Posts Tagged ‘GardenWalk’

Returning to the Anaheim GardenWalk for its 22nd year, the Taste of Anaheim took off last Thursday evening. This annual event covers most of the northern portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests could enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. Due to the House of Blues relocating from Downtown Disney to here, all of the walkways leading to it had to remain open to the public, so the space normally taken up by the Taste of Anaheim went away. As a result, the Taste of Anaheim had to condense the participating businesses into less space for this year’s event. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees received admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees could sample all the food they could handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more.

After browsing through all the participating businesses at Taste of Anaheim, one could almost call this a Taste of Disney & Friends, as Disney generally takes up most of the space. Can a city continue to live under a notion that one business entity represents the entire city? When you have great local establishments like Slater’s 50/50, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim Brewery, The Ranch, and more, why settle to puff the space up with corporate entities that operate only for themselves and not the locals? Sometimes, event planners need to scale back and plan smaller, more intimate events. By hosting a smaller food fest consisting of only local establishments and no corporate entities, visitors can truly receive a taste of the city. For example, if I traveled up to San Francisco for a food fest, I would want to try food from restaurants only found there, not from standard corporate entities like Hooters or Buca Di Beppo. I suppose that if a corporate donates enough money, they can earn a good spot in the food fest, which explains Bubba Gump Shrimp Company’s position at the front of this food fest. Because of this, I always advise visitors to start from the back, since most attendees start from the front, where the corporate vendors usually set up, whereas local vendors set up in the back. Regardless of this all, I still enjoyed my time at the Taste of Anaheim, as I got to try lots of great food and talk to lots of great people. Always stay on the lookout for local businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

The 22nd Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

  • Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.
  • A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.
  • Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.
  • While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.
  • Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.
  • Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

Bottle Logic Brewing 3rd Anniversary Celebration Week – The Week of Logic
March 19-25
Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim
http://bottlelogic.com/

In anticipation of a massive turnout, Bottle Logic will celebrate their anniversary with a full week of beer festivities. Starting on Sunday, Bottle Logic will release a new beer daily, culminating with the release of their anniversary ale on Saturday. Throughout the week, Bottle Logic will also bring back some old favorites, as well as opportunities to win merchandise. None of the days require a cover or admission fee – simply show up, and drink away.

Women’s Beer Forum
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 22
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock
http://www.eaglerockbrewery.com/womens-beer-forum/

$30 gets you a flight of four beers from various breweries. Judging by historical posts about this event, it appears that men may not participate in this.

Cro-Mags: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 22, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, March 23, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 24, Union Nightclub, Los Angeles
http://www.cro-mags.com/

Hardcore punk band Cro-Mags will headline some shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices to each show varies, so check with their website for details. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

Universal Flow Gathering 2017
March 23-26
Apple Valley
http://www.universalflowgathering.com/

Many details about this event remains unknown such as time and location, but this looks like a hippie gathering out in the desert with music, yoga, interpretive dance, and more. It costs $150 to attend this. No one under 18 may attend.

13th Annual San Clemente Mixologist Competition
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, March 23
Pierside Kitchen & Bar, San Clemente
http://www.scchamber.com/events/details/san-clemente-mixologist-competition-03-24-2016-1073

Local bartenders work their magic to deliver quality drinks with a quality show this Thursday afternoon in San Clemente. Admission costs $35, and comes with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a sampling of the presented libations while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

The Grand Celebration Event
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 23
Anaheim GardenWalk, Anaheim
http://www.anaheimgardenwalk.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/771332659693542/

Free to attend for all ages, this art walk will contain live entertainment, food samples, giveaways, demos, art, and more.

Leftöver Crack: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 23, The Observatory, Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 24, Majestic Ventura Theatre, Ventura
http://www.facebook.com/Leftover-Crack-190096094352619/

Punk rock band Leftöver Crack will headline some shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary, so check with the venue for ticket prices.

Kilowatt Brewing’s 2 Year Anniversary Black Light Party
March 24-26
Kilowatt Brewing, Kearny Mesa, San Diego
http://kilowatt.beer/

One of the hundreds of breweries in San Diego celebrates their second anniversary this week, and to stand out from the crowd, they will celebrate with black lights instead. They will have special anniversary beer releases, glasses, and t-shirts available. This has no admission or cover charge – simply show up and enjoy a cold one or two.

67th Annual Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 24-25
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://lascifair.org/

See lots of science and engineering projects from students this week at the Pasadena Convention Center. Free to attend for all ages, this event will have student projects on display as well as many seminars about science and engineering.

SoCal Etsy Guild Market – Riverside
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, March 24-25
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, March 26
Galleria at Tyler, Riverside
http://socaletsyguild.com/

Free to attend for all ages, the SoCal Etsy Guild will hold its monthly vendor market this weekend, filled with dozens of vendors selling apparel, accessories, and more.

Noche de Estrellas
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, March 24
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/noche_de_estrellas/

This all-ages Latin-themed party celebrates the sea stars of the aquarium. Live bands, DJ’s, dancers, and more will keep the Latin music going all throughout the night. Entry into this party comes with the cost of admission into the aquarium.

Punk Rock Karaoke
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 24, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 25, Brick By Brick, San Diego
http://www.originalpunkrockkaraoke.com/

Live out your punk rock dream with Punk Rock Karaoke this weekend, complete with a backing band consisting of professional musicians. Admission costs $10 for each show. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Little Secrets Burlesque – Video Game Mania
8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, March 24
Harvelle’s, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

Check out a burlesque show that pays tribute to video games this Friday night in Long Beach. General admission costs $15 while a reserved seat costs $30. No one under 21 may attend.

Adult Skate Night
9:30 pm – 12:00 am, March 24
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1655108801450035/

If you ever wanted to try roller derby or just skate with current players, you have a chance this Friday in Huntington Beach. Registration costs $7 and includes rental gear. No one under 18 may attend.

Tough Mudder Los Angeles 2017
7:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 25-26
Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino
http://toughmudder.com/events/2017-los-angeles

Tough Mudder needs no introduction – its legacy alone describes it in ways that words cannot. Expect to train hard this week, all leading up to madness this weekend.

25th Annual Walk With The Animals
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, March 25
Fairmount Park, Riverside
http://www.petsadoption.com/index.php/news/events/290-walk-with-the-animals-2017

Enjoy a pancake breakfast, a pet walk, and K-9 demonstrations this Saturday morning in Riverside. Registration costs $25 for adults or $15 for children. All participants receive a t-shirt and the pancake breakfast.

Bubble Run Anaheim
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, March 25
Angel Stadium, Anaheim
http://bubblerun.com/upcoming-locations/anaheim-ca-2017/

Tired of the same 5k run everywhere? If you have had your fill of color runs and glow runs, try your hand at the Bubble Run. Participants wear all white and run through colored foam bogs in this 5k race. Registration costs $50, and all levels of runners may participate. Space will fill up fast, so register early, and try to carpool to this event.

Piecemakers Peddler’s Market
8:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 25
Piecemakers Country Store, Costa Mesa
http://www.piecemakers.com/events/peddlers.html

Free to attend for all ages, this semiannual outdoor market contains dozens of local vendors selling various goods from antiques to apparel to accessories and lots more. Visitors will surely find great items to furnish a living space or to give away as gifts.

Discover The Dinosaurs – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, March 25-26
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.discoverthedinosaurs.com/

Bring your friends and family to this dinosaur exhibit at the Fairplex in Pomona this weekend. Check out all the dinosaur exhibits or participate in arts & crafts, while children can play in the inflatables section. Admission ranges from $18 to $25 – see the website for pricing details.

15th Annual California’s Strongest Man Contest
9:30 am – 2:30 pm, March 25
Parking lot east of Jack’s Beach Concession, Huntington Beach
http://eastweststrength.com/contest/

Free to attend for spectators, come watch a strongman competition down by the beach this Saturday morning.

OC Weekly’s Fresh Toast 2017
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 25
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, Newport Beach
http://www.ocweekly.com/freshtoast

Splurge on breakfast foods, beer, cocktails, coffee, and more this Saturday early afternoon in Newport Beach. Tickets cost $40 per person and includes unlimited food and drink samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

2017 ¡Latin Food Fest! Los Angeles
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 25
Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica
http://latinfoodfest.com/

The title explains it all – sample all sorts of Latin foods and drinks at this tasting event in Santa Monica. General admission costs $29 and starts at 12pm. Early admission costs $109 and starts at 11am. VIP admission costs $149, also starts at 11am, and provides access to a VIP area.

Timeline Photos

Tequila & Taco Music Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 25-26
Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego
http://www.tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com/

Indulge on tacos and liquor this weekend in San Diego. Entry into the festival costs $10 per person per day. A $40 Saturday admission exists that comes with six half-ounce tequila samples plus a souvenir glass, but this sampling only occurs from 11am to 3pm on Saturday. All admission does NOT include food or drinks – those come at a separate cost.

Sip ‘n Savor
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, March 25
Quartyard, San Diego
http://go.liverfoundation.org/site/PageNavigator/sip_main.html

A food & alcohol tasting event takes place in Downtown San Diego this Saturday afternoon. General admission costs $55 presale or $60 at the door. VIP admission costs $120 and provides access to a VIP line and VIP area. All attendees receive unlimited drink samples plus ten food samples, only from 12pm to 3pm and all while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Phantom Carriage Brewery’s 2nd Anniversary Party
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 25
Phantom Carriage Brewery, Carson
http://www.phantomcarriage.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1460843950593627/

Phantom Carriage turns two years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have lots of rare beers at their tasting room in Carson this Saturday. Unlike last year, they will not have a festival nor an admission fee – simply show up, buy the $7 anniversary glass, and then pay for beers as you go.

Spring Beer Release Party
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 25-26
Hamilton Family Brewery, Rancho Cucamonga
http://www.hamiltonfamilybrewery.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/665921790243415/

Rancho Cucamonga’s Hamilton Family Brewery will release their two spring seasonal brews this weekend. Stop on by and enjoy these refreshing brews.

2017 Grain Games
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 25
Rainwater Gallery, Huntington Beach
http://www.statementsmagazine.com/woodsnap

Check out a free art gallery this Saturday night in Huntington Beach that will feature lots of art, where the winning works will get placed on wood canvases.

Orange County Beer & Music Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 25
The Yost Theater, Santa Ana
http://www.orangecounty-beerfestival.com/

Drink your night away at this corporate beer festival taking place this Saturday night in lovely Downtown Santa Ana. General admission costs $35 and starts at 7pm, while VIP admission costs $50 and starts at 6pm. All attendees receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the event while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k San Diego
6:00 am – 9:00 am, March 26
Petco Park, Downtown San Diego
http://www.hotchocolate15k.com/sandiego/

Run through Downtown San Diego this Sunday morning, and get lots of chocolate out of it, not just the hot drinkable kind. Registration costs $54 for the 5k or $74 for the 15k race.

19th Annual Reaching For The Cure: Run & Ride
6:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 26
Irvine Valley College, Irvine
http://pcrf-kids.org/events/reaching-for-the-cure-half-marathon/

Run or ride at this fundraising event this weekend in Irvine. Registration starts at $40 and goes up based on duration and mode.

CicLAvia
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, March 26
Washington Blvd, Culver City/Venice
http://www.ciclavia.org/

Much of Washington Blvd from Culver City to 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.

South Bay Food Swap 2017
11:00 am – 1:00 pm, March 26
Honest Abe Cidery, Carson
http://southbayfoodswap.wixsite.com/2017

As the name suggests, this event allows attendees to trade food with others. Exchanged items should come from the person’s own work, not bought from a store. From raw ingredients to prepared foods, as long as both parties agree to the trade, it can happen here.

2017 Vegan Street Fair
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, March 26
NoHo Commons, North Hollywood
http://www.veganstreetfair.com/

The vegans have their day in North Hollywood this Sunday afternoon. This event takes place on the streets of North Hollywood, closing Chandler Blvd between Lankershim and Vineland to traffic. Dozens of vendors will set up booths in this event, serving up vegan food samples to all visitors. Entry to the fair costs nothing, while most vendors will sell food for under $3.

Bottle Share @ Monrovia Homebrew Shop
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, March 26
Monrovia Homebrew Shop, Monrovia
http://www.monroviahomebrewshop.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/174205466421861/

Share a beer or two at this free bottle share in Monrovia this Sunday afternoon. Guests should bring a 22oz bomber or two 12oz bottles to share with others.

Craft Beerd 4th Anniversary Party
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, March 26
AleSmith Brewing, San Diego
http://www.craftbeerd.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/2228084184083393/

Beer apparel designer Craft Beerd celebrates four years in business this week with a party at AleSmith Brewing. This event costs nothing to attend. Craft Beerd will have all their merchandise on sale here, including some limited edition items. For every $40 spent, you will receive a souvenir glass.

LA Weekly’s The Essentials
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, March 26
California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://essentials.laweekly.com/

Mix & mingle with other rich people as you munch on delicate food and drink samples curated by some of Los Angeles’ most hip places to hang out at. General admission costs $65 and starts at 2pm, while VIP admission costs $105 and starts at 1pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and drink samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

8th Annual AutoCon Los Angeles
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 26
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.autoconevents.com/autocon-los-angeles-2017/

See all things cars at AutoCon this Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown LA. Attendees will find hundreds of classic & customs cars, a huge vendor village, demos, food trucks, import models, and more. General admission to this all-ages convention cost $20 presale or $25 at the door. Bring cash for parking as well, which will cost between $15 to $20 per vehicle.

19th Annual Huntington Beach Crabfest
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 26
Old World Village, Huntington Beach
http://hblionscrabfest.com/

An all-you-can-eat crab feast comes to Huntington Beach this Sunday evening. The $70 admission allows you to stuff yourself full of crab and other sides and appetizers.

Skacore Night @ Union Nightclub
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, March 26
Union Nightclub, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/614847555381126/

Get your skanking on at this all-ages skacore show this Sunday night. The cover for this show costs $8.

Get Happy – Old Pasadena Happy Hour Week
March 6-17
Participating locations, Old Pasadena
http://www.oldpasadena.org/happyhourweek/

Enjoy extended Happy Hour food & drink specials at participating locations in Old Pasadena during this two-week period.

The Menzingers: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 13, Glass House, Pomona
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 14, The Regent Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
http://themenzingers.com/

Punk rock band The Menzingers currently tour across the country, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Ticket prices to these all-ages shows vary by location, so check on their website to see prices.

Taste of Downtown Long Beach
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 15-16
East Village Arts District, Downtown Long Beach
http://downtownlongbeach.org/event-post/taste-of-downtown/

Sample food & drinks from various restaurants from Downtown Long Beach at this tasting fest held in the East Village Arts District. Free to attend for all-ages, guests simply pay to eat, purchasing booklets of 12 tickets for $10 each. Each restaurant accepts varying amounts of tickets depending on their offerings. Live music and artists will keep guests entertained as well.

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm, March 15
Malarkey’s, Long Beach
http://www.arec-lb.com/

Go running for a few miles on this weekly Wednesday night run, then join an after-party at Malarkey’s this Wednesday night. This costs nothing to attend – show up for the run, show up for the after-arty, or do both.

Los Angeles Fashion Week
March 16-19
The W, Hollywood
http://lafw.net/

The latest in fashion goes public this week in Los Angeles. Check the website for a list of all fashion events all over Los Angeles going on this week.

52nd Annual Azalea Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 16-17
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 18-19
South Gate Park, South Gate
http://www.cityofsouthgate.org/636/Azalea-Festival

A city fair returns to South Gate this weekend. Free to attend for all ages, visitors will find rides, games, entertainment, demos, food, treats, vendors, classic cars, and more.

Corks & Canvas
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, March 16
Anaheim GardenWalk, Anaheim
http://www.mcfaddensanaheim.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/189325491549218/

Wine and painting pair up at this event this Thursday evening in Anaheim. Attendees will partake in a two-hour painting class along with two glasses of wine provided by the venue, as well as a souvenir wine glass to take home. Registration costs $40. Food comes at an additional cost. Arrive early to get your preferred seat. No one under 21 may attend.

Norma Jean: The Polar Similar Tour 2017
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 16, Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 17, Chain Reaction, Anaheim
http://www.normajeannoise.com/

Post-hardcore band Norma Jean currently tours across the country, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Ticket prices to these all-ages shows vary by location, so check on the website to see individual show prices.

Los Angeles Punk Museum Film Festival
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 16
Beyond Baroque, Venice
http://www.lapunkmuseum.com/

Check out punk art and films for free this Thursday night in Venice.

Bouncing Souls: Simplicity Tour
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 16, The Observatory, Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 17, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood
http://bouncingsouls.com/

Famous punk band Bouncing Souls will embark on a west coast tour starting this week. Tickets to these all-ages show vary, so check on the website to see prices.

St. Patrick’s Day
March 17
Worldwide

Too many places to name will do something special on this day, so check with your favorite local establishment to see what they have going on. Have a good time, and stay safe!

34th Annual San Diego Cake Show
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 17
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, March 18-19
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
http://sandiegocakeshow.com/

An all-ages expo for all things cakes and baked goods returns to San Diego this weekend. Classes, seminars, and contests/competitions will take place from Friday through Sunday. The vendor expo itself only takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Admission starts at $10 and goes up depending on what day you want to attend, your age, and what additional programming you wish to partake in.

Arcade Expo 3.0
2:30 pm – 12:00 am, March 17
11:00 am – 2:00 am, March 18
11:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 19
Arcade Expo, Banning
http://www.arcadeexpo.com/

Come see all things arcades at this weekend-long expo out in Banning. At this all-ages expo, see hundreds of different arcade machines, games, pinball machines, movies, seminars, vendors, food trucks, and much more. Admission varies depending on the date attending and age, ranging from $20 to $110, but all visitors get unlimited free play for all arcade games for the duration of the visit.

10th Annual Musink Tattoo & Music Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 17
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 18
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 19
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://musinkfest.com/

Welcome to Musink, an all-ages music, tattoo, skateboarding, and pin-up festival that takes place at the OC Fairgrounds this weekend. Some of the largest names in punk rock will perform this weekend, such as Rancid and Bad Religion. Over 300 tattoo artists from around the world will fly in for the weekend. Tickets will remain on sale until the end of the fest on Sunday, so do not worry about not obtaining a ticket. Bring cash, as most of the vendors do not accept cards. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, so I highly recommend carpooling or getting dropped off.

GamerCon BYOC: Voidstate
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 17-19
Tenth Avenue Arts Center, Downtown San Diego
http://www.gamercon.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/155087441647896/

A good ol’ LAN party will take place this weekend in Downtown San Diego. Bring out your gaming PC and play games against other gamers. This event can only take up to 40 people.

Flogging Molly’s St. Paddy’s Day 17
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, March 17
The Forum, Inglewood
http://www.floggingmolly.com/

Legendary Irish rock band Flogging Molly will headline their annual St. Patrick’s Day show in LA this year. Tickets to this all-ages concert cost $30.

The Cheifs: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 17, The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim http://www.facebook.com/events/648600351990632/
7:00 am – 12:00 am, March 18, Cafe NELA, Los Angeles http://www.facebook.com/events/247177409055678/
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 19, Dipiazza’s, Long Beach http://www.facebook.com/events/405451103133887/

The Cheifs will headline a series of shows in Southern California this weekend. The cover charges and age limits vary with each show, so click on a show’s link for details.

Music Weekend @ Characters Sports Bar
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 17-18
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://gonzopresents.com/

This little dive bar in Downtown Pomona will have two separate music shows this weekend. The cover for each show varies, so check the venue’s website for cover charges. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking, and can avoid paying to park in the adjacent lot.

Color In Motion 5k – San Diego
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, March 18
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://www.colorinmotion5k.com/san-diego

After many weekends of other off-center 5k races, we now return to the style that started it all – the color 5k. Start your weekend off with an all-ages 5k run while getting color dusted in your face. Registration costs $50 per person, or $45 if registering with a team. All participants should wear white during the run to absorb and show off the most color. Participants should bring extra towels and spare clothes for the ride home.

Veggiepalooza 2017
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, March 18-19
Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton
http://fullertonarboretum.org/ps_veggiePalooza.php

Free to attend for all ages, a massive plant and vegetable sale will take place in Fullerton this weekend.

L.A. Nature Fest
9:30 am – 5:00 pm, March 18-19
Natural History Museum, Exposition Park
http://www.nhm.org/naturefest

Learn about animals, plants, and more this weekend in Los Angeles. Admission ranges from $5 to $12, and provides full access to all of the exhibits and demos.

Claremont Pie Festival
10:00 am – 4:30 pm, March 18
Claremont Village, Claremont
http://www.claremontpiefestival.com/

Free to attend for all ages, this street fair in Claremont this Saturday afternoon will have contests, demos, vendors, classic cars, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and more.

Absolution Brewing Company’s 3rd Anniversary Party
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, March 18
Absolution Brewing, Torrance
http://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/

Absolution Brewing turns three years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have lots of beer on tap for you to drink this Saturday. From 11am to 1pm, the tasting room will operate like a beer festival. It costs $50 to attend this VIP session, and all attendees receive unlimited beer pours during these two hours. This session will also have exclusive beers not available after it ends. After 1pm, the tasting room opens to the general public, where anyone can simply pay for individual beers just like normal business hours. A $25 package exists that gives you three beer tickets, one meal ticket, and a souvenir glass – those who attend the VIP session will also receive this package.

8th Annual Native American Festival
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, March 18
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://www.shorelinevillage.com/

At this FREE and all-ages festival, visitors will find various forms of cultural entertainment, such as storytelling, dancing, singing, exhibits, and more.

2017 West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 18
Tokyo Central, West Covina
http://esgvjcc.org/site/10-latest-announcements/199-2017-cherry-blossom-festival

At this free and all-ages event, visitors will find live entertainment, food, music, arts & crafts, and more.

Coast Con 2017
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 18
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/722197834612134/

Free to attend for all ages, this event revolves around anime, video games, and cosplay. Visitors can expect to find artists, merchandise, live entertainment, cosplay contests, video game booths, a maid café, and more.

1st Annual PotterCon Los Angeles
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 18
The Echoplex, Echo Park
http://potterconusa.com/

Basically, adult Harry Potter fans get together and do raunchy adult things while getting into character of the Harry Potter universe. Dress up as a character from the Harry Potter universe, and bring your strong alcohol tolerances to this event. Admission costs $13.50 for each single ticket, but each ticket allows two people in.

1st Annual Montrose Spring Wine Walk
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 18
Montrose Shopping Park, Glendale
http://shopmontrose.com/montrose-spring-wine-walk/

Sample wines from over 20 stations hosted by the local merchants and businesses. Each location will serve red and/or white wines plus delicious appetizers for your enjoyment, along with complimentary bottled water. Guests will also enjoy live music and activities throughout the area. Tickets to participate cost $45 per person. No one under 21 may participate.

Electric Asian Night Market
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 18
All Souls Church, Alhambra
http://www.electricnightmarket.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/590364204485202/

The night market craze comes to Alhambra this Saturday night, free for all ages. Visitors will find lots of cultural food and drinks, as well as live music and other entertainment.

OC Roller Derby – Shamrock Smackdown
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 18
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $15.

5th Annual Rock Star Beer Festival San Diego
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 18
Lafayette Hotel, San Diego
http://www.rockstarbeerfestivalsd.com/

A corporate beer festival comes to San Diego this Saturday night. General admission costs $35 and starts at 7pm while VIP admission costs $50 and starts at 6pm. All attendees receive unlimited beer samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

A Wilhelm Scream @ Brick By Brick
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 18
Brick By Brick, Linda Vista, San Diego
http://www.awilhelmscream.com/

A Wilhelm Scream has a short west coast tour this week, and that tour swings through Southern California. Tickets to this show cost $12 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

32nd Annual Los Angeles Marathon
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, March 19
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
http://www.lamarathon.com/

The LA Marathon takes place this Sunday morning. If you intend to commute anywhere near this, plan your route accordingly.

7th Annual Adler Paddler
8:30 am – 1:00 pm, March 19
Naples Kayak Load & Launch, Long Beach
http://paddlewithpurpose.org/

A free and all-ages stand-up paddle race will take place in Long Beach this Sunday morning. They will have races as well as leisure paddling available.

Glitterfest Spring 2017
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 19
Spring Field Banquet Center, Fullerton
http://www.glitterfest.com/

For $7, gain access to this all-ages vendor fair with mixed media art, jewelry, papier-mâché, sculptures, vintage home decor, and more.

Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, March 19
Central Park, Huntington Beach
http://www.hbcbfest.com/

This free and all-ages festival takes place this Sunday afternoon in Huntington Beach. Visitors will find real cherry blossoms, live entertainment, food, drinks, arts & crafts, and more.

The Aggrolites: Live in Riverside
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, March 19
Aurea Vista, Riverside
http://www.aggroreggae.com/

Reggae band The Aggrolites will headline a show in Riverside this Sunday evening. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

AleSmith’s 2nd Annual IPA Week
July 11-15
AleSmith Brewing, San Diego
http://alesmith.com/

In the past, AleSmith has celebrated IPA Day, which typically falls on the second Tuesday of July. This year, AleSmith will expand the celebration to a full week of specialty IPAs, educational seminars, and unique hoppy creations.

88 Fingers Louie: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 13, The Viper Room, West Hollywood http://www.facebook.com/events/1075964602464789/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 14, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1145557-88-fingers-louie-long-beach/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego http://www.sodabarmusic.com/calendar.php?event_id=2932
http://www.facebook.com/EightyEightFingersLouie

Punk band 88 Fingers Louie will headline three consecutive shows in Southern California this week. Each show has a different age limit and ticket price, so click on a show’s link for details.

13th Annual California Wine Festival
July 14-16
Multiple locations, Santa Barbara
http://www.californiawinefestival.com/

This weekend, a variety of wine events will take place throughout Santa Barbara. Events vary in content and price, so click on the provided website for details about what to expect.

AVP Manhattan Beach Open
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 14-17
Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach
http://avp.com/event/avp-manhattan-beach-open-2/

Come watch some of the world’s top beach volleyball players compete this weekend in Manhattan Beach. Visitors of all ages may attend the matches for free, but seats come at a fee.

2016 Idea World Fitness Convention
12:00 pm – 6:30 pm, July 14-15
10:30 am – 6:30 pm, July 16
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-conferences/idea-world-fitness-convention

Check out this FREE* all-ages fitness expo going this this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Numerous workshops, sessions, demos, and activities will go on all week outside of the expo hours (see the website for the full schedule), while over 300 exhibitors will occupy the expo hall to display their goods and/or services. Learn about the latest fitness trends, diet plans, health statuses, and more from the various speakers and coaches throughout the expo. Although visitors can receive free admission, visitors will still have to pay for parking, so have cash available for that.

* = Register yourself online to receive free admission to this expo. At the door, entry will cost $15.

Business & Beer @ Smog City Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 14
Smog City Brewing, Torrance
http://www.businessnbeer.com/

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

Long Beach Marathon Fun Run
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 14
The Pike, Long Beach
http://www.runlongbeach.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1043234282398230/

Run and socialize at this free fun run this Thursday evening that spans three to five miles of the full marathon’s course that goes through the CSULB campus.

Orange Coast Magazine’s Best Of 2016 Party
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, July 14
Rancho Las Lomas, Silverado
http://www.orangecoast.com/bestof2016/

$40 gets you in to this event with unlimited samples of food and drinks while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 14
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.

Beer Dinner with Beachwood BBQ & Brewing @ Haven Gastropub
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, July 14
Haven Gastropub, Orange
http://www.havengastropub.com/

For $65, you get a multi-course dinner with beer pairings this Thursday night at Haven Gastropub in Orange.

Poison Idea: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 14, The Garage, Ventura
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, The Yost Theater, Santa Ana http://www.facebook.com/events/218079165225564/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 16, Brick By Brick, San Diego http://brickbybrick.ticketfly.com/event/1141151-slapshot-poison-idea-special-san-diego/
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 17, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood http://www.theroxy.com/event/1141227-slapshot-poison-idea-west-hollywood/

Hardcore punk band Poison Idea will headline three shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits differ between these shows, so click on a show’s link for details.

2016 Sun & Sea Festival
10:00 am – 12:00 am, July 15
7:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 16
Imperial Beach, San Diego
http://sunandseafestival.com/

Have some fun in the sun this weekend at Imperial Beach in San Diego. All weekend, a plethora of activities will occur, each with its own cost and attendance restrictions, from sandcastle building to a pancake breakfast to a night ball. See the website for full details on all the events going on this weekend.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Irvine Appearance
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, July 15-17
Irvine Spectrum, Irvine
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1741463116131860/

SoCal Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss this rare opportunity to experience the Hello Kitty Cafe. This weekend, visitors will enjoy macarons, minicakes, and other Hello Kitty treats not found anywhere else.

2016 Orange County Fair Opening Day
12:00 pm, July 15
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocfair.com/

The OC Fair this year runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 15 with the final day on August 14. The fairgrounds open 12pm until 12am on weekdays, and 10am to 12 am on weekends. For opening day, all guests receive FREE parking and enter the fair for FREE. Every year, a new fried food gets introduced, such as deep-fried Kool Aid or deep-fried butter. In previous years, they allowed guests to bring their own foods to get fried, and they will continue that tradition this year.

2016 Body Art Expo
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 15
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, July 16
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 17
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.bodyartexpo.com/

Check out this all-ages tattoo expo running all weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona. Hundreds of tattoo artists from across the nation will fly in this weekend to deliver their works of art onto willing bodies. The expo will also feature live tribute bands, freak shows, a beer garden, hot body contests, tattoo contests, plenty of merchandise vendors, and more. Attendees interested in receiving ink should book an appointment with an artist – walking up to the artist may result in nothing if the artist fills up his or her schedule early. One-day admission costs $20, while a 3-day admission costs $45. Children under 10 enter for free with a paid adult admission, but note that no vendor will provide a tattoo or piercing to children. Please bring cash for parking, which may range from $5 to $10.

2016 South Bay Greek Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 15
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 16-17
St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, Redondo Beach
http://www.sbgreekfestival.com/

Celebrate life as the Greeks do at this Greek festival this weekend in Redondo Beach. This weekend-long all-ages festival celebrates Greek culture with food, drinks, desserts, live music, dancing, games, rides, and more. Admission to the fair costs $2, but print the flyer below to enter for free!

3rd Annual Orange County Brew Hee Haw
Four 4-hour sessions, July 15-17
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocbrewheehaw.com/

The OC Brew Ha Ha team returns with this weekend-long beer festival taking place at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Covering four 4-hour sessions throughout the weekend, this beer festival takes the concept of the locally famous Brew Ha Ha and steps it up by adding beer from breweries outside of the Southern California circuit, so expect to see some unfamiliar beers here. General admission costs $50 presale or $60 at the gate and lasts three hours, while VIP admission costs $65 presale or $75 at the gate and lasts four hours. All ticket-holders receive unlimited beer tasters plus a complimentary pass to the OC Fair for that day. A session will take place 6pm-10pm on Friday, 12-4pm and 6-10pm on Saturday, and 1-5pm on Sunday. No one under 21 may enter the Brew Hee Haw area, and can only stay out in the fairgrounds. However, guests may freely leave and enter between the Brew Hee Haw area and the fairgrounds. Parking at the OC Fair costs $10 cash per vehicle. On weekends, guests may park for free at select parking lots and ride a shuttle to the fairgrounds – consult the OC Fair website for details, linked above.

The Fall Of Troy: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 15, The Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/1161049-fall-troy-pomona/
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 16, Soma Sidestage, San Diego http://www.facebook.com/events/1604406826546530/
http://thefalloftroy.com/

Post-hardcore band The Fall Of Troy will headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link for details.

Babymetal World Tour 2016 – Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 15
The Wiltern, Koreatown
http://www.babymetal.com/

International phenomenon Babymetal currently tours across the world, and that tour will swing through Southern California this Friday night. Tickets have long sold out, but you may still find after-market tickets on third-party websites.

Screeching Weasel: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, Brick By Brick, San Diego http://brickbybrick.ticketfly.com/event/1197237-screeching-weasel-special-san-diego/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 16, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/screechingweasel
http://screechingweasel.com/

Punk band Screeching Weasel will headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Ticket prices and age limits to these shows differ, so click on a show’s link for details.

The Dickies & The Queers: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, The Viper Room, West Hollywood http://www.facebook.com/events/260204080980703/
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, July 17, The Casbah, San Diego http://www.casbahmusic.com/event/1153047-dickies-queers-san-diego/

Punk rock legends The Dickies and The Queers will headline these two shows in Southern California this weekend. Ticket prices to these shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link for prices. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

Swarm LA Scooter Rally
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 15
9:00 am – 12:00 am, July 16
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 17
Various locations, Los Angeles County
http://www.hivecrewla.com/

A weekend-long scooter ride will take place at various locations in Los Angeles. Bring your scooter, meet other scooter riders, and enjoy the ride.

3rd Annual Love Long Beach Festival
6:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 16-17
Granada Launch Ramp, Long Beach
http://lovelongbeachcelebration.com/

This FREE and all-ages event will feature a plethora of family-fun things to do at the beach. Expect to find sports, games, arts & crafts, food, drinks, beer & wine garden, and more. On Saturday night, catch a fire show down on the beach as well.

68th Annual Catalina Ski Race
8:00 am – 3:00 pm, July 16
Hotel Maya, Long Beach
http://www.catalinaskirace.net/

Over 70 water ski teams from around the world will race from The Queen Mary to Avalon and back this Saturday morning. Spanning a total of 62 miles round trip, this open sea race takes approximately one to two hours for most teams to complete, but the nature of the unpredictable ocean draws in the large audience that attends every year from around the world. The deadline to participate has already passed, but spectators may visit for free, so if you like what you see, bookmark this event for next year!

Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 16-17
Liberty Station, San Diego
http://libertystation.com/events/junk-trunk-vintage-market/

For $10 admission, gain entry to this all-ages vendor fair featuring countless vintage apparel, accessories, and other goods.

38th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival
9:30 am – 5:00 pm, July 16-17
Alondra Park, Lawndale
http://www.hiccsc.org/

This free and all-ages cultural fest at the park will feature various music and dance acts. Local vendors will sell food and merchandise too. Visitors must park in the parking structure facing Redondo Beach Blvd and enter the park’s back entrance.

2nd Annual Show & Shine Car Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 16
United Pacific Industries, Long Beach
http://www.upicarshow.com/

Enjoy a free and all-ages car show this Saturday in Long Beach.

2nd Annual California Hot Sauce Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 16-17
Rainbow Lagoon, Long Beach
http://www.cahotsauceexpo.com/

Spice lovers rejoice! Torch your taste buds at this hot sauce tasting event this weekend at Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach. General admission costs $10 and provides access to all the vendors sampling their hot sauces, but does not include food or drinks. A beer package costs $50 and includes five beverage tokens, a bottle of hot sauce, and a t-shirt. VIP admission costs $100 and provides access to a secluded VIP area.

$5 Food Festival – Orange County
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 16
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado
http://fivedollarfoodfest.com/events/irvine-ca/

This Saturday afternoon, a multitude of mobile food vendors will set up in Silverado to sell $5 plates of food. General admission costs $5 and starts at 12pm. Early admission costs $10 and starts at 11am. VIP admission costs $40 and includes five drink tickets plus access to a VIP area.

OC Weekly’s Summer Fest 2016
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July 16
Newport Dunes, Newport Beach
http://www.ocsummerfest.com/

Come act merry and get drunk with other rich people at this fancy summer party this Saturday in Newport Beach. General admission costs $35 presale or $40 at the door, while VIP admission costs $65 presale or $70 at the door. Pay the admission, and you too can come get drunk and party with strangers that like to flaunt their status.

2nd Annual Orange County Citrus Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 16
GardenWalk, Anaheim
http://orangecountycitrusfestival.com/

This free and all-ages event will feature food, music, vendors, arts & crafts, entertainment, games, and more.

Guttermouth @ The World Famous Doll Hut
3:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 16
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1752396331658296/

Guttermouth releases a new single this Friday, and they will also headline a show at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Saturday. The cover for this all-day show costs $20. No one under 21 may enter.

5th Annual Taste of Summer
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 16
The Victorian, Santa Monica
http://www.fulfillment.org/tasteofsummer

Mix and mingle with rich people at this luxurious tasting event in Santa Monica this Saturday evening. Admission costs $125 presale or $150 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

50 Plus 5 Anniversary
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 16
Anaheim Brewery, Anaheim
http://www.anaheimbrew.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/267274703630463/

Anaheim Brewery celebrates an anniversary this week, and to celebrate, they will have an anniversary ale for you to try, plus live music and a food vendor available all night. This event has no cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy a cold one or two.

Colorado Street Bridge Party
6:00 pm – 11:30 pm, July 16
Historic Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenaheritage.org/bridge

Celebrate the history of a really old bridge by partying on it this Saturday night. Catch a night of music, dancing, classic cars, arts & crafts, food, drinks, and more all on the bridge. Tickets to this event cost $18 presale or $20 at the gate.

Griffith Park Trail Relay Marathon & 8K
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, July 17
Griffith Park, Los Angeles
http://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=123578

Participate as a team in a relay marathon, or run solo in an 8K this Sunday morning in Griffith Park. The 8K costs $49 to register for. To register for the relay marathon, please contact the organizer using the above link.

Tokyo Nebuta
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm, July 17
Avalon Hollywood, Hollywood
http://tokyonebuta.com/

At this free and all-ages event, experience this popular Japanese cultural tradition complete with music, art, and other arts & crafts.

When one business or organization defines a city, local businesses tend to have a tough time solidifying a name for themselves without piggybacking on that entity or other local marketing media. For example, any hope of business flourishing in Buena Park will quickly get overtaken by Knott’s Berry Farm, hence why a Taste of West OC featured Knott’s food as the majority of participants. Elsewhere, everyone regards New Orleans for Mardi Gras without a second thought to anything else. Back in California, if you travel to Anaheim, you will see Disney Disney Disney everywhere. Face it – Disney practically owns Anaheim. This comes off as a shame, as many tremendous local establishments call Anaheim home, and manage great business out of Anaheim. Without strong marketing, they would simply get lost in the sea of Disney media. Leave it to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce to pool everything together so guests can experience all of Anaheim, Disney included, in their annual Taste of Anaheim.

Returning to the Anaheim GardenWalk this year, the 21th Annual Taste of Anaheim took off last Thursday evening. This mega event covered the entire northern portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests could enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale and $45 at the door, all attendees received admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees could sample all the food they could handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more.

The front section of the second floor held the silent auction and the VIP lounge.

The Taste did not discriminate in which businesses to invite. Traditionally, a Taste of ______ should focus on the local flavor, not corporate businesses. Unfortunately, for as many great local establishments that Anaheim hosts, even more corporate businesses run Anaheim, especially Disney. Like any festival, those with money always get placed at the front, which explains the corporate restaurants greeting guests as they entered.

After browsing through all the participating businesses at Taste of Anaheim, one could almost call this a Taste of Disney & Friends, as Disney took up most of the space. Can a city continue to live under a notion that one entity represents the entire city? When you have great local establishments like Slater’s 50/50, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim Brewery, Umami Burger, and more, why settle to puff the space up with corporates that operate only for themselves and not the locals? Sometimes, event planners need to scale back and plan smaller, more intimate events. By hosting a smaller food fest consisting of only local establishments and no corporates, visitors can truly receive a taste of the city. For example, if I traveled up to San Francisco for a food fest, I would want to try food from restaurants only found there, not from standard corporates like Hooters or Buca Di Beppo. I suppose that if a corporate donates enough money, they can earn a good spot in the food fest, which explains California Pizza Kitchen’s position at the front of this food fest. Because of this, I always advise visitors to start from the back, since most attendees start from the front, where the corporate vendors usually set up, whereas local vendors set up in the back. Regardless of this all, I still enjoyed my time at the Taste of Anaheim, as I got to try lots of great food and talk to lots of great people. Always stay on the lookout for local businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

The 21st Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.

A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.

Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.

While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.

Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.

Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.