The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting chillier and the new television season has finally started. It must be fall! Although Los Angeles doesn’t get the leafy oranges, reds, yellows and browns that characterize the season in other parts of the country, we celebrate in ways that are just as colorful. These are some of the best fall festivals this year in Los Angeles.
Dia de Los Muertos @ Hollywood Forever
The nation’s largest day of the dead celebration will happen among the lush vegetation and opulent tombstones of the gorgeous Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This ancient Mexican ritual commemorates the spirits of the dearly departed through elaborate processions, community altars, spiritual shrines, arts and crafts, music and dance dedications, theatrical performances and traditional Mexican cuisine. Traditional Calaca (skeleton) attire is strongly encouraged.
October 22, 12pm – 12am, $10
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, at Gordon Street, (323-447-0999 or ladayofthedead.com)
Oktoberfest @ Alpine Village
Did you know: Oktoberfest began in Bavaria in October of 1810 with the celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. It was such a fantastic time that the German’s decided to make it an annual event, and the party morphed into what we now know as Oktoberfest. This year, Torrance’s Alpine Village celebrates the holiday in the same way they have since 1968: with beer, bratwurst, sauerkraut and oom-pah-pah bands flown in directly from Deutschland. Be sure to sport your lederhosen, and don’t be afraid to take part in the chicken dance. It’s tradition!
Now through October 23, $20 general admission
Alpine Village Center, 833 West Torrance Boulevard, at South Vermont Avenue, (310-327-4384 or alpinevillagecenter.com)
Fall Festival @ The LA Farmer’s Market
The Farmers Market honors the harvest with a two day fall festival that will include live bluegrass music, art, pumpkin carving, a petting zoo and carnival games. If that’s not enough, there will be a pie eating contest, (no word yet on whether or not it will be pumpkin), and appearances by Gerry the Scarecrow. Of course, the market will also be stocked with apples, corn, squash and other harvest fresh produce to fill your own seasonal cornucopia.
Saturday and Sunday, October 15 -16, 11am
6333 West 3rd Street, at South Fairfax Avenue, (323-933-9211 or farmersmarketla.com)
Halloween Extravaganza @ West Hollywood
Billed as no less than the “largest Halloween street party in the world” this massive gathering on Santa Monica Boulevard draws roughly 500,000 people wearing costumes in all varieties of scandalous, fabulous, eccentric, trashy and trendy. In addition to plenty of drunken debauchery, the event includes food vendors, live music, pumpkin carving and kid-friendly activities in the week leading up to the event.
October 31, 6pm – 11pm, free
Santa Monica Boulevard, between Doheny and La Cienega Boulevard, (westhollywoodhalloween.com)
Western Native American Art Show and Sale @ The Autry National Center
Explore the artistic traditions of the Native American tribes of the western United States at this free art show and craft sale at The Autry. The fair will feature one of a kind wares including Navajo blankets, Pueblo textiles, pottery, beadwork, jewelry, basketry and other textiles. Historic and modern items will be on display and for sale.
October 15-23, free
Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, in Griffith Park, (323-667-2000 or theautry.org)
October Beer Pairings @ LA Market
If you happen to find yourself hungry and downtown on any given Sunday in October, get yourself to the LA Market in JW Marriott at LA Live for an evening of perfectly paired dinner fare and beer. The 3-course meal will feature a different craft brewery every week, (participants include North Coast, Allagash and Belgium’s Affligem Brouwerij), and the food will be based off the unique and seasonal selections from each beer monger.
Every Sunday in October during regular dinner hours (5pm – 10pm), $35 per person
LA Market, 900 West Olympic Boulevard, at Georgia Street, (213-765-8630 or lalivemarriott.com)