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Eastside Weekend: Echo Park celebrates Madonna’s 60th birthday; Highland Park El Mercado arts & crafts fest; East L.A. Art Walk

By LUCY GUANUNA

This weekend is for browsing, shopping and eating at art walks and street mercados around the Eastside. Spend your Saturday evening at El Mercado, an annual street festival in Highland Park, or browse the handcrafted wares at the family-friendly East L.A. Art Walk on Sunday.

Read on for our top 10 events and things-to-do this weekend.

This issue of Eastside Weekend is sponsored by Metro, which invites you to attend Nisei Week 2018

FRIDAY, August 10

Madonna –  Madonna is turning 60! The Echoplex in Echo Park is holding a birthday party a week before her b-day with DJs spinning a “massive dose of Madonna,” a Battle of the Madonnas lip sync contest and a Madonna themed photo booth and cocktails.  Madonna attire is encouraged, of course.

SATURDAY, August 11

Art – The L.A. River is buzzing with activity, and now you can get in on the action by dropping in on Art Talks on the River, a series of panel discussions at Lewis McAdams Riverfront Park. This weekend’s discussion, hosted by the L.A. River Public Art Project, will focus on how artists are reimagining where art is created and displayed outside of museum walls.

Shop – Celebrate Highland Park’s Latino roots during El Mercado at the York Village, an annual arts and crafts street festival on York Boulevard. The event will coincide with the NELA Artwalk, so come prepared with comfortable walking shoes and some cash to see some original art and support local businesses. While you’re there, don’t miss the unveiling of a mural by Pola Lopez at York Park!  

Shop – Buy local at El Sereno Art Walk’s Mercaditio de Arte where you will find goods made by artisanal vendors, live music and original art.

Comedy – Ride your bike or take a stroll along the L.A. River to get to The Frogtown Show, a monthly stand-up comedy showcase at the Spoke Bicycle Cafe. This month’s lineup will feature Danielle Perez, a local comedian and co-host of the stand-up comedy show, Gentrification in Highland Park. The cafe will be serving up food and drinks throughout the night.

Photography – See a photographic ode to East Los Angeles from a young photographer in the opening reception for Thank You, East Los at Las Fotos Project in Lincoln Heights. In this coming-of-age exhibition, 18-year-old Metztli Garcia shows the culture, values and spirit of her community through her photographs.

Music – Let the otherworldly sounds of classical guitarist Fabio Barbagallo transport you to 19th century Sicily during Edendale Up Close Concerts, a free concert series at the Edendale Branch Library in Echo Park.    

Music – Park your blanket under a tree at Tierra de la Culebra Park in Highland Park and let the live performances by Electric Soundbath, Yialmelic Frequencies and Ana Roxanne chill you all the way out.

SUNDAY, August 12

Shop – Shop locally for hand-crafted wares and art at the East L.A. Art Walk, a free, family-friendly monthly event. Come to shop, stay for the live art and music.

Hike – Bring your favorite canine along to this 3-mile walk and hike through Elysian Park.

That’s It For This Weekend!

As always, it’s a good idea to check with event organizers about any changes.

Thanks for reading. Until next Thursday, stay on top of the rest of the week’s goings-on by visiting the Eastside Events Calendar.

— Lucy Guanuna

Got an event you want to share with our readers? Submit your announcement or press release here and also submit it into the Eastside Events Calendar for happenings anytime during the week.

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