Sanrio sure knows how to throw one heck of a party! Heather and I attended last night’s Small Gifts Los Angeles kick-off party. The 10-day carnival event celebrating Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary is happening at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica and started yesterday, Friday, November 12. The party wraps up on Sunday, November 21st.
Families, there is so much to see as you explore the gigantic Barker Hanger while you celebrate Sanrio! I really don’t know where to begin: Carnival games, miniature golf courses, video games, food, art and shopping. Admission to the event is free but tickets need to be purchased at the event for the games, etc.
The first, super-adorable visual to catch my eye was the float-sized balloons of various Sanrio characters hanging from the ceiling. A giant Hello Kitty, Keroppi and their friends added tremendous effect to the event.
If you happen to attend, my suggestion is to start off at the Pop-Up Shop. There was a long line to get into the shop and of course the area is filled with the cuteness that is Sanrio. Heather picked up a nice laptop cover that retailed for $24. Not bad at all! I just had to one have of the big fluffy square Keroppi blocks.
I’m a huge fan of food trucks and there were few of them in attendance. There will be different trucks rolling through the event so that in itself is a reason to visit the event night after night. My favorite of the night was the Grilled Cheese truck. Looks like they’ll be the resident truck so make sure you check them out. Oh, and stop by Beard Papas’ booth inside the hanger to try their special Hello Kitty strawberry flavored cream puff.
Although the event is free, tickets can be purchased for the special workshops and events held happening at the event. The Kitty in Pink – Retro 80s Prom sounds rad! I love people watching and Sanrio fans are dedicated, fun and fashionable! Buy tickets at: http://sanrio.brownpapertickets.com.
Last, make sure to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. You get a nice aerial view of the facilities. And keep your eyes open! You never know who you might see. We ran into Eric Estrada, Gilby Clark of Guns ‘n Roses and Kimora Lee Simmons.
My only disappointment was not getting in line earlier for the caricature artist. That and I couldn’t afford the amazing artwork that was on sale at the event. I think my favorites artwork were done by Buff Monster, Camilla d’Errico and 64 Colors (see images below).
Sanrio fans young and old need to visit this event. Sanrio is the meaning of cuteness! I hope to take my family over for a visit. My daughter will love it. I love that mom and daughter can both appreciate Hello Kitty! Seriously,Heather and I had a great time last night and it was really cool to be a part of this iconic company’s 50th anniversary! I hope you can make it to the event. You will not be disappointed. Happy Birthday Sanrio!
Here’s a nice summary of what you will find at the event. Just in case I missed anything.
Sanrio Art Exhibit & Installations – one of a kind works from 50 artists as well as eleven unique installation rooms.
Midway and Arcade – retro arcade, midway games, a 9 hole miniature golf course and a ferris wheel celebrating Sanrio characters Hello Kitty®, Little Twin Stars®, My Melody®, Keroppi®, Badtz-Maru®, and many others.
Food Extravaganza – a ‘food court’ of food trucks including Grilled Cheese Truck, a Pink’s Hot Dog booth and treats and special flavors from product/event sponsors Beard Papa’s, Yogurtland and Hint Water.
Hello Kitty Smart Car and Sephora Preview – Sanrio partners smartUSA will preview the newly launched Hello Kitty wraps for Smart Cars; Sephora will preview the new Hello Kitty Beauty collection.
Small Gift Los Angeles Pop-Up Shop – a special retail location where fans and collectors can shop for special Sanrio 50th Anniversary items and Small Gift collectibles.