Posts Tagged ‘January 2017’

When Chinese New Year rolls around every year, those who celebrate it all over the world do not simply allow it to pass. They will celebrate this occasion by throwing a huge festival for it. Lots of places across the world have a festival in honor of Chinese New Year, such as the Lunar New Year Festival 2017 in Monterey Park this past weekend. This massive street fair took place along Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park, closing off streets and causing major traffic headaches while at the same time pleasing everyone who attended the festival on foot. The organizers originally scheduled this festival for the previous weekend, but had to postpone the festival due to rain. At this free and all-ages street fair, visitors encountered food, tons of vendors, arts & crafts, live entertainment, games, and more. While a festival such as this would appear like something good for local business, the corporate businesses had a major hand here, and gained the best spots along the street. Regardless of where you found yourself, you could not escape the pungent stench of stinky tofu. As the name suggests, it smells terrible to those untrained to handle such a scent. However, stinky tofu finds a comfy home in night markets and street fairs such as this. As for me, I will steer clear of stinky tofu if I ever know of its presence. Perhaps the prevalence of stinky tofu caused me to not overstay my visit to the Lunar New Year Festival 2017 in Monterey Park.

While the actual Chinese New Year already occurred this past Saturday, plenty more Lunar New Year festivals will take place within the upcoming weeks, including a major one in Chinatown this weekend. Check out your local cities to see if anymore Lunar New Year festivals will occur, since many of them make for a fun afternoon with friends and family.

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When Chinese New Year rolls around every year, those who celebrate it all over the world do not simply allow it to pass. They will celebrate this occasion by throwing a huge festival for it. Lots of places across the world have a festival in honor of Chinese New Year, such as the 2nd Annual San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival this past weekend. This massive street fair took place along Mission Drive in San Gabriel, closing off a few streets and causing traffic headaches to anyone driving by while at the same time pleasing everyone who attended the festival on foot. At this free and all-ages street fair, visitors encountered food, vendors, arts & crafts, live entertainment, games, and more. Prominently, one could not escape the color red among everyone set up here. From the booths to the banners to the merchandise, everyone here definitely saw red and continued to see red as some of the booths handed out free red tote bags. When looking at the various booths here, this festival catered more to the local mom & pop businesses instead of corporate businesses. Most Asian-themed festivals I have attended generally has a heavy influence of corporate businesses, so made for a refreshing change to not see big names all over the place.

While the actual Chinese New Year already occurred this past Saturday, plenty more Lunar New Year festivals will take place within the upcoming weeks, including a major one in Chinatown this weekend. Check out your local cities to see if anymore Lunar New Year festivals will occur, since many of them make for a fun afternoon with friends and family.

Legos – we all grew up with it, and while it has largely remained a toy for children, it has captivated our hearts so much that we can still enjoy it as adults. Thankfully, the world has Lego expos and conventions for those still young at heart, such as at Bricks LA 2017, a Lego exhibit. Taking place at the Pasadena Conference Center this past weekend, this exhibit for all things Legos contained multiple aisles of carefully curated works of art constructed with Lego pieces. Visitors paid an admission of $10 and gained access to the floor full of Lego sculptures, landscapes, artwork, Lego machines, and more. While visitors could interact with the master builders behind some of these works, most of the tables simply had the Lego artworks with no one else around to inquire about the work. The center of the floor primarily contained Lego art on display, while the outer areas had more. The back wall had all of the vendors, most of which sold Lego sets and other paraphernalia. The front area had some of the interactive demos, such as a medieval-themed board game.

Compared to last year’s Bricks LA, not too much has changed as far as content goes. On one hand, the price of admission doubled from last year’s $5 admission, and at the same time the event did not get any bigger. On the other hand, this year’s Bricks LA felt a lot more interactive. While last year’s event only had exhibits and vendors, this year featured a “sandbox” area for anyone to construct whatever they felt like. A few of the exhibits allowed attendees to interact with the constructs, such as the Ultimate Nexo Brick Battle near the front of the event. This game resembled a medieval board game of four teams trying to take out the competition to remain the last team standing on the field.

If you love Legos and/or art in general, you owe it to yourself to check out Bricks LA when it next returns. When will it return? To find out, give Bricks LA a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter. I attended Bricks LA on Saturday afternoon, prime time for most people to attend. Still, it did not have as many crazy kids running amok as I had expected. Sure you could see everything in less than an hour, but at that low admission price, Bricks LA makes for a fun activity that anyone can enjoy.

Down By Law: 2017 West Coast Tour
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 2, The Garage, Ventura, http://www.facebook.com/events/366345440367007/
February 3, The Viper Room, West Hollywood http://www.facebook.com/events/1438774869484985/
February 4, The Yost Theater, Santa Ana http://www.facebook.com/events/654220584752849/
February 5, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego http://www.sodabarmusic.com/calendar.php?event_id=3196
http://www.downbylaw.com/

Legendary punk rock band Down By Law will headline a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age minimums vary with each show, so click on a show’s link for details.

Pliny The Younger Day
February 3
Select beer locations in California
http://russianriverbrewing.com/pliny-the-younger-release/

The most overhyped beer in brewing history makes its way to Southern California this weekend to many locations. Check with your local craft beer establishment to see if they have Pliny The Younger available.

The Halal Guys Cerritos Grand Opening
11:00 am – 2:00 am, February 3
The Halal Guys, Cerritos
http://thehalalguys.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/183625602114360/

A new The Halal Guys will open their doors to the public this Friday in Cerritos. The first 1,000 people in line will have a chance to win free stuff. As for the food, they did not mention any giveaways, so make sure you can pay for your food if you order any!

2017 Surf City USA Marathon
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, February 3
9:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 4
6:00 am – 1:00 pm, February 5
Jack’s Beach Concessions, Huntington Beach
http://www.runsurfcity.com/

Running fever hits Huntington Beach this weekend. A health & fitness expo will take place all weekend, while the actual running events will take place Sunday morning. Registration starts at $149 and goes up depending on which course you intend to run. Many streets around this area will close to vehicular traffic, so plan your Sunday commute accordingly.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 3
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

Lunar New Year Tết Festival 2017
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 3
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 4-5
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://lunarnewyearfestival.org/

Celebrate Lunar New Year at this festival at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego this weekend. Visitors of all ages will find cultural food, vendors, rides, games, arts & crafts, music, entertainment, merchandise, and more. Admission costs $5 for adults and $4 for children.

Gamer Bowl, a GamerCon event
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 3
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 4
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 5
Tenth Avenue Arts Center, Downtown San Diego
http://www.gamercon.com/

This weekend, check out an all-ages event featuring video games, board games, prizes, and other activities. Admission costs $17 for adults or $13.50 for children, and provides entry to the event for all three days.

SoCal Retro Gaming Expo 2017
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 4-5
Ontario Convention Center, Ontario
http://www.socalretrogamingexpo.com/

Immerse yourself in gaming nostalgia this weekend in Ontario. This all-ages event will feature all things about retro video games, from the games themselves to artwork, toys, merchandise, and more. Admission costs $30 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday, or $40 for both days. Bring cash for parking, which will range from $10 to $20.

3rd Annual San Diego Fermentation Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 4
Waterfront Park, Downtown San Diego
http://sandiegofermentationfestival.com/

This annual all-ages festival showcasing Southern California’s bounty of artisanal foodmakers returns this weekend to a new, bigger location. This event will feature seminars, workshops, arts & crafts, activities, vendors, food & beverages, live music, and more. Regular admission costs $25 and provides access to food and non-alcoholic beverages, while a $39 admission will include ten tasters of craft beers and wines.

So Cal Winter Brew Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, February 4
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
http://www.socalwinterbrewfest.com/

Anaheim has turned into quite a craft beer mecca, and you get to sample its local flavor and more this Saturday afternoon. Check out this beer tasting event taking place at Phoenix Club in Anaheim, complete with over 30 breweries and local food trucks. Admission costs $45 presale or $55 at the gate, and includes unlimited 3oz beer samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

13th Annual Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, February 4
2nd Street, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/chocolate-festival/

The Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival features a Homemade Chocolate Dessert Contest, the return of the Cake Walk, and various Pie-Eating Contests, in addition to the restaurants up and down 2nd Street sampling their chocolate goodies.m Completely free to attend, guests may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10 on the day of the fest in front of Chase Bank. Guests may use these tickets to exchange for various eats & drinks from participating businesses in Belmont Shore.

118th Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 4
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://chinatownla.com/wp1/event/118th-annual-golden-dragon-parade/
http://lagoldendragonparade.com/

Celebrate the Lunar New Year this Saturday in Downtown LA’s historic Chinatown at this free all-ages festival. All weekend, visitors will find arts & crafts, cultural merchandise, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more. On Saturday early afternoon, a parade will roll through the area, closing off most streets around Chinatown to through-traffic. Guests can find plenty of free street parking up Spring Street or anywhere eastward.

Boomtown Brewery’s Grand Opening
12:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 4
Boomtown Brewery, Arts District, Los Angeles
http://www.boomtownbrew.com/

One of Downtown LA’s breweries will officially open their doors to the public this Saturday afternoon. Free to attend, this grand opening party will have live music throughout the day, mobile food vendors, and lots of new beers for you to try.

T.S.O.L. and The Dwarves – Live in Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 4
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/node/2934

Some big names in punk rock will perform in Santa Ana this Saturday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15. Arrive early to park at the venue’s parking lot for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a lot down the street for $10 per vehicle.

The Aggrolites: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 4, The Garage, Ventura http://www.facebook.com/events/1848830522063506/
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 5, Aurea Vista, Riverside http://www.facebook.com/events/227636921019842/
http://www.aggroreggae.com/

The Aggrolites have a bunch of shows in Southern California coming up in the next few months, including these two this weekend. Ticket prices and age limits vary with each show, so click on a show’s link for details.

9th Annual Los Angeles Ska Wars
2:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 5
Union Nightclub, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1187571184653266/

Ska fans get their day this Sunday in Los Angeles. This all-ages ska/punk/reggae festival features over 25 bands and takes place outdoors, rain or shine, across two stages, headlined by the Mad Caddies. Tickets to this concert cost $20 presale or $30 at the door.

Legos – we all grew up with it, and while it has largely remained a toy for children, it has captivated our hearts so much that we can still enjoy it as adults. Thankfully, the world has Lego expos and conventions for those still young at heart, such as at Bricks LA 2017, a Lego exhibit. Taking place at the Pasadena Conference Center this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm on both days, this exhibit for all things Legos contains multiple aisles of carefully curated works of art constructed with Lego pieces. Visitors pay a simple admission of $10 to gain access to a floor full of Lego sculptures, landscapes, artwork, Lego machines, and more. While visitors may interact with the master builders behind some of these works, most of the tables generally have the Lego artworks with no one else around to inquire about the work. The center of the floor primarily contains Lego art on display, while the outer areas have other things. Bricks LA generally places all of the vendors, most of which sell Lego sets and other paraphernalia, on one side of the floor. The front area usually has some of the interactive demos, such as train tracks and a conveyor system that resembles a Rube Goldberg machine.

If you love Legos and/or art in general, you owe it to yourself to check out Bricks LA some time this weekend. Give Bricks LA a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter. For an event centered on toys, Bricks LA does not always have a bunch of crazy children running amok, as visitors consist mostly of young adults rather than children. Sure you could see everything in less than an hour, but at that low admission price, Bricks LA makes for a fun activity that anyone can enjoy, and it also makes for an awesome photo collection.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 13-27
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

11th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 16-29
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach
http://dinenb.com/restaurant-week/

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

Puesto Irvine Grand Opening
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, January 24
Puesto, Irvine
http://eatpuesto.com/
http://puestograndopeningwithlocale.eventbrite.com/

Popular San Diego Mexican restaurant Puesto will open their first Orange County location this week. The $10 admission gets you in one free margarita (for those 21 or over) and free small eats while supplies last.

OC Roller Derby Orientation
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, January 25
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/ticketsevents/2017/1/25/new-skater-orientation

If you ever wanted to try roller derby, you have a chance to join a league. Click the link to send your information to them, and then show up to orientation this Wednesday night in Huntington Beach.

Animé Los Angeles 13
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 26
9:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 27-28
9:00 am – 2:00 pm, January 29
Ontario Convention Center, Ontario
http://www.animelosangeles.org/

Anime & manga fans will not want to miss Animé LA this weekend, an expo with almost everything imaginable related to anime. From workshops to panels to demos to contests to live music to dances to adult content and more, Animé LA will surely contain something to sate your anime needs. A full weekend pass costs $70, while single-day passes cost $35.

Meat Up BBQ’s 2nd Year Anniversary
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 26
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia
http://www.meatupbbq.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/129099250927298/

Meat Up BBQ turns two years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have special beers on tap, food specials, as well as an anniversary glass available to patrons this Thursday night. This event has no admission fee.

NHL Fan Fair – Los Angeles 2017
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 26-27
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 28
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.nhl.com/fans/all-star/fan-fair

Hockey fans will not want to miss this event for all things NHL this weekend in Downtown LA. Visitors will find vendors, demos, autograph signings mini hockey rinks, and more. Tickets cost $20 for adults, with a $5 discount available for seniors, children, students, and active military. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

Happy Hour Benefit: Big Brothers Big Sisters Mixer
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, January 26
Wild Goose Tavern, Costa Mesa
http://www.goosebar.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1261578187234244/

This Thursday night, Costa Mesa’s Wild Goose Tavern will have a charity fundraiser event. 100% of sales during this time will go to charity. They will also have complimentary appetizers during this time.

1st Annual The Classic Auto Show
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 27
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 28
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 29
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.theclassicautoshow.com/

A new car expo debuts at the LA Convention Center this weekend. Come see all things automotive, from model cars to accessories and more. Tickets to this expo cost $25 presale or $30 at the door. Children may enter for $10. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

SoCal Etsy Guild Market – Riverside
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 27-28
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 29
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.

2017 Orange County Home & Garden Show
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 27
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 28
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, January 29
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.homeshowconsultants.com/

This free and all-ages expo will showcase the latest in home improvement, remodeling, interior-design, decorating, landscaping, and more. Bring cash for parking, which costs between $5 to $10.

36th Annual Tet Festival
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 27
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 28
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 29
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.tetfestival.org/

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at this family-fun festival this weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. Costing just $5 per person to enter, this festival will feature hundreds of booths selling merchandise, crafts, food, and more. Children will love all the rides available, while everyone will enjoy the music, dance, and parade. Parking at the venue costs $8 – see the website for additional info on where to park for free and take a shuttle.

2017 Golden State Tattoo Expo
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 27
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 28
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 29
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.goldenstatetattooexpo.com/

Check out hundreds of tattoo artists from around the globe at this tattoo convention this weekend in Pasadena. Admission costs $25 per day or $60 for the entire weekend.

12th Annual San Diego Tet Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 27
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 28
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 29
Mira Mesa Community Park, San Diego
http://www.sdtet.com/

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at this festival all weekend at Mira Mesa Park in San Diego. Free to attend for all ages, this fest will feature many traditional music and dance performances, fashion shows, merchandise vendors, and plenty of food & drinks.

Flavors: Historic California
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, January 27
The Autry Museum, Griffith Park
http://theautry.org/events/special-events/flavors-historic-california

Immerse yourself in the wonders of California’s “Farm To Table” culinary phenomenon this Friday night at The Autry Museum. Admission costs $50 and provides unlimited food samples while supplies last.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 27
Fifty Seven Degrees, San Diego
http://www.pancakesandbooze.com/

For just a $5 cover, guests get treated to unlimited pancakes and many artists from across the country showcasing their works. Guests can also witness body painting, stencil art, art battles, sculptures, graffiti, and more. No one under 21 may enter.

Alex’s Bar 17th Anniversary Shows
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 27-28
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1407167-strung-out-long-beach/
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1410036-throw-rag-long-beach/

Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar turns seventeen years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have two nights of punk rock this weekend. Tickets to each of these show vary in price, so click on a show’s link for details. No one under 21 may enter.

SoCal Spartan Race Super & Sprint 2017
6:00 am – 6:00 pm, January 28
Lake Elsinore Diamond, Lake Elsinore
http://www.spartan.com/en/race/detail/1730/overview

Test your might at one of the more well-known national obstacle courses this Saturday in Lake Elsinore. Run, climb, crawl, and traverse all sorts of obstacles as you make your way to the finish line for sweet bragging rights. Registration varies, with the basic registration costing $159 per individual – see the website for a breakdown of all prices.

Santee Active Lifestyle Expo
9:00 am – 1:00 pm, January 28
Santee Trolley Square, Santee
http://www.santeeactiveexpo.com/

Free to attend for all ages, this event in Santee will with athletic demostrations, free breakfast (while supplies last), vendors, activities, live entertainment, workshops, and more.

Bricks LA 2017
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 28-29
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.bricksla.com/

The ultimate all-ages Lego convention comes to the Pasadena Convention Center this weekend. For just $10 admission, gain access to dozens of Lego vendors, artists, displays, interactive demos, and more.

APCA Asian Pacific Lunar New Year Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 28
Mission Inn Courtyard, Downtown Riverside
http://lunarfestriverside.com/event-101/

At this free and all-ages festival this Saturday in Downtown Riverside, celebrate Lunar Yew Year with food, entertainment, vendors, merchandise, entertainment, arts & crafts, games, music, exhibits, fireworks, and more.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Torrance Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 28
Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1377190198967001/

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.

Lunar New Year Festival 2017 in Monterey Park
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 28-29
Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park
http://www.lunarnewyears.com/

Celebrate Chinese New Year on the streets of Monterey Park this weekend. At this free and all-ages street fair, visitors can expect to find food, treats, vendors, arts & crafts, live entertainment, games, and more. Consult with the website to see where to park.

2nd Annual San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 28
San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, San Gabriel
http://sglunarnewyear.org/

Celebrate the upcoming lunar new year with this FREE and all-ages festival in San Gabriel this Saturday afternoon. Visitors will find music, dance, art, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, tea garden, live calligraphy, fortune telling, and more.

Skyland Ale Works Grand Re-Opening
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 28
Skyland Ale Works, Corona
http://www.skylandaleworks.com/

Skyland Ale Works has expanded their tasting room and will finally reopen their doors to the public this Saturday afternoon. Stop on by and check out their new space.

1st Annual Los Angeles Beer & Food Festival
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, January 28
Mack Sennett Studios, Silverlake
http://labrewersguild.org/

The LA Brewers Guild will put on their first beer festival this Saturday afternoon in Silverlake. General admission costs $60 and starts at 3pm, while VIP admission costs $75 and starts at 2pm. All attendees receive a souvenir glass and unlimited food & beer while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Night On Broadway
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 28
Globe Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
http://nightonbroadway.la/

An evening of arts, culture and, entertainment arrives in Downtown LA this Saturday night. Check the website linked above for a full list of events, which details any admission fees or age limits.

Out Of The Park Pizza 6th Anniversary Party
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 28
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://www.outoftheparkpizza.co/
http://www.facebook.com/events/738608069624045/

Out Of The Park Pizza will celebrate their sixth year in business this weekend and they want you to join in on the festivities with lots of strong beers. They have not posted any information yet, but in previous years, it acted as a beer festival, costing about $40 general admission for access to unlimited food and beer while supplies last. Previous years also had VIP admission for $10 more to gain access to VIP-exclusive beers.

Smut Peddlers @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 pm, January 28
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.smutpeddlers.net/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Saturday night in Santa Ana with the Smut Peddlers and more. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10.

Museums Free-For-All
January 29
Participating Museums, Southern California
http://www.socalmuseums.org/

This Saturday, participating Southern Californian museums will allows visitors in free of charge. Check the website linked above for a full list of participating locations.

CalComicCon 2017
9:30 am – 4:30 pm, January 29
Yorba Linda Community Center, Yorba Linda
http://www.calcomiccon.com/

A small comic expo will come to Yorba Linda this Sunday. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10, and will contain dozens of comic artists and vendors. I do not expect a heavy cosplay population, but the event still will have some.

5th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, January 29
Westfield Santa Anita, Arcadia
http://www.westfield.com/santaanita/events/all-events/lunar-new-year-celebration-event/36625

Enjoy a free and all-ages Lunar New Year celebration this Saturday in Arcadia with live entertainment, arts & crafts, games, specials, and more.

Viejos Tiempos Ska Fest
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
Union Nightclub, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/360877877608028/

Get your skanking on at this skacore show this Sunday night in Los Angeles. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20.

Punk Rock Revolution IV
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 29
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1337590166265458/

Release some inner aggression at this FREE local punk rock show in Long Beach this Sunday night. No one under 21 may enter.

The turn of a new year indicates that Lunar New Year soon approaches, and with it comes countless fairs, festivals, and events that all celebrate this cultural tradition. However, no other event brings everything all together quite like the Asian American Expo. Now in its 36th year, this event returned to the Fairplex in Pomona this past weekend to deliver the expansive world of Eastern culture. This all-ages expo featured just about everything revolving around Chinese culture and Asian pop culture in general, from the fashion to the fiction to the food to the art to the music and so much more. Attendees would encounter art, music, dance, entertainment, cosplay, fashion, anime, manga, comics, video games, merchandise, accessories, food, drinks, treats, and tons of other things that could keep one occupied for more than just a weekend. Many attendees went all out and dressed for the occasion, while other fans simply attended to check out what this expo has to offer, and believe me you could spend more than a day here.

While the Asian American Expo covered a great portion of the Fairplex, the expo consists of more than just its own vendor expo – the event incorporates Anime Impulse as well as The Silk Show, both of which took place in its own expo hall. The Silk Show took place in one of the expo halls and basically contained vendors for apparel and shoes. For most of the expo’s action, we turn to Anime Impulse. This annual event for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for a huge gathering of like-minded people. Attendees would find artists, designers, vendors, video game developers, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more. Within the layout of the Asian American Expo, Anime Impulse took up an expo hall and a half, splitting a second expo hall with part of the overall expo. Anime Impulse also utilizes a lot of the open space as well, as many of the cosplayers and anime fans spread out around the area, most of which looked for a good spot to take photos at. However, most of the action took place inside the main expo hall, filled with all the vendors as well as the indoor stage. A special Maid Café event took place in the back corner; however, this required an additional admission fee to check out, mainly for those who actively participate in those kinds of events.

Even to those not interested in the anime or manga or video games, everyone should attend an anime expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Observe some of what you may expect to see in cosplay at an anime event:

The Asian American Expo, in conjunction with Anime Impulse and The Silk Show, operates annually right before Lunar New Year. While it will take another year for this particular series of events to return, plenty of Lunar New Year events will take place all the way up to the actual Lunar New Year. Check out my blog every Monday morning for a post about the following week’s events to see if one will come to your area. In the meantime, get social with the Asian American Expo by liking them on Facebook. You can also get social with Anime Impulse by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. The same goes for The Silk Show: check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well. If you missed out on visiting the Fairplex this past weekend, fret not – Anime Los Angeles will take place at the Ontario Convention Center in less than two weeks from now.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 13-27
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week
January 15-22
Participating restaurants in San Diego
http://sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

Select restaurants throughout San Diego County will offer prix-fixe meal deals during this 7-day period. Lunches range from $10 to $20, while dinners range from $25 to $45.

11th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 16-29
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach
http://dinenb.com/restaurant-week/

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

14th Annual STARS of Santa Barbara
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, January 18
Leica Store & Gallery, West Hollywood
http://www.winela.com/starsofsantabarbara

Enjoy some wines and a silent auction in West Hollywood this Wednesday night. General admission costs $95, starts at 7pm, and includes unlimited wine and appetizer tastings while supplies last. VIP admission costs $195, starts at 6pm, and also includes a private dinner and wine tasting. No one under 21 may attend.

Women’s Beer Forum
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 18
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock
http://www.eaglerockbrewery.com/womens-beer-forum/

$24 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.

Deschutes Tap Takeover
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 18
Far Bar, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.farbarla.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1887686878128819/

This Wednesday night, Little Tokyo’s Far Bar will have a bunch of beers on tap from Deschutes Brewery. This event has no admission fee – simply show up and enjoy a cold one or two.

Riot LA: Alternative Comedy Festival
January 19-22
Various locations, Los Angeles
http://riotla.com/

A series of comedy shows will take place across Los Angeles this weekend. Each individual show has its own ticket prices, while Riot LA offers package deals starting at $50.

4th Annual San Diego Caffeine Crawl
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 20
9:00 am – 4:30 pm, January 21
10:00 am – 2:30 pm, January 22
Various locations, San Diego County
http://www.caffeinecrawl.com/san-diego-2017.html

Coffee lovers meet up this week at various locations in San Diego County. Like a pub crawl, attendees will select one of four routes, and explore a handful of coffee shops in select neighborhoods based on the route. Some routes may even include coffee beer!

1st Annual Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 20
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 21
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, January 22
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenahalf.com/

Pasadena gets their own half marathon this weekend. A health & fitness expo will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, free to attend to the public. The half marathon and 5k will take place on Sunday morning at the Rose Bowl. Many streets around the area will close to vehicular traffic on Sunday, so check the website to see if any of the closures will affect your day.

The Toasters: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 20, Union Club, Arlington Heights, Los Angeles http://www.unionclubla.com/event/1406454-toasters-in-los-angeles-los-angeles/
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 22, The Casbah, Middletown, San Diego http://www.casbahmusic.com/event/1368771-toasters-san-diego/
http://thetoasters.band/

Ska band The Toasters currently tour across the nation, and that tour visits Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits vary with each show, so click on a show’s link for information.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 20-21
Lot 613, Los Angeles
http://www.pancakesandbooze.com/

For just a $5 cover, guests get treated to unlimited pancakes and many artists from across the country showcasing their works. Guests can also witness body painting, stencil art, art battles, sculptures, graffiti, and more. Guests can park on the street for free, or park in the adjacent parking lot for $5. No one under 21 may enter.

The Aggrolites @ The Echo
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, January 20
The Echo, Echo Park
http://aggroreggae.com/
http://www.theecho.com/event/1338145-aggrolites-los-angeles/

The Aggrolites wrap up their winter tour this Friday night in Echo Park. Tickets to this show cost $13.50 presale or $16.50 at the door. No one under 18 may enter.

International Tiki Market Place
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, January 21
Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach
http://www.donthebeachcomber.com/

For $10 admission gain access to a plethora of tiki-themed vendors in Sunset Beach this Saturday afternoon. Admission comes with a $10 voucher for food & drink, so technically you get in for free!

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Temecula Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 21
Promenade Temecula, Temecula
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/645062175666508/

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.

Brews & Bros Craft Beer Festival 2017
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 21
Cable Airport, Upland
http://brewsandbrosfest.org/

Celebrate Last Name Brewery’s 14th anniversary with lots of beer this Saturday. This beer festival will have over 80 beers to sample, plus cider, wine, craft soda, gourmet food, live music, games, and more. General admission costs $50, starts at 1pm, and comes with a souvenir glass and unlimited beer pours while supplies last. VIP admission costs $65, starts at 12pm, and also includes a bottle opener, preferred parking, and access to rare beers.

Eagle Rock Brewery 7th Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, January 21
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock
http://www.eaglerockbrewery.com/event/eagle-rock-brewerys-7th-anniversary-extravaganza/

Eagle Rock Brewery turns seven this weekend, and to celebrate, the brewery will celebrate in style right at home at the tasting room. Guests pay $25 presale or $30 at the door to receive five drinks and a souvenir glass for this occasion. In addition, a handful of food trucks will stop by to serve the masses. No one under 21 may attend.

The Rookery 4th Anniversary Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 21
The Rookery, Pomona
http://rookeryalehouse.com/Events.html

The Rookery in Downtown Pomona turns four this weekend, and to celebrate, they will have dozens of rare brews on tap throughout the weekend. Simply show up, enjoy the rare brews, and pay as you go. The Rookery will offer 4oz pours of these brews as well for those who want to treat this like a beer tasting event. Expect mostly heavy and strong beers at this one – The Rookery does not slouch when it comes to beer selection. The Rookery has a full-service kitchen with their full menu available all day. Guests can find free parking around Downtown Pomona, and can avoid paying to park in metered lots.

2017 Los Angeles Uncorked Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 21
Union Station, Los Angeles
http://uncorkedwinefestivals.com/los-angeles-wine-festival-2017/

Enjoy a wine festival with over 60 different wines, food trucks, live music, and more. General admission costs $60 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $70 and starts at 5pm. All attendees receive unlimited wine tastings while supplies last. Food comes at a separate cost, so bring cash for food. No one under 21 may attend.

2nd Annual Ladyface Ale Invitational
11:30 am – 4:30 pm, January 22
Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Agoura Hills
http://www.ladyfaceale.com/

Lady Alehouse celebrates their seventh anniversary this weekend with lots of beer, both in-house and from guest breweries. Admission costs $40 presale or $45 at the door, and gets you a souvenir glass and 20 beer tasters. Ladyface Alehouse will serve food at an additional cost to attendees. No one under 21 may attend.

The Fit Expo Los Angeles returned for its 14th year running this past weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Taking place over the course of two days in the South Hall, this massive expo showcases all forms of fitness and athletics with live competitions, demos, workshops, seminars, and more. Visitors could view various forms of fitness and non-arena sports, such as CrossFit, weightlifting, arm wrestling, Zumba, Parkour, wrestling, (mixed) martial arts, and more. The massive expo hall contained enough vendors to fill multiple swap meets, but once visitors got past all the vendors, they found the various demo areas strewn about the expo hall. The middle of the hall primarily contained the vendors and giveaways, while the perimeter of the hall contained all the competitions.

The Fit Expo opens their doors to all demographics of all ages, not just those in the industry or those who work out frequently. Fit people love this expo because they can keep up with latest trends and news in the fitness industry. Casual visitors like this expo because they can learn the right ways to get fit, as well as feel motivated after seeing all the fit people around. The Fit Expo occurs routinely in California, and will return to Southern California in August at the Anaheim Convention Center. When an expo like this comes your way, consider attending to see what it truly takes to stay fit, and gain first-hand experience from people who know how to stay fit.

The craft beer scene in Downtown Santa Ana has grown substantially from almost nothing to booming the past year. At the start of 2014, places like The Playground, C4 Deli, The Copper Door, and Chapter One existed that served local craft beer; however, most of Southern California’s craft beer enthusiasts never truly regarded Santa Ana as a craft beer destination. This all turned around in 2014 with the introduction of places like The Good Beer Company and Native Son Alehouse, which essentially got the snowball rolling to transform Downtown Santa Ana into a bustling scene where millennials can rampage all they want. The gentrification cycle appears strong in Downtown Santa Ana, and at least its introductory phase shows its progress with these new bars and artisanal shops popping up before the tech businesses move in. For now, we can enjoy these new places to spend our time, such as at the recently-opened Mission Bar.

Nestled right in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana, Mission Bar marks the perfect hideaway for any craft beer fan that ends up in the neighborhood. Mission Bar officially opened their doors to the public a week ago, replacing an old ranchero dive bar. After taking the spot over, the folks touched up the place, spruced it up a little, and added dozens of fresh beer taps all containing a plethora of craft beers. Mission Bar stands out from the rest of Orange County by also carrying beers from out of the area. While lots of Orange County places will only serve local beer. Mission Bar extends a hand to breweries across the country and taps their beers here as well. Some out-of-town breweries seen here include Bell’s, Epic Brewing, and Great Divide. Of course, catering to the local crowd, Mission Bar still has a large selection of local beers. While Mission Bar does not serve food, patrons can bring food in from elsewhere if they so choose. Multiple pool tables and televisions will keep patrons occupied as they enjoy their brews. In the future, Mission Bar plans to implement tasting flights and tap takeovers. Who knows – they may one day host a bottle share here!