Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) invites everyone to its 2nd annual River Fest, a FREE, all-ages, open-air film festival at the scenic LA State Historic Park on Sunday, July 23, 2023 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Through a range of storytelling mediums like film, performance, art, and education, the event will showcase the nexus of nature, health, climate change, art, and the LA River. In addition to short films on a large outdoor movie screen, River Fest will offer a Story Slam, interactive art and education activities, local food trucks, drinks, live DJ, several raffles, and 20+ booths with local environmental, arts, indigenous, and partner organizations like Angel City Football Club. While free, registration is required, and tickets will go fast. Registration is now open on the FoLAR Eventbrite.
"The LA River runs through so many communities in our region, and this year we’re excited to celebrate that in new ways at River Fest. Making River Fest 2023 more interactive and offering community members even more ways to connect with nature through art gets to the heart of our goal of bringing the people to the River and the River to the people,” states Candice Dickens-Russell, FoLAR CEO.
The films and activities at River Fest will share stories of environmental justice, community leadership, challenges faced by the River, and Indigenous perspectives on nature and the River. In addition to the noted festivities, FoLAR’s River Rover, a 38 ft. mobile visitor and education center will be on hand along with FoLAR’s education team.
All free general admission tickets for River Fest 2023 cover entrance into the festival, access to this year’s films and performances, and a complimentary raffle ticket. Food, drinks, and other items or services offered by River Fest vendors may be purchased at the event. A limited number of VIP tickets are available, providing VIP parking, VIP check-in, a VIP gift bag, two drink tickets, five complimentary raffle tickets, and a VIP seating area during the festival.
River Fest was created to replace the idea of a ‘gala’, offering a more equitable and accessible community celebration of both FoLAR and the River that runs through so many of the region’s communities, and thereby supporting FoLAR’s mission to build capacity for communities, students, and future leaders to advocate for nature, climate, and equity on the LA River.
FoLAR recently celebrated its 33rd annual Great LA River CleanUp which featured extra activities like habitat restoration, nature walks, and education to ensure opportunities for everyone to help support the River and make meaningful connections to it. Additionally, the expanded nesting range of an endangered species, the Least Bell’s Vireo, was discovered along the LA River this Spring, which is exactly the type of resurgence of wildlife that FoLAR has worked toward in their three decades of hosting CleanUps and volunteer events on the River.
The 2023 River Fest is made possible through major supporters M2O, Bank of America, Metabolic Studio, Glendale Arts, City of Long Beach, and Elysian Valley Arts Collective.
Ride-sharing and use of the Metro’s new regional connector project are encouraged. Limited paid parking will also be available at LA State Historic Park.