Posts Tagged ‘April 2016’

The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire returned for its annual run during April and May this year. Taking place at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, this all-ages fair allows visitors to get a glimpse of life in the medieval era in terms of the way of living, the food, the music, the artistry, the ways of speaking, the forms of entertainment, and more. Thematically speaking, a Renaissance Faire revolves around dressing up like the people did during the old days, acting like the people did, and speaking like the people did. While the costumes originally followed the medieval theme, times have changed to encompass a broader scope of acceptable outfits, so I witnessed costumes such as pirates, steampunk, ninjas, samurais, gypsies, fairies, farmers, Scotsmen, certain cartoon characters (e.g. Peter Pan), and even a Deadpool with a kilt and “old-school” weapons. Technically, a Renaissance Faire can double as a cosplay event as long as the costume somehow matches. From the Skyrim series to the Warcraft series to the Game of Thrones series to the Marvel Universe, virtually any costume with ties to the old age would fit in here.

Aside from the diverse range of outfits seen here, visitors can expect a lot more to see and do at a Renaissance Faire. Vendors line every path in the venue, allowing visitors a chance to buy something to fit in. Actors and shows took place around every corner, meaning nobody would ever enjoy a moment of peace & quiet. Because of the lack of electricity (except for lights), vendors and actors had to shout or otherwise speak very loudly. Shows ranged from acting to demonstrations to singing to comedy and more. Of particular note, the jousting arena attracted the largest crowd of visitors. The wide variety of entertainment and booths to visit meant that visitors could spend the entire day here and still have more to check out. For more official information about the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

The 8th Annual Unique LA Spring Show returned to the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles this past weekend. As one of the largest independent designer shows in the nation, hundreds of artists, crafters, designers, cooks, bakers, mixologists, and more gathered to exhibit and sell their wares to attendees. Unique LA emphasizes creativity in the United States, as every vendor hails from the United States and makes their products here. Taking place in the top floor penthouse, the show floor expanded to two full sides of the building, and the California Market Center consists of two buildings connected twice, looking like a hollow rectangle when viewing from the sky. Among the many art, apparel, and accessories vendors, some specialty vendors existed, such as cutlery or tupperware.

As per my experience of attending Unique LA in the past, I attended the event on a Sunday instead of a Saturday. Going on a Sunday usually means I encounter a lighter crowd, and some of the vendors may have their items’ prices marked down for clearance. Unfortunately May Day also took place on Sunday, making driving there a hassle. The bad traffic and street closures did not prevent me from finally reaching Unique LA to make my rounds. I appreciated seeing some familiar businesses such as Velvet Rope Bake Shop and MNKR, and I also enjoyed seeing all the brand new faces that I hope to do business with one day in the future. In the end, I purchased a candle from Nature’s Kindle for a Mother’s Day gift. By the end, I interacted with numerous diverse vendors at Unique LA, and I believe that anyone can find exactly what they want at Unique LA.

As one of the nation’s largest gatherings that caters to local independent artists and crafters, Unique LA grants an outlet to young entrepreneurs in a tough free market dominated by large corporations. Stay on the trail of Unique LA via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter to find out when the next show returns.

On a weekend filled with tons of events throughout Southern California, one of them shined the brightest among them all – the 3rd Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival. Organized by the creative geniuses behind OC Brew Ha Ha, this grand festival celebrated the Cinco de Mayo week with tacos rolling, beers flowing, musicians strolling, and wrestlers throwing. This past Saturday from 11am to 4pm, over 30 different microbreweries set up stations at Lakeview Park, a part of the Irvine Lake area in Silverado, to serve their tasty brews to the thousands of visitors. Admission to this festival included unlimited beer tastings and access to the multitude of food vendors, all selling gourmet tacos for $3 each. While all the attendees enjoyed their beers and tacos, Lucha Libre wrestlers entertained the crowds with their antics and wrestling, and great local music acts filled the air with resonance all day.

The doors to the festival opened at 11am, but only allowed access to the first area, which contained all the merchandise and food vendors. With the exception of a few breweries, no visitor could yet access the breweries down below. More than enough food vendors served up great tacos for everyone to munch on, including but not limited to Haven Gastropub, The Kroft, Taps Fish House, Brewcakes, Stadium Brewing, The Iron Press, The Viking Truck, Porko Rico BBQ, and Dos Chinos.

You cannot find a better Orange County beer festival than anything from OC Brew Ha Ha. When they organize something, they do it right with no excuses. Looking forward to attending their next event? Make sure you mark Saturday, September 24, 2016 on your calendar, as the 7th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha will return to Oak Canyon Park in Silverado on that day. Remember to Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter for all the latest details from the OC Brew Ha Ha camp.

We have entered event season, what with the dozens of events that take place every weekend so far. I managed to make it out to a handful of other events last week, and since I did not have time to fully cover them all, I will briefly post about my week’s adventures below.

On Thursday night, the Union Market in Tustin held a Spring Launch Party. Free to attend, this gathering featured complimentary beer and/or wine as well as hors d’oeuvres served from the local eateries. They also had live bands performing all night. Due to the compact nature of the Union Market, it always feels crowded there, no matter when I visit. Having an occasion or event there only makes matters worse, as the crowding and noise levels made it uncomfortable to remain there for an extended period of time.

The city of Cerritos held their annual Spring Festival at the Cerritos Sports Complex all weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this fair mainly presented rides, games, live music, and a few gourmet food trucks. However, it did not feature as many vendors as other local city fairs. After one walkthrough of the entire grounds, I only encountered carnival rides and games, while I wanted to see what types of vendors would set up here. The lack of vendors meant that I would end up leaving a lot sooner than I had expected.

Bootlegger’s Brewery turned eight years old last week, and they typically celebrate by holding an anniversary celebration at The Muckenthaler Museum on the final Saturday of April. This year, they opted not to host an anniversary festival, and instead decided to keep it simple by just pouring their anniversary brews out of their tasting room all weekend. On Saturday afternoon, they had live music at their tasting room. On Sunday morning, a third party hosted a “Beer & Yoga” event at the tasting room.

On Sunday afternoon, the Long Beach Zine Fest returned for their second year running at the Museum of Latin American Art. Free to attend for all ages, this event featured dozens of local writers and artists as they exhibited their literary and artistic works. Visitors could purchase much of the works, while others could trade works instead. Extraneous vendors and live entertainment mixed things up throughout the day. Inefficient parking at this venue made it take a while to finally arrive here, while the excessive children running around tired me out fast.

Finally, the weekend ended with a visit to the South Bay Home & Garden Show. Free to attend for all ages, this expo showcased the latest in home improvement, remodeling, interior-design, decorating, landscaping, and more. Walking through the aisles felt like walking through a used car center, what with all the salespeople trying to heckle and sell things to you that you do not necessarily need. This event also has a strict no-photography policy, so I could not take a single photo. Instead, I have here one of their stock photos because apparently they do not want people to see how hard visitors get approached by the salespeople.

The America’s Family Pet Expo made its 27th annual return to the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa this past weekend. Taking place across much of the northern half of the fairgrounds, this all-ages expo allows all guests to exhibit all the vendors, pet adoptions, pet fitness demos, pet competitions, and pet accessory vendors. Goods sold by vendors ranged from food to toys to furniture to apparel and more. The pet adoptions included multiple animals such as dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and more. The $13 admission provided guests with full access to the event grounds for an entire day.

As this event covered such a huge area, guests would find lots of things to see and do to last the entire day. The outdoors areas mainly held the demonstrations and competitions. These included surf dogs, dachshund racing, agility training, K-9 demos, an exotic birds show, larger animal adoptions, and Splash Dogs, where dogs jumped for length or height into a pool. The buildings held all of the vendors, booths by individual dog breeds, aquatic pets, reptiles/amphibians, cat show, and others that had to remain out of the sun. Guests can interact with most of the dogs at the booths, but interaction largely depended on the breed. Guests could interact with playful dogs like corgis, akitas, and golden retrievers, while guests could only look at show dogs like the shiba inu or terrier. At the pet adoption area, guests could interact with some of the cats, but those poor cats felt so stressed out that playing with them kind of felt saddening.

Out of all of the pet expos that I have attended, I have found this one the most entertaining. It provided many things to do and see so that guests could spend all day there without having to take a break or get bored & leave. Between playing with the dogs and watching the various shows, I felt like I could stay there all weekend. Check out America’s Family Pet Expo on Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates.

The brave can conquer anything. It takes guts to stand up to the colossal giants in this world. It must feel daunting when in a situation of feeling like a small person in a big crowd. When 1% of the world holds 99% of the wealth, corporate megalomaniacs can influence multiple aspects, from the top levels of government down to the common populace. To stand out from the crowd, you need something to set you apart from the rest. Society tends to conform to what the media feeds the people, listening to what they deem good or bad. When people snap out of the brainwashing, they break their creative chains to unleash their potential and dreams. Everybody has different goals, but when you want to go big, look at how Valiant Brewing approaches their craft.

Three years ago, Valiant Brewing opened their doors to the public to ravishing reviews. Last weekend, the folks behind the brews celebrated the third year of their brewery with lots of beer at their tasting room. With over 40 different beers available to the public, many of which the public have not yet seen, Valiant brought out their big guns to this party. Frequent guests may have noticed a handful of barrels missing from their normal corner of the brewery, which could finally see daylight and reach the glasses of every guest. Last year, Valiant celebrated their anniversary like a beer festival, charging folks a flat admission fee to enjoy a set amount of beer tasters. This year, they spread the celebration out across three days, each with separate timed releases. Visitors only needed to pay $5 for a glass, then needed to buy drink tickets each day to start drinking. Anyone who visited all three days and saved their wristbands could access an exclusive brew Saturday night.

During a season full of beer events, Valiant held up their own, and proved that they have garnered a solid following over the past few years. Perhaps we will see more of Valiant around Southern California this year, as they aim to distribute to a wider geographical area, both in bottle shops and in restaurants/bars. Until then, check out their tap room in Orange, open Thursdays through Saturdays, for a full glimpse of what they have brewing up.

If you plan to party on this Cinco de Mayo weekend, make it count by attending the 3rd Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival, brought to us by the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha. Taking place this Saturday afternoon from 11am to 5pm at Lakeview Park in Silverado, this festival combines a craft beer festival with all the celebrations necessary for a Cinco de Mayo party. 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. Beyond that, all attendees will receive unlimited pours of craft beer from over 30 different microbreweries. To keep guests entertained this festival will have live Lucha Libre wrestling and live Latin 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 3rd Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival runs this Saturday, April 30th, from 11am up until 5pm. 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. Admission to this festival costs $55 presale, or $65 at the door. Use promo code beerpunks to save $10 off admission. Non-drinkers may purchase a designated driver ticket for $20 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.
  • Look up directions before arriving – cell phones may 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 pass the lake, where a sign should point out when to turn left onto a road leading to the park.
  • Arrive early, because another major festival takes place this same day on the other side of the road, which will heavily clog up traffic.
  • Guests may park for free. 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 $1 bills. 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Lakeview 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!

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

Upcoming Events: April 25 – May 1, 2016

Posted: April 25, 2016 in Art, Bacon, Beer, Cars, Events, Food, Inland Empire, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Music, Orange County, Punk Rock, Restaurant, San Diego, Sports, Wine
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Newport Beach Film Festival
April 21-28
Multiple venues, Newport Beach

Dozens of independent films will air this week in Newport Beach. Check out the website for a schedule of all the films that you may watch, as well as the prices for each.

Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week
April 23 – May 1
Participating restaurants, Long Beach

First came Eat LBC, then we had Dien Out Long Beach. Now we have Dine LBC, another Long Beach Restaurant Week. During this 9-day period, participating restaurants throughout Long Beach will have various food and drink specials. Some of these restaurants may require reservations, while others allow you to walk in and dine with the specials. Check the website for a list of participating restaurants.

Pasadena Restaurant Week
April 24-29
Various restaurants, Pasadena

Between April 24 and 29, 45 different restaurants in Pasadena will offer prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners. In addition, some locations will offer other discounts, prizes, and more. See the full list of participating restaurants by clicking the link to the website above.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 27
The Rookery, Pomona

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.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm, April 28
San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, San Pedro

Enjoy an interactive luncheon featuring a keynote speaker talking about traveling. Reservations cost $20 per person.

7th Annual Kingdom-Con
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 28
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 29 – May 1
Crowne Plaza, Mission Valley, San Diego

This all-ages Table Top gaming convention contains all things board games, mini games, role-playing games, vendors, and more. Admission costs $20 for one day or $60 for the entire weekend.

Modern Times Cask Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 28
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia

Placentia’s Meat Up BBQ will have some exclusive cask ales from San Diego’s Modern Times available for you to taste this Thursday evening. As usual, order one of the special beers to receive a souvenir glass to take home. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

Build Your Own Mac & Cheese Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 28
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

Build Your Own Mac & Cheese Night returns to Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach this Thursday night! No reservations required – simply show up, get a table or seat at the bar, then customize your mac & cheese. Pick the toppings, herbs, cheese, sauce, meats, and pasta, and order a nice cold glass of craft beer.

Valiant Brewing Tasting Evening
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 28
Pacific Park Market, Aliso Viejo

Sample a beer flight from Valiant Brewing this Thursday evening in Aliso Viejo for $5.

Modern Times Tap Takeover
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 28
The Social List, Long Beach

A tap takeover meets an art show this Thursday night in Long Beach. Stop on by The Social List to check out some Modern Times beer as well as art by Jason Samarin.

Boogaloo Mountain Jam 2016
8:00 am – 3:00 am, April 29
7:00 am – 2:00 am, April 30
7:00 am – 3:00 am, May 1
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado

An entire weekend of electronic music, yoga, art, workshops, cars, food, vendors, and more awaits you at this all-ages music festival. Tickets start at $145.

25th Southern California Homebrewers Festival
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 29
9:00 am – 10:00 pm, April 30
Vail Lake Resort, Temecula

This weekend, meet homebrewers and homebrew clubs from across California, and share beers, experiences, knowledge, contacts, and more. Attendees will find speakers, beer tastings, live entertainment, games, and more. It costs $10 to join the association, then another registration fee to attend.

20th Annual Upland Lemon Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 29
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, April 30
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 1
9th St & Euclid Ave, Upland

This street fair in Upland will have food, arts & crafts, live music, dance, entertainment, and lemons everywhere. Completely free to attend for all ages, visitors should park in the neighborhoods around the street closures.

2016 Spring Citrus Fair
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 29
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 30
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 1
El Centro Park, La Habra

This little city fair takes place all weekend starting Friday evening. Open to all ages, guests can experience rides, games, food, merchandise, stage shows, and more. The fair requires no admission, though any sort of participation will require a cost.

San Diego Magazine’s Best of North County Party
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 29
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad

Samples food from North San Diego County’s top restaurants and chefs, and sip on wines and beers from the area’s breweries and wineries at this tasting gala this Friday night. Admission to this event costs $80 per person.

FroYo 5k – San Diego
6:00 am – 12:00 pm, April 30
Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego

Pay lots of money to run a 5k for some frozen yogurt. You also get a bunch of random swag for participating too. Make sure that you load up on as much frozen yogurt as you can eat once you finish the run, at least until they kick you out.

Wanderlust 108
7:30 am – 3:30 pm, April 30
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

Join in on this yoga meetup this Saturday on the Santa Monica Pier. Admission costs $54, and includes entry into a 5k run, yoga, and meditation. Attendees should bring their own yoga mat, plus sunscreen if they want to share.

Tacos & Beer 5K Run & Festival
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 30
El Dorado East Regional Park, Long Beach

Take a fun run, hold it during Cinco de Mayo weekend, add tacos and beer, throw costumes on, and you have a white boy’s fantasy party all on one day. Basically, if you have seen an MTV party, this does not stray too far from it. This event starts with a 5K fun run in the morning, and then when that ends, all participants can stay for tacos and beer for the rest of the festival. The organizers encourage everyone to wear silly costumes in an attempt to see who can stereotype the Latin culture the most. Food will come from local vendors, and since this takes place in Long Beach, except very normal Mexican food. Also, Bud Light will sponsor the beer, so keep that in mind if you care about the quality of your beer. If you still feel like going to this, registration costs $54 presale or $59 on the day of the event.

San Diego Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Cultural Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 30 – May 1
De Anza Cove, Mission Bay, San Diego

Enjoy an all-ages Hawaiian festival for FREE this weekend in San Diego. At this two-day festival, find islander cuisine, live music, dancing, arts & crafts, and more.

2016 Vintage Fashion Expo
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 30
The Reef, Los Angeles

Browse dozens of vintage fashion vendors at this vintage fashion expo this weekend at The Reef in Los Angeles. Admission varies based on when you want to attend, starting at $15.

Earth Day 2016, Uptown Whittier
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, April 30
Greenleaf Grassy Area, Uptown Whitter

Bring out the family for some activities, arts & crafts, and more at this free and all-ages event this Saturday late morning in Whittier.

International Tiki Market Place
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 30
Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach

For $10 admission gain access to a plethora of tiki-themed vendors in Sunset Beach this Saturday afternoon. Admission comes with a $10 voucher for food & drink, so technically you get in for free!

29th Annual Seal Beach Classic Car Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30
Main Street, Seal Beach

Free to attend for all ages, check out this classic car show that will take over the streets of Old Town Seal Beach this Saturday.

Science in the Park
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30
Irvine Regional Park, Irvine

Bring out the family to this educational event featuring paleontology, archaeology, geology, biology, native plants, animals, and more. Admission costs $2 per person, while parking costs $5 per vehicle.

2016 National Conference & Gluten-Free Expo
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30 – May 1
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena

This weekend in Pasadena, find hundreds of gluten-free samples, vendors, bloggers, authors, chefs, discounted products and more. Admission to the expo costs $20 for adults or $10 for children. The conference costs $45 for adults or $19 for children, and also provides a full conference experience with features such as complimentary breakfast, speakers, free goodies, and more.

Spring 2016 Jackalope Art & Craft Fair – Pasadena
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 30 – May 1
Central Park, Pasadena

Free to attend for all ages, this two-day arts & crafts fair will feature local artisans, curators, food trucks, live music, and more.

13th Annual Summer Meltdown
10:30 am – 10:00 pm, April 30
Central Park, Santa Clarita

This huge all-ages event features three stages of live music all day, and live painters throughout the event area. Presale tickets cost $30 general admission or $60 VIP admission.

3rd Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30
Lake View Park, Silverado

From the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha comes a Spring version of Orange County’s biggest beer festival – a beer & taco festival on this lovely Cinco de Mayo weekend. Here at this festival, attendees will find over 30 microbreweries serving their refreshing brews, dozens of chefs and restaurants serving up gourmet tacos, live Latin music all day, and much more. The $55 admission includes unlimited beer tasters, a souvenir glass, free parking, free water, live entertainment, games, a cigar lounge, and more. All tacos will cost $3, so prepare to carry cash, preferably singles. No one under 21 may attend.

A Street Af(Fair)
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 30
North Almont Drive, West Hollywood

Check out this free and all-ages street fair featuring various design merchants this Saturday afternoon in West Hollywood.

7th Annual Unique LA Spring Show
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 30 – May 1
The California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles

The largest independent design show in the country, attendees get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from hundreds of hand-selected designers and artists. The exciting two-day shopping event makes it easy for you to buy local and support LA’s economy, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast. The $10 admission allows for unlimited reentry for both days, and anyone buying presale online will receive a free tote bag. Guests over 21 can receive free cocktails, while all guests may receive other free drinks, like teas and waters. The show will also feature some of LA’s most popular restaurants and food trucks serving their delicious food. Parking directly at the venue costs $6, while nearby parking lots will range from $3-5.

32nd Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 30 – May 1
Little Italy, San Diego

Free to the public, this art walk takes up 17 blocks of Little Italy filled with over 350 artists. All throughout the fest, guests can discover music and dance performances, and plenty of kids’ activities.

Green Prize Festival
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, April 30
Cesar E Chavez Park, Long Beach

Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday in Long Beach. At this free all-ages community festival down by the beach, visitors will find demos by local farms & chefs, live entertainment, local artists, green & eco-friendly services, speakers, arts & crafts, food from local restaurants, delis, food trucks, and more.

Mission Viejo Arts Alive & Street Painting Festival
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 30
Oso Viejo Community Park, Mission Viejo

Free to enter for all ages, guests will find plenty of arts & crafts, vendors, food, live entertainment, and other things to do. All things come at cost, so make sure you bring cash to take part in this event.

Akiba Day #2
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 30
Weller Court, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles

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

Spring 2016 Dapper Day
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 30
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 1
Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim

Dress to impress at this FREE and all-ages style expo this weekend at the Disneyland Resort. A plethora of activities will take place between the hotel and the amusement park throughout the weekend, so check the website to see what will occur. Some activities may require a fee. Visitors may park for free for up to two hours at the Downtown Disney parking lot.

Adams Avenue Unplugged 2016
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 30
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 1
Adams Avenue, San Diego

Completely free to the public, guests will spectate 180 live music acts throughout the day all in the various local businesses and multiple stages. The city will also offer free trolley service to transport guests from one end to the other.

2nd Annual STEAM Carnival
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 30
Tustin Market Place’s Edwards Courtyard, Tustin

Bring out the family to this free and all-ages event this Saturday afternoon in Tustin featuring activities, games, and other arts & crafts surrounding science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

5th Annual Anaheim Citrusfest
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 30
Farmers Park, Anaheim

Check out this FREE and all-ages event in Anaheim this Saturday afternoon, filled with lots of family-friendly activities.

22nd Annual Jewels of the Night Food & Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 30
Walter Pyramid, Long Beach

This Saturday evening, Cal State Long Beach hosts its annual food & wine festival for the 20th year in a row at the Walter Pyramid on the north side of the campus. Over 20 of the area’s top restaurants will serve their delicious food at this tasting gala, and a handful of California wineries will pour their signature wines. General admission to this event costs $100.

21st Annual Wine, Brews & Blues Festival
5:30 pm – 10:00 pm, April 30
CA Center for the Arts, Escondido

Enjoy wines from over 80 wineries, beers from local microbreweries, food from over 20 local restaurants & chefs, and blues music from various local musicians. Admission to this festival costs $75 per person, or $55 for non-drinkers.

9th Annual Taste of Aliso Niguel
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, April 30
Laguna Design Center, Laguna Niguel

Taste the flavors of South Orange County at this tasting event this Saturday night in Laguna Niguel. Admission to this food fest costs $35. No one under 21 may attend.

5th Annual Long Beach Poetry Slam
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm, April 30
MADE in Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach

This Saturday night in Downtown Long Beach, dozens of poets from all over will gather to share their poetry works and network with others. Admission costs $10, or $8 for students with valid ID.

La Bulla: A Lucha Libre Experience
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 30
Plaza de la Raza, East Los Angeles

Art, wrestling, and music collide at this cultural event in East LA this Saturday night. General admission costs $25, while VIP admission costs $50 and comes with two drink tickets and separate speed lines. No one under 21 may attend.

Punk Rock Night @ The Viper Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 30
The Viper Room, West Hollywood

Some great local punk rock bands will perform at The Viper Room in West Hollywood this Saturday night. Tickets oto this show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Life In Color San Diego 2016
9:00 pm – 3:00 am, April 30
Valley View Casino Center, San Diego

Some genius decided to take a nighttime color glow run and do away with the running. Now we have this nighttime color glow music fest. General admission to this concert costs $70. No one under 18 may attend.

12th Annual Orange County Marathon
5:00 am – 1:00 pm, May 1
Fashion Island, Newport Beach

The OC Marathon takes place this Sunday morning. Please plan your commute accordingly.

43rd Annual Carlsbad Village Street Faire
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 1
Grand Avenue, Downtown Carlsbad

Check out this free and all-ages street fair taking place in Downtown Carlsbad this Sunday, featuring dozens of vendors, arts & crafts, food, entertainment, and more.

2nd Annual Long Beach Touch-A-Truck
9:30 am – 12:30 pm, May 1
Granada Beach, Long Beach

Over 50 large vehicles will park along the beach at this free all-ages exhibit this Saturday morning. Food, drinks, vendors, live music, arts & crafts, and more will accompany this interactive event that allows guests to explore and take photos with large vehicles that people rarely get to see on a daily basis.

Mud Factor: Seriously Fun, 5K Obstacle Run – San Bernardino
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, May 1
Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino

Get down and dirty at this fun run in San Bernardino this Sunday afternoon. Registration costs $65 online or $85 on the day of the event, and provides participants with a bandana, medal, temporary tattoo, and bib.

VegFest Los Angeles 2016
10:30 am – 6:30 pm, May 1
Woodley Park, Van Nuys

Bring your vegan appetite to this vegan food tasting event this Sunday in the San Fernando Valley. Free to attend for all ages, visitors will find lots of vegan food, live entertainment, speakers, arts & crafts, demos, vendors, and more activities.

College Area Food Experience (CAFE)
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 1
College Area Business District, San Diego

Over 25 local restaurants will participate in this afternoon food fest in the College Area Business District near San Diego State. Presale tickets cost $25, while tickets at the gate will cost $30, and will cover all the samples that guests will receive.

Cinco De Mayo Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 1
Fairplex, Pomona

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo early this Sunday afternoon at the Fairplex in Pomona, complete with live entertainment, food, and more. Parking costs $20 per vehicle.

6th Annual Chef Celebration San Diego
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, May 1
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Liberty Station, San Diego

14 chefs will pair their best dishes with 14 craft beers from San Diego this Sunday afternoon, and you get to come and immerse your taste buds in ecstasy. Participation in this tasting event only costs $49! No one under 21 may attend.

2016 Taste of the Town
12:00 pm – 4:30 pm, May 1
Mann Biomedical Park, Valencia

Enjoy unlimited food and drinks (while supplies last) from over 40 restaurants from the Santa Clarita and Valencia area this Saturday at this tasting event in Valencia. General admission costs $75 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $125, starts at 12pm, and includes reserved seating, two bottles of wine, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, and cooking demos.

4th Annual Los Angeles Bacon Festival
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 1
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles

As the name suggests, if you love bacon, this fest has nothing but bacon. Come indulge in all things bacon, as you explore every possible way to consume bacon. This year, they will run two 3-hour sessions: 12pm-3pm and 4pm-7pm. Tickets cost $65 per session, and sell out every year, so act fast if you want to go.

Authors on Asia – Tea Lovers Festival: 10 Years
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm, May 1
USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena

In celebration of their upcoming book, this Tea Lovers Festival will have many things for tea enthusiasts. Visitors will find lots of tea, live music, speakers, and more. Admission costs $20 presale or $25 at the door, and includes access to the rest of the museum.

11th Annual Taste of Orange
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 1
Orange Circle, Old Town Orange

Sample the local flavors of Old Town Orange this Sunday at their annual Taste of Orange event. For $40, guests receive unlimited food samples, beer & wine tastings (additional cost), access to silent auctions, opportunity drawings, photo booth, and more.

6th Annual Taste of the Eastside
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 1
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, Los Angeles

Sample the best of East LA’s restaurants this Sunday evening. At this all-ages tasting, guests can receive unlimited food samples from all of the 20+ participating vendors. Admission comes in three levels and varies depending on when you purchase it, starting at $50 and rising up to $100 – check the website for pricing details.

The triannual Rendezvous Artisan Market arrived in Santa Monica this past weekend. Taking place at the Museum of Flying, this all-ages event represented an arts & crafts vendor fair with over a dozen different local vendors selling various items such as clothing, accessories, housewares, and more. The event would also have some mobile food vendors, a beer garden, and live music. As the event took place at a museum, visitors would also gain entry into the museum to see old model airplanes and other artifacts of aviation.

Unfortunately, the good stops there. While the website makes no explicit mention of any admission fees, their website clearly states that visitors gain free entry into the museum. Although technically correct, this confused many visitors into believing that they can enter the event for free. However, the event required a $5 “donation” to enter the event that came with $5’s worth of raffle tickets. Visitors can enter the museum for free on other days anyways. The event page mentioned over a hundred different vendors, but I did not see even a quarter of that amount. Also, live music to the organizers means only one cover band. The beer garden only featured beers from one local brewery that does not even have a tasting room.

Did this event waste my time? You bet it did. On the plus side, going to this event means it landed me in Santa Monica, allowing me to explore Santa Monica for a bit following the event. If you seek other similar events like this that actually merit your time, look into Unique LA, Patchwork Fest (free), Renegade Craft Fair (free), and Artisanal LA. Those have existed for a lot longer, and generally have favorable reviews by those that attend events like them. However, I do not foresee myself ever returning to anymore future events by Rendezvous Artisan Market.

This past Saturday, the LA Unified School District hosted their Grand Arts Festival at Grand Park in Downtown LA. Free to attend for all ages, this event featured thousands of students from across Los Angeles County all exhibiting their artistic and creative skills. This event featured multiple disciplines, from music to art to acting to dance and more. The event covered all tiers of Grand Park, and each section of Grand Park featured a different form of art. Sections of the park would represent music, visual arts, theater, dance, and beyond. In addition to everything on display, visitors would find gourmet food trucks, arts & crafts, a few vendors, and other forms of live entertainment beyond what the students brought.

I suppose if you have any connections to the LAUSD or have a child involved, you would enjoy this event. Those without any involvement may not have found as much substance here. I do like visiting Downtown LA every now and then, but I probably could have done without visiting Grand Park, which I only spent about ten minutes at before getting bored and leaving. But hey, do not let me stop you from attending events and enjoying them. If these events sound fun to you, get out there and have a ball.