Welcome to a new month filled with a wide variety of cultural opportunities. If you weren’t able to travel as far and wide as you would have liked to this summer, then September is your chance to make up for it. There are festivals and fairs, performances and workshops that offer you the chance to explore the cultures of Greece, China, Thailand, Scandinavia, Latin America, and Africa right here in Los Angeles. Where will you venture this month?
* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 6 & 7 *
16th Annual L.A. Greek Fest, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Pico & Normandie, Friday to Sunday. The L.A. Greek Fest is your passport to Greece. Each day of festivities is a celebration of food, wine, dance, games, performances, and one-of-a-kind cultural experiences. An added bonus, the festival takes place on the grounds of Saint Sophia Cathedral, a registered historical landmark in the heart of the Byzantine Latino Quarter of Los Angeles.
Big!World!Fun!: Viver Brasil, Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood, Saturday, 10am. Viver Brasil’s dance performance “bursts with exhilarating movement, pulsating percussion and passionate vocals. Rooted in the traditional and contemporary dances of Bahia, Brazil, the company’s work embodies this culture’s beautiful and mythic stories, complete with colorful costuming and an energetic troupe of dancers, drummers and singers.”
The Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Saturday, 10:30am-1pm. (Offered every first Saturday of the month). Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more when guided to the unique treasures—not to mention great bargains—to be found in Chinatown. Wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of L.A.’s Chinatown.
Pippi Longstocking, Promenade Playhouse, Santa Monica, Saturday & Sunday, 1pm. See famed Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s rambunctious character Pippi Longstocking come to life in Creating Arts Company’s interactive-cinematic-theatrical experience. “Pippi’s good-natured hijinks cause as much trouble as fun in this bubbly, slapstick show for the whole family!” It is recommended for ages 3 and up and aims to entertain the entire family.
Kids in the Courtyard: Now That’s a Wrap!, Fowler Museum Courtyard, UCLA, Sunday, 12:30pm-2:30pm. Take a look at the stunning cloth in Yards of Style: African-Print Cloths of Ghana, Embroidery as Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and Textiles of Timor, and then learn techniques for weaving and decorating your own fabric to create a take-home textile. This event is part of an afternoon of textiles programs, including an opening day curatorial talk for Textiles of Timor at 3pm with a reception following.
* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 13 & 14 *
Mexican Independence Day, Olvera Street Plaza, Downtown LA, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-10pm. Celebrate Mexican Independence from Spain with popular and traditional entertainment, cultural activities, historic displays, food, artisan exhibits, and more. Top Latin stars will perform and there will be games, rides, and family fun.
76th Annual Moon Festival, West and Central Plazas, Chinatown, Saturday, 5pm-12am. Join in the festivities of this harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese dating back over 3,000 years. There will be artisans and an artisan market, music performances, children’s craft workshops, an outdoor kitchen stage, Capuchin Monkey and Trainer, moon viewing with telescopes, and food trucks.
* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 20 & 21 *
I AM ELEVEN, Laemmle Royal, West LA; Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena; AMC Burbank 8, Burbank. Opens Friday the 19th. Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey travelled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose this insightful, funny, and moving documentary portrait of childhood. From an orphanage in India, to a single-parent household in inner-city Melbourne, to bathing with elephants in Thailand, I AM ELEVEN explores the lives and thoughts of children from 15 countries and explores what it means to sit at this transitional age. There will be “Meet the filmmaker Q&A” sessions after various screenings. See website for more information.
Pasadena GreekFest, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, Friday to Sunday. Celebrate Greek culture through its food and entertainment. Try a variety of classic Greek dishes—lamb chops, gyros, souvlaki, fried calamari, and grilled octopus—and wash it down with authentic Greek wines and spirits. Enjoy live music by the Olympians and special guests from Greece. Watch dance presentations from award winning groups or join in and learn to dance. A special Kid’s Fun Zone entertains kids with rides, carnival games, and more.
Scandinavian AutumnFest and Höstmarknad Celebration, Vasa Park, Agoura, Sunday. AutumnFest offers a wide range of activities for the whole family. In addition to enjoying traditional foods of Sweden, you can be a judge in the 6th Annual Swedish Meatball Contest. Besides great foods, you buy beautifully crafted gifts and souvenirs and enjoy Swedish folk dancing and music. There will be many activities for kids including a huge waterslide, an alpine tube slide, swimming, a rock climbing wall, and field games.
22nd Annual Thai Cultural Day, Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood, Sunday. This year the festival celebrates the art of Central Thailand. It will be a day of traditional dance, music, food, and art. Cultural activities will include Thai antiques, arts and crafts, and silk along with a Thai painting exhibit and demonstration. Thai massage and kickboxing will also be featured. There will also be children’s activities.
* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 27 & 28 *
Norwegian Heritage Fair, Peer Gynt Hall, Culver City, Saturday, 11am-5pm. Come enjoy homemade Norwegian food and pastries, peruse Scandinavian gifts and imports for sale, watch Scandinavian craft demonstrations (rosemaling, lefse baking, Hardanger embroidery, bobbin lace, and knitting), and receive assistance with genealogy and language needs.
Baja Splash Cultural Festival, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday & Sunday. In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day, the Aquarium will host its thirteenth annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival featuring live entertainment (such as Mariachi music, Mexican folkloric and Aztec dance troupes, Salvadoran dance, and Guatemalan performances), crafts, educational programs, ethnic cuisine, and much more.