Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: chrisgold/Flickr/Creative Commons License

It's a shame that you're reading this right now, it really is. if you're even glancing over these words, it means that you're stuck behind a computer monitor, probably in some drab office somewhere, instead of out celebrating this week the way it deserves to be celebrated. This is the week before Memorial Day Weekend, after all, which means productivity has disappeared and internet surfing has skyrocketed. And so here you are, reading these simple words, waiting to be told exactly how you should spend your week. Well, let's go!

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First up is the Moth Story Slam, the latest in the recurring storytelling series' live shows around town. This one is going down at Los Globos on Sunset Boulevard, with writers and performers tackling the theme of Short Cuts in their short tales. The best of the best will move on to face stiffer competition at the semi-regular Moth Grand Slam. But if you really want to get your weekend started early, head down to the Mixing Room at the Sheraton at L.A. Live for another week of their ongoing May Mix Off. The monthlong event pits bartenders and mixologists against one another in various feats of alcoholic prowess, with an ultimate winner to be crowned at the end of the month and given a trip to Tales of the Cocktail, a national drink expo held in New Orleans.

If you'd like to stuff a little intellect into your week (before you really go off the deep end on Sunday Funday), consider two back-to-back lectures happening at the Central Library on Fifth Street. The first is a Temple Grandin speech as part of the ALOUD series, where the noted autism advocate will read from her latest book detailing her struggle with the disease. Then, on Thursday, Eve Ensler and Jody Williams will team up for an evening that discusses women's issues and activism. Ensler is the author of The Vagina Monologues and Williams is a longtime female activist, and the pair will be discussing the difficulties and triumphs of the female species today.

After all that, it's festival time! There are a bevy of choices to select from, beginning with the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, which runs for four days in downtown Garden Grove. The Summer Wine Tasting series kicks off at Barnsdall Art Park on Friday as well, thanks to Silverlake Wine. Picnickers can pack in food (but none of their own drinks) and taste from a curated selection of wines from around the world. But if you're after a different type of buzz, make your way down to the L.A. Convention Center for Hempcon, the multi-day event that features everything you could want to know about medical marijuana -- and a lot you probably didn't even think to ask.

Come Saturday, there are parties galore. Fiesta Hermosa brings revelers to the beach for a three-day Memorial Weekend party, while Topanga Days takes over the hills northwest of Los Angeles for a kid-friendly weekend of folk music, food and entertainment. You can start your day off at 11 a.m. with a heavy dose of improv comedy at the L.A. Indie Improv Festival, a 13-hour bonanza of unscripted comedy, taking place across five stages in Hollywood. And if you just can't seem to find your way out of the Valley this weekend, get to Northridge for their 40th annual Valley Greek Festival. There will be plenty of music, dancing, and food for all who show up.

If you've read this far, things must be really bleak for you. Hopefully this list has helped you to narrow down your Memorial Day plans somewhat. But if not, there's always next week, so be sure to check back to our regularly updated events calendar for all of the best events and happenings around town.

For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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