Posts Tagged ‘Free’

Long Beach’s Green Prize Festival returned for its fourth year running this past Saturday afternoon. Taking place at its new location of Houghton Park in North Long Beach, this free and all-ages event takes place on Earth Day annually and celebrates all things Earth Day and natural. Visitors to the Green Prize Festival would 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. This event primarily provides a method for local businesses to come out and exhibit their goods & services so that both locals and travelers can better get to know Long Beach and what makes up this city. Support the local community by giving the Green Prize Festival a like on Facebook.

The Orange County Fair & Event Center’s Imaginology event returned for its 38th year running this past weekend in Costa Mesa. This free and all-ages event covered all things S.T.E.A.M. related – science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. If it had anything to do with creativity, one would surely find it at Imaginology. Due to the nature of this event, its target audience primarily revolved around children from elementary school through high school. Suffice to say, anyone of any age would still surely appreciate all the gadgets, exhibits, demos, gizmos, toys, and whatnot available to interact with here.

As an event with lots of variety in the description, the plethora of available things to do would keep anyone occupied for hours. The center area in front of the hangar included a music stage, food vendors, and a handful of additional demo booths for visitors to check out. Around here, all the buildings contained something different. One building contained a good mixture of tables to interact with that included math, smartphones, costume design, traditional canvas art, 3D printing, automotive exhibits, fashion, medical devices, and more. Another building contained nature and biology exhibits, with the back exit door leading to outdoor nature exhibits. Between these two buildings, visitors would find the robotics hall, complete with teams and robotics competitions. Across the way, these buildings contained literature, photography, model kits, and traditional arts & crafts. The hall in between marked the main entrance to Imaginology – I had entered through the back, so I experienced this event in an odd order. In the entrance hallway, visitors got a glimpse at what they would encounter in the rest of the event, such as aerial arts, model trains, robotics, virtual reality, animals, engineering toys, and more. Lastly, the hangar contained what I refer to as glorified tabletop games, such as Jenga, Battleship, corn hole, jigsaw puzzles, and more. Once I stumbled upon this area, I quickly realized that all of these would fit in nicely at a beer festival.

Imaginology presents so much to do or see that it would clearly take more than a day to check out every single exhibit. Luckily, Imaginology takes place over the course of a three-day weekend, and it costs nothing to enter other than transportation and parking. Take note of other similar S.T.E.A.M. events in your area, as most of these do not cost anything to enter because they want to spread knowledge and education to today’s youth. Keep an eye out for Imaginology’s return next year as well, which normally takes place in mid-April.

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. World Pillow Fight Day takes place every year on the first Saturday of April, where communities around the world gather to unleash a fray of feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. One will encounter solo pillow fighters, pillow fighter parties, and specific pillow fighter “targets” dressed in costume. Throughout the melee, someone may call out a target, prompting anyone nearby to all focus on that particular pillow fighter. While many people brought cotton pillows, the few that brought feather pillows made the pillow fight much more interesting. Of course, this also caused some breathing issues as the air filled with dust and feathers. Regardless, everyone had a great time, and despite the location, the event did not see any troublemakers.

The Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire returned for its 22nd annual run this past Saturday. Taking place on Philadelphia Street between Greenleaf Avenue and Painter Avenue, this free and all-ages street fair attracted thousands of people to come check out the dozens of vendors all selling lots of interesting goods. Items sold here ranged from apparel to accessories to decorations to furniture to toys to antiques and many other old-fashioned goods. In essence, this represented a local swap meet for the locals to vend their otherwise outdated items in hopes that visitors may find new use for them. Nevertheless, local markets such as this always make for a good opportunity to find items that you may have use for, and you may find something for a good price too. Check out Uptown Whittier on Facebook and Twitter, as they always have events going on here throughout the year.

The Piecemakers Peddler’s Market made its semiannual return this past Saturday. Taking place at the Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa, this free and all-ages market resembles a local swap meet of sorts, with the vendors selling lots of traditional and useful items. What kind of items would one find at this market? I witnessed items such as clothing, jewelry, kitchenware, home decorations, appliances, toys, games, art supplies, tools, trinkets, and so much more. Although nowhere near as large as other established swap meets in Southern California, this smaller, more intimate market allowed me to browse items in a more open space, and at least all the items here appeared useful in some way, compared to the other swap meets that tend to have random junk for sale. But hey, to each his own.

Make sure you check out the Piecemakers Country Store on Facebook for updates on upcoming events. The Peddler’s Market will return again later this year around September, so keep an eye out for that.

Some of California’s strongest athletes competed in a strongman competition this past Saturday morning in Huntington Beach as part of the 15th Annual California’s Strongest Man Contest. Taking place in a parking lot just east of Jack’s Concession Stand at Huntington State Beach, this competition allowed visitors of all ages to spectate these weightlifting feats for free, as the competitors exhibited their strength and finesse among five different lifting rounds. While most of the competitors represented various lifting and/or barbell clubs or organizations, the contest still allowed independent competitors to compete. Competitors exhibited their athletic ability in the following events:

  1. Log clean & press: a power clean followed by a press/jerk using a log, barbell, or dumbbell
  2. Keg toss: throw a weighted keg over a high bar
  3. Farmer’s carry: hold onto two weights and move it over a distance
  4. Tire flip: flip heavy tires a set amount of times
  5. Atlas Stones: picking up a heavy Atlas Stone and lifting it over a hurdle

Both men and women competed and gave their all, proving that fitness does not discriminate. Some of the women competitors who looked like they weigh just a little over a hundred pounds could effortlessly move a tire weighing over 500 pounds. One can never start lifting weights too late, so if you feel motivated to get strong like these competitors, search locally for a weightlifting gym or a barbell/lifting club or organization. Try to avoid mass “fitness centers” such as Planet Fitness that deter heavy lifting – those do not provide proper training, and will usually trap you in convoluted contracts that you cannot easily escape without an attorney. For best results, search for actual weightlifting gyms or CrossFit gyms with a lifting program. Not all CrossFit gyms have dedicated lifting space, so do some research on these gyms to see if they allow a lifting-only membership without the CrossFit workout shenanigans.

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. World Pillow Fight Day takes place every year on the first Saturday of April, where communities around the world gather to unleash a fray feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. One will encounter solo pillow fighters, pillow fighter parties, and specific pillow fighter “targets” dressed in costume. Throughout the melee, someone will call out a target, prompting anyone nearby to all focus on that particular pillow fighter. For best results, participants should use feather pillows instead of cotton or memory foam pillows, and make a few perforations on the pillows to allow the feathers to fly. Participants should maintain their health by wearing goggles, bandanas, masks, or anything else to help preserve vision and breathing.

Note that most locations take place in dense areas, so prepare to pay for parking. Check the website for confirmed locations throughout the world. As far as Southern California goes, World Pillow Fight Day returns to Los Angeles after taking many years off, with the last one taking place in 2011.