This is one of those weekends that we recommend you start early – at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening to be exact – with a special Outdoor Movie Night at Van Ness Ave. Elementary School, 501 N. Van Ness Ave. They’ll be screening the very recent (still in some theaters) “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” Tickets are only $5, and there will be tacos and snacks for sale, face painting, prizes and more. Great for the whole family…and all proceeds benefit the school.
On Saturday morning, you could start the day with “Culver City at a Crossroads,” one of three special one-time walking tours of our neighboring community being conducted by the LA Conservancy. The other two tours (“Transforming Hayden Tract” and “Ballona Creek”) are already sold out…but as of this writing, the “Crossroads” tour still has tickets available. According to the Conservancy, the itinerary will include “a self-paced tour of 20 historic sites, an exclusive mini-tour of Helms Bakery District, and access to the Robert Frost Auditorium at Culver City High School. Registration also includes admission to two presentations and discounts at local restaurants.” Visit the tour stops in any order you choose, and docents will be on hand to provide historical information. Check in any time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Helms Bakery District. Tickets and more information at the tour link above.
The biggest event on Saturday, of course – and as the photo at the top of this page hints – is the 14th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival, taking place on Crenshaw Blvd., between Stocker St. and Obama Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Join as many as 350,000 of your best friends and neighbors from the mid-town community in this huge “family reunion” celebrating “SoCal’s Black cultural experience fused with diverse cultures and traditions.” There will be hundreds of food vendors offering American, Jamaican, African, Mexican and fusion cuisine, as well as seafood, vegan food, and more…along with merchants selling art, jewelry, clothing and beauty products…and much much more. There will also be three major music stages with performers such as the S.O.S. Band, Klymaxx, Evelyn Champagne King, Chosen Recovery, Cultural Soul, Tony Grant, Tay Walker, a long list of gospel stars, and – again – many more. For the full lineup, schedule, and transportation tips, see the link above.
For something a bit quieter on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m., try a special Halloween-themed edition of Drag Queen Storytime at the Wilshire Branch Library, 149 N. St. Andrews Pl., presented by Sadie Pines. There will be prizes for everyone who wears a costume or their favorite special outfit! All ages welcome.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m. at the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., you can check out a special Mail Art workshop. According to the library, “Because of email, sending letters, notes and postcards has become a dying art. We want to change that and inspire you to not only send mail again but to kick it up a notch and create Mail Art. Mail Art is a movement where you can send your small scale artwork through the Postal Service.” Participants will creat their own unique Mail Art, which will be displayed at the library. The workshop is free and open to everyone.
Just a few blocks away, at 568 N. Larchmont Blvd., the Rotary Pumpkin Patch, now in full harvest holiday swing, will hold a special Halloween Hoedown and Chili Competition from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday. There will be live music by Rob Faucette and the C Words (C stands for “community”), beef and veggie hot dogs, chili and beverages. The event itself is free, but there will be a $5 charge for food.
Meanwhile, dance fans can head over to the Barnsdall Gallery Theater, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., where Louise Reichlin & Dancers/Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers will present an inspiring 40th Anniversary Weekend filled with dance and multimedia, featuring a special performance of The Tennis Dances (complete), the Los Angeles premiere of A Jewish Child’s Story, and Invasion, starting at 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a special 2pm performance of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, with dazzling, colorful costumes, multimedia set, and spectacular dance in an interactive journey into the land of Oz – to ignite the imaginations of young and old alike.
For film fans this weekend, the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., is hosting the 25th annual Recent Spanish Cinema film festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday. The goal is “to expose Angelenos to Spanish culture, from art and music to food, fashion and more.” This year’s lineup includes “six Los Angeles premieres, ranging from comedies to award-winning dramas and documentaries, as well as an animated biopic about one of Spain’s greatest artists.” See the link above for the full schedule, showtimes and tickets. All films will be shown in Spanish, with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
For another kind of film fun, look no further than Harold A. Henry Park, 890 S. Lucerne Blvd., where the Windsor Village Association will host a family movie night starting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. The movie will be the family favorite “Shrek.” Popcorn and hot cocoa will be served…but be sure to bring your own blanket and/or favorite lawn chairs.
On Sunday, get moving – literally – with the 35th Annual AIDS Walk LA, which starts at 8:30 a.m. in downtown’s Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave. This is the well known “pioneer fundraising walk that raises vital funds and builds support and awareness of the continuing need to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.” This year’s event will begin and end on the steps of City Hall, and will include free family activities for kids of all ages, a house band, drag queen entertainers, stilt walkers, acrobat performers and much more. See the event link for the full schedule…and be sure to watch for, and give a shout out to, our local Paramount Pictures employees, who will be supporting the walk for the 35th year.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Sunday is also the official opening day for the new Target store at the new development at La Brea and San Vicente. (Word on the street is, however, that it’s actually been up and running in a “soft open” for a few days now…but we won’t tell if you won’t.) The Sprouts store in the same complex has been open for a couple of months now…and a new Michael’s will open there soon.
Later on Sunday, the Craft Contemporary will host a “Gallery Talk: Finding the Center with Echiko Ohira and Holly Jerger,” starting at 1 p.m. Artist Echiko Ohira will accompany Exhibitions Curator Holly Jerger on a walkthrough of the artist’s first solo museum exhibition, Finding the Center. You can meet the artist and learn about the processes and ideas behind her elaborate paper works. The event is free, but space is limited, so RSVPs are required if you’d like to attend.
And finally on Sunday, neighbors are invited to the 41st annual Lucerne Block Party, “Bollywood on Lucerne,” taking place on the 500 block of S. Lucerne Blvd. from 3-6 p.m. There will be an Egg Toss, a Good Blessings Booth, a bubble party (starting at 4 p.m.) for kids of all ages, a bouncy house, inflatable climber, henna artist, lemonade stand, DJ sets, and a special performance by the Bollywood Dancers at 5 p.m.
Enjoy…and have a great weekend!