L.A. Weekender: Cars & Stripes, a block party, a Color Run and science

Do you hear that? The birds chirping, the beat of the heat wave, splashes from the pool? That’s because it’s Friday… Given that Independence Day is less than a week away, we thought we would keep it fairly mellow this weekend so you can get your family ready for the fireworks festivities that are sure to dominate next weekend.

So without further ado, this week’s L.A. Weekender:

summer events fireworks L.A. Weekender: Cars & Stripes, a block party, a Color Run and science Photo credit: Port of Los Angeles

1. Cars & Stripes Forever!: If 4th of July excitement is hitting you a little early this weekend, head on down to Port of Los Angeles and check out their 5th annual Cars & Stripes Forever show. Check out more than 100 cars on display, ride the Red Car, and grab a drink or two from the beer garden. Make sure you stick around until 9:20 p.m. for the fireworks show! Admission is free.

2. Komodo Block Party: A last-Friday-of-the-month tradition since 2010, the Komodo Block Party brings the best of an L.A. Summer to the corner of Pico & Robertson with food trucks and live music. An Instagram photo contest rounds out the list of activities. 6-10 p.m. See website for details.

3. The Color Run: If you planned to work-out at some point this weekend consider joining The Color Run, happening at Fairplex on Saturday. We already covered what The Color Run entails yesterday, and getting doused in pink, green, blue and yellow sounds like a good way to kick off any Saturday of the summer.

4. Claremont Village Blues & Brews: If you’re feeling a mellow Saturday night, take a stroll down to Claremont Village for the Blues & Brews night. Craft beer tastings and food samplings will be featured at a number of businesses while a continual line-up of live blues music creates a relaxing summer evening atmosphere (via ray at www.dresshead.com). For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.claremontbluesandbrews.com.

5. California Science Center: If the mere thought of outdoor festivals and running a 5k makes you break into a sweat, turn your back on all things outdoors and head to the California Science Center. Take a peek at the Endeavor space shuttle and more than 100 hands-on science experiments–all for free. If you feel like shelling out a few extra dollars, watch a film at the museum’s IMAX theater. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the heat every day icon smile L.A. Weekender: Cars & Stripes, a block party, a Color Run and science

We hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Check back here on Wednesday for a special 4th of July edition of the weekender.

Comment below if you have any suggestions on what to check out this weekend!

Run Fairplex, Run

If September is Fair season, July is definitely running season. Don’t let the high temperatures and heat waves fool you…

colorvibe2 Run Fairplex, Run Three 5ks will be featured at Fairplex this summer, with themes ranging from neon to foam. This weekend kicks off with The Color Run. Like The Color Vibe in October (50 Shades of Running, anyone?) this run focuses more on having fun than on winning the race. Whether you are a natural-born couch potato or the fastest runner in the crowd, at the end of the race you will be covered in bright colors just like everyone else.

3.1 miles can seem like a walk in the park to some, or the equivalent of a full marathon for others. But it doesn’t matter whether you sprint, jog or walk.

If you can’t make it to The Color Run on Saturday you can still get messy and get a 5k in with Run or Dye (July 20)  and FoamFest (Aug 17). And by FoamFest we mean a mud run mixed with tons of soap bubbles.

Will you be running any 5ks this summer? Tell us in the comment section below!


Cheers: Drinking for a good cause

EGW28  Cheers: Drinking for a good cause What does career and child development have in common with wine tasting and dancing the night away? In our case, everything.

On Saturday night the Wine & Spirits Marketplace opened its doors to the public for an evening of eating, drinking and being merry. Appropriately named Cheers – L.A.’s Wine, Spirits, Beer & Food Festival, the event celebrated two aspects of Fairplex: The Learning Centers and the Los Angeles International Competitions. Fundraising meets festivity.

EGW75 2 292x300 Cheers: Drinking for a good cause Guests sampled award-winning wines, spirits and beers from the competition at their leisure before chowing down at the diverse array of food trucks outside the marketplace.

The expansive marketplace was divided into three sections: a wine garden, spirits lounge and beer tavern, similar to our set up during the L.A. County Fair. Guests could flit from station to station and learn a little bit about each of their samples.

Underlying all the merrymaking was one goal: supporting education and career development for Learning Center students–from the tiniest toddler to the most knowledgeable senior. The $50 admission price went towards the programs at The Learning Centers. While we are known for the L.A. County Fair and hosting year-round events, a big part of our core lies in CTEC (Career and Technical Education Center), CDC (Child Development Center) and our other education and leadership development programs.

EGW76 1 Cheers: Drinking for a good cause It was fun to relax and enjoy the first weekend of summer at Fairplex. The dancing, the sips and swirls of wine and spirits, (no spitting here!) and the taste of thick, gooey grilled cheese and sugary frosted cupcakes–among the many other food truck options–made Saturday night one for the books.


Kathy’s Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center

Claremont Grad Night 012 224x300 Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center Hi all!
It’s me, Kathy Wadham, director of the Creative Department at Fairplex. Some of you may remember meeting me in a post last month icon smile Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center I will be dropping in on the Fairplex blog every now and then giving you an inside peek at some of the events we create throughout the year (including the L.A. County Fair!)

Keep reading to find out how we transformed the dignified Sheraton Conference Center into a Lucky 13 grad night bash.

During the day the conference center exudes zen. Soothing jazz music plays in the hall and the rooms off to the sides are generally quiet except for the buzz of brainstorming and the professional meetings we typically host. At Grad Night we kicked out the zen and made room for post-grad fun.

Claremont High selected Fairplex to be the host of their class of 2013 grad night party. And what a party we threw:

Dinner began with more than 1,000 parents and graduates in a room filled with hundreds of white lights, lanterns, and orchids. As dinner finished and the clock struck midnight, the real fun began.

We transformed the entirety of the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center–ballrooms, cafe, meeting spaces and all, into a grad night extravaganza, right down to the names of the rooms themselves.

Claremont Grad Night Photo Op 1024x764 Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center

                                   Our creative team testing the photo op set icon smile Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center

In the House of Cards, huge playing cards swirled and twirled from the ceiling and strobe lights revealed blackjack and poker tables, air hockey and a pool hall.

No Grad Night is complete without a blockbuster and some of this year’s most popular films played continuously on the jumbo movie screen in Deuces Wild Movie Theater. Grads could kick back, relax and munch on popcorn, peanuts, corn nuts and other goodies.

Queen of Hearts was a royal hit for those with a sweet tooth.  Queen of Hearts was our very own Candy and Sweet Shop where baskets and bowls of brightly colored sweets lined the shelves. See the before & after transformation below:

cn Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center Before

Claremont Grad Night 003 1024x764 Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center After

Our Jack of Diamonds room was a shining star filled with all sorts of board games including Sorry, Candy Land, Jenga, Monopoly and many, many more.

Claremont Grad Night 053 300x224 Kathys Corner: Suits away, time to play at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut or stand in the middle of Times Square? Well, in King of Hearts, graduates had their chance.  A green screen was the backdrop needed to make these thoughts into a reality and transported you to anywhere in the world.

No Grad Night is complete without a dance club and our Club 13 was a cirque circus filled with stages, dancing, and entertainment. Mango and Dango, our favorite stilt walkers from the L.A. County Fair were on hand to dance the night away with the crowd.

In addition to Mango and Dango, there was a magician, hypnotist, caricature artist, henna tattoo artist, fortuneteller, video games, mentalist, face painter, psychic and even a juggling school.  No matter what your preference was, this Grad Night was filled with memories to last a last time!

Event Industry News: Tightrope walking the Grand Canyon, Vine — the endangered app and SnapKidz

Tightrope walking the Grand Canyon: Yesterday daredevil Nik Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas circus act did one of the more scary things in life when he tightrope walked across the Grand Canyon, no harness or safety net in sight. Using a two-inch cable rope spanning 1,400 feet across the 1,500 feet chasm, Nik successfully completed his goal despite the unexpected wind activity. The event was telecast live on the Discovery Channel and watched by millions.

snapchat 300x298 Event Industry News: Tightrope walking the Grand Canyon, Vine    the endangered app and SnapKidzSnapchat for the kiddos: Snapchat, already wildly popular with young adults–high teens and 20somethings alike–is branching out with SnapKidz. SnapKidz is essentially Snapchat without the messaging component (which as we all know is what makes the app so fun.) But for the 13 and younger crowd,  taking photos, doodling on them and saving them to their phones is all they are allowed to partake in. Snapchat currently only allows users 13+ to use the app for privacy and safety reasons.

Vine who?: As announced on Thursday, June 20, Instagram has released a video feature on their app. Similar to Vine (but better), Instagram allows users to capture video in brief spurts of time. Users have the option of creating brief clips for one video by holding down the recording button to film and releasing the button to pause. The difference? Instagram allows users to film video in a 15-second time frame–9 seconds longer than Vine. Instagram video also features a whole new set of filters that can be added to the video during the editing process. It appears Vine loses on all counts but only time will tell for what’s in store with the company that enjoyed so brief a time at the top.

Local news: It’s been a busy few days for us here at Fairplex. The weekend started early for us when Vans Warped Tour started its two-day concert series on Thursday. Thousands of fans flooded our grounds for hours in the hot sun to listen to their favorite bands, take a turn on the waterslide and chow down on food truck meals.

Check out Vans Warped Tour’s YouTube page for footage of what the celebrations looked like at Fairplex:

As soon as that wrapped up, Cheers – L.A.’s Wine, Spirits, Beer & Food Festival started up, replacing loud rock music with a live DJ and dance floor, and lemonade and Monster booths for a wine garden, spirits lounge and beer tavern.

Digital De-tox Revisited: Last week we mentioned the Digital Detox’s Camp Grounded where more than 300 people did the “unthinkable” and totally unplugged from technology for a full three days. While no tweets, Instagrams, Vine videos or Facebook updates were logged, Mashable sent one of their own into the wild. Read about his experience here.

EDM: Electric dance music (EDM) has grown in popularity to the point where it is now getting its own awards show. With favorites like David Guetta, Skrillex, DeadMau5, Swedish House Mafia and others making onto mainstream radio and festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Hard Summer and Beyond Wonderland attracting more than just ravers, it makes sense to have a form of ceremony to honor those who are making their art known. The event is being planned by Insomniac Events and Dick Clark Productions.

Fairplex Snapshot: Vans Warped Tour

One of my favorite things about Fairplex is the versatility of the entire venue. Today, teens with bright colored hair and tatted up arms fill the infield while band after band rocks out all day (and night!) at Vans Warped Tour. The stages line the outskirts of the infield and clothing, food and music vendors fill the space in between.

It’s hot out there but that hasn’t kept the crowds away! Exhibit A:

test Fairplex Snapshot: Vans Warped Tour The Domo Stage is packed!

Summer is in full swing at Fairplex. After the noise and chaos of Vans Warped Tour we do a complete about-face for the more mellow event: Cheers! We can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer and can’t wait for our personal grand finale: The L.A. County Fair icon smile Fairplex Snapshot: Vans Warped Tour

Have a great weekend!

L.A. Weekender: Happy Summer Solstice!

We have a lot going on at Fairplex right now. In just a few hours, Vans Warped Tour will be kicking off their second day of concerts. It’s just the beginning of a weekend long celebration of the longest day of the year! We hope you’re ready to celebrate because there is too much happening to simply sit at home!

ID 10065360 L.A. Weekender: Happy Summer Solstice! Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vans Warped Tour: It’s kind of hard to ignore this particular music festival, since it’s happening (literally) right in our backyard. If you feel like rocking out and getting an adrenaline high, come check out the last day of Warped to kick off your Summer Solstice Weekend.

Summer Solstice Celebration: If you really want to get into the summer solstice thing, the Autry National Center is having a party specifically for that purpose, down on Heritage Way. Families can learn the symbolic and cultural significance of drums and make their own instruments for the community drum circle. Wrap your evening up by watching the sun set and welcome the summer solstice in Griffith Park. Free for members, museum rates apply for the public.

41 Ocean: On a normal weekend, 41 Ocean requires membership to enter. The exclusive California club is set in Santa Monica, enclosed by ivy, plastered walls and high wood-beam ceilings. It is the ideal place to recline and lounge after a long day at the office–if you have membership, that is. But on this particular Friday, the doors are open to all who RSVP to their Summer Series kick-off.

Venice Music Crawl: For all the music lovers (and hipsters) out there, the first annual Venice Music Crawl is happening all up and down Lincoln Blvd. this Saturday from noon-10 p.m. There will be bands, DJs, food, drinks and all the liveliness a summer festival can bring in Los Angeles (and you know there is plenty of energy for that.) For a full list of performances and additional details, visit their web page or download the app.

Cheers – L.A.’s Wine, Spirits, Beer & Food Festival: Saturday night is a beautiful thing. Why? Because lazy Sunday Funday is the only thing you need to worry about afterwards. When you combine delicious food trucks, dancing and tastings of unique wines, spirits and beers, you have a weekend winner.  We’re opening our doors to the public for the unveiling (and tasting!) of our award-winning items from the Los Angeles International Wine, Spirits and Beer Competitions this Saturday from 7 – 11 p.m. You can still purchase tickets online or pay at the door. Proceeds benefit The Learning Centers at Fairplex.

The Hollywood Bowl: Summer evenings are perfect for a night at the Hollywood Bowl. Their line-up is quite varied this weekend. You could rock out with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the opening night celebration on Saturday or you could opt for the relaxing vibes of She & Him on Sunday evening. The choice is yours.

Korean BBQ Festival + CicLAvia: Sunday is a day for indulgence. But it’s also a perfect day to be out and about. We suggest enjoying the best of both at the Korean BBQ Fest + CicLAvia event happening this weekend. We’ve mentioned CicLAvia events before and this one is no exception to tradition. Cyclists will make their way through Koreatown and will have the option of stopping to enjoy some grub–galbi and bulgogi, baby back ribs, Korean hand-rolld etc.–before burning off the calories on your way back on Wilshire Blvd. A beer and wine garden will also be open. And did we mention the festival is free?

Whatever you decide to do–whether it involves food, music, movies, bikes or just hanging out at the beach, we hope you enjoy the longest day of the year (today!) and the official kick-off for summer.

Comment below if you have any suggestions on what to check out this weekend!

Event Industry News: Digital De-tox, dronemania, iPhone cleans up

There’s a lot to report on the event industry this week, from social media and technology changes to new concepts and emerging trends. Keep reading to get a quick snapshot of a weekend of digital detox, changes on Facebook, drones in QSR and more.

campgrounded Event Industry News: Digital De tox, dronemania, iPhone cleans upCampgrounded.org

Digital De-tox: Have you ever wondered what life would look like if you didn’t have your smartphone, laptop and other digital everythings in your life? Enter Camp Grounded, a weekend-long event with zero technology. This past weekend 200 campers “roughed it” at a 1970s-era Boy Scout Camp just a few hours away from tech-savvy San Francisco.  Rules included putting the kibosh on work conversations, networking, relying on a schedule dictated by time and of course, the use of technology (including watches).

According to the camp website, campers will “create a community where money is worth little… and individuality, self expression, friendship, freedom and memories are valued most.”

Just how did the event (aka social experiment) fare? Without Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to document in real-time, it’s hard to say. Campers return home today (Monday) so I’m sure we will be hearing about it soon.

Drone mania: You have to wonder when it became the norm to drive up to a window and order a meal and have it served to you in five minutes or less, all within the comfort of a car. Drive-thrus and fast-food restaurants haven’t always been around although now (at least in America) they are as normal as gas stations and banks. The next advance in the QSR industry is peculiar–a novelty that some are predicting will grow to be as common as a McDonald’s drive-thru–drones.

Yes. Drones.

sushi drone1 300x200 Event Industry News: Digital De tox, dronemania, iPhone cleans up

(Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall)

Flying machines, currently being used to regulate poachers, are now being utilized to deliver pizzas and sushi to customers. Mashable has done a lovely job of documenting QSR drone escapades as they happen. What do you think? Would you risk having your food in the hands of an unmanned droid?

iOS 7 concept Simply Zesty 300x168 Event Industry News: Digital De tox, dronemania, iPhone cleans up

Photo from idownloadblog.com

Technology: While my phone is still comfortably settled in iOS 6.1.3, plenty of iPhone users have had the choice to preview iOS 7. The newest update makes things look “cleaner,” taking a minimalist approach to the already minimalist design users are accustomed to.

While some argue that iOS 7 goes against the vision of the late Steve Jobs, others argue that innovation and change stays true to Apple’s core mission of revolution/defining the future and should be welcomed. Whatever the case may be, iOS 7 is coming whether users like it or not.

What do you think of the new look? 

Social Media: If you’ve been on Facebook at all this weekend you may have noticed an overflow of hashtags–functional hashtags. The social network has now joined the ranks of Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr with the installation of hashtags.

So what does that look like? Similar to the other social media platforms, hashtags congregate in a specific feed for a specific topic. For example, if you put #lacountyfair into your Facebook status, it will join with other users (fans, businesses and consumers alike) into a feed all about the L.A. County Fair. Hashtags could clutter up your newsfeed now more than ever or it could be beneficial for those of us who sync tweets and Instagram photos to our accounts.

Super Bowl Boulevard: Back in the not-so-distant past we wrote about plans for Super Bowl Boulevard in New York. What will be interesting is how the boulevard adapts to the weather. The 2013 host, NOLA, had no qualms about storms, snow or the freezing cold.

The New York Daily News got a sneak-peek at plans for the week-long celebration. A 180-foot long, 58-foot-high toboggan run and concert stage are just a few of the attractions brewing for next year. Click the link above to see the artwork of the toboggan run and other aspects of Super Bowl Boulevard.

“We’re #22!”: The Grilled Cheese Truck (coming to Fairplex on Saturday for Cheers–L.A.’s Wine, Spirits, Beer and Food Festival) ranked #22 in The Daily Meal’s Top 100 Food Trucks in America. Not too bad! In fact, Los Angeles garnered the most recognition out of any other city with 16 trucks mentioned in the list. You can read the full list of winners here.

L.A. Weekender: Man of Steel, poly-kroma, Happy Father’s Day

Here we are again at Friday! Summer weekends are especially glorious because the weather is fantastic–perfect for cliff jumping, surfing the waves or, you know, just taking a nap in the backyard icon wink L.A. Weekender: Man of Steel, poly kroma, Happy Fathers Day

Keep reading to figure out what your weekend plans should be:

mos glyph hires 1024x640 L.A. Weekender: Man of Steel, poly kroma, Happy Fathers Day  Image taken from Legendary Films

1. Man of Steel: Take it easy tonight (we have a fun-filled itinerary for Saturday) and opt for dinner and seeing Christopher Nolan’s latest creation, Man of Steel, opening in theaters this weekend.

2. poly-kroma: Support Cal Poly Pomona and check out poly-kroma, the art show put on by their graduating art majors! If you’re in our neck of the woods and feel like being inspired, I highly recommend stopping by Millard Sheets Center For the Arts for the afternoon. I was there yesterday and the talent and creativity that line the walls is wonderful. Free to the public. Open through Saturday, 12 – 4 p.m.

3. Chinatown Summer Nights: KCRW will be setting up shop in Chinatown on Saturday to play some sweet tunes for Chinatown Summer Nights. Grab a bite to eat, watch some life performances and stroll the beer garden and marketplace for a spell.

4. “Inconceivable!”: If you’re a Princess Bride fan, head over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for an outdoor showing of this classic Saturday night. Tickets are $12. Bring a blanket, a picnic and enjoy; the movie starts at 7:30 p.m. (Note: Tickets are sold out; a limited number will be sold at the entrance. Early arrival recommended.)

5. The 30th Claremont Folk Festival: Taking you back into the Inland Empire, the Claremont Folk Festival brings folk, blues, art and food together to raise funds for the city’s Folk Music Center and Folk Music Center Museum. Tickets are $25 and free for children 12 and under.

6. Happy Father’s Day! 

Event Industry News: Sharing hotel rooms with strangers

ID 100166851 Event Industry News: Sharing hotel rooms with strangers Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sharing hotel rooms with strangers: Easynest, a new website, allows travelers to book hotel rooms and split the cost… with a total stranger. Creepy in theory, efficient in reality. Someone looking for a comfortable stay in a hotel room can partner with someone else and split the cost of one night in half (since most hotels charge for 2 people per room anyway.) The hotels do not take part in the website or partner agreement process. You and your room partner take care of costs just like a normal hotel stay. One of several questionable aspects of the new site is the lack of accountability–i.e. if your partner decides to bail, you will have to cover the full cost.

Social Media: Plenty of changes are underway for social media platforms across the Web. Aside from Yahoo!’s adoption of Tumblr, Twitter is partnering up with two large ad firms and Facebook plans to cut the number of ad units in half (hallelujah.) All ads will know have a social component (likes, shares, a story).

Technology: Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the latest product updates from Apple, a first since the release of the iPad mini in October 2012. Announcements included the latest and greatest for the iOS7 upgrade including the weather app, zooming into an app (vs. switching screens) and animated wallpaper and lock screens (the last time I had one of those was back in the flip phone days.) Multitasking is also a new feature, designed to preserve battery life. Other announcements included iTunes Radio, new versions of Macbook Air and Mac Pro and upgrades to the Maps and Safari apps.

Just for fun… Check out Google’s homepage for the Doodle of the Day. Happy Birthday to the late Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. We are proud to host your literature at the L.A. County Fair this year!