Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

From Dragons to the Heavens to Voting Rights and More – Events for February 17-23, 2024

You’ll have one more chance to celebrate the Lunar New Year this weekend…and it’s a big one – the 125th annual Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown.

The official start of the Lunar New Year was last Saturday, but the celebrations continue this weekend when the 125th annual Golden Dragon Parade takes over the streets of Chinatown on Saturday.  Astronomy fans will also take over the lawn of the Griffith Observatory for its monthly Star Party…art lovers will congregate for the LA Art Show at the Convention Center…and current and former Skid Row tenants will light up the stage in a performance of the Urban Voices Project at The LA Breakfast Club. So go out and gaze into the heavens, or get lost in a piece of art this week. You can also listen to live Western music, or a book talk about dystopian fantasy, or help clean up K-Town…among other great choices. 

Arts, Culture, and The Breakfast Club 

In case you haven’t heard yet, the LA Art Show opened on Valentine’s Day with a bang, in the form of an opening night premiere party, and continues on through Sun, Feb 18 at the LA Convention Center’s West Hall. Described as “The Most Comprehensive International Contemporary Art Show in America,” the LAAS is comprises more than 120 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations from around the world, exhibiting painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, photography, design, video and performance. Bonus: all works presented by the participating galleries are for sale. Tickets are $35 (15% of ticket sales will go to the AHA Life is Why™ Campaign). Hours: 12-8 p.m. on Fri and Sat and 12-6 p.m. on Sun

Lunar New Year (LNY) is a time to honor your ancestors and give thanks for your blessings. It’s also the most celebrated holiday of the year for the approx. 1.5 million Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese residents in SoCal. And the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles has saved the biggest local event of the celebration of the Year of the Dragon for last: the 125th Golden Dragon Parade, happening this Sat, Feb 17 from 1-4 p.m.  Join thousands of fellow Angelenos, marching bands, kung fu performers, lion dancers, local government and business leaders, and the newly crowned Miss Chinatown LA for a fun day full of tradition. The parade starts at Hill & Temple, but you can check the link above for the full map/route. Fun Fact: According to the event’s website, “The history of the Golden Dragon Parade dates back to the early 1900s when it was not for Lunar new year, nor was it organized by Chinese people. It was called La Fiesta de Los Angeles and it was a way for the city to advertise itself as a land of progress and bounty.”

The Griffith Observatory invites astronomy fans of all ages to gaze into the heavens at a Public Star Party out on the Observatory’s lawn this Sat, Feb 17 from 2 – 9:45 p.m. Once a month, the Observatory partners with local telescope groups to share their telescopes and knowledge with the public. Volunteers from the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers, and The Planetary Society, provide dozens of telescopes on the lawn, there’s always something to see. Gaze at the Sun, Moon, visible planets, and other objects while knowledgeable amateur astronomers teach you about astronomy. Please note: the operation of private, unauthorized telescopes on the grounds, for either public or private use, is not permitted. This is a FREE event. The Observatory closes at 10 p.m.  

Meanwhile, also in iconic Griffith Park, the Western Music Showcase at The Autry is gonna make you want to dust off them cowboy boots, and boot ‘n’ scoot from 12-2 p.m., and maybe even the rest of the day, this Sun, Feb. 18. The event will feature performances of live Western music courtesy of the International Western Music Association. With roots in English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh ballads mixed with musical influences from jazz, bluegrass and blues, contemporary Western Music pays homage to historic ”Cowboy” music, and brings in the stories and lifestyles of the larger populations of today’s West. And it’s all FREE, with no reservations required.

A bit closer to home, Chevalier’s Books, is hosting a new book talk this Tues, Feb 20 at 6 p.m. with Scott Guild and his debut novel, PLASTIC. Erin is a Barbie-esque plastic girl living in a plastic world. Every day she eats a breakfast of boiled chicken, then conveys her articulated body to Tablet Town, where she sells other figurines called Smartbodies. Both a crypto-comedic dystopian fantasy and a deadly serious dissection of our own farcical pre-apocalypse, PLASTIC is an achingly beautiful, disarmingly welcoming, and fabulously inventive look at the hollow core of modern American society. Here, here. Scott Guild was the asst. director of the Pen City Writers prison writing program, and is currently an asst. professor at Marian University. He was also the songwriter and lead guitarist for the new wave band New Collisions, who toured with the B-52s and opened for Blondie. FREE; kindly RSVP here.

Next, for the early risers among you, if you’re looking to venture outside your usual morning routine, then look again to Griffith Park and the 99-years-young LA Breakfast Club. The group meets every Wednesday for a buffet breakfast, silly songs, club traditions, and an interesting speaker, presentation, or performance. This week, on Wed, Feb 21, the LABC welcomes the Urban Voices Project (UVP) Choir – a group of artists and performers from Skid Row (currently or formerly homeless) – along with the org’s Executive Director, Kate Richards Geller and Development Manager, Sarah Goodwin. The UVP’s openhearted inclusion of the most marginalized members of society helps improve well being, strengthen social networks, and inspire individuals to be their own best advocates. The food and fun takes place in the Friendship Auditorium in Griffith Park. Non-member tickets are $25 (sales close 48 hours prior). Please arrive early! Doors close at 7:15 a.m.

Finally in cultural events this week, embark on a captivating journey through history with the esteemed Dr. Francille Rusan Wilson, as she gives an enlightening presentation on Black Women & Voting Rights (1865-1965): An Overlooked History at The Ebell of Los Angeles on Wed, Feb 21. Delve into the pivotal role of Black Women in the Suffragette Movement, uncovering the radical and empowering vision of a united sisterhood that often found itself sidelined in the broader struggle. The cost is $15 for non-members; $10 for members. The event begins at 4 p.m.

Community and Local Government

While some people may associate community cleanup days with not-so-great memories of teenage labor required by parents or schools, we’ve discovered as adults that they’re also a terrific way to get to know your neighbors and neighborhood while doing something both productive and much appreciated. This weekend, you can stretch your neighborly muscles by joining KYCC and the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council for the 1st Koreatown Environmental Clean Up Day on Sat, Feb 17 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Volunteers must register in advance here. All tools and supplies are provided. Meeting location: Consulate General of The Republic of Korea at 3243 Wilshire Blvd. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. Limited parking available at location.

Next up is the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, which will hold an Outreach Committee meeting on Tues, Feb 20 at 6:30 p.m., via Zoom. All are welcome to join and discuss upcoming events and efforts to help spread the word about our great NC and what it does for our community. Check the GWNC website for more info.

And finally, the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has two meetings this week, starting with the Public Safety & Well-Being Committee on Tues, Feb 20 at 7 p.m. at the Pan Pacific Park Recreation Center (7600 Beverly Blvd.). Then, on Wed, Feb 21, the Transportation & Sustainability Committee will have its chance in the spotlight at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Check Mid City’s calendar for agendas and full schedule. 

…and More on the Buzz Calendar!

Once again, we’d like to close with a reminder that the list above is just a sampling of the many events we’ve now collected on our brand new Buzz Calendar.  We’re currently following happenings from about 60 local organizations (with the number growing each week), so if you’re looking for great things to do in central Los Angeles, we’ve got the 10,000-foot view.  Big events, small events, and everything in between…for all ages and interests.

Also, the calendar display is flexible, so you can view things in several different ways. You’ll find the lovely, big, and very graphic listings for the current day on the main calendar page (link above), but if you want to see the (really, really) big picture, you can also switch from List view to Month view, as shown at the right-hand side of the image below.

Finally, one of the best parts – the calendar is also self service, so you can add your own events, too. Got a yard sale coming up? School events? Block party?  Submit them to the Buzz calendar – we’d love to feature them!

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Julia Christiansen
Julia Christiansen
Julia is a native Angeleno and jack of all trades, having worked in television, visual effects, professional sports, health and wellness, and custom design. She currently resides in El Segundo.
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