There’s a lot going on this weekend, so we’ll give you a head start with several multi-day events already in progress or starting today (Friday, February 12).
Although it’s a bit further out than our usual local-ish events, the 49th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair , February 12-14 at the Pasadena Convention Center, promises to be a real treasure trove for book lovers of all ages. More than 200 booksellers from around the world will be there with items hand-picked from their collections. According to a quote on the event’s website, from actor/director Tony Bill, ““Even if you are not a collector, if you have ever read a book, it’s a place to go to find out what you haven’t read, or just what you haven’t seen or didn’t know exists.”
Continuing in the bookish venin, the LA Art Book Fair, from Friday, February 11 through Sunday, February 14 at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, is billed as “a unique event for artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by over 250 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers.” The event is free and also includes some fun associated happenings, such as a floating library on Echo Park Lake. You’ll need a paddle to check out the offerings.
To start getting into the Valentine’s Day mood, and suitable for the whole family, Disney’s El Capital Theatre is screening the classic Lady & the Tramp from Friday through Monday, February 15. There is also a special candelight dinner event, provided by Miceli’s restaurant, prior to the Friday-Sunday 7 p.m. shows…but unfortunately, the dinners are already sold out. Movie-only tickets for other times are still available.
For more grown-up films, the Pan African Film Festival continues through Monday, February 15 at the Rave Cinemas at Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza. With more than 150 in all, there’s still more showing this weekend than you’d ever be able to take in. Check the schedule for individual films and showtimes. Also, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, don’t miss the special Conversation with Danny Glover…and the closing night film, “Miles Ahead,” on Monday, starring Don Cheadle as the legendary Miles Davis.
On Saturday, you can get your DWP billing and service questions answered, and pick up a free tree at the same time, at the LADWP’s Customer Service Saturday. The monthly event takes place at several customer centers around town; the closest to our area is 4030 Crenshaw Blvd. Also, in addition to the tree giveaways, this month’s event features workshops on water and power rates, at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.
Later, starting at 10 a.m., you can cheer on the athletes competing in the US Olympic Marathon Team Trials, as they run a qualifying race that starts at Staples Center and concludes at the LA Memorial Coliseum (the runners will make multiple loops around the course). The top 3 male and female finishers will be the first athletes nominated to the US Olympic Team headed to Rio de Janeiro Brazil to compete in the 31st Summer Olympics. To make it a bit easier for spectators, there will be designated cheer zones along the route.
On Saturday afternoon, head back to the north end of downtown for the Chinatown Golden Dragon parade at 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, the 115th annual parade is billed as “the premiere cultural event in the Southern California Asian-American Community.” The colorful event features almost two dozen floats, multiple marching bands, government officials, various dignitaries, entertainers, local business leaders and cultural groups, all celebrating the themes of ethnic diversity, Chinese Culture and exposure to Chinese-American businesses. Check the route map to find an ideal viewing spot.
Later, for the next (and more adult) Valentine’s Day-themed event, check out Sex and the City Zoo, from 5-7 p.m. at the LA Zoo. The Zoo invites you to “embrace a wild celebration of romance in the animal kingdom” at this lighthearted, adults-only affair featuring decadent treats, alluring wines, and “animal walk-abouts” where guests can observe small animals up close and chat with keepers. The main event will be a “provocative presentation by General Curator Beth Schaefer on some of the most fascinating and unusual mating rituals in the animal kingdom and how they compare with human courtship.” And finally, “The event climaxes with an intimate three-course dinner (for an additional fee) at Reggie’s Bistro inside the Zoo.” Ages 21 and over only.
The actual Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feburary 14, dawns with the annual L.A. Marathon, which has various start times beginning at 6:30 a.m. at Dodger Stadium. The course runs west to Santa Monica, with many associated street closures along the way. Spectators are welcome along the route to show the runners some Valentine’s love.
Later in the morning, you can join the friends at the Big Sunday volunteer organization for a Valentine Making Bingo Playing breakfast, at 10 a.m. at the Big Sunday headquarters, 6111 Melrose Blvd. “We want to make sure no one is forgotten on Valentine’s Day, so once again we’re gathering tons of nice people to make cards and gift bags for thousands of shut-ins and people who are ailing or facing a tough time,” says Big Sunday. The goodies will be delivered later to locations throughout the city. All ages are welcome, and everyone is also invited to bring non-perishable food items for collection for the residents of Alexandria House.
After breakfast and bingo, head over to the Craft and Folk Art Museum for its “All the Flowers Blooming for You” workshop at 1:30 p.m., which involves hammering (yes, you read that right) flowers to make unique, personal prints for your Valentine’s cards. Cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children and free to CAFAM members.
Finally, if you’re planning a big night out with your sweetheart, don’t forget to Eat Local for Valentine’s Day – many of our wonderful neighborhood restaurants are offering special deals and menus for the holiday.
Happy Valentine’s Day…and Gung Hay Fat Choy!