What do tequila, olive oil, locomotives, Ethiopia, Ukraine, jazz, charity, and augmented reality have in common? Well, nothing actually, except for this week’s eclectic roundup of things to do. Learn about Ethiopian culture at the Little Ethiopia New Year Fest, help raise money for Ukraine at a choral and classical music concert, gain a new respect for tequila and mezcal at Tequila Fest, enter into a new reality at LACMA, and so on and so forth. Just keep scrolling for all the juicy details and more great events.
Arts, Culture, Trains, and Tequila
“Da dunt dada dunt da dunt… Tequila!” For all you whippersnappers out there who don’t get that reference, it’s the beat and only lyric to the 1958 hit song “Tequila” by The Champs, and what a perfect theme song for the 5th Annual LA Tequila Fest happening at LA Center Studios this Saturday, Sept 9 from 1:30-6:30 p.m. “You Can’t Spell Tequila Without LA!” is the tagline, so come explore what this fest has to offer – more than 85 different Award-Winning Premium Tequila and Mezcal brands, along with popular food trucks, DJ sets, and fun activities. Gain a new respect for tequila, while you soak up the last days of summer playing a round of cornhole, giant Jenga, Connect Four, browsing a boutique marketplace, and much more! General Admission Tickets are $95; VIPs are $165 (which include early entry at 12:30 p.m. and private bathrooms, among other perks), and Designated Driver tics are $40. On-site parking is $45. If available, tickets will be sold at the door. Please note this is a cashless event.
Olive oil aficionados and wannabes, mount up, because Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market, located at the Original Farmers Market, invites you to partake in a fun and educational Olive Oil 101 Workshop this Saturday, September 9 from 2-3:30 p.m. Learn how to recognize a real extra virgin olive oil and identify flavor profiles from award-winning Master Taster, Nancy Ash, while enjoying tastings along the way. Explore a wide range of topics as Ms. Ash takes you on a flavorful tour of 5 exquisite olive oils, specially selected for their superior taste and aroma. “An unforgettable experience for the gourmet in training!” The cost is $50 per person. Register by clicking the Workshop link above or in store with a sales associate. Check in at 1:30 p.m. Monsieur Marcel is located on the Upper Dining Deck on the north side of the market, between gate 1 and gate 2. Parking is limited.
Are you a train enthusiast? A history aficionado? A transportation professional? A rider? If so, mark your calendars – LA’s Union Station Train Festival 2023: A Celebration of Past, Present, and Future happens this Sat-Sun, Sept 9-10 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Presented by Union Station along with partners Metro, Amtrak, and Metrolink, the Train Festival is a deep dive into all things rail history with a nod to architecture, art, culture, and so much more. From the world-renowned Steam Locomotive Santa Fe 3751 of the SBRHS, which pulled the first passenger train into Union Station in 1939, to modern day passenger and freight equipment, attendees are invited to experience the history of our railways and technological advances spanning more than 100 years. Bonus, there will also be tours, immersive displays, music, merch, food, and giveaways! So be there or be square. This event is FREE; no RSVP required.
Looking for a new reality? Then come on down, because you’re the next contestant at the Open House: Celebrating LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives event. This Sunday, Sept 10 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., join your fellow Angelenos at LACMA for a festive FREE day, featuring 13 augmented reality monuments created by some of today’s most celebrated artists. Participate in all-ages art workshops, including Finding Balance: Create a one-of-a-kind mobile inspired by Yassi Mazandi’s Language of the Birds; Protector of Water: Learn about Caribbean, African, and Latin American folk art and spirituality; A Gateway to Sky: Design a kite inspired by Kang Seung Lee’s ¡la revolución es la solución!, while you enjoy DJ sets and experience the augmented reality monuments in person. RSVP required.
Greetings from Little Ethiopia! The Ethiopian New Year Festival returns this Sunday, Sept 10 for the first post-pandemic celebration on Little Ethiopia’s short but mighty stretch of Fairfax between Olympic and Whitworth. Los Angeles is home to the largest group of Ethiopians living in America, with an estimated 60,000 strong, so come celebrate this vibrant culture through cuisine, music, art, a fashion show, and more! This family-friendly event is FREE for all and takes place from 12-8 p.m. Fairfax Avenue has long been a meeting place for diverse cultures, and became “an artery for the Jewish community” in the 1950s, and more recently for Ethiopians, who in the 1990s began forming a “critical mass” of restaurants, markets, and service shops. In 2002, the LA City Council officially recognized this enclave as Little Ethiopia, “and today the buzz of commerce – and coffee – transports visitors all the way to Addis Ababa!”
Presented by one local treasure (LACMA) to another, this year’s LA Jazz Treasure Award honoree, Charles Owens, will be the man of the hour at this celebratory Jazz at LACMA concert on Friday, Sept 15. Join LACMA x Los Angeles Jazz Society for this 14th annual event honoring saxophonist, bandleader, and educator Charles Owens, who began playing music in the bands of Buddy Rich and Mongo Santamaria as an alto saxophonist in the late 1960s, and went on to record and tour with the likes of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Natalie Cole, and James Brown. Owens was the conductor of the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, has taught at UCLA and UCI, and has been a part of the L.A. Jazz Society’s annual “Jazz in Schools” program for many years. This event is FREE and open to all. Seating is limited and first come, first served, so why not get there early and check out the galleries before the show. Event takes place from 6-8 p.m.
Local Goodies, Local Government, and Giving Back
Good news for bargain hunters! There’s another local multi-family (5-6 houses to be exact) yard sale this week, and this time it’s happening on the 400 and 500 Block of N. Irving Blvd. on Saturday, Sept 9 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. So come on down for items in literally every category, including furniture, Hollywood memorabilia, housewares including Mid-Century Modern, vintage stuff and antiques, art, toys, games, gems, clothes, shoes, kids clothes, Legos, Pokémon, sports stuff, costume jewelry, new makeup and beauty products, and more! And, bonus, there will be an iced coffee and lemonade stand to quench your thirst, while helping support young entrepreneurs. Hope to see you there!
Considering LA to be the wonderful melting pot that it is, why wouldn’t there be a Ukrainian Cultural Center? And now that you know it’s there, why not come and enjoy an afternoon delight of Ukrainian choral and classical music with singers from all across California. Bonus, the choir will also be joined by members of the Orchestra Nova LA, conducted by Maestro Ivan Schulman himself, who shall accompany them in beautiful arrangements of several different genres of Ukrainian music. Catch this special performance on Sunday, September 10 at 1 p.m. at the UCC located at 4315 Melrose Ave. All proceeds will go to the support of Ukraine. Even if you can’t attend, you can still buy tickets to support the effort. Tickets are $20-$40.
The Mid City West Neighborhood Council is back this week with a HRRRTs (Homelessness, Refugees, and Renters’ Rights) meeting, tentatively scheduled for Monday, Sept 11 and General Board Meeting on Tuesday, Sept 12 at 6:30 p.m. Check Mid City’s calendar for a full schedule. All MCW meetings are held at the Pan Pacific Park Senior Center (lunch room) located at 141 S. Gardner St.
Your other local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council aka GWNC, also has a General Board Meeting, but it’s on Wednesday, Sept 13 at the same time of 6:30 p.m. Please check the NC’s website for cancellations, agendas, and full schedule here.
And finishing things off this week, wonderful group of do-gooders called the Volunteer Collective will be helping students and families in Boyle Heights, Pacoima, and other local neighborhoods stay warm this winter with its 2023 Layer Up Drive. Starting on Friday, Sept 15 – Monday, Sept 25 you’ll have the opportunity to participate by bringing new and gently used warm clothes, shoes, (new) socks, scarves, hats, and blankets, to your local donation box at 232 South Wilton Pl. Other collection sites will be scattered across the city as well. When students are cold day after day, studying and staying healthy is nearly impossible. The VC thanks you in advance for your support!