Top 5 Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Photo of Masquerade costume ball and dance party by Gary Leonard

With All Hallow's Eve just around the corner, it's no surprise that costume balls and haunted attractions are springing up across the Southland. Angelenos seeking Halloween fun this week can get their fix with a dose of culture at LACMA, with a thumping soundtrack at the Park Plaza Hotel, or with a plunge into the paranormal at the Queen Mary. In addition to the seasonal festivities, this week also features two first-time events: a lively literary crawl and a spice-filled sriracha celebration.

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Lit Crawl L.A. in the NoHo Arts District | Event details
Begun in 2004 as part of San Francisco's Litquake literary festival, Lit Crawl takes an ordinary bar crawl and gives it a bookish spin, taking over a neighborhood with readings, performances and happenings at bars, cafes, bookstores, galleries, theaters and boutiques. This inaugural L.A. installment features 23 events held across 12 locations in the NoHo Arts District, plus a pop-up bookshop and a closing party. Think of it like trick-or-treating, only the treats are literary and you don't have to wear a costume.

Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary | Event details
Long considered a hotspot for paranormal activity, the Queen Mary -- once named one of the top 10 most haunted places in the world by Time magazine --  transforms into a wicked carnival inspired by the ship's infamous spirits and legends. Orchestrated by a new ghost character, the Ringmaster, who joins such specters as Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale and Scary Mary, the attractions include six spooky mazes filled with monsters, rides such as a Ferris-squeal, a freaky sideshow, an outdoor music stage, costume contests and more.

Muse Costume Ball at LACMA | Event details
The ghosts of Old Hollywood promise to haunt LACMA's 10th annual Halloween ball, which will feature a costume contest -- judged by costume designers Judianna Makovsky ("The Hunger Games"), Julie Weiss ("Hitchcock") and Daniel Orlandi ("Down With Love") -- awarding prizes in such categories as best black-and-white costume, best classic movie monster and best ghost of Hollywood past. After gracing the red carpet, attendees will be treated to live performances by Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes, Theophilus London and Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group. Exhibitions and galleries will also be open for haunting throughout the night.

Masquerade at the Park Plaza Hotel | Event details
The historic Park Plaza Hotel, a neo-Gothic time capsule of Jazz Age grandeur, serves as the picturesque backdrop for KCRW's spirited costume ball and dance party. Five themed rooms will thump with music spun by artists and DJs such as Rob Garza, Glasser, Dave Sitek, Valida and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., and performance troupes such as the burlesque group Blind Tiger and the cirque outfit Lucent Dossier will add to the eye candy. The festivities will also include macabre storytelling, food trucks, live screenprinting and a costume contest.

L.A. Sriracha Festival at Lot 613 | Event details
Candy not your thing? Prefer spicy to sweet? The first-ever L.A. Sriracha Festival has you covered, celebrating the addictive kick of the crimson hot sauce with dishes prepared by some of the Southland's finest culinary minds. Participating chefs include Neal Fraser of BLD, Eric Greenspan of the Foundry, Tai Kim of Scoops, Tui Sungkamee and Jazz Singsanong of Jitlada, and Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check. Local breweries and bartenders will pour craft beers and cocktails to soothe burning taste buds, and yes, there will be dessert.

For more options this week and every week, go to kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Oliver Gettell is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles.
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