Archive for the ‘Food Truck’ Category

Food news & media giant Foodbeast brought back one of their major events this past Saturday, Ooze Fest, for its third year running. Hailed as Southern California’s premier cheese festival, this tasting event brought out dozens of Orange County restaurants to serve up their best cheese-inspired food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around. Ooze Fest took place across two different time slots on Saturday in order to spread out the amount of attendees: an afternoon session and an evening session. Each session allowed all attendees to have unlimited food and drinks while supplies lasted, and as far as the first session went, no booth ran out of food. The first session featured a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest, while the second session featured a pizza eating contest and a hot sauce challenge. Other than that, this event ran exactly how they described it originally – pay to get in, then eat and drink as much as you can until the event ends. Fortunately, spreading this event over two sessions meant that attendees did not have to deal with long lines at the food and drink booths.

In the days leading up to this event, I only worried about excess attendance and having to wait in lines for food. Fortunately this issue never surfaced greatly thanks to having two sessions instead of cramming everyone into one session. At times, a few of the vendors had to catch up on making food, so some people inevitably had to wait in a line. In the end, this event never turned into a wait fest, unlike some other similar events. Stay tuned in the upcoming year as they plan to bring back some of their other events, such as a noodle fest.

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The city of Downey celebrated their annual International Food & Music Festival this past Saturday evening on the streets of Downtown Downey. Free to attend for all ages, this street fair contained all sorts of activities and entertainment for the family. Visitors would find multiple stages for music and entertainment at the ends of streets, which contained dozens of food vendors, from booths of local businesses to gourmet food trucks. At another end of the event, rides and games awaited children and anyone else wanting to play with something. This event represents a good way to discover the local food of Downey aside from having the locally famous Porto’s Bakery right there.

The Orange County Brew Ha Ha returns for its eighth iteration this Saturday at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado. Benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this craft beer festival will feature over 90 different breweries, over 200 different beers, many food trucks, seminars from beer experts, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $45 and begins at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $60 and begins at 12pm. All beers will cease pouring at 4pm, leaving the final hour to sober up and find food.

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Look up directions before arriving – cell phones receive no signal as you approach the park.
  • Basic toll-free directions: Get to the 55 freeway, exit Chapman Avenue, then drive east until you reach the lake, where a sign should point out when to turn left into the park.
  • Bring cash for parking in case they charge for parking. Because of the park’s location, I do not recommend riding a bike or walking, although you may get dropped off.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra cash. Click here for a list of attending restaurants and food trucks.
  • If you see that it has no signal, just turn off your cell phone during the fest. Smartphones can enter Airplane Mode instead.
  • Though the park contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers. Click here for a list of attending breweries.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. An extra grace hour will allow guests time to sober up and find food before leaving.
  • Oak Canyon Park only has two exits: one back towards Orange, the other through the mountains leading of Rancho Santa Margarita. Police WILL patrol both roads leaving the park!

Check out these pictures from last year’s OC Brew Ha Ha:

The 2017 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival returns to Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach this weekend. This annual race brings teams from across the world here to compete and race their dragon boats against each other, eventually winning the tournament’s grand prize following the finals on Sunday afternoon. Registration to participate in the races closed a while ago, but spectators of all ages may still attend and watch the races for free. Although this festival appears as an event for the participants only, the festival features a handful of things to do that non-racers will also enjoy.

As mentioned above, this festival features other activities besides the racing that non-racers will enjoy. A tent in the parking lot will house a small stage for traditional Chinese performances, such as balancing acts, music, dancing, martial arts, and more. Nearby this tent, all attendees will find the vendor village, complete with booths selling food, drinks, cold treats, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more.

The hundreds of teams set up their stations along Paoli Way, past the vendor village. Strolling down Paoli Way allows everyone a glimpse into the areas of the teams, but also allows spectators to walk down to the shore and watch the races, which all starts at the north end of Marine Stadium.

With everything that the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival has to offer, everyone comes here mainly to watch the races. However, unlike most water-based races, dragon boats involve more than simply your sight. Any sound can shake the air, but a dragon boat team shakes the heart! The combination of the drummer and paddlers working in unity really gets your heart pounding, similar to the feel of a NASCAR race or the Long Beach Grand Prix. When a race actually starts, spectators simply hear drumming, the drummer shouting commands at the paddlers, the paddlers chanting, and the sweep retorting the commands. One cannot help but get excited and cheer on a team, despite not knowing which teams to cheer for!

The Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival runs on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, providing ample time to attend. On both days, the main festival area opens at 9am and runs until 6pm. The actual races follow their own schedule, so please refer to the website, linked above, for the race schedule. Spectators can find plenty of free street parking on Naples Island, Belmont Park, or Belmont Shore – do not attempt to park in the Marine Stadium parking lot, as that entrance will remain closed to the festival goers. Find some time this weekend to bring your friends, family, and pets down to watch these races – as one of the world’s grandest dragon boat races, you ought to catch a dragon boat race in all its glory.

The night market trend continues to gain popularity, as it exponentially attracts more and more visitors with each passing event. Derivating from populated Asian countries, a night market represents a food & entertainment festival packed with many different types of food, vendors, and various forms of entertainment, including live performances and games. In the past few years, night markets have spread globally due to the increased desire for Asian food, one of which has landed in Koreatown just west of Downtown Los Angeles. This past weekend, the folks over at the Ktown Night Market hosted their annual event at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. This weekend-long all-ages festival brought the nightlife of the east to the west, and showed the locals what goes on at night in populated Asian cities. Admission only cost $5 per person, while guests had to pay for everything else once inside. As an event with “Food Fest” in the name, visitors could expect to discover tons of authentic and interesting foods here. While most of the food found here derived from Korea, visitors could find cuisine from other regions of Asia, such as Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and more. The organizers did not categorize any sections of the street – visitors could encounter food, merchandise, food trucks, games, and more all scattered throughout the area.

Miss out on this night market? Keep in mind that many other night markets take place, now that its popularity has risen substantially. In Southern California alone, in addition to Koreatown, night markets occur in Arcadia, Downtown LA, Costa Mesa, Monterey Park, Westminster, and San Diego. I believe that within a year from now, many more night markets will pop up – a quick search revealed at least two more in Northern California, so look up some night markets in your area, and experience how locals celebrate their culture in the far east.

This past Saturday, Orange County food event planners 100eats returned to the streets of Downtown Santa Ana to bring back a food festival experience to an up & coming area. Called Pub & Grub: A Culinary Crawl, this tasting event brought out over a dozen of Orange County restaurants and gourmet food trucks to serve up their best street food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around. The event covered 5th Street between Main Street and Spurgeon Street, as well as Bush Street down to 4th Street, the entrance to the event. Folks who have attended one of their previous events, Ooze Festival, will recognize how they set up Pub & Grub. The general admission method involves pay-as-you-go. The event took place on Saturday opening at 12pm and closing at 11pm. Pub & Grub operated continuously during that time, with a cost $10 to enter. Once inside, attendees would then have to pay for any food they wish to consume. This works best for those who did not plan to eat as much, or wanted to selectively choose what to eat or drink. The VIP admission method involved a traditional food fest operation. This took place in one of two three-hour sessions: 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm, and for $40 presale or $60 at the gate, any attendee received unlimited food & drink samples for this duration.

As I attended the night session, I eventually encountered the downfalls of this event. Two major issues arose by the halfway point of this event. Not only did the VIP vendors start running out of food and/or drinks by then, but the entire event had so much empty space. The VIP section had one liquor booth, three breweries, four food booths, and one dessert booth. The general section had three food trucks, one dessert truck, and one snack booth. Overall, this made for a LOT of open space that the organizers could have easily filled with more vendors. Did food vendors drop out of the event? In any case, this led to long lines in the VIP section and VIP vendors running out early. All of these issues would dissolve with more vendors. Unfortunately, this weekend contained a lot of other events, such as the LA Food Fest, so getting an adequate amount of vendors to this event resembled bidding on vendors.

If you plan to party on this weekend a week prior to Easter, make it count by attending the 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival, brought to us by the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha. Taking place this Saturday from 12pm to 9pm at its new home of Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival follows up on its previous years’ iterations of a craft beer festival with all the celebrations necessary for a Cinco de Mayo party, moves it a month earlier, and throws in lots of live music. Dozens of chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will make an appearance here to serve up some delicious gourmet tacos, all conveniently priced at $3 each. Unlike previous years, this year’s event will function more like Cali Uncorked or Ye Scallywag, other festivals from the same organizer. The unlimited beer tasting occurs until 4pm – after that, all attendees will need to pay for drinks. To keep guests entertained this festival will have live Lucha Libre wrestling and live music all day. If guests choose to get involved somehow, they will find plenty of outdoor games to partake in, such as glorified Jenga, beanbag toss, and more. If guests simply want to relax, they can locate the cigar lounge and rest with some of the great cigars available. Though this event takes place outdoors, the event organizers will kindly provide free water to all the attendees.

The 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival runs this Saturday, April 8th, from 12pm up until 9pm. Guests may enter as soon as 11am, but will only have access to the food section. The gates to all the beer will open at 12pm. General admission costs $70 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $99, starts at 12pm, and includes access to a VIP lounge. Non-drinkers may purchase a designated driver ticket for $45 at the door. Read up on some more tips to make the most out of your visit:

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Absolutely nobody under 21 may enter the festival. Do not even think about bringing your kids or pets.
  • Arrive early to secure parking at the venue, since the venue has extremely limited parking. For those planning to arrive a little later, they should park at the Outlets at San Clemente and purchase a shuttle pass for $10.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra $1 bills.
  • Though the venue contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the festival. All attendees receive FREE water on the premises.
  • Dress appropriately for hot weather. Southern California has seen a heat wave recently, and the combination of heat, salty food, and alcohol will quickly lead to dehydration.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. The music will go on until 9pm, but guests will have to pay for drinks during this time.

Take a look back at last year’s Sabroso Fest for a glimpse at what may go down this Saturday:

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 4
Ben & Jerry’s, Worldwide
http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day

Get one FREE ice cream cone this Tuesday at any participating Ben & Jerry’s store.

Free Punk Show @ Five Star Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 4
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/257703838022358/

Enjoy a free punk rock show in Downtown LA this Tuesday night. No one under 18 may enter.

6th Annual Roar in The Shore
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 5
Legends, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/roar-in-the-shore/

Completely free to attend, guests can view race cars on displays, and receive racer autographs.

D.I.Y. Festival Competition
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 5-6
Clash City Station, Riverside
http://bricktoyaface.com/

Check out this music & art festival this week in Riverside. Admission costs $7 presale or $10 at the door. No one under 18 may enter.

OC Roller Derby Orientation
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 5
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/394631604250005/

If you ever wanted to try roller derby, you have a chance to join a league. Click the link to send your information to them, and then show up to orientation this Wednesday night in Huntington Beach.

Scrapbook Expo – Orange County
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 6-8
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.scrapbookexpo.com/

The nationally-famous Scrapbook Expo comes to Southern California this week! Admission to this all-ages expo varies in price, starting at $8 for a one-day general admission adult ticket.

Taste of Leucadia: Food For Thought
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, April 6
Leucadia 101 Main Street, Encinitas
http://www.leucadia101.com/events/taste-leucadia/

Sample the local flavors of Leucadia this Thursday evening at the Taste of Leucadia. For $25 presale or $30 on the day of the event, visitors get treated to unlimited food samples from all the participating restaurants. For an additional $15, guests can receive ten beer/wine tastings from select locations. The organizers have provided a shuttle that runs to and from city hall to alleviate the parking situation.

Tecate Light Thunder Thursday
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, April 6
The Pike Outlets, Downtown Long Beach
http://gplb.com/thunder-thursday-moves-pike-outlets/

Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can catch motorcycle shows, race cars on display, racer autographs, a rock wall, live music, and more. Guests can find free parking for up to two hours in the structures east of Pine and north of 3rd.

The Damned 40th Anniversary U.S. Tour
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 6, The Belasco Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 7, House of Blues, San Diego
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 8, House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.officialdamned.com/

Legendary punk rock band The Damned embark on an international tour starting this week in Southern California. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary by location, so check with the website for details.

Ragnar Relay So Cal 2017
5:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 7-8
Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach
http://www.runragnar.com/event-detail/relay/southerncalifornia

Take part in an epic overnight relay race that stretches from Orange County down to San Diego this weekend starting Friday morning. Grab a team, grab supplies, and make the trek from point A to point B, finally finishing at Crown Point in Pacific Beach.

43rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
7:00 am – 9:00 pm, April 7-8
7:00 am – 5:30 pm, April 9
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.gplb.com/

Catch all the excitement of the races all weekend in beautiful Downtown Long Beach, as the streets transform into a speed zone. Open to all ages, racing events take place throughout the day, so attendees can catch a race at most times of the day. Consult the website to further read about the race schedule, but know that the celebrity race takes place in the early afternoon on Saturday, and the grand prix takes place Sunday afternoon. Ticket prices vary by type, but a general admission weekend pass costs $70. The massive area that the grand prix covers features multiple entrances, so visitors do not need to seek out any particular entrance – just the entrance most convenient to them. All visitors must mind the increased traffic in & around Long Beach during this weekend, plus the multiple street closures. Preferably, public transportation remains the same price, so visitors should look into that option. As the races take place entirely outdoors, attendees should prepare for the excess heat with sunblock and plenty of hydration. Most if not all of the vendors accept cash only, but attendees can still access businesses in Shoreline Village, which will accept cards.

7th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party
10:00 am – 6:30 pm, April 7
11:00 am – 7:30 pm, April 8
J Street b/w 6th & 10th, East Village, Downtown San Diego
http://eastvillagesandiego.com/7th-annual-east-village-opening-day-block-party-on-april-7th/

This free and all-ages event celebrates the San Diego Padres’ annual opening game. This street party will have craft beer, live music, food, drinks, vendors, and more.

Lucidity Festival 2017
10:00 am – 8:00 am, April 7-9
Live Oak Camp, Santa Barbara
http://www.lucidityfestival.com/

Basically, a music & art festival that spans an entire weekend, similar to Coachella. This event runs nonstop from Friday morning through Monday morning. Lucidity requires many words to explain, which the website does a great job of. With dozens of stages, hundreds of vendors & artists, and endless activities, visitors will never run out of things to do here.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 7
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).

Monsterpalooza 2017
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 7
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 8-9
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.monsterpalooza.com/

Basically, a convention for horror, Halloween, and other similar media. Check out costumes, apparel, accessories, toys, media, speakers, demos, celebrities, artists, and more all this weekend in Pasadena. Admission to this all-ages event costs $30 per day or $70 for the full weekend.

Wasted Ones @ The Redwood Bar
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 7
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1757209697930122/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock at this local punk show this Friday night in Downtown LA. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

6th Annual Hollywood Half Marathon & 5k / 10k
5:00 am – 1:00 pm, April 8
Dolby Theatre, Hollywood
http://hollywoodhalfmarathon.com/

The streets of Hollywood close down this Saturday morning for this series of races. Registration costs $105 for the half-marathon, $50 for the 10k, or $45 for the 5k.

43rd Annual Run Seal Beach 5k/10k
7:00 am – 10:00 am, April 8
Marina Community Park, Seal Beach
http://www.runsealbeach.com/

A 5k/10k run will cover the streets of Seal Beach this Saturday morning. Registration costs $40 and includes an event t-shirt (XXL size costs $3 more). Plan your commute accordingly.

4th Annual Street Machine & Muscle Car Nationals
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 8-9
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.streetmachinenationals.net/StreetMachineAndMuscleCarNationalsPomona

Come see over a thousand muscle cars, classic cars, hot rods, and more at this weekend-long car show at the Fairplex in Pomona. Tickets cost $18 if purchased from participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores, or $20 if purchased online or at the gate. Children can enter for $5. Bring cash for parking which may cost up to $10.

ArtFest 2017
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 8-9
San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas
http://sdbgarden.org/artfest.htm

Enjoy hundreds of art displays, cars, and live music this weekend at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Admission costs $14, with discounts available for seniors, military, students, and children.

SoCal Corgi Beach Day
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 8
Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington Beach
http://www.socalcorgination.com/

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners unite this Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach, free to attend and for all ages. Share your love of this wonderful breed by showing off your adorable companion or by showing love for someone else’s adorable companion.

6th Annual Healthy Living Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 8-9
Del Mar Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, Del Mar
http://www.healthylivingfestival.com/

Check out this health & wellness expo this weekend, FREE to attend for all ages (with printable coupon found on website). Guests can experience cooking demos, medical testing, belly dancers, fitness workshops, food & drink samples, massages, speakers, fitness tests, yoga classes, speakers, and more.

2017 Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire: Opening Day
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, April 8
Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale
http://www.renfair.com/socal/

This renaissance faire will run from this Saturday through May 21st this year. Admission costs $29 for adults or $15 for children.

Food Truck Fetish Festival 2017
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 8
Exposition Park Event Parking, Los Angeles
http://www.foodtruckfetishfestival.com/

Remember food truck festivals from over five years ago? One returns this Saturday in Los Angeles. Admission costs $5 presale or $10 at the gate, and grants you access to gourmet food trucks where you will have to pay again for food. This event will also have a beer garden (drinks sold separately), live entertainment, and a VIP admission that includes unlimited soft drinks and one free dessert.

JANM Free Family Days: Celebrate Japanese American History
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 8
Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://janm.org/familydays2017

Learn about Japanese American history at this free and all-ages cultural educational event this Saturday in Little Tokyo.

Champagne On Main Spring Wine Walk & Street Fair
11:00 am – 6:30 pm, April 8
Main Street, Downtown Ventura
http://www.champagneonmain.com/

A cluster of events will take place in Downtown Ventura this Saturday afternoon. A free and all-ages street fair will take place all day, consisting of vendors, food, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and more. A champagne/wine walk takes place from 3pm to 6pm. This costs $50 to participate in, and gives participants a wristband with tickets and tasting cup to walk around the street fair getting samples of champagnes, wines, or craft beers. A VIP admission costs $70 and also grants access to a dessert bar. Since this takes place in the street fair, no one under 21 may participate, but they can still walk around with the adults.

9th Annual Los Angeles Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 8
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles
http://www.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest/

Everyone’s favorite drunk fest returns to Los Angeles this Saturday. This festival allows attendees to drink unlimited beers while enjoying live music from local bands. Food trucks will sell their delicious foods to hungry guests. Tickets cost $40, but does not include parking. No one under 21 may attend.

4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 8
Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
http://sabrosotacofest.com/

From the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha comes a Spring version of Orange County’s biggest beer festival – a beer & taco festival rebooted. A lot has changed since last year. Admission still provides includes unlimited beer tasters, a souvenir glass, live entertainment, games, a cigar lounge, and more. All tacos will still cost $3 each, so prepare to carry cash, preferably singles. This big festival outgrew its previous home and has moved to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point for this year. In addition, this event now features a music component similar to their previous Cali Uncorked and Ye Scallywag festivals. Live bands will perform throughout the day, and all drinks after 4pm come at cost. No one under 21 may attend.

“When We Were Young” Festival
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 8-9
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.whenwewereyoung.net/

A huge rock concert comes to The Observatory in Santa Ana this weekend. Tickets to this all-ages concert start at $60.

2nd Annual Punktography
1:00 pm – 12:00 pm, April 8
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/384558055264067/

Enjoy a free photography and punk rock show this Saturday all day at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

5th Annual VinDiego – San Diego Wine & Food Festival
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 8
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.vindiego.com/

VinDiego returns to Liberty Station this Saturday afternoon. Enjoy tastings of over 75 different wines from California’s top wineries, and delicious eats from many of San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs. General admission presale costs $115 and allows entry at 4pm, while VIP admission costs $150 and allows entry at 3pm. No one under 21 may attend.

7th Annual Broke LA
3:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 8
Enox Events, East Los Angeles
http://brokelafest.com/

Cannot afford to dump money on Coachella? Check out Broke LA, a miniature version of the money-guzzling concert, this Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles. Expose yourself to the variety of local art and music at this intimate experience, and keep your wallet happy too. Admission to this event costs $20 presale or $25 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Color Fun Fest 5K San Diego
3:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 8
Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, Chula Vista
http://colorfunfest5k.com/san-diego/

Subject yourself to another color run at this color 5k this Saturday in Chula Vista. This event features two running events: one during the day, and one at night. Registration for this run costs $25 presale or $60 on the day of the event, if any tickets remain.

4th Annual San Diego Beer & Music Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 8
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sandiego-beerfestival.com/

This beer & music festival will take this Saturday at NTC Liberty Station. Attendees will find over a hundred different types of beer, live music, food trucks, and other forms of entertainment. General admission costs $35 presale or $40 at the door, and starts at 7pm. VIP admission costs $50 or $60 at the door, and starts at 6pm. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters, regardless of admission type. No one under 21 may attend.

Night Nation Run – Orange County
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 8
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://nightnationrun.com/orange-county-anaheim/

People always seem to want to find any way possible to make running less boring. Introducing Night Nation Run, a glow run that now involves EDM. Run a course complete with lights, glow sticks, lasers, EDM, and more. Registration costs $30 presale or $60 once presale registration runs out, and includes a t-shirt, a glow necklace, a goodie bag, and access to the after-party with more EDM.

Montrose Brew Fest 2017
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 9
Benitoite, Montrose, Glendale
http://brewfest.montrosechamber.org/

A beer and food tasting event comes to Glendale this Sunday afternoon. General admission costs $35 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $45 and starts at 12pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and beer samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

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!

Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras
February 28

Many locations and businesses will have some sort of special going on this Fat Tuesday. Check out your favorite local restaurants or businesses to see what they have going on.

The Virus and Agression @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 28
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.viruspunks.com/
http://www.observatoryoc.com/node/2932

Punk band The Virus will headline a show in Santa Ana this Tuesday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13.

OC Roller Derby Orientation
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, March 1
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/ticketsevents/2017/3/1/new-skater-orientation

If you ever wanted to try roller derby, you have a chance to join a league. Click the link to send your information to them, and then show up to orientation this Wednesday night in Huntington Beach.

38th Annual Food Fare
11:00 am – 9:30 pm, March 2
Barker Hangar, Santa Monica
http://pplafoodfare.com/

A high-class ritzy food-tasting event will take place in Santa Monica this Thursday. The afternoon session from 11am to 2pm costs $150 to attend. The evening session from 6:30pm to 9:30pm costs $250 to attend. All attendees receive unlimited food and drink samples while supplies last. Parking costs $10 per vehicle. The website does not specify an age limit.

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern – Santa Monica Grand Opening
11:30 am – 4:00 pm, March 2
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, Santa Monica
http://j-fat.com/locations/santa-monica/
http://www.facebook.com/events/403898963293488/

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has opened the doors to their fourth location in Santa Monica, and they will celebrate with a generous 50% off all lunch menu items this Thursday afternoon. No coupon required – simply show up, order lunch, and you will get 50% off.

College & Food Truck Night
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 3
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/collegenight/

This Friday night, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach will open later than usual. They will have discounted admission for college students, and the aquarium will have gourmet food trucks parked outside to feed visitors.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 3
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).

Starpool: Live in Riverside
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 3
Romano’s Concert Lounge, Riverside
http://www.starpoolmusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1625133217782719/

Local ska band Starpool will headline a show in Riverside this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $12 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

2nd Annual Downtown Anaheim Community Yard Sale
8:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 4
Center Street Promenade, Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/

Local Anaheim residents will join in on a large communal yard sale in Downtown Anaheim this Saturday morning. Visitors can explore this event for free, while residents wanting to set up a spot to sell things must register for $10 per spot.

The Straw – Grand Opening
8:00 am – 10:00 pm, March 4
The Straw, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/1456671431034077/

Say hello to the next level of hipster food this Saturday as Costa Mesa’s The Straw officially opens their doors to the public. They will not have any specials on this day – just pop on in and buy one of these fancy milkshakes so you can show it off to all of your social media friends and post selfies with it.

34th Annual Porsche & Vintage VW Literature, Toy & Memorabilia Meet
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, March 4
LAX Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles
http://www.lalitandtoyshow.com/

See dozens of vendors this Saturday near LAX all exhibiting posters, brochures, toys, models, gifts, press kits, literature, accessories, and more for Porsches and vintage VW’s. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10 per person.

4th Annual Los Angeles IPA Festival
9:30 am – 9:30 pm, March 4-5
Mohawk Bend, Echo Park
http://www.laipafestival.com/

Find over 60 different California-brewed IPA’s at Mohawk Bend this weekend during the LA IPA Fest. This event operates more like a tap takeover than a typical festival – instead of tickets, all 10oz beers cost $5 each, while souvenir glasses cost $5 each. Guests should park in the neighborhood north of Mohawk Bend.

The Original International Tiki Market Place
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 4
Elks Lodge 1952, Garden Grove
http://www.facebook.com/events/1273487682690729/

For $10 admission gain access to a plethora of tiki-themed vendors in Garden Grove this Saturday afternoon. Admission comes with a $10 voucher for a drink.

San Diego Travel & Adventure Show
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, March 4
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, March 5
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego
http://travelshows.com/shows/san-diego/

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.

SoCal Etsy Guild Market – San Diego
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, March 4
Westfield Mission Valley, San Diego
http://socaletsyguild.com/

Free to attend for all ages, the SoCal Etsy Guild will hold its monthly vendor market this weekend, filled with dozens of vendors selling apparel, accessories, and more.

Holi Festival of Colors – Riverside
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 4
Martha McLean Park, Riverside
http://www.festivalofcolorsusa.com/festival-of-colors/festival-colors-riverside-ca/

Want to get covered in color without the necessity of moving for five kilometers? Check out the Festival of Colors this Saturday. As simply a celebration of color, guests will enjoy live music the entire time, all while mingling and showing off colors. Color throwing occurs every hour. Admission costs $5, and guests can purchase colors at the festival.

Noble Ale Works 6th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, March 4
Noble Ale Works, Anaheim
http://www.noblealeworks.com/

Noble Ale Works celebrates their sixth anniversary this weekend, and to commemorate, they will throw a beer fest at their brewery just like previous years. General admission costs $50 and provides four hours of over 30 different brews, unlimited pours, live music, food trucks, a souvenir glass, and more. No one under 21 may attend this event.

Akiba Day #1
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 4
Weller Court, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://akibaday.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1247962838619465/

Check out this free and all-ages meetup for fans of anime and manga. Expect to see a handful of cosplay here as well.

2017 Spring Busker Festival
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 4-5
Seaport Village, San Diego
http://www.seaportvillage.com/events-calendar/busker-festival

Basically, Circue du Soleil. This artful all-ages outdoor festival brings out performers of various entertainment trades (jugglers, contortionists, stilt-walkers, etc) to entertain visitors. Free to attend, guests should seek alternate methods of transportation to arrive here, such as carpooling or public transportation, as decent parking will likely take a long time to find.

16th Annual Lantern Festival
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 4
Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles
http://www.camla.org/lanternfestival.html

This free and all-ages festival celebrates Chinese tradition with recreations of street fairs filled with illuminating lanterns, music, lion dance, interactive arts & crafts, and more, all culminating with a glow-in-the-dark dragon dance at the end of the day. Local food businesses will sell authentic Chinese food and drinks as well.

2017 Get Shamrocked Fest Launch Party
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 4
Tin Roof, Downtown San Diego
http://www.getshamrocked.com/

The Get Shamrocked Fest normally takes place in Murrieta in September annually, but this Saturday afternoon, they will have a special concert party in Downtown San Diego. Admission to this concert party costs $20. No one under 21 may attend.

Tater Tots & Beer Festival
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 4
Montecillo De Leo Politi Park, Elysian Park
http://tatertotfestival.com/events/los-angeles-ca/

Snack on tater tots and craft beers this Saturday in Los Angeles. 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.

Rhythm, Wine & Brews Experience 2017
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 4
Empire Polo Fields, Indio
http://www.rwbexp.com/

Partying, loud music, and alcohol collide in one epic mashup in the desert this Saturday evening. Taking place where the famous Coachella and Stagecoach concerts occur, this all-ages concert will have stoner music, beer, wine, and overpriced food for you to indulge yourself and the kiddos with. Tickets start at $70 and go up to $5000.

Orange County Restaurant Week
March 5-11
Various restaurants in Orange County
http://www.orangecountyrestaurantweek.com/

For one week, numerous restaurants in Orange County will offer prix-fixe multi-course meals, ranging from $10-20 for lunch and $20-40 for dinner.

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
5:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 5
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.pomonaswapmeet.com/

See thousands of original and restored classic cars at the Fairplex this Sunday morning. Many of the vendors will also sell automotive accessories, parts, and more as well. This all-ages show cost $10 to enter, while children 10 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter via gate 17 on Fairplex Drive, directly off the 10 freeway.

626 Golden Streets
8:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 5
South Pasadena to Azusa
http://www.626goldenstreets.com/

A ciclovia comes to the San Gabriel Valley this Sunday morning, which will close off many streets to through-traffic to allow bikers and pedestrians to freely roam the streets. Plan your commute accordingly.

So Cal All-Porsche Swap & Car Display 2017
8:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 5
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
http://www.lalitandtoyshow.com/related-events.html

Check out a bunch of classic cars this Sunday morning in Anaheim. Admission to this all-ages car show costs $10 per person.

San Diego Vintage Flea Market
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 5
The Observatory Parking Lot, North Park, San Diego
http://sdvintagefleamarket.com/

At this free all-ages outdoor market, visitors will find modern to vintage inspired clothing, housewares, furniture, smalls, and more for sale from the various local vendors.

2017 San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, March 5
Granada Pavilion, Granada Hills
http://www.facebook.com/SanFernandoValleyComicBookConvention

This annual local comics event returns to the San Fernando Valley this Sunday. General admission costs $5 while children under 12 enter for free with paid adult admission, and admission grants full access to the show floor, which contains dozens of artists, vendors, professional actors, and more.

San Diego Magazine’s Brunch Bash 2017
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 5
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, La Jolla
http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/December-2016/San-Diego-Magazines-Brunch-Bash-2017/

Splurge on breakfast foods, beer, cocktails, coffee, and more this Sunday early afternoon in La Jolla. Tickets cost $50 per person and includes unlimited food and drink samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Stone IPA Madness
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, March 5
Stone Brewing, Escondido
http://www.stonebrewing.com/events/stone-ipa-madness-festival-hops

Submerge yourself in hops this Sunday at this beer festival at Stone Brewing in Escondido. $15 gets you five 4oz beer tasters, while $25 gets you ten 4oz beer tasters. They currently have 20 beers listed, and may potentially have more added by Sunday. Bring cash for food, which you can buy separately once inside the festival. No one under 21 may attend.

South Coast Roller Derby Recruitment
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 5
Laguna Hills Community Center, Laguna Hills
http://www.southcoastrollerderby.com/

If you ever wanted to try roller derby, you have a chance to join a league. Show up to orientation this Sunday evening in Laguna Hills for more information and to meet current participants.

D.I. and Narcoleptic Youth: Live in Riverside
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 5
Aurea Vista, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/170507356783333/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Sunday evening in Riverside. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door.

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.