During the month of October, many of the special events revolve around fall and Halloween, but there are still plenty of opportunities to explore cultures of your own heritage or maybe something beyond your comfort zone. I’m interested in checking out a new-to-me Norwegian event that happens close to home. Also this month one of my favorite LA events, CicLAvia, returns! It is the perfect opportunity to venture to parts of LA you might otherwise not have a reason to visit. With so much to choose from this month, what will you mark on your calendar?
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 3 & 4 *
Los Angeles Korean Festival, Seoul International Park, Normandie & Olympic Blvds, October 1 to 4. This is a free four-day festival whose mission it is to provide the community with the best possible outlet to learn about the roots and traditions of Korea. Entertaining performances will lighten up the festival’s main stage. Thoughtful cultural exhibitions will educate visitors about Korea’s history and traditions. Local restaurants as well as vendors from South Korea will present a wide variety of food in one space. The shopping space will consist of booths selling Korean products such as cosmetics, appliances, apparel, and accessories.
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. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of L.A.’s Chinatown.
Southeast Asia Day, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday. The Aquarium of the Pacific will celebrate its eleventh annual Southeast Asia Day. The festival’s program will highlight the beauty and diversity of the cultures of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, and Indonesia. Guests will enjoy live performances, including music, dance, and cultural craft demonstrations. Ethnic dishes will be available for purchase, and children will have the opportunity to participate in arts and crafts.
Celebrate Italy Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 10am-4pm. It is Italian Heritage month. The Columbus Ceremony will begin at 10am with a color guard, anthems, and a wreath ceremony at the Christopher Columbus Monument. After a big Italian lunch ($10 for non-members), the festivities will continue with free Italian Ice and live performances of romantic and uplifting traditional Italian music and a marionette puppet show.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 10 & 11 *
Middle East: Khamsa Symbol of Protection (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Join instructor Quan Trang for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.
Free Day at USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, every 2nd Sunday of the month. Established in 1971, the museum is one of few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum’s mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. In addition to the permanent and special exhibitions, there is a special interactive family-friendly exhibition called Journeys: The Silk Road where visitors can explore the legendary trade route that linked Europe and Asia for more than a thousand years. Also, every second Sunday of the month is a special storytime and with a hands-on craft. This month’s theme is Korean Cultural Festival.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 17 & 18 *
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.
Bali: Demon Mask (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Join instructor Quan Trang for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.
CicLAvia: Heart of LA, Downtown LA, Sunday, 9am-4pm. Leave your car behind and explore LA like you never have before. The Heart of LA route will take you through Boyle Heights, the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Civic Center, Chinatown, Historic Core and as far west as MacArthur Park. You will enjoy the sights, music, food, and culture that make LA such a vibrant city. For more information on past CicLAvia events, you can read about my experiences here.
Kids in the Courtyard: A Costume Party, Fowler Museum Courtyard, UCLA, Sunday, 1pm-4pm. Come to the museum dressed in your favorite costume in celebration of Disguise: Masks and Global African Art. Inspired by the disguises on view, create a companion mask and accessories to express your alter ego.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 24 & 25 *
Mexico: Day of the Dead Bread Dough Sculpture (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Join instructor Jose Sanchez for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.
Novenario Procession, El Pueblo Historical Monument (Olvera Street), Downtown LA, Sunday, 7pm. The candlelight Novenario processions will be held nightly from October 25 to November 2 beginning at 7pm on Olvera Street. This traditional pre-Columbian procession evokes special memories of deceased loved ones with colorful pageantry and indigenous blessings. Before the procession, ceremonial cleansings and blessings will be offered. Following each procession, free pan de muerto (sweet bread) and champurrado (a Mexican hot beverage) will be served in the spirit of the community.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 31 & NOVEMBER 1 *
Dia de los Muertos Celebration, El Pueblo Historical Monument (Olvera Street), Downtown LA, Saturday & Sunday 10am-8pm and Monday 4pm-8pm. Enjoy face painting, street theater performances, strolling mariachi bands, Aztec dancers, art workshops, puppets, ballet folklorico, piñatas and other fun family activities, followed by a Novenario procession.
Day of the Dead Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 10am-4pm. Dia de los Muertos is one of the most celebrated holidays in Mexico. It is a celebration of the belief that on October 31 and November 1 the spirits of our beloved family members come to be with us once again. At this time of remembrance and celebration of life, come to the Bowers to enjoy the romantic music of Latin America, face painting and sugar skull decorating, ballet folklorico, mariachi music, and Aztec dance. See website for schedule.