10 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

Admission to the Mess-O-Greens Festival in Oxnard on Fri. and Sat. is only five bucks.EXPAND
Admission to the Mess-O-Greens Festival in Oxnard on Fri. and Sat. is only five bucks.
Courtesy Mess-O-Greens Festival


A Juneteenth comedy show, a shopping and K-pop extravaganza in Koreatown, Mexican craft beer fest downtown, and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.

Oxnard has styled itself the "Strawberry Capital of the World," but it also grows a ton of other produce, especially leafy greens such as collards and kale. As part of its 25th annual Juneteenth celebration, Oxnard hosts the third Mess-O-Greens Festival, the highlight of which is a cooking competition. There's a $5 tasting fee for the Friday evening event, where all entries will be tasted — your opinion will help select the winner, who will be announced the next day, after eight finalists cook another round of greens. In between the cooking, there's a health and wellness panel, cooking demonstrations and food vendors on site Saturday morning. Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard; Fri., June 16, 6-8 p.m.; Sat., June 17, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free, $5 greens-tasting fee. mess-o-greens.com. —Katherine Spiers

Once home to such L.A. landmarks as the Brown Derby and the Ambassador Hotel, Koreatown has evolved into one of the most densely populated and culturally significant neighborhoods in the City of Angels. The enclave's offerings are artfully embodied in the K-Town Night Market & Silk Show, which is equal parts Korean street-food festival, K-pop extravaganza and pop-up sample-sale bazaar. The two days of festivities boast more than 50 food vendors along with live music from the likes of Tune in Tokyo and Nylon Pink. It's a perfect way to celebrate the unique ways in which Koreatown has woven together past, present and future to become a vital part of the fabric of L.A. Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, 701 S. Catalina St., Koreatown; Fri., June 16, 4-11 p.m.; Sat., June 17, 2-11 p.m.; $5, $2 in advance. (424) 244-9789, ktownnightmarket.com. —Tanja M. Laden    

Historically, the most popular Mexican beers have been light-bodied lagers, known more for their drinkability than for their complex flavors or stylistic diversity. That's beginning to change, however, as several Mexican microbreweries and independent producers have emerged to challenge bland, corporate Big Cerveza with a range of bold ales, stouts, porters and IPAs. During its daylong Mexican Craft Beer Festival, downtown beer bar Mikkeller will showcase five of the best new breweries south of the border: Cerveceria Insurgente and Border Psycho from Tijuana, Cerveceria Wendlandt and Cerveceria AguaMala from Ensenada, and Cerveza Fauna from Mexicali. Also on the menu: traditional Mexican dishes, including chorizo con huevos and sopes de birria de res made with adobo-marinated beef brisket — perfect for soaking up the hops. Mikkeller DTLA, 330 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Sat., June 17, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Sun.; free. (213) 596-9005, mikkellerbar.com. —Matt Stromberg

We're all slaves to the screen, even children. The Autry Museum of the American West's latest exhibit, "Play!," is a nostalgic nod to a simpler, pre–mobile device era of classic and modern toys and games in the American West, dating back to the 19th century and featuring such well-known brands as Mattel, Milton Bradley and Disney, in addition to objects made by African-Americans and Native Americans. Among the more than 200 items organized into four thematic sections are bicycles, skateboards, kites, tea sets, air rifles, tin soldiers, vintage and modern video games, a 1959 Barbie and a 1930 Mickey doll, the first licensed Disney toy. The museum will host a series of events related to the display, including scavenger hunts, interactive dress-up stations, indoor games and film screenings. Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Sun., June 18 (through Jan. 7); $10. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. —Siran Babayan

It took more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 for General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers to enforce the proclamation in Texas and free the remaining slaves on June 19, 1865, officially abolishing slavery. Though not a federal holiday, the date is commemorated all over the country. UCB's Juneteenth — An Emancipation Celebration!, however, isn't a history lesson but a sketch comedy that humorously imagines what might have happened to the slaves after they gained their independence. Cast members Jesse Esparza, Gerald Grissette, Ify Nwadiwe, Carl Tart and Melia Mills, who plays abolitionist and show host Harriet Tubman, perform — even sing spirituals and pop-song covers — in skits that involve a Miss Juneteenth beauty pageant, former slaves at a family reunion and an ex-slave who aspires to be a rapper. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., June 19, 7 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

In her latest book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, Paula Poundstone writes about her attempts to be happier by experimenting with various tasks and stunts, including exercising, getting organized, becoming more computer literate and driving a Lamborghini for a day. Poundstone applies that same scientific curiosity to her new podcast, Live From the Poundstone Institute, premiering July 8. Hosted by KPCC, the live tapings feature the comedian and her "head of research," Adam Felber (a regular panelist on NPR's game show Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!), discussing recent research studies on such bizarre topics as what kind of music dogs listen to, the fluid dynamics of coffee spillage and couples cheating on Netflix, aka "streaming infidelity." Each week includes audience participation, as well as call-ins from research experts and celebrities. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., June 20, 7-8:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Opening July 14, Sierra Madre Playhouse's jukebox musical The Marvelous Wonderettes takes place on prom night 1958, and features familiar hits from the 1950s and '60s, namely "Mr. Sandman," "You Don't Own Me," "It's My Party" and many others. Though it's technically past prom season, Pasadena's biggest bookstore hosts Vroman's Prom Night, featuring a listening party that includes many of those songs, prom-themed bingo and prom fashions from past decades modeled by acting students from the playhouse and volunteers, who'll also serve punch and cookies. Among the prizes are corsages and boutonnieres, and all visitors will receive a $5-off coupon for tickets to the show. Vroman's Hastings Ranch, 3729 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., June 20, 6 p.m.; free. (626) 351-0828, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan

LACMA's Tuesday Matinees screens Little Women, the 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's oft-filmed best-seller about four sisters buffeted by love and war. Australian director Gillian Armstrong demonstrates a fine eye for Victorian period detail, including some lovely Christmas scenes. The film subtly reinterprets the material for more feminist-friendly times while maintaining the veneer of a family classic. Winona Ryder got her second Oscar nomination in a row for playing Jo March, the role filled by Katherine Hepburn in the 1933 RKO version. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 20, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Memorial Day, the symbolic first day of summer, has come and gone, but June 21 is the official first day of summer, and Culver City is celebrating with tastings of the quintessential seasonally appropriate adult beverage: boozy lemonade. At the annual Spiked Lemonade Contest and Tasting, the city's sixth, participating businesses in downtown Culver City will put balloons outside to indicate there's lemonade for tasting inside. There also will be live music in the streets, a raffle and, yes, unspiked lemonade for kids. Culver & Washington boulevards, Culver City; Wed., June 21, 5-9 p.m.; free. downtownculvercity.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Former L.A. Weekly reporter Christine Pelisek signs her new book, The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central. Between 1985 and 2007, Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was responsible for the murders — and one attempted murder — of at least 10 women whose bodies were found in South L.A. Eventually, with the help of new DNA testing techniques, Franklin was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in 2016. Now a People crime reporter, Pelisek broke the story of the serial killer, dubbed "The Grim Sleeper," in L.A. Weekly in 2008; her stories even inspired a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. In her account, Pelisek recalls how she uncovered the case, including details on the investigation, trial and the victims' families. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu., June 22, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan


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