Arts & Entertainment

7 things to do this weekend in SoCal

More than 30 food vendors will descend on Grand Park for the LA Taco Festival this weekend.
More than 30 food vendors will descend on Grand Park for the LA Taco Festival this weekend.
/John Moore/Getty Images

The end of summer is near, but it's not over just yet. You can go taco tasting, attend a beachside music festival or catch one last outdoor movie. But you probably can't help falling in love with the Elvis Festival once you see that one on our list of weekend events.


L.A. Taco Festival


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WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 26, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
COST: Free

Get a taste of some the best tacos the city has to offer and support homeless youth at the same time. This free festival brings more than 30 food trucks and stalls to Grand Park. You can sample dishes as diverse as L.A., such as Argentine tacos or Filipino fusion tacos. And of course, where there's L.A. tacos, there's Kogi (and generally a long, but well-worth-the-wait line). Roy Choi himself plans to attend.


Venice Beach Music Fest

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Windward Ave, Venice Beach MAP
COST: Free

An all-day music and arts festival is taking over the Venice Boardwalk on Saturday. Get there early to see the Samba Soul Dance Company and Tropibloco lead a parade to the stage. Later in the day, you can catch all sorts of performers paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Strawberry Alarm Clock, whose song “Incense and Peppermints” was a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1967, is headlining. If you're looking to find free concerts closer to downtown L.A., check out the DTLA Proud Festival.


Nisei Week Japanese Festival


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WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 26 - Sunday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
WHERE: Various locations in Little Tokyo MAP
COST: Free

This week-long festival culminates with the World Gyoza Eating Championship on Saturday. Competitors will try to break the record of 384 Gyoza eaten in 10 minutes. There is also live music, cultural performances and exhibits on bonsai, calligraphy, and Ikebana. Festival goers can also join in on the Ondo street dance on Sunday.


Cinema Under the Stars: "Moana"

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 25, doors at 6 p.m., movie at 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Westwood Villa MAP
COST: Free

Catch another outdoor movie before Labor Day weekend. Westwood Village is screening Disney's Polynesian princess movie "Moana" in the last installment of their summer movie series. Be sure to bring your own blankets and chairs because the screening is set up in a parking lot. Attendees get free popcorn.


Round-Up at L.A. Live

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 25, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
COST: Free

L.A. Live's weekly Friday night bash has a country theme this week. You can ride a mechanical bull, learn to line dance and see live performances from musicians and rodeo ropers. Don't forget to take advantage of the free admission to the Grammy Museum from 5 - 8 p.m., the beer garden and $5 food and drink specials at L.A. Live restaurants.


18th Annual Elvis Festival

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 26, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WHERE: Historic Main Street, Garden Grove MAP
COST: Free

Elvis tribute artists will play all day at this one-of-a-kind festival in Orange County. Local favorite Kirk Wall is back with his Elvis impressions and several contestants will compete in a singing competition. Other activities include an Elvis themed art contest and show at Black Umbrella Tattoo and Art Gallery, stilt walking Elvis and Priscilla and even food inspired by the King of Rock 'n Roll.


National Park Service Birthday

Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.
Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.
/Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 25
WHERE: Various national parks
COST: Free

You don't need any other excuse to enjoy the outdoors Friday. The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees to their parks in honor of their 101st birthday. Most entrance fees cover 2-7 days, so as long as you get in by Friday, you could make a weekend or a week out of it. We put together a list of nearby national parks that are definitely worth the trip.

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @inkwaves and @LeoHasACat.