For 29 years, the Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance has united the community of Silver Lake for an annual street fair. In recent years, the migration of middle-class hipsters and artists into the area that has long been a melting pot of Latino cultures has led to its gentrification and renaissance.

In 1980, the first two-day festival was held to bring the divergent population together to celebrate as one. This is what makes Sunset Junction so unique and fun, witnessing such an eclectic crowd being able to party altogether, regardless of their differences.

And every year, the fair has just gotten bigger. Although admission used to be based on a $6 to $10 donation, there’s now a set price of $20. But you would normally have to pay that much to see just one band perform in any L.A. venue on a given night.

Did I mention that there are over 50 musical acts at Sunset Junction this year? Whether you’re into dance culture or folk music, there’s bound to be an act that catches your ear on at least one of the four stages.

The legendary Mary Wilson of the Supremes and the equally astounding Conor Oberst and his southern rock outfit, the Mystic Valley Band, headline Saturday. The indie rock of Islands, hip-hop beats of SA-RA, R&B stylings of Les Nubians and bellydancers from Troupe Zaghareet grace the stage.

SoCal’s own the Submarines, the Delta Spirit, Nico Vega, Rumpsringa, War Tapes, Miss Derringer, the Boogaloo Assassins, Warpaint, Dengue Fever, Bobby Matos and Gran Ronde are set to light up the night. A slew of DJs, like Destructo, Jason Bentley, Kutmah and the Villains, are set to spin on the ones and twos.

Sunday features Built to Spill, Morris Day and the Time, the Sonics, Tiny Masters of Today, Nortec Collective and Arrested Development. And Ritmo Flamenco dancers are sure to dazzle the crowd.

L.A. bands, such as Mika Miko, Local Natives, Love Grenades, Nico Stai, Very Be Careful and Night Horse are also on hand. Get down with DJ Nobody, Adam-12, Future P, B+, Joe Leyva and Josh One.

If you need to rest your ears for a bit, fill your stomach with mouth-watering fare like corn on the cob, grilled sausages or spicy tacos. Check out the vendor and arts and crafts booths that line Sunset Boulevard. Or pop into clothing shops like Matrushka Construction and Pull My Daisy.

One of my favorite places to just chill for a bit is El Cid. People watch while sipping a margarita and munching on chips and salsa for an hour before you head back out into the madness.

The parking lot next to Good Micro Brew & Grill is always jumping. Make sure to take advantage of their awesome beer specials.

Being able to walk down the street with a beer in your hand (and not be hassled by the cops) is a big plus. But I wouldn’t advise drinking or eating before taking a spin on the Round Up or Tilt-a-Whirl. Yes, there are carnival rides and games galore at Sunset Junction.

Park at Los Angeles City College (835 N. Vermont Ave.), and take a shuttle over to the fair. You can also take the Metro Red Line to Santa Monica/Vermont or Sunset/Vermont.

Advance tickets are available for $15 per day at ticketweb.com or at Tsunami Coffee House (4019 Sunset Blvd.; open Tues-Sun). Otherwise, you can purchase tickets at the door on either day for $20. In any case, don’t miss out on one of the best ways to ring out the summer in Los Angeles.



For more information, visit sunsetjunction.org.