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28 Awesome Events Happening In Southern California This Weekend

The elote hot dog is one of the new food items at the OC Fair. (Courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center)
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Throw your macro and calorie counters away because dineL.A. and the OC Fair both kick off this weekend. The Lotus Festival blooms in Echo Park, a Roadhouse parody opens in Long Beach, a glow-in-the-dark ramen experience pops up in Echo Park and the Lucas Museum holds its first public event in Leimert Park. The Get Around arts fest spreads creativity across a 3.5-mile stretch while Freddie Gibbs and Madlib rap and rhyme.

Orange County Fair
OC Fair & Event Center -- 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa
The annual fair offers 23 days and nights of entertainment, live music, rides, shopping, exhibits and food. Hot Cheetos and elote are having their moment with new fair items such as Crunchy Hot Cheetos caramel apples, Hot Cheetos baked potatoes, Hot Cheetos and nacho cheese turkey legs, elote dogs and elote fiesta tots. On Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m., get a select sampling of food and treats for $3 each. The fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
COST: $7 - $14 admission, season passes available; MORE INFO

Tachigui Ramen Bar Experience
Yamashiro -- 1999 N. Sycamore Ave., Hollywood
Do you like your food with a theatrical flair? Mobile Kitchen is hosting a glow-in-the-dark ramen pop-up. When you arrive, you're greeted by a family of Japanese spirits known as y�?kai who lead you into Yamashiro, the hilltop restaurant that has been tinged with neon for this experience. "Tachigui is the traditional form of standing bar dining," according to the website so it's not clear if you sit or stand while you eat. You must buy a ticket for a timed session in advance.

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Deputy sheriffs lead Charles Manson to court during the Sharon Tate murder trial in 1970. (Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library Collection)

FRIDAY, JULY 12; 7 p.m.
Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties
Hollywood Press Club -- 6500 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Nearly 50 years after the Manson family's infamous killing spree, celebrity journalist Tom O'Neill discusses his new book about their crimes. He interviewed numerous subjects, from prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi to Manson himself, linking Manson to an effort by federal agents to use hallucinogenic drugs to influence behavior.Bloomberg bureau chief and Los Angeles Press Club president Chris Palmeri moderates the discussion with O'Neill. This event is free and open to the public as long as you RSVP: Send an email to and put MANSON in the subject line. Light refreshments will be served.

Scooby-Doo is just one of the Monster Trucks competing in Monster Jam this weekend at Staples Center. (Photo: Courtesy of Field Entertainment)

MonsterJam Triple Threat Series
Staples Center -- 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
If monster trucks are your jam, watch eight competitors test the limits of their machines as they run obstacles and do tricks on three types of vehicles: the 12,000-pound trucks, speedsters and ATVs. Expect a lot of donuts, wheelies, racing and one Monster Jam truck driver who will attempt to do a back flip stunt.
COST: Tickets start at $25; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 6 - 10:30 p.m.
Mars Attacks!
The Montalbán --1615 Vine St., Hollywood
When Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor, who will save us? The campy Tim Burton film from 1996, featuring Jack Nicholson as the President and Pierce Brosnan as a scienctist, tackles that pressing issue. Actress O-Lan Jones, who played Sue Ann Norris in the movie, will be onhand for a Q&A. The film will start just after sunset, at around 8:15 p.m., but you can sip drinks and nosh on Umami burgers (you'll have to by them) beforehand.
COST: $5 (not including service charges for tickets); MORE INFO

Love, Thunder and Dynamite: A Roadhouse Parody
The Garage Theatre -- 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach
The 1989 film starred Patrick Swayze as a bouncer with a PhD who's hired to clean up the Double Deuce, the meanest bar south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In this new production, adapted and directed by Cat Elrod, the theater is transformed into the roadhouse bar, with brawling cowboys, a real working bar and a live band. Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
COST: Tickets $10 - $25; MORE INFO

The summer edition of dineL.A. returns this week, featuring more than 400 restaurants. (Courtesy of Meat On Ocean, Santa Monica)

2019 Summer dineL.A.
Various locations
The restaurant week(s) lets diners explore more than 400 restaurants throughout the city -- without breaking the bank. Been meaning to try Tartine Bianco and Alameda Supper Club at Manufactory L.A.? Or what about Providence and Atrium? They're all participating as are Castaway in Burbank, The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach and Eataly's three restaurants. Depending on the restaurant, dineL.A. lunches run $15, $20, $25 or $35, while prix fixe dinner menus are $29, $39, $49, $59 and $99+.

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6th Annual OC Brew Hee Haw Craft Beer Roundup
The Hangar at the OC Fair -- 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa
Beer bellies ready? Taste 80 regional favorites and rare craft beers during the opening weekend of the OC Fair. Listen to music from Oingo Boingo Tribute band Dead Man's Party during Friday's session and L.A's '80s tribute act Fast Times during both Saturday sessions. Sessions are four-hours of unlimited tastings. Tickets include entry to the OC Fair. The roundup is a 21+ event.
COST: $55 - $75 (VIP sessions); MORE INFO

FRIDAY, JULY 12; 6 - 10 p.m.
Summer of Salsa: La Verdad
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes -- 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A.
Dance under the stars to tunes provided by this West Coast nine-piece salsa group, under the musical direction of Gabriel Gonzalez. La Verdad ("The Truth") is committed to preserving and playing Afro-Son music. Food from Tirsa's Mexican Café and beverages will be available for purchase.

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib play the Novo in DTLA, in support of their new album, Bandana. (Bandana album, cover art by Jeff Jank)

FRIDAY, JULY 12; 8 p.m.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
The Novo DTLA -- 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
After a successful collaboration on the album Piñata (2014), the rapper once again teams with DJ-producer Madlib (aka MadGibbs) for Bandana (2019). The two perform an all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.
COST: $56 - $60; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, JULY 12 - SATURDAY, JULY 13; 7:30 p.m.
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
The Australian comedian is currently on tour with her new show -- named after her dog -- a follow-up to her popular 2018 Netflix special, Nanette. She performs two sold-out shows, so alternative market tickets are running a pretty penny. If you do have tickets, just remember that a strict no-cellphone policy will be enforced both nights.
COST: $39.75 - $59.75; MORE INFO

Through SUNDAY, JULY 21; 8 p.m.
Midsummer Shakespeare Festival
Sontag Greek Theater at Pomona College -- 300 E. Bonita Ave., Claremont
Nonprofit regional theater company Ophelia's Jump partners with Pomona College for a theater festival focused on the Bard and his works. The summer season features three shows in repertory: Taming of the Shrew (July 11, 13, 19 and 21), Pericles - Prince of Tyre (July 12, 14, 18 and 20) and Mostly Macbeth (July 16-17), a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Scottish Play -- by kids. Bring a picnic, shop local vendors and play games before the show. The "Green Show" opening act goes on at 7 p.m.
COST: $25 (passes available); MORE INFO

DON'T PANIC (Rubén Galindo Jr., 1988) from Spectacle Theater on Vimeo.

Catch a Thrill! Celebrating 10 Years of the American Genre Film Archive
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum -- 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
The UCLA Film & TV Archive presents a six-part series that screens the strangest, coolest, trippiest titles from AGFA's collection. What began as a hoard of 35mm film prints in 2006, evolved into a full-fledged nonprofit with more than 6,000 film elements, from grindhouse trailers to exploitation, horror, action features and just plain weird stuff. The Austin, Texas-based organization kicks off the programming on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. with the 1988 Mexican horror film Don't Panic about a 30-year-old teenager who wears dinosaur pajamas while battling a satanic demon named Virgil.
Cost: $8 - $10; MORE INFO

Lotus flowers bloom at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles, California on July 13, 2018, a day before the 38th annual Lotus Festival. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, JULY 13 - SUNDAY, JULY 14; 12 - 9 p.m.
39th Lotus Festival
Echo Park Lake -- 751 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park
The annual festival celebrates Asian Pacific cultures with a tea house, a beer garden, dragon boat races, a children's zone, food, art and craft vendors. The host country this year is Thailand, so there's a special Thai Pavilion that focuses on the country's art and history. There is free parking and shuttles at Logan Elementary School and the baseball field at Glendale and Temple.

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Botanical Beer Garden
UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden -- 707 Tiverton Dr., Westwood
This beer party celebrates humulus lupulus, the hop plant. Taste locally brewed Broxton beers as well as food curated by chef Kyle Brown. Explore the botanical garden, listen to live music in the Nest Amphitheater. This event is all ages but ID is required for alcohol purchases. Think about bringing your own cup to reduce waste. Pets are also welcome on leash.
COST: FREE admission with RSVP; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 5:30 p.m.
Autry Museum of the American West -- 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park
Eat See Hear screens the romantic wartime classic starring Humphrey Bogart as a nightclub owner in Casablanca. His former lover (played by Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her rebel husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). With the Germans hunting them down, Rick must decide whether or not to help them leave the country. Music by WYO begins at 7 p.m. and the screening begins at 8:30 p.m. Get there early to check out some of the Autry's current exhibitions. The event is dog-friendly.
Cost: $8 - $21; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 6 - 10 p.m.
Angeleno Wine Co.'s Grand Opening Party
Angeleno Wine Co -- 1646 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
Last fall, the winery received the first permit in 100 years to make wine in the city of Los Angeles. With full production onsite, Angeleno Wine is the first winery to open in DTLA since Prohibition, making wine from grapes harvested from northern L.A. County. The opening night festivities will spill from the winery into the adjacent parking lot with live music from The Vignes Rooftop Revival, food from Triple Beam Pizza and the debut of three new spring wines: SuperBloom Red and White, as well as a single varietal Albariño.

A rendering, by MAD Architects, of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art being built in Exposition Park. (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art)

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Lucas Museum at Leimert: Family Art Day
Leimert Park Village Plaza -- Leimert Blvd. and 43rd Pl., Leimert Park
While museum is under construction in Exposition Park, it holds its first public, all-ages event this weekend. Make creature masks, take advantage of the photo booth and listen to Star Wars concept artist Terryl Whitlatch, Walt Disney Animation Studio artist Manu Arenas and film and TV makeup artist Ana Miro will be on stage to talk about their work and inspire audience creations. Free shuttles will run to and from Leimert Park to community organizations throughout the day.

A child plays at Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena. (Keren Lynn Photography/Kidspace)

SATURDAY, JULY 13 - SUNDAY, JULY 14; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Kidspace Birthday Bash
Kidspace Children's Museum -- 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
The museum's 40 Days of Fun! series continues through Aug. 16. Visitors can participate in self-guided scavenger hunts, sing-alongs, story times and dance parties. This weekend, there's birthday hat making and classic party games taking around the museum. (Pin the tail on the donkey, anyone?) DJ Bree hosts an interactive dance party with confetti blasters in Stone Hollow Amphitheater at 1 p.m. each day.

Tiki Night returns to the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, July 13, with performances, screenings and a vendor marketplace. (Courtesy of American Cinematheque)

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 4 p.m.
15th Annual Tiki Night
Egyptian Theatre -- 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Pasadena
The American Cinematheque commemorates all things mid-century tiki as well as the 60th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood at this year's annual tiki party. The festivities include author Matthew Locey giving a "Hawaii on Film" presentation and performances from King Kukulele & The Friki Tikis and the Polynesian Paradise Dancers. Sip on tiki cocktails and buy food from food trucks. The double feature begins at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) followed by Elvis Presley in Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966). While the Egyptian Courtyard will be open to ticketholders only beginning at 4 p.m., the vendor marketplace is open to everyone from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
COST: $15 - $18; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Weird West Film Series: The Phantom Empire (1935)
Autry Museum of the American West -- 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park
Long before Westworld and bingeworthy TV, this 12-chapter serial combined sci-fi, westerns and musicals. The underground empire of Murania intends to destroy the world with its robots, ray-guns and Thunder Riders. Only singing cowboy Gene Autry (in his first starring role) can save the day. The chapters will be screened every half hour at the museum. The audience is welcome to watch an episode or two -- or stay for the whole story. Ticket purchase includes museum admission.
COST: $6 - $14; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 2 - 10 p.m.
The Get Around
Venice Blvd., from Inglewood Ave. to Beethoven St., Mar Vista and Venice
For the first time ever, the Venice Art Crawl and the Mar Vista Music and Art Walk are teaming up for a one-day arts and cultural fest stretching from Venice Beach to the 405. Highlights include Burning Man-themed bars, live painting battles, the Wasatch Live Music Stage, tarot readings, karaoke, giant unicorns and an art playground. There are six activation hubs (including Venice High School and Beyond Baroque) along the 3.5-mile route, and free shuttles running between them all day.

SATURDAY, JULY 13; 4 - 7 p.m.
Beer Fest
Robert Gumbiner Sculpture and Events Garden at the Museum of Latin American Art -- 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach
Taste cervezas provided by SoCal Cerveceros, a Latino brew club, and curated by Brewjería Company. The event includes a 5-ounce glass to explore different beer offerings. Throughout the festival, listen to DJ sets by DJ Bien Buena from Chulita Vinyl Club and a live performance by Earth Arrow, an Afro Indigenous hip-hop and dance band from South L.A. While at the museum, check out MOLAA's current exhibition Gráfica América and Chiachio & Giannone: Celebrating Diversity. The beer fest is 21+.
COST: $35 - $40; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JULY 14; 9 a.m - 3 p.m.
Round Two Beach Clean Up
Santa Monica Pier -- 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
Billions of pounds of plastic waste ends up in our oceans every year. The L.A.-based ad agency wants to do something about the problem. Bring friends, make friends and help clean up SoCal's beaches.

SUNDAY, JULY 14; 6 - 11:59 p.m.
Bastille Day
Sofitel Los Angeles -- 8555 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove
Commemorate the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution with French music, entertainment, food and wine. Performers include singer Maria Elena Infantino, a CanCan from Cabaret Versatile and DJ Thierry Jean. Ticket prices do not include food or beverages. Dress: summer chic with a splash of the Tricolour.
COST: $15 - $80; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JULY 14; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Bottomless Vegan Brunch Fundraiser & Celebration Bookshow
Book Show -- 5503 North Figueroa St., Highland Park
The local bookstore is expanding and this fundraiser will go toward defraying the costs of adding a new community and event space. Tickets include a full vegan brunch spread including savory and sweet items, bottomless cups of cafe de olla, milk teas and fresh juices. Add $5 for a bottomless mimosa that features vegan Italian Prosecco.
COST: $15 - $20; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JULY 14; 3 - 5 p.m.
League of Women Voters Ice Cream Social
Maxwell House -- 65 S. Grand Ave., Pasadena
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, never supports or opposes political parties or candidates. The members encourage informed and active participation in government through education on public policy issues. One of the organization's yearly fundraisers is this frozen treat social, serving Fosselman's ice cream and sorbet in waffle cones with toppings.
COST: Tickets run $5 - $250; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JULY 14; 7 p.m.
Greek Theatre -- 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park
The L.A.-based funk outfit -- Jack Stratton, Theo Katzman, Woody Goss and Joe Dart -- headlines a hometown show. Soul singer Joey Dosik opens.
COST: $39.50 - $59.50; MORE INFO

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