Posts Tagged ‘All Ages’

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.

The 9th Annual Global Reddit Meetup Day took place this past Saturday. The Los Angeles region met up at Grand Park in Downtown LA, with an afternoon filled with food and games. This free and all-ages event invited Reddit users to come mix and mingle to meet new friends and share ideas and fun. Operating like a potluck, many of the attendees brought snacks and treats, while some others brought things to do, such as games, piñatas, and sporting goods such as balls and frisbees. While stereotypes of Reddit users revolve around shut-ins who stay on their computers and/or smartphones, this event proved otherwise. In fact, no one ever truly witnessed anyone else buried away on their smartphone. Virtually all of the attendees had a good time meeting others and chatting the day away. Many others felt the same way – during my walk towards the location, I encountered a few others looking for the event, and they too had their skepticism about the types of people that we would encounter. Fortunately, everyone exhibited a friendly vibe, and I felt sad to leave so soon because I had 2-hour parking only and wanted to stay longer.

For more information about this meetup event, check out the Los Angeles section of Reddit for recent posts. Check out that page from time to time for updates from around LA County, as well as information about future events and meetups.

This past Saturday, the Crossing Foursquare Church in Whittier held their inaugural car show for the eleventh year in a row. Free to attend for all ages, this small display of classic cars took over the street and parking lot of this local church, allowing people to freely walk around and gaze upon the classic works of art. In addition to all the cars, local vendors set up to sell food, apparel, trinkets, accessories, car parts, and more. Car enthusiasts would love events like this, despite its small size for a car show. This event made for a great followup to the Uptown Whittier Car Show that takes place annually in early June. If you like cars, remember to check out the Cross Foursquare Church next year, and bookmark early June the Uptown Whittier Car Show, also free to attend for all ages.

The 39th Annual Taste Of Greece returns this upcoming weekend to St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. At this all-ages fair, visitors will find a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. Any visitor can participate in the dancing going on under the main tent, or just hang out and enjoy the sights. Some may choose to enjoy the eats of Greek culture with some Greek BBQ Pork, Loukanico, Saganaki, Galaktoboureko, and Baklava. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

Glassjaw (FB) performing Two Tabs of Mescaline at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 2, 2013.

The Long Beach edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday at Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the hundreds of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets featured over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Much like every iteration of the Patchwork Fest in Long Beach, the day saw plenty of sunshine and cool sea breezes, making it a comfortable day to spend some time here. Of particular note, a majority of the vendors here exhibited soaps and candles, adding a fresh scent to the event. Sun, sea, and soy collided as these scents waft through the air.

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.

The annual US Sumo Open returns to CSULB’s Walter Pyramid for its 17th year running this Saturday afternoon. This spectacle features dozens of professional sumo wrestlers from around the world competing for the prized trophy and bragging rights. This tournament features men’s and women’s lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight competitors, all of which contain wrestlers from multiple different countries. Across all the competitors, Mongolia and Russia appear to have the most competitors. The day usually starts with individual divisions, and the day usually ends with the Open Weight tournament, where all competitors of a gender compete. This means that someone weighing 160 lbs may end up facing someone weighing over 500 lbs. Surprisingly for the women, the heavyweights do not always outperform the lighter competitors, as these competitors have appeared more brutal and vicious than the men. Throughout the day between sets, attendees got treated to a musical performance featuring dance and drums.

The US Sumo Open makes for an interesting event to attend and bring friends & family to. Southern California does not get sumo wrestling events like this often, so when one does come around, many people flock to it. General admission to this event costs $25 presale or $35 at the door for the upper bleachers, or $40 presale or $55 at the door for the lower bleachers. If you cannot make it to this event, they will have a live stream of the event available on their YouTube page, which they will link on their website once they start streaming. The US Sumo Open returns every year around this time, so if you cannot make it this year, bookmark your calendar for next year’s 18th Annual US Sumo Open. In the meantime, check out USA Sumo on Facebook for future updates and related events, such as the Sumo Sushi Show if they intend to bring it back this year.

Uptown Whittier’s Annual Car Show returned for its 17th year running this past Saturday. Like last year, it took place in June – prior to last year, the car show used to take place in August. A free outdoor event for all ages, hundreds of classic and custom cars filled the streets of Uptown Whittier covering much of Greenleaf Avenue and side streets from Hadley St down to Penn St. Thousands of visitors swarmed the streets to gaze upon all of the cars for photos or pure admiration throughout the day. All of the local businesses remained open during this time, so many visitors also got a chance to explore the local flavor of Uptown Whittier. In addition to all the cars on display, visitors also experienced live music, various vendors, a play area for children, and pinup models that apparently modeled for a calendar shoot at this car show. For a car show that has lasted 16 years, it has gained a strong following in the automotive industry, which paved the way for it to get its own calendar shoot.

The quaint community of Uptown Whittier holds events often throughout the year, such as a street beer festival and a Miss Uptown Whittier contest. If you appreciate small town charm, give Uptown Whittier a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter. In the meantime, check out the photos I took at this year’s car show:

The largest Irish festival in Southern California returns this weekend for its 42nd year running. The BIG Irish Fair returns to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm both days, delivering two days’ worth of Irish fun in the sun, filled with many activities, live entertainment, animals, merchandise, vehicles, food, drinks, kids’ activities, games, and much more. Just to name a few of the things guests will experience at the Irish Fair:

  • Spectate thousands of Irish dancers participating in numerous competitions at the various stages at the far end of the festival.
  • Listen and dance to dozens of live Celtic bands, including the Irish Ska Pirate band California Celts.
  • Watch marching bands compete for best in show, with plenty of bagpipes to go around.
  • Pet lots of animals from Ireland, such as sheep, border collies, and more.
  • Gasp in amazement at the athletic feats of the sports competitions in the far field across from the entrance.
  • Stroll through reenactments of older times in the countryside of Ireland.
  • Cheer for all the participating individuals in the grand parade, including the Rose of Tralee.
  • Peer at the Irish vehicles, including real DeLoreans like the one from Back To The Future.
  • Taste the Irish culture with authentic Irish food, such as bangers.
  • Peruse through the various merchandise vendors, selling lots of Irish souvenirs and memorabilia.

The BIG Irish Fair will contain plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family. The festivities run from 10am to 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday. General admission presale costs $15 per adult per day, while a 2-day adult admission costs $25. Seniors and students can enter for $13 each. Kids 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission. Admission will increase by $3 when purchasing at the gate. Parking will range from $5 to $10. This festival takes place entirely outdoors, so dress appropriately for hot weather, and apply sunscreen prior to leaving home. The venue does not allow attendees to bring chairs, coolers, canopies, or any other large camping item; however, the park will provide more than enough tables and benches in the shaded areas. If you plan to purchase anything, bring cash, as the vendors cannot accept cards.