Archive for March, 2017

The Piecemakers Peddler’s Market made its semiannual return this past Saturday. Taking place at the Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa, this free and all-ages market resembles a local swap meet of sorts, with the vendors selling lots of traditional and useful items. What kind of items would one find at this market? I witnessed items such as clothing, jewelry, kitchenware, home decorations, appliances, toys, games, art supplies, tools, trinkets, and so much more. Although nowhere near as large as other established swap meets in Southern California, this smaller, more intimate market allowed me to browse items in a more open space, and at least all the items here appeared useful in some way, compared to the other swap meets that tend to have random junk for sale. But hey, to each his own.

Make sure you check out the Piecemakers Country Store on Facebook for updates on upcoming events. The Peddler’s Market will return again later this year around September, so keep an eye out for that.

Some of California’s strongest athletes competed in a strongman competition this past Saturday morning in Huntington Beach as part of the 15th Annual California’s Strongest Man Contest. Taking place in a parking lot just east of Jack’s Concession Stand at Huntington State Beach, this competition allowed visitors of all ages to spectate these weightlifting feats for free, as the competitors exhibited their strength and finesse among five different lifting rounds. While most of the competitors represented various lifting and/or barbell clubs or organizations, the contest still allowed independent competitors to compete. Competitors exhibited their athletic ability in the following events:

  1. Log clean & press: a power clean followed by a press/jerk using a log, barbell, or dumbbell
  2. Keg toss: throw a weighted keg over a high bar
  3. Farmer’s carry: hold onto two weights and move it over a distance
  4. Tire flip: flip heavy tires a set amount of times
  5. Atlas Stones: picking up a heavy Atlas Stone and lifting it over a hurdle

Both men and women competed and gave their all, proving that fitness does not discriminate. Some of the women competitors who looked like they weigh just a little over a hundred pounds could effortlessly move a tire weighing over 500 pounds. One can never start lifting weights too late, so if you feel motivated to get strong like these competitors, search locally for a weightlifting gym or a barbell/lifting club or organization. Try to avoid mass “fitness centers” such as Planet Fitness that deter heavy lifting – those do not provide proper training, and will usually trap you in convoluted contracts that you cannot easily escape without an attorney. For best results, search for actual weightlifting gyms or CrossFit gyms with a lifting program. Not all CrossFit gyms have dedicated lifting space, so do some research on these gyms to see if they allow a lifting-only membership without the CrossFit workout shenanigans.

Artisanal LA returns for its semiannual show this weekend to its new home at the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Featuring the latest and greatest of artisan food and drinks in Southern California, this designer edibles fair brings together the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more. Hundreds of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcase their goods and sell their wonderful products to all the attendees. The floor features aisles after aisles full of vendors in each little space, all vying for attendees to try their goods, and hopefully generate a fan out of them. Due to the enclosed space with no industrial ventilation, most of the food arrived premade, or as cold/room temperature goods. From refreshing soft drinks to chocolates to ice cream to grass-fed beef to cakes and beyond, Artisanal LA truly exhibits the best of local Southern Californian flavor.

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10 presale or $15 at the door. Parking at the venue costs $6 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs. Words cannot fully depict all that transpires at Artisanal LA, so take an abridged tour through last year’s Artisanal LA here:

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. World Pillow Fight Day takes place every year on the first Saturday of April, where communities around the world gather to unleash a fray feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. One will encounter solo pillow fighters, pillow fighter parties, and specific pillow fighter “targets” dressed in costume. Throughout the melee, someone will call out a target, prompting anyone nearby to all focus on that particular pillow fighter. For best results, participants should use feather pillows instead of cotton or memory foam pillows, and make a few perforations on the pillows to allow the feathers to fly. Participants should maintain their health by wearing goggles, bandanas, masks, or anything else to help preserve vision and breathing.

Note that most locations take place in dense areas, so prepare to pay for parking. Check the website for confirmed locations throughout the world. As far as Southern California goes, World Pillow Fight Day returns to Los Angeles after taking many years off, with the last one taking place in 2011.

14th Annual Orange County’s Largest Mixer
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 28
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocmixer.com/

Pay $20 to enter this event to mix and mingle with other random strangers. Bring cash for parking too.

Free Punk/Ska Show @ Slide Bar
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 28
Slide Bar, Downtown Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/117592125443406/

Enjoy a free punk and ska show this Tuesday night in Downtown Fullerton. No one under 21 may enter.

Fist of Fusion – Grand Opening
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, March 30
Fist of Fusion, Hollywood
http://www.fistoffusionislandgrill.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1291616244289422/

Fist of Fusion makes the transition from food truck to a permanent location as of this Thursday in Hollywood. Stop on by for their grand opening day where you will get 25% off your entire bill, and enjoy some Hawaiian/Islander fusion street food.

Belching Beaver Cask Nite
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 30
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia
http://www.meatupbbq.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/268279623598745/

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

2017 Formula Drift
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 31 – April 1
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://formulad.com/schedule/long-beach

Taking place a week prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Formula Drift competition utilizes the sharpest turns of the track to put on a show that everyone can enjoy. Feel the excitement as drivers throw on their best drifting performance while narrowly dodging massive wipeouts. Guests may also visit a vendor village, receive autographs from drivers, see the pits up close and personal, and more. Tickets vary in price, but general admission to the Saturday main event costs $40 plus fees up to $10. Parking at the convention center costs $10, so plan to carpool, take public transportation, or park in the neighborhood to the east to alleviate that parking fee.

WonderCon 2017
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 31
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, April 1
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 2
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.comic-con.org/wca

Get your nerd on at WonderCon this weekend. Check out comic books, DVDs, action figures, artwork, signings/autographs, lots of cosplay, and more all weekend. Ticket prices for this all-ages expo vary depending on the preferred attendance method; for example, attending on Friday or Saturday for one day costs $30, while attending on Sunday only costs $18. Bring cash for parking, which usually costs about $20.

MXM Tag Team Tournament
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 31
eSports Arena, Santa Ana
http://www.playmxm.com/en/news/mxm-tag-team-tournament

Video game developer NCSOFT has a new game going into Beta next month, and they will preview it prior to the Beta this Friday evening in Santa Ana. Free to attend for all ages, the first 250 people in attendance will receive a free MXM t-shirt. Stick around to watch the game tournament, and to interact with the professional gamers.

5th Annual Bankers Hill Art & Craft Beer Festival
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 31
The Abbey, Bankers Hill, San Diego
http://new.bankershillbusinessgroup.com/

Bankers Hill will host a beer and art festival this Friday night for the fifth year in a row. Tickets cost $30 presale or $35 at the door, and include unlimited 4oz beer pours plus unlimited food from participating local vendors while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Reel Big Fish: 2017 US Winter Tour
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 31
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.reel-big-fish.com/

Reel Big Fish currently tours across the country as part of their annual winter tour, and that tour ends in Southern California this week. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $25.

2nd Annual The 420 Games Los Angeles
7:30 am – 3:00 pm, April 1
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
http://420games.org/

Do sports, listen to loud music, and get high all at this gathering this Saturday in Santa Monica. Admission ranges from $4.20 to $60 based on what you want to do here. Check out the website for a full list of activities and how much each costs.

22nd Annual Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 1
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier
http://whittieruptown.org/artantique2017/

Check out over 90 vendors selling collectibles, jewelry, art, furniture, glassware, and more at this street fair this Saturday. Free to attend for all ages, guests will find many rare merchandise from local businesses and home vendors. Guests can dine at any of the local establishments, which will remain open under their normal business hours. Guests can park for free on the street in adjacent neighborhoods.

25th Annual Riverside Airshow
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 1
Riverside Airport, Riverside
http://www.riversideairshow.com/

See all things aviation at this FREE and all-ages air show at the Riverside Airport this Saturday.

Discover The Dinosaurs – Orange County
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, April 1-2
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.discoverthedinosaurs.com/

Bring your friends and family to this dinosaur exhibit at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa this weekend. Check out all the dinosaur exhibits or participate in arts & crafts, while children can play in the inflatables section. Admission ranges from $18 to $25 – see the website for pricing details.

A Current Affair: Pop-Up Vintage Marketplace
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 1-2
Cooper Design Space, Downtown Los Angeles
http://itsacurrentaffair.com/

Check out over 40 vendors selling vintage apparel and accessories this Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles. Regular admission costs $12 and starts at 12pm, while early entry for 10am costs $20.

7th Annual Brew With A View
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 1
Packinghouse Brewing, Riverside
http://www.pbbeer.com/

Watch the Riverside Airshow from Packinghouse Brewing this Saturday, free of charge. They will have mobile food vendors, live music, and of course, lots of beer.

Abnormal Beer Company’s Two Year Anniversary
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 1
The Cork and Craft, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego
http://abnormalbeer.co/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1087585761345795/

Abnormal Beer Company turns two years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have a party right where it started last year. Free to attend for all ages, guests will find special brews, bar bites, a live DJ, raffle prizes, a preview of the brewery expansion, and more.

6th Annual Winner’s Circle BBQ Championship
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 1
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://santaanitabbq.com/

Enjoy some traditional BBQ meats this Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Admission to this all-ages food fest costs $5 per person, and once inside, tasting tickets cost $1 each. Each vendor takes a varying amount of tickets depending on the item offered.

7th Annual Spring Artisanal LA
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 1-2
California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://artisanalla.com/

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10 presale or $15 at the door. Parking at the venue costs $6 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

2017 San Diego Uncorked Wine Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 1
Embarcadero Marina Park North, San Diego
http://uncorkedwinefestivals.com/san-diego-wine-festival-april-2017/

Enjoy a wine festival with over 60 different wines, food trucks, live music, and more. General admission costs $60 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $70 and starts at 12pm. All attendees receive unlimited wine tastings while supplies last. Food comes at a separate cost, so bring cash for food. No one under 21 may attend.

Coastal Country Jam BBQ & Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 1
Huntington State Beach, Huntington Beach
http://coastalcountryjam.com/

A barbecue, beer, and country music festival will take place on the beach this Saturday. Presale tickets to this event cost $75. No one under 21 may attend.

Balboa Craft Beer Festival 2017
12:30 pm – 5:00 pm, April 1
Balboa Village, Newport Beach
http://www.balboabeerfest.com/

Enjoy beach weather and craft beer this Saturday afternoon near Balboa Island. General admission costs $65, and includes unlimited beer AND food. No one under 21 may attend.

Festival of Fools “Punk N’ Nachos” Spring Kick Off Show
1:30 pm – 12:30 am, April 1
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/424674214591996/

A bunch of local punk rock bands will perform at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Saturday starting in the afternoon. Guests may enter for free if arriving before 5pm; otherwise, the cover charge costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

King Harbor Brewing 3rd Anniversary Celebration
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 1
King Harbor Brewing, Redondo Beach
http://www.kingharborbrewing.com/2017/03/party-time-2/

Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing turns three years old this week, and to celebrate, they will hold a beer tasting event this Saturday at their tasting room. General admission costs $40 and comes with a souvenir glass and unlimited beer pours while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

2017 World Pillow Fight Day
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 1
Worldwide
http://pillowfightday.com/

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. On April 1st, communities around the world will gather to unleash a fray feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. Note that most locations take place in dense areas, so prepare to pay for parking. Check the website for confirmed locations throughout the world.

Duane Peters Gunfight: Live in Laguna Niguel
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 1
The Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.facebook.com/events/1763712457289612/

Release some inner aggression at this punk rock show this Saturday night in Laguna Niguel. The cover for this show costs $12. No one under 21 may enter.

The Coaster Run 5K/10K/Kids Run
6:00 am – 10:00 am, April 2
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
http://www.thecoasterrun.com/

Participate in a charity run through an amusement park this Sunday morning with the Coaster Run. Choose between a 5K or a 10K, or a Kids Run for the little ones. As a charity run, no participant can “win” – all participants will receive a commemorative medal for finishing the run. All participants also receive a coupon for half off an adult’s admission to the amusement park good for up to a month following the run. Registration varies in price depending on the course, so refer to the website for details.

Sand Sports Super Swap
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, April 2
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.sandsportssupershow.com/super-swap-tickets-buy-today

Buy, sell, or trade anything related to sand sports or offroading this Sunday morning. Admission costs $5 presale or $10 at the door, and grants access to all available vendors.

22nd Annual Tokyo City Cup & Japan Family Day
10:30 am – 5:00 pm, April 2
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.tokyocitycup.com/

A day of horse racing and Japanese culture comes to Santa Anita Park this Sunday afternoon. Visitors will find races, food, arts & crafts, games, entertainment, vendors, and more at this event. Adult admission costs $5, but the website has a printable coupon good for free admission. Children may enter for free with adults.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 2
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
http://www.bowers.org/index.php/education-programs/event/934-japanese-cherry-blossom-festival

Celebrate this traditional cultural springtime festival this Sunday afternoon in Santa Ana. With just the price of admission into the museum, visitors get access to arts & crafts, live entertainment, cultural food & drinks, and more.

5th Annual Chino Brew & Chew
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 2
Brinderson Hall, Chino Fairgrounds, Chino
http://www.sichinovalley.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=957607&module_id=170130

A beer tasting event comes to Chino this Sunday afternoon. General admission costs $35 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $45 and starts at 12pm. All attendees receive 15 4oz beer tasters. Bring cash for food if you intend to eat there. No one under 21 may attend.

Many fandom events have occurred recently in Southern California. The term “fandom” refers to a broad range of pop culture interests and hobbies, from comics to video games to anime/manga and more. The most popular ones cost the most to get in, but a lot of smaller ones often do not cost much, if not completely free, to attend, and more often than not the smaller ones still attract a huge crowd, such as as Coast Con 2017. Hosted by Anime Academia, an organization of Orange Coast College, Coast Con represents a locally-run community event around all things anime, manga, and video games. Taking place this past Saturday from 12pm to 8pm, this free and all-ages event attracted hundreds of fans of anime, manga, and video games to this quaint gathering for a fun day of mixing and mingling. Visitors would find artists, merchandise, live entertainment, cosplay contests, video game booths, a maid café, and more.

While it may not have the abundant amount of content that larger conventions and expos would have, Coast Con still had enough content to keep visitors occupied for a few hours. The Student Center acted as the hub of the event, containing a check-in table, lots of vendors, and the maid café. Directly outside in the maid quad, more artists and vendors set up along the center aisle. Going past this aisle, we find the classrooms that had the event’s programming, which included the video game stations and anime viewing rooms. Walking down from the main quad to the Moore Theatre brought us to the main stage where they held the cosplay contests. I only stuck around for the main cosplay contest that had everyone strut their stuff for the audience, and boy did a lot of people dress up for such a low-key event. This goes to show the dedication that these cosplayers have towards their interests.

While Anime Academia exists as a college organization, they often put on events open to the public. Check out Anime Academia on Facebook to see what other events they have planned that you can attend.

The craft beer scene in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County has surged quite a bit in the past year or two, and the scene will continue to experience rapid growth for an indefinite amount of time. This trend saw another spike this past Saturday when Absolution Brewing Company celebrated their third anniversary. Located across the ExxonMobil Refinery from the Torrance microbrewery core (which consists of Smog City Brewing and Monkish Brewing), Absolution Brewing represents another fine member of the South Bay craft beer collective. While they may not yet appear as widespread as Smog City or Monkish, the brews of Absolution live up to the expectations of any brewery from the South Bay.

At their third anniversary celebration, guests could still enter the tasting room and order beers right off the menu. To add to the celebration, Absolution employed a handful of additions, which included cask ales, games, mobile food vendors, and live music. Guests could still purchase beers as normal at the counter, but to those looking for a festival experience, Absolution offered just that in the form of beer packages. A general package cost $25 and came with three full beer pours, a souvenir glass, and one meal ticket from the food vendors. The VIP experience took place from 11am to 1pm, which consisted of unlimited beer pours for those two hours, plus everything that the $25 package gets.

Expect lots of hype and excitement from the South Bay in the upcoming weeks. This upcoming Saturday, Phantom Carriage in Carson will celebrate their second anniversary. The following weekend, Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing Company will celebrate their third anniversary as well. The Monkish anniversary already happened the previous week, but one can expect that Smog City should have an anniversary event before summer starts. Regardless, one cannot go wrong with breweries in the South Bay, so head on over and check out some breweries!