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Weekend Planner: 20 Of The Coolest Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 awesome events happening in L.A. this weekend. Saturday, especially,
is chock full of fun stuff.

FRIDAY, AUG. 18

ECHO PARK RISING (Music)
The sixth annual Echo Park Rising—the free, all ages festival—takes places at various venues throughout Echo Park through Sunday. The 2017 lineup includes: Surf Curse, The Buttertones, Dungen, CRX (featuring Nick Valensi from The Strokes), Moon Honey, Alice Bag, Meatbodies, Boogaloo Assassins, Ethio Cali Ensemble and more. There will be dance parties in other areas of Echo Park, too. While the fest is free, there are VIP tickets ($20-$35) that include shade seating, beer and mezcal tastings. The outdoor main stage at the intersection of Liberty and Reservoir will turn into a street fest with viewing areas, craft beer gardens, vendors and food trucks.

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O.J. SIMPSON MUSEUM (Pop-up exhibition)
O.J. Simpson expert and creator of "The O.J. Tour" Adam Papagan curates a temporary exhibit at Coagula Curatorial Gallery on Chung King Road in Chinatown featuring dozens of artifacts from Simpson’s past. The exhibition opens on Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will remain on view through Aug. 22. Admission: $4-$5.

KCON LA (Music + culture)
KCON LA is the largest fan celebration of Korean entertainment and culture and runs Friday through Sunday. The daytime portion of KCON is at the LA Convention Center and features panels, workshops, performances, exhibit booths and a Korean Marketplace. A street food fair, curated by KCON Night Market, serves up some of the best local Korean fare and takes over a road at L.A. Live. Concerts by Korean artists on Saturday and Sunday night at 7 p.m., including Astro, Cosmic Girls, Girl’s Day, Wanna One and more. Convention tickets are $15-$25 and prices vary for other events.

SATURDAY, AUG. 19

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GR2 opens 'Simple Things' this weekend, featuring the work of Peter Chan. (Image: Courtesy of the artist and gallery)
GIANT ROBOT 2: PETER CHAN (Art)
Giant Robot 2 - GR2 Gallery hosts Simple Things, a solo exhibition by Peter Chan through Sept. 6. The opening reception with the artist is on Saturday night from 6:30-10 p.m. Though an animation artist by day, Chan still steps away from the computer to create works with paint, too.

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OMAKASE AT THE WHEELHOUSE (Food)
On the other side of town, Giant Robot Media hosts Omakase at The Wheelhouse in DTLA from 7-10 pm, a food/drink event that features sushi from Hama Sushi, donuts from Cafe Dulce, beer from Fort Point Beer, wine from The Scholium Project, coffee from The Wheelhouse and music from the Zephyr Ensemble. Tickets are a bargain at $35.

THE WALLACE + ILLEGAL MEZCAL (Drinks + learning)
Greg Bryson, Director of Beverages at The Wallace, teams up with Ilegal Mezcal’s Adan Maldonado for a cocktail class at Bar & Garden in Culver City on Saturday for a lesson in agave spirits and mezcal. The class runs from 2-4 p.m. at Bar & Garden and is FREE for guests to drop by.

SUMMER NIGHTS WITH KCRW (Party)
The California African American Museum and KCRW team up for a night of fun, music and art on Saturday night from 6-10 p.m. Sets from KCRW DJs DJs Garth Trinidad and Aaron Byrd provide the soundtrack to the closing of the museum’s popular exhibitions about the 25th anniversary of the LA Uprisings: No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992 and Trouble Every Day: LA 1965/1992, which are on view through Aug. 27. The party features museum access, food trucks, a beer garden and more. Free admission. Parking: $15 in Exposition Park and Metro Line station: USC/Expo Park.

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A section of 'Into the Wave' by Kai & Sunny on view at Subliminal Projects. (Image: Kai & Sunny)
CROSSED WAVE: NEW WORKS BY KAI & SUNNY (Art)
Subliminal Projects presents Crossed Wave, featuring works by UK-based artist duo Kai & Sunny. The exhibit, which opens on Saturday, “will showcase new works of archival ballpoint pen on paper and acrylic on primed aluminium panel.” The duo also collaborates with Subliminal Projects founder Shepard Fairey, on an original pen piece to be featured in the exhibition. The public opening reception is at 8 pm on Saturday.

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MUSE ‘TIL MIDNIGHT (Art party)
On Saturday, LACMA holds its late-night museum experience/party Muse 'til Midnight, from 8 p.m. to, well, midnight. This year, the event is inspired by Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA and includes access to exhibitions including Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage, Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz and others. Music throughout the halls provided by more than a dozen DJs curated by ArtDontSleep. Tickets: $35, $25 for museum members.

311 + NEW POLITICS (Music)
311 plays the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday night with New Politics opening the night. 7 pm. Tickets: start $49.

LAUGHING MY FEMALE ASS OFF (Comedy fundraiser)
Laughing My Female Ass Off is a Planned Parenthood comedy fundraiser event on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at New Profanity on Melrose. The night features an all-female comedy lineup, food, drinks and prizes. Tickets: $5.

RISK! LIVE (Storytelling)
The RISK! Live show is at the Bootleg Theatre on Saturday at 7:30 pm. The live show and podcast will feature people telling true stories they never thought they’d share in public. Hosted by Beowulf Jones, this month's storytellers are Ray Christian, Annie Lederman and Malie Mason. Tickets: $10-$12. Ages 21+.

MY DIARY (Storytelling)
Lindsay Ames’ My Diary show returns to UCB Sunset on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. She brings together comedians, actors, artists, athletes and others to explore their old diaries through standup, storytelling, sketch, videos and more. Hosted by Ames, this month’s performers are Brian Huskey, Dustin Marshall, Riley Jess Silverman, Barbara Gray and Kyle Ayers. Doors at 10 p.m. Tickets: $7.

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DRINKIN’ SMOKIN’ & WEST COASTIN’ (Art)
Drinkin' Smokin' & West Coastin' is an art show that opens on Saturday at Think Tank Gallery that celebrates the best and worst of Los Angeles. The art will be on view through Sept. 23, with a number of special events—readings, live music, pop up escape rooms, speed dating, comedy shows, film and zine fests—planned for throughout the run. The opening reception on Saturday runs from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

HOT SAUCE EXPO (Spice fest)
The 3rd Annual California Hot Sauce Expo takes over the City National Grove of Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The weekend event features more than 40 artisanal craft hot sauce makers from around the world. In addition to sauces, there will be food vendors, craft beers and specialty cocktails. Eating competitions will pepper the weekend, too, including The Guinness Book of World Records Reaper Pepper Eating Contest, The Booze & Infuse Cocktail Competition, The Spicy Pizza of Doom, The Slaytanic Burrito and the Chihuahua Beauty Pageant. General admission: $10; Craft Brew Package - $40; Ultimate Fiery VIP Package - $75.

NISEI WEEK (Festival)
Nisei Week is Little Tokyo’s largest annual festival that celebrates Japanese culture, arts, food and entertainment. Highlights of the festival include: a Grand Parade at 4 pm on Sunday; an all-day Nisei Week Car Show and the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship at 2 p.m. next weekend and more. Free.

DAEDELUS + COLA (Music + art party)
Daedelus and friends will reinvent classic EDM/IDM tunes on real instruments as lullabies, sing-alongs and merry melodies to celebrate COLA20—the city of L.A.’s Individual Artist Fellowships and the publication of the hardbound book Cola 20. Free. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Grand Performances.

SUNDAY, AUG. 20

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It's BBQ Day at Smorgasburg this Sunday. (Image: Zach Brooks)
SMORGASBURG: BBQ DAY (Food)
On Sunday, Smorgasburg LA celebrates summer with its 2nd Annual BBQ Day, featuring eats from Bludso’s Bar & Que, Moo's Craft Barbecue, Craft Republic serving brisket with biscuits from regular Smorgasbur vendor Good Gravy Bakes, Ol' Skool BBQ, Black Sugar Rib Co., Stoked California BBQ, Ugly Drum, Cheezus and many more. Don’t forget that Ice Cream Alley is still up, too. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free entry, two hours free parking.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT (Music)
Rufus Wainwright plays the third and final evening of this weekend’s The Music Center on Location series at the Ford Amphitheater on Sunday night. He performs Northern Stars in honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary, featuring songs by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, among others. Only a few tickets remain for this special concert. Tickets: $125, $85, $55, VIP: $500 (valet parking, dinner, an artist meet-and-greet and a post-performance reception).

COOL BEANS (Comedy)
Cool Beans’ eighth anniversary show takes place on Sunday at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena with Tone Bell, BT Kingsley, Amir K and a very special guest. Hosted by Matthew Moore and Corey Craig. Free.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.