Posts Tagged ‘Free’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets features over a dozen different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Unlike the previous year where it rained on the event, this year’s event saw plenty of sunshine, which did not stop the vendors from going strong, nor did the heat stop the hundreds of visitors from seeking out great gifts.

The series of Patchwork Festivals happens twice a year: in Spring and Fall. With each series, it runs weekend after weekend at different locations. The next Patchwork Fest will occur in Long Beach in a few weeks. In addition to new foods to try, the lineup of vendors changes, so you may find some great new gifts for your friends & family. Give a like to the Patchwork Festival on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to see what they have in store for you at future shows. For a free fest, what have you got to lose?

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival returned to the Village Green in Garden Grove for its 59th year running this past weekend. This free and all-ages city fair features rides, games, vendors, food, contests, live entertainment, a parade, and more. From the carnival rides to the prize games to the food court, fans of state fairs would love the throwback feel of this classic annual city fair. The layout of the fair remained largely the same as previous years. The majority of the vendors lined up along Main Street, selling various things from apparel to accessories to toys to home goods to spinners and more. The Village Green held all of the games and rides. Visitors could purchase a wristband for $30 that provided unlimited rides for that day. Between Main Street and the Village Green, all the food vendors lined up. This event had typical fair food – corn dogs, cotton candy, nachos, shaved ice, and more fair food. For a FREE fair, why waste this opportunity to bring your friends and family here? The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival happens at the same place every year on Memorial Day weekend. Support this local organization by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Orange County mainstay brewery Cismontane Brewing recently turned seven years old, a feat in this competitive microbrewery market. As they do every year, Cismontane holds a party to celebrate their anniversary. However, this year brought about many new changes for Cismontane. Notably, Cismontane has relocated to a new facility in Santa Ana, departing from their original location in Rancho Santa Margarita. This marks Cismontane’s first time holding an anniversary event ever at this new Santa Ana location. To also mix things up, Cismontane changed the way they structured their anniversary event. In previous years, Cismontane held their anniversary like a beer festival. Guests would pay for a ticket to receive a set amount of beer pours as well as an anniversary glass. This year, Cismontane did away with the ticketing fees. Instead, they tapped a handful of barrel-aged beers for guests to enjoy. With no tickets or cover charges to worry about, guests could enter freely and simply pay for beers as they went. With this setup, guests would only pay for beers that they wanted to drink instead of paying for a set amount of beers that they may not get to enjoy. Unfortunately, Cismontane did not have an anniversary glass this time – they just had their regular merchandise for sale. Historically, Cismontane held their anniversary at the end of April or the beginning of May. Due to the sheer amount of beer events during that time this year, Cismontane kept postponing their anniversary to a more suitable date with the fewest amount of conflicting beer events.

Check out Cismontane Brewing at their new location in Santa Ana just off the 55 freeway. See what they have brewing up here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. Their new location can accommodate more guests than their previous Rancho Santa Margarita location (which Laguna Beach Beer Company has acquired after Cismontane moved), so check them out behind Pep Boys (enter on the west side).

The 5th Annual Heritage of Aloha Festival returned to Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs this past weekend. Free to attend for 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 far end of the park, 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. Support this local festival by liking them on Facebook.

The comics industry has grown quite substantially over the past year or two. Recent movies have helped with that, between all the sequels and reboots on the big screen and on television. The influx of independent and small artists & writers have also helped with the rise in the popularity of comics. Local art & comics events, such as the one coming up this weekend in Los Angeles, bring together the local community to meet and discover local art and writing talent. Fans do not always need to pay big bucks to enter such events – many events often attract hundreds of fans for little or no cost, such as the East LA Comic Con.

East LA shows that they love comics too at the 1st Annual East LA Comic Con. Taking place at the El Gallo Plaza this past Saturday, this free and all-ages event attracted over a thousand fans throughout the course of the day to come check out dozens of artists, writers, vendors, and exhibitors. For a small venue, the organizers managed to stuff many people into these tight quarters. Unlike a lot of the bigger comic cons, this event felt more like a zine fest than a full comic con. This event did not have the typical video games, screenings, panels, or outdoor exhibits that other events have. Like a zine fest, this event focused solely on the vendors and what they had to offer – the enclosed space and lack of electricity did not allow for much else.

As an event’s first year operating, of course one would expect to encounter beginner’s problems. From my experience at this event, many of the problems will vanish with the acquisition of a bigger, better venue. Main concerns involved the long line to get in, lack of space, and lack of air conditioning. The organizer can resolve all of this with a venue better capable of housing so many attendees. With the first year wrapped up, the organizers now have a firm grasp on the popularity of this event, and hopefully they can fix it for next year. Check out what they have planned coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The 50th Annual Sunset Beach Art Festival wrapped up this past weekend along Pacific Avenue in Sunset Beach. Completely free to attend for all ages, hundreds of local artists, designers, and vendors travel to this small town art fair to exhibit their wares in a family-friendly setting. Historically occurring on Mother’s Day weekend annually, visitors could find affordable yet thoughtful gifts for Mother’s Day, ranging from apparel to accessories to household items, like wind chimes, soap, candles, signs, and more. Running from Broadway all the way down to 7th Street, it would take quite some time to make it from one end of the fair to the other while gazing at both sides of the walkway for trinkets and other neat items to purchase. Visitors love fairs like this because of the emphasis on locally made products. Guests could find all sorts of handmade and homemade items here, including paintings, hung ornaments, tabletop decorations, fashion apparel, accessories, kitchen supplies, lawn ornaments, candles/incense, wall/door decorations, and more.

A portion of the proceeds made at this fair go back towards supporting the local community’s growth. Sunset Beach wants to keep its heritage as a small town nestled on the California coast. In the past few years, Sunset Beach locals have faced opposition from adjacent cities to merge with those cities, thus eliminating Sunset Beach altogether. The locals’ petition to retain Sunset Beach appears to have worked, as Sunset Beach still stands strong with this art festival attracting thousands of visitors over the weekend. Big cities like the neighboring Huntington Beach always get so much attention all the time that we often lose sight of the small towns so close to us. These small towns often house hidden gems such as this art festival, and by occasionally traveling off the beaten path, we may discover something extraordinary like what Sunset Beach has going on. Get out there and explore, because you never know what you may discover and like.