A Pop-Up Popcorn Celebration @ Stage + Table

January 19 was National Popcorn Day! To Celebrate, Spin PR Group hosted a POPPED! Popcorn & Cocktails party at Stage + Table in Santa Monica.

Billed as an invite-only gourmet popcorn battle, guests received instructions to find the secret location (on the third floor above a Pressed Juicery), where they sampled flavored popcorn made by L.A.-area chefs and amateurs and then voted for their favorites.

All three floors of Stage + Table — a members-only culinary tasting society on Wilshire Boulevard near 6th Street — were decked out with popped treats and places to lounge, with local mixologists Josh Kearkey & Sam Hatley on hand to serve up cocktail pairings with Perfectomundo Tequila.

The popcorn contenders spanned sweet and savory: Phillip and Margarita Lee’s Roasted Garlic & Thyme (Scratch Bar & Kitchen), Trent Thomas’ Truffle (Ocean Prime Beverly Hills), Frankie Scanlon’s Bleu Cheese & Bacon (Gustus Vitae Condiments), Rosalind Napoli’s “Rosa’s Pizza” (Spin PR), Kim Koury’s “Kimmy K’s Krazy Karamel Korn” (Spin PR), and Madeline Martin’s spicy “FirePop.”

After tasting each flavor, guests dropped their ballots into glass jars stationed in front of their choice.

The winner, scoring its creators a gigantic stuffed popcorn man prize: Roasted Garlic & Thyme!

— Jessica Koslow

Santa Monica Place throws a free Year of the Rooster Party with lion dancers, stilt walkers and a wish tree from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. santamonicaplace.com

The Santa Monica Jaycees host a mixer from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 1212 Restaurant on Third Street Promenade. smjaycee.org

L.A. Tech Rise hosts a panel of five entrepreneurs who made this year’s Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Cross Campus. latechrise.com

Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros will be keynote speaker of this year’s State of the City event on Feb. 6. smchamber.org

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica celebrates its 95th anniversary with a party at the Santa Monica Pier carousel at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. rotaryclubofsantamonica.org

Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” will be the subject of this year’s citywide Santa Monica Reads festival. smpl.org