Even as Tropical Storm Karen approaches Georgia, weekend temperatures are expected in the low-to-mid 80s [--] and with only a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday, there are many options for those looking to get out and about in Columbus. Go running if you’re feeling energetic; pitch in with “Help the Hooch,” if you’re feeling generous; and if you’re feeling reverent, take your pet to get blessed.
Among this weekend’s events is the Hope for Autism Walk, a fundraiser for the Autism Hope Center. But it isn’t just a fundraiser: the walk will raise awareness for Ava’s Law. The bill would require Georgia insurance companies to provide coverage for the treatment of children with autism.
The walk begins at the Hardaway High School track. in at 9 a.m., walk at 9:30 a.m. Adult registration is $20, guests 6-12 pay $10 and family registration (up to two adults and two children) is $35. Guests younger than 6 are free.
Here are some other highlights. Click here for options in the local arts scene.
Run for Jeremy: This event honors Jeremy Williams, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and was featured on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” It benefits Emory ALS Center and includes a 5K and 1-mile fun run. It will be held Saturday at Harris County High School, 8281 Highway 116 in Hamilton, Ga. Fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. and 5K race starts at 9 a.m. Race day registration is $30 for 5K and $10 for 1-mile race. Race day registration opens at 7:30 a.m. To have an official finish time, you must register by 8:45 a.m. Organizers recommend arriving before 8:30 a.m. due to road closings.
Wounded Warrior runs: This event, presented by Aaron’s, benefits wounded warriors at Fort Benning. It includes a 5K and a 10K. It’s 5 p.m. Saturday near Big Dog Running Company in downtown Columbus. Cost is $30 on the day of the race. Race day registration opens at 1 p.m. downtown. Event also includes a free 1-mile walk that will start shortly after the main races. Expect a post-race party. 706-575-1415.
Cotton Pickin’ Fair: This popular festival is held Saturday and Sunday at 18830 Highway 85 in Gay, Ga. Expect crafts, antiques, food and more. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets cost $7 adults, $3 for ages 7-12 and guests 6 and younger are free. Pets aren’t allowed. Visit cpfair.org for more information.
Columbus Sci-Fi Con: It’s 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, 701 Front Ave. Featuring movies, costumes, panels, video games, collectibles, a costume contest, door prizes, an auction and more. With special guest Gil Gerard, who played “Buck Rogers.” $5 admission (children under 3 are free with a paid adult). 706-649-1477.
Pasaquan: The world-famous art site known as Pasaquan will be open to the public Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Children 6 and younger are free. The site is located near Buena Vista, Ga. For information, visit www.pasaquan.com.
Uptown Festival on Broadway: This downtown Columbus event, presented by Piggly Wiggly, is free and suitable for families. It includes live music, martial arts demonstrations, community speakers and more. It’s noon-7 p.m. Saturday on the 1100 block of Broadway.
Help the Hooch: This annual event, held 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, is the Southeast’s largest watershed clean-up. It attracts more than 10,000 volunteers. Volunteers will be assigned to lakes, streams and public parks throughout Columbus and Phenix City. Includes lunch and a free T-shirt (while supplies last). Free and open to the public. 706-653-4008.
Art exhibit opening reception: Geri Davis’ Y-Art Sale and Exhibit has its opening reception 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Joseph House Art Gallery, 828 Broadway in Columbus. Forty years of Davis’ studio artwork, sketches, photographs, art books, journals and prints are being offered to the public for the first time. Exhibit will have framed, unframed, matted, and raw artwork. Exhibit remains up until Oct. 30. Free to attend. 706-321-8948.
Pet blessing: It will be held 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, which is located at 2100 Hilton Ave., in Columbus It includes a short service, prayers and individual blessings of animals. Pets of all sizes and types are welcome, although they must be on leashes, or in cages or carriers. Dr. Shannon Wylie of Double Churches Animal Clinic will attend.
Cure for Cancer Charity Date Auction: It’s 6-9 p.m. Sunday at Occasions Event Center, 1807 Victory Drive in Columbus. Expect local radio DJs, local artists, a fashion show and more. There’s a $2 entry fee and all proceeds raised through the auction will be donated to The Cancer Research Foundation. 706-505-3927.
Picnic with the Tortoises: Have lunch with the tortoises Sunday at Oxbow Meadows, 3535 South Lumpkin Road in Columbus. The family-friendly event starts at 1 p.m. It’s free; lettuce to feed the tortoises available for $1. Call 706-507-8550.