Posts Tagged ‘ScotsFest’

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Many businesses may offer special meals for this occasion, so check with your favorite local establishment to see if they have anything special to offer. This includes non-food places, such as museums.

18th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Festival & Big Band Blowout
February 15-18
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, Newport Beach
http://www.newportbeachjazzparty.com/

Lots of jazz music performances will take place in Newport Beach this week. Admission will greatly vary from $30 up to $495 – see the website for a full breakdown of admission and prices.

7th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, February 16-17
Citadel Outlets, Commerce
http://www.citadeloutlets.com/event/7th-annual-chinese-new-year-celebration/2145501484/

This weekend during the listed times, live dancers and artists from the Los Angeles Chinese Cultural Center will perform Chinese dragon dances, folk dances, and traditional songs & drum ceremonies.

37th Annual Tet Festival
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 16
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 17
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 18
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 $6 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.

12th Annual San Diego Tet Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 16
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 17
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 18
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.

Chocolate & Art Show – Los Angeles
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 16-17
The Vortex, Los Angeles
http://chocolateandartshow.com/

Peruse through various works of art and sample chocolates this weekend near Downtown LA. Daily tickets cost $15 presale or $20 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Marvel-ous Infinity War Parody
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 16
Harvelle’s, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

A comic-themed burlesque show will take place in Downtown Long Beach this Friday night. General admission starts at $15. No one under 21 may attend.

25th Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 17-18
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/

Exhibit and explore Scottish culture this weekend at the Queen Mary’s annual Scottish Festival. Open to all ages, this festival will allow guests to experience Scottish music, dancing, athletic competitions, food, apparel, merchandise, and more. Plenty of activities will keep guests of all ages occupied, such as a kids’ zone and petting zoo for little ones, and a darts tournament and whiskey tastings for adults. Saturday ticket-holders also receive a discount for the ensuing Scottish music concert at night (see event below). Single-day tickets cost $25 for adults, while other ticket packages will vary in prices. Parking will get hectic, so I highly recommend taking the FREE Passport bus from downtown to here. As the majority of the fest takes place outdoors, I suggest applying sunscreen and dressing for outdoor weather.

2018 Long Beach Comic Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 17
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 18
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://longbeachcomicexpo.com/

Comic fans rejoice! The Long Beach Comic Expo returns for its annual installment at the Long Beach Convention Center this Saturday. Admission costs $30 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, giving guests all-day entry to the all-ages expo, where they can find plenty of merchandise, vendors, workshops, seminars, comic book signings/autographs, and more. Expect hundreds of cosplayers, as both exhibitors and attendees will dress up as their favorite fictional character. The convention center will sell food to hungry guests, but you can also check out the other great restaurants nearby if you get hungry, plus the bike fest going on across the street. Convention Center parking costs $10, so I suggest taking carpooling, taking public transportation, or parking in the neighborhoods east of Alamitos Ave and walking to the Convention Center.

Long Beach Mardi Gras
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 17
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://lbmardigras.com/

Shoreline Village plays host this Saturday to a myriad of music, art, activities, entertainment, dance, parades, and more. The actual parade starts at 3pm at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Completely free to attend for all ages, all guests can get involved with the festivities, from the dancing to the games and more. Dress up to get even more involved!

119th Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 17
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://chinatownla.com/wp1/event/chinese-new-year-festival-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.

2018 Huntington Beach Onesie Bar Crawl
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 17
Cruisers Bar & Grill, Huntington Beach
http://www.pubsinpajamas.com/

Drink with lots of people in outfits this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Admission starts at $15 and includes a drink and shot. No one under 21 may attend.

Throw Rag – Live in Long Beach
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 17
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://throwrag.com/
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1622862-throw-rag-long-beach/

Rock out to local punk rock bands in Long Beach this Saturday night. Tickets to this show cost $15. No one under 21 may enter.

Henny & Waffles Los Angeles
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 18
The Globe Theatre, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.hennyandwaffles.com/

This event will features lots of Hennessey and waffles. Admission will vary depending on when you want to show up and what you want to consume. Brunch from 1pm to 4pm costs $35 to attend. Unlimited mimosas during that time costs $15. The party afterwards going into the night will have various costs as well – see the website for a full list of prices. No one under 21 may attend.

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Mustard Plug 2017 West Coast Tour
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 13, Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 14, Slide Bar, Fullerton
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, February 15, The Casbah, San Diego
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 18, The Viper Room, West Hollywood
http://www.mustardplug.com/

Famous ska band Mustard Plug currently tours across the west coast, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits vary with each show, so refer to Mustard Plug’s website for show details.

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Many businesses may offer special meals for this occasion, so check with your favorite local establishment to see if they have anything special to offer. This includes non-food places, such as museums.

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, February 14
Eat Drink Americano, Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.winela.com/wcc

Indulge in a cheese, chocolate, and wine pairing session this Tuesday night in Downtown LA. Admission costs $90 per person, and includes all foods and wines that attendees will enjoy. No one under 21 may attend.

Naughty Valentines Burlesque Show
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, February 14
Gaslamp, Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

Come see some sultry dancing this Tuesday night in Long Beach. Admission starts at $10 and goes up depending on where you want to stand or sit, with a dinner package available as well, starting at $50.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 15
The Rookery, Pomona
http://rookeryalehouse.com/Events.html

Share your favorite craft beer with other craft beer enthusiasts at this bottle share this Wednesday night in Downtown Pomona. Bring in a 750ml bottle of craft beer and order at least $10 of food in order to participate. Guests can find plenty of free parking in the area, and can avoid paying for parking entirely.

Long Beach Coin, Stamp, & Sports Collectible Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 16-18
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.longbeachexpo.com/

This show brings tens of thousands of collectors worldwide to share, buy, sell, and trade their collectibles. Complete with seminars, workshops, press conferences, vendor booths, auctions, and more, this all-ages expo will delight anyone interested in collecting valuable goods. Admission costs $8, with discounts available for seniors and children. Use promo code MEDIA for free passes. Parking at the convention center costs $10.

Reel Big Fish: 2017 US Winter Tour
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 16, The Belasco Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
6:30 pm – 11:30 pm, February 17, House of Blues, San Diego
http://www.reel-big-fish.com/

Reel Big Fish currently tours across the country as part of their annual winter tour, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so check the venue’s link for details.

Fang: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 16, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 17, The Garage, Ventura
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 18, The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 19, Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.fangofficial.com/

Hardcore punk band Fang will headline a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices will vary by the show’s location, so refer to Fang’s website for details. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

5th Annual San Diego Comic Fest
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 17
9:00 am – 11:00 pm, February 18-19
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 20
Four Points by Sheraton, Parkview, San Diego
http://www.sdcomicfest.org/

Much smaller and more intimate than the San Diego Comic Con, this weekend expo will feature artists, writers, actors, models, screenings, speakers, autograph sessions, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more. Admission on Saturday or Sunday costs $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, and free for children. Admission for Monday costs $15 for adults, $7.50 for students, and still free for children. A 4-day weekend pass costs $50 for adults, $25 for children, and still free for children. Parking costs $4 per vehicle per day.

Foam Wonderland – Climax Tour 2017
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 17
City National Grove, Anaheim
http://foamwonderland.com/

Want to get covered in foam without the necessity of moving for five kilometers? Check out this foam party this Friday night in Anaheim. Take a nighttime EDM scene, throw in colors, lights, and foam, and you have one messy and wet dance party. Tickets start at $58. No one under 18 may attend.

Blanks 77 – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 17, The Observatory, Santa Ana
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 18, Club Los Globos, Silverlake
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 19, Soda Bar, San Diego
http://www.facebook.com/Blanks-77-256493316808/

Oi punk band Blanks 77 will headline a group of shows this weekend in Southern California. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary by location, so check on their Facebook page for prices for each show.

Punk Rock Karaoke
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 17, Saint Rocke, Hermosa Beach
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 18, Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside
http://www.originalpunkrockkaraoke.com/

Live out your punk rock dream with Punk Rock Karaoke this Friday night in Hermosa Beach, complete with a backing band consisting of professional musicians. Admission costs $10 for Friday in Hermosa Beach, or $15 for Saturday in Riverside. No one under 21 may enter.

Rock The Boat: Love Stinks
10:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 17
Grand Romance Riverboat, Long Beach
http://www.rocktheboatla.com/

Take a boat ride out to sea this Friday night to enjoy an unregulated no-limits skacore show. Admission costs $25 presale. No one under 21 may attend.

Insane Inflatable 5K San Diego
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, February 18
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista
http://insaneinflatable5k.com/san-diego-ca/

It appears that people will do anything to break the mundane cycle of 5k runs. Introducing the Insane Inflatable 5K, a 5k obstacle course that takes you through inflatable obstacles. You remember these things as a kid. Now endure them as you challenge yourself and others to get through over three miles of this stuff. Registration costs $65 online or $75 on the day of the event, and comes with an event t-shirt.

24th Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 18-19
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/

Exhibit and explore Scottish culture this weekend at the Queen Mary’s annual Scottish Festival. Open to all ages, this festival will allow guests to experience Scottish music, dancing, athletic competitions, food, apparel, merchandise, and more. Plenty of activities will keep guests of all ages occupied, such as a kids’ zone and petting zoo for little ones, and a darts tournament and whiskey tastings for adults. Saturday ticket-holders also receive a discount for the ensuing Scottish music concert at night (see event below). Single-day tickets cost $19 for adults, while other ticket packages will vary in prices. Parking will get hectic, so I highly recommend taking the FREE Passport bus from downtown to here. As the majority of the fest takes place outdoors, I suggest applying sunscreen and dressing for outdoor weather.

12th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 18-19
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://travelshows.com/losangeles

Interested in traveling and getting out to explore? Find all the information and resources you need and more this weekend at the Travel & Adventure Show. Presale admission costs $11 for one day, or $18 for both days.

2017 Long Beach Comic Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 18
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 19
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://longbeachcomicexpo.com/

Comic fans rejoice! The Long Beach Comic Expo returns for its annual installment at the Long Beach Convention Center this Saturday. Admission costs $30 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, giving guests all-day entry to the all-ages expo, where they can find plenty of merchandise, vendors, workshops, seminars, comic book signings/autographs, and more. Expect hundreds of cosplayers, as both exhibitors and attendees will dress up as their favorite fictional character. The convention center will sell food to hungry guests, but you can also check out the other great restaurants nearby if you get hungry, plus the bike fest going on across the street. Convention Center parking costs $10, so I suggest taking carpooling, taking public transportation, or parking in the neighborhoods east of Alamitos Ave and walking to the Convention Center.

Southern California Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 18
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 19
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, San Diego
http://www.petexposandiego.com/

This FREE all-ages expo for all things pet-related takes place this weekend at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County. Open to all types of pets (with proof of vaccination), visitors can experience agility demos, prize giveaways, pet adoptions, free grooming, training sessions, and more. Bring cash for parking, which will cost between $5 to $10 per vehicle.

Santa Anita Winners’ Circle Chili Cook Off
10:30 am – 6:00 pm, February 18
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanitabbq.com/santa-anita-chili-2017/

Enjoy chili tastings from local cooks as they enter their prized chili recipes in hopes of taking home the grand prize. General admission costs $10 and provides entry to the event as well as access to the racetrack and betting. All food and drinks sold separately.

3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 18
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 19
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.lacookiecon.com/

Got a sweet tooth? You will not want to miss this event featuring all things sweet. General admission costs $25, and includes access to unlimited treats while supplies last. Celebrity chefs will also make an appearance for anyone wanting photos or autographs.

16th Annual Venice Beach Mardi Gras
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, February 18
Venice Beach, Venice
http://www.visitveniceca.com/calendar/2017mardigras/

Get wild this Saturday afternoon in Venice Beach. Free to attend for all ages, expect to see of of wild and vibrant outfits in this parade. The public may jump in to the parade too!

Free Punk Rock Show @ The World Famous Doll Hut
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, February 18
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/343804072685338/

Enjoy a FREE local punk rock show this Saturday afternoon in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

3rd Annual Air + Style Los Angeles
1:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 18-19
Exposition Park, Los Angeles
http://airandstyle.com/los-angeles-2/

Music and snowboarding collide at this extreme sports event this weekend in Los Angeles. Tickets to this concert start at $79 and go up depending on your mode of attendance.

San Diego Winter Brew Fest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 18
Hall of Champions, Balboa Park, San Diego
http://www.sandiegobrewfest.com/

This winter beer festival returns to Balboa Park this weekend. General admission to this winter beer festival starts at 7pm and costs $40 presale or $50 at the door. Pay $10 more to enter the festival an hour earlier at 6pm. No one under 21 may enter.

Anti Social: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 18
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1694642954199516/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Downtown LA. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Dine Out Long Beach Restaurant Week 2.0
February 19-25
Participating restaurants, Long Beach
http://dineoutlongbeach.com/

The city of Long Beach has so many fine restaurants that they will have an entire week to celebrate the bounty. During this 7-day period, participating restaurants will have various food & drink specials. Check the website linked above for a list of participating restaurants and their specials.

Crave Expo
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, February 19
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
http://www.craveexpo.com/

Basically, a gourmet food truck or mobile food vendor fest. Preregister on their website to enter for free, or pay $10 at the gate to enter the event, and you gain access to a plethora of various food and beverage vendors. The admission only grants you entry, nothing else. Attendees will need to bring plenty of cash to pay for any food or drinks they intend to consume. Regular admission starts at 12pm, while a special VIP hour will take place starting at 11am. Dress appropriately for outdoor weather, including sunscreen for those intending to stay long. The venue provides free parking.

The Downton Abbey Tea
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 19
Whimsic Alley, Los Angeles
http://www.whimsicalley.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/356173821431857/

Fans of Downton Abbey will not want to miss this formal tea supper this Sunday evening in Burbank. The $40 admission includes tea, sandwiches, dessert, entertainment, and themed activities.

The 23rd Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest returned this past weekend to Long Beach. This Scottish cultural festival celebrated everything that makes Scotland so memorable today. From the bagpipes to the kilts to the haggis to the highland games, anyone who has not experienced Scottish culture surely needed to check out this festival. The Scots built the Queen Mary many decades ago, so naturally they get to host this festival. Largely remaining unchanged from previous years, visitors attending for the first time will enjoy everything this festival has to offer. Guests attending again following previous years will not see much in the way of new things, besides new people and new tangible goods. The shepherding demo moved to the front of the venue area, providing more room for the highland games to take place at. The vendor village also expanded, albeit the expansion only made more room for weapons. Those Scots sure do love their weapons. Within the Queen Mary, the main banquet room hosted piping contests and dancing contests. Eventually, all the piping moved outside to give room for the girls to dance in the competitions. Just below that, a dart tournament took place, allowing anyone who registered online to test their skill at this pub game.

The way the Queen Mary handles pricing irritated me the most, and represents one of the main reasons why I originally boycotted events at the Queen Mary for many years. Simply put, the Queen Mary will always try to nickel & dime you as hard as possible in any fashion. For example, take a gander at the admission fee. Presale tickets cost $19 plus $3.63 in service and transaction fees. The website also mentioned that tickets at the gate would cost $22. In this case, people would think to buy tickets at the gate to save money. Unfortunately, the Queen Mary decided to pull a fast one and raise ticket prices at the gate. Visitors buying tickets at the gate had to pay $23 per ticket plus a $2.74 service fee. I understand the online fee because of the third party ticketing broker (Flavorus), but why a service fee at the front gate? Why not incorporate that into the ticket fee? Once you get past the admission shenanigans, you have to deal with exorbitantly priced products inside the festival. Things like bottled waters cost at least $5 while Bud Lights cost $10 or more. The vendors did not relent either, charging $10 for something as simple as a hot dog or slice of pizza. Coming back to the ScotsFest after many years of purposely avoiding events at the Queen Mary (except for Bacon Fest, which I got into for free) reminded me of why I originally boycotted all events at the Queen Mary.

The Highland Games took center stage as the main event of the fest, drawing in the largest crowds. Something about burly men in kilts tends to attract many people, men and women, old and young. I suppose in ancient Scotland times, someone picked up a heavy object, threw it, and his comrades decided to turn that into a competition, thus giving birth to the highland games. Purely speculating, all games involved throwing some object, usually with no technology involved; thus, the Highland Games.

For a two-day fest, the Queen Mary can pack a lot into ScotsFest. Both days followed a very similar schedule, which happens to follow similar schedules of previous years. Sad to say, to anyone who has attended ScotsFest in the past, you did not miss much. Everyone else who has not attended should consider attending next year. Consider donning a kilt and the rest of a Scottish outfit if attending. Getting into the Scottish spirit not only amps your enthusiasm up, but will likely make guests treat you more jovially.

The 3 C’s: Cigars, Chocolates, Craft Beer
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 9
Belching Beaver, Vista
http://belchinbeaver.com/
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2490992

Enjoy pairings of chocolate, cigars, and craft beers this Tuesday night in Vista. Attendance costs $25. No one under 21 may attend.

Ninkasi Night @ Select Beer Store
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 11
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.selectbeerstore.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1259328620751362/

Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach will stock their taps with Ninkasi beers this Thursday evening. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

Business & Beer @ Dudes Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 11
Dudes Brewing, Torrance
http://www.businessnbeer.com/

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

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 11
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Tiger Army @ Observatory North Park
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 11
The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
http://tigerarmy.com/
http://www.observatorysd.com/event/6394365

Tiger Army will headline a show in San Diego this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $30.

4th Annual San Diego Comic Fest
9:00 am – 11:00 pm, February 12-13
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 14
Town & Country Resort & Convention Center, Mission Valley, San Diego
http://www.sdcomicfest.org/

Much smaller and more intimate than the San Diego Comic Con, this weekend expo will feature artists, writers, actors, models, screenings, speakers, autograph sessions, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more. Admission on Friday or Saturday costs $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, and free for children. Admission for Sunday costs $15 for adults, $7.50 for students, and still free for children. Parking costs $4 per vehicle per day.

Tet Festival 2016
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 12
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 13
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 14
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 $6 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 $7 – see the website for additional info on where to park for free and take a shuttle.

11th Annual San Diego Tet Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 12
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 13
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 14
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.

Psychobilly Night
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 12
Novel Bar, Wilshire, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/484209891750206/

Rock out to some psychobilly in Los Angeles this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $12. No one under 18 may enter.

Bonecrusher @ The Redwood
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 12
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/569847053170137/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock at the Redwood in Downtown LA this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 21 may enter.

Insane Inflatable 5K San Diego
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, February 13
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista
http://insaneinflatable5k.com/san-diego-ca/

It appears that people will do anything to break the mundane cycle of 5k runs. Introducing the Insane Inflatable 5K, a 5k obstacle course that takes you through inflatable obstacles. You remember these things as a kid. Now endure them as you challenge yourself and others to get through over three miles of this stuff. Registration costs $64 online or $75 on the day of the event, and comes with an event t-shirt.

29th Annual Vintage Fashion Expo
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 13
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Ferbuary 14
The Reef/LA Mart, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.vintageexpo.com/

Find all the latest trends in vintage fashion this weekend at The Reef (LA Mart) in Los Angeles. Attendees to this expo will find hundreds of vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories for sale from over 50 different vendors for both men and women. Ticket prices heavily vary, but note that general admission starts at 10:30 am on Saturday. Those that purchase an upgraded ticket can enter as early as 9am. Parking at the venue costs $15 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

23rd Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 13-14
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/

Exhibit and explore Scottish culture this weekend at the Queen Mary’s annual Scottish Festival. Open to all ages, this festival will allow guests to experience Scottish music, dancing, athletic competitions, food, apparel, merchandise, and more. Plenty of activities will keep guests of all ages occupied, such as a kids’ zone and petting zoo for little ones, and a darts tournament and whiskey tastings for adults. Saturday ticket-holders also receive a discount for the ensuing Scottish music concert at night (see event below). Single-day tickets cost $18 for adults, while other ticket packages will vary in prices. Parking will get hectic, so I highly recommend taking the FREE Passport bus from downtown to here. As the majority of the fest takes place outdoors, I suggest applying sunscreen and dressing for outdoor weather.

25th Annual Alhambra Lunar New Year Celebration
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 13
Valley Blvd & Garfield Ave, Alhambra
http://www.alhambranewyearfestival.com/

“Corporate America utilizes this venue to reach out to the Asian communities.” Meh. If you feel like checking out more Lunar New Year festivals, this free one will occur this Saturday afternoon on the street in Alhambra, blocking off traffic.

34th Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 13-14
San Diego Chinese Center, Downtown San Diego
http://www.sdchinesecenter.org/

Free and open to all ages, this family-friendly event will include lion dance performances, acrobatics, martial arts demos, live music, drumming, dancing, and more. Over 50 booths will sell merchandise and food, while some will feature crafts for families.

Southern California Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 13
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 14
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, San Diego
http://www.petexposandiego.com/

This FREE all-ages expo for all things pet-related takes place this weekend at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County. Open to all types of pets (with proof of vaccination), visitors can experience agility demos, prize giveaways, pet adoptions, free grooming, training sessions, and more. Bring cash for parking, which will cost between $5 to $10 per vehicle.

Discover The Dinosaurs – Long Beach
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 13-15
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.discoverthedinosaurs.com/Events/longbeach.html

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

117th Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
12:00 pm – 8:30 pm, February 13
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=417
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.

San Diego On Tap
12:00 pm – 8:30 pm, February 13
Town & Country Resort Hotel, Mission Valley, San Diego
http://americaontap.com/san-diego-ca/

A beer festival comes to Mission Valley in San Diego this Saturday. Two sessions will take place: an afternoon session and a night session. General admission costs $45 and lasts three hours while VIP admission costs $60, lasts four hours, and includes a t-shirt and food voucher. No one under 21 may attend.

7th Annual Brewbies Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 13
Bagby Beer Company, Oceanside
http://www.brewbies.org/

If you could not tell from the event name, this craft beer festival supports breast cancer research. Enjoy craft beer tastings from a multitude of breweries from across the nation during this four-hour tasting gala. General admission costs $40 presale or $50 at the door, and comes with a glass, a bracelet, and one raffle ticket. VIP admission costs $75, and throws in four additional raffle tickets plus access to a VIP lounge with exclusive beers. Absolutely no one under the age of 21 may enter.

Hoppy Valentine’s Farm-To-Table Dinner
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
Brouwerij West, San Pedro
http://www.primalalchemy.com/
http://hoppyvalentine.bpt.me/

Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner complete with beer pairings courtesy of Brouwerij West this Saturday night in San Pedro. Reservations cost $90 per person if attending as a couple, or $100 individually otherwise. No one under 21 may attend.

Art Crawl Experience
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience

Downtown Anahiem will see a variety of activities and exhibits this Saturday night. Visitors can expect to find tons of art exhibits, live music, food, food trucks, drinks, yoga, dance, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street.

OC Roller Girls – Love Is A Battlefield
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://ocrollergirls.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $13.

International Guitar Night
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
Soka Performing Arts Center, Aliso Viejo
http://www.soka.edu/news_events/events/2016/02/InternationalGuitarNight.aspx

Enjoy contemporary guitar music this Saturday night at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. Tickets cost $39 general admission or $29 for students & seniors.

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Many businesses may offer special meals for this occasion, so check with your favorite local establishment to see if they have anything special to offer. This includes non-food places, such as museums.

31st Annual Los Angeles Marathon
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, February 14
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
http://www.lamarathon.com/

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

12th Annual Bulldog Beauty Contest
9:30 am – 3:00 pm, February 14
Marine Stadium Park (north end), Long Beach
http://www.hautedogs.org/bulldog.html

Surround yourself with cuteness this Sunday morning at the Bulldog Beauty Contest in Long Beach. Completely free to attend for all ages, guests will see over 500 bulldogs in attendance, as many will strut their little legs on the red carpet runway. Each entry can win from any of 19 contests, some of which will cater to other dog breeds. Guests wanting seats at the runway will have to pay $5, while anyone wanting to enter their dog must pay $10 per entry.

The 20th Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest returned this past weekend to Long Beach. This Scottish cultural festival celebrated everything that makes Scotland so memorable today. From the bagpipes to the kilts to the haggis to the highland games, anyone who has not experienced Scottish culture surely needed to check out this festival. The Scots built the Queen Mary many decades ago, so naturally they get to host this festival. Largely remaining unchanged from previous years, visitors attending for the first time will enjoy everything this festival has to offer. Guests attending again following previous years will not see much in the way of new things, besides new people and new tangible goods. But how often can groups prance around wearing kilts and grunting in Scottish accents?

The shepherding demo moved to the front of the venue area, providing more room for the highland games to take place at. The vendor village also expanded, albeit the expansion only made more room for weapons. Those Scots sure do love their weapons.

Within the Queen Mary, the main banquet room hosted piping contests and dancing contests. Eventually, all the piping moved outside to give room for the girls to dance in the competitions.

Just below that, a dart tournament took place, allowing anyone who registered online to test their skill at this pub game.

A nearby vendor sold imported European treats and other goods.

Speaking of food, you cannot attend a cultural fest without trying the food of that culture. Thus, I opted to order the Haggis, and I added a Pork Pie. Sadly, this year did not measure up to last year, as they did not provide brown sauce (such as HP Sauce), and they kept the pork pies in a cooler. I do not usually eat meat pies cold, and after I discovered that the filling resembled ground pork, I immediately thought of a pâté chaud, which I could buy hot for just a dollar at markets in Westminster. To anyone instantly turning away from the haggis, do not knock it until you have tried it. It does not taste as bad as many people believe, as it simply tastes and feels like salty meatloaf.

If you go to a Scottish festival, you will hear bagpipes guaranteed. Throughout the fest, numerous piping groups marched around the Queen Mary and competed to win best in show and other prizes.

The Highland Games took center stage as the main event of the fest, drawing in the largest crowds. Something about burly men in kilts tends to attract many people, men and women, old and young. I suppose in ancient Scotland times, someone picked up a heavy object, threw it, and his comrades decided to turn that into a competition, thus giving birth to the highland games. Purely speculating, all games involved throwing some object, usually with no technology involved; thus, the Highland Games.

Every year, ScotsFest hosts a single-malt scotch whisky tasting for the adult crowd. This year, they added a craft beer tasting class, hosted by Deschutes Brewery. A $10 entry ($11.75 after fees) provided any guest with five tasters of Deschutes beers. As each taster amounted to about one ounce each, each person received the equivalent of about half a can of beer. Paying $11.75 for this little beer sounds terrible, but it sure beats the $8 Bud Lights served throughout the fest.

For a two-day fest, the Queen Mary can pack a lot into ScotsFest. Both days followed a very similar schedule, which happens to follow similar schedules of previous years. Sad to say, to anyone who has attended ScotsFest in the past, you did not miss much. Everyone else who has not attended should consider attending next year. Consider donning a kilt and the rest of a Scottish outfit if attending. Getting into the Scottish spirit not only amps your enthusiasm up, but will likely make guests treat you more jovially.

This Saturday and Sunday, The Queen Mary in Long Beach gets immersed in a sea of Scottish culture at their 20th Annual ScotsFest. This cultural festival celebrates the Scottish heritage of the Queen Mary from the time of its construction in Clydebank, Scotland. Open to all ages, ScotsFest allows attendees to experience Scottish music, bagpipes, kilts, dancing, athletic competitions, food, drinks, single-malt scotch whiskey tastings, dart contests, and much more. Depending on the package, ticket prices will vary. A one-day ticket costs $18 for adults and $8 for children, and parking costs $15 per vehicle. Scottish clans from all over the world gather here for one weekend to proudly display their background and heritage as well.

Within the halls of the Queen Mary, a Dart Competition allows all guests to test their mettle in this glorified classic pub game. Anyone wishing to participate must fill out and submit an entry form found on their website, linked above.

When you think of Scotland, you cannot forget about the bagpipes. As Scotland’s most well-known symbol and sound, groups will play bagpipes throughout the fest, both as show and as competition. Multiple categories of piping will come into play, such as solo, ensemble, full band, and more.

Following the Celtic tradition, the Highland Games will test all participants’ strength and finesse. Both men and women can compete in competitions such as throwing stones, throwing hammers, weightlifting, and more.

For those who prefer not to get physical, plenty of other activities exist that will keep attendees occupied. Dozens of vendors will set up to sell various Scottish apparel, accessories, merchandise, treats, ingredients, and even weapons.

Any cultural festival will always serve the food of the respective culture, and ScotsFest delivers on the authentic Scottish food. Enjoy some meat pies, pastries, stews, and the elusive Haggis.

For the children, an entire kids’ zone will include bounce houses, face-painting, a petting zoo, and more. A sheepherding demo will take place regularly throughout the fest as well.

More activities include a parade at noon, and single-malt scotch whiskey tastings for the adult crowd, which requires an additional fee to partake in. Following the main fest on Saturday, the Queen Mary will extend the festivities with the Rock Yer Kilt Concert, featuring local Scottish, Gaelic, and Celtic bands. Guests that attended ScotsFest that day can receive $5 off admission to this concert. For a fest that lasts two days, a small group could experience everything in one full day. Consider that parking costs $15 per vehicle, so small groups may opt to take the FREE Passport bus that drives from downtown to the Queen Mary. This fest takes place mostly outdoors, so apply sunscreen and take some with you to the fest. Also have cash available, as many vendors only accept cash, and on-site ATM’s will charge ridiculous fees. Lastly, remember to have fun, keep an open mind, and participate in as many activities as possible to maximize your visit.

Slater’s 50/50 Lake Forest – Grand Opening
11:00 am, February 11
Slater’s 50/50 (formerly Hooters), Lake Forest
http://www.facebook.com/Slaters5050LakeForest

Slater’s 50/50 cuts the ribbon to its fifth installment TODAY at 11am in Lake Forest (formerly a Hooters building). The first 50 guests in line receive a card good for a free burger on the next visit!

2013 OC Music Awards Showcase Series Night 6
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, February 12
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/166617693482626/

This free and all-ages show will feature some of the nominated musicians for the OC Music Awards. Each night features five different local artists performing and competing for the title of Best Live Band awarded at the OC Music Awards in March. This series of free shows occurs every Tuesday night all the way through the finals on February 26.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 14
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking does not exist in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here before.

San Diego Tet Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 15
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 16
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 17
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.

20th Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 16-17
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.queenmary.com/scotsfest/

Exhibit and explore Scottish culture this weekend at the Queen Mary’s annual Scottish Festival. Open to all ages, this festival will allow guests to experience Scottish music, dancing, athletic competitions, food, apparel, merchandise, and more. Plenty of activities will keep guests of all ages occupied, such as a kids’ zone and petting zoo for little ones, and a darts tournament and whiskey tastings for adults. Saturday ticketholders also receive a discount for the ensuing Scottish music concert at night (see event below). Single-day tickets cost $18 for adults, while other ticket packages will vary in prices. Parking will get hectic, so I highly recommend taking the FREE Passport bus from downtown to here. As the majority of the fest takes place outdoors, I suggest applying sunscreen and dressing for outdoor weather.

31st Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 16-17
San Diego Chinese Center, Downtown San Diego
http://www.sdchinesecenter.org/

Free and open to all ages, this family-friendly event will include lion dance performances, acrobatics, martial arts demos, live music, drumming, dancing, and more. Over 50 booths will sell merchandise and food, while some will feature crafts for families.

114th Annual Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 16-17
Chinatown, Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=417

Celebrate Chinese New Year in the heart of Chinatown! Free to attend for all ages, the parade takes place Saturday from 1-3pm, while festivities take place the entire time, which include crafts, live music, dancing, live DJ’s, food, drinks, a beer garden, and more. If possible, refrain from driving there, and opt to take public transportation instead, as traffic and parking will cause many problems for those with tight schedules.

Rock Yer Kilt Concert
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 16
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://queenmary.com/scotsfest/concert.php

Following ScotsFest on Saturday, The Queen Mary will host this music concert, featuring local Scottish, Gaelic, and Celtic bands. Guests that attended ScotsFest that day can receive $5 off admission to this concert.

General Fucking Principles, Wrong Beach, Last Of The Bad Men @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 16
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/473033566089200/

Come enjoy some good ol’ punk rock this Saturday night at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this 21 & up show cost only $7!

Cockney Rejects, Youth Brigade, Shattered Faith @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 16
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/cockney-rejcts

Catch classic punk rock at The Observatory this Saturday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $18.

Valentines Heartbreaker Special
10:30 pm – 12:00 am, February 16
Pike Bar & Grill, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/156349694518981/

Come enjoy a FREE sexy after-Valentines burlesque show at the Pike Bar in Long Beach this Saturday night, brought to you by the Dirty Little Secrets. No one under age 21 may enter.

LA Zine Fest
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 17
Ukrainian Cultural Center, 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.