Tuesday, November 24, 2009

12th annual Downtown on Ice at Pershing Square

Los Angeles - It's time to pull out and dust off your scarves and mittens or maybe just a long sleeved shirt, depending on the L.A. weather!! Downtown on Ice (DOI) at Pershing Square is back for its 12th season.

The Department of Recreation and Parks in partnership with Councilwoman Jan Perry celebrated the official opening of Downtown on Ice at Pershing Square on Friday, November 20, 2009 with special guests Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and The Grinch.

Performances by L.A. Ice Theater's Youth Ensemble, Olympic bound two-time National Pairs Champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubacker and a musical number from The Grinch kicked-off the opening ceremony, which was emceed by Mayor Villaraigosa.

With a low admission price, DOI is the coolest way to add a little winter chill to the holidays without spending a lot of money. The outdoor ice rink is open seven days a week through January 18, 2010. An hour on the 70-foot by 50-foot rink is $6, plus $2 for skate rentals. Metro and MetroLink riders can get a $1 discount by showing a coupon which is available on all mass transit lines.

Downtown on Ice is open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Friday through Sunday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. There will be special extended holiday hours starting December 18 through January 10, when the rink will be open EVERYDAY from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. DOI will also be open on all of the major holidays; Thanksgiving Day from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Christmas Day from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm, New Years Day from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Martin Luther King Day from 11:00 to 10:00 pm.

For the first time this year, Mommy and Me Stroller Skate sessions will be offered on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 am to 11:00 am (December 1, 8, 15 and January 12). New mothers can now share in the fun by pushing their bundles of joy in their strollers onto the ice.

Beyond skating, a medley of FREE events including a winter concert series, Winter Holiday Festival, championship skating exhibitions and much more will be offered at Pershing Square throughout the Downtown on Ice season.

Pershing Square is located in the heart of downtown at 532 South Olive Street 90013. Underground discount parking is available with rink validation. For more information and a detailed session/event schedule go to http://www.laparks.org/pershingsquare/doi.html or call (213) 847-4970.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday exhibition at Banning Residence Museum

Wilmington - Come see what a Victorian Christmas looked like! Banning Residence Museum, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility, will have a four-week holiday exhibition added to its regular tour beginning Saturday, December 5, 2009.

The museum will be transformed into a Victorian re-creation of "A Southern California Christmas". The setting of the house will be a large afternoon Christmas dinner and will show how Southern Californians tried to create a feeling of winter in a semi-tropical climate.

Included in the exhibition will be a display of 14 mannequins wearing period clothing and there will be seasonal decorations throughout the museum. The special holiday show will run through Sunday, January 3, 2010.

Tours are offered daily except Monday and Friday at 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm, with additional tour on Saturday and Sunday at 3:30 pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12.

For more information about the holiday presentation of the museum call (310) 548-7777 or visit http://www.thebanningmuseum.org/. Because the museum is being renovated, the annual Victorian Christmas, which is held the first weekend in December, will not take place in 2009.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694

Harvey Drut: (213) 202-2696
10th annual "Civil War Christmas" at the Drum Barracks Museum

Los Angeles - Tour the museum to experience how Christmas was celebrated in the early 1860s through authentic re-creations of holiday festivities, with decorations, entertainment including seasonal songs that are sung and played on a collection of vintage hand bells and more.

Ladies from the U.S. Sanitary Commission (which was the precursor of the American Red Cross) will talk about their efforts to provide soldiers with supplies the Army could not and to ensure their health and safety. Medical practices used during the era will be demonstrated and displayed, as will artifacts and weapons and sewing machines and techniques. There will also be reenactments of battlefield encounters and surveillance practices.

The museum also has a two-part exhibition recognizing the bicentennial of the year in which President Abraham Lincoln was born. "Lincoln and California" chronicles his interest in visiting the Golden State after the war and possibly even settling here. "Lincoln in Everyday Life" shows the prevalence of the image and name of the 16th president today.

For more information about the Drum Barracks "A Civil War Christmas" or the museum call (310) 548-7509. Guided tours are offered Tuesday through Thursday at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, noon and 1:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm through the end of the year. A $5 donation is requested for visitors age 12 or older.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Harvey Drut: (213) 202-2696
7th annual "Train Ride to Visit Santa" at Travel Town Museum

Los Angeles - ALL ABOARD!!! Grab your winter gloves and beanies, we're going to visit SANTA!
The 7th annual Train Ride to Visit Santa holiday program at Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park will begin the weekend of Saturday, November 28-29, 2009.

From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm both nights, passengers will take a short trip aboard the Santa Express miniature train to the North Pole, where they can tour jolly old Saint Nick's residence and visit with Santa as he prepares for his annual global travelling. Mrs. Claus will be the evening's hostess, giving visitors an inside scoop about life at the top of the world.

The return trip will go through a wonderland of holiday lights, scenery and music. The holiday program is put on by Travel Town Railroad, weather permitting, in cooperation with the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Additional dates for this special holiday presentation are December 4-6, 11-13 and 16-23, and those planning to go should dress for cold weather. Tickets are $7 per person; children 18 months old or younger can ride for FREE and parking is also FREE. Digital photos with Santa can be purchased for $5, or guests can take their own photos for FREE.

Given the popularity of the attraction, buying tickets in advance at the Travel Town ticket booth or online at www.gprah.com/organization/christmas.htm is suggested. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the gate.

Travel Town Museum is located at 5200 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles 90027. For more information about the Train Ride to Visit Santa call (818) 881-2586 or (323) 662-9678.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Harvey Drut: (213) 202-2696

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dedication of Gilbert Lindsay Recreation Center

Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks proudly dedicated a new recreation center at Gilbert Lindsay on Thursday, November 12, 2009. General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri, Commissioner Johnathan Williams, Councilwoman Jan Perry and local residents all helped celebrate the South Los Angeles facility's opening.

The inspiration for the new building came from it's unique history as the site of the original Wrigley Field Ballpark, which hosted local minor league baseball teams for over 30 years and was once home to the Los Angeles Angels. The design layout, which includes a center height tower highlighting the entrance and two smaller side towers, mimics the entrance to a ballpark open field through it's auditorium tunnel.

The project consisted of the construction of a one-story recreation building that includes a large multipurpose room, an office, warming kitchen and new electric, storage and maintenance rooms. There are ADA compliant unisex restrooms inside and outside of the new 2,400-square-foot center. The project also included the resurfacing of the outdoor basketball courts, new lighting, installation of a chain link fence, a new asphalt-paved parking lot and access driveway; along with a new irrigation system, trees and other landscaping improvements.

The $2.3 million project was designed by Public Works' Bureau of Engineering and constructed by Los Angeles Engineering, Inc. Funding was provided by Quimby Funds and Propositions K, 12 and 40.

Gilbert Lindsay Recreation Center is located at 429 East 42nd Street in Los Angeles 90011. The historic location offers 18 acres of great ethnic diversity, including two synthetic soccer fields and a skate park. Their classes and programs range from arts and crafts, senior citizen fitness and cooking. For more information on this location, please call the center directly at (323) 846-7584.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nature walks to the internationally renowned icon led by a Park Ranger

LOS ANGELES – Need a good walk to make-up for all the turkey you’re going to eat on Thanksgiving? Want to find a fun and inexpensive activity to do with your family and/or friends for the Holiday weekend? Join Ranger Ernie Ybarra on a free nature hike to the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park!

A pair of free nature walks in Griffith Park will be offered during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday weekend by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The excursions will take place Friday, November 27, and Saturday, November 28 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each day. The intermediate level hike will be four to six miles and is designed for those who have some previous hiking experience.

Park Ranger Ernie Ybarra will lead the treks, which will start at the Griffith Park Visitor Center, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., adjacent to the Ranger Station. Those planning to participate should dress accordingly and bring drinking water and snacks.

The walks are part of the 2009 series of hikes of different skill levels to locations in Griffith Park, including Amir’s Garden (Saturday, November 21), Vista del Valle, Dante’s View, and Captain’s Roost. For more information about any of the hikes, contact Ranger Ernie Ybarra at (323) 644-6661, extension 1549, or by e-mail at ernie.ybarra@lacity.org.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Harvey Drut: (213) 202-2696

Opening ceremony for the year-round facility

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) in partnership with LAUSD opened the Fremont Pool on Friday, November 13, 2009. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilwoman Jan Perry and RAP General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri were all in attendance for the first big splash.

The event celebrated the completion of much-needed improvements at the year-round pool located at Fremont High School. The project included the repair of plumbing lines, installation of a new roof, painting of the entire facility, electrical and HVAC upgrades and installation of spectator guardrail.

The Fremont High School Swimming, Diving and Water Polo teams were all on hand to test the water in the improved pool. Fremont pool is located at 7630 Towne Avenue in Los Angeles 90003 and offers a variety of aquatic programs for L.A. residents. Adult lap swimming, swim lessons, novice synchronized swimming, springboard diving team and CPR classes are all provided at the year-round pool. For a full listing of programs call the pool directly (213) 847-3401 or the Aquatics Division at (323) 906-7953.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dedication of Wilmington Vest Park in the Cruces Community

Wilmington - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks proudly dedicated Wilmington Vest Park in the Cruces Community on Monday, October 26, 2009. Pacific Region Superintendent Mark Mariscal, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and local residents were all on hand to help cut the red ribbon and dedicate the new pocket park.

The Wilmington Vest project transformed a vacant and dilapidated .13 acre lot into a safe and friendly park for the Cruces community to enjoy. The new park's state-of-the-art playground features swings, slides, climbing structures and a rubber play surface. There are also new ADA-approved drinking fountains and benches at the neighborhood recreation area. Colorful murals surround the park, encouraging fun and unity.

Wilmington Vest Park is located at 1300 East O Street (at the intersection of Watson Street) in Wilmington 90744. For more information on this location or the Department, please call (213) 202-2700 or visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694