Los Angeles Culture Challenge for May 2014

May 2014 Los AngelesThe opportunities to get up close and personal with cultures of other places and times continues in May. A big weekend for Norwegians is fast approaching as well! May 17th marks the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution and Norwegians in Los Angeles will certainly have the chance to celebrate. Many cultures are represented this month. Which events will you be attending?

 * WEEKEND OF MAY 3 & 4 *

REDCATREDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Saturday and Sunday until May 11. The 9th annual festival returns with a program full of acclaimed, international short-film programs. Festival highlights include the latest in both live action and animated shorts from Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan, Mozambique, Korea, The Netherlands, and Ukraine. See website for full schedule and ticket information.

Renaissance Pleasure FaireThe Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturday and Sunday until May 18. Travel back to the 16th century and experience the glory of life during the Renaissance era. The faire provides “a cornucopia of diversity where we are unified in inviting our guests to enjoy an environment we have created to escape from the stresses and demands of the modern day.” There will be artisans of all media, entertainment galore, food trucks and booths, games and rides (including pony and camel rides), a Kids Kingdom (with games, crafts, story-telling, song, shows, and characters), and a gnome quest!

Placita OlveraCinco de Mayo Celebration, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Downtown, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 11am-10pm.  El Pueblo hosts traditional Mexican dance and music, in honor of Mexico’s victory over the French in 1862. The party has been going on at this site every Cinco de Mayo for 140 years.

Family Festival: Japan, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday, 12pm-4pm. They’re celebrating Japan and the art of printmaking with traditional performances, hands-on printmaking, demonstrations, plus open galleries, including A New Way Forward: Japanese Hanga of the 20th Century.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 10 & 11 *

Fowler_MothersDayKids in the Courtyard: A Mother’s Day of Earthly Delights, Fowler Museum, UCLA, Sunday, 1pm-4pm. A special Mother’s Day program! The traditional trappings of Mother’s Day get an earthly spin at this special event inspired by the exhibition Earth Matters. From 1pm to 3pm, visit activity stations to make and enjoy Mother’s Day treats, and then at 3 o’clock, enjoy an outdoor concert featuring the lively music and dance of West Africa.

REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Saturday and Sunday until May 11. See description above.

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturday and Sunday until May 18. See description above.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 17 & 18 *

17 mai SjømannskirkenNorway’s National Day Celebration, Norway’s Church Abroad, San Pedro, Saturday, 5pm. The Church hosts a traditional Norwegian “17. mai” celebration. Typical Norwegian foods will be served—pølser, rundstykker, bløtkaker, marsipankaker, brus, and coffee. There will also be games for kids of all ages and ice cream prizes for all. And of course, it wouldn’t be a typical 17. mai celebration without speeches and a parade around the neighborhood.

Parade time at Nansen FieldNorwegian Constitution Day Parade and Festivities at Nansen Field, Rolling Hills Estates, Sunday, 11am. This is a relaxing, laid-back event on a huge open field. The festivities kick off with a marching band led parade and continues with the sale of foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, Solo, waffles, and ice cream. There are also vendor stalls with Norwegian goods and plenty of games for the kids. Read about my latest outing to the Nansen Field festivities here.

Celebrate IsraelCelebrate Israel Festival, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, West Los Angeles, Sunday, 11am-7pm. Celebrate Israel’s 66th Independence Day. This year’s theme is Tour of Israel and attendees will have the opportunity to “visit” various areas of Israel. The day’s activities and events include musical performances (main event is The Idan Raichel Project on the main stage at 5pm and Rinat Gabay on the kids stage at 2pm); an artists pavilion showcasing local Jewish and Israeli artists with their creative jewelry, crafts, gifts, and home decor; a kids zone and a teen area; an amusement park with rides; and Mini Israel, a community project where schools and organizations have built a mini model of Israel.

* MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MAY 24 & 25 *

Scottish FestScottish Fest, Orange County Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm. Enjoy a festival of Celtic entertainment and food.

Valley Greek Festival41th Annual Valley Greek Festival, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Northridge, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 1pm-9pm. Enjoy a cultural experience for all ages with live music, dancing, gourmet food, homemade pastries, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, a Greek market, and a variety of shopping boutiques.

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