Posts Tagged ‘August 2015’

 

Have you ever wanted to see the pinnacle of beer fests outside of Germany? Oktoberfest continues to hold the title of the most popular beer fest in the world, but here in America, many event organizers attempt to host the most grandiose party they can. Even the large event companies may fall short in some events, so sometimes you have to cut out the middleman and get right to the source. Many local breweries hold a special event on their anniversaries, from specials dinners to full-scale beer fests. Every year though, no other brewery blows the others away than Stone Brewery’s Anniversary Celebration.

Stone Brewing Company turns 19 this year, and to celebrate, in typical Stone fashion, they will throw a huge bash full of food, desserts, music, and of course, beer. A regular beer fest may remain in a small confined area with not much room to move about. At the Stone Fest, the website claims to have two areas: an upper and lower. However, once you arrive and inspect the area, you will discover that the fest may contain up to four levels, all with beer and more, and maybe even more levels than that. The lower area has an even lower level, and the upper area has an even higher level. Admission costs $45 and allows access to one of two sessions: 11am-2pm and 3pm-6pm. All guests get free parking and 15 3oz beer tasters from over 60 breweries serving over a hundred different beers.

The main level, upon which guests enter from, contains most of the food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as the primary seating area, vendors, and a few beer booths:

Immediately up the stairs to the right of the entrance lies the VIP section. VIP admission always sells out fast early in the year, so if you desire to enter the VIP section, make sure you act fast next year for the 20th Anniversary! As for the cigar booth shown below, that usually sets up right outside the VIP section, so all guests can access it.

Turning right from the VIP section and walking through a shaded hall brings guests to the first of the upper level courtyards, complete with dozens of breweries and their booths.

Heading upwards from the aforementioned courtyard lands guests at yet another upper level courtyard with more breweries and potentially more activities, such as a music stage and some food vendors.

Of course, Stone Brewing does more than just make beer. This pony knows more than one trick – they churn out tremendous food too. Not only do they craft world-class gourmet dishes, but they distribute a line of retail food products, most of which contain their beer in it. At the anniversary this weekend, expect to find a variety of yummy foods from Stone’s kitchens, from foods you can enjoy on the spot to items that you can purchase to take home and enjoy later.

Finally, we get to the lower levels. The lower levels do not contain as much as the rest of the event space, but expect to find the one-off and rare beers down here.

Stone’s Anniversary Celebration has so much to do, see, eat, and drink that three hours cannot possibly allow most guests to experience everything. True fans would have purchased the full-day pass, which grants all-access to both sessions, covering a total of seven hours of twice as many beers as the regular session, and access to a rare beer section. Sadly, these tickets have all sold out, and always do every year within days after the announcement of the fest. This fest takes place mostly outdoors with limited shade, so apply sunscreen and dress for warm weather. As a beer fest, remember to bring your I.D. so you can get in, and it goes without saying that no one under 21 may enter.

Start working on your beer tolerances, as you can expect a beer festival every weekend in Southern California now through October!

The ever popular 626 Night Market returned to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia this past weekend. 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. Taking place the section south of the race track, this event dedicated a huge chunk of the space to the various food, drinks, and desserts that everyone could explore and taste, while leaving another space for all other vendors. At the far back of the event, visitors could find a live stage with entertainment taking place all weekend. Admission only cost $3 per person, while guests had to pay for everything else once inside.

While night markets typically contain a wide variety of things to see and do, the main event circulates around the abundant amount of multicultural food available. This event consisted of a large space south of the race track split into two halves: a north section and a south section. Guests entered into the north section, a field and walkway complete with all the vendors, services, games, arts & crafts, entertainment, and everything else not directly involved with food. Crossing over to the southern section placed visitors into a blocked off portion of the parking lot, complete with dozens of food vendors all serving various types of  food and drinks from multiple different regions of Asia, from Chinese to Thai to Vietnamese to Japanese to Korean and more. The longest lines occurred at booths with the demanded items, such as the infamous Ramen Burger, Mama Musubi, stinky tofu, squid roe, and Spiked Juices.

Expect another 626 Night Market to come around later next month as the last 626 Night Market of the year. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for more updates on additional night markets in Southern California.

The 7th Annual Unique LA Summer Market 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.

This year’s summer event definitely did not contain as many vendors as all other previous events. This Unique LA used less space than before, and the aisles had more space for attendees to walk through. For a weekend with many other events going on, perhaps Unique LA did not rank high as a priority for many of the regular vendors. I still got a chance to see MNKR and Maya Brigadeiro – other than them whom I recognized, I did not encounter others that I fondly communicated with at prior events. Regardless, 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.

The 3rd Annual Pawsapalooza Dog Walk & Festival returned to West Hollywood Park this past Saturday. This free and all-ages event united dogs and dog lovers for a day of furry friendly fun. The event had dog performance demos, free treats & pet goodies, arts & crafts, costume contests, and more. A row of booths provided a handful of different things that visitors could buy for either people or pets, while a few food trucks nearby provided sustenance for those who needed to eat. The main attraction of the event circulated around the canine agility area, where dogs exhibited their fitness in the dog course. For most of the visitors, they simply brought their dog(s) to mix & mingle with the other dogs. As a free event, this provided a short afternoon of fun for anyone with a dog or anyone thinking about adding a dog to the family. The organizers routinely hold events throughout the year, so check out their website (linked above) for more.

3rd Annual Peachapalooza
August 13-15
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach & Downtown Long Beach
http://beachwoodbbq.com/events.html

This Thursday through Saturday, both Beachwood BBQ locations will feature peach dishes as well as peach beers. No admission required – simply show up, and order away.

Business & Beer @ Monkish Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 13
Monkish Brewing, Torrance
http://www.facebook.com/events/440346372823833/

This monthly networking event for small business owners visits a South Bay brewery every second Thursday of the month. This week, they will hit up Monkish Brewing in Torrance. If you have involvement with a small business, love craft beer, or both, then stop by this Thursday night.

2015 Taste of Downtown Disney
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 13
Downtown Disney, Anaheim
https://secure2.convio.net/choc/site/Ticketing;jsessionid=E7603818D3932F67A8AFBFE34D0A8613.app263a?view=Tickets&id=100322

Relax in Downtown Disney as servers bring the food and drinks to you at this Taste of Downtown Disney. Also enjoy the best in local entertainment that only Downtown Disney can provide a venue for. Admission varies depending on the package, with general admission costing $85.

5-Course Sustainable Seafood & Craft Beer Dinner
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 13
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/beer_dinner/

Enjoy five seafood dishes paired with five different craft beers this Thursday night at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Attendance for this dinner costs $75, and includes admission to the rest of the aquarium for that night. No one under 21 may attend. Bring extra cash to pay for parking at the aquarium’s parking structure.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 13
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

2015 Tasting Table Lobster Rumble LA
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 13
Los Angeles Center Studios, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.tastingtable.com/rumblela2015

Sample over a dozen different lobster rolls from across the country at this tasting event this Thursday night in Downtown LA. General admission costs $100 and starts at 7pm, while VIP admission costs $150, starts at 6pm, and provides access to a VIP area plus a goodie bag.

2015 D23 Expo
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 14-15
9:00 am – 6:30 pm, August 16
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://d23.com/d23-expo/

The world’s largest Disney expo returns this weekend to the Anaheim Convention Center. Situated just across the street from the Disneyland Resort, tens of thousands of Disney fans from around the world travel here to find all things Disney here, from merchandise vendors to autograph sessions to costume contests and more. One-day admission for non-D23 members costs $65 for adults and $48 for children 12 and under. A weekend pass for non-D23 members costs $216 for adults and $156 for children 12 and under. I HIGHLY recommend early arrival – with so many people trying to get in, expect to wait in long lines if arriving mid-day. Parking will cost a pretty penny – consider getting dropped off, or park in the neighborhoods to the west.

2nd Annual SDBG Golf Tournament
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 14
Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course, San Diego
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-san-diego-brewers-guild-golf-tournament-registration-15602849543

Play golf and drink craft beer at this charity golf tournament this Friday in San Diego. Registration for this event filled up a while ago, so if this event looks interesting to you, bookmark it for next year!

5th Annual Echo Park Rising
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 14
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 15-16
Sunset Blvd, Echo Park
http://epr.la/

Explore the music, creativity, and diversity that Echo Park has to offer at this FREE and all-ages outdoor concert taking place all weekend on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park.

Dance Downtown
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 14
Music Center Plaza, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.musiccenter.org/events/summer/DanceDowntown/

Every other Friday this summer, the Music Center Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles will hold a free and all-ages dance event. Learn to dance the moves, show off your moves, and/or meet new people interested in dance.

The English Beat: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 14, Pacific Amphitheater, Costa Mesa http://www.pacamp.com/pa/schedules/2015/b52s_englishbeat.asp
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, August 15, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood http://www.theroxy.com/event/806653-english-beat-west-hollywood/

Get your skanking on with The English Beat this weekend as they perform at two all-ages shows in Southern California.

Labyrinth of Jareth XVIII – Masquerade Ball
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 14-15
Millenium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles
http://www.labyrinthmasquerade.com/

Experience a weekend of costumes and magic as you party with the beautiful people of Southern California. Dance and mingle with the Royal Court, and show off your creativity with your most extravagant costume as you lose yourself in the entrancing music and atmosphere of the Labyrinth of Jareth. In layman’s terms, check out this fantasy costume party in LA all weekend, and expect to see a LOT of skin. Admission prices vary, from as low as $49 to as high as $116. Early arrivals will find free street parking near the hotel. Otherwise, guests can park in a parking garage behind the venue, or park at the Biltmore Hotel and take a shuttle from there. All attendees must don a full costume – no half costumes or lazy costumes. Although they have not specified an age limit, I assume no one under 21 can attend.

Narcoleptic Youth @ Characters Sports Bar
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 14
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/953154951403374/

Enjoy a local punk show in Pomona this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter. Guests will find free street parking in the area, and can avoid paying to park in the parking lots.

Free Punk Show in Laguna Niguel
8:30 pm – 1:00 am, August 14
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.facebook.com/events/567692446702920/

Enjoy a FREE local punk show in Laguna Niguel this Friday night. No one under 21 may enter.

Nisei Week – Japanese Festival
August 15-23
Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.niseiweek.org/

Participate in any of a variety of events celebrating Japanese culture during this nine-day period based out of Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. Numerous events will occur at Little Tokyo or the Japanese American National Museum on the north side of Little Tokyo. Check the website for a full list of events, which include some eating competitions, the free family festival, and a car show.

15th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 15
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier
http://whittieruptown.org/2015-the-15th-annual-uptown-classic-car-show/

See hundreds of classic cars all for FREE at this all-ages car show on the streets of Uptown Whittier this Saturday. All of the businesses in Uptown Whittier will remain open under regular business hours. Interested visitors should park in the neighborhoods north of Hadley Street.

Taste of Paleo 3.0
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 15
Center at Founders Village, Fountain Valley
http://www.tasteofpaleo.com/

Sample all the paleo food you can (until the vendors run out) at this all-ages tasting event this Saturday afternoon in Fountain Valley. Admission costs $20 presale or $25 at the gate.

2015 Long Beach Triathlon & Expo
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 15
4:00 am – 10:00 am, August 16
Marina Green, Downtown Long Beach
http://thelongbeachtriathlon.com/

Test your physical prowess with this triathlon as you swim, run, and bike your way around Downtown Long Beach. An expo where visitors can explore and learn about the triathlon will occur on Saturday at Marina Green, and participating athletes can pick up their race packets at this expo. The actual triathlon starts at 7am on Sunday morning. Registration varies in price, with individual registration costing $140. All participants receive a t-shirt, goodie bag, finisher medal, post-race food & entertainment, a swim cap, and exclusive access to online results & professional photos.

83rd Annual Great Sand Sculpture Contest
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 15-16
Granada Launch Ramp, Long Beach
http://lbsandcastle.com/

This contest to build a unique and fascinating sand sculpture takes place over two days this weekend. Most of the building will take place on Saturday, with Sunday allocated mainly to spectators. All participants will get featured in local media, such as The Press Telegram. Interested individuals and/or teams may register for FREE, and all participants and spectators will find vendors, live music, food, and a kids’ area on both days.

10th Annual ArtWalk San Diego
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 15-16
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.artwalksandiego.org/ntc/

Check out the best in local art at this FREE all-ages art walk in Liberty Station this weekend. In addition to seeing art on display, visitors will likely see many artists creating artwork on the spot.

2015 ¡Latin Food Fest! San Diego
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, August 15
Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://latinfoodfest.com/

The title explains it all – sample all sorts of Latin foods and drinks at this tasting event in San Diego. General admission costs $55 and starts at 12pm. VIP admission costs $150, starts at 11am, and provides access to a VIP area.

2015 Natsumatsuri Family Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 15
Japanese American National Museum, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.janm.org/events/2015/natsumatsuri/

At this free and all-ages event, find plenty of family-fun activities to partake in, such as karaoke, live music, live entertainment, games, arts & crafts, dance, and more.

Stone Brewing’s 19th Anniversary Celebration
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 15
Cal State San Marcos, San Marcos
http://www.stonebrewing.com/anniv/

Nobody throws a beer festival quite like one of the nation’s largest breweries! Featuring two sessions of beer drinking for the thousands of fans out there, Stone Brewing will once again return to the beautiful campus of Cal State San Marcos for this mega gala of epic proportions. With multiple levels containing many different beers and food, a three-hour session may not provide enough time to check out everything! Admission costs $45 per session, which run from 11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm. All attendees receive a souvenir glass, fifteen 3oz beer tasters, free sodas, free beer cheese, and access to other great Stone goodies, such as beer desserts.

Surf ‘n’ Suds Beer Festival
11:30 am – 5:00 pm, August 15
Carpinteria State Beach, Carpinteria
http://surfbeerfest.com/

This beer tasting event in Carpinteria will have over 45 breweries to choose beer from, as well as local surfboard shapers, local music, food trucks, and more. General admission costs $50 and starts at 12:30pm, while VIP admission costs $65 and starts at 11:30am. All attendees receive unlimited beer tastings while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Timeless Pints 2nd Year Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 15
Timeless Pints Brewing, Lakewood
http://timelesspints.com/events/tp-turns-2-anniversary-party/

Lakewood’s premier microbrewery turns a year old this week, and to celebrate, they will throw a bash this Saturday where they plan to release several new brews to the public. In addition, they will have three food trucks visiting to serve food, plus live music all day. This party requires no admission – simply show up, and pay for beer as you go.

22nd Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 15
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 16
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/

Indulge in crawfish, beignets, drinks, and other New Orleans eats this weekend in Long Beach. In addition to all the food, attendees will find a TV lounge, dance contests, live music, souvenir photos, and more. Entry to this all-ages festival cost $13 presale and $15 at the gate for adults, while kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Adding a two-pound crawfish feast will cost $28 presale and $38 at the gate. Adding a three-pound crawfish feast will cost $35 presale and $48 at the gate. The parking lots across the street charge for use – park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Beers Magazine’s Summer Fest
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, August 15
The Reef’s Parking Lot, Los Angeles
http://beersfest.com/

Drink lots of beer in a hot steamy parking lot this Saturday afternoon close to Downtown Los Angeles. Admission costs $10 and only gets you in to the event area. A pint glass that will enable you to actually drink beer at the event costs $20 presale or $25 at the event. All attendees that purchase the glass receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the event or until the beer runs out. No one under 21 may attend. Guests can find free parking in the neighborhoods south of the venue.

3rd Annual Beard & Moustache Competition
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 15
Avalon Hollywood, Hollywood
http://lafacialhairsociety.brownpapertickets.com/

Show off your wicked facial hair at this competition for all things hairy this Saturday afternoon in Hollywood, featuring a handful of categories to enter into to win cash prizes. In addition to the fabulous styles, visitors will find food, a full bar, live music, vendors, and more. Registration costs $25, while spectators may enter for $15.

OC Weekly’s 12th Annual Decadence
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 15
Hotel Irvine, Irvine
http://microapp.ocweekly.com/decadence/2015/

Come enjoy a night of food, drinks, music, dancing, and more. This festival for the senses will feature over 30 local restaurants, live music & DJ’s, local dance performers, signature cocktails, wild animal exhibits, and more. General admission costs $35 presale or $45 at the door, and starts at 7pm. VIP admission costs $55 presale or $65 at the door, starts at 6pm, and includes a goodie bag plus access to a VIP area. No one under 21 may attend.

Bad Ass Helen’s Birthday Bash
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 15
The Alamo, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/389880004535924/

Bad Ass vocalist Helen celebrates her birthday this week with some great punk bands performing in Riverside this Saturday night.

No Talents and The Stitches @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 15
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/879893-no-talents-long-beach/

Enjoy some great local music in Long Beach this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $12. No one under 21 may enter.

The 2015 Los Angeles Reptile Super Show returns this weekend to the Fairplex in Pomona. As one of the nation’s largest expo for reptiles, amphibians, turtles, supplies, feed, cages, lights, supplements, educational workshops, and more, this show attracts reptile fans from across the nation to gaze at new potential pets and to stock up on supplies, feed, and other goods for their beloved pets. Open to all ages, visitors can browse through the countless booths and vendors around the expo hall, and potentially pick up some of the animals. None of the animals pose any serious threats to any of the visitors here – any animal that has venom do not have enough of it to injure a human. From the smallest of lizards to heavy snakes to the largest of tortoises and dragons, this expo has an animal to fit anyone’s lifestyle.

The show runs 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday, and costs $14 for adults or $9 for children. Get $1 off with a printed coupon available from their website, linked above. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter through blue gate 9, located on White Avenue south of Arrow Hwy. Check it out, and discover the joy of the company of these alternative pets.

The 7th Annual Unique LA Summer Show returns to the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles this weekend. As one of the largest independent designer shows in the nation, hundreds of artists, crafters, designers, cooks, bakers, mixologists, and more gather 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 covers 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 food, art, apparel, and accessories vendors, some specialty vendors existed, such as cutlery or tupperware.

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. 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. Stay on the trail of Unique LA by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter to find out what to expect at this show.

As part of their annual seasonal series of free live music events, Summer And Music launched Twisted At The Pike last Saturday night. This free and all-ages outdoor event took place in front of the ferris wheel at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach, and featured four local bands, and a handful of wacky actors. In addition to the live music, visitors found fire dancers, magicians, and many characters, which included monsters, ghouls, and other scary figures. Between music sets, a live DJ filled the air with dance music, and visitors could check out the food and drinks sold by the Auld Dubliner.

To better understand the theme, imagine a carnival from a horror movie. Many roaming characters portrayed an evil clown, while some simply donned a monster mask or costume. Various props around the area allowed some interaction with visitors, such as a twisted mirror. To complete the panoramic experience, the bands played psychedelic music, almost putting listeners into a trance. Words cannot accurately describe the atmosphere of this event – you had to attend to understand what transpired here.

Miss out on Twisted At The Pike? Summer And Music will host many more events this summer in Long Beach. Check out their website (linked above) for a full list of events to look forward to. Pay attention to their Facebook page for an event coming up in August. If you like music, and you like free stuff, you definitely owe it to yourself, your friends, and your family to check out anything put on by Summer And Music.

People have an unexplainable lust for bacon. Some small quirk about a thin strip of salted meat drives people so crazy that some may even prefer it over SEX. People simply love bacon for unexplainable reasons, and will go to crazy distances just for that crispy salty crunchy satisfying feel of biting into bacon. You know bacon has something going for it when people wrap things in bacon to make it taste better, even things most people may not have heard of, such as water chestnuts or peppadews. When you cannot wrap something in bacon, what logically comes next other that chop up the bacon and throw it all onto food? In some instances, you can then directly add the bacon into whatever you make. Like bacon and waffles? Add bacon pieces to the batter prior to grilling. Like bacon and pasta? Roll your own bacon & cheese tortelloni. As one of the most versatile foods in the world, bacon adds that je ne sais quoi to anything one can eat or drink, and can replace most basic ingredients in foods. To see bacon doing all this in action, look no further than at the Big Bite Bacon Fest.

The Big Bite Bacon Fest returned for its second year running at the Queen Mary in Long Beach this past weekend. Pulling together some of Southern California’s bacon-centric businesses plus microbreweries, this all-ages event brought on all forms of pork to serve to all willing attendees. Dozens of food vendors ensured they had plenty of bacon goodies for all attendees to pig out on, while dozens of microbreweries delivered refreshing brews to cool off with. To keep attendees occupied between sessions of pigging out, the event organizers put out some games in the center field plus a stage for live music. In addition, all attendees could board the Queen Mary for a self-guided tour of the majestic ship. Big Bite Events held three separate sessions in order to spread out the amount of attendees to alleviate issues of long lines and vendors running out of food.

Anyone who did research on this event may discover an angry mob of reviews of this organization’s historical events. At least for the past three years’ worth of bacon festivals, too many things went wrong that no one thought that Big Bite Events could rectify their flagship event. Without going into too much detail, major issues involved the steep admission price, parking fees, long lines, low food quality, lack of food, food not fully cooked or heated, meager sample portions, too few vendors, lack of accessible water, and no crowd control. All of these factors over the past few years contributed to bad press for this bacon festival. During the past year, they swore to rectify all of their problems to deliver a bacon festival truly worth praise. If you ask me… I believe they have succeeded in coming back from the grave.

Something must have happened at the Big Bite Events camp during the past year, as they made a hard about-face for this year’s Big Bite Bacon Fest. They basically resolved most of this event’s past problems and ensured that those problems would not resurface again during the weekend. It did appear that they limited attendance, as no vendor never had a long line, and no one had any trouble navigating through the event space. While some vendors arrived late, no vendor ran out of food until the last hour. They also added much more food vendors this time, with added food variety and enough food to spread out all the attendees so that no booth required a long wait, with the sole exception of Slater’s 50/50, which did not surprise anyone. Issues that lingered included high parking fees (uncontrollable, since the Queen Mary handles this) and lack of accessible water – if people will eat salty food and drink beer, they will suffer dehydration fast under this hot sun. As long as attendees prepared for this by properly hydrating prior to arriving and applying ample sunscreen, they could manage to live through to the end of the festival.

While the Big Bite Bacon Fest suffered from bad press in the past few years, I believe this year’s festival may help to bring them back into good standing. We all hope that they learned from their past mistakes and use this this year’s festival’s overall success to deliver quality events in the future. If you seek out more bacon goodness, save a spot on your calendar for Saturday, September 5, as the San Diego Bacon Fest occurs on that day. The organizers for this festival have nothing to do with Big Bite Events, but they too also did poorly at their events the past few years for basically the same reasons of the Big Bite Bacon Fest. I cannot say if I crave bacon this much ever again, but if you do, plenty of opportunities will surface in the near future.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Wednesdays @ The Copper Door
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 5
The Copper Door, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/912260378832892/

Get your fill of burlesque every first Wednesday of the month at The Copper Door in Downtown Santa Ana, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

IPA Day @ Valiant Brewing
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 6
Valiant Brewing, Orange
http://www.facebook.com/events/1648486905364885/

Celebrate IPA Day this Thursday evening at Valiant Brewing in Orange as they bring their Overdrive Quad IPA out on draft and in bottles.

El Segundo/Monkish Collaboration Beer Release
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 6
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/824680040981172/

Come enjoy the release of Beer.Hops.Love. (Hoppy Belgian-style Tripel) collaboration between local brewing powerhouses El Segundo Brewing Company and Monkish Brewing Company. No admission required – simply show up and savor this brew.

45 Grave @ The World Famous Doll Hut
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 6
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1095922713754639/

Release some mid-week aggression at this local punk show at the Doll Hut this Thursday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

62nd Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 7
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.alfredosbeachclub.com/seafest-fishing.html

This FREE kids’ fishing contest will provide a safe environment for kids to learn how to fish, about fishing equipment, and about the environment. All participants must supply their own rod and reel – the event will provide bait and tackle.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 7-9
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America returns to Santa Anita Park this weekend. For just $3 to enter, this flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 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).

4th Annual Ribs, Pigs, & Watermelons – Beer Festival & Pro BBQ Competition
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 7
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 8
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 9
Huntington Beach State Beach, Huntington Beach
http://www.rpwbbq.com/

Indulge in BBQ, pork, watermelons, and beer this weekend in Huntington Beach. Grill masters from across the country will fly in to compete for the grand prize of $10,000, and attendees will share the delight to sampling all the delicious meaty goodness. Attendees will also find all the watermelon they can eat, as well as watermelon-related activities such as carving, seed-spitting, eating contests, and more. Also catch live music all weekend on the stage. General admission valid for all three days cost $10, $5 for children ages 8-12, and free for younger children. General admission only grants entry to the festival – all attendees must pay for food separately.

67th Annual La Habra Corn Festival
5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 7
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 8
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 9
El Centro Park, La Habra
http://lahabracornfestival.com/

This city fair celebrates corn with food, rides, games, drinks, vendors, merchandise, raffles, entertainment, and more. This fair will have a parade on Saturday afternoon too. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can also participate in a corn-eating contest, cutest baby contest, dog costume contest, apple pie contest, and more.

Brew at the Zoo
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 7
Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles
http://lazoo.org/brew/

This craft beer fest at the Los Angeles Zoo will allow you to drink while exhibiting the animals. Also expect to see comedians, DJs, bands, vendors, and more. General admission costs $50, starts at 7pm, and includes unlimited 5oz beer tasters and entry into the park to look at the animals. VIP admission costs $99, starts at 6pm, and includes access to two VIP lounges. No one under 21 may attend.

Duane Peters Gunfight @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 7
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/822535934492885/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 7
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/919781-secret-affair-long-beach/

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

8th Annual Surf Guitar Convention & Festival
8:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 8
Garden Grove Elks Lodge 1952, Garden Grove
http://surfguitar101.com/convention/HOME.html

Come see lots of surf music bands perform at this benefit show. This all-day all-ages show costs $30 to attend.

2015 Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 8-9
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.scscracing.com/

Powerboat racers from across the country will congregate in Long Beach this weekend for this annual competition. Admission costs $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

3rd Annual Pawsapalooza: Dog Walk & Festival
9:00 am – 2:00 pm, August 8
West Hollywood Park, West Hollywood
http://www.pawsla.org/pawsapalooza-2015/

This free and all-ages event unites dogs and dog lovers for a day of furry friendly fun. Experience dog performance demos, free treats & pet goodies, arts & crafts, costume contests, and more.

10th Annual Cardiff Dog Days of Summer
9:30 am – 6:00 pm, August 8
Cardiff Town Center, Cardiff
http://www.cardiffdogdaysofsummer.com/

Want a little exercise, socialization, and bonding with your dog? Come enjoy dog contests, custom pet products and animal adoptions. Vendors will display the latest dog products and much more. San Diego County’s largest dog-centric event draws thousands attendees from all over San Diego to see over 200 vendors, dog contests, live music, food, an agility course, a doggie photo booth, doggie crafts and a large silent auction. Completely free to attend for all ages, attendees should park at or near Encinitas City Hall and take the free shuttle.

2015 Reptile Super Show
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 8
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 9
Fairplex, Pomona
http://reptilesupershow.com/

Check out all things reptiles and amphibians at this weekend expo at the Fairplex in Pomona. Open to all ages, attendees will find reptiles, amphibians, turtles, supplies, cages, lights, supplements, educational workshops, and more. Admission costs $14 for adults and $9 for children 12 and under – check the website for a printable coupon good for $1 off admission. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter through blue gate 9, located on White Avenue south of Arrow Hwy.

7th Annual Unique LA Summer Show
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 8-9
The California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.uniqueusa.com/markets-la

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.

3rd Annual ScareLA
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 8-9
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://scarela.com/

Welcome to Southern California’s premier Halloween convention. At this weekend event, get a glimpse at all things Halloween, preview this year’s top costumes, and get info on the world’s scariest haunted houses or mazes. Check out over a hundred Halloween vendors, makeup artists, scare demos, costume demos, and more. Visitors may also want to wear their costume to this expo to “practice” for Halloween! The price of admission varies based on the day of attendance, and any of the extras included with admission. General admission (no extra goodies) costs $35 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. See the website for a full breakdown of prices.

28th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 8-9
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachjazzfestival.com/

Soak in the sun with classy R&B and jazz music this weekend in Long Beach. Discover the best in local music under the sun in the park by the beach, and check out the local food and art also available at this all-ages fest. Admission varies based on attendance method, with rates starting at $50. Parking in nearby lots and structures cost $10 per vehicle – consider parking in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue to circumvent parking fees.

Star Wars: It’s A Tap!
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 8
Pizza Port, San Clemente
http://www.facebook.com/events/697272197074251/

Pizza Port will tap & pour Star Wars themed beers all day for $3 or $4 a pint depending on the beer. They will also have food specials, movies, costume contests, and more. No admission required – you only pay for what you consume.

9th Annual Los Angeles Skacore Invasion
1:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 8
Plaza De La Raza, Los Angeles
http://www.fla.vor.us/skacoreinvasion15

Check out this all-day all-ages ska/punk/reggae/hardcore outdoor concert going on this Saturday in Los Angeles, complete with two stages and over 30 bands. Tickets cost $22 presale or $28 at the door.

LA Weekly’s Burgers & Beer
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 8
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Sports Arena, Los Angeles
http://microapp.laweekly.com/burgersandbeer/2015/

Hang with hipsters at this gourmet foodie and craft beer event in Los Angeles this Saturday afternoon. Find burgers from dozens of Los Angeles County’s hottest burger joints, and enjoy beer samples from dozens of Southern Californian microbreweries. General admission starts at 3pm and costs $75 with beer or $55 without beer. VIP admission costs $90 and starts at 2pm. All attendees receive unlimited samples until it runs out. No one under 21 may attend.

Hollywood Beer & Music Festival
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 8
The Reserve Lot @ Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood
http://www.hollywood-beerfestival.com/

Get chocolate-wasted in Hollywood this Saturday afternoon complete with bros, hos, brews, queues, and more. General admission costs $35 and starts at 4pm. VIP admission costs $50, starts at 3pm, and has access to exclusive cocktails. No one under 21 may attend.

2015 Long Beach Grand Cru
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 8
South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes Estates
http://www.longbeachgrandcru.org/

Wine lovers will not want to miss this year’s Long Beach Grand Cru, a wine competition and tasting extravaganza, featuring some really rare and/or expensive wines. General admission costs $250 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $350 and starts at 5pm, but also includes access to a VIP area with premium food and drinks.

Larrypalooza
5:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 8
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1594412624161805/

Check out this long punk show featuring many local bands this Saturday evening at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs only $5 if entering before 7pm, or $7 afterwards. No one under 21 may enter.

Art Crawl Experience
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 8
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience

Downtown Anahiem will see a variety of activities and exhibits this Saturday night. Visitors can expect to find tons of art exhibits, live music, food, food trucks, drinks, yoga, dance, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street.

The Full Pint 7th Anniversary Celebration
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 8
The Lost Knight, Echo Park
http://thefullpint.com/events/tfp8/

This beer fest will bring out the big guns, as The Full Pint brings out all the rare beers that attendees can handle. A VIP session starts at 6pm, but has already sold out. General admission starts at 8:30pm and costs $10 to enter – from there, attendees will pay for beer as they go, and each beer will vary in price.

Screeching Weasel: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 8, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/screeching-weasel
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 9, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego http://observatorysd.com/?event_id=5838085

Famous punk band Screeching Weasel will headline all-ages shows in three consecutive days in California this weekend, with two of them taking place in Southern California. Each show has a different ticket price, so click on a link for details.

Punk Night @ Fitzgerald’s
8:30 pm – 1:00 am, August 8
Fitzgerald’s, Huntington Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/832678750139864/

Enjoy a local punk show this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
5:00 am – 2:00 pm, August 9
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.

7th Annual OC Fair Fun Run 5K
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 9
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocfair5k.com/

The OC Fair hosts a 5K at the fairgrounds this Sunday morning. Registration costs $40 presale and $45 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Children ages 6-12 register for $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Online registration closes this Thursday. All participants receive a goodie bag, which includes a T-shirt, a medal for participating, and one admission into the OC Fair.

CicLAvia
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 9
Culver City to Venice
http://www.ciclavia.org/

Much of Washington Blvd, Venice Blvd, and surrounding streets in Culver City and Venice will close to bikers this Sunday afternoon. Cars may not enter the designated areas during this time – only bikers and pedestrians may roam the streets.

30th Annual Children’s Festival of the Arts
12:00 pm – 4:30 pm, August 9
Paramount Studios, Hollywood
http://www.hollywoodartscouncil.org/

Bring out the family to this FREE art day in Hollywood this Sunday afternoon. Children will enjoy all the activities involving art, dance, music, face painting, characters, and more.

Blue Palms Brewhouse 7th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 9
Blue Palms Brewhouse, Los Angeles
http://www.shop.bluepalmsbrewhouse.com/Blue-Palms-7th-Anniversary-Blue-Palms-7th.htm

Blue Palms Brewhouse turns seven this week, and would like to invite you to join in on the festivities! Admission costs $60, and comes with twenty 3oz beer tasters, a souvenir glass, and food while it lasts.

3rd Annual Avocado Fest
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 9
Angel City Brewery, Los Angeles
http://angelcitybrewery.com/community/did-somebody-say-avocado/

Angel City Brewery brings back their Avocado Ale this Sunday, and to celebrate, they will have multiple activities going on at their tasting room in Downtown Los Angeles., such as avocado-themed food trucks, live art, live music, vendors, games, brewery tours, and more. This event requires no admission – simply pay for beer and other products as you go.

31st Annual Hillcrest CityFest
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 9
5th & University, Hillcrest, San Diego
http://fabuloushillcrest.com/events/hillcrest-cityfest/

Have fun at this street fair in Hillcrest this Sunday with games, activities, vendors, live music, food, a beer garden, and more. Free to attend for all ages, visitors should park at the San Diego School District Building on the east side of Hillcrest.