It’s a busy month ahead, and Halloween and fall festivities aren’t even included in that. Throughout the month, there are celebrations and events featuring countries and cultures from all over the world – Lebanon, Southeast Asia, Lithuania, China, Cuba, Germany, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, Greece, Philippines, Congo, Mexico, India, and Asia in general. Where will you travel to this month without even leaving the city?
October is also the month of one of my favorite LA events – CicLAvia. On Sunday, October 16, close to 6 miles of streets will be closed to cars in Downtown LA, and participants will be free to explore all it has to offer. See more details below. I did it last year with my oldest son. There is no better way to get to know a part of town than to ride slowly through it stopping as you please along the way. Now with the Expo Line open all the way to Santa Monica, it’s even easier for Westside families to participate.
How will you explore the diverse richness of Los Angeles this month?
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 1 & 2 *
Orange County Lebanese Cultural Festival, Orange, Friday, 9/30 – Sunday, 10/2. Enjoy food, entertainment, and family fun at OC Lebanese Cultural Festival now in its sixth year.
Southeast Asia Day, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday, 10/1. The Aquarium of the Pacific will celebrate its twelfth 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.
Lithuanian Days Fair, St. Casimir Lithuanian Catholic Church, Los Feliz, Saturday, 10/1 & Sunday, 10/2. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Lithuanian Days Fair. Celebrate Lithuanian culture with dancing and songs, food and drinks, and kids crafts and games.
The Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 10/1, 10:30am-1pm. 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. RSVP is required as group size is limited. This tour is offered every first Saturday of the month.
Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón, Fowler Museum at UCLA, opening October 2, ongoing until February 17, 2017. The Fowler Museum presents Nkame, the first solo museum exhibition in the United States dedicated to the work of Belkis Ayón (1967–1999)—the late Cuban visual artist who mined the founding myth of the Afro-Cuban fraternal society Abakuá.
Israel: New Year Wishes, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/2, 10am-12pm. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided. This Sunday, use papier mache to explore new years wishes.
Octoberfest, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 10/2, 11am-3:30pm. Come celebrate October, the German way! Dance to traditional music played by Ty Rust and the Bavarian Wünderband, enjoy performances by Gypsy Folk Ensemble and Die Gemütlichen Schuhplattler, marvel at David Cousins’ world class juggling skills, and much more.
L.A. Mediterranean Festival, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Los Angeles, Sunday, 10/2, 12pm-9pm. The 20th annual Los Angeles Mediterranean Festival is a celebration of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culture with authentic foods, traditional dancing, and entertainment. The festival includes live Arabic music performed by prominent artists, singing both traditional and popular songs. Enjoy delicious Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cuisine. Explore the vendors’ marketplace. There will be games for kids, face painting, and much more.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 8 & 9 *
L.A. Greek Fest, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Pico & Normandie Blvds, Friday 10/7 – Sunday 10/9. 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.
Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture, Echo Park Lake, Saturday, 10/8. This is the longest-running Filipino cultural celebration in Southern California. Come enjoy traditional and contemporary Filipino food, music, dance, crafts, and culture.
USA: Kwakiutl Spirit Masks, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/9, 10am-12pm. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided. This Sunday, learn about the Kwakiutl, an American Indian tribe of the northwestern Pacific coast.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 15 & 16 *
KYGO, Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, Friday, 10/14 and Saturday, 10/15. If you didn’t have a chance to see Norwegian up-and-coming electronic music artist Kygo live when he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo in December 2015 or at the Rio Olympics’ Closing Ceremony in August, here’s your chance to catch him at the Hollywood Bowl. The line-up also includes Bob Moses, Labrinth, and Seeb. Tickets are going fast.
CicLAvia: Heart of LA, Downtown LA, Sunday, 10/16, 9am-4pm. Leave your car behind and explore LA like you never have before. The Heart of LA route will take you to MacArthur Park, Chinatown, Mariachi Plaza, and Grand Park while riding through the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Civic Center, and Historic Core. You will enjoy the sights, music, food, and culture that make LA such a vibrant city.
Congo: Ancestral Masks, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/16, 10am-12pm. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided. This Sunday, make Congolese ancestral masks with clay.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 22 & 23 *
Family Jam: Celebrate Dia de los Muertos!, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Sunday, 10/23, 2pm-4pm. Enjoy a lively Mariachi performance in honor of Day of the Dead (2pm–3pm). Then, marvel at fantastic sculptures made by contemporary Mexican artists in Intersections and yarn paintings in The Spun Universe. Afterward, try your hand at drawing calaveras (skulls) on your face or a mask with fun face paints and pastels.
India: Diwali Toran, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/23, 10am-12pm. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided. This Sunday, create an Indian wall hanging with textiles.
Ori I Tahiti presents “Roots”, Aratani Theatre at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Downtown LA, Sunday, 10/23, 3pm (doors open at 2pm). Experience Tahitian culture through the beauty of Polynesian dance. This will be the first performance in the United States of the award winning group, Ori I Tahiti. Aloha Hula Polynesian Dance Studio will be opening up the show. For ticket information and to purchase, please visit JACC’s online box office. Seating is limited.
* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 29 & 30 *
Asian World Film Festival, Culver City, Monday, 10/24 – Tuesday, 11/1. The Asian World Film Festival brings the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles in order to draw greater recognition to the region’s wealth of filmmakers. The festival screens films from 50 countries across Asia spanning from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India.
Dia de los Muertos, Olvera Street, Downtown LA, Tuesday, 10/25 – Wednesday, 11/2. Olvera Street is home to a colorful celebration that takes place over nine days. Merging ancient traditions with modern-day interpretations, you are invited to join in honoring deceased loved ones. At 7pm each night, you can watch the Novenario Procession, a colorful parade of “Living Muertos” in which participants dress up as skeletons in colorful traditional, and not-so-traditional, costumes. Traditional Mayan Blessing/Soul Cleansing takes place before and after the procession, and champurrado and sweet bread are offered afterwards. Festival Days take place 10/29 – 11/2 (check website for times). Community Altars, or “Las Ofrendas,” are on display in the plaza 10/28 – 11/2.