Festivals in Pasadena

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As mid-October approaches, the first-annual Couscous Festival is preparing to flood the earth with delicious fares from North Africa and the Mediterranean, spotlighting the fluffy spheres of steamed wheat known as couscous. Skilled chefs, including Farid Zadi and Susan Park, will offer food talks and cooking demonstrations to teach attendees how to release their inner Berber and craft fine foreign fares. On Saturday, Feast from the Mideast author Faye Levy will divulge the secret behind cooking up tasty North African–Jewish cuisine. Sunday promises guests the opportunity to hear cookbook author and culinary commentator Clifford Wright speak about the history of couscous, which began with an exhilarating, primordial escape from a wild field of semolina wheat.

45 North San Gabriel Boulevard
Pasadena,
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.”

145 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena,
CA
US

At Seattle Chocolate Salon, chocoholics eagerly bounce from tables loaded up with gourmet chocolate bars and truffles to ones holding cocoa drinks and chocolate fountains. They're fueled by caffeine and the rush of endorphins that comes from tasting so many chocolates, watching chocolate-crafting demonstrations, and listening to talks given by chefs and confection experts.

Of course, chocolate isn't nearly as fun on its own as it is paired with wine, so the event also includes wine tastings. Those who haven't rubbed chocolate all over their wrists at this point can swing by the Artisan Fragrance Salon to spritz niche fragrances. Entry to the fragrance salon is included with admission to the chocolate salon.

300 E Green St
Pasadena,
CA
US

Since it was founded in 1990, the nonprofit Celiac Disease Foundation has pioneered celiac disease education, awareness, and advocacy. Its network of national chapters have responded to the growing health care challenge of diagnosing celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The CDF Medical Advisory Board brings scientific knowledge to the cause and imparts crucial care information to individuals, medical professionals, and industry partners who confront celiac disease and gluten-related disorders on a daily basis. Through its annual CDF National Conference and Gluten-Free Expo, the organization opens the public's eyes to new ways of looking and living with foods that do not contain wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.

300 E Green St.
Pasadena,
CA
US

Horse head statues, Levi cutoffs, and vintage boat oars number among the eclectic treasures stashed at Rose Bowl Flea Market. Long known for drawing celebrities to its colorful aisles, the market’s best vendors lie in the antique booths and vintage clothing shops sitting outside the stadium, according to CNN.

1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena,
CA
US

Sandy Raulston and Ted Birbilis have lived in the world of art and antiques together for almost three decades. They've sold pieces in old farmhouses and and participated in The Los Angeles Modernism Show. They're particularly skilled with antiques, classifying and valuing entire collections in one easy sweep, and they now preside over the LA Living: Modern to Classic Antiques Show.

At that show, a range of aesthetic movements are represented, from industrialism to folk art. The designers themselves are just as varied, ranging from pop artists to Native American craftsmen. Oil paintings, of colorful landscapes and sepia country churches, hang above a tangle of art in every medium imaginable. There are carved canes, colorful instruments, vases, and furniture, glossy wooden masks and vintage-looking lamps, all curated by Sandy and Ted.

1107 Fair Oaks Ave #454
South Pasadena,
CA
US