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31 Of The Best Events Happening in Southern California This Weekend

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, so don your best fascinator while sipping on a mint julep. (Photo: Jazz Guy/Flickr)
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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, Bird Day L.A. and Union Station's 80th birthday. Say goodbye to Good Luck Bar. Shop for ugly veggies. Attend the Obama Boulevard naming ceremony. Listen to music inside the dome of the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Laugh (or cry) along with the humorists from the Capitol Steps as part of a KPCC In Person event.

FRIDAY, MAY 3; 7 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Farewell to Good Luck Bar
Good Luck Bar -- 1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz
The neighborhood bar is expected to close on Saturday after a quarter century in business. Longtime patrons and old friends are gathering to throw (probably more than) a few back in its honor.

FRIDAY, MAY 3; 7:30 p.m.
City of Lost Souls
Akbar -- 4356 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
The Dirty Looks salon series screens the 1983 German trans punk musical farce directed by Rosa von Praunheim. The faux documentary follows a group of gender nonconforming Americans as they try and find a place in the German cabaret and club scene.
COST: Tickets: $45 - $90; MORE INFO

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FRIDAY, MAY 3; 7 - 9:30 p.m.
Honoring Nipsey Hussle
A Toast 2 Artistry -- 256 S. Locust St., Inglewood
The step-by-step painting studio honors the late rapper with a series of workshops including this one on Friday. Everyone paints the same painting (which is pre-sketched) but you can trick it out by adding your own colors and style. A portion of each ticket purchased will be donated to Nipsey Hussle's Vector90 STEM Academy. BYOB and snacks. This event is 21+.

(Patrick Nuetzel/Flickr Creative Commons)

FRIDAY, MAY 3 - SATURDAY, MAY 4; 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
The Los Angeles Pancakes & Booze Art Show
Lot 613 -- 613 Imperial St., downtown L.A.
The underground pop-up art show celebrates its 10th anniversary with all-you-can-eat pancakes and works from more than 150 artists. Listen to tunes from local DJs and music producers, watch live painting and body art, and drink booze, if that's your thing. This event is 21+.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MAY 3; 8 p.m.
Ballet Folklórico Universidad De Colima Legado que Trasciende
The Soraya at CSUN -- 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge
The Mexican university is known for training artists and musicians who work to preserve folk dances and cultural traditions. Many consider the Colima ensemble is Mexico's best, and they're coming to the Valley to stomp, dance and twirl con gusto.
COST: $34 - $79; MORE INFO

CalArts World Music and Dance Festival
California Institute of the Arts -- 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia
The annual music festival features more than 20 outdoor concerts including North Indian classical and Balinese gamelan as well as music from Persia, Cuba, Mexico and the Balkans. The festival wraps with the popular African Music and Dance ensemble, featuring Ghanaian visiting faculty member Sulley Imoro. Bring chairs, blankets and a picnic.

Effervescence LA
Various locations throughout L.A.
The festival focuses on champagne and sparkling wine, pairing fizzy selections with fine foods. There are grand tastings, a Krug collector dinner, galas and brunches with chefs such as Nancy Silverton (La Brea Bakery, Mozza) and Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn).
COST: $125 - $1,750 per event, $2,500 for full festival package; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MAY 3; 7:30 - 10 p.m.
Free Family Movie Night
Redondo Beach Pier --500 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach (below Kincaid's)
Family-friendly movies screen every Friday in May at the pier. The series begins this week with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The subsequent screenings are Christopher Robin, Incredibles 2, Mary Poppins Returns and How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World. All the films begin at dusk, so start times vary.

Ballet Folklorico dancers perform during the Cinco De Mayo Fiesta on the plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico on May 07, 2017. (PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images)
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FRIDAY, MAY 3; 6 p.m.
Cinco de Mayo Mercado
Mission Playhouse Plaza -- 320 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel
Kick off the weekend with a fair that features the works of artisan vendors and makers selling their creations. Creators of fine art will also be on hand to exhibit and sell their original works. A margarita and beer garden will be available for those 21+ but there are live music, performances and kid-friendly activities, too.

Singer Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performs during the eighth annual Governors Ball Music Festival on Randalls Island in New York on June 1, 2018. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Just Like Heaven
Queen Mary -- 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach
Was Coachella just too hot and too far to drive? Her's an alternative that might make you feel like you're back in the mid-2000s. Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT and Beach house headline this music fest. It happens across two days but you need a separate pass for ech day.
COST: $250-270 (VIP passes; GA is sold out); MORE INFO

Beachlife Festival
Redondo Beach -- 137 N. Harbor Dr., Redondo Beach
This breezy beachside fest features Willie Nelso, Ziggy Marley, Brian Wilson, Jason Mraz and Bob Weir. Undercard acts include Violent Femmes, Everclear, Best Coast, Berlin and dozens of others.
COST: $97-301; MORE INFO

Hear Now Music Festival
Various locations in the L.A. area
Now in its ninth year, the festival presents work by composers living and working in L.A. Concerts include performances by French ensemble TM+, the Lyris Quartet, Brightwork newmusic, People Inside Electronics and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
COST: Tickets/passes run $10 - $80; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 7 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Michelada Music Festival with Sonora Dinamita
Plaza de la Raza -- 3540 North Mission Rd., Lincoln Heights
Dance the night away into Cinco de Mayo with live music by La Sonora Dinamita, WC, Petey Pablo, Los Cadetes De Linares, The Twins, Adina Howard, RBL Posse, Diamond Ortiz and Mariachi Quinto Sol. Food and full bars available, including top notch Michelada makers. This event is 21+.
COST: $25 - $100; MORE INFO

(Monica Schipper/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 6 p.m. - midnight (5 p.m. for VIP)
10th Annual L.A. Taco Madness
La Plaza de Cultura de Artes -- 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A.
Our friends at L.A. Taco present L.A.'s OG bracket-style taco battle. Online voting ends on Friday, and all the taqueros and the winner join in a huge taco party to celebrate on the plaza. Tacos, other food, beers and micheladas will be available for purchase, while live music and artists keep eaters entertained.
COST: Free - $45 for VIP; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Asian in America: VR Dinner
Toshizo Watanabe Exhibition Center -- 244 S. San Pedro St., downtown L.A.
Held in conjunction with the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival, this multi-sensory dining experience features six courses and three cocktails that explore the Asian American identity through food and drink, virtual reality and poetry. The project focuses on topics that include "cultural hierarchies in the food industry, the lack of individualism granted to minorities and internalization of the 'white savior. complex."

L.A. is for the birds, especially this Saturday. Dozens of events commemorate Bird Day LA. (William Garrett/Flickr)

Bird Day LA
Various locations
Charles Almanzo Babcock established the first Bird Day in 1894 to celebrate the winged creatures and to "advance bird conservation as a moral value." The tradition continues and birders can participate in numerous activities like a guided bird walk with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy and Bird Day hikes in Griffith Park and South L.A.'s Wetlands Park. Watch the work of the International Bird Rescue at its open house in San Pedro or view the Arroyo Arts Collective's Shelter at Debs Park. It's an exhibition of site-specific, temporary installations located throughout the 17 acres of Audubon Center. The opening reception to Shelter runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the installations are on view through June 8.
COST: Many events are FREE; MORE INFO

An ornate hat seen during the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 1 - 4 p.m.
Derby Day at The Arthur J
The Arthur J -- 903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach
The neighborhood steakhouse throws a party for the fastest two minutes in sports: The Kentucky Derby. Chef David LeFevre prepares passed bites and specialty cocktails, including the mint julep. Wear your best hat or fascinator and enter the hat contest where the winner gets a $200 gift card. The event also features horse betting for prizes that benefit the L.A. Regional Food Bank. Reservations requested.
COST: $50 per person (tax/tip not included); MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 1 - 4 p.m.
LA's Taste of the Nation
Media Park -- 9091 Culver Blvd., Culver City
Now in its 30th year, the fundraising food event brings together dozens of SoCal's best chefs and mixologists. Enjoy bite-size hors d'œuvres, craft cocktails and desserts. After (or while) eating, check out the live music, silent auction, wine grab, photobooth and a kids corner with plenty of activities. Participating restaurants and beverage purveyors include Baltaire, Border Grill, Bourbon Steak, Charcoal Venice, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Domaine de Cala, Duvel and Eagle Rock Brewery.
COST: Tickets: $95 for adults, $25 for kids ages 6 to 13; and ages 5 and younger get in for free; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 3 and 8 p.m.
Capitol Steps
Beckman Auditorium at Caltech -- 332 South Michigan Ave., Pasadena
The sketch and musical comedy troupe, known for its bipartisan political ribbing, started in 1981 when a group of former Hill staffers began making fun of their bosses -- for laughs. KPCC In Person presents afternoon and evening shows with the troupe, who aren't lacking in political fodder these days.
COST: $39 - $49; MORE INFO

Vilte Burneikaite (L) skates beside waxwork models of Swedish pop group 'Abba' at a roller disco in London on October 2, 2012. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pop Sk8
Westfield Valencia Town Center -- 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia
The pop-up outdoor roller rink opens with various themes suitable for all ages, from Swing SK8 Mondays, Groovy Tuesdays, Dyno-O-Mite '70s Wednesdays, and I Want My '80s Thursdays to DJ Megamix Fridays & Saturdays and La La SK8 Land Sundays. Expect contests and surprise performances throughout the run. The rink then moves to Westfield Topanga from June 1-30 and then closes out the season at Westfield Culver City July 6 - Aug. 4.
COST: Tickets $15; MORE INFO

Actress Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993) and actor George Peppard on the set of the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," June 1961. (Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Breakfast at Tiffany's
The Tiffany Cafe -- 208 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills
Now's your chance to channel Audrey Hepburn. The cafe offers a prix fixe breakfast of croissants for the table, a main course and three beverages per person, including a mimosa. All proceeds will be donated to support the nonprofit Baby2Baby.

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Santa Monica High School -- 601 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica
The young adult and middle grade book festival returns with more than 100 authors and artists from books, TV, movies, comics and gaming. The day includes signings, panel discussions, keynote address and food trucks. There's also a free preview night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday at the Santa Monica Public Library.
COST: FREE admission, with specific keynotes ticketed; MORE INFO

Celebrate Union Station's 80th birthday this weekend. (Image: Courtesy of the Boston Public Library/Flickr)

Union Station 80th Anniversary
Union Station -- 800 N. Alameda St., downtown L.A.
L.A.'s grandest train station throws itself a two-day birthday bash. Things kick off on Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. with L.A. bands the California Feetwarmers and the New Recessionaries along with guest performers on the station's public piano. On Saturday, the live entertainment continues with the addition of a beer garden from the Imperial Western Beer Company and Arts District Brewing Company, an arts and crafts fair on the patio, food trucks and architecture tours. The weekend also features a model train exhibit and an electronic photo display covering the station's history.

Fruits and vegetables judged ugly by mass market retailers are pictured during an operation organized by the Paris City Hall in partnership with the French Agriculture ministry, on October 16, 2016. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Ugly Vegetables Farmers Market / Lunch Party
The LINE Hotel -- 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
The hotel partners with Imperfect Produce to host a market from 10 a.m. to noon that includes perfectly good fresh fruits and vegetables that have been rejected for superficial reasons. The market is followed by a three-course lunch by chefs Sophia Roe and Josiah Citrin of Openaire at the hotel from 1 to 3 p.m.
COST: Market entry is FREE, $45 for lunch; MORE INFO

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama attend the unveiling of their portraits at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, February 12, 2018. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 12 - 6 p.m.
Obama Boulevard Naming Ceremony & Street Festival
Intersection of Rodeo Rd. & King Blvd. -- 5001 Rodeo Rd., Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw
The city of Los Angeles officially unveils Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th President of the United States. The festivities begin with a festival featuring musical guests including Doug E. Fresh, Yo-Yo, BJ The Chicago Kid, Battlecat, Kurupt, Alex Isley, Gavlyn, T-Lyons, Baby S, DJ Tee, Verbs and Dj Qwesscoast. The unveiling ceremony takes place at 5 p.m. with elected officials and community leaders presiding.

Gabba Gallery opens its latest group show, 'Exquisite.' (Image: Marq Spusta, 'Voyamous')

Gabba Gallery -- 3126 Beverly Blvd., Rampart
The gallery's latest group show features work by more than 30 artists who created visuals for some of the top musicians in the world. View originals and limited-edition prints by Kii Arens, Bioworkz, Dan Black (Landland), Byous, Carolyn Ferris, Justin Hampton, Justin Helton, Bruce Horan, Iskar, Bill Kopp, JT Lucchesi and Caleb Williamson. The opening artists reception takes place on Saturday from 7 - 11 p.m.

SATURDAY, MAY 4; 5 - 6:30 p.m.
From Murders and Psychic Frauds to 'Dirty John': Exploring Old and New True Crime Stories
Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse -- 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge
Calling Dateline addicts and true crime fans: Angel City Press authors Barbara Schroeder and Clark Fogg talk crime and their book Beverly Hills Confidential: A Century of Stars, Scandals and Murders in a panel moderated by CNN investigative reporter Melanie Hicken, co-author of the book A Deal with the Devil, about the hunt for a con artist. Also on the panel is Christopher Goffard, the L.A. Times reporter of Dirty John fame.

Guests attend the Kentucky Derby hat contest at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway on May 6, 2017 in Yonkers, New York. (Dave Kotinsky)
SATURDAY, MAY 4; 1 - 4 p.m.
Kentucky Derby Celebration
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (Beverly Center) -- 8500 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove
Watch the run for the roses with a touch of southern hospitality. The eatery offers two-for-one Woodford Reserve Special Edition mint juleps ($16) in takeaway souvenir cups as well as Makers Mark and Woodford Reserve giveaways. Enter the Derby Day best dressed contest for a chance to win dinner for two at the restaurant.
COST: Varies;


Other Derby options include:

Kicking off this weekend is a series of concerts that take place inside the dome of the Mt. Wilson Observatory. (Photo: Irina Logra)

SUNDAY, MAY 5; 3 and 5 p.m.
Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome
Mt. Wilson Observatory -- Red Box-Mount Wilson Rd., Mount Wilson
The observatory launches its six-concert season with an afternoon of music inspired by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Ben Powell (violin) and Roch Lockyer (guitar) are joined by Brian Netzley on bass for hot gypsy jazz. Now in its third season of music inside the great dome, the subsequent concerts take place on the first Sunday of each month through October.

SUNDAY, MAY 5; 3 - 7 p.m.
Taste of Orange
Assistance League of Orange -- 124 S. Orange St., Orange
This event features unlimited food (and optional beer and wine) tastings from local restaurants and breweries. The fundraiser also includes a silent auction, raffles and live music. The proceeds benefit the Assistance League of Orange's programs that focus on children and families.
COST: $15 - $25 for entry, $20 for alcohol wristband; MORE INFO

A michelada. (T.Tseng/Flickr Creative Commons)

Cinco de Mayo
Various locations
Toast the Mexican army's victory over the bigger and better-armed French batallions at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Eateries and watering holes all over SoCal are throwing parties and offering specials. Among them are:

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

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