via Wikimedia Commons
via Wikimedia Commons

The weekend is finally here (yay!) and we have put together 10 top unique events in the Southland that you won’t want to miss. From diverse food tastings to Pokemon chasing to a festival that will give you a blast from the past, they’re hip, cool and wild, man!

Friday, July 29

Delicious Little Tokyo (food): OK, this one is a little pricey, but you get a lot. This two-day festival will have far more than sushi with tons of food and drinks from Little Tokyo restaurants, special discounts and plenty of giveaways. And if you’re a fan of sake, you won’t want to miss this: Enjoy more than 50 featured sake labels accompanied by small plates provided by over 15 restaurants and vendors. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) Noguchi Plaza. Purchase tickets beforehand for $100.

HeartBreaker Los Angeles (dance): Whitney Day, a bi-coastal musician-turned-DJ, will kick off a new monthly LGTBQ dance off at the mmhmmm at The Standard Holllywood night lounge. There will be camera ops, music and plenty of dancing. The free event starts at 9 p.m. and doesn’t stop until 2 a.m. at 8300 W. Sunset Blvd.

Saturday, July 30 

Midsummer Scream (festival): Halloween is coming a little bit early this year with a creepy LA adventure park. The two-day fright fest will have plenty of activities to get your bones shaking: Haunted attractions, paranormal experts and presentations from industry professionals who work on those scary thriller shows we all love, like American Horror Story. The horror all starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and again Sunday at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. General admission tickets are $30.

Photo Art Fair (photography): Who doesn’t love a good night of perusing through photography over a glass of wine? and Duncan Miller Gallery are hosting an event where you can do both! Come check out photography from over 20 different artists including Mark Indig, Suzanne Garner and Jamie Johnson. The event starts at 2 p.m. with music from DJ Jeff and an open wine bar beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free but you need to RSVP to attend. Located on level one of the Santa Monica Place Mall, across from Bloomingdales.

Pokemon GO Little Tokyo (gaming): Pokemon GO fans won’t want to miss this! The anime club is hosting what officials say will be the largest Pokemon GO meet up in the world to date. The event starts at 12:15 p.m. and goes into the night with activities ranging from cosplay, Pokemon hunting and scavenger hunts. The meetup will begin at the Weller Court, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St.

Vegan Faire (food): If you’re a vegan or just looking for a weekend food detox, then you should check out Healthy Junk’s third annual Vegan Faire. The one-day festival will have plenty of vegan food, work from local artisans and overall wellness information. The festival, which has free admission and parking, starts at 4 p.m. on Center St. Promenade in Anaheim.

Cook’s Corner 2nd Annual Beer Fest 2016 (drink): Beer enthusiasts will love this. Come enjoy over three hours of beer tasting from 50 unique vendors. There will be an enormous number of your favorite breweries, including Absolution Brewing CompanyLagunitas Brewing Company and Oskar Blues Brewery. Tickets are $30 if purchased before the event. But if you volunteer to be a designated driver for your group, you’ll get in for free. Cook’s Corner, 19152 Santiago Canyon Rd., Trabuco Canyon in eastern Orange County.

Sunday, July 31

Yestercon 2016 (convention): Looking for a blast from the past? Then you should check out Yestercon 2016 to celebrate your childhood (or maybe your parents’ past). Come out in your cosplay, meet numerous actors including Bradley Pierce from Jumanji, and test out your Nintendo skills at the Nintendo Championship Competition!  Tickets are $10 and the event is from 10 a.m-4 p.m. at The Carson Center, 801 E Carson St.

Exotic Bird Expo (animals): Here’s an idea for a new feathery friend. Check out the Exotic Bird Expo where there will be hundreds of birds for sale including Lovebirds, Parakeets and Finches. Discounted accessories such as cages and food will also be there for purchase. The expo is from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the Business Expo Center, 1960 S. Anaheim Way, Anaheim.

Malibu Arts Festival (art): Enjoy your Sunday afternoon looking at over 200 award-winning paintings, sculptures, jewelry and work from many unique artisans. The festival starts at 10 a.m. but if you show up at 8 a.m. you can enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast from the Malibu Optimist Club! Admission is $5, kids enter for free. Malibu Civic Center, 23519 Civic Center Way.

–City News Service 

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