This is a major holiday weekend, with Passover beginning this evening and Easter on Sunday, so many local organizations have hit the “pause” button on other kinds of events. There are still a few fun and informative things happening, though — with many of them sponsored by city agencies.
First up, while many of us are lucky enough to be able to focus on home and family for the holidays, an increasing number of Angelenos do not have the luxury of a home. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, you can learn how to help solve homelessness in L.A. with a big Homelessness Resource Fair at downtown’s Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave. Homelessness is a complex issue, and this event will show you how to start making a difference in your neighborhood. Attendees will learn how to connect to local advocates for the homeless, organizations that provide services to the homeless, and how to extend these services to homeless neighbors in your own community. Governmental agencies will also present updates on their projects and policies (including Measures H and HHH, and Bridge Home). A full list of exhibitors, and a map of the event, is available at http://bit.ly/LAHRFmap. Also note that free parking will be available at the Music Center garage, 218-246 N. Grand Ave (entrance on West side of street between Temple/First Streets)…and Metro’s Red Line Civic Center station is right at the Fair entrance. For more information, see http://tiny.cc/LAHRF.
If the holiday home-and-family spirit moves you to add a new fur member to your family, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services and the Pet Care Foundation is eager to help, with a special Chi-Pitty-Kitty event, featuring adoptable chihuahuas, pit bull terriers and cats. This weekend, dog and cat adoption fees will be reduced to $52 for dogs, $100 for puppies and no charge for cats and kittens… at all six LA City Animal Services Centers (see the LAS link above for locations). All the available animals are vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. A $20 license fee will apply to all LA City residents who adopt dogs four months and older.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, another city department – Recreation and Parks – will host a big Spring Festival at the Exposition Park Rose Garden (701 State Dr., 90037). Families are invited to (literally) stop and smell the roses, and to enjoy a free day of interactive fun including an egg hunt, arts and crafts, live entertainment, a public art exhibit, rose grooming workshops, ferris wheel rides, and other spring-themed “edutainment” activities. (Note: this is just one of many RAP events this spring – click the graphic for a full list.)
Just a bit later, and back downtown, from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday, head over to Olvera Street for the annual Blessing of the Animals. This ancient event dates back to the 4th century, when San Antonio De Abad was named the patron saint of the animal kingdom and began to bless animals to promote their good health. According to the Olvera Street Merchants Association, the Blessing – which always takes place on the Saturday before Easter – has been part of Olvera Street since its founding in 1930, when “the priest from La Placita Church would bless the livestock of the farmers to keep them healthy and productive, benefiting the entire community.” Also, at that time, the blessing was expanded from the traditional cows, horses and goats to include all animals, especially pets. Today, the blessing is still open to all animals, “whether they live on land, in water, or fly in trees.” Also, while the blessing is rooted in Catholic tradition, you do not have to be Catholic to participate – all humans are welcome, too. Please note that the event begins at 12 p.m., and the line to receive a blessing from Archbishop Jose Gomez begins at 1 p.m., in front of the Pico House. The blessings begin at 2 p.m. Everything is free and family friendly.
Back on Larchmont Blvd., and also on Saturday from 12-6 p.m., the House of G & C, 564 N. Larchmont Blvd., will host an Earth Day Pop-Up Party, celebrating art, sustainable fashion, sustainable beauty and “spreading positive vibes.” The event will feature UncuttArt and NY fashion designer KyubyKesi’s Protect YoHeART and Protect YoEARTH sustainable collections. There will also be sustainable beauty items from Beauty Seafari and a custom crystal bracelet bar from My Mahana. Attendees can shop early for Mother’s Day, graduation, and birthdays…for moms, friends or themselves. Tickets are free, but advance registration is required. If you don’t RSVP, a cash donation of $10 will be required to enter. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Protect YoHeART’s Nationwide Love Is…Tour Fundraiser.
Just half an hour later, starting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Knowles Karate Academy, 4378 W. Third St., will host a release party for the Song Qigong “8 Pieces of Brocade” video. And following the party, from 4-6 p.m., there will be a free Qigong Healing Workshop.
On Sunday, things are pretty quiet in the event world, but it could be a great time for a vintage movie outing. The American Cinematheque, at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., will host a 2 p.m. program of Restored Laurel and Hardy Shorts, including “The Battle of the Century” (1927, 19 min. Dir. Clyde Bruckman and featuring “the greatest pie fight ever filmed”)…“Hog Wild” (1930, 19 min. Dir. James Parrott)…“Come Clean” (1931, 20 min. Dir. James W. Horne)…and “The Chimp” (1932, 25 min. Dir. James Parrott). Before the show, starting at 1 p.m., author Randy Skretvedt will sign his book “Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies.”
Also, a bit later in the day, the New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., will offer a Neil Simon double-feature, with “My One and Only” (1981, with Marsha Mason and Kristy MacNicol) starting at 6:30 p.m. and “I Ought to Be in Pictures” (1982, starring Walter Matthau, Ann-Margaret and Dinah Manoff) starting at 9 p.m.
Finally, while we don’t have any specifically Passover-themed events to share this weekend, we did want to pass along some resources for your celebrations. First is this list, distributed this week by Temple Israel of Hollywood, which includes several new Haggadahs (the text recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the holiday):
- A new Kveller Hagaddah for “curious kids and their grown-ups,” written around the theme of memory, and co-authored by TIOH member Gabi Birkner.
- The full HIAS Haggadah for 2019, which weaves stories of today’s refugees and asylum seekers into the Passover Seder.
- MAZON’s Hunger Seder Hagaddah and its Fifth Question hagaddah insert.
- Keshet’s LGBTQ inclusive resource guide
- Jewish World Watch’s Passover resources.
And, finally, with the author’s permission, we also share this new “Mind Your Steps” Haggadah from Bob Wolfe, which focuses on mindfulness.
Chag Sameach and/or Happy Easter to all who are celebrating the respective holidays…have a great weekend!