The following is a curated roundup of weekend events in Long Beach published every Wednesday on the Hi-lo/Long Beach Post. Have an event to share? Email [email protected] with “Things to Do” in the subject line.
It’s festival season for Long Beach this weekend. Not by any official term, but simply by way of the cluster of them happening this weekend. There’s a film festival. Then Oktoberfest. Plus a festival just for kids. Not to mention a new festival that’s leans into the idea of music, holistic healing and community—plus it’ll have some fire belly dancers, which on its own just sounds like a good time.
Get to scrollin’!
CATALINA FILM FESTIVAL (Wednesday & Thursday)
Experience the opening days of the 12th annual Catalina Film Festival in Long Beach on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 21-22 at the Scottish Rite Event Center.
Films you can catch while the festival is on the mainland feature a series of shorts including the fan-favorite Wes Craven horror and thriller shorts category, which is something unique to the festival as the CFF has the only official Wes Craven-sanctioned horror awards category, with winners selected by the Craven family. The feature-length title to screen on Wednesday is “Malibu Horror Story,” about a team of paranormal investigators who search a sacred Native American cave for clues in the unsolved disappearance of four Malibu teens.
Thursday’s flicks feature more variety, with some comedy, drama and coming-of-age shorts. The feature title for Thursday is “Sober,” a psychological thriller about a young adult struggling to get a hold of his drug addiction after his former high school teacher challenges him to stay sober. There are also two panel discussions attendees can check out on Thursday, including “The Craft of Acting” panel featuring industry professionals who’ve worked on movies and television shows such as “This is Us,” “Stranger Things” and “Glee.”
Tickets for the Long Beach event are $75 for a single pass and $125 for a two-day pass. Those who just want access to just the film screenings can purchase $25 tickets, which grants audiences access to all the movie screenings for the day. The rest of the Catalina Film Festival continues on the island from Sept. 23-25. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
The Scottish Rite Event Center is at 855 Elm Ave.
MR. FRIES MAN LUNCH & DINNER FOR A CAUSE (Thursday)
Mr. Fries Man is teaming up with Project Optimism, a nonprofit organization that serves Long Beach youth on Thursday, Sept. 22, for a day of music, entertainment and as you might expect, heaps of french fries.
From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. the business in North Long Beach will be hosting a family-friendly event with live music, games and other activities including the “Fries Challenge,” which invites the brave to devour as many fries as your stomach can possibly handle. If it’s anything like the “Mr. Fries Man Frybox Challenge,” you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Mr. Fries Man will be donating a portion of its proceeds on Thursday to Project Optimism. The business will also be offering a 10% discount to educators, students and first responders that day. The event is free to attend (food is not).
Mr. Fries Man is at 1009 E. Artesia Blvd.
LONG BEACH OKTOBERFEST (Friday – Sunday)
The second annual Long Beach Oktoberfest returns to the Scottish Rite Event Center beginning Sept. 23 on Fridays and weekends through Oct. 9.
Attendees can expect all the classic elements of Oktoberfest celebrations—authentic German beer, bites and polka music—but patrons can also taste local brews and food, with vegan dishes also available for the plant-based eater.
Entertainment this year will once again be the crowd-pleasing Festmeister Hans und Die Sauerkrauts performing a mix of traditional and modern tunes with singalongs, wacky games and more. Dress up in Lederhosen or Dirndl is highly encouraged but not required.
General admission tickets cost $20 for adults ages 21 and older. VIP tickets cost $125 and includes parking, guaranteed seat in the first few rows near the stage, official Long Beach Oktoberfest stein, a plate of food, and 5 beverage tickets for any beer or wine. Tickets for attendees under 21 years old are available on Saturday and Sunday only for $20. Youth ages 14 or younger may enter for free.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
The Scottish Rite Event Center is at 855 Elm Ave.
LONG BEACH YOUTH FESTIVAL (Saturday)
Lincoln Park will be the place to bring the kids on Saturday, Sept. 24, for the Long Beach Youth Festival.
The afternoon event is free and open to the public with an interactive resource fair and activities, art, music, sports, local entertainment and therapy dog sessions.
The event will have free food and merchandise and some raffle opportunities with prizes. Attendees can also expect performances from local dance groups, artists and poets.
The festival is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lincoln Park. Free parking will be available in the parking structure at 332 W. Broadway. Click here for more information.
Lincoln Park is adjacent to the Billie Jean King Library at 200 W. Broadway.
GEM AND MINERAL SHOW (Saturday & Sunday)
The Long Beach Mineral and Gem Society, a nonprofit engaged in spreading knowledge about geology and the art of lapidary (cutting stones and jewelry making), is hosting a free two-day show and market at the Signal Hill Library Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25.
Over 25 vendors will be selling jewelry, gems, crystals, Australian opals, fossils, metaphysical gifts and more. There will also be free activities for kids such as “adopt a pet rock” and gem digging in sand. Those who are interested in joining the LBMGS can sign-up on-site, the club meets the second Wednesday of every month at from 6-8 p.m. at the Long Beach Senior Center.
For more information visit the LBMGS Facebook page, here.
Signal Hill Library is at 1800 E. Hill St.
SOUND IS THE MEDICINE FESTIVAL (Saturday & Sunday)
Several holistic healing and wellness organizations in Long Beach are teaming up to present the Sound is the Medicine Festival, a two-day event Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, at Under the Sun with music, dancing and wellness offerings such as sound baths, guided meditations and intention-setting workshops.
Both days feature music all day and night, but Saturday’s festivities include the concurring “Unity Dance Festival” in the upper levels of the Under the Sun restaurant. Of its offerings, there will be a movement meditation class, a Capoeria dance class with Community Capoeria LBC, a “free your mind dance challenge,” and more. Later that day will be a fire belly dancing performance by Sirena Serpentina Tribal Fire Bellydance.
All weekend attendees can check out a small market with wares by local artists, selling plants, eco-friendly products and other handmade crafts. There will also be opportunities for henna tattoos, reiki healing and other meditation workshops.
To see what the festival has to offer as well as the music lineup, click here. Tickets range from $44-$77 for single-day or weekend passes, click here to purchase. There are also tickets for $33 for the “Unity Dance Festival,” which will also include access to the rest of the Sound is the Medicine Festival on Saturday only, click here.
Under the Sun is at 244 E. Third St.