As is often the case with holiday weekends, event organizers recognize that many folks go out of town or spend time with their families, so they do, too…and events lists tend to be on the light side. Still, if you’re around this weekend, there is definitely plenty to do and explore.
For those who would like an early, vigorous start to their Saturday morning, the Everyone’s Hike group is making an early-morning trek to the Hollywood sign, starting at 7 a.m. at the Griffith Park Merry Go Round Parking Lot #2 (4730 Crystal Springs Drive, 90027). The color theme for hikers is red, white and blue (of course!), and the organizers note that it’s an intermediate-level hike (NOT a beginner hike). Also, it is a hike, and not a run. Distance is about 7 miles round trip and the trek will take about 4 hours to complete. Bring a snack or meal, plenty of water and good hiking shoes. See the above link for more information.
Want to feel like a kid again? Try spending your Saturday morning watching vintage cartoons. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, CineFamily will feature a program focusing on “splendorous mother nature,” including “everything from silly symphonies and merry melodies, camping rabbits and mischievous chipmunks, musical merbabies and slap happy bears, to nature loving brave warriors and regular joes from the Regular Show.” Pajamas are not mandatory, but encouraged. There will also be a complimentary cereal bar with a rotation of “the best sugary cereals on the market, and a cash bar for the grown ups who want their sugar delivered in the form of a mimosa.” Tickets are $10, or free for CineFamily members and kids under 14.
Also in the animation vein is the Anime Expo, running Friday through Monday, July 1-4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Anime Expo is an annual convention dedicated to this unique form of Japanese art and animation. Events include a masquerade, anime music video contest, concerts, and a fashion show. There will also be late-night programming such as dance, video screenings, tabletop and electronic gaming, and open-mic karaoke. Many of the attendees cosplay while attending the convention, and join in the many gatherings for fans of different anime, manga, gaming and other genres. Full schedule and ticket info can be found at the link above.
If dinosaurs are more your style, the new Pterosaurs exhibit at the Natural History Museum opens on Sunday, with member preview days on Friday and Saturday. Travel back in time and take off with these prehistoric kings of the air, who ruled the skies during the time dinosaurs dominated the land. You can marvel at life-size models hovering above, dive into interactive exhibits, and fly like a pterosaur in a Virtual Flight Lab. This is likely to be a very popular exhibit, so timed entry tickets are required, and advance recommendations are strongly recommended.
If you enjoy classic films, the American Cinematheque has several greats this weekend at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. On Friday, return to Amity Island and the horrors of 1975’s Jaws. On Saturday, frolic with zombies in 1981’s Burial Ground…and on Saturday, re-live Hollywood’s grand (notice we didn’t say “highly accurate”) version of the civil war via 1939’s Gone with the Wind (if you’ve never seen it on the big screen, this is a must!). See links above for tickets and showtimes.
Of course, for many Angelenos, a summer weekend wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Hollywood Bowl, which hosts the last L.A. performance of A Prairie Home Companion, with soon-to-retire Garrison Keillor, on Friday, and the the classic soft rock band Chicago on Saturday through Monday nights…complete with fireworks extravaganzas after each of those performances.
The topic of fireworks reminds us to remind you: ALL backyard fireworks are illegal in the city of Los Angeles. Please report violations to 1-877-ASK-LAPD. Not only are fireworks dangerous, but we are still in a severe drought, with lots of dry vegetation that could be easily ignited by stray sparks. Also, a great many pets are spooked by the explosions and bolt from homes and yards – it’s the biggest day of the year for missing pets and city animal shelters. So keep your family, homes and pets safe this week – either attend an official, professional fireworks show…or climb up on a roof or upper-story deck and watch the spectacle all around you for free.
Finally, on a more pleasant note – because of the holiday weekend, there will be no full closure of Wilshire Blvd. in our area for subway construction this weekend. So you’re free to move about…and we encourage you to patronize our local Wilshire-La Brea area businesses whenever possible – they really appreciate your support right now.
Have a great, safe 4th of July weekend!