May 15, 2014: Colleges Disinvite Commencement Speakers, Marijuana Food Trucks Debut at Events, Nascar Plans Father’s Day Promotion

By Beth Kormanik May 15, 2014, 8:12 AM EDT

1. COLLEGES DISINVITE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKERS: Several high-profile graduation speakers—including First Lady Michelle Obama, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black—have been disinvited or backed out of the events after campus protests by students. New York: “As they prepare for the real-world, where no one cares about their righteous petitions, America’s college students are celebrating the last time their opinions matter by raising hell about commencement speakers.”

2. MARIJUANA FOOD TRUCKS DEBUT AT EVENTS: In states where marijuana is legal, food trucks serving marijuana are popping up, including one in Denver that sold pot-infused fare at the Cannibis Cup event. NPR: “The truck's timing is apt. While Colorado's experiment in recreational marijuana closes in on the six-month mark, lawmakers are tightening rules for the rapidly growing edibles market. New rules will limit the potency of foods infused with THC and require companies to explicitly label edible products.”

3. NASCAR PLANS FATHER’S DAY PROMOTION: Nascar sees an opportunity to put its own stamp on the perhaps under-celebrated Father’s Day. Adweek: The ‘Nascar With Dad’ promotion, [which began Wednesday], will encourage fans to share their Nascar memories through social media, but it will also center on a giveaway offering one father-and-child duo a unique Father's Day experience: riding together in the Goodyear Blimp over the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Ford Championship Weekend.”


BOSTON:  The Joslin Diabetes Center will host its annual Boston gala at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on Saturday.

CHICAGO:  The Second City will host the “All-Star Comedy Benefit” on July 17. The evening will  feature improv and sketch comedy as well as a post-show, private cocktail reception. Proceeds benefit Gilda’s Club Chicago.

LAS VEGAS:  Ludacris will host the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, which broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday.

LOS ANGELES:  Chris Rock will host the BET Awards, which air live on June 29 on BET from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.

Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar opens today at the Malibu Sports Fishing Pier. The eatery's menu includes seafood deemed sustainable by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Larios on the Beach, the Cuban restaurant from Gloria and Emilio Estefan in Miami Beach, reopens Friday following a renovation that created an open dining design that encompasses an outdoor café, an espresso bar, and a lounge. The restaurant also has a new menu.

NEW YORK:  Westin New York Grand Central has opened Tangent at Westin, the hotel brand's new meeting room and workspace concept for business travelers and small groups. The 170-square-foot space can be booked by the hour.

The Streets seventh annual Tasting Event is May 28, featuring chefs and mixologists including Anita Lo and Jamie Bissonnette, as well as a silent auction to benefit the organization, which is part hospitality school and part restaurant café in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Stand Up for Heroes, a comedy event from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, is November 5.

Evolve will sponsor the main stage at Internet Week as well as an interactive booth with nail art from TotallyHer and a CraveOnline silent disco.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  The Four Seasons Resort Orlando, located within Walt Disney World, is scheduled to open August 3. Meetings and events at the hotel will be able to incorporate Disney decor, entertainment acts, character appearances, and more.

SAN FRANCISCO:  A new pop-up concept called Brvnch is heading to San Francisco. The service offers “brunch parties” with food, drinks, and entertainment such as trapeze artists. It costs $300 to $2,500 a head. San Francisco Business Times:

TORONTO:  The 11th Toronto Timeraiser is May 24 at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. Attendees can find volunteer opportunities with more than 30 nonprofit agencies in the room, and they can bid on artwork with volunteer time as opposed to money.

The Royal Conservatory will host its “Season Soiree” on June 3. The event launches the 2014-2015 concert season with performances from artists such as Julie Nesrallah; cake pops and cocktails will be served.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Washington Nationals and the Nationals Dream Foundation will host the ninth annual Dream Gala on May 31 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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