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29 Awesome Events Happening In Southern California This Weekend

The breakaway group leads the race during stage seven of the 2017 AMGEN Tour of California on May 20, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
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Get ready to eat your way through the weekend as the L.A. Times Food Bowl continues with an escamoles dinner, a Filipinx garage party and a pizza fest. The Amgen Tour of California races toward the finish while writers and bards visit Pasadena for a literary festival. There's also a Beyoncé Mass, a Bug Fair and a Totally Forking Shirt Show.

Amgen Tour of California
Various locations in Southern California
Men and women bicyclists are racing their way through California, and the final two stages take place in SoCal, ending on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. On Friday, the race takes off from Ontario with the peloton heading up Mt. Baldy. The final leg on Saturday begins at the Valencia Town Center in Santa Clarita, as the pack pedals toward the Rose Bowl.
COST: FREE to watch; $65 - $235 for hospitality packages; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MAY 17; 7 p.m.
Beyoncé Mass
McCarty Memorial Christian Church -- 4101 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams
Some people worship Beyoncé, but the Rev. Yolanda Norton (San Francisco Theological Seminary) and Rev. Eddie Anderson (McCarty Memorial Christian Church) instead use Queen B.'s music and life to enhance a "womanist worship service." The event focuses on fostering empowering conversation about Black women using stories, Christian scripture and Beyoncé's songs.

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Black Women in Comedy Festival
Various locations
The new festival honors the history of black women comics and performers while introducing audiences to up-and-coming talent. The weekend includes live shows, panels, workshops and after parties at locations in Hollywood, Koreatown and downtown L.A.
COST: $5 - $25; MORE INFO

A Jordan Downs Illumination
Jordan Downs Recreation Center -- 9900 Grape St., Watts
The Jordan Downs Housing Project, originally built during WWII, is being transformed into a modern urban village. The Cornerstone Theater Company, multidisciplinary artist Nancy Keystone and local residents team up to present an immersive experience that combines theatrical performance, art installation and participatory activities. Illumination commemorates the lives of both past and present residents. It also marks Cornerstone's first play in its Change Series, which explores societal change. Since this is a production in which the audiences moves throughout the space, both indoors and out, comfortable shoes are recommended. Pay-what-you-can for tickets.
COST: $5 - $20; MORE INFO

Escamoles Dinner
La Tostaderia -- 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Chef Fernando Villagomez prepares three exclusive dinners featuring ant larvae (escamoles), Mexico's answer to caviar. The delicacy has been harvested from the roots of agave or maguey plants in Central Mexico since the time of the Aztecs. Villagomez has been able to import a limited supply for a four-course tasting menu that includes an appetizer, salad and entrée that feature escamoles and a dessert that complements the previous courses.

Los Angeles Old Time Social
The Velaslavasay Panorama -- 1122 West 24th St., University Park
American Legion Post 206 -- 227 North Avenue 55, Highland Park
This festival celebrates American old timey fiddle and banjo music with concerts, workshops and dancing. Friday's concert at the Velaslavasay Panorama features local players as well as the Dos Valley Trio from Fresno and Casy Meikle & Austin Derryberry from Tennessee. Saturday's activities culminate in a big square dance at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.
COST: $10 - $20; MORE INFO

Solar Cup
Lake Skinner -- 37701 Warren Rd., Winchester
For the past seven months, teams of high school students have been designing, building and testing solar-powered boats. This weekend is the culmination of the Metropolitan Water District's program as the students compete with their boats in the Temecula Valley and race for the cup. The competition kicks off Saturday with teams facing off in two 90-minute endurance heats around a 1.6-kilometer course, and continues Sunday, May 19, with 200-meter sprint races.
COST: $3 - $6 for park and lake entry fees; MORE INFO

Through SATURDAY, MAY 18
Gordon Henderson: Unknown Landmarks
Bermudez Projects -- 1225 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park
For years, the L.A.-based artist and performer has been creating work under the moniker Nib Geebles. Known for his annual calendar and ink-on-paper drawings, the artist is inspired by the works of R. Crumb, Charles Addams, Paul Klee, B. Kliban and the music culture of the 70s and 80s. Henderson's latest exhibition documents his Highland Park neighborhood and its landmarks as it enters an intense stage of transition (aka gentrification).

SATURDAY, MAY 18; 6 - 9 p.m.
Off the 405
Getty Center -- 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood
The summer concert series returns for the season with the first of six shows that feature new indie artists from L.A. and around the world. Sasami, the L.A. based musician who made her name as the synth player for Cherry Glazerr, recently released her self-titled solo debut. DJs spin before and after the live sets, and cash bars are available in the courtyard (for those 21+). View the collections and wander the gardens throughout the night. All ages.
COST: FREE, parking is $10 - $20; MORE INFO

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SATURDAY, MAY 18 - SUNDAY, MAY 19; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Downtown Burbank Arts Festival
San Fernando Boulevard -- between Burbank Town Center and the Holiday Inn, Burbank
The festival offers a mix of work from traditional arts and crafts makers and special effects/digital animators. All the vendors will be showcasing and/or selling their personal art, including paintings, prints, handmade candles and ceramics, fashion and accessories. For the first time, the festival teams with the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair, which curates the 100 indie craft exhibitors, while the Creative Talent Network returns to organize the animation portion, which includes a doodle scavenger hunt. The weekend also features cosplayers, live entertainment and demonstrations.

SATURDAY, MAY 18 - SUNDAY, MAY 19; Begins at 1 p.m. each day
LitFest Pasadena
Various locations -- Playhouse District, downtown Pasadena
The festival features more than 200 authors doing dozens of readings, panels, podcast tapings, signings and literary performances in venues, businesses and outdoor spaces throughout the neighborhood. Among the highlights: A fiction panel with bestselling authors Lisa See (The Island of Sea Women) Janet Fitch (White Oleander and the upcoming Chimes of a Lost Cathedral) and Nina Revoyr (Southland); a live taping of Kitty Felde's Book Club for Kids podcast; and the Shades and Shadows genre reading series. The festival wraps on Sunday with the special program, How Jonathan Gold Reinvented Los Angeles. Laurie Ochoa gathers friends and colleagues to remember her late husband, a titan of food writing.

The Natural History Museum's Bug Fair returns with all sorts of bugs, spiders and things that creep and crawl along. (Photo by Tarantuland via Flickr/Creative Commons)

SATURDAY, MAY 18 - SUNDAY, MAY 19; 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Bug Fair
Natural History Museum -- 900 W. Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park
If creepy crawlies are your thing, then head to the 33rd edition of NHM's popular fair. Various exhibitors will be on hand to show off their exotic insect collections, tarantulas, millipedes, centipedes and bug by-products (like honey and silk). Vendors will also sell bug-inspired artwork and jewelry while chefs on the main stage will create (bug) protein snacks.
COST: $6 - $15 (included in general admission); MORE INFO

Glendale Sunrise Rotary's Field of Honor
Forest Lawn - Glendale -- 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale
In the week leading up to the Memorial Day remembrances at all Forest Lawn locations, the Glendale memorial park hosts a series of family-friendly educational events and live performances. The events begin with the dedication of 1,000 American flags on the lawn adjacent to Forest Lawn on Saturday at 1 p.m. Activities continue throughout the week with Civil War Soldier Stories and reenactments performed by Scott Lowe, Abraham Lincoln tales and veteran stories.

Doheny Blues Festival
Sea Terrace Park -- Pacific Coast Hwy. and Niguel Rd., Dana Point
The annual music fest returns with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals headlining Friday night and Jonny Lang headlining Saturday. Other performers throughout the weekend include the Taj Mahal Quartet, the Robert Cray Band, John Mayall and the Paladins. General admission includes entry to the festival, vendor village and food court and access to craft beer tastings for those 21+.
Cost: Tickets/passes run $80 - $260;MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MAY 18; 1 - 6 p.m.
Spring Carnival
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Julianne and George Argyros Plaza -- 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa
This festival celebrates the season with family-friendly activities, including a giant maze, an obstacle course, an outdoor inflatable park with bouncehouses, a petting zoo and roving performers throughout the plaza.

SATURDAY, MAY 18; 12 - 4 p.m.
Filipinx Garage Party

The Standard, Downtown LA -- 550 South Flower St., downtown L.A.
Chef Angela Dimayuga invites guests to party Filipinx style on a rooftop. She's joined by friends including Tom Cunanan (Bad Saint), JP Anglo (Sarsa), Russell Victorioso (Cafe Birdie) and Chad Valencia (Lasa) to create the ultimate potluck. The afternoon also includes cold beers (perhaps San Miguel?) for those 21+, mahjongg games, performances and throwback 90s tunes.

Oddities Flea Market
Globe Theatre -- 740 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
The Brooklyn-based bizarre bazaar returns to L.A. in partnership with Atlas Obscura. Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn and Regina Cohn, the market offers medical history ephemera, natural history items, osteological specimens, taxidermy items, eclectic home decor, jewelry, dark art and unclassifiable stuff. VIP tickets, only sold through Atlas Obscura, offer early entry for first access to the goods.
COST: $10 - $40; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 7:30 p.m.
Total Forking Shirt Show
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Watch a night of improvised comedy based on audience suggestions, performed by some of the cast from NBC's The Good Place. Expected performers include: D'Arcy Carden (Janet/Bad Janet/Neutral Janet), Jason Mantzoukas (Derek), Maribeth Monroe (Mindy St. Claire), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Simone), Eugene Cordero (Pillboi), Marc Evan Jackson (Shawn) and maybe a surprise guest or two. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Detroit-based nonprofit, The Improv Project. Read our great forking article on it here.
COST: $39 - $59; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 12 - 8 p.m.
A Tutta Pizza: LA's Pizza Fest
Hollywood Palladium -- 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
All you can eat pizza. Need we say more? Sample New York, Chicago, Roman and Neapolitan styles all afternoon. Participating pizzerias include Apollonia's, Chi-Pie, Delicious Pizza, Eataly, L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, La Morra, Olive Wood Pizza, Provami and Urban Oven. The day also includes cooking demos, workshops and a panel on A Slice of History: From Ancient Italy to Modern America with Peppe Miele, Chris Bianco, Nancy Silverton, Ben Mims. Moderated by Jenn Harris of the L.A. Times. All ages.
COST: Tickets start at $30; MORE INFO

Check out the works of the 2019 C.O.L.A. fellowship artists at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park. ( Artwork courtesy of Sabrina Gschwandtner)

2019 City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Artist Fellowship Art Exhibition
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park -- 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood
COLA fellowships support the creation of new works by some of the city's best mid-career artists. The 2019 COLA fellows in the visual, literary and performance arts are: Juan Capistrán, Enrique Castrejon, Kim Fisher, Katie Grinnan, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Alice Könitz, Olga Koumoundouros, Suzanne Lummis, Aleida Rodríguez, Sandy Rodriguez, Stephanie Taylor, Dwight Trible, Peter Wu and Jenny Yurshansky. The opening reception and opening takes place from 2 - 5 p.m. on Sunday with a special performance of Grinnan's "5 Seconds of Dreaming," played by musicians Kozue Matsumoto and Eugene Moon at 3 p.m.

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 2 - 5 p.m.
Collaboration with Ponchos Tlayudas
Bar & Garden -- 6142 Washington Blvd., Culver City
The Culver City restaurant teams with the popular South L.A. Oaxacan eatery for a day pairing natural wines together with Oaxacan tlayudas (thin, grilled corn tortilla stuffed with various meats, beans, cheese, and cabbage). Sample the treats with with fillings like homemade moronga (blood sausage), chorizo, tasajo (grilled, smokey beef) and vegan options.

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 1:30 p.m.
Benita Bike's DanceArt
Culver City Senior Center -- 4095 Overland Ave., Culver City
The contemporary dance company performs three concert shows, including the new work, "Plugged," which explores humanity's relationship to machines. The other two pieces are "Schoenfield Dances," which feature a rag, fughetta, shuffle and boogie, and the percussive "On Beat 3." There will be time set aside for asking questions and discussions. The pieces are suitable for all ages.

626 Golden Streets
South Pasadena, Alhambra, San Gabriel
From "mission-to-mission," 626 Golden Streets will be closing streets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 19 in Alhambra, San Gabriel, and South Pasadena for people to walk, jog, skate, bike, and play. Along with the free forum space, there will also be a 5K run named the "626 Run" and three activity hubs that will host various booths, food, entertainment and other activities.


SUNDAY, MAY 19; 12 - 4 p.m.
Museums of the Arroyo Day
Various locations
Now in its 30th year, the Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) Day offers free admission to six museums of in the Arroyo Seco area: The Gamble House, Heritage Square Museum, The Los Angeles Police Museum, The Lummis Home and the Pasadena Museum of History. Explore the art and architecture of the museums. Free shuttles will connect the museums, but visitors are encouraged to pace themselves for the afternoon and plan to visit no more than three museums.

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 5:30 p.m.
Game of Thrones Viewing Party
Tangier at Hotel Figueroa -- 939 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
Dany, the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, etc. etc., went a little crazy in King's Landing last week, so her fate -- and the fate of the Starks -- comes down to this episode. Watch it with other fans in the historic hotel, and nosh and sip on special GoT menu items including the tequila-based drinks: Winter is Coming and Stark Courage, as well as LittleFingerling Potatoes and the Open Faceless Man Sandwich.

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 4 - 9 p.m.
Cheeseboards for Dinner Pop-up
Small Town Restaurant -- 2764 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake
Cypress Grove, the cheesemakers behind Humboldt Fog (one of our favorite goat cheeses ever) launches a campaign to put more cheese on our dinner plates. Attendees will receive a personalized cheeseboard dinner, swag and offerings from partners including Gelson's Markets, 21st Amendment Brewery, Rustic Bakery and Columbus Craft Meats. Each ticket includes one adult beverage from 21st Amendment Brewery (for those 21+). Non-alcoholic drinks are also available.
COST: $10 per person; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 6 p.m.
Jeff Goldblum & the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra and Friends
Catalina Jazz Club -- 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Check out an evening of jazz featuring the actor-musician leading his outfit through the paces. Special guests Patti Austin and Cybill Shepherd pop-in for a song or two. The evening doubles as a benefit for weSPARK Cancer Support Center and also includes trivia and comedy. Ticket prices also include an hors d'oeuvre reception.
COST: $100 (individual tickets); MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Pick Pico 2019
Near the Westside Pavilion -- 10701 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A.
This neighborhood festival showcases local businesses, food and drink vendors, nonprofit organizations and live entertainment. The street fair also boasts a kids zone, tie dye workshops and a free root biergarten.

SUNDAY, MAY 19; 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Unheard LA
Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center -- 244 San Pedro St., downtown L.A.
KPCC In Person's community-centered storytelling series celebrates the stories and experiences that give shape to Los Angeles and its diverse neighborhoods. Bruce A. Lemon Jr. hosts the Little Tokyo live show that features these SoCal storytellers: Ryane Nicole Granados, traci kato-kiriyama, Prem Kishore, Justin Maurer, Julia Robinson Shimizu, Koji Steven Sakai, Mary Serradas, Joe J Thomas, Janae Williams and Jin Yoo-Kim. A mixer follows with participants and attendees.

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

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