Posts Tagged ‘September 2015’

This past Saturday, Long Beach’s 4th Street Retro Row hosted their first annual Four on 4th event, an opportunity for visitors to stroll up and down Retro Row while sampling local food and drinks. Visitors paid for a wristband and glass ($25 presale or $30 on the day of the event), which allowed the visitors to receive beer and wine samples at participating businesses along Retro Row. Visitors started at one of two check-in spots (Art Du Vin and Restauration), and from there could walk to all the different participants’ locations, or ride in a complimentary trolley to get from one end to the other. While all the retail and services businesses served free drinks to visitors, the participating restaurants merely had specials, so visitors had to pay additional money to sample anything from the restaurants, albeit at a discounted rate. For example, Long Beach United Boxing Club poured Stone Brewing‘s beers, but Lola’s Mexican Cuisine only had specials. A few breweries sent actual reps to this event for representation: Ballast Point, Uinta Brewing, and Firestone Walker each sent a rep to man a beer-pouring station inside a different business each. I spotted Bell’s Brewery and Knee Deep Brewing without a rep, but I never found Drake’s Brewing.

Just like Los Angeles, within the city of Long Beach lies numerous different neighborhoods each uniquely defined by its constituents. From the bustling Belmont Shore to the luxurious Naples Island to the family-friendly Bixby Knolls to Little Cambodia (the largest Cambodian population outside of Cambodia), Long Beach has a neighborhood fitting for everyone. Many of these neighborhoods occasionally host “Taste Of ____” events that allow visitors to sample food and drinks from the local businesses, including neighborhoods such as Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor, Taste of Downtown Long Beach, and Bixby Knolls First Fridays. 4th Street’s Retro Row used to have Last Saturdays where the local shops would have specials, but that monthly event stopped occurring years ago. Perhaps they can bring back some extra visitors to Retro Row with an annual event in Four on 4th. Coincidentally, Four on 4th took place on a Last Saturday!

For an event running for the first time, this did not run completely smooth without hiccups. Less than a few hundred people attended this event, perhaps due to poor marketing of this event. Any advertising of this event did not disclose enough information, but luckily I arrived early enough to find out the mechanics of this event. While I originally arrived in the middle of Retro Row, I did not know that I had to check in at the far ends of Art Du Vin or Restauration. I also did not know that admission provided NO food at all – I expected to receive some food samples, but discovered that we had to pay for any food at all. I do anticipate that, despite a few beginner’s mistakes, Retro Row will bring back Four on 4th next year. See what else goes on at Retro Row by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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2015 Taste of Arcadia
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 28
Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia
http://arcadiacachamber.org/events/taste-of-arcadia/

The annual Taste of Arcadia returns TONIGHT, so for those planning to go, buy the $65 presale tickets now, or pay $80 at the door. More than 40 food vendors will serve samples, while over 30 other vendors will keep guests occupied between eats.

42nd Los Angeles Korean Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 1
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, October 2-4
Seoul International Park, Koreatown
http://www.lakoreanfestival.org/en/index.php

Immerse yourself in Korean culture at this four-day Korean festival in Koreatown this weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this festival will have food, drinks, treats, music, entertainment, rides, games, arts & crafts, merchandise, vendors, and much more.

Pumpkin Beers Release
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 1
Valiant Brewing, Orange
http://www.valiantbrewing.com/two-pumpkin-beers-one-day/

Valiant Brewing will release two new pumpkin beers this Thursday evening. No admission required – simply show up and enjoy a cold one.

San Gabriel Dumpling & Beer Fest
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 1
San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, San Gabriel
http://sangabrielcity.com/dumplingbeerfest

The San Gabriel Valley puts their spin on Oktoberfest with this dumpling & beer fest this Thursday night in San Gabriel. Free to attend for all ages, this festival will feature numerous dumpling vendors, other food vendors, live entertainment, a craft beer garden, and more. A wristband for unlimited beer sampling costs $20 presale or $25 at the gate. All food comes at cost, so bring plenty of cash for that.

42nd La Mesa Oktoberfest
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 2-3
La Mesa Village, La Mesa
http://www.lmvma.com/SeasonalEvents/Oktoberfest.aspx

Enjoy a family-fun Oktoberfest celebration this weekend in La Mesa. Free to attend for all ages, this Oktoberfest celebration will have all the usual Oktoberfest festivities such as dance, music, sausages, pretzels, beer, and more. In addition, visitors will find hundreds of vendors, arts & crafts, games, and more activities for all ages.

58th Annual Tustin Tiller Days
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 2
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, October 3
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 4
Columbus Tustin Park, Tustin
http://www.tustintillerdays.org/

Bring the family out to this all-ages city fair this weekend. Free to attend, this fair has everything that a family can enjoy, from the rides and games for kids, to the entertainment and vendors for adults. Remember to check out all the fair food, drinks, and dessert too, since buying food here supports local organizations and businesses. Guests can find free street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 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).

2nd Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
6:30 pm – 11:00 pm, October 2
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 3-4
Newport Beach Civic Center, Newport Beach
http://newportwineandfood.com/

Lots of activity will take place in the culinary world this weekend in Newport Beach. On Friday night, a VIP party will take place with a cocktail reception and a three-course food & wine pairing dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, attendees of the festival gain access to unlimited food tastings, cooking demos, cocktail mixing demos, live music, a silent auction, and more. Admission prices significantly vary based on the mode of attendance, with single-day admission costing $195 and a weekend pass costing $350.

Duane Peters Gunfight @ Karman Bar
8:00 pm – 12:30 am, October 2
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.facebook.com/events/1471391639851968/

Local punk bands will perform at the Karman Bar in Laguna Niguel this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Agent Orange: Live in Southern California
8:30 pm – 1:00 am, October 2, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego http://www.sodabarmusic.com/calendar.php?event_id=2582
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 3, Discovery, Ventura http://nightout.com/events/agent-orange-discovery/

Legendary surf punk band Agent Orange will headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Each show has a different ticket price and age restriction, so click on a show’s link for more information.

1st Annual Los Angeles Moon Festival Cocktail Feast
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, October 2
Vibiana, Downtown Los Angeles
http://luckyrice.com/event/los-angeles-moon-festival-cocktail-feast/

Sip on cocktails and other libations all night in Downtown Los Angeles. General admission costs $50 and starts at 10pm, while VIP admission costs $88 and starts at 9pm. No one under 21 may attend.

Cadillac Tramps @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, October 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/960169-cadillac-tramps-long-beach/

Enjoy some local music at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $13 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Long Beach Heart Walk
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, October 3
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.heartwalkla.org/

Raise money to walk around Long Beach during this charity walk this Saturday morning.

18th Annual Pacific Beachfest
8:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 3
Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach, San Diego
http://pacificbeachfest.org/

Enjoy a full day of outdoor activities at this free and all-ages beach festival in Pacific Beach. Visitors will find sports, tournaments, activities, live entertainment, arts & crafts, games, food, drinks, and more.

OrangeCon 2015
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 3
Pavilion at the University Conference Center, Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton
http://www.ipmsoc.org/

The name of this event does not describe it at all. This all-ages exhibit showcases miniature models of airplanes and other types of vehicles, mostly military in theme. Admission to this viewing costs $5.

2015 Dana Point State BBQ Championships
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 3
Sea Terrace Park, Dana Point
http://www.danapointbbqchampionships.com/

Over 100 teams of grill masters will gather from around the country to serve up their finest BBQ and compete for cash, prizes, and titles. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can purchase sample tickets for $2, and use those tickets to exchange for samples from any of the participants. For the adults, catch the craft beer & wine garden, featuring some of the country’s favorite breweries and wineries. Small 4oz beer pours will cost $2 each, while large 12oz beer pours will cost $6, and visitors can walk freely around the festival with drinks in hand. Visitors may park for free at the Salt Creek Beach parking lot located within PCH and Ritz Carlton Dr, despite signs saying that parking requires a fee. Otherwise, park at Dana Hills High School, and take the free shuttle service to the park.

1st Annual Maker Faire San Diego
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 3-4
Balboa Park, San Diego
http://sdmakerfaire.org/

Celebrate local makers, artists, designers, and more at this two-day fair taking place in Balboa Park this weekend in San Diego. Attendees will experience handmade goods such as gadgets, sculptures, art, food, apparel, accessories, merchandise, and more. Admission varies depending on age and date of attendance, starting at $12.50 and going up to $30.

43rd Annual Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 3-4
Live Oak Park South Field, Manhattan Beach
http://www.mbfair.org/

This free fair for all ages makes its annual return this weekend, featuring games, arts & crafts, food, beer & wine gardens, live entertainment, and more. The city will provide free parking and shuttle transportation at the Northrop Grumman Building at 15092 Aviation Blvd near the intersection of Aviation Blvd and Marine Street in Manhattan Beach.

Los Angeles Donut Festival
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, October 3
Mad Ave LA, East Hollywood
http://ladonutfestival.com/

Spend three hours of your Saturday afternoon standing in long lines munching on donut samples at this donut festival in East Hollywood.

Fall 2015 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 3-4
Brewery Art Association, Los Angeles
http://breweryartwalk.com/

This FREE semiannual art walk features hundreds of residents artists showcasing their finest work. Guests may even purchase art they like from the artists. Free to park and enter for all ages, the facility even includes an in-house restaurant, so bring your friends and family to look at some great art.

2nd Annual Artesia International Street Fair & Diversity Festival
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, October 3
Pioneer & 183rd, Artesia
http://www.cityofartesia.us/index.aspx?NID=282

At this free and all-ages street fair this Saturday, visitors will find food, music, dance, live entertainment, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more.

2nd Annual Vegan Oktoberfest
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, October 3-4
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles
http://www.veganoktoberfest.com/

If you love Oktoberfest but follow the vegan plan, then you will fit right in at this one-of-a-kind Oktoberfest. All the typical Oktoberfest festivities will keep everyone occupied, while everyone gets full on vegan food and vegan beer. General admission costs $45, starts at 1pm, and includes one stein glass with unlimited beer pours. VIP admission costs $55, starts at 12pm, and also provides access to a VIP area with food samples.

3rd Annual Brewer’s Chili Cookoff
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1681526008746826/

A handful of Southern Californian breweries will collide at Select Beer Store this Saturday for an all-day chili cookoff featuring chili made by the brewers as well as beers from the breweries on tap. Chili tasting starts at 4pm, while the beers will flow all day.

San Diego Japan Fair
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, October 4
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://sd-japanfair.com/

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture this weekend at NTC Liberty Statio in San Diego. Visitors will find lots of ramen, sake tastings, live entertainment, arts & crafts, activities, other food & drinks, vendors, and more. Admission costs $5 for one day.

1st Annual Los Angeles Paella & Wine Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, October 3
La Plaza de Culturas y Artes, Los Angeles
http://www.lapaellafest.com/

Enjoy paella and lots of wine and spirits this Saturday near Downtown Los Angeles. General admission costs $65 presale or $75 at the gate, and includes unlimited food and drink samples. VIP admission costs $120, and also includes access to a VIP area with some exclusive food and drinks.

Roxanne’s Lounge’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
Roxanne’s Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/834701753242473/

Roxanne’s Lounge in Long Beach will celebrate their own Oktoberfest this Saturday. $15 admission gets you five beer tasters plus access to all the usual Oktoberfest activities, games, contests, music, entertainment, and more. No one under 21 may attend.

Anaheim Brewery’s Oktoberfest
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
Anaheim Brewery, Anaheim
http://www.anaheimbrew.com/

Anaheim Brewery will celebrate Oktoberfest with two Saturdays full of Oktoberfest activities, such as live music, freshly-prepared sausages on-site, German-style beers, and more. No admission required – simply show up, paid for beers as you go, and have fun.

Caturday
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 3
Community, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/623936704375767/

Cat lovers will want to check out this free and all-ages event this Saturday night in Anaheim. Visitors will find various cat-themed artists and arts & crafts here, as well as a resident food truck to serve hungry guests.

Zombie Fashion Show & Creature Art Exhibit
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, October 3
Lot 613, Los Angeles
http://www.zombiefashionshow.com/

Dozens of Hollywood makeup artists will transform models into the undead at this Saturday night fashion & art show. While the models strut their deathly stuff, attendees can check out zombie-themed artwork from dozens artists from all over the country. The $10 admission grants access to all these exhibits, plus all-you-can-eat pancakes courtesy of the Pancakes & Booze Art Show. No one under 21 may enter.

12th Annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival
9:30 am – 4:30 pm, October 4
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa
http://kidsbookfestival.com/

This FREE all-ages fair caters to families as it presents thousands of children’s book available to read or buy. The fair will also host multiple stages complete with family-friendly entertainment.

The Generators @ Alex’s Bar
2:00 pm – 6:30 pm, October 4
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/956805-generators-long-beach/

Rock out this Sunday afternoon at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this local rock show cost $5 presale or $7 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Sundays @ Harvelle’s
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, October 4
Harvelle’s, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

Get your fill of burlesque every first Sunday of the month at Harvelle’s in Downtown Long Beach. No one under 21 may enter.

41st Annual Gourmet Festival of Fall
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, October 4
AbilityFirst, Pasadena
http://abilityfirstfestival.org/

Enjoy food, wine, craft beer, live music, a silent auction, and more this Sunday evening in Pasadena. General admission costs $150, while VIP admission costs $300 and includes VIP seating.

Tagging onto yesterday’s post, the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) returned to Downtown Seattle this past weekend starting on Friday night with an opening reception and lasting until Sunday morning with additional content and activities. This conference contained a wealth of things to see and do for people in the food blogging community, from all the seminars to the interactive demos and all the yummy food and drinks that we could have the entire time. A handful of attendees had already left town by Sunday morning to fly back home, or otherwise could not stay the entire time in order to fly back later in the day. Because I would return home Monday night, I still had all of Sunday and most of Monday to explore the city and its bounty.

Sunday marked the last day of the conference, providing attendees with another breakfast and a set of educational sessions. Following breakfast, I attended the Food Trends session since I have written about food trends in the past. Throughout the seminar, the speakers mentioned food trends that I had accurately predicted earlier this year, so they basically covered what I already knew. They did provide insight on upcoming and emerging food trends, some of which I mentioned would emerge this year. Still, this will prove a great resource for predicting next year’s 2016 as well as my own individual research. As for the session afterwards, I had to attend Cooking with Cannabis just for the heck of it. I did not pick up much from the seminar since I do not cook, but I still learned a great deal about its medicinal use and witnessed some creative uses of cannabis in food, such as in butters, oils, and chocolates. Following one last session with all attendees, the conference came to a close with the announcement that the conference would move to Sacramento next year on the last weekend of July. While this excites many with the concept of farm-to-table and wine country so close, I feel that I may not return because I already have a standard writing style, as opposed to bloggers trying to establish themselves.

With the 2015 IFBC officially over, I said my goodbyes to many of the attendees and reminisced about the fun weekend. With the rest of my day open, I joined some old friends for a brief tour of Capitol Hill to check out some of the sights. Since the conference did not provide lunch, we first visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, which also contained a Serious Pie. The roastery had the feeling of a microbrewery, as they roasted & brewed coffee, sold merchandise, and had lots of see there. As a bonus, I got to dine at Serious Pie, a restaurant that I wanted to visit the last time I traveled to Seattle two years ago. I can still taste the garlic and bacon from the pizza, a delightful combination that I do not encounter enough in Southern California.

Walking though Capitol Hill, we land at Chophouse Row, an alley with small shops and eateries including a meat shop, cheese shop, cupcakes, ice cream, and Italian food. The centerpiece shop, Chop Shop, offered a succulent Braised Pork Sandwich as a Happy Hour special. Afterwards, we visited Kurt Farm Shop for ice cream samples of some unique flavors, such as Bay Leaf, Rose, and their signature cheese. Cheese in an ice cream? Of course I had to try it, and it reminded me of a cake batter ice cream, but more creamy and not as sweet. At the far end, we discovered a neat little balcony with restaurant tables set up that looked like a movie set.

Feeling nice and full, we walked up Broadway for a bit before saying our goodbyes and parting ways.

I took a bus up to Ballard to explore more of the neighborhood since I ran out of time on Wednesday. The evening started with dinner at Bitterroot BBQ, a barbecue restaurant suggested to me earlier in the day. There, I got to enjoy some brisket and a fatty piece of pork belly, paired with cheddar grits and garlic green beans. #SmokedMeatEveryday

With solid food out of the way for the rest of the evening, I could finally embark on my self-guided brewery tour. I first stopped at Reuben’s Brews, a brewery recommended by many to me, including Southern Californians. With over 20 brews on tap, I can see why many recommended this brewery to me. With a food truck out front and a big screen showing the game, I felt right at home in Reuben’s Brews.

After downing my brews at Reuben’s, I turned the corner to discover Stoup Brewing. Many had also recommended this brewery to me, so I greatly looked forward to visiting them. Like the previous brewery, Stoup has a solid interior with plenty of outdoor seating, and can easily house a food truck outside. Stoup offered a significantly smaller selection of brews though, but since their brews pack bold taste, I took my time downing their beers.

Just around another corner, I discovered Lucky Envelope Brewing. Lucky Envelope feels more like the typical neighborhood bar – very quiet, and looks like someone’s living room. Their brew lineup looks like that of a standard brewery, plus a few unique brews such as their Peanut Butter Stout. Their staff exhibited solid beer knowledge, especially about breweries in Southern California.

It started raining by the time I finished at Lucky Envelope, so I made a dash to the next brewery, Populuxe Brewing. Unfortunately they had already closed for the day by the time I arrived, so I ran over to the next closest brewery, Maritime Pacific Brewing. Sadly they too had just closed their doors for the day. Not wanting to stay out in the rain for much longer, I decided to simply call it a night and return for the night to stay dry and not damage my camera.

With less than 24 hours left of my trip, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of it. I will go on record to say that I have the fondest memories of my final day for this vacation. Stay tuned tomorrow to see the adventures of my final day in Seattle.

The 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) returned to Downtown Seattle this past weekend, inviting food bloggers from around the world to travel to Seattle to meet fellow food fans, discover new foods & food knowledge, and take home lots of neat food products. This conference contained a good variety of things to see, do, and eat, from the complimentary eats to the informational seminars to the hands-on demonstrations and the diversity of everyone indulging in the vibrant setting. Compared to when I last attended the conference two years ago, this year’s conference felt substantially shorter because 2013’s conference started on Friday morning while this year’s conference started on Friday night. It also costed $100 more to attend this year. Regardless, I treated this as a vacation to explore the city and meet new people, not as a business trip of sorts.

Following some liquid escapades from the previous night, my body did not feel prepared to wake up early for a long day of a conference. Determined, I rolled myself out of bed to hike it up to the conference, not wanting to miss a second, as well as the complimentary breakfast. After breakfast and the introductory speaker, the conference sessions started. Out of the first set of three sessions, I chose to go with Anolon because I had heard that they would give out free kitchen gear to whoever attended that session. While I could have chosen to go with Teavana or Krusteaz, they eventually brought some of their goods out to the foyer for everyone else to enjoy. After the Anolon session, I sipped on some Teavana cider and snagged a big bag of Krusteaz cookies that I ended up enjoying daily until the last day. After the Anolon session, I ended up at a Stop Motion Photography session. I got nothing out of that because they kept talking about pinning iPhones to a rack to take photos, while I had hoped to accomplish something like this instead.

Lunchtime soon arrived, and I connected with my group from the previous night to take a trip down to SoDo neighborhood. After passing by the Old Rainier Brewery facility, which has since converted to artist studios and lofts similar to Brewery Art Walk, we touched down at Jack’s BBQ. Perhaps the closest thing to authentic Texas BBQ in Seattle, we got a chance to tour the back area of the restaurant where they stored their giant smokers. In addition to smoking meats, Jack’s BBQ also uses their smokers to smoke oranges for their drinks, and smoke sugar to make a smoked simple syrup that they use to sweeten their cocktails and sweet tea. Following the tour, we walked back to our table to discover a mountain of smoked meat waiting for us to devour and conquer it all. To top it off, despite still feeling hungover, a courteous server brought out a small beer flight for me to sip on as I stuffed my face with smoky meaty goodness. We spent more time here than expected, so we ended up returning late to the Sheraton; however, this lunch more than made up for it. #SmokedMeatEveryday

Deciding between a wine, sparkling wine, or lamb session, I found myself at a crossroads trying to figure out which session I wanted to attend. I first visited the sparkling wine session, but ended up leaving halfway through because I do not have a palate for wine. I moved over to the lamb session, and while I did not get any useful information out of it, I did end up receiving a leg of lamb that they would ship to me later.

Following a short break, we reached the main event of the night, basically a Taste of Seattle. Numerous food vendors set up around the ballroom all serving delicious food samples, such as short ribs, chicken & waffles, catfish & kale, pork sisig, molten chocolate, and much more. I underestimated the richness of the foods here, as I should have expected for a food fair such as this. I got full within half an hour simply by returning to the short rib, chicken & waffles, and molten chocolate over and over. I also got to indulge in s’mores ice cream sandwiches and the SOLE beer vendor.

For a Saturday night, I had plenty of opportunities to go out and experience the nightlife of Seattle. However, since I had a hangover for most of the day, would have to return the next morning again, and that it started to rain, I decided to call it a night early on. I had to make sure I could preserve my energy for the next few days!

Waking up on the morning of the first day of the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) provided me with a huge surge of energy and excitement to look forward to a great day of meeting so many awesome people and seeing a bunch of amazing food products. From the start of Friday, I already had full plans going into the next three days with virtually no free time other than sleep. Though I had a few drinks the previous night, nothing would stop me from tackling the day headstrong.

Starting in the morning, a handful of conference attendees had met for breakfast at Loulay, the resident restaurant inside the Sheraton Hotel where the IFBC would take place. This gave me a headstart to meet some of the conference attendees while planning out the rest of the day.

Following breakfast, I followed a few of the conference attendees down to Seattle Coffee Works to indulge in a Vacuum Pot experience.

Once back at the Sheraton, the IFBC attendees split up into their respective excursions. These optional excursions allowed attendees to visit a particular company, view products, experience demos, and take home some products from the company. I chose to attend the Chef’n Corporation excursion, a company that specializes in kitchen gadgets. They make mainly small trinkets or tools for the kitchen, such as a palm peeler, ergonomic salt & pepper shakers, and other specialized tools. Located very close to CenturyLink Field, Chef’n has access to the penthouse suite, providing an astounding view of the surrounding area. At the end of it all, we got to view live demos of multiple kitchen gadgets, enjoy some eats, and take home a handful of kitchen gadgets ourselves.

Once returned to the Sheraton, everyone congregated outside of the main ballroom that hosted the start of the 2015 IFBC. Kicking off this year’s conference, the reception featured the infamous gift suite plus a handful of food vendors serving small bites to whet our appetites. The gift suite basically represents a plethora of food-related items that attendees can take home, ranging from snacks to ingredients to tools to books and more. This year’s gift suite appeared significantly smaller than the one from two years ago when I last attended the IFBC – I managed to grab every item (besides the items that ran out fast) with plenty of room left in my bag.

With the gift suite ending early, that signaled the end of the first night of the 2015 IFBC, allowing attendees free time to go out to dinner on their own. I joined a group that traveled up to Capitol Hill to dine at Poppy. First off, I have to say that I have never experienced anything like Poppy. Imagine tapas meeting family-style dinner, where you can order a tray of various items for $20 to $30 each that you share with your table. After stuffing ourselves full, I remained in the area with a few of the others to go bar-hopping. Inevitably, I ended up drinking more than I intended to, which led to my massive hangover the following day.

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 11-21
Mitsuwa Marketplace, Torrance
http://www.mitsuwa.com/ai1ec_event/hokkaido-torrance-2/

Much like the Mitsuwa Summer Fest, this FREE festival at all Mitsuwa Marketplaces now celebrates North Japan culture. Experience food, drinks, desserts, dance, music, games, and more from Northern Japanese culture.

San Diego Restaurant Week
September 20-27
Various Restaurants, San Diego County
http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

For six full days, various restaurants all over San Diego County will participate in this special week, where they will offer special prix-fixe meals that highlight their unique cuisine. Use this chance to explore and discover new restaurants in the area!

Taste of Laguna & Business Expo 2015
4:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 23
Tivoli Too, Laguna Beach
http://www.lagunabeachchamber.org/taste-of-laguna-expo/

Gather in Laguna Beach this Wednesday night for a mixer of food and local businesses. General admission costs $60 and starts at 5:30, while VIP admission costs $80, starts at 4:30, and includes one parking spot.

OC Wine Crawl – Santa Ana
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 23
The Barrel Room, Downtown Santa Ana
http://occrawl.com/winecrawl/

Embark on a guided stroll through five different establishments in Downtown Santa Ana this Wednesday night and sip on fine wine at each stop. Admission costs $25 for five drinks or $40 for ten drinks. No one under 21 may attend.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 23
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.

The Maxies @ The World Famous Doll Hut
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 23
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/170321996634280/

Come get crazy with The Maxies at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Wednesday night. The cover for this show costs $3. No one under 21 may enter.

Stair Climb for Los Angeles
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 25
YMCA, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.ymcala.org/stairclimb

On this day, the city will shut down Hope Street as thousands attempt to race up the stairs of the US Bank tower in Downtown Los Angeles. This all-day fest also includes food trucks, live music, a beer garden, rock-climbing walls, and more. Even if you cannot participate in the climb, the actual festival requires no fee to enter.

Feast of San Gennaro
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 25-27
Hollywood & Highland, West Hollywood
http://feastofla.org/

Hosted by Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel, the Feast of San Gennaro makes its annual return this weekend just south of Hollywood & Highland. This street festival celebrates Italian culture in America, and will feature Italian food, desserts, drinks, music, entertainment, and more. Admission costs $5, while parking will vary.

2015 HorrorCon International
1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 25
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 26
The Reef, Los Angeles
http://horrorcon.wix.com/horrorcon2015

Visit the ultimate Halloween & horror convention this weekend in Los Angeles. Find monsters, zombies, ghosts, and other terrifying things along with costumes, merchandise, art, screenings, cosmetics, special guests, and lots more. Admission to this all-ages convention costs $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday, or $35 for both days.

2.5 Year Barrel-Aged First Flight
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 25
Valiant Brewing, Orange
http://www.valiantbrewing.com/925-2-5-year-barrel-aged-first-flight/

Come taste this delicious beer (aged for two and a half years) this Friday evening at Valiant Brewing in Orange. They have a very limited amount available, so first-come, first-served.

Los Angeles Lobster Fest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 25
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 26
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 27
Ports O’Call Village, San Pedro
http://lobsterfest.com/

This lobster festival at Port of Los Angeles will have lots of fresh lobster for guests to eat. In addition, guests can enjoy dancing, games, rides, pirate shows, music, arts & crafts, and more. The $10 admission includes parking and entry into the fest, while all food comes separate, so anyone wanting to eat will have to bring extra cash. A printable coupon on the website allows guests to save $1 off entry.

20th Annual Redondo Beach Lobster Fest
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 25
12:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 26
12:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 27
Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach
http://lobsterfestival.com/

Following Long Beach and Los Angeles, Redondo Beach now has a Lobster Fest going on this weekend, which will have lots of fresh lobster for guests to eat. In addition, guests can enjoy dancing, games, rides, music, arts & crafts, and more. The $15 admission includes parking and entry into the fest, while all food comes separate, so anyone wanting to eat will have to bring extra cash. Purchase presale tickets online to save $2, or search their website for additional meal packages, such as surf & turf and more.

7th Annual Surf City Surf Dog Weekend
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 25
9:00 am – 12:30 pm, September 26
8:00 am – 2:30 pm, September 27
Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington Beach
http://surfcitysurfdog.com/

Catch a weekend of surfing and dogs this weekend in Huntington Beach. On Friday, visit the Shorebreak Hotel for an opening reception and a dog fashion show. On Saturday, participate in a dog yoga class in the morning, spectate various dog contests, and visit the Canine Expo at The Strand on 5th. The expo lasts until Sunday, when the Surfing Dog contest also takes place. Events vary in price, so check the website for a price for each individual event.

Against Me! Live at The Observatory
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 25
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/against-me

Against Me! will perform only one show in Southern California in their current tour. Do not miss this all-ages show, which you can attend for $20.

Billy Greer’s Birthday Bash
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 25
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/740219662771305/

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

T.S.O.L. @ Borderline Bar & Grill
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, September 25
Borderline Bar & Grill, Thousands Oaks
http://borderlinebarandgrill.ticketfly.com/event/906863-tsol-thousand-oaks/

Legendary punk band T.S.O.L. will headline a show along with some Nardcore band this Friday night in Thousand Oaks. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

The Cadillac Tramps @ The Karman Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 25
The Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.thekarmanbar.com/event/live-music-45/

Enjoy some live local punk music this Friday night in Laguna Niguel. Tickets to this show cost $17. No one under 21 may enter.

Voodoo Glow Skulls and Los Kung Fu Monkeys: Live in Rosemead
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 25
Spike’s Bar & Billiards, Rosemead
http://www.vonbadsville.com/

Skacore bands Voodoo Glow Skulls and Los Kung Fu Monkeys will perform live in Rosemead this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $13. No one under 21 may enter.

16th Annual Cruisin’ For A Cure Car Show
7:00 am – 4:30 pm, September 26
OC Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.cruisinforacure.com/

This all-ages charity car show returns to the OC Fair this Saturday morning. Admission costs $15, and includes free prostate testing for men. Parking costs $7 for general and $10 for preferred parking.

21st Annual Pacific Islander Festival of San Diego
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 26-27
Ski Beach, Mission Bay Park, San Diego
http://www.pifasandiego.com/

Check out this free and all-ages Pacific Islander festival this weekend in San Diego. Visitors will find food, treats, arts & crafts, games, merchandise, music, dancing, and more. Please have cash available for either parking or the shuttle service.

14th Annual Irvine Global Village Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 26
Bill Barber Park, Irvine
http://www.cityofirvine.org/news-media/calendar-of-events/event/irvine-global-village-festival

This international cultural festival occurs this Saturday in Irvine at Bill Barber Park. Free to park and enter for all ages, this multicultural fest features international cuisine, live entertainment, a kids village with crafts & activities, cultural & religious exhibits, and an international marketplace.

34th Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 26
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 27
Adams Avenue between 32nd & 35th Street, Normal Heights, San Diego
http://www.adamsavenuebusiness.com/Adams-Avenue-Street-Fair.html

This FREE and all-ages music festival takes place over two days this weekend on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, between the 805 and 15 freeways. Ten blocks will close to traffic to make way for over 90 music acts on seven stages and over 350 vendor booths. Guests should take public transportation to Adams Avenue, as traffic will remain heavily congested all weekend, and parking will not exist in high numbers here.

9th Annual International Chocolate Salon
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 26
The Pasadena Center, Pasadena
http://www.lachocolatesalon.com/

Chocolate lovers will want to attend the International Chocolate Salon this Saturday afternoon in Pasadena for an all-you-can-eat chocolate bonanza. Admission costs $20 presale or $25 at the door, while children can get in for $10.

Thee Hot Rod Luau
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 26
Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach
http://www.donthebeachcomber.com/

Check out cars, live music including Agent Orange, pinup models, vendors, and more this Saturday in Sunset Beach. Admission to this all-ages event cost $10.

Hi-Fi Rock Fest
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 26
Queen Mary Events Park, Long Beach
http://hifirockfest.com/

Check out this all-day all-ages punk rock concert taking place at the Queen Mary this Saturday. General admission costs $30 presale or $35 at the gate. VIP admission costs $55 and provides full access, including a VIP area.

Los Angeles Beer Fest (Fall Edition)
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 26
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles
http://www.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest/

Everyone’s favorite drunk fest returns to Los Angeles this Saturday. This festival allows attendees to drink unlimited beers while enjoying live music from local bands. Food trucks will sell their delicious foods to hungry guests. General admission costs $40 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $50 and starts at 12pm. All admission comes with unlimited beer pours, but does not include parking. No one under 21 may attend.

13th Annual Tarfest Music & Art Festival
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 26
La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles
http://www.tarfest.com/

This music & art festival returns this Saturday to the La Brea Tar Pits in West LA. Free to attend and open to all ages, guests will experience live music, live painting, beer & wine garden, food trucks, and more.

1st Annual Four On 4th
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 26
Retro Row, Long Beach
http://4thstreetlongbeach.com/

Enjoy beer, wine, food, and music along 4th Street’s “Retro Row” in Long Beach this Saturday afternoon. General admission costs $20 presale or $25 on the day of the event, while VIP admission costs $30 presale or $35 on the day of the event and comes with a goodie bag with assorted products and gift certificates to the local businesses. All attendees receive unlimited beer & wine while supplies last and access to small eats, which will cost $2 to $6 each, so have lots of cash available for food. No one under 21 may attend.

Blacklight Run – San Diego
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 26
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://www.blacklightrun.com/sandiego-ca/

The fun run madness continues with this nightly run through Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. This run takes place at night, and requires participants to wear all white while getting splattered with neon powder throughout the blacklight-filled course. By the end of the run, all participants will glow with many different colors and enjoy seeing a sea of glowing runners at the afterparty. Registration costs $20 by Wednesday and $45 afterwards, and comes with an event t-shirt, a glow pack to throw at other runners AFTER you have crossed the finish line, and a goodie bag full of items from the event sponsors.

2015 Fullerton Uncorked
5:00 pm – 8:30 pm, September 26
Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton
http://www.fullertonuncorked.com/

At this food & wine tasting, find food samples from local restaurants, dozens of wine & craft beer tastings, live music, raffle prizes, and more. Tickets to this event cost $62 presale or $65 at the door, and include unlimited food and drinks while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

2015 Arcadia Moon Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 26
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Arcadia
http://www.arboretum.org/events/arcadia-moon-festival/2015-09-26

Enjoy a fall evening with family and friends for an annual cultural tradition this Saturday evening in Arcadia. A traditional Chinese celebration when the full moon reaches its brightest point of the year, the Moon Festival offers live entertainment, food, desserts, and more. Admission costs $5 presale or $8 at the door, while children 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission.

77th Annual LA Chinatown Moon Festival
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 26
Chinatown, Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=331

Chinese Thanksgiving celebrations continue this Saturday in Chinatown with their annual Moon (Cake) Festival. Free to attend for all ages, participants celebrate by eating mooncakes, mini pastries that may contain up to 2,000 calories each. In addition, guests can see kung fu demos, lion dancers, live music, food trucks, ping pong tournaments, and more. Guests can find free street parking beyond Spring St. or close to LA State Historic Park.

Fall Frenzy – Free Ska-Punk Show
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 26
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/882777871814766/

Enjoy a FREE and all-ages ska-punk show this Saturday night at Out Of The Park Pizza in Anaheim.

Duane Peters Gunfight @ Characters Sports Bar
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, September 26
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.gonzopresents.com/event/220004

Catch some local punk bands in Pomona this Saturday night. Tickets for this show cost $8 presale or $10 at the door. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking around the area, and can avoid having to pay to park in the parking lots.

Naked Aggression – Live in Lancaster
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 26
Lancaster Moose Lodge, Lancaster
http://www.facebook.com/events/1151750691518997/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands at this all-ages show in Lancaster this Saturday night. The event page does not specify a cover charge for the show, so have available for it.

17th Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk
7:30 am – 1:00 pm, September 27
Brookside Park, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenahumane.org/site/TR?fr_id=1160&pg=entry

Join hundreds of dog lovers as they all walk with their dogs this Sunday morning in Pasadena. Walk along with your dog, or join a team and walk together. After the walk, stick around for a pet expo, complete with vendors, pet adoptions, pet services, food, drinks, arts & crafts, and more.

7th Annual Orange County Accordion Festival + The Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Experience
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 27
Orange County Market Place, Costa Mesa
http://ocmarketplace.com/

Sam Adams hosts an Oktoberfest event this Sunday in Costa Mesa, full of random shenanigans. Admission costs $25 presale or $35 at the door, and comes with four 12oz beer pours, a bratwurst, and a pretzel. Typical Oktoberfest entertainment will take place, such as a stein-holding contest, accordion musicians, and more. Attendees gain access to a variety of gourmet food trucks, plus the Orange County Market Place that takes place there every weekend.

31st Annual Abbot Kinney Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 27
Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
http://abbotkinney.org/

This free all-ages street fair showcases the best of local businesses in food, drinks, merchandise, apparel, accessories, art, crafts, local music, and more. Abbot Kinney will close to traffic to allow the thousands of visitors to freely roam the streets and explore all the vendors.

Miss Anaheim Fall Festival Pageant
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm, September 27
Business Expo Center, Anaheim
http://anaheimfallfestival.com/?page_id=35

Anaheim will crown the new 2015-2015 Miss Anaheim at this pageant this Sunday afternoon at the Business Expo Center. The actual Anaheim Fall Festival will take place a month later.

A wise person once brought up an interesting thought: if an advertised product claims to work 10 times better than the leading brand, then why does that product not lead the market? Why focus so much effort on marketing when you lead the market? For example, in the battle of Coke versus Pepsi, Coke arguably has a greater market share than Pepsi. While Coke still advertises regularly, they do not advertise as much as Pepsi. Top companies do not need to market as much because they already boast a solid reputation, and the constituents will speak up for it. Testimonials mean the world in this day & age of modern technology and the internet, as business visibility can come to our fingertips in a matter of seconds thanks to the advent of smartphones and mobile internet devices. When enough people speak, other people listen, and you will forever hear about the greatness behind the annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival.

Now entering their sixth year in a row running, the Orange County Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival returned to sunny Oak Canyon Park out in the hills of Silverado and Irvine. Coined as Orange County’s biggest and best craft beer festival, this beer-tasting event featured over three hours of tasting beers from over 100 breweries in attendance that, when combined, brought over 200 different beers for attendees to taste. Benefiting the Local 3631 Firefighters Union, this beer festival allowed all attendees to receive UNLIMITED beer pours for the duration of the festival, as well as full access to all the food vendors & food trucks, variety of vendors, field games throughout the area, and the live entertainment area that featured a music stage and a skateboarding halfpipe. Because of the massive space provided by the venue, all the participants could go bigger with their presence, as many of the breweries brought their vehicles or other large setups to make a bold statement to the attendees, including many of the newer breweries that needed exposure like this to get their ball rolling.

The layout of the Brew Ha Ha remained largely the same as last year. The park basically represents an oval with a lake in the middle that separates the two main sides. The side with the main entrance contained the live entertainment, non-truck food vendors, and majority of the breweries. At the back end of the venue, attendees would find more breweries, games, and all the food trucks. This year, I did not encounter the bagpipe players, something that Brew Ha Ha had every year previously. I do not know if I simply missed them, or if they never appeared. Like every major beer festival, many of the breweries held timed releases of their rare beers. Breweries like Noble Ale Works, Bottle Logic, and Hoparazzi encountered extremely long lines at certain points due to their timed releases. Two years ago at Brew Ha Ha, Reel Big Fish headlined the music stage. This year, Brew Ha Ha brought forth The Aggrolites to headline the music.

Miss out on the Brew Ha Ha? They have multiple beer festivals throughout the year, and their next one, the 4th Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho, will return to its same location at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim on Saturday, December 12th. Tickets have not gone on sale yet, but cost $45 for general admission last year. Rumor has it that Reel Big Fish will return to headline this beer fest as well! No other beer fest in Orange County can compete on the same level as the Brew Ha Ha – see why for yourself at their December beer fest, or hang on tight until next year!

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 11-21
Mitsuwa Marketplace, Torrance
http://www.mitsuwa.com/ai1ec_event/hokkaido-torrance-2/

Much like the Mitsuwa Summer Fest, this FREE festival at all Mitsuwa Marketplaces now celebrates North Japan culture. Experience food, drinks, desserts, dance, music, games, and more from Northern Japanese culture.

2015 Cerritos Taste of the Region & Business Expo
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, September 15
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos
http://www.cerritostaste.com/

This “Taste of Cerritos” makes its annual return this Tuesday to the same location, the Cerritos Performing Arts Center. Unlike other food fests in LA & OC, this event does not cost as much – attendees pay $10, then receive unlimited tastes once they enter. Over 30 restaurants will serve food samples, meaning attendees will certainly get a bang for their buck. Also, guests do not have to pay for parking here.

24th Annual Taste of Old Pasadena
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 15
Old Town Pasadena
http://www.pfarcf.org/tasteofoldpasadena/

The Taste of Old Pasadena returns tomorrow to Old Town Pasadena. Over 30 diverse restaurants will sample their food & drinks for just $30 per person. Maps and signs will guide all attendees to find the food.

Pub Science Night
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 15
Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1660198844224908/

Astronomy and craft beer collide in this unique and ubiquitous seminar this Tuesday night at Bottle Logic Brewing’s tasting room in Anaheim. Free to attend for all ages, real scientists will make a special visit to talk science, space, and brewing. No reservation or admission required – simply show up, grab a cold one, enjoy some food from the Porko Rico BBQ food truck, and indulge your mind with science.

2nd Annual Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo
8:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 16
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 17
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 18
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.cwcbexpo.com/

Explore the business of the cannabis industry during this expo this week at the LA Convention Center. Intended only for those in the industry, attendees will connect and network with other professionals in the industry to obtain information about starting a cannabis business, running a cannabis business, providing equity/investment resources, or providing professional/business services. Registration for the expo starts at $125.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 16-17
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore
http://www.belmontshore.org/events.html

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through September on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street. Buy tickets presale now at Olives Gourmet, La Strada, We Olive, Mail Boxes etc. & Sweet Jill’s, or purchase tickets in front of CHASE BANK during the event.

Long Beach Coin, Stamp, & Sports Collectible Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 17-19
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 to receive admission for free. Parking at the convention center costs $10.

2015 International Food Blogger Conference
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 18
7:30 am – 9:00 pm, September 19
7:30 am – 1:00 pm, September 20
Sheraton, Downtown Seattle
http://www.foodista.com/ifbc

The world’s top conference for food bloggers returns to Seattle this year! This conference covers a broad diversity of topics, and each attendee may choose their own program of sessions to attend. I will return to Seattle for a week, so keep an eye out for all my posts from the Northwest~

Power Plant TIPA Bottle Release
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 18
El Segundo Brewing, El Segundo
http://www.facebook.com/events/1605249279735012/

El Segundo Brewing will release a Triple IPA this week both in bottles and on draft in their tasting room. Swing on by and grab a bottle or two or a case, and enjoy a fresh cold one while at the tasting room. If you cannot make it to the tasting room, find bottles on store shelves across Southern California.

17th Annual Sand Sports Super Show
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 19
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 20
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.sandsportssupershow.com/

Satiate your adrenaline with the Sand Sports Super Show this weekend at the OC Fairgrounds. See hundreds of ATVs, monster trucks, and many other vehicles all in one space. Admission to this all-ages expo costs $15, while children 12 and under enter free with paid adult admission. Bring extra cash for parking which ranges from $5 to $10.

Get Shamrocked Irish Festival 2015
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 19
11:00 am – 6:30 pm, September 20
Town Square Park, Murrieta
http://www.getshamrocked.com/

Revel in Irish culture all this weekend in Murrieta, with Irish music, food, live entertainment, and more. This all-ages festival will bring Irish culture to town, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all. General admission costs $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or $35 for a weekend pass. No one under 21 may attend on Friday or Saturday, but they may attend on Sunday only. As an outdoors event, guests should stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and take any other precaution for lasting long in hot weather.

California Beer Festival – Ventura
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, September 18
11:30 am – 5:00 pm, September 19
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 20
Mission Park, Downtown Ventura
http://www.californiabeerfestival.com/

The California Beer Festival invades Ventura this weekend with three separate events. On Friday, attend a food & beer pairing competition for $60 where five chefs and five brewers compete for the best beer & food pairing in show. Saturday represents their beer tasting event with unlimited beer tastings while supplies last. General admission to this costs $55 and starts at 12:30pm, while VIP admission costs $80 and starts at 11:30am. No one under 21 may attend on Saturday. On Sunday, admission costs $30 and provides access to a plethora of food and beer vendors along with live blues music all day. All attendees will have to pay for food and drinks separately on Sunday.

8th Annual Citrus Classic Balloon Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
Mountain View Golf Course, Santa Paula
http://citrusclassicballoons.com/

Basically, an art show at night. Head up to Santa Paula past Ventura this Friday night to see dozens of hot-air balloons illuminated under the starry sky for your eyes to gaze upon. Admission costs $10 for adults or $5 for children. The balloons will remain grounded, and no visitor may ascend in any of the balloons.

21st Annual San Diego Festival of Beer
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://www.sdbeerfest.org/

Get beer wasted with thousands of other people at this beer festival this Friday night in San Diego. The $50 admission grants you unlimited beer tasters from over 60 breweries pouring a total of over 120 different beers. The first 1,500 guests through the gate receive a souvenir cup to take home. No one under 21 may attend.

Atreyu – Long Live Album Release Tour
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 18, Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/906999-atreyu-pomona/
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 20, The Troubadour, West Hollywood http://www.troubadour.com/event/906991-atreyu-los-angeles/

Atreyu has a new album coming out, and they will headline a bunch of shows across the country to celebrate the release. Each of these all-ages shows has a different ticket price, so click on a show’s link for pricing details.

Teenage Mutant Pizza Party 2
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 18
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana
http://cinemattack.ticketleap.com/tmnt2

Come watch the 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 movie, and enjoy pizza too! Admission costs $15.

Cheap Sex: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 18, The Vibe Bar & Grill, Riverside http://www.facebook.com/events/1167936436556323/
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 19, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/cheap-sex
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 20, The Black Castle, Vermont Knolls, Los Angeles http://www.eventbrite.com/e/concrete-jungle-ent-presents-cheap-sex-monster-squad-the-bad-engrish-tickets-17537713774

Revolutionary hardcore punk band Cheap Sex will return from their hiatus to headline some all-ages shows this weekend. Do not miss out on this rare opportunity to catch Cheap Sex, as they rarely perform nowadays. Tickets to these shows vary in price from $10 to $15.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day
September 19
Everywhere
http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

As the name suggests, feel free to talk like a pirate this Wednesday all day. Just avoid getting in trouble for it. Yarr~

15th Annual Bike Walk & Roll
6:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 19
New Harvest Educational Facility, Norwalk
http://www.bikewalkandroll.com/

Join in on this community bike fest going on all day this Saturday starting in Norwalk. This celebration features a multitude of events, from bike rides to a 10k walk to a family fun day to a BBQ competition. All active events start early in the morning, and the website features the full schedule of when every single event starts. From 10am to 6pm, check out a FREE all-ages fair in Norwalk, complete with food, music, games, rides, vendors, arts & crafts, and more.

Long Beach Fitness Festival
8:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 19
Marina Green, Long Beach
http://thelongbeachfitnessfestival.com/

All aspects of fitness will congregate at this all-day all-ages event this Saturday near Downtown Long Beach. This event features a 5k/10k run, weightlifting/powerlifting, yoga, Tai Chi, multiple forms of dance, Zumba, health & fitness speakers, and more activities. In addition, attendees will find plenty of merchandise vendors, live music, food, a beer garden, and more. Admission costs $10, while children 10 and under enter for free with paid adult admission. Nearby parking costs $10 per vehicle, so check in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave for free street parking.

18th Annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 19-20
Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado
http://www.fleetweeksandiego.org/events/fleet-week-coronado-speed-festival/

This all-ages event features fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts at one of the most distinctive race track locations, Naval Air Station North Island, the birthplace of Naval Aviation. Nowhere else can you see a variety of cars racing on a live runway used by the U.S. Navy! The two-day festival includes a military pit crew challenge, car show, garage tours, test drives, a vendor village, a stunt show, a special appearance by Red Bull’s Geoff Aaron, and more. General admission presale costs $25 for one day or $35 for the weekend, while tickets at the door will cost $10 more.

3rd Annual Car & Motorcycle Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 19
Alamitos Bay Landing, Long Beach
http://lbrmhcarshow.rmhcsc.org/

Fans of the original Long Beach Motorama will not want to miss this classic car show this Saturday. This year, see over 250 different automobiles & motorcycles on display at this FREE and all-ages car show at Alamitos Bay Landing between Long Beach and Seal Beach. Visitors will also find a skateboard & BMX demo, skateboarding lessons, kids’ zone, live DJ, and more.

11th Annual Moompetam: Native American Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 19-20
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/moompetam/

This weekend celebration will feature traditional cultural crafts, storytelling, educational programs, live demonstrations, music, and dance celebrating the indigenous California maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay. All aquarium visitors gain access to this festival, so anyone with regular aquarium admission can check this event out.

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2015
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 19
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://cantillon.be/br/3_21

“Zwanze Day is an international, simultaneous tapping of a one-off Cantillon abbey-style beer that visits 46 special locations around the United Stated, Canada, Europe, and Asia. One of Belgium’s finest breweries, these highly sought-after beers have become increasingly hard to find. Zwanze 2013 bears the name of its illustrious place of origin, Abbaye de Cureghem (Cureghem Abbey). In Dutch, “zwanze” refers to a type of semi-sarcastic humor typical of Brussels that one often encounters at Cantillon Brewery.”

As quoted by Beachwood BBQ, they will carry this extremely rare beer this Saturday, pouring samples and providing a brunch/lunch buffet to attendees. All reservations for this tapping have SOLD OUT already. If you would like to attend, search after-market sites for anyone selling tickets.

4th Annual Doggie Street Festival
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 19
Westwood Recreation Center, Westwood, Los Angeles
http://doggiestreetfestival.org/

This event focuses on dog & cat adoptions, providing people an opportunity to add a pet to their lives. Free to attend for all ages, this event comes with food vendors, live music from local bands, speakers, pet merchandise & accessories, pet services, and more.

Huntington Beach Surf City Days
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 19-20
Downtown Huntington Beach
http://www.hbdowntown.com/surf-city-days.html

A handful of events will occur in Downtown Huntington Beach this weekend, including a surfing competition, volleyball tournament, CrossFit competition, classic car show, skating demo, and more. These events cost nothing to attend and spectate, while participation requires registration, of which the deadline has already passed.

8th Annual Orange County Pacific Islander Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 19-20
Central Library Park, Huntington Beach
http://www.pacifichealthpartners.org/

Immerse yourself in Pacific Islander culture at this FREE and all-ages festival this weekend in Huntington Beach. Visitors will find food, live music, entertainment, merchandise, activities, and more.

Reforged Release Party & Farewell to Cabot Kickoff
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 19
AleSmith Brewing (old location), San Diego
http://www.facebook.com/events/1041783252512839/

This Saturday, AleSmith will release a new beer while saying goodbye to their old location on Cabot Drive. Stop on by the old location one last time to catch some rare brews that you may not have another chance to try for a long time.

4th Annual La Mirada Olive Festival
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 19
La Mirada Regional Park, La Mirada
http://www.lamiradaolivefest.com/

Bring your friends and family out to this free and all-ages city fair this Saturday in La Mirada. This fair will have games, rides, food, drinks, treats, vendors, merchandise, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and more.

3rd Annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 19
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.folkrevivalfestival.com/

This all-ages event will showcase over 20 folk and roots music acts. Other highlights include the Port of Long Beach Kids Pumpkin Patch, Polly’s Pies pie-eating contest, and the LB Beard Advocates mustache/beard contest. Local craft breweries and a variety of food trucks will serve food & drinks to attendees. Tickets cost $15 presale or $20 at the door.

3rd Annual OC Fest of Ales
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 19
Center Street Promenade, Anaheim
http://www.festofales.com/

After taking 2014 off, the OC Fest of Ales has returned under new management and under a brand new redesign. They have ditched the 5k beer run in favor of just a straight-up beer festival. The $60 admission grants you access to unlimited food AND beer while supplies last, plus a souvenir cup and bottle opener. Guests will also find all the usual beer festival festivities, such as games, live music, a homebrew competition, vendors, and more. No one under 21 may attend. Use promo code KUCI to save 20% off admission.

Art of the TARDIS Craft Faire
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 19
Clockwork Couture, Burbank
http://www.facebook.com/events/988491457869105/

Dr. Who fans will not want to miss this free all-ages event in Burbank this Saturday. Check out local artists and designers, and mingle with other fans that may dress up for the occasion too.

2nd Annual Montebello Art Walk
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 19
Montebello City Park, Montebello
http://www.keepingtheculturealive.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event, find artist, vendors, food trucks, live art demos, raffles, music, and more.

10th Annual Shoreline Village Pirate Festival
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 19
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 20
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://www.shorelinevillage.com/

Come mingle with pirates and enjoy sword fighting, pirate bands, treasure (scavenger) hunt, bullwhip tricks, costume contests, kids activities, and more all for free! Please adhere to the parking rules here.

Pasadena Greek Fest
1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 19-20
St. Anthony Greek Church, Pasadena
http://pasadenagreekfest.org/

$4 admission gets you into this all-ages Greek festival, which includes food, drinks, desserts, music, dancers, games, rides, and more.

7th Annual Malibu Beer Festival
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 19
Malibu Lumberyard, Malibu
http://www.malibubeerfestival.com/

Taste beers, local food, wines, and spirits from around the world all for just $65 per person. Guests may only purchase tickets online, not at the door.

Local Brews & Local Grooves
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/anaheim/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=09004EEFF6CD74C1

Sample beers from 20 breweries while enjoying the sounds of local musicians at this food & beer event this Saturday evening at House of Blues in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Admission costs $12, while the tasting wristband costs an additional $15 and come with five taste tickets, good towards food or beer.

OC Roller Girls – OC vs. OC Showdown
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
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 $15.

Long Beach Beer Fest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachbeerfestival.com/

If you want to spend a lot of money to get drunk on cheap beer, then this beer fest fits your bill. Trek down to Belmont Pier in Long Beach this Saturday night for beer and lots of other mischief. General admission costs $30 and starts at 7pm, while VIP admission costs $45 and starts at 6pm. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters from over 20 breweries present. No one under 21 may attend.

Punk Rock Night @ Blacklight District Lounge
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, September 19
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/849397978475653/

Release some inner aggression at this local punk rock show this Saturday night in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs $6. No one under 21 may enter.

CH3 @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 19
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/930339-channel-3-long-beach/

Local punk band CH3 will headline a show at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

San Diego Restaurant Week
September 20-27
Various Restaurants, San Diego County
http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

For six full days, various restaurants all over San Diego County will participate in this special week, where they will offer special prix-fixe meals that highlight their unique cuisine. Use this chance to explore and discover new restaurants in the area!

20th Annual Encinitas Oktoberfest
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 20
Mountain Vista Drive, Encinitas
http://encinitasoktoberfest.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event this Sunday, the six-block marketplace on Mountain Vista Drive in Encinitas will feature Bavarian dancers, bands, hundreds of vendors, authentic German food & beverages, a family fun zone, and a ceremonial parade at 12pm.

Fresh Hop Harvest Sunday
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 20
Phantom Carriage Brewery, Carson
http://www.facebook.com/events/1602627079999747/

Phantom Carriage will tap a slew of fresh wet-hopped beer this Sunday at their tasting room in Carson. Stop on by and experience what true fresh beer should taste like.

2nd Annual Taps & Tapas Craft Beer & Food Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 20
Fiesta Hall, Uptown Whittier
http://www.tapsandtapaswhittier.com/

Savor the local flavor of Uptown Whittier at this food & beer tasting event this Sunday afternoon in Uptown Whittier. At this event, attendees will get treated to eats from over 20 local restaurants and sips from over 30 different craft beers from over 20 different breweries. General admission costs $60 and starts at 2:30pm, while VIP admission costs $80 and starts at 1pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and beer samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

The B Sharps: CD Release Party
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 20
Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/897206717033148/

Spend this Sunday night with some local bands in Riverside. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

The 66th Annual Long Beach Greek Festival returned this past Labor Day weekend to Assumption Greek Church on Pacific Coast Highway between Bellflower and Loynes. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the holiday 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 and Galaktoboureko. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter.

The 7th Annual Busker Fest returned to the East Village Arts District of Downtown Long Beach this past Saturday night. Traditional busks consisted of various bands from all over performing on “stages” set up on flatbed trucks with minimal electrical equipment, busking for wooden nickels.  This primarily serves as a launching pad for musicians, gaining what usually represents their first major gig with a substantial crowd in the thousands. This gave a more traditional, old-time feel to the music, and provided guests a glimpse of how these types of bands used to “busk” many decades ago. Free to attend, fans of music enjoyed what they heard and supported in the form of wooden nickels that guests could purchase to “tip” the bands as they busk. The band with the most wooden nickels at the end of the night won a grand prize from the organizers. In addition to all the live music, guests found a beer garden and various food vendors, while volunteers staffed a bike valet at the eastern entrance.

As the annual closer to the Summer And Music event series, they went out with a bang and have the thousands of fans that supported their events for thanks. For more music in Long Beach, see what else will go on by liking Summer And Music on Facebook and following them on Twitter. For even more music in Long Beach, make sure you check out the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival coming up in a few weeks, and the Long Beach Funk Fest that will return next year.