Things to Do This Weekend: Nisei Week Japanese Festival

The multi-day happening, one of our city's most venerable and vibrant celebrations, will include a grand parade, music, dance, and cultural exhibits, too.

Toyo Miyatake Studio

What to Know

  • Nisei Week Japanese Festival
  • Aug 13-21 (select dates and times) in Little Tokyo
  • Ondo dancing, Taiko drumming, ikebana, anime, food, art, and more

Nisei Week Japanese Festival: Two weekends brimming with traditions, uplifting performances, powerful Taiko drumming, anime displays, a coronation, a car show, and the beloved Ondo street dance? This Little Tokyo festivity has become a spirited and celebratory focal point of August over the decades. There's a lot happening around the neighborhood during the fest, so do consult the schedule first, to make sure you see the presentations you have in mind. The cultural exhibits, including bonsai and calligraphy? Those will be at the Japanese Americal Cultural & Community Center plaza, all weekend long, while the Grand Parade will roll later in the day on Aug. 14. All of the details, including locations? Find them here.

Farewell, OC Fair and Ventura County Fair: It can play upon our most nostalgic emotions to know that a popular county fair is wrapping up, but when a pair of regional powerhouses, events known for their concerts and treats and homespun spunk, bid us a simultaneous goodbye? And knowing that LA County Fair, long a September staple, is not coming right up, having taken place in May? It can feel like the midway of our heart is turning off the lights. This is your final chance, at least for this season, to enjoy both the Orange County and Ventura fairs, but you'll want to secure advance tickets to either or both (OC Fair has been selling out, and tickets are not available at the gate).

Happy 90th, Festival of Arts: Laguna Beach is a hub of creativity, and this annual event, a multi-week to-do that spotlights a host of painters, sculptors, photographers, and other fabulous artists, is one of centerpiece shows. It's marking nine decades of delighting art fans with a full-on Birthday Bash, "birthday-themed art projects," giveaways, photo booth fun, and live music from the rockabilly legend Lee Rocker. Entry to the Fine Art Show is free on Aug. 13, and a "special cupcake reception"? That's adding a tasty element to the festivity at 3 o'clock.

"Acoustic Sculptures" at Mt. Wilson Observatory: "Never say never," is our general policy, but we can say with a lot of confidence that we will not be taking a whirl around Neptune this weekend, and chilling out on one of Saturn's rings? Also not in our plans. But we can take an aural and otherworldly journey to the cosmos by attending a special happening at the mountaintop observatory. Michael Brewster is the cosmic creator behind these beyond-the-stratosphere sessions, but before you head up the hill on Aug. 13 or 14, you'll need to book your passage to (inner) space.

Long Beach Burger Week: Our burger week-themed calendar stays as full as our favorite jar of burger-topping mustard is perennially empty, which means we can sometimes miss those local events themed to patty-centered parties. But a big Burger Week has been sizzling around Long Beach, with a few more days to go. Look for a number of "one-of-a-kind" burgers at local joints through Sunday, Aug. 14, with different price points available (starting at $5). The Bamboo Club, The Ordinarie, and other sizzly spots are on the buns-and-more roster.

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