It seems that in January, everyone’s thoughts turn to fitness… or our cooler weather just makes it a good time to run. There are three big runs available this weekend, along with the usual mix of family, music, art and other happenings.
First up, today, Saturday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m., the John C. Fremont Library (6121 Melrose Ave.) is hosting its monthly BARK event. BARK is a volunteer program that encourages children to increase their reading skills and self-confidence by reading aloud to certified therapy dogs. Studies show that reading to these dogs actually leads to improvement in reading skills. All ages welcome.
This evening, the Wallspace gallery (607 N. La Brea Ave.) hosts the opening of Philip Vaughan’s “Black and Light“ solo exhibition. The work showcases the continuing dialogue among the different media that influence Vaughan, including both painting and neon sculpture, and the nuances that continue to evolve over time. “My work has often involved motion and movement within the work itself,” writes Vaughan in his statement for the show. “To me the static and the motion are reflections of each other. All this is also inextricably tied up in the way that we perceive the world around us and the action of nature, this illusion that we call color and vision.” The artist’s reception starts starts at 6 p.m.; the exhibition is on view through February 13.
If you’d rather take a nostalgia trip than a flight of artistic fancy, try the “Fast Times Fest” at the Wiltern Theater. Come dressed in your most rad ’80s gear to watch the classic “Fast Times At Ridgemont High.” Doors open at 7 p.m. There will also be a costume contest, performance by the Ridgemont Allstars band, and a full bar.
For a different kind of remembrance, Bluecoat Music – a group that brings together police officers, their families, and musicians in celebration of the lives of fallen officers through live musical performances – hosts its debut event, “Notes of Valor: A Night of Musical Remembrance,” at the Monte Cristo 3100 Wilshire Blvd. Several bands and solo artists will come together with families of fallen officers to remember and honor them through the power of music. 100% of the proceeds will help to fund the 2016 Police Unity Tour, which raises awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty with a fund-raising bicycle ride from Florham Park, NJ to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.
On Sunday, get ready to run…because it seems like everyone’s doing it this weekend.
First up, in keeping with the law enforcement remembrance theme, The Grove will host the inaugural “Run to Remember,” which honors fallen police officers and first responders. The race features a half-marathon and 10K course, with a route that starts and finishes at the Grove, but also winds its way through Hollywood, around Paramount Studios and to Barnsdall Art Park and back. Note: this one will lead to a number of road closures in our area, so if you’re not running, you still want to be aware of it. The event begins at 7 a.m. at the Grove, and includes a number of celebrity attendees: Mario Lopez (host), actor Eric Close, City Council Member David Ryu, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas, Sheriff Jim McDonnell, City Controller Ron Galperin, City Council Member Paul Koretz, and more. In addition, our Olympic Division LAPD Senior Lead Officers Joe Pelayo, Gordon Helper, Dikran Melkonian and Joe Cirrito will be running…with SLO Cirrito running in full police uniform. If you’re not running, please come out and cheer them on!
If you’d rather run in more rustic surroundings, you can support your city parks with the Griffith Park Half Marathon & 5K, a community road race in historic Griffith Park to support LA’s 440 parks. The route circles the LA Zoo and Gene Autry Museum, passing horse trails, the LA River and golf courses, starting and finishing in the central park meadow, where there will be food and product vendors, live music, t-shirts for all participants and medals for all top age group finishers. The event is organized by the LA Parks Foundation and begins at Park Center, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive.
And, finally, if the two daytime runs weren’t enough, try the Los Angeles River Night Run 2016. Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, this fun run (no official timing) supports the L.A. River revitalization, and provides a unique experience of the Greenway at night. The goal of the run is to raise awareness of river revitalization project, which seeks to connect all 51 miles of the L.A. River Greenway with a bike path, trails, parklets and natural restoration. There will also be a complimentary (vegan friendly) taco bar, craft beers for all finishers, free photos, glow apparel and a bonfire finale…with s’mores! Kids under 12 are free, and pets are welcome.