Join in on both the Irish and the Persian cultural celebrations in Los Angeles this week. Or, check out the art revolution spurred by Ray and Charles Eames at Gallery Nucleus. Head out of town for the weekend to see the Miracle of the Swallows, or stay local and spend your Sunday eating your way through vegan versions of all your favorite foods at the Vegan Street Fair.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
March 17 | Cultural celebration
St. Patrick’s Day
Tomorrow’s the day everyone wants to be Irish. Get in on the celebration at Pershing Square, located in the heart of downtown L.A. The center is home to annual St. Patrick’s Day revelry including a parade, Irish music—less Riverdance and more Irish cover band—food trucks, and a beer garden that will certainly be flowing all day. Follow the parade down Hill Street or just meet it at its end, where you’ll be able to catch performances by a band called Bad Haggis and the Cleary Irish Dancers.
11 a.m. | 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles | Free | website
March 19 | Parade
L.A. Persian Parade
Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Persian expat communities in the United States—and it’s about time we celebrated. The L.A. Persian Parade, now in its second year, aims to do just that. Floats and parade entertainers will include the Golestan Dance Group, which will perform traditional dances, and the well-known Iranian pop singer Kouros.
11 a.m. | Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles | (310) 645-6585 | Free | website
March 19–April 3 | Art
Mad about Mid Century: Tribute to Eames
Ray and Charles Eames are very much a part of the ethos of California design. From their stunning residence in the Pacific Palisades to their former studio near Venice Beach, Eames is quintessential California. Artists and designers continue to be influenced by the couple, something L.A.’s Gallery Nucleus seeks to showcase in its new exhibit, Mad about Mid Century: Tribute to Eames. Exhibitors include influential L.A. artists like Loris Lora, Ellen Surrey, and Patrick Hruby, who have all taken pages out of the Eames’ book.
Times vary | 210 E. Main St., Alhambra | (626) 458-7477 | Free | website
March 19–20 | Escape the city
San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano is familiar to Angelenos mostly as the spot they took field trips to back in elementary school. Yes, San Juan’s Mission has the oldest standing church in California, Serra Chapel, but that’s not the only reason to make this spot into an all-grown-up field trip. March 19 also marks the return of the swallows from their winter dwellings in Argentina. The swallows descend on this sleepy town every year and fill the sky with their triumphant homecoming, which the locals have dubbed the Miracle of the Swallows. Wake up early on the 19th, as the swallows gather close to dawn. Stay at Capistrano Seaside Inn, and spend the rest of your day relaxing with a Bloody Mary at Ramos House Café.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano | Free | website
March 20 | Food
Vegan Street Fair
The vegan eats scene has exploded in recent years, with famous L.A. faces like Moby and Ellen DeGeneres getting behind the meatless, dairy-free diet. That’s good news for veg-heads and meat eaters alike, because it means more delicious food to nosh on. Now, you can devour a tasty vegan doughnut at Donut Friend or some seriously sweet vegan pies from Pies by Domoníc. For a sampling of all of the vegan food the city has to offer, head to the street fair and try bite size portions of everything for only $3 a pop. When you find something you can’t get enough of, many vendors are offering $10 Big Plate Specials as well.
11 a.m.–7 p.m. | 11223 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood | From $3 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.