Given that the human body cannot be in two places at the same time, this weekend in Santa Clara County presents a challenge to those interested in Japanese and Italian culture with Japan Expo and the Italian Family Festa taking place at the same time this weekend.
Held at the Santa Clara Convention Center this weekend, Japan Expo: 1st Impact has been getting a lot of attention from the anime/cosplay community looking for a large Bay Area Japanese convention to attend besides FanimeCon. But Japan Expo is more than an anime convention with the obligatory cosplay, anime panels, anime & manga industry guests, and anime attendees fueled with Pocky & Internet memes to share with fellow fans of anime.
Since its launch in France 14 years ago, Japan Expo has been one of the world's largest celebrations of Japanese culture and entertainment. For its first time in the US, Japan Expo is piling on a variety of exhibits for this Japanese entertainment festival. Whether you're into martial arts, culture, gaming, or music, Japan Expo will have some thing or two for you to enjoy. And yes, anime fans can enjoy the cosplay as well as anime & manga industry guests at Japan Expo. They'll probably have to supply their own Pocky and Internet memes to share with each other. One anime related draw this weekend at Japan Expo is the FUNimation screening of “Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.”
Italian Family Festa (August 24-25; free admission and limited free parking)
Meanwhile this weekend at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens in downtown San Jose, the Italian Family Festa is a window into Italian culture. I was made aware of Italian Family Festa during the Gilroy Garlic Festival thanks to the wonderfully talented and friendly merchants of Dilley Dalley Designs, who equated the event to a giant Italian family reunion with over 35,000 annual attendees.
Like a good family gathering, expect to find plenty of food, music, drinks and a variety of fun family activities. Culinary demos, craft sales, Italian Fiats & Vespas on display, and bocce ball alleys allow attendees to experience Italian culture. Grape stomping competitions and prize drawings offer attendees a chance to show off and win. And to top it off, expect some of the San Jose sports teams to make a visit to Italian Family Festa.
So whichever fair satisfies the culture geek in you, have fun and eat well this weekend.