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28 Awesome Things To Do In Southern California This Labor Day Weekend

The Los Angeles Times The Taste returns to Paramount Studios this weekend. (Los Angeles Times The Taste)
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Eat your way through the last long weekend of summer. The L.A. Times' Taste returns. The L.A. County Fair opens. Dandi holds a pop-up at the Hotel Normandie and the Orange International Street Fair serves up foods from around the world. The Cure headlines the Pasadena Daydream Music Festival. Golden Road holds its Made in L.A. Fest. The Broad Fest offers family-friendly fun. Then wrap up your weekend with a run up Mt. Baldy.

FRIDAY, AUG. 30 - SUNDAY, SEPT. 1; 7:30 - 10:30 p.m.
L.A. Times: The Taste
Paramount Picture Studios Backlot -- 783 N. Van Ness St., Hollywood
Now in its 10th year, the festival celebrates the vibrancy of SoCal's culinary scene through unlimited food and beverage tastings on each of the weekend's three nights. Dozens of restaurants and vendors -- Coni'Seafood, Mainland Poke, Milk Bar -- are participating. Special events include cooking demos from Pawan, Nakul & Arjun Mahendro (Badmaash), Kim Prince (Hotville Hot Chicken) and Jorge Alvarez-Tostado and Victor Delgado (Tacos 1986). The participating restaurants and chefs change nightly. All events throughout the weekend are 21+.
COST: $115-190; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, AUG. 30; 8 p.m.
Jenny's Birthday Variety Hour
Dynasty Typewriter -- 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
Each month, comedian Jenny Gorelick celebrates her birthday with comedians, drag queens, magicians and musicians. The lineup includes comedy by Moses Storm, Asif Ali, Alyssa Limperis and Ayo Edebiri; magic by Kyle Martlett and drag by Maebe a Girl. This show is 18+.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

Orange International Street Fair
Old Towne Orange -- 112 E. Chapman Ave., Orange
In addition to music, games and arts and crafts, the festival doubles as a fundraiser for local nonprofit groups. Food booths, run by nonprofits, offer up cuisines from around the world. Organizers are expecting around 400,000 visitors throughout the weekend.

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It's the last Late Night Friday at the Tar Pits this year. (Courtesy of the La Brea Tarpits and Museum)

FRIDAY, AUG. 30; 5 - 8 p.m.
Late Night Fridays at the Tar Pits
La Brea Tar Pits -- 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Explore the tar pits after hours. Watch excavators work on the active Project 23 and Pit 91 sites, or take advantage of free museum admission to check out the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibition.

John Williams: Maestro of the Movies
Hollywood Bowl -- 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
David Newman leads the L.A. Phil in a career-spanning musical overview of Williams' work, from Star Wars, E.T., Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. The maestro himself hosts the night, which features clips from the iconic films.
COST: Tickets start at $14; MORE INFO

Newport Dunes Water Park
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Back Bay Bistro -- 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach
The resort offers family-friendly activities including kayaks, two-person pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards and electric Duffy boats available for rent. The Inflatable Water Park features a fleet of oversized inflatables while the Liquid Run is a challenging inflatable obstacle course. Enjoy music and food, including a luau on Saturday night.
COST: Prices vary; MORE INFO

Maura Tierney and Evan Jonigkeit star in "Witch" at Geffen Playhouse. Directed by Marti Lyons. (Jeff Lorch)

Through SUNDAY, SEPT. 29
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse -- 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood
Maura Tierney stars in this comedy by Jen Silverman. Inspired by the 1621 play The Witch of Edmonton, this production focuses on a charming devil who bargains with villagers for their souls.
COST: $30 - $130; MORE INFO

Dandi Pop-Up
Hotel Normandie -- 605 Normandie Ave., Koreatown
Jihee Kim and Joshua Pressman, who met while working for chef Jeremy Fox (Ubuntu, Rustic Canyon, Tallula's, Birdie G's), have created Dandi (pronounced "dawn-dee"), a fun tasting menu that integrates seasonal Californian and old-world Korean ingredients. There are both abbreviated and extended dining options for guests.
COST: $45 - $100; MORE INFO

L.A. Fleet Week
Various locations around the Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro
The celebration of the country's Sea Services (U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marines) includes ship tours, military displays, flyovers and a kids' STEM Expo. Participants can join the annual Conquer the Bridge 5.3-mile walk/run over the Vincent Thomas Bridge on Labor Day, participate in a new obstacle course competition, watch a 5-on-5 basketball tournament and check out a culinary cook-off between sailor, marine and coast guard galley teams. Cheap Trick headlines the military appreciation concert on Friday night.

Celebrate the re-opening of the Music Center plaza all weekend long. (Tim Street-Porter)

Music Center Plaza Grand Re-Opening
The Music Center Plaza -- 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The celebrations of the new plaza continues throughout the Labor Day weekend with the last Dance DTLA session of the summer (cumbia music), taking place on Friday; a community party culminating in the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Big Sing 2019 on Saturday; and a Splish Splash Plaza Bash on Sunday afternoon.

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L.A. County Fair
Fairplex -- 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona
In addition to rides, foods, competitions and exhibitions, the fair's concert headliners this year include Pitbull, George Lopez, War, Juanes and Old Dominion. On weekends, check out the Fusion Fest in the infield, offering a diverse array of music and entertainment, from local artists to a battle of the bandas and a lucha libre showdown. Except for Labor Day, the fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
COST: $6-$21.50 (ages 5 and younger get in free); MORE INFO

FRIDAY, AUG. 30 - SATURDAY, AUG. 31; 8 p.m.
I Am The One Who Rocks: A Breaking Bad Concert
Three Clubs -- 1123 Vine St., Hollywood
This show's song cycle is inspired by the final season of AMC TV series Breaking Bad. With original music by Zach Spound (one of the creators of Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical) and rapper VENMC, the show follows the adventures of meth kingpin Walter White. The music spans genres from rock to hip-hop and funk and folk and will be performed by VENMC and Spound's L.A.-based band, Apolla.

SATURDAY, AUG. 31; 1 p.m.
Beard Battle: LA, Pt. 4
Resident -- 428 S Hewitt St., downtown L.A.
The annual beard and mustache battle returns to benefit the Los Angeles Food Bank with the theme of "the '90s." The open competition is expected to draw 100 contestants in 10 main categories including natural mustache, styled mustache, partial beard, partial beard freestyle, full beard styled 'stache, several beard length groups and a whiskerina category for the ladies. (Women can get creative and crafty by designing their facial hair out of anything.)
COST: $10 for spectators, $25 for competitors; MORE INFO

The Great Labor Day Cruise
OC Fair & Event Center -- 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa
The car show features American made vehicles from 1987 and earlier, VWs of any model and late-model Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers. The cruise is one of the largest and longest running events in the country -- and one of the few that offers nonstop cruising around a 1.25 mile cruise route. Proceeds from the event benefit the Warrior Foundation -- Freedom Station for veterans.
COST: $12 admission; free for children 12 and younger; MORE INFO

Fantastic Voyage
Gallery 800 at the Historic Lankershim Arts Center -- 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
The mixed media exhibition by members of the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) focuses on the sci-fi, fantasy and the metaphysical realms. Meet and mingle with the 60 artists -- who are production designers; art directors; scenic, title and graphic artists; set designers; model makers; illustrators and matte artists working in TV and film by day -- at the opening reception on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Made in L.A. Music Festival
Golden Road Brewing -- 5410 W. San Fernando Rd., Atwater Village
The two-day block party returns for its third year, with performances by Cold War Kids, Phantom Planet, Donavon Frankenreiter, Lemaitre, Pell and Lauren Ruth Ward. The festival also features food trucks, art installations and vendors. Made in L.A. is a 21+ event.
COST: $25 single day, $40 for both days (and includes a 12-oz. Golden Road beer); MORE INFO

SATURDAY, AUG. 31 - MONDAY, SEPT. 2; 12 p.m.
Long Beach Greek Festival
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church -- 5761 E. Colorado St., Long Beach
Immerse yourself in Greek culture, music and dancing while noshing on authentic cuisine at this festival. Our mouths are watering just thinking of the spanokopites, souvlaki kalamaki, dolmathes, pastichio and sweets like loukoumades and diples.
COST: $5 admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, AUG. 31; 8 p.m.
The Night Cap with Stacy Rumaker
The Virgil -- 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood
The boozy, political talk show, hosted by Rumaker and co-host Kash Abdulmalik, returns with comic panelists Brian Moses (creator of Comedy Central's Roast Battle), Steph Tolev and Atsuko Okatsuka. Taped in front of a live audience, the doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning promptly at 8:30 p.m. The show is 21+.
Cost: $5; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, AUG. 31; 2 p.m.
Pasadena Daydream Music Festival
Brookside at the Rose Bowl -- 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena
Cure frontman Robert Smith "cure-ated" this music fest that features music by the Pixies, Deftones, Mogwai, Throwing Muses and the Joy Formidable. The Cure headlines, of course.
COST: $149 - $300; MORE INFO

Long Beach Comic Con
Long Beach Convention Center -- 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
The pop culture convention celebrates the artistry of comic books, action figures, gaming, anime and manga. Panels include Inclusivity in Comics, Greatest Hits: Drawing Action and Violence, DC Super Hero Girls: A Celebration and Howard Chaykin and Robert Crais: Super-Buddies. Take part in cosplay, watch movies at the GeekFest Film Festival or learn about science and space at the Space Expo.
COST: $35 - $399; children ages 10 and younger get free entry with paid adult; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1; 12 p.m.
Labor Day Weekend Luau Pig Roast & Maui Brewing Beer Society
Arts District Brewing Co. -- 828 Traction Ave., downtown L.A.
The Arts District brewery teams up with the Maui Brewing Co. to serve a complimentary lunch (beginning at 3 p.m.) with the purchase of any Arts District or Maui pint. Maui Brewing's head brewer, Kim Brisson-Lutz, will be onsite to chat about beer. Tropical cocktail specials will also be available. Hawaiian/island attire is encouraged.

The Broad Stage in Santa Monica holds its annual Broad Fest this weekend. (Courtesy of The Broad Stage)

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1; 2 - 7 p.m.
Broad Fest
The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage -- 1310 11th St., Santa Monica
The Santa Monica venue (not the downtown Broad Museum) holds its annual all-ages festival with music, dancing, performances and food. DJ Anthony Valadez spins tunes while bands Boogaloo Assassins, She Sings She Swings, Viver Brasil, Elemental Music and the SMC Music Department perform live. Take dance workshops with Family Dance Jam and Arthur Murray Dance Centers, watch Hit + Run Live Screen Printing create original t-shirt designs or get hands-on with art offerings.
COST: FREE, but RSVP suggested; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1; 9 p.m.
Queen Karaoke Tribute
The Mermaid -- 428 E. 2nd St., downtown L.A.
The Little Tokyo cocktail bar recently celebrated its first anniversary and the party continues this weekend with some killer Queen. Rock the mic like Freddie Mercury while sipping on cocktails and noshing on new menu items.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1; 12 - 8 p.m.
3rd annual West Adams Block Party
Delicious Pizza -- 5419 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams
Delicious Vinyl throws its annual family-friendly party that celebrates love, unity, life and culture. Activities and performances on tap throughout the day include: yoga, art, food and dancing. Check out more than 40 musicial artists on six stages, performing hip-hop, reggae, soul, Afrobeat, funk, dancehall, Latin jazz, Cumbia, salsa and disco. There will be plenty of food vendors and other merchants onsite including Delicious Pizza, Fais Do Do, Rockenwagner, Alta Adam, POKE2GO, Billionaire Burgers, Soulistic Food, Vital Proteins, Creole City, Dream Donut Truck and Grilled Fraiche. And to celebrate Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga (out Sept. 4), the Wu-Tang Clan Ice C.R.E.A.M. Truck dishes out free ice cream on a first-come, first-served basis.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1; 4 p.m.
Wonder-Full in the Park: A Stevie Wonder Tribute Party
Levitt Pavilion -- near the intersection of W. 6th St. and S. Park View St., MacArthur Park
The summer concert series comes to a close with a dance party dedicated to the R&B and pop great, Stevie Wonder. Mona Lisa DJs the opening set then Brooklyn-based DJ Spinna takes the reins.
COST: FREE, but reservations recommended; MORE INFO

MONDAY, SEPT. 2; 7:30 p.m.
The National with Alvvays
The Greek Theatre -- 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park
The Cincinnati band tours in support of its latest album, I Am Easy To Find, released earlier this year. The indie pop band Alvvays opens.
COST: $39.50 - $99.50; MORE INFO

Cinerama 2019
ArcLight Cinemas -- 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
The annual cinematic celebration of the rare widescreen format offers a curated slate of films in the Cinerama Dome. Audiences will experience pristine digital presentations as well as a seldom seen three-strip film screening of the classic How the West Was Won on Oct. 1. The series opens on Monday with the Battle of the Bulge (1965).
COST: $12 - $16; MORE INFO

MONDAY, SEPT. 2; 8 a.m.
Mt. Baldy Run to the Top
8401 Mt. Baldy Rd., Mt. Baldy
This seven-mile race through the Angeles National Forest starts at 6,000 feet at the ski lift parking lot and finishes at the top of the third tallest mountain in Southern California (Mt. Baldy at 10,064 feet). The race raises funds for the San Antonio Canyon (Mt. Baldy) Town Hall, the all-volunteer fire department, all-volunteer West Valley Search & Rescue, the local school and nonprofits. Online registration ends on 8/28 at midnight or until it sells out. Runners can register onsite on 9/1 and 9/2 until it sells out.

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

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