Festivals in Oak Park

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Screamfest Horror Film Festival

Formed in 2001 by producers and ardent horror buffs Rachel Belofsky and Ross Martin, Screamfest gives the corn-syrup-drenched cleavers of future visionaries a chance to shine while talking shop with the legends of the genre. On Saturday, October 20, Dread Central's Sean Decker moderates a Q&A with John Carpenter following a screening of his underrated 1989 film Prince of Darkness. Viewers can also take in an early screening of the wintry abduction thriller The Factory, starring John Cusack. Bruce Spaulding Fuller and Kurt Carley, protégés of the late Stan Winston, are also on hand to impart the fine art of sallow skin and faux viscera during a zombie-makeup demo on Saturday, October 13. Throughout the weeklong festival, dozens of features and short films from future Hitchcocks turn the theater's projected air blood red and shadow black as they compete for the gold-skull trophy. Will Ryan Haysom's neo-giallo short Yellow beat out JessiGotta's Anniversary Dinner, a zombie-apocalyptic commentary on the War on Terror that centers on a marriage gone necrotic? Will the haunting atmosphere and Del Toro–esque mythological flourishes of Aleksander Nordaas's Thale win out over the primal childhood terrors of Steven C. Miller's Under the Bed? The winners will be announced during the closing party and awards ceremony on Saturday, October 20, with all winners receiving an encore screening on Sunday. The runner-up films will be picked off one by one and torn apart in creative ways by an unstoppable, chainsaw-wielding line editor.

8840 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills,
CA
US

Just before Halloween, Theatricum BOO-tanicum stocks its wooded grounds in the heart of Topanga Canyon with ghosties friendly to all ages. Throughout the evening, spooky guides weave stories about things that go bump or hiss in the night while teaching the basics of carving pumpkins and how to avoid accidentally granting them consciousness. Costumed thespians, many of whom can be seen on stage in less ghastly roles during the Theatricum Botanicum's regular season, staff a haunted house and game booths, and live musicians including Tommy Santee Klaws, Peter Alsop, and the Matt Van Winkle Band perform ghoulish hits. Guests can attempt to outscare the pros at a costume contest, and for an additional $10, help themselves to a portion of chicken and waffles from Bon Mélange Catering.

1419 N Topanga Canyon Blvd
Topanga,
CA
US

Boots, brews, and barbecues unite at the first annual Smoke & Saddles Festival. Guests don their rodeo finest to sample eclectic dishes from eateries including the Blue Table, The Latigo Kid, and Hugo's Restaurante, and partake of sips from the likes of Dirty Tequila and The Lab Brewing Company. Live music ensures a night of rootin', tootin', and perfectly timed boot-scootin'. And the party is for a good cause—proceeds benefit Free Arts for Abused Children.

24181 Calabasas Rd
Calabasas,
CA
US

Since Pepperdine moved to Malibu from Los Angeles in 1972, the school's athletics program has accrued accolades in a variety of team and individual activities, becoming one of only 16 NCAA Division I schools to win men's national titles in five different sports. In addition to the Waves' national championships in baseball, women's sand volleyball, and men's tennis, the men's volleyball team claimed five titles between '78 and '05, prompting opponents to bring metal detectors to matches in hopes that new trophies were buried under the floorboards. Among the more than 100 individuals and teams lining the Waves' hall of fame, several Pepperdine alum have gone on to careers in everything from the pro tennis circuit to Major League Baseball.

24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu,
CA
US

Each year, more than 60 galleries and artists from Los Angeles and the intangible web of the art world beyond flock to Art Los Angeles Contemporary like butterflies in migration. During their stay, they display their colors in Santa Monica's Barker Hangar, which hosts 40,000 square feet of exhibition space with 40-foot ceilings ideal for extra-tall installations or human pyramids made of Shaquille O’Neal sculptures. In addition to paintings and functional furniture from emerging and established artists, Art Los Angeles Contemporary also hosts a programming series of talks, curator-led panel discussions, and film screenings. This year, the exposition will spotlight Ceci n’est pas… Art Between France and Los Angeles, a cultural-exchange program culminating in more than 30 French-American collaborations.

Barker Hanger
Santa Monica,
CA
US

The Tea Lovers Festival returns for its celebration of all things steeped on May 5 at the Armory Center for the Arts in Old Town Pasadena. At the event, the Tea Lovers marketplace showcases unique products from exhibitors such as Art of Tea, Numi, and Bird Pick Tea & Herb. As visitors stop by merchant booths, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and green teas steep, filling the air with their subtle flavors while festivalgoers seek out new favorite brews. On the interactive side, tea studies target both novices and connoisseurs, and tea labs teach brewers the finer scientific points of brewing, such as how tea ware affects taste. A popular series from the 2011 festival called Everything You Wanted to Know About Tea, But Were Afraid to Ask also returns with new topics, covering teas from across the globe and how to read messages in tea leaves, such as “This water was too hot.”

PO Box 5033
Santa Monica,
CA
US