mead will finally officially open their doors to the public this Tuesday evening. They will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30, and will have a special cider available just for this day. Stop on by and enjoy some mid-week drinks.

11th Annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
10:00 am – 12:00 am, September 1
5:30 am – 8:00 pm, September 2
5:30 am – 4:00 pm, September 3
5:30 am – 11:30 am, September 4
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
http://www.rundisney.com/disneyland-half-marathon/

The Disneyland Half Marathon returns for its tenth year this weekend with a plethora of things to see and do. Participate in any of the races, check out the health & fitness expo, and stick around for after-parties throughout the weekend. The website has an extensive list of everything going on this weekend, so consult with the website for more details.

Flights 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 1
Flights Beer Bar, Hawthorne
http://flightsbeerbar.com/

This Thursday, Flights Beer Bar in Hawthorne will stock all of their taps with only South Bay brewery beer. Come taste local flavor in one spot. This event has no admission fee or cover charge – simply show up and pay for drinks as you go.

To Live & Dine in OC 2016
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, September 1
Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo
http://www.modernluxury.com/orange-county/events/live-dine-1

Sample food and drinks from some of Orange County’s top restaurants this Thursday evening in Aliso Viejo. Tickets cost $40 presale or $50 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

5th Annual Long Beach Psyclone Weekender
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 1-4
Seaport Marina Hotel, Long Beach
http://www.lbpsyclone.com/

Lots of psychobilly bands will invade Long Beach this weekend for this annual rockabilly festival. Live music will go on all weekend, and other events will circulate around town to coincide with this festival too, such as BBQ/pool parties, brunches, bus rides, and more. Find tickets for sale at select retailers, or purchase them online. Thursday night costs $10, the weekend costs $30 per day, and the full weekend pass costs $80.

U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3D Art Expo
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 2-5
B Street Pier, San Diego
http://www.ussandsculpting.com/

Check out various works of art involving sand sculpting and 3D printing this weekend in San Diego. Admission ranges from $5 to $17.

Los Angeles Times: The TASTE
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 2-4
Paramount Pictures Studios, Hollywood
http://events.latimes.com/taste/

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

Anime California 2016
11:00 am – 2:00 am, September 2
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 3-4
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.animecalifornia.com/

Anime, manga, and cosplay fans rejoice! Anime California returns this weekend to its new home at the Long Beach Convention Center. This 3-day expo contains hundreds of artist & vendor booths, various special events such as a masquerade ball, music videos, concerts, battle of the bands, fashion shows, dancing, video games, karaoke, cosplay gatherings & contests, and much more. Admission to this all-ages expo costs $60 for the entire weekend.

LA County Fair – Opening Day
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.lacountyfair.com/

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

2016 E Hula Mau
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2
8:00 am – 12:00 am, September 3-4
Terrace Theater @ the Long Beach Convention Center
http://www.ehulamau.org/

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

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 2-4
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.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 2
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

Orange International Street Fair
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 2
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 3-4
Streets of Old Town Orange
http://www.orangestreetfair.org/

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

2016 Vegan Street Fair: Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2-3
The Federal Bar, North Hollywood
http://www.veganstreetfair.com/

The vegans have their nights in North Hollywood this weekend. General admission costs $20 while VIP admission costs $40 that includes a “fast pass” for food lines. This event will operate similarly to a night market, where guests will still have to pay for any food or drinks they wish to consume.

La Fiesta de San Gabriel 2016
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 3-4
San Gabriel Mission, San Gabriel
http://www.sangabrielmissionfiesta.org/

A free and all-ages street fair comes to San Gabriel this weekend. Visitors will find food, entertainment, arts & crafts, activities, and more.

14th Annual Ventura Nationals Hot Rod & Motorcycle Show
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 3
Ventura Fairgrounds, Ventura
http://www.venturanationals.com/

Immerse yourself in a world of classic cars, local music, pinup models, and more at this rockabilly event in Ventura this Saturday. Admission costs $15 for adults or $10 for active military with ID. Children 12 & under enter for free with a paid adult admission.

New Blues Festival III
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 3-4
El Dorado Park, Long Beach
http://newbluesfestival.com/

Enjoy two full days of local blues music at this all-ages concert this weekend at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. General admission costs $30 for one day or $50 for both days. VIP admission costs $125 for one day, and includes access to a VIP tent. Parking costs $8 per vehicle.

Fiesta Hermosa
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 3-5
Downtown Hermosa Beach
http://fiestahermosa.net/

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

Four Sons Brewing 2nd Year Anniversary
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 3-4
Four Sons Brewing, Huntington Beach
http://foursonsbrewing.com/event/four-sons-2nd-anniversary-celebration/

Four Sons Brewing in Huntington Beach turns two years old this weekend, and to celebrate, they will tap a bunch of rare brews at their tasting room all weekend. No admission required – simply show up, and enjoy some rare brews.

67th Annual Long Beach Greek Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 3-5
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Long Beach
http://www.lbgreekfest.org/

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

San Diego Bacon Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 3
NTC Park – Preble Field, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sdbaconfest.com/

Simply put, you can eat all the bacon and drink all the drinks you can at this festival dedicated to bacon. General admission costs $60 and starts at 2pm. VIP admission costs $100, starts at 1pm, and comes with a beer caddy to hold your beer tasting cup. All admissions include unlimited food and drinks until 5pm. No one under 21 may attend. This fest takes place outdoors, so apply sunscreen prior to arriving, and stay hydrated.

6th Annual D.I.Y. Music & Fashion Fest
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 3
The Glass House, Pomona
http://bricktoyaface.com/
http://www.facebook.com/BrickToYaFace

Check out this all-ages music & art fest this Saturday night in Pomona. Admission costs $15 presale or $20 at the door.

8th Annual BuskerFest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 3
East Village Arts District, Long Beach
http://www.summerandmusic.com/buskerfest

BuskerFest returns to Long Beach this Saturday. Like the Long Beach Funk Fest, various bands will perform on buskers in the East Village Arts Districts, with the headliners playing on the main stage. Free to attend for all ages, fans of music will surely want to come here. For long-term parking, search for street parking in neighborhoods to the east or north.

For What Ales Ya 2016
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 3
Maniac Mike’s Cafe, Upland
http://www.facebook.com/events/223705457992880/

$35 gets you admittance to this bottle share party, complete with a souvenir glass, complimentary taco bar, live music, and more. All attendees must bring at least one bottle of craft beer to participate in the beer drinking, as per the rules of any bottle share. No one under 21 may enter. See their website for a map of where attendees may park.

The Virus @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 3
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/thevirus

Punk rock band The Virus will make a rare appearance headlining an all-ages show in Santa Ana this Saturday night. Tickets to this show cost only $5. Arrive early to park at the venue’s parking lot for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a lot down the street for $10.

Punk Rock Karaoke
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, September 3
Casbah, San Diego
http://www.casbahmusic.com/event/1222029-punk-rock-karaoke-san-diego/

Live out your punk rock dream with Punk Rock Karaoke this Saturday night in San Diego, complete with a backing band consisting of professional musicians. Admission costs $12. No one under 21 may enter.

Ballast Point 20th Anniversary Festival
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 4
Del Mar Racetrack, Del Mar
http://www.ballastpoint.com/og20/

San Diego’s Ballast Point reaches a milestone this week, and to celebrate, they will have lots of beer and live music this Sunday evening in Del Mar. General admission costs $55 and starts at 5pm. VIP admission costs $70 and starts at 4pm. All attendees receive ten 4oz beer pours, a souvenir glass, and access to the full venue grounds and music concerts. No one under 21 may attend.

Covina’s Alosta Brewing brought back their Pintwood Derby for its third year running this past Saturday evening. This charity fundraiser saw numerous people enter their crafted (toy) cars to race for trophies. Participants paid the $20 entry fee, and had to create a small car that would run down a track, purely powered by gravity and friction. Alosta Brewing sold a starter kit for $5 for those not familiar with designing the small car. Children competed in their own division, while adults competed in an adults division. Most of the children came from local families, while a handful of the adults competing consisted of reps from nearby breweries. This year’s Pintwood Derby benefited No Kid Hungry and Chefs Cycle foundation. Aside from this outdoor event, Alosta Brewing operated under normal business procedures, with mobile food vendors outside and beers flowing inside.

Interested in what else Alosta Brewing has brewing for the future? Check them out on Facebook and Twitter for news and upcoming events. Pay attention to Alosta Brewing before early November – their anniversary takes place around the first weekend of November, and craft beer fans will not want to miss it.

The 2016 Summer edition of the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo took place at the Frank & Son Collectible Show in Rowland Heights this past weekend. This all-ages event cost $10 to enter and featured a handful of free-play arcade games and console games, as well as tournament stations for competitive multiplayer games. This expo contained over a dozen different vendors all selling goods related to video games, from actual video games to trinkets and accessories that have to do with video games. Near the entrance, attendees would find a music stage for video game music cover bands, such as Super MadNES, a heavy metal band that plays old school video game music from the 8-bit and 16-bit generation of video games. Past the music stage, attendees would find the tournament area with head-to-head consoles set up. For the most part, these consoles held fighting games, but a few of them had cooperative games and the players competed for a high score instead. At the back, attendees would find the panel room that had speakers and demos throughout the weekend.

The Frank & Son Collectible Show resides in a large warehouse full of vendors that anyone can enter for free. They have an event space in the middle of the building, and not all of these events come with an admission fee. As such, anyone could have simply visited Frank & Son’s just to browse the vendors, which sold things like sports memorabilia, anime/manga items, video games, video game merchandise, and more. Attendees to the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo also got a chance to browse all of the vendors here. For more information about the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

The Frank & Son Collectible Show hosts numerous events throughout the year, including the Nuke The Firdge Con that takes place in less than three months from now. Check out what other events will take place at Frank & Son’s by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Because we want equality for all, this upcoming Sunday represents National Go Topless Pride Day, a day where both men AND women can expose their upper bodies to the sun. This movement aims to spread awareness that women have the Constitutional right to bare their tops in public, despite local laws that otherwise prevent that. Many states actually allow top freedom; however, the police can still arrest bare-chested women for “disorderly conduct” even if the person did nothing else wrong. This Sunday across the nation, numerous movements will occur to shed light on the true legality of topless women in public, and aim to take a stand against authorities by marching topless. Certain cities allow bare tops during this movement, such as New York. However, Californian police will make arrests, so all women participating in this Sunday’s march in Venice must still cover up their nipples, either with pasties, stickers, or non-transparent tape.

In order to make this parade fun and successful, participants should make a few preparations for this event. Definitely prepare for prolonged exposure to the sun, so have sunscreen applied and available for reapplication. Part of this parade involves walking on sand with the rest on concrete, so sandals work best for footwear. The event page lists the approximate location as “198 Ocean Front Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90291” so when you get there, you may have to wander around a bit to find the meeting spot. Speaking of which, though the event starts at 1pm, the parade will not begin until some time between 2pm to 3pm. I still suggest arriving early to get settled, cover up the nipples if you had not already done so, mingle with others, and get a feel for the layout and parade path. Prepare to face a lot of troublemakers, gawkers, creeps, and generic immature people. They simply want attention, so just ignore them the entire time. All participants have the right to refuse photos, so if people start randomly taking pictures of you, kindly let them know that they cannot take a picture of you. Lastly, just let loose and have fun!

The 2nd Annual Fit Expo Anaheim returns to Orange County this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. This massive expo showcases all forms of fitness and athletics with live competitions, demos, workshops, seminars, and more. Single day admission costs $25, while the weekend combo only costs $40. All attendees receive access the entire exhibit floor, competitions, seminars, demos, autograph sessions, free samples, and more. At The Fit Expo, visitors can view various forms of fitness and non-arena sports, such as CrossFit, weightlifting, Zumba, Parkour, wrestling, (mixed) martial arts, and more. The massive expo hall contains enough vendors to fill multiple swap meets, but once visitors get past all the vendors, they will discover the various demo areas strewn about the expo hall. Examples include a CrossFit competition, a Zumba fitness demo, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition, an MMA Pavilion with a variety of demos such as the “adult jungle gym,” a power-lifting competition, and more. The multitude of vendors vary in their goods or services offered. Some offer some sort of service, such as training or consulting. Most others offer merchandise, which includes apparel, accessories, equipment, supplements, and more. This expo also exhibits a handful of food & beverage vendors. None of these vendors offer stereotypical health foods – they focus on what matters, such as all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, low-carb, and full of nutrients, especially protein.