Posts Tagged ‘May 2017’

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

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

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

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

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

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

A handful of this past weekend’s events will continue to occur today due to the holiday weekend. Please refer to last week’s events post to see which events will also occur today.


Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 24-31
Naja’s Place, Redondo Beach
http://www.najasplace.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/602988599889975/

For eight days straight, Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach will tap nothing but IPA’s from all over. Come get hopped up at Naja’s Place this week.

Hardcore Punk @ Alex’s Bar
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 29
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1454668-scream-long-beach/

Release some inner aggression at this hardcore punk show in Long Beach this afternoon. Tickets to this show cost $15. No one under 21 may enter.

Hepcat + The Slackers @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 29
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/node/3130

Groove to some ska and reggae tonight in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $30.

7th Annual Chef Celebration San Diego
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 31
La Jolla Shores Hotel & Restaurant, La Jolla
http://chefcelebration.org/events/chef-celebration-dinner-series-the-shores-restaurant/

Chef Celebration has changed things up this year in regards to their annual event. Instead of a tasting event like previous years, they will host prix-fixe dinners throughout the year, including this main one this Wednesday night. Reservations for this dinner costs $65.

13th Annual Taste Around of Avalon
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 1
Avalon, Catalina Island
http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/event/13th-annual-taste-around-avalon

Stroll around Avalon and sample the local eats this Thursday evening. The website has no information on cost, age limit, or location.

Tacos & Tequila
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 1
Candela La Brea, Mid-Wilshire/Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/tacos-tequila-presented-by-time-out-l-a

Sample tacos from various LA County restaurants and then down it with tequila this Thursday night in Los Angeles. General admission costs $25 presale or $30 at the door, and gets you in to one of two 90-minute sessions, 6:30-8:00 or 8:30-10:00. VIP admission costs $35 and starts at 6:00pm. No one under 21 may attend.

5th Annual Avalon Restaurant Week
June 2-8
Avalon, Catalina Island
http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/event/5th-annual-avalon-restaurant-week

Some of Catalina Island’s most popular restaurants will provide specials on food this week. Contact your favorite restaurant to see what they will have going on during this period.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – San Diego
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 2
7:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 3
6:00 am – 2:30 pm, June 4
San Diego Convention Center/Balboa Park/Petco Park, San Diego
http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-diego/

A full weekend of running festivities will take place in San Diego this week. On Friday and Saturday, a health & fitness expo will take place at the San Diego Convention Center. On Saturday morning, a 5K run will take place near Balboa Park. Finally, on Sunday morning, the main marathon and half marathon will take place. Participation in each event varies in price depending on the event and age of participant, so check the website for pricing information.

2017 Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 2
6:00 am – 10:00 pm, June 3
6:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 4
Lake Skinner Recreation Area, Winchester
http://www.tvbwf.com/

Taste wines and fly in hot-air balloons during this three-day festival out in the Temecula Valley. In addition, enjoy live music, local food, craft beer, and other forms of entertainment. Admission starts at $5, so see the website for more details.

12th Annual Lummis Day Festival
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 2
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 3
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 4
Heritage Square Museum, Northeast Los Angeles
http://www.lummisday.org/

Catch music, dance, poetry, art, and more at this free multicultural festival this weekend in Northeast LA. Guests may park for free at the venue.

2017 San Diego County Fair: Opening Day
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 2
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
http://www.sdfair.com/

The 2016 San Diego County Fair kicks off this Friday and will run until July 4th. General adult admission costs $18, while admission for seniors and children costs $11. Many promotions and coupons for admission exist – see the website for details.

1st Annual I3 Arts Fest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 2
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 3
Grand Park & Pershing Square, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.i3artsfest.com/

An all-ages music & art event will take place in Downtown Los Angeles this weekend. Events will take place at multiple locations, such as Grand Park and Pershing Square. While generally free to attend, some of the events have an entry fee – see the website for details.

30th Annual Brea SummerFest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 2
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 3
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 4
St. Angela Merici School, Brea
http://www.summerfestbrea.org/

Brea brings all of the elements of a state fair into one weekend with their annual SummerFest. Find food, rides, live entertainment, games, vendors, and more at this weekend-long fair for the entire family. Guests may enter and park for free – please adhere all signs for parking and entering the fest.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 2
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).

70th Annual Fish Fry & Carnival + 1st Annual Costa Mesa Car Show
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 2
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 3-4
Fairview Park, Costa Mesa
http://www.cmnhlions.com/fish-fry/

A free and all-ages local carnival & fair comes to Costa Mesa this weekend, complete with $10 fish dinners, a car show on Friday, games, rides, vendors, music, entertainment, and more.

2017 Newport Beach Jazz Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 2
10:30 am – 10:00 pm, June 3-4
Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach
http://www.festivals.hyattconcerts.com/

Enjoy a weekend of jazz music in Newport Beach this week. Ticket prices range from $65 to $150 depending on how long you want to attend and what days.

2017 Horse Town Brew n’ Que Festival
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm, June 2
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 3
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, June 4
George Ingall’s Equestrian Event Center, Norco
http://www.brewnquefestival.com/

A weekend of barbecue and brews comes to Norco. On Friday, catch an opening night reception with sips and bites that costs $50 to attend. On Saturday, enjoy an all-day barbecue festival complete with food, beer, live music, and more – general admission costs $10, while admission with a beer wristband costs $30 and includes unlimited beer samples while supplies last. On Sunday, a special invite-only barbecue judging class will take place. Bring plenty of cash for food and parking, and dress for warm weather.

BuddhaFest LA 2017
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm, June 2
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, June 3-4
Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills
http://www.buddhafest.org/

Film, music, and meditation collide in a series of events this weekend in Beverly Hills. Ticket prices range from $15 to $185 depending on which event you want to attend.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 2-3
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.

23rd Annual Inland Valley Street Rods Rally & Cruise
7:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 3
Euclid Avenue, Downtown Ontario
http://www.ontariorotary.org/
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/23rd-inland-valley-rally-cruise-the-original-route-83-cruise-tickets-30235002707

Enjoy a free and all-ages car show this Saturday in Downtown Ontario.

2017 Huntington Beach Elks Chili Cook Off & Car Show
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 3
Huntington Beach Elks Lodge No. 1959, Huntington Beach
http://hbelks.com/

Check out classic cars, chili contests, raffles, vendors, arts & crafts, and more at this free and all-ages car show this Saturday in Huntington Beach.

17th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 3
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier
http://whittieruptown.org/carshow/

See hundreds of classic cars all for FREE at this all-ages car show on the streets of Uptown Whittier this Saturday. All of the businesses in Uptown Whittier will remain open under regular business hours. Interested visitors should park in the neighborhoods north of Hadley Street.

23rd Annual Studio Arts Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 3
Irvine City Hall, Irvine
http://www.irvinefinearts.org/

Dozens of Southern Californian artists will display their work for the public to view at this FREE and all-ages event this Saturday in Irvine. In addition to all the art, the event will feature live music, food, arts & crafts, vendors, live art, and more.

14th Annual Pacific Islander Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 3-4
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/pacific_islander_festival/

Explore the cultures of the Pacific Islands all weekend at the Aquarium of the Pacific. For just the price of the aquarium’s general admission, guests of all ages will experience music, dancing, arts & crafts, ethnic cuisines, educational programming, storytelling, artisans, and more. Parking at the adjacent parking structure ranges from $5 to $10. The local Passport bus operates for free, so guests may ride public transportation to save money.

3rd Annual Los Angeles Bread Festival
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 3-4
Grand Central Market, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.grandcentralmarket.com/events/932/3rd-annual-los-angeles-bread-festival-at-grand-central-market

They really will make a festival for just about anything. This weekend, check out a free all-ages festival dedicated to everything about bread. Tastes different types of bread, learn how to make bread, and even take some specialty breads home. I suggest parking in the Arts District and walking over, since the Arts District has free street parking in select areas.

2017 National Conference & Gluten-Free Expo
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 3-4
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://celiac.org/cdf-conference/

This weekend in Pasadena, find hundreds of gluten-free samples, vendors, bloggers, authors, chefs, discounted products and more. Admission to the expo costs $20 for adults or $10 for children. The conference costs $45 for adults or $19 for children, and also provides a full conference experience with features such as complimentary breakfast, speakers, free goodies, and more.

4th Annual Belching Beaver Classic
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 3
Belching Beaver Brewery, Oceanside
http://belchingbeaver.com/brewery-events/4th-annual-classic-car-show/

Check out what Belching Beaver has going on this Saturday. For $20 admission, gain three 8oz beers and a raffle ticket, all while checking out all of the custom cars on display. No one under 21 may attend.

14th Annual Art Around Adams
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 3
Smitty’s Service, Normal Heights, San Diego
http://www.artaroundadams.org/

At this FREE and all-ages event, discover dozens of local artists and musicians along this stretch of two miles on Adams Avenue.

4th Annual East End Block Party
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 3
East End, Santa Ana
http://eastenddtsa.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/296361640821550/

Enjoy a variety of local music, art, sports, cars, and more for free this Saturday in Downtown Santa Ana.

16th Annual Two Harbors Summer Wine Festival
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, June 3
Two Harbors, Avalon, Catalina Island
http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/event/two-harbors-summer-wine-festival-2017

Sample dozens of wines at this wine tasting event on beautiful Catalina Island this Saturday afternoon. Admission costs $45 for the event, but does not include transportation. Guests should take the Catalina Express that departs from San Pedro. View the website for details about how to travel to Two Harbors and which transports to take or not to take.

Zoo Brew
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 3
Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara
http://www.sbzoo.org/zoobrew/

Enjoy beers from over 30 different breweries while gazing upon all the various exotic animals. General admission costs $60 and starts at 3pm, while VIP admission costs $100, starts at 2pm, and includes tray-passed appetizers. Bring extra cash for parking at the venue. No one under 21 may attend.

SCRD: V Town Derby Dames and OC Roller Derby
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 3
Laguna Hills Community Center, Laguna Hills
http://www.southcoastrollerderby.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Laguna Hills. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $10 presale or $12 at the door.

Nick Lamagna’s Birthday Bash
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 3
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/248773385528443/

Enjoy some tacos (while supplies last) and local punk rock this Saturday night in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs $7, and includes all-you-can-eat tacos until they run out, so arrive early! No one under 21 may enter.

Carlos’s Birthday Bash
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, June 3
Bar 1650, Corona
http://www.facebook.com/events/1392157850854885/

Rock out to some local punk rock at this FREE show this Saturday night in Corona. No one under 21 may enter.

D.I. @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 3
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/404112006627292/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Saturday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. Tickets to this show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Voodoo Glow Skulls @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 3
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1443698-voodoo-glow-skulls-long-beach/

Get your skanking on at this skacore show this Saturday night in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost $12 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
5:00 am – 2:00 pm, June 4
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.pomonaswapmeet.com/

See thousands of original and restored classic cars at the Fairplex this Sunday morning. Many of the vendors will also sell automotive accessories, parts, and more as well. This all-ages show cost $10 to enter, while children 10 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter via gate 17 on Fairplex Drive, directly off the 10 freeway.

17th Annual Los Angeles River Ride
7:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 4
The Autry, Los Angeles
http://la-bike.org/riverride

Join thousands of bike riders and enjoy a day of riding, a fair, food, raffles, music, and more. Choose from any of eight different rides (two of them start from Shoreline Village in Long Beach) and head out. Registration costs will vary depending on the ride chosen, ranging from $50 to $80.

7th Annual Cruise for Kids Car Show
9:00 am – 1:00 pm, June 4
Farmer Boys, Rancho Cucamonga
http://rckiwanis.weebly.com/fundraising.html

Check out a free and all-ages car show in Rancho Cucamonga this Sunday morning.

3rd Annual Long Beach Touch-A-Truck
9:30 am – 1:00 pm, June 4
Granada Beach, Long Beach
http://www.justinrudd.com/truck.html

Over 50 large vehicles will park along the beach at this free all-ages exhibit this Saturday morning. Food, drinks, vendors, live music, arts & crafts, and more will accompany this interactive event that allows guests to explore and take photos with large vehicles that people rarely get to see on a daily basis.

1st Annual Bruisers & Cruisers Classic Car Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 4
Chino Valley D.E.S. Club, Chino
http://www.prisoncityderbydames.com/

Roller derby meets classic cars at this free and all-ages show this Sunday in Chino.

2017 San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 4
Granada Pavilion, Granada Hills
http://www.facebook.com/SanFernandoValleyComicBookConvention

This annual local comics event returns to the San Fernando Valley this Sunday. General admission costs $5 while children under 12 enter for free with paid adult admission, and admission grants full access to the show floor, which contains dozens of artists, vendors, professional actors, and more.

5th Annual San Pedro Shred Festival of Skate
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 4
Gaffey St. Lookout Point, San Pedro
http://www.sanpedroshredfest.com/

Enjoy a day of skateboarding and live rock music at this FREE and all-ages event taking place in San Pedro this Sunday.

11th Annual Super Pet Adoption
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 4
Irvine Animal Care Center, Irvine
http://www.cityofirvine.org/irvine-animal-care-center/super-pet-adoption

For just $2 admission, come see dozens of animals up for adoption, and potentially welcome a new member to your family.

24th Annual Balboa Island Parade
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, June 4
Balboa Island, Newport Beach
http://www.balboaisland.com/event/24th-annual-balboa-island-parade/

Free to attend for all ages, a parade will take place on Balboa Island this Sunday morning.

20th Annual SoRo Community Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 4
Robertson & Cattaraugus, Los Angeles
http://www.soronc.org/

This FREE and all-ages street fair takes place in West LA between Culver City and Beverly Hills. Attendees will find live music, a kids’ zone including rock-climbing, arts & crafts, food trucks, and more. Guests can park for free in the neighborhoods surrounding the fest.

33rd Annual Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off
11:30 am – 6:00 pm, June 4
Old Town Tustin
http://www.tustinchilicookoff.com/

Once again taking over the streets of Old Town Tustin, this FREE street fair contains lots of activities to keep the entire family busy and full the entire day. Attendees will find arts & crafts, live entertainment, merchandise vendors, kids’ area, the multitude of chili teams, and much more. This event gets highly crowded each year, and while it requires no admission to enter, guests will end up parking on city streets a few blocks away. To sample chili, guests must purchase tickets for $2 each, and redeem these tickets at the chili teams for samples.

4th Annual Monrovia Music Fest
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 4
Library Park, Monrovia
http://www.monroviamusicfest.com/

Free to attend for all ages, Monrovia will have live music, a beer garden, mobile food vendors, arts & crafts, games, and more this Sunday afternoon.

The 2017 Orange County Greek Festival returned this past weekend to St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. While any visitor can participate in the dancing going on under the main tent, I opted to simply admire those who bravely stepped forth to display their Greek dancing abilities. For me, I chose to enjoy the eats of Greek culture with some Pastitsio, Dolmades, and Baklava. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

The 5th Annual Heritage of Aloha Festival returned to Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this Hawaiian/Polynesian cultural fair contained numerous cultural vendors, food, treats, games, music, dance, entertainment, and more. Most of the action revolved around the main stage, where they had the music, dance, speakers, occasional comedians, actors, and more. Spread throughout the park, visitors could stroll through the dozens of vendors selling things from accessories, apparel, house goods, food, treats, trinkets, souvenirs, and beyond. At the far end of the park, visitors found the food stalls plus the games for the children to win toys at. Due to the small size of the park, the organizers had to fit everything in to a tight space, meaning that visitors could stroll through the entire festival within ten minutes or so. Regardless, anyone who visited surely had a great time checking out all the different cultural goods around. Support this local festival by liking them on Facebook.

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

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

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

The first of this year’s summer series of Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor of Long Beach wrapped up last week. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through August on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Free to attend for all ages, guests participate by paying $10 for a booklet containing 12 tickets that get redeemed at participating businesses along 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. The products offered by participating businesses range from appetizers to drinks to desserts to even full plates of food. Ticket costs vary based on the location, with some offering more than the value of the tickets, and many offering less than the value of the tickets. Although most of the participating businesses served the same things that they serve yearly, sometimes things will stand out from the crowd. I took one booklet last week, and went on a nice stroll through Belmont Shore.

Not much has changed in the way of offerings from the participating businesses. Between each year, most of the restaurants stick to their guns and offer what the people like, opting not to experiment or offer anything different. For that reason, I do not always attend every Stroll & Savor event in a given year. This year, I felt hesitant to go, knowing that not much will have changed. However, I bit the bullet and went last week to see if anything new had popped up. I got a chance to try the following:

  • Rance’s Chicago Pizza had replaced the former Shore Public House, a restaurant that did not fare too well in Belmont Shore.
  • The former Powell’s Sweet Shoppe had closed for good, and Rocket Fizz swooped in to replace it. They served craft sodas for the event.
  • Pho-Nomenon did not last very long in Belmont Shore, as they had closed. Lasher’s Kitchen has since moved into that spot from their old location on Broadway & Redondo.
  • Frosted Cupcakery featured a new item this time, Sugar Cookies, in addition to their standard mini cupcakes and hi-tops.
  • Saint & Second finally participated for the first time in Stroll & Savor. Matching their pricey menu, they served meatballs that cost $2 per meatball.

All in all, a few things may have changed, but most restaurants have kept their offerings the same for Stroll & Savor. If you like what you see, check out what other events Belmont Shore has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

2nd Annual Orange County Beer Week
May 19-28
Orange County
http://ocbrewers.org/oc-beer-week/

This 10-day beer celebration covers all of Orange County, starting with a beer fest at the Fullerton Arboretum. During this period, virtually every restaurant, bar, gastropub, and any other craft beer establishment will host some sort of beer event. Literally hundreds of beer events will take place in Orange County, so for an abridged list, visit the website linked above. Even the website cannot contain every single event! Check with your local favorite brewpub to find out how they will participate. For the purposes of condensing this list, I will not include any event that directly relates to OC Beer Week, as their website will list them all.

2017 Space Tech Expo USA
8:30 am – 6:00 pm, May 23
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, May 24
8:30 am – 3:00 pm, May 25
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.spacetechexpo.com/

Check out America’s engineering meeting place for space technology. This exhibition draws thousands of industry leaders, decision makers, engineers, and buyers to meet manufacturers and the supply chain for civil, military, and commercial space. Interested attendees can register for FREE to check out the main expo of this event.

I Love Poke Festival 2017
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 23
Bali Hai Restaurant, Point Loma, San Diego
http://onoyum.com/

Sample the best in island cuisine at this tasting event in San Diego. Over 20 different chefs/restaurants will attend to serve food samples to attendees, while ten local chefs will compete in a poke competition, allowing attendees to sample their food too. Tickets to this all-ages tasting event cost $75, which includes unlimited food samples while supplies last. All attendees must take care of their own parking and transportation.

2017 Lightning In A Bottle
May 24-29
San Antonio Recreation Area, Bradley
http://lightninginabottle.org/

If I could pick one word to describe Lightning In A Bottle, I would pick hippie. Lightning In A Bottle brings people together from all over the world to celebrate earth and life with music, art, dance, yoga, speakers, workshops, and more. Expect to encounter thousands of people with a hippie mindset, like Woodstock but more controlled. Ticket prices vary depending on the mode of attendance, and they offer a presale discount, so check the prices on their site, and if you like what you see, purchase a ticket online to save some green.

Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 24-31
Naja’s Place, Redondo Beach
http://www.najasplace.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/602988599889975/

For eight days straight, Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach will tap nothing but IPA’s from all over. Come get hopped up at Naja’s Place this week.

Beer & Ice Cream Pairing
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 24
Next Door Craft Beer & Wine Bar, La Mesa, San Diego
http://www.nextdoorsd.com/

Enjoy local craft beer paired with ice cream from local creameries this Wednesday night in La Mesa. Tickets cost $20, and gets you in to one of two two-hour sessions (6-8pm or 8-10pm) along with four total pairings. No one under 21 may attend.

2nd Annual Burgers Bourbon + Beer
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, May 24
The Victorian, Santa Monica
http://www.lamag.com/lasocialevents/burgers-bourbon-beer-2/

Indulge on all the burgers, beer, and bourbon that you can handle (while supplies last) this Wednesday night in Santa Monica for $70 per person. No one under 21 may attend.

Taste of Brea 2017
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 25
Downtown Brea
http://tasteofbrea.com/

This free and all-ages event will see over 30 restaurants from the area providing samples of their food to visitors. Visitors may freely walk into the event area for free, but must purchase a $25 wristband to redeem for food or drinks. In addition to all the food, visitors will find live music, a kids zone, arts & crafts, and more.

Ranchwood BBQ Grand Re-Opening Mixer
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, May 25
Ranchwood BBQ, La Mesa, San Diego
http://www.sandiego-bbq.com/

This San Diego barbecue restaurant opens their doors to the public once again this Thursday night. The cover for the opening reception costs $10 and includes two beverages.

6th Annual Taste of Boyle Heights
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 25
Casa Del Mexicano, Boyle Heights
http://www.elacc.org/

Sample the local flavors of Boyle Heights this Thursday night in Boyle Heights. Admission costs $100 and includes unlimited food and drinks while supplies last, plus a tote bag with various goodies inside.

Down By Law – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26, The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 27, The Holding Company, Ocean Beach, San Diego
http://www.downbylaw.com/

Punk rock band Down By Law will headline a handful of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices for each show vary by the venue, so check with the venue for prices. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

Gamex 2017
12:00 pm, May 26 – 6:00 pm, May 29
Hilton LAX, Los Angeles
http://www.strategicon.net/

This weekend-long expo will feature all sorts of board games, card games, miniatures, role-playing, collectibles, computer games and more. Registration varies, ranging from $5 all the way up to $500, so see the website for a breakdown of the prices to attend.

59th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 26
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 27-28
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 29
Village Green, Garden Grove
http://strawberryfestival.org/

This free annual all-ages city fair features rides, games, vendors, food, contests, live entertainment, a parade, and more. Despite its name, the festival does not liberally give out strawberries or sell it – it just uses strawberries as its theme. Guests may go on rides with all-day wristbands, which cost $30 each, or just $25 on Friday.

Blackest Of The Black Festival
3:30 pm – 10:30 pm, May 26
1:00 pm – 10:30 pm, May 27
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado
http://blackestfest.com/

Metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, and more bands will rock out the hills of Silverado this weekend. Tickets to this black concert start at $39.

14th Annual Newport Beach Wine Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 26
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 27
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, May 28
Balboa Bay Resort, Newport Beach
http://meritagecollection.com/balboabayresort/newport-beach-wine-festival/

A handful of wine tasting events will take place in Newport Beach this weekend. Admission to these events range from $65 to $150.

The Varukers – Live in Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/node/3097

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20.

The Adicts – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26, The Belasco Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 27, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 28, House of Blues, Anaheim
http://adicts.us/

Legendary punk rock band The Adicts will headline a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary by location, so check with the venue for prices.

Ten Foot Pole – Live in San Diego
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 26
Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego
http://www.tenfootpole.com/

Punk rock band Ten Foot Pole will headline a few shows in Southern California this week – they will co-headline a show with Down By Law, mentioned above. Tickets to this show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Muscle Beach Memorial Day Weekend Spectacular
May 27-29
Muscle Beach, Venice Beach
http://www.musclebeachvenice.com/

Various strength and strongman events will take place in Venice Beach this weekend. Visitors of all ages may spectate the events for free.

Junior Volleyball Association’s 1st Annual West Coast Cup
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-29
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.jvaonline.org/events/jva-west-coast-cup

A volleyball competition will take place in Downtown Long Beach this weekend. Spectator admission ranges from $8 to $20, or $6 to $15 for students.

85th Annual Scottish Fest USA
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-28
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.scottishfest.com/

This annual all-ages Scottish festival features hundreds of bagpipers & drummers, Scottish & Irish food & vendors, Scottish clans, Highland dancing, Scottish athletes, and more. Admission costs $18 with discounts available for military, seniors, and children. Parking costs $8 per vehicle.

9th Annual Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27
Riverview Pkwy & Town Center Pkwy, Santee
http://santeestreetfair.com/

Thousands of visitors will roam the streets of Santee this weekend during their annual street fair, now combined with a craft beer garden. Free for all-ages to attend, the fair will contain live music, entertainment, food, drinks, games, arts & crafts, rides, vendors, and so much more. Pricing for the beer festival varies depending on how many tasters a person wants, ranging from $10 to $30.

Classic Not Plastic 2017
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-28
Various locations, Long Beach
http://www.classicnotplastic.net/

A scooter/moped rally will take place in Long Beach this weekend. Consult with the website for the full schedule of events and rides.

Fiesta Hermosa 2017
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-29
Downtown Hermosa Beach
http://fiestahermosa.net/

Fiesta Hermosa returns to the streets of Downtown Hermosa Beach this weekend. Free to park and attend, this street fair will have food, drinks, music, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more. You cannot park AT the event – for those driving, you must park at the Northrop Grumman Building at Marine & Aviation in Redondo Beach, and a free shuttle will carry you to and from the fest and parking lot.

Geeky Craft Faire
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-29
Whimsic Alley, Los Angeles
http://www.whimsicalley.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1958778197741755/

Check out this free and all-ages arts & crafts fair this weekend in Los Angeles featuring geek culture.

31st Annual California Festival of Beers
10:30 am – 5:00 pm, May 27
Madonna Inn Meadows, San Luis Obispo
http://www.californiafestivalofbeers.com/

Spend an afternoon drinking lots of beer this Saturday in San Luis Obispo. General admission costs $60 and starts at 12pm. Aficionado admission costs $80, starts at 11am, and provides access to exclusive beers and food samples. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters while supplies last. All non-VIP food comes at a separate cost, so have cash available for that. No one under 21 may attend.

Beer Fest & Pool Party
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 27
Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, Torrance
http://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1373435679412750/

$25 gets you in to this beer tasting event and pool party this Saturday afternoon in the South Bay. For an additional $10, receive access to a taco bar plus food bites. No one under 21 may attend.

California Gold Rush Beer Festival 2017
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, May 27
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanita.com/events/california-gold-rush/

Beer and horse-racing mix up at the Santa Anita Park this Saturday afternoon. For $35 admission, you get eight 3oz beer tasters, four 3oz sour ale tasters, and the souvenir cup to take home. No one under 21 may enter this event.

Santa Anita Carnival 2017
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 27-29
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanita.com/events/santa-anita-carnival/

Santa Anita Park opens their gates to the public for this FREE weekend-long festival for people of all ages. Visitors will find food, drinks, treats, rides, games, and more.

Cismontane Brewing 7th Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 27
Cismontane Brewing, Santa Ana
http://www.cismontanebrewing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/220535458441293/

Cismontane turns seven years old this year, and to celebrate, they will have rare beers on tap at their Santa Ana location. Unlike previous years that acted like a festival, this event will have no cover charge – simply show up, and pay for beers as you go.

Eat Drink Vegan – 8th Annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 27
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
http://eatdrinkvegan.com/

Taste the best of Southern California’s vegan foods and craft beers this Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. General admission costs $60 presale and starts at 2pm. Children’s admission costs $25. VIP admission costs $120 presale and starts at 12pm. All attendees will receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the festival. All food comes at additional costs, so bring cash. Arrive early, and plan to pay for parking. The fest takes place outdoors, so prepare accordingly with sunscreen and clothes for hot weather.

2nd Annual Long Beach Craft Beer & Taco Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm , May 27
Shoreline Aquatic Park, Long Beach
http://chugginbrews.com/

Get schwifty in Long Beach this Saturday with beer, tacos, music, and raunchy times. Depending on when you want to attend and how much you intend to consume, ticket prices will vary from $22 to $110. See the website for pricing details. No one under 21 may attend.

Not Another Ska Fest 5
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 27
Club Los Globos, Silverlake
http://www.facebook.com/events/1901159830168798/

An all-ages ska show takes place in Silverlake this Sunday night. Tickets to this show cost $7.

Dirt City Roller Rats vs Rough Diamond Rebels
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, May 27
Holiday Skating Center, Victorville
http://www.dirtcityrollerrats.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Victorville. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $10.

Newport Beach Beerfest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 27
Newport Dunes Waterfront, Newport Beach
http://www.newportbeachbeerfest.com/

If you want to get drunk in Newport Beach this Saturday night, do it here at this beer tasting event. General admission costs $35 and starts at 7pm, while VIP admission costs $50, starts at 6pm, and includes access to a VIP area with exclusive beers. No one under 21 may attend.

Nick Lamagna Benefit Show
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 27
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1280822628654078/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this weekend in Northeast LA. The cover for these shows cost $7 for one night or $10 for both. No one under 21 may enter.

2017 Vista Village Strawberry Festival
7:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 28
Historic Downtown Vista
http://vistastrawberryfest.com/

At this free festival, guests of all-ages can experience a plethora of activities all day in Vista, formerly the Strawberry Capital of the World. The day starts with a 5K run, and when the run ends, the main festival begins. The multitude of activities include a beer garden, pie-eating contests, cooking contest, golf/putting contest, homebrew contest, video contest, strawberry costume contest, demos, live entertainment, car show, rides, games, food, and so much more. Visit the website for a full schedule and list of activities, plus directions on where to park.

21st Annual Redlands Firefighters Car Show
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 28
State Street, Downtown Redlands
http://www.redlandsfirefighterscarshow.com/

Check out a free and all-ages car show on the streets of Downtown Redlands this Sunday.

6th Annual LA Zine Fest
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 28
California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://lazinefest.com/

This free and all-ages expo will feature hundreds of local and/or independent authors and publishers sharing their magazines, comics, and other DIY material. Workshops and speakers will engage attendees with more material.

Long Beachland
11:00 am – 1:00 pm, May 28
Art Theatre Long Beach, Retro Row, Long Beach
http://www.charlesphoenix.com/event/charles-phoenix-long-beachland/

Enjoy a local comedy slide show this Saturday in Long Beach. Admission costs $29.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 28
2nd & Sycamore, Santa Ana
http://dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show/upcoming-shows/

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at different locations. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. Guests should park in the neighborhood south of the festival.

Timeless Booty BBQ
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 28
Woodley Park Section Two, Van Nuys
http://www.timelessdnb.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/402558446769022/

Free to attend for all ages, a music concert will take place in Van Nuys this Sunday afternoon. They will have food vendors present, so have cash available if you want to buy food.

Los Skangeles Fest
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
Club Los Globos, Silverlake
http://www.facebook.com/events/282783288821053/

An all-day all-ages ska concert takes place in Silverlake this Sunday. Tickets to this show cost $22.

4th Annual MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 28
Main Street & Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica
http://mainopolysm.com/

Sample the flavors of Santa Monica’s Main Street during this Monopoly-themed tasting event this Sunday afternoon. Admission varies in price depending on how much you plan to consume, starting at $25.

Under the Sun Grand Opening
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
Under the Sun, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1400083713400546/

A vegan cafe will officially open their doors to the public this Sunday evening. Enjoy free samples during this time as well as live entertainment.

19th Annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run
5:30 am – 11:30 am, May 29
Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills
http://www.lagunahillshalfmarathon.com/

Celebrate this Memorial Day with a run down in sunny Orange County. Register for any of various distances, and head to the starting line by 7am for the race start. Registration fees vary based on the distance, with the half marathon costing $75.

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

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