Posts Tagged ‘Free’

Los Angeles Chinatown brought back their recurring Summer Nights event this past Saturday night. Free to attend for all ages, this evening festival brings together food, music, art, and entertainment in a multicultural setting. Throughout the Chinatown main plaza, visitors would find food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, and other forms of entertainment. While this event usually starts at 5pm, the true nightlife does not start until after sunset, when the bright lights go on and firecrackers get lit up all over the plaza. Chinatown brings back this event often every summer, usually taking place once a month. Check out their website linked above for all the dates that this event will occur on.

Covina’s Alosta Brewing brings back their Pintwood Derby for its fourth year running this Saturday after. Now moving to the Glendora Public Library, this charity fundraiser will see numerous people enter their crafted (toy) cars to race for trophies. Participants will pay the entry fee to create a small car that would run down a track, purely powered by gravity and friction. Alosta Brewing sells a starter kit for $5 for those not familiar with designing the small car. Children will compete in their own division, while adults will compete in an adults division. This year’s event will operate slightly different than previous years, as Alosta Brewing will turn this event into a mini beer festival as well. It costs $30 to attend the beer festival, which will take place outside the building that the racing will take place in. Attendees will receive unlimited beer samples from 12pm to 4pm while supplies last. These attendees that want to enter the Pintwood Derby will simply have to pay $5 more. Alosta Brewing has not yet specified if it will cost anything for minors to enter the derby, though they did mention that they will have gourmet food trucks on the premises.

Torrance’s Mitsuwa Marketplace hosted their second annual Nagoya Fair this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this mini indoor fair represented the food and culture of Nagoya, Japan. While Nagoya has Japan’s third largest population, much of the world has less familiarity with Nagoya than other cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Hiroshima. Regardless, Nagoya has its fair share of unique culture that sets it apart from the rest of Japan, especially in their cuisine. At this Nagoya Fair, visitors could get to sample all sorts of Nagoya foods, such as Sekai no Yamachan (specialty rubbed chicken wings), Kawakyu Ice (Japanese fluffy shave ice), Nagoya miso oden (a type of egg dish), and hitsumabushi (eel, think unagi). Some of the food stands originated from real locations, such as the shave ice that comes from a real Nagoya shop called Koriya Kawakyu. As such, one cannot find these specific recipes and flavors anywhere else except for these actual shops. Throughout the weekend, the lines for all these foods never subsided, making for a long wait in order to taste every single item. A group of four could easily split into all the lines and order enough for everyone to share, as all of these foods together can represent a complete meal.

Mitsuwa Marketplace holds multiple events like this throughout the year, some big and some small. As far as Southern California goes, the Torrance location tends to host the most events since their location lends well to hosting larger events, but that should not deter you from visiting the other Mitsuwa Marketplace locations! For a full list of locations, check out their website for store hours and addresses. Check out Mitsuwa Marketplace on social media too – they have specific accounts based on location, so for this post, check out their main Facebook page and the Twitter page for Southern California.

The 2017 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival returned to Marine Stadium near the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach this past weekend. This annual race brings teams from across the world here to compete and race their dragon boats against each other, eventually winning the tournament’s grand prize following the finals on Sunday afternoon. Registration to participate in the races closed a while ago, but spectators of all ages may attend and watch the races for free. Although this festival appears as an event for the participants only, the festival features a handful of things to do that non-racers would also enjoy.

As mentioned above, this festival featured other activities besides the racing that non-racers would enjoy. A tent in the parking lot housed a small stage for traditional Chinese performances, such as balancing acts, music, dancing, martial arts, and more. Nearby this tent, all attendees found the vendor village, complete with booths selling food, drinks, cold treats, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more.

The hundreds of teams set up their stations along Paoli Way, past the vendor village. Strolling down Paoli Way allowed everyone a glimpse into the areas of the teams, but also allowed spectators to walk down to the shore and watch the races, which all started at the north end of Marine Stadium.

With everything that the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival has to offer, everyone comes here mainly to watch the races. However, unlike most water-based races, dragon boats involve more than simply your sight. Any sound can shake the air, but a dragon boat team shakes the heart! The combination of the drummer and paddlers working in unity really gets your heart pounding, similar to the feel of a NASCAR race or the Long Beach Grand Prix. When a race actually starts, spectators simply hear drumming, the drummer shouting commands at the paddlers, the paddlers chanting, and the sweep retorting the commands. One cannot help but get excited and cheer on a team, despite not knowing which teams to cheer for!

As one of the world’s grandest dragon boat races, you ought to catch a dragon boat race in all its glory. Fans of racing sports should not miss a dragon boat race. The next opportunity to view a race will take place on Saturday, October 7th at the Los Angeles Dragon Boat Festival. Like Long Beach, anyone may spectate for free, so bring your friends & family out to this race!

This Sunday afternoon, the Long Beach Zine Fest returns for their third year running at the Museum of Latin American Art near Downtown Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, this event features dozens of local writers and artists as they exhibit their literary and artistic works. Visitors can purchase much of the works, while some can partake in trading works and art instead. Extraneous vendors and live entertainment will mix things up throughout the day. Visitors should bring cash if they intend to purchase any of the work here, as well as any food or other items such as apparel and accessories. The venue has a very limited parking lot, so plan to spend time looking for parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. For additional information and updates, check on their website linked above, and follow their updates on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest on what happens and what to expect.

Not one to shy away from anything food-related (and free), I decided to visit the 2nd Annual Vegan Faire at Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim this past Saturday afternoon. Hosted by The Healthy Junk, this free and all-ages outdoor event brought the vegan community together for a day of vegan eats, vegan drinks, music, activities, and more. Visitors could snag samples of various things, especially drinks. Visitors could also view demos of crossfit, karate, and zumba. Other than that, this fair mainly set out to spread the vegan propaganda, what with the signs attempting to dispel myths about veganism. Non-vegan visitors would likely not find much to do here, other than try all the samples around. While a Vegan Faire has all the right tools to end up a successful hit, it falls short with lack of content.

The 2017 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival returns to Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach this weekend. This annual race brings teams from across the world here to compete and race their dragon boats against each other, eventually winning the tournament’s grand prize following the finals on Sunday afternoon. Registration to participate in the races closed a while ago, but spectators of all ages may still attend and watch the races for free. Although this festival appears as an event for the participants only, the festival features a handful of things to do that non-racers will also enjoy.

As mentioned above, this festival features other activities besides the racing that non-racers will enjoy. A tent in the parking lot will house a small stage for traditional Chinese performances, such as balancing acts, music, dancing, martial arts, and more. Nearby this tent, all attendees will find the vendor village, complete with booths selling food, drinks, cold treats, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more.

The hundreds of teams set up their stations along Paoli Way, past the vendor village. Strolling down Paoli Way allows everyone a glimpse into the areas of the teams, but also allows spectators to walk down to the shore and watch the races, which all starts at the north end of Marine Stadium.

With everything that the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival has to offer, everyone comes here mainly to watch the races. However, unlike most water-based races, dragon boats involve more than simply your sight. Any sound can shake the air, but a dragon boat team shakes the heart! The combination of the drummer and paddlers working in unity really gets your heart pounding, similar to the feel of a NASCAR race or the Long Beach Grand Prix. When a race actually starts, spectators simply hear drumming, the drummer shouting commands at the paddlers, the paddlers chanting, and the sweep retorting the commands. One cannot help but get excited and cheer on a team, despite not knowing which teams to cheer for!

The Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival runs on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, providing ample time to attend. On both days, the main festival area opens at 9am and runs until 6pm. The actual races follow their own schedule, so please refer to the website, linked above, for the race schedule. Spectators can find plenty of free street parking on Naples Island, Belmont Park, or Belmont Shore – do not attempt to park in the Marine Stadium parking lot, as that entrance will remain closed to the festival goers. Find some time this weekend to bring your friends, family, and pets down to watch these races – as one of the world’s grandest dragon boat races, you ought to catch a dragon boat race in all its glory.

The 39th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival returned to Alondra Park in Lawndale this past weekend. Always taking place on the third weekend of July, this free and all-ages, this Hawaiian/Polynesian cultural fair contained numerous cultural vendors, food, treats, games, music, dance, entertainment, and more. Most of the action revolved around the main stage, where they had the music, dance, speakers, occasional comedians, actors, and more. Spread throughout the park, visitors could stroll through the dozens of vendors selling things from accessories, apparel, house goods, food, treats, trinkets, souvenirs, and beyond. At the left side of the event space, visitors found the food stalls plus the games for the children to win toys at. Due to the small size of the park, the organizers had to fit everything in to a tight space, meaning that visitors could stroll through the entire festival within ten minutes or so. Regardless, anyone who visited surely had a great time checking out all the different cultural goods around.

The 8th Annual Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair returned for its semi-annual Summer Market this past weekend at its original home of the LA State Historic Park outside of Downtown Los Angeles. This free and all-ages event sees thousands of visitors all coming to see over 250 select independent artists, crafters, and vendors all exhibiting and selling their wares. Among all the possible merchandise, visitors could purchase anything from clothing, accessories, home goods (candles, soap, wind chimes, etc), kitchen supplies, artisanal eats (candy, preserves, etc), music records, pet supplies, and so much more. What makes Renegade Craft appealing revolves around every single vendor, all independently crafting their own handmade goods as opposed to manufacturing them in a factory. In addition to the multitude of aisles filled with vendors, Renegade Craft also offers various hands-on workshops, art installations, live DJ’s, a photo booth, gourmet food trucks, and more.

With the change in location came a change in the lineup of vendors. This past weekend’s event appeared to have fewer amount of vendors compared to the past couple of years at Grand Park. This does not denote a bad thing, as the organizers had to deal with a smaller area this time, despite returning to its original location. Renegade Craft exists to introduce the locals to new vendors that they would have never heard of, and this past weekend’s event certainly did that for me.

If you attended Renegade LA this past weekend, I would love to know what you purchased. Please share your items by commenting on this post, or by posting on my Facebook page. Keep in mind that Renegade runs twice a year in Los Angeles – the holiday show will occur on the weekend of December 9-10 later this year. As a free event open to the public that lasts two days, Renegade Craft Fair can easily fit into anyone’s schedule. Shop local, and support local business – doing so drives the local economy and greatly benefits your local community. Support Renegade Craft Fair by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Downtown Los Angeles’ Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple hosted their annual Obon Summer Festival this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, an Obon Festival traditionally takes place in mid-July; however, Japanese communities around the world tend to host the event sometime within a month of that time. As with tradition, an Obon Festival provides a means for families and friends to gather and remember their ancestors. When a festival takes place, it usually involves vendors, food, games, live entertainment, and more as one would expect at a cultural fair. As one of the smaller Obon Festivals of Southern California, it did not feature too much to do for those whose families do not celebrate the occasion. However, I did see a lot of families spending time here, meaning that this tradition has not lost its value at all despite not actually taking place in Japan.