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California: Southern California Festivals/ Fairs

Southern California offers such diversity that there is always something for everyone here.  Whether you enjoy the beach, the dessert or the mountains, you can always find something to satisfy you.

The same holds true for the series of festivals and fairs that are held in Southern California throughout the year.  Something to satisfy everyone!

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

6520 N Irwindale Ave #202,

Irwindale, California 91702

http://www.renfair.com/socal/

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The Renaissance Pleasure Faire began in Agoura in 1963 and was created to provide school children and their families with a living history of Elizabethan England.  Since its inception, the faire has grown into an interactive playground for over 200,000 guests and participants. Over the years, more than 5 million people from around the world have visited Southern California’s Renaissance Pleasure Faire!

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Nisei Week

Little Tokyo District

Los Angeles, CA.

http://www.niseiweek.org/

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With a sizeable Japanese population residing in Southern California, Los Angeles is the annual host of the Nisei Week festival. 

Nisei (meaning second generation) week is a nine-day festival which was first held in 1934 and today is recognized as one of the longest running ethnic festivals in the U.S.  The event takes place in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district during August.

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During the nine-day event, one weekend is devoted to the traditional Tanabata Festival.  This event celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi represented by the stars, Vega and Altair who according to legend are seperated by the Milky Way and allowed to meet only once a year.

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In preparation of the celebration, people make colorful flower decorations out of “washi” paper that will be displayed throughout the event.

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Bridge Summer Festival

Torrance Cultural Center

3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, CA

http://bridgeusa.com/SpecialEdition/sp.php?n=201306&p=sf

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Each July Bridge USA, a Japanese language monthly magazine hosts its annual summer festival.  Modeled after the traditional matsuri, the event is a celebration of Japanese culture featuring countless food and game booths as well as an entertainment stage showcasing performances by local and overseas Japanese acts.

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The festival draws throngs of Japanese and non-Japanese alike with its thundering Taiko performances, martial arts demonstrations and talent show.

In Japan children try to scoop up gold fish with tiny paper backed scoopers called poi.  Here they play the same game with marbles. The game is called kingyo sukui.

In Japan children try to scoop up gold fish with tiny paper backed scoopers called poi. Here they play the same game with marbles. The game is called kingyo sukui.

Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made with pieces of octopus and wheat flour batter

Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made with pieces of octopus and wheat flour batter

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Yaki tori, meaning grilled chicken is cooked to perfection on a stick and goes great with Japanese beer!

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki meaning "grilled" or "cooked."

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked.”

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The mikoshi serves as the vehicle to transport a deity while moving between the main shrine and a temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine.

The mikoshi serves as the vehicle to transport a deity while moving between the main shrine and a temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine.

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Various booths offer everything imaginable for sale

You can have a photograph taken wearing a kimono

You can have a photograph taken wearing a kimono

Live entertainment is available throughout the festival. Some acts travel all the way from Japan to perform here.

Live entertainment is available throughout the festival. Some acts travel all the way from Japan to perform here.

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