Go, See, Do | Backyard Bash, Oktoberfest, Final Friday and more

photo by: Journal-World File Photos

Left to right: Spencer Museum Backyard Bash, St. John's Oktoberfest, Late Night in the Phog.

Although it’s getting colder outside, I still think it’s a nice time to hang out in the backyard to enjoy the fall weather.

Luckily, the Spencer Museum of Art agrees and will be throwing a party this weekend in possibly the biggest backyard in Lawrence.

The museum’s annual Backyard Bash returns from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday and is free and open to the public. The event takes place directly behind the museum, 1301 Mississippi St., in Marvin Grove.

This year’s bash is unique because it also includes the outdoor art installation “Art in the Grove,” said Elizabeth Kanost, communications manager for the museum. She said the exhibit includes two site-specific commissions by local artists.

“One of the commissions is a hip-hop dance performance ‘Groove in the Grove,’ choreographed by KU instructor Maya Tillman-Rayton, that will be performed during the Backyard Bash,” she said. “The other commission is a series of glow-in-the-dark benches that ‘hug’ trees in the Grove and emit audio recorded in the Grove. The benches, titled “Chipko,” which is a Hindi word for ‘hugging,’ are created by Judith G. Levy, Jason Zeh and David Ross.”

Visitors enjoy an activity at the Spencer Museum of Art’s Backyard Bash event.

Along with the exhibits, visitors can participate in about 20 education activities and performances. Activities include sampling teas to learn about their healthful properties, henna tattoos and making prints using fish specimens.

“Each year, the Backyard Bash gives us an opportunity to collaborate with our partners at KU and throughout Lawrence to present educational-, art- and nature-inspired activities that are free and fun for all ages,” Kanost said.

This event is not subject to weather. Kanost said if there is any inclement weather, the bash will simply move inside the museum.

Oktobefest at St. John

photo by: John Young

Bill and Nancy Keel, both of Lawrence, dance during the annual St. John’s Oktoberfest celebration in 2013.

Speaking of fall, there may be no better way to celebrate the changing of the season than a traditional celebration of Oktoberfest with food and beer at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky St.

The fun kicks off 4 p.m. Saturday and lasts until 10 p.m.

The event includes live music by the Festhaus-Musikanten band, authentic German food and beer and activities for children. Some beers that will be on tap include Free State Brewing Co.’s Octoberfest; Paulaner’s Oktoberfest, Lager and Salvator Doppelbock; plus some other very German-sounding beers.

On the food side of things, visitors can try schnitzel, bierocks, bratwursts, cabbage rolls, hot dogs, sauerkraut and German potato salad.

Sounds delicious.

The event is free and open to the public.

Final Friday

Local artist Jason Barr is hoping he found a new way to make Final Friday a better experience for everyone involved.

Instead of just hanging art for viewers to walk past, Barr has taken it upon himself to create a new experience. While his art is on display at Gaslight Gardens, 317 N. Second St., he now DJs R&B, blues and soul music and is available to chat with anyone who is interested.

“This allows folks to get to know you and vice versa,” Barr said. “It’s much more intimate.”

Barr said it’s been awhile since he’s shown new paintings, and the new format has invigorated him. He said he’ll be constantly revolving art on display when a piece is purchased.

“I make a lot of stuff,” he said.

Barr will be DJing and hanging out with his art from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

There are many other Final Friday stops. A full list of Final Friday events can be found on the website of Explore Lawrence, the Lawrence visitors bureau.

Late Night in the Phog

Kansas women’s basketball senior guard Jessica Washington dances with teammates during the 33rd-annual Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Basketball season seems to begin earlier each year.

But I’m not complaining. Basketball season can often be the best time in Lawrence. And what better way to kick it off than Late Night in the Phog?

The annual practice-but-also-a-dance-off event returns to Allen Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Drive, at 6:30 p.m. today.

Technically, this is a sporting event. However, those who attend will find a lot more than just basketball. Insanely famous rapper 2 Chainz will perform as part of the festivities.

The event is free and open to the public. Seats are first come, first served, so get there early if you want the best seat in the house (which is directly above the northwest tunnel, in my honest opinion).

Banned Books Week celebration

To celebrate the end of another Banned Books Week, the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library is hosting an adults-only storytime with drag queen Deja Brooks.

Lawrence residents who attend will experience a storytime with Brooks, reading from banned or challenged books, an altered book craft, snack packs and “adult juice boxes” (it’s boxed wine).

Banned Books Week, which is currently taking place, celebrates the freedom to read books. In the 1980s, many books were challenged and banned from schools, bookstores and libraries because of their content, according to the Banned Books Week organization. The annual, nationwide event aims to celebrate those books and freedom of speech.

The event is 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. Entry is $10.

Henry Rollins: Travel Slideshow

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins has traveled the world, thanks to his punk rock days as the frontman of Black Flag.

Now, he wants to share and discuss the stories behind these images with audiences, including with those who attend his presentation at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost between $25 and $39.50.

Do you have an event you’d like to share with us? Please email Dylan Lysen with information of your event at dlysen@ljworld.com. Submitting information does not guarantee it will be included in future articles.


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