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Los Angeles This Holiday: The Tournament of Roses

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The lead float at the 2013 Tournament of Roses
Photo by fastlizard4/Flickr

The lead float at the 2013 Tournament of Roses

What to do in and around L.A. this Christmas and New Year

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Greater Los Angeles is gearing up for one of the most iconic New Year celebrations in the United States: Pasadena's Tournament of Roses, a festival of flowers, music, and sports that traces its roots back over 100 years. You can get in on the action by helping to decorate a float for the parade. For something even more offbeat, try your hand at curling on Boxing Day with a lesson from Hollywood Curling. Also, it's your last chance to catch the mesmerizing fiber art at the Fiberlicious exhibition.

December 26 | Grab your brush
Pop-Up Curling Lesson
Curling is a winter sports event that doesn’t get much love. In fact, it rarely gets mentioned at all, except if you’re flipping through the coverage of the Winter Olympics. And even then, it’s not quite the prime-time event like hockey or even bobsledding. But it’s a lot of fun to play, and the fine folks at Hollywood Curling are providing introductory lessons downtown—why don’t you give it a whirl?
8:30–9:30 a.m. | Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles | (213) 847-4970 | $5 | website

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December 27–31 | Historic festival
Rose Parade Float Decorating
The Tournament of Roses is a beautiful way to bring in the New Year. This festival of flowers, music, and sports has been the place to be each New Year for over a century. But rather than just watching the show from the comfort of your couch, consider participating in the creation of the floats for the Rose Parade. Lots of organizations participating in the festival need volunteers eager to get their hands dirty. It’s quite breathtaking to consider how each flower has a place in the larger scheme, like life itself.
All day | Various locations across Greater LA | (626) 449-4100 | Free | website

January 1 | Hangover cure 
New Year’s Day is Bloody Mary Day at Public School
The perfect cure for a New Year’s Day hangover is a Bloody Mary. That's just Drinking Science 101. So no wonder Public School is pulling out all the stops to ensure a perfect first brunch for 2016. We’re talking $10 bottomless mimosas, beermosas, and micheladas alongside the specialty Bloody Marys. What makes them so special? Fresh tomatoes spiked with chipotle sauce, sriracha, and other secret ingredients, for starters. Glasses are rimmed with bacon salt and then garnished with the likes of pickled carrots, green beans, garlic, and, wait for it, a New Year's resolution–busting fried chicken wing. Just try to stay out of the principal’s office.
From 11:30 a.m. | Public School #310, 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City | (310) 558-0414 | website

AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to Los Angeles has you covered.

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Through January 2, 2016 | Art last chance 
This is your absolute last chance to view Fiberlicious, an exhibit that is dedicated to the craft of traditional fiber art and its very modern incarnations. Prepare to have your mind blown as you see all the different ways that fiber can be manipulated. Tanya Aguiniga, a much-loved local talent, and Carole Frances Lung, a.k.a. Frau Fiber, are among the 16 featured artists. 
12–5 p.m. | Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles | (323) 644-6269 | Free | website

Weekend escape
Baja, California
If you’re looking for a wine adventure with a difference, consider driving just south of the border. Baja, California is about a four-hour drive from the city but you’ll feel so far removed from it once you unpack your bags. Northern Baja is home to over 60 wineries, including the award-winning Vena Cava Wine. If you want to do a wine tour, check out Club Tengo Hambre. Consider La Villa del Valle as your inn of choice. It’s located right in the heart of the Mexican wine country and feels like an intimate fiesta. Complimentary breakfast includes fresh eggs from chickens that live on-site and homemade granola. 

Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.

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