Posts Tagged ‘All Ages’

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.

Like a flash, the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics returned to the convention center’s Hall C just like previous years, and visitors had to enter from the east side instead of the usual west side due to another convention taking place along the western rooms. The main operations of the expo had not changed – hundreds of local comic book writers and artists exhibited their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more, either for sale or for show. Elsewhere in other rooms across from Hall C, a number workshops and seminars occurred, ranging from speaker panels to art workshops to live activities. Cosplay Corner returned to the expo as a part of the show floor in the same side of the room as previous years. Nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo, but due to the weekend’s storms, a few things got moved around – notably, anything vehicular moved to the other side from the entrance, such as themed cars and the mobile food vendors.¬†Many cosplayers often remain out in front for photo shoots; however, due to the weather, most attendees preferred to remain inside the expo halls. Overall, I experienced lower attendance than usual this past weekend, and many attribute that to bad weather.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. Check out this collection of the great costumes from the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo! If the image links go down, click here for the album.

The Fall expo, the Long Beach Comic Con, returns in early September. The Fall event should return to the exact same location as this past weekend’s event, and generally has a greater turnout due to more famous people in attendance. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as WonderCon at the end of March, or Anime Expo in early July. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

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.

The Haute Dogs Bulldog Beauty Contest returned for its 13th annual iteration this past Sunday at Marine Stadium in Long Beach. Organized by Justin Rudd and operated by the Community Action Team, this beauty pageant for bulldogs celebrates the charm and cuteness of these precious pets. Completely free to attend, guests could see and play with over 500 bulldogs, some even from out of state. Pet owners wanting to enter their dog had to pay a one-time participation fee of $10, which allowed the pooches to enter any of over 20 categories of competitions. These competitions more resembled sweepstakes than anything, as the dogs did not have to do anything physically tough other than walk around the runway once. In addition to bulldogs, a few of the contests allowed other breeds to participate, such as pugs, chihuahuas, and pit bulls. Other generic categories included cutest, ugliest, senior dogs, best in show, mutts, small dogs, and large dogs. Albeit not everyone who brought their dog actually entered a contest, everybody surely enjoyed the company of the pups, especially kids, whom bulldogs love to play with. Any pet lover should have made an effort to attend this free gathering of pets.

Events like these help to remind us of the joys these wonderful animals bring to our lives. If you currently do not have a pet, considering adding one to your life. They make great companions, and do not cost as much as a child. Stay on the lookout for pet events in your area for opportunities to learn about pets, and possibly acquire one. Other notable events from this organizer include the Howl’oween Parade for all pets, and the Santa Paws operation, a charity event that occurs in December. Additionally, check out the So Cal Corgi Nation, an organization dedicated to corgis that routinely puts on events throughout the year.

The Golden Years Vintage Market took place in Downtown Santa Ana this past Saturday. Free to attend for all ages, this outdoor shopping experience on the 2nd Street Promenade featured over a dozen local vintage clothing and vinyl records vendors selling lots of local goods and gifts. Anyone would find something to suit them here, as the apparel ranged from contemporary adult clothing to children’s clothing as well. Though this resembles other similar outdoor market events that take place here, the Golden Years Vintage Market took up a smaller space, so could only accommodate just over a dozen vendors. Regardless, as a free event, this made for a nice visit in the middle of a not-so-busy weekend. Check out when future Golden Years Vintage Markets will take place by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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.