The Weekend Go Go: Free Horror, A Grand Bookfest, Noodle Up + More!

Mostly free horro
A theater custodian’s nightmare

Whether you want to slurp, read, or scream, it’s a great weekend for festivals.

Here are the best of the fests.

Warning: do not try all these at once.

Mostly Free Horror

You can’t get enough cinematic gristle and gore.

What’s a thrill-seeking guy/gal to do?

Mark the weekend with a bloody thumbprint as a reminder for the inaugural Hollywood Horrorfest: a two-day immersion in all things Type A, B and O.

The blood-red carpet event opens a vein Friday night at the New Beverly Cinema with a screening and cast & crew reunion of 1981 horror classic The Howling.

It’s been a long 33 years.

The Howling‘s director Joe Dante will be presented with the very first (Vincent) Price Award: for an artist whose work has attained “iconic status in the horror/fantasy genres.” The horror icon/art collector’s daughter  Victoria Price, director of the Vincent Price Art Museum, will do the honors.  Saturday night’s flesh-eating finale, the only ticketed event besides The Howling, is the 30th anniversary screening of Return of the Living Dead with a great cast line-up.

Fingers crossed they will be living and not living dead.

Also being honored is legendary horror actor Dick Miller who will receive the Impact Award for “unparalleled contribution and impact on the horror/fantasy genres.”  You know Miller for Buckets of Blood; in addition to screamfest galas, Fest Director Miles Flanagan has ensured buckets of FREE fun: twelve world premieres of competition screenings, helpful indie horror panels, raffles for prizes including production services from LA GRIP, and Ivonna Cadaver as Opening Night host.

Hollywood Horrorfest: the gift that keeps on giving.

HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST  — Fri, March 29 & Sat, March 30; various times. Free – $10.  New Beverly Cinema, 7165 W Beverly Blvd, LA 90036

TIX SELLING FAST!  Get them HERE. More info HERE. A portion of the opening/closing night tix sales benefits the Vincent Price Art Museum.

Bookfest in the grass.
Bookfest in the grass.

Bookfest in the Grass

Hopefully, grim predictors of the death of print will attend (even incognito) the sunny-in-weather-and-spirit Grand Park Downtown Bookfest.

Naysayers in Saturday’s happy, sunglassed crowd of bibliophiles may be hard to spot.

The gratis, by-the-people/for-the-people literary event is chock-full of publishers, poets, performers , and events for pint-sized page turners and the book lovers who brainwashed them.

Thank heavens.

Of course there will be scads of L.A. based indie publishers including Red Hen Press, Kaya PressThe Rattling Wall, DUM DUM Zine, and a pop-up from organizers Writ Large Press but the interactive fest goes beyond buying great books.

You can add your literary two cents to 826LA‘s ongoing “exquisite corpse” The World’s Longest Story, include your day-or-dreaming characters to a ginormous comic book from Ryman Arts, write your own mini-opus on old-school typewriters, or receive a personalized Poem On Demand from Jessica Ceballos and the gang of occasionally Metro-riding poets at Poesia Para La Gente  (Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.) who will be writing on recycled pulp novel pages, fabric, vinyl records, or whatever special something you bring from home.

Finally: the poetry bowling shirt you’ve always wanted.

Along with Steve AbeeBilly Burgos, and Gia Scott-Heron, Ceballos will also be one of the poets at Read/Beats. The sonic/spoken word improvisation was conceived by producer Peter Woods; at Bookfest, Emilie Poiree and Healing Mystical Science will create a soundtrack as the poets play words.

Your spirit will be singing too.

GRAND PARK DOWNTOWN BOOKFESTSat, March 29; noon – 5pm.  FREE/all agesGrand Park, 200 No Grand Ave, DTLA 90012. NOTE: Show your TAP Card to the Grand Park info booth crew at DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST and receive 10% book purchases at the Writ Large pop up shop or The Library Store on Wheels.

Ramen nom at Ramen Yokocho 2014
Toyama Black Mapo Ramen from Iron Chef Kenichi Cheng (Photo courtesy of  Ramen Yokocho 2014)

Mo’ Ramen

If ramen is your go-to comfort/everyday soul/post-break-up/late-night-drunk food, you’ll want to block off Saturday, Sunday, or both for the Ramen Yokocho Fest 2014, where fourteen ramen shops will dish the delish.

Expect four of L.A.’s heavy-hitters — Shin-Gen-Gumi,  Daikokuya, Jidaiya and Hayatemaru — plus big guns from Japan including longstanding Iron Chef  Kenichi Cheng.

Innovative chefs from San Diego, San Jose, and Las Vegas round out the ramen wranglers, some of whom will create dishes especially for the show.

This year, the $8 bowls of yum will be ladled out at Santa Anita Park, which will also be celebrating Japan Family Day on Saturday.  Last year’s inaugural ramen fest wasn’t quite ready for its close-up; if you were one of the 20,000 people who descended on  Torrance for Ramen Yokocho Festival 2013 only to come away sans noodle, you’ll definitely want to give Ramen Yokocho another chance.

Like you needed any persuasion….

RAMEN YOKOCHO FESTFri, March 29 & Sat, March 30; 11 am – 6pm. Admission: $5; FREE for kids under 17.  Parking  $4/car.  Ramen $8/bowl — Santa Anita Park, 295 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, 91007.

More Weekend Go Go Fun!

Cabaret Versatile — Kick up your heels French can can!  Rescheduled  show!  Costumes have arrived from South America!   Fri, March 28

Downtown Modernism — Outdoor market!  100 vintage vendors!   Cash only!  Sun, March 30

Pasadena Grand Pinot Fest 2014 — 150 wines!  Food from Claude Beltran’s The Eatery!  Jazz saxophonist Michael Lington!  Sun, March 30

Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Check out The Go Go on EAT: Los Angeles, LA.’s best online source for curated food news and reviews!


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