It’s time once again for the Venice Japanese Community Center’s annual Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival), a two-

day celebration of Japanese and Japanese-American culture in beautiful Del Rey.

The family-friendly event doesn’t just showcase cultural activities, it helps preserve them.  Proceeds go to support a variety of cultural, community service and sports activities within the Westside’s Japanese-heritage community.

This year’s festival features demonstrations of various martial arts, including judo, karate, kendo and taiko, plus ondo dancing on both evenings.

Exhibits include bonsai, ikebana (flower arrangement), shodo (calligraphy), sumi-e (ink painting) and watercolor displays. Vendors provide such Japanese culinary treats such as teriyaki chicken, sushi, beef short ribs, udon and ramen. There will also be plenty of game booths for kids, couples and families to enjoy.

— Michael Aushenker

Natsu Matsuri happens from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Venice Japanese Community Center, 12448 Braddock Drive, Del Rey. Admission is free. Call (310) 822-8885 or