30 Of The Coolest Events Happening in Southern California This Weekend

Meet the Pittsburgh Pirates' Pulled Pork Pierogi Hoagie at the MLB FoodFest. (Photo: Courtesy Kaley Elliott/The Rose Group)

This weekend, a Major League food fest, Taste of the Eastside and a lemon lovers' confab tantalize your tastebuds. Not hungry? There's a music and arts crawl, a major spoken word throwdown and an exhibition of hip-hop photographs. Want more? A festival of Iranian cinema, a pre-Code double feature and a horror movie marathon cater to film buffs. Speaking of buff(s), the 10th annual nude trail run takes place so ditch those sports bras and Lycra shorts.

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - SUNDAY, APRIL 28
MLB FoodFest
Magic Box at The Reef — 1933 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Whether you're a hardcore baseball fan or you go to games for the food, this festival is for you. Major League Baseball presents a weekend that highlights concession items from each of the 30 MLB stadiums from around the country. Sample the Phillies' Philly Cheesesteak, Chicago Dogs, the Boston Red Sox's Hot Lobster Roll, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Sisig Fries, the Diamondbacks' Churro Dogs and the Mariners' Toasted Grasshoppers. This is an all-ages event.
COST: Tickets start at $31.50; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - SUNDAY, APRIL 28
Upland Lemon Festival 2019
Downtown Upland — 9th St. and 2nd Ave., Upland
What began in 1997 as a small event to honor the area's citrus industry has blossomed into a city-wide festival. Activities include the annual "Upland's Got Talent" vocal contest, lemon pie-eating competitions and carnival rides. There are special packages available for six rides and 2-for-1 games.
COST: FREE admission, $20 rides/games package; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - SUNDAY, MAY 5
HomewardLA
Various locations
This 10-day citywide event features 50 productions of monologues all of which are based on the stories of people who have experienced homelessness but performed by professional actors. The series raises funds for the nonprofit Midnight Mission on Skid Row.
COST: $20; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - SUNDAY, APRIL 28
2019 Film Independent Forum
LMU Playa Vista Campus — 2105 E Waterfront Dr., Playa Vista
Harmony Gold Theater — 7655 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Emerging and veteran filmmakers discuss the state of the industry, keep up with trends and explore possibilities. The weekend features interactive panels, industry meetings and networking receptions. Highlights include an opening night screening of Booksmart, followed by Q&A with director, Olivia Wilde; a keynote by Len Amato, president of HBO Films; and screenings and Q&As with Justin Chon (Ms. Purple) and Bing Liu (Minding the Gap).
COST: $185 - $265; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, APRIL 26; 7:30 p.m.
Forbidden Hollywood: When Sin Ruled the Movies
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum — 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents a double feature screening of The Sign of the Cross (1932) and Only Yesterday (1933). These "pre-Code" films offer titillating subject matter — sex, scandal and sin — before a moral crackdown began in 1934. The night includes a booksigning by special guest Mark A. Vieira, author of Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934): When Sin Ruled the Movies.
COST: $8 - $10; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - MONDAY, APRIL 29
City Nature Challenge
28000 Devil's Punchbowl Rd., Pearblossom
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro
Citizen scientists and budding naturalists can take part in the fourth annual City Nature Challenge, which happens simultaneously in 150 cities around the world. The challenge starts on Friday at 12:01 a.m. in each time zone and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Monday. All you have to do is observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals and fungi using the free app iNaturalist. Identification of photographed species will be crowdsourced through the online community from April 30 to May 5. The results of the competition will be announced on May 6. There are NHM-organized Challenge Events on Saturday in Pearblossom and Saturday and Sunday in San Pedro. RSVP required for the two locations.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Maysaa and Abdul Kanjo of the New Arrivals Supper Club help create a five-course Middle Eastern dinner to benefit Miry's List. (Photo: Courtesy of Spread the Love Dinner)

FRIDAY, APRIL 26; 8 p.m.
Spread The Love Five-Course Dinner
Spread Mediterranean Kitchen — 334 S. Main St., downtown L.A.
Brandon Parker and Dan Coury of Spread invite chef Elia Aboumrad of Hotel Normandie and guest chef Sammy Monsour of Preux and Proper to cook alongside chefs Maysaa and Abdul Kanjo of the New Arrivals Supper Club. Together, they'll create a five-course, family-style, Middle Eastern dinner to support Miry's List, a charity dedicated to supporting new refugee families resettling in California.
COST: $65 - $155; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - SUNDAY, APRIL 28
Our L.A. Voices: Spring Arts Festival
Grand Park — 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The weekend-long arts gathering shines a light on diverse artistic voices around L.A. County. It showcases visual arts, dance, music, theater and spoken word performances — including KPCC's Unheard LA presentations on Saturday and Sunday.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 7 p.m.
Freestyle Festival 2019
Microsoft Theater — 777 Chick Hearn St., downtown L.A.
(Re)live the '80s through the pop, R&B and soul music of the era. Listen to hits from headliners Vanilla Ice, Taylor Dayne and Lisa Lisa, with undercard acts that include Jody Watley, Shannon and Johnny O.
COST: $54 - $210; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 2 - 7 p.m.
ColdXela Homebrewed Craft Beer Festival
La Plaza De Cultura y Artes — 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A.
The SoCal Cerveceros — the first and largest Latino homebrew club in California — presents a gathering of Latino/POC homebrewers. Sample the wares of 50+ SoCal homebrewers who are creating everything from IPAs to Golden Stouts. Various Latin American food offerings will pair with the beers. The day also includes live performances from Scarlett and the Fever, Tropi Corillo, Viva Mescal, Fayuca and Subsuelo Crew. This event is 21+.
COST: $40 - $125, $15 designated driver; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Dublab's Record Fair Spring 2019
Zebulon — 2478 N. Fletcher Dr., Elysian Valley
The nonprofit, internet radio station and DJ collective hosts its annual record fair. Brunch and drinks will be available for purchase from the venue's cafe. All ages.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27 - SATURDAY, MAY 11
UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema 2019
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum — 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
This showcase of new Iranian films opens on Saturday night with the L.A. premiere of Tehran: City of Love, with writer/director Ali Jaberansari. The VIP reception that follows will feature Persian hors d'oeuvres & refreshments. Check out tons more documentaries and features with a decidedly Iranian perspective.
COST: $10 regular screenings, $100 for opening night VIP reception; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
25th Annual Art of Adorning Bead Bazaar
Bowers Museum — 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana
Sponsored by the Bead Society of Orange County, the gathering features handmade works by more than 75 art jewelers, importers and distributors of historic and contemporary beads, fabrics, fashion items, clothing and buttons. Vendors offer one-of-a-kind creations and kits for people to make their own artworks.
COST: FREE admission (does not include museum entry); MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 7 p.m.
Get Lit Classic Slam
The Theatre at Ace Hotel — 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
The nonprofit teaches youth literacy through spoken word poetry. After three days of competition among 60 schools, the finals feature the four top teams, performing both classic and response poems. Hosted by Monique Mitchell and George Watsky, the judges' panel includes Sam Sax, Olivia Gatwood, Rudy Francisco, Carlos Lopez Estrada and Pamela Adlon.
COST: $20 - $40; MORE INFO

'Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop' opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography and includes shots of greats like Run-DMC (1984). (Photo: Janette Beckman)

SATURDAY, APRIL 26 - SUNDAY, AUG. 18
Contact High / Photoville LA
Annenberg Space for Photography — 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City
Contact High celebrates the visual culture of hip-hop as told through photographers' unedited contact sheets. Curated by Vikki Tobak, and based on her book of the same name, the exhibition features more than 120 works from more than 60 photographers. Simultaneously, the Brooklyn-based photo festival holds a pop-up exhibition for the first time in L.A. Running this weekend and next (May 2-5), Photoville LA features exhibitions of local and international photographers in repurposed shipping containers, photo cubes and light boxes that have been transformed into interactive galleries ripe for exploration. The pop-up features projections, talks, workshops, family-friendly activities and a community beer garden.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27 - SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Jackalope
Central Park — 275 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
The indie artisan fair returns with more than 200 local, curated and hand-selected makers, crafters and DIYers. With Mother's Day and graduation season around the corner, shoppers can find eclectic gift items as well as fashion, jewelry, ceramics, paper goods, art, photography and food and beverages.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 2 p.m. - 2 a.m.
90s Nightmares: A Horror Marathon on 16mm
Dynasty Typewriter — 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
Power through 12 hours of horror projected from rare film prints. The lineup isn't revealed beforehand so you'll have to imagine movies with ominous visuals, scary soundtracks and cell phone-free frights. The show starts with a community potluck, so bring a dish to share. Snacks and other foods will be available at concessions for the second-half of the marathon. This show is 18+.
COST: $25 - $30; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 3 - 10 p.m.
Eclectic Music Festival & Arts Crawl
The Eclectic — 1121 Mission St., South Pasadena
Spend the afternoon viewing art and hearing music on a number of stages and galleries around South Pas. While you're there, check out local merchants, food trucks, beer & wine gardens, Artisans' Alley vendors and community art activities, all of which take place near the South Pasadena Metro Station. (Mission street will be closed between Meridian and Fair Oaks avenues.) Musical acts include Incendio, Dustbowl Revival, Gin Blossoms, Luciana Souza and Otmaro Ruiz and The Main Squeeze.
Cost: FREE; MORE INFO

(frankieleon/Flickr Creative Commons)

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 10 a.m.
Prescription Drug Take Back Day
various locations around Southern California
Research shows that most abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet. This event, sponsored by the DEA, lets you anonymously get rid of your unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs. You can find a collection site near you by entering your zip code or city into this site.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, APRIL 27; 9 p.m.
Terrible, Thanks for Asking
Bootleg Theater — 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake
Hosted by author and widow Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable live version of the podcast, which deals honestly with our most painful and awkward emotions. The show features live music and multimedia storytelling. In addition, McInerny presents a selection from her newest book, No Happy Endings.
COST: $30; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Puppet Festival
Skirball Puppet Festival — 701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood
With the theme, "Fantastic Creatures," the Skirball's eighth annual festival presents stories told through puppets, live music, demonstrations and art-making activities. Watch the work of talented puppeteers and artists from across the country, including L.A.'s own Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the Jim Henson Company and the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry. Advanced tickets have already been reserved but tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

KCRW Good Food's annual Pie Contest takes place this weekend at UCLA. (Photo: Andrew Malone via Flickr)

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 12 - 5 p.m.
KCRW Good Food Pie Contest
Royce Quad at UCLA — 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood
Our fellow NPR station slices into it 10th annual pie contest as home bakers and pros compete for the judges' taste buds in nine categories. They include a Levantine Cuisine category, inspired by the exhibition Dressed with Distinction: Garments of Ottoman Syria at The Fowler. Good Food's Evan Kleiman hosts the festivities, which include music by KCRW DJs Anne Litt and Garth Trinidad, pie tastings, a beer garden, kids activities, a marketplace and baking demos.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
CicLAvia: Wilmington
C St., Avalon Blvd., M St. — Wilmington
The open streets organization partners with LA2050 to turn the streets of Wilmington into car-free spaces where people can run, bike, skate, scooter or stroll. Hubs at Banning Park and Wilmington Waterfront Park offer restrooms, free water, free basic bike repair, bike parking and first aid.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 4 - 8 p.m. (3 p.m. entry for VIP)
Taste of the Eastside
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens — 570 West Ave. 26, Cypress Park
More than two dozen restaurants and vendors will be onsite to provide a sampling of the Eastside's food and drink scene. They include Same Same Thai, Sweetfin, Ricebox, Sage Vegan Bistro & Brewery and McConnell's Fine Ice Creams. GA tickets include unlimited bites. Adult beverages are available for purchase for those 21+.
COST: $50 - $95 adult admission; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Fiesta Broadway
Broadway and W. 1st St., downtown L.A.
This year, the annual street festival celebrates Cinco de Mayo a little early. Approximately 200,000 people are expected to gather around City Hall to enjoy live entertainment by Latin American artists and foods from local vendors. Carnival rides and games will also be available to keep the kids busy throughout the day.
COST: FREE - $8; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Have a Beach Ball
Annenberg Community Beach House — 415 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica
The Beach House celebrates its 10th anniversary this season. To kick things off, participate in a group photo, taken from above, where you create the shape of the House's iconic beach ball. All participants will receive a complimentary 10th anniversary beach ball and the first 300 get a pool pass for a summer swim. After the photo, stick around for music and games.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Songkran Festival / Thai New Year
Hollywood Blvd. — between Normandie and Western, East Hollywood
A one-mile stretch of Thai Town will be closed down for the 14th annual festival. The day features a parade (at 10 a.m.), muay Thai fighting, a beauty pageant, folk dancing, live jazz, and cultural demonstrations. Lots of Thai foods will be available from local restaurants and food trucks.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Bungalow Heaven Home Tour
MacDonald Park — 1000 E. Mountain St., Pasadena
Tour eight homes in Pasadena's first Historic Landmark District with docent-led commentaries about architectural details and history. The day's map includes areas with restoration demons, music and directions to the tour's homemade cookies and lemonade. Food trucks will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for visitors who wish to purchase lunch. A supplemental 45-minute, nonstop, docent led mini-bus tour of the area's historic homes is also available. Because of the historic nature of the homes, disabled access to houses on the tour is not available.
COST: $25 - $30, $10 - $15 for bus tour; MORE INFO

Monterey Park holds its Cherry Blossom Festival this weekend. (Photo: Brianna Lehman via Flickr)

SUNDAY, APRIL 27 - SATURDAY, APRIL 28; 4 p.m.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Barnes Park — 350 S. McPherrin Ave., Monterey Park
Monterey Park pays tribute to Japanese culture with a festival of Asian food, crafts, cultural exhibits, a tea ceremony, taiko drumming, martial arts, traditional music and dance, and martial arts demonstrations. Learn origami, ikebana and mochi making at classes and workshops.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, APRIL 28;10:30 a.m.
Bare Burro 5K
Olive Dell Ranch — 26520 Keissel Rd., Colton
This is a challenging 5K that begins and ends in an Inland Empire nudist resort and winds its way along trails with panoramic views (natch). It's a technical course that's about 50 percent dirt fire roads and single-track dirt trails. Registration fees cover commemorative gifts, awards for top three finishers in each age grade, all-day admission to the club with tennis, restaurant, pool and jacuzzi. If you want to run a little less, there's a one-mile beer run on Saturday at 3 p.m. (you drink a beer or soda every quarter mile).
COST: $40 for the 5K, $30 for the beer mile; MORE INFO

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @christineziemba and @LeoHasACat.