Time was, Westport wasn't the best place for the kiddies on a Friday night. But members of Pilgrim Center and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association want to reclaim a piece of their district from the weekend's Babylonian swarms. They've organized the Westport Children's Film Festival, offering free outdoor entertainment for parents, children and anyone who isn't packing heat. Organizer Jeff Crockett says he wants to divert focus from the routine debauchery at Pennsylvania Avenue and Westport Road. "We want to remind people that the Westport area is family-friendly." He has, however, hired security. Nobody wants drunkards wandering over for the free ice cream. And cleanup measures will be taken before and after the youngsters arrive.
The festival starts at 8 p.m. every Friday through August 1, with entertainment by magicians, jugglers and even some Ren Fest folks. Movies will be projected onto an outdoor screen at 8:45 p.m. The event is aimed at kids ages five through fourteen, though the first week's show -- Spider-Man -- is rated PG-13 and is, therefore, racy enough to be cool. In keeping with the Marvel theme, the folks at Clint's Books will raffle off some comic books, and one of the store's employees will serve as projectionist. Films scheduled for the following weeks: Treasure Planet, The Wild Thornberrys and Lilo and Stitch. For more information, call 816-753-6719.-- Sarah Smarsh
A zoo animal turns one.
Last week, one of the animals at the Kansas City Zoo (6700 Zoo Drive) celebrated her first birthday. Her name is Josie, and she's a reddish primate. She's also a really adorable, endangered and rare Bornean orangutan. Here's a key for interpreting Josie's behavior during your next trip to the zoo:
When an orangutan makes a "squeak-kiss" noise, it is not because she loves you -- it means she's annoyed.
You, too, would construct leaf canopies in the rain if you couldn't swim and had no umbrella.
If Josie wanders off to be alone, she may be following her instinct to secure dominance over her fruit supply. Do not take Josie's fruit. For information, call 816-513-5700.-- Gina Kaufmann