Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Despite a little wet weather, the Crave Expo went on as planned this past Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. The Crave Expo represents a gathering of food vendors all in one spot for attendees of all ages to check out and dine from. The organizers originally set this up as a ticketed event costing $5 presale or $10 at the gate per person; however, with the weather forecast showing rain all weekend, the organizers decided to nix the admission fee and allow people in for free as long as they preregister; otherwise it would still cost people $10 to enter if they just show up. Once inside, attendees gained access to all the vendors and could eat from whichever they chose. Basically, think of this as a food court, since attendees still needed to pay for any food or drink they wished to consume.

When I first heard about this event, it immediately appeared to me as a food truck fest. Remember food truck fests from 2010-2012? You paid some crazy amount of money to get in, then had to pay again for food. Once people realized that you could visit these food trucks elsewhere for free, people stopped going to food truck fests. Instead, people opted to go to weekly food truck gatherings, or the monthly ones such as First Fridays. Undaunted, I waltzed in to Crave Expo with a little over $40 in cash and checked out what they had to offer. Not surprisingly, I had seen most of these vendors before, either at other similar food events such as Artisanal LA or OC Night Market, or at local food truck gatherings such as Street Food Tuesday. Regardless, I did not want to walk away on an empty stomach. By the time I left, I had over $10 in my wallet.

I do anticipate that Crave Expo will return again in the future, but I advise to keep an open mind about how this event works. Remember that you can indeed find and visit most of these mobile food vendors elsewhere for free, thus avoiding paying for some sort of admission fee just to visit a food truck. Stay active with the local food truck scene by following your favorite food trucks on Twitter, and you will get to visit lots of them without needing to go to another “food truck fest” for some fee.

The Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend for its third year running. As the name suggests, this event featured all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it had to do with cookies, attendees would find it here. This year’s event setup largely resembled last year – in the first year, it took place at the Pasadena Convention Center. Due to overwhelming popularity, they moved it to the LA Convention Center, expanded the event to two days, and tripled the ticket price. However, last year’s event STILL sold out. This year, admission went up to $60, and it still appeared as though they sold out once again.

Although now in their third year, it appears that some things never change. For the most part, the organizers have solved the problem of most of the lines. Last year, attendees had to wait in a line outside the convention center to even enter, and then once inside had to wait in a line to scan their tickets, and then wait in another line to get into the expo hall where the event took place. All of that did not exist this time – what lines did remain resided within the expo halls. Despite the best efforts to qualm all the line-waiting that attendees did, no one could avoid the massive lines for the vendors once inside the expo hall. Once¬†inside, all the attendees faced lines upon lines for the few vendors that had samples. At this Cookie Con, less than half the vendors had actual samples for attendees to try – most of the vendors set up to sell things, such as products or services. Basically, attendees paid $60 in order to wait in lines to spend even more money. At this rate, eating $60’s worth of food would only occur if this event had a quarter of the amount of attendees so that everyone could efficiently reach the front of lines. In reality, it took half an hour of waiting in each line to finally get a sample of a cookie or some other dessert. On the other hand, the few vendors that had savory foods instead of sweets did not have bad lines, so I could easily get food samples such as jerky and tamales.

I fully expect Cookie Con to return next year, and likely with increased admission once again. When Southern California has food fests similar to this that cost like $175 or more to get in and sell out all the time, Cookie Con can just keep raising their prices, and would still sell out. If paying exorbitant admission fees to see these vendors sounds bad to you, just independently support the businesses on your own, such as Maya Brigadeiro or Bad Pickle Tees. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the admission fees of going to an event, and you get to select what you want to see without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Americans love their coffee. Visiting and inhabiting coffee shops represents a traditional American pastime. Business meetings, clubs, and first dates all do well with coffee in hand. Americans love their coffee so much that they dedicated events towards the love of coffee, such as at CoffeeCon LA 2017. Taking place at The Reef in Los Angeles this weekend, this java-themed event features all things coffee, from various types of coffee to coffee edibles to coffee equipment and more. Dozens of vendors may sample their brews, both hot and cold, while a handful of other vendors will exhibit their coffee complements, such as candy, desserts, and other food. Many other vendors exhibit coffee equipment, such as machines or presses used to brew coffee. Throughout the day, seminars take place detailing various topics about coffee, from the origins of certain types of coffee to how to utilize coffee in the culinary sense.

Due to last year’s overwhelming attendance, CoffeeCon has made some changes this year to accommodate attendees. They have expanded CoffeeCon from one day to both Saturday and Sunday. Admission for one day costs $15 per person, while two-day admission costs $20. A $40 ticket exists that grants one-day admission plus access to a coffee tasting seminar at 2pm. This seminar can only take up to 100 people each day, so if this interests you, act fact before it sells out. Last year’s CoffeeCon took place in the basement of The Reef, a small, tight, and compact space. They have not yet specified where in The Reef that CoffeeCon will take place this year, so prepare for a tight space again if it comes back to the basement. Attendees should bring extra cash if they intend to buy anything here, since most of the vendors will sells things and not necessarily sample their goods. Parking at the venue costs $10 per vehicle, but visitors can find street parking in a residential neighborhood about a block away, and can avoid paying to park.

For more information regarding CoffeeCon events both in Southern California and the rest of the nation, check them out on Facebook and Twitter for other updates.

5th Annual San Diego Comic Fest
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 17
9:00 am – 11:00 pm, February 18-19
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 20
Four Points by Sheraton, Parkview, San Diego
http://www.sdcomicfest.org/

Much smaller and more intimate than the San Diego Comic Con, this weekend expo will feature artists, writers, actors, models, screenings, speakers, autograph sessions, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more. Admission on Saturday or Sunday costs $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, and free for children. Admission for Monday costs $15 for adults, $7.50 for students, and still free for children. A 4-day weekend pass costs $50 for adults, $25 for children, and still free for children. Parking costs $4 per vehicle per day.

Dine Out Long Beach Restaurant Week 2.0
February 19-25
Participating restaurants, Long Beach
http://dineoutlongbeach.com/

The city of Long Beach has so many fine restaurants that they will have an entire week to celebrate the bounty. During this 7-day period, participating restaurants will have various food & drink specials. Check the website linked above for a list of participating restaurants and their specials.

Total Chaos: Live in Downtown LA
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 22
5 Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/585136735011813/

Enjoy a FREE hardcore punk show in Downtown LA this Wednesday night. No one under 18 may enter.

Suicidal Tendencies: World Gone Mad Tour 2017
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 22, The Observatory, Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 23, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
http://www.suicidaltendencies.eu/index.php/news/item/312-world-gone-mad-us-tour

Legendary hardcore punk band Suicidal Tendencies embarks on a tour this week, and that tour will start in Southern California. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary in price, so check with the venue for prices.

5th Annual LA Art Book Fair
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 23
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, February 24
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 25
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 26
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://laartbookfair.net/

An all-ages book fair comes to Downtown LA this weekend. Thursday night costs $10 to attend, and will have live entertainment as well as a book signing. Visitors may enter for free for the rest of the weekend.

San Diego Burger Week
February 24 – March 4
Participating locations, San Diego County
http://sdcitybeat.com/burgerweek

Enjoy select specialty burgers from participating locations all over San Diego County during this 10-day period for just $6 each!

San Luis Obispo Craft Beer Fest
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 24
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 25
Alex Madonna Expo Center, San Luis Obispo
http://www.slo-beer-fest.com/

Get sudsy in San Luis Obispo this weekend and enjoy dozens of beers from dozens of breweries. Admission costs $30 for Friday night or $50 for Saturday afternoon. All attendees receive a souvenir cup and unlimited food and beer samples while supplies last. Both days will contain the same things, but Friday costs less due to lower demand. No one under 21 may attend.

Flavors: Future of Food
7:00 pm Р9:30 pm, February 24
The Autry Museum, Griffith Park
http://theautry.org/events/special-events/flavors-future-food

Immerse yourself in the wonders of California’s “Farm To Table” culinary phenomenon this Friday night at The Autry Museum. Admission costs $50 and provides unlimited food samples while supplies last.

2nd Annual Skacademy Awards
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 24-25
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/734994536662975/

Southern Californian ska bands have banded together to throw an awards show dedicated to the booming SoCal ska scene. Free to attend for all ages, various awards will go out to select bands, and a handful of ska bands will perform a set as well on both nights.

CoffeeCon LA 2017
9:00 am Р4:00 pm, February 25-26
The Reef, South Central Los Angeles
http://www.coffee-con.com/

This weekend at CoffeeCon LA 2017, indulge in all things coffee, from the classic beverage to coffee candy to coffee desserts to coffee foods and more. General admission costs $15 per day or $20 for both days.

40th Annual Orange County Home & Garden Show
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 25
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 26
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.thebesthomeshow.com/

This all-ages expo will showcase the latest in home improvement, remodeling, interior-design, decorating, landscaping, and more. Admission costs $6 for adults, while children 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission. Parking at the OC Fair costs $8 per vehicle.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Northridge Appearance
10:00 am Р8:00 pm, February 25
Northridge Mall Fashion Center, Northridge
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1636182560019894/

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

$3 Hakata Ramen Sale
10:00 am Р10:00 pm, February 25-26
Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata, Fountain Valley
http://www.shinsengumigroup.com/en/event/2017_fv_ramen_anniversary.php

In celebration of their 16th anniversary, Shin-Sen-Gumi in Fountain Valley will offer $3 bowls of their famous ramen this weekend. They will stop when they reach a thousand bowls served per day. Arrive early to score this deal!

Brouwerij West 1 Year Anniversary Funky Breakfunch
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, February 25
Brouwerij West, San Pedro
http://www.brouwerijwest.com/

One of the most anticipated breweries to set foot in Southern California has turned a year old, and they will celebrate their anniversary this weekend with beers for brunch. Admission costs $30 presale or $35 at the door, and includes a souvenir glass and ten 4oz beer pours. No one under 21 may attend.

Long Beach Mardi Gras
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 25
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://lbmardigras.com/

Shoreline Village plays host this Saturday to a myriad of music, art, activities, entertainment, dance, parades, and more. The actual parade starts at 3pm at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Completely free to attend for all ages, all guests can get involved with the festivities, from the dancing to the games and more. Dress up to get even more involved!

Lager Festival & Pig Roast
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 25
MacLeod Ale Brewing Co., Van Nuys
http://www.macleodale.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/176129456205411/

This Saturday, Van Nuys’ MacLeod Ale Brewing will have a bunch of lagers on tap, and they will roast some whole hogs throughout the day. Free to attend, guests will simply pay for food and drinks as they go.

1st Annual Lumpia Fest – San Diego
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, February 25
Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa, San Diego
http://www.lumpiafest.com/

An all-ages food festival for all things Lumpia comes to San Diego this Saturday afternoon. Admission costs $55 presale or $75 at the gate, and includes unlimited food samples while supplies last. Drinks come at a separate cost.

Kiltomania Scottish Beer Festival
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 25
Hamilton Family Brewery, Rancho Cucamonga
http://www.hamiltonfamilybrewery.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1183051035142905/

This Saturday, Rancho Cucamonga’s Hamilton Family Brewery will release two Scottish beers for you to try. In addition, they will have live bagpipers in the evening, mobile food vendors, games, and more. This event has no cover charge. They will have a special glass available for purchase, and all refills in that glass will receive a dollar off.

Tater Tots & Beer Festival
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, February 25
Balboa Park, San Diego
http://tatertotfestival.com/events/san-diego-ca/

Snack on tater tots and craft beers this Saturday in San Diego. General admission costs $40 while VIP admission costs $75 and provides access to a VIP area. All attendees receive unlimited food samples while supplies last, and a beer stamp card good for one beer from each participating brewery. No one under 21 may attend.

4th¬†Annual Pub Crawl “The Twelve Pints of Christmas (in February)”
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 25
Port Pavilion, Downtown San Diego
http://www.sdbeerfest.org/
http://www.facebook.com/events/144957152671133/

Join in on a pub crawl this Saturday evening in Downtown San Diego and explore five different locations while you get drunk with friends and/or complete strangers. All participants must pay for their own drinks.

2nd Annual San Pedro Craft Beer Festival
6:00 pm Р10:00 pm, February 25
USS Iowa BattleShip, San Pedro
http://chugginbrews.com/

Sample local craft beers and check out a tourist attraction this Saturday afternoon in San Pedro. General admission costs $42, starts at 3pm, and includes unlimited beer while supplies last and access to the museum. VIP admission costs $65, starts at 2pm, and also includes a pretzel necklace, beer float, mimosa/sangria bar, and a souvenir glass. Parking costs $6 per vehicle. No one under 21 may attend.

Pasadena Comic Con & Toy Show
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 26
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenacomicandtoyshow.com/

Pasadena gets their own all-ages convention dedicated to comics and toys this Sunday. General admission costs $10 and starts at 10am, while early admission costs $15 and starts at 9am.

Hollywood Beer & Music Festival
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 26
Avalon Hollywood, Hollywood
http://www.hollywood-beerfestival.com/

Another corporate beer festival comes to Hollywood this Sunday afternoon. General admission costs $35 and starts at 2pm, while VIP admission costs $50 and starts at 1pm. No one under 21 may attend.

Not Another Ska Fest 4
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 26
Club Los Globos, Silverlake
http://www.clublosglobos.com/event/1429936-not-another-ska-fest-4-los-angeles/

An all-ages ska show takes place in Silverlake this Sunday night. Tickets to this show cost $6.

The 3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. As the name suggests, this all-ages event features all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it has to do with cookies, attendees will find it here. The price of admission actually went down this year from last year’s $50 admission. However, they have introduced multiple levels of attendance, from as low as $20 up to $60. I do not understand why, as they sold out last year even with the $50 admission. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

As anyone can guess, this event draws massive attention from the local populace. As of the time of this post, Saturday has already completely sold out. For anyone planning to attend Saturday, expect wall-to-wall people with long lines at every booth. I highly suggest early arrival, as the line to get in to the building takes about half an hour to clear through, and then you have to face another line to enter the convention hall. Once inside the actual event, you will have to endure even more lines to get to the vendors. I hope you bring your patience this weekend, as well as comfortable shoes, and cash since you will have to pay for the food you consume here. By the way, very few of the vendors actually bring samples – the vendors need to make a profit, after all!

Do some research about the businesses that will attend Cookie Con. Local businesses such as Velvet Rope Bake Shop or Bad Pickle Tees often set up at other cheaper, less crowded events. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the middleman, and you get to select what you want without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Mustard Plug 2017 West Coast Tour
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 13, Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 14, Slide Bar, Fullerton
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, February 15, The Casbah, San Diego
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 18, The Viper Room, West Hollywood
http://www.mustardplug.com/

Famous ska band Mustard Plug currently tours across the west coast, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits vary with each show, so refer to Mustard Plug’s website for show details.

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Many businesses may offer special meals for this occasion, so check with your favorite local establishment to see if they have anything special to offer. This includes non-food places, such as museums.

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
7:30 pm Р9:30 pm, February 14
Eat Drink Americano, Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.winela.com/wcc

Indulge in a cheese, chocolate, and wine pairing session this Tuesday night in Downtown LA. Admission costs $90 per person, and includes all foods and wines that attendees will enjoy. No one under 21 may attend.

Naughty Valentines Burlesque Show
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, February 14
Gaslamp, Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

Come see some sultry dancing this Tuesday night in Long Beach. Admission starts at $10 and goes up depending on where you want to stand or sit, with a dinner package available as well, starting at $50.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 15
The Rookery, Pomona
http://rookeryalehouse.com/Events.html

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

Long Beach Coin, Stamp, & Sports Collectible Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 16-18
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.longbeachexpo.com/

This show brings tens of thousands of collectors worldwide to share, buy, sell, and trade their collectibles. Complete with seminars, workshops, press conferences, vendor booths, auctions, and more, this all-ages expo will delight anyone interested in collecting valuable goods. Admission costs $8, with discounts available for seniors and children. Use promo code MEDIA for free passes. Parking at the convention center costs $10.

Reel Big Fish: 2017 US Winter Tour
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 16, The Belasco Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
6:30 pm – 11:30 pm, February 17, House of Blues, San Diego
http://www.reel-big-fish.com/

Reel Big Fish currently tours across the country as part of their annual winter tour, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so check the venue’s link for details.

Fang: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 16, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 17, The Garage, Ventura
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 18, The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 19, Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.fangofficial.com/

Hardcore punk band Fang will headline a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices will vary by the show’s location, so refer to Fang’s website for details. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

5th Annual San Diego Comic Fest
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 17
9:00 am – 11:00 pm, February 18-19
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 20
Four Points by Sheraton, Parkview, San Diego
http://www.sdcomicfest.org/

Much smaller and more intimate than the San Diego Comic Con, this weekend expo will feature artists, writers, actors, models, screenings, speakers, autograph sessions, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more. Admission on Saturday or Sunday costs $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, and free for children. Admission for Monday costs $15 for adults, $7.50 for students, and still free for children. A 4-day weekend pass costs $50 for adults, $25 for children, and still free for children. Parking costs $4 per vehicle per day.

Foam Wonderland – Climax Tour 2017
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 17
City National Grove, Anaheim
http://foamwonderland.com/

Want to get covered in foam without the necessity of moving for five kilometers? Check out this foam party this Friday night in Anaheim. Take a nighttime EDM scene, throw in colors, lights, and foam, and you have one messy and wet dance party. Tickets start at $58. No one under 18 may attend.

Blanks 77 – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 17, The Observatory, Santa Ana
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 18, Club Los Globos, Silverlake
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 19, Soda Bar, San Diego
http://www.facebook.com/Blanks-77-256493316808/

Oi punk band Blanks 77 will headline a group of shows this weekend in Southern California. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary by location, so check on their Facebook page for prices for each show.

Punk Rock Karaoke
8:00 pm Р12:00 am, February 17, Saint Rocke, Hermosa Beach
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 18, Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside
http://www.originalpunkrockkaraoke.com/

Live out your punk rock dream with Punk Rock Karaoke this Friday night in Hermosa Beach, complete with a backing band consisting of professional musicians. Admission costs $10 for Friday in Hermosa Beach, or $15 for Saturday in Riverside. No one under 21 may enter.

Rock The Boat: Love Stinks
10:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 17
Grand Romance Riverboat, Long Beach
http://www.rocktheboatla.com/

Take a boat ride out to sea this Friday night to enjoy an unregulated no-limits skacore show. Admission costs $25 presale. No one under 21 may attend.

Insane Inflatable 5K San Diego
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, February 18
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista
http://insaneinflatable5k.com/san-diego-ca/

It appears that people will do anything to break the mundane cycle of 5k runs. Introducing the Insane Inflatable 5K, a 5k obstacle course that takes you through inflatable obstacles. You remember these things as a kid. Now endure them as you challenge yourself and others to get through over three miles of this stuff. Registration costs $65 online or $75 on the day of the event, and comes with an event t-shirt.

24th Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 18-19
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/

Exhibit and explore Scottish culture this weekend at the Queen Mary’s annual Scottish Festival. Open to all ages, this festival will allow guests to experience Scottish music, dancing, athletic competitions, food, apparel, merchandise, and more. Plenty of activities will keep guests of all ages occupied, such as a kids’ zone and petting zoo for little ones, and a darts tournament and whiskey tastings for adults. Saturday ticket-holders also receive a discount for the ensuing Scottish music concert at night (see event below). Single-day tickets cost $19 for adults, while other ticket packages will vary in prices. Parking will get hectic, so I highly recommend taking the FREE Passport bus from downtown to here. As the majority of the fest takes place outdoors, I suggest applying sunscreen and dressing for outdoor weather.

12th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show
10:00 am Р5:00 pm, February 18-19
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://travelshows.com/losangeles

Interested in traveling and getting out to explore? Find all the information and resources you need and more this weekend at the Travel & Adventure Show. Presale admission costs $11 for one day, or $18 for both days.

2017 Long Beach Comic Expo
10:00 am Р6:00 pm, February 18
10:00 am Р5:00 pm, February 19
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://longbeachcomicexpo.com/

Comic fans rejoice! The Long Beach Comic Expo returns for its annual installment at the Long Beach Convention Center this Saturday. Admission costs $30 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, giving guests 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.

Southern California Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 18
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 19
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, San Diego
http://www.petexposandiego.com/

This FREE all-ages expo for all things pet-related takes place this weekend at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County. Open to all types of pets (with proof of vaccination), visitors can experience agility demos, prize giveaways, pet adoptions, free grooming, training sessions, and more. Bring cash for parking, which will cost between $5 to $10 per vehicle.

Santa Anita Winners’ Circle Chili Cook Off
10:30 am – 6:00 pm, February 18
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanitabbq.com/santa-anita-chili-2017/

Enjoy chili tastings from local cooks as they enter their prized chili recipes in hopes of taking home the grand prize. General admission costs $10 and provides entry to the event as well as access to the racetrack and betting. All food and drinks sold separately.

3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 18
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 19
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.lacookiecon.com/

Got a sweet tooth? You will not want to miss this event featuring all things sweet. General admission costs $25, and includes access to unlimited treats while supplies last. Celebrity chefs will also make an appearance for anyone wanting photos or autographs.

16th Annual Venice Beach Mardi Gras
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, February 18
Venice Beach, Venice
http://www.visitveniceca.com/calendar/2017mardigras/

Get wild this Saturday afternoon in Venice Beach. Free to attend for all ages, expect to see of of wild and vibrant outfits in this parade. The public may jump in to the parade too!

Free Punk Rock Show @ The World Famous Doll Hut
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, February 18
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/343804072685338/

Enjoy a FREE local punk rock show this Saturday afternoon in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

3rd Annual Air + Style Los Angeles
1:00 pm Р11:00 pm, February 18-19
Exposition Park, Los Angeles
http://airandstyle.com/los-angeles-2/

Music and snowboarding collide at this extreme sports event this weekend in Los Angeles. Tickets to this concert start at $79 and go up depending on your mode of attendance.

San Diego Winter Brew Fest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 18
Hall of Champions, Balboa Park, San Diego
http://www.sandiegobrewfest.com/

This winter beer festival returns to Balboa Park this weekend. General admission to this winter beer festival starts at 7pm and costs $40 presale or $50 at the door. Pay $10 more to enter the festival an hour earlier at 6pm. No one under 21 may enter.

Anti Social: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 18
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1694642954199516/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Downtown LA. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Dine Out Long Beach Restaurant Week 2.0
February 19-25
Participating restaurants, Long Beach
http://dineoutlongbeach.com/

The city of Long Beach has so many fine restaurants that they will have an entire week to celebrate the bounty. During this 7-day period, participating restaurants will have various food & drink specials. Check the website linked above for a list of participating restaurants and their specials.

Crave Expo
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, February 19
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
http://www.craveexpo.com/

Basically, a gourmet food truck or mobile food vendor fest. Preregister on their website to enter for free, or pay $10 at the gate to enter the event, and you gain access to a plethora of various food and beverage vendors. The admission only grants you entry, nothing else. Attendees will need to bring plenty of cash to pay for any food or drinks they intend to consume. Regular admission starts at 12pm, while a special VIP hour will take place starting at 11am. Dress appropriately for outdoor weather, including sunscreen for those intending to stay long. The venue provides free parking.

The Downton Abbey Tea
3:00 pm Р5:00 pm, February 19
Whimsic Alley, Los Angeles
http://www.whimsicalley.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/356173821431857/

Fans of Downton Abbey will not want to miss this formal tea supper this Sunday evening in Burbank. The $40 admission includes tea, sandwiches, dessert, entertainment, and themed activities.

This Saturday afternoon, the 13th Annual Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival returns to Long Beach from 12pm to 4pm along 2nd Street, rain or shine. Set up similarly to Stroll & Savor, this all-ages festival features a Homemade Chocolate Dessert Contest and various Pie-Eating Contests, in addition to the restaurants up and down 2nd Street sampling their chocolate goodies. Chase Bank will host the central hub, where guests can purchase ticket booklets and find more information regarding the fest, as well as locate the dessert contest entries and pie-eating contests, which start around 3pm. Anyone wanting to enter the dessert contest should fill out a form found on the aforementioned website link. This year, the organizers have removed the extra activities such as the Cake Walk and Valentine Heart Walk, and will focus solely on the tastings and contests.

As far as the general public goes, guests may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10 on the day of the fest at participating businesses along 2nd Street.Guests will use these tickets to redeem food items from participating businesses up and down 2nd Street. Food items will range in ticket cost, with most items costing one ticket and larger food items costing four or more. Sadly, the public may not try any of the desserts from the homemade dessert contest due to the health code. However, the food from the businesses should more than sate your appetite. For most people, one $10 booklet should suffice. For those with a larger appetite, I suggest arriving early and acquiring two booklets in order to have time to eat everything before the participating businesses run out of food for the event.

A handful of events will take place in or near Belmont Shore this month, ranging from food to shopping to pets to art and more. Get the latest news on Belmont Shore events by checking them out on Facebook and Twitter.