Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

July 23, 2013
Beat the heat at the fair as temperatures rise this week

By Brittany Torrez

As temperatures continue into the mid-to-high 90s this week, fairgoers should take care to stay hydrated and cool off throughout the day.

Here are some tips on staying cool at the State Fair:

1. Water -- Stay hydrated and save money by bringing paper and plastic containers of non-alcoholic beverages into the fair.

2. Indoor exhibits -- Browse through the air-conditioned shoppers' expo in Buildings A/B and C/D or look at furry rabbits and guinea pigs in Expo Center Building 6.

Thumbnail image for Frozentreats.jpeg3. Cool treats -- Try some unique frozen fair food--for those adventurous enough to take on the challenge, Colossal Gelato is offering its "Worlds Largest Gelato Cone"--filled with a gallon of gelato--for $15.

Other frozen treats include the maple bacon sundae--complete with bacon bits--and more traditional favorites like fresh squeezed lemonade and frozen bananas.

For other activities, see the daily fair schedule.

July 22, 2013
Fairgoers check out comics, sit in Batmobile at Hall of Heroes

By Brittany Torrez

Those planning on heading out to this last week of the State Fair can cool off awhile in the Hall of Heroes. fair-hallHeroes.jpeg

This interactive exhibit, presented by California Family Fitness, allows fairgoers to discover their superpowers while walking through displays of some classic superheroes -- such as Superman -- and some newer favorites, including Doctor Who.

Fans of the BBC show have the opportunity walk through the Tardis or take their picture with a cardboard cutout of a weeping angel.

Other features of this exhibit include games to test strength, memory and reflexes and an opportunity to take a picture in the famed Batmobile.

Classic comic fans, check out the wall of DC and Marvel comic books and superhero stories, including Aquaman and the Fantastic Four.

The Hall of Heroes is free with State Fair admission and located in Building B.

For other activities, see the daily fair schedule.

July 17, 2013
'American Idol' runner-up to give free performance in Roseville this weekend

By Kurt Chirbas

She's performed for President Obama, received approval from TV's best known curmudgeon and gone toe-to-toe with the singing-and-dancing kids from "Glee."

Now, she's coming to Roseville.

Better yet: it won't cost you a dime to see her perform once she arrives.

Jessica Sanchez, an "American Idol" runner-up, who also had a brief cameo on this past season of "Glee," performs 4:00 p.m. this Saturday at Club Retro, which is located at 1529 Eureka Road. Admission to the musical event is free.

To see the wunderkind perform, one just has to print out a free PDF ticket, which can be accessed here.

Sing Inc, a locally-based music instruction company, is hosting Sanchez as part of its summer singing camp. The camp's participants, who range in age from 8 to 18, are spending the week receiving formal voice instruction, learning the ropes of song-writing and getting tips on stage presence from celebrity guests.

July 14, 2013
Screen on the Green offers free kids' films at Sacramento parks


Bring the kids, blankets and lawns chairs to Screen on the Green, the Sacramento outdoor movie series presented by Councilman Steve Cohn's office.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, Screen on the Green will show "How to Train Your Dragon" at South Natomas Community Park, 2901 Truxel Road. The beautifully animated, action-packed 2010 movie follows a boy and his favorite fire breather. It's rated PG.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, "101 Dalmatians" -- offering lots of cute puppies and Glenn Close as a puppy coveter with distinct mean and silver streaks -- will show at Glenn Hall Park at Sandburg and Carlson drives. "Dalmatians" is rated G.

Shows start at sunset, or around 8:15 p.m. For information, see the Screen on the Green site or call (916) 808-5240.


July 13, 2013
Long leaps of faith are part of State Fair's Splash Dog event

By Anthony Siino

Candis Amasalian gives Legend a prep talk before lift-off. But it's hard to tell if Legend is listening, mostly because he's an 11-month-old Doberman who clearly just wants to jump in the water.

He can hardly wait as Amasalian runs to the front of the dock and wags the chew toy. She shouts "OK, go! Go! Go! Go!" and he's off, galloping to the edge and leaping out to catch the flung stick. Legend clamps down as he gracefully slams into the water just at the 20-foot, 5-inch marker. Two young girls at the pool's edge giggle as they whisk splashed water out of their eyes.

Amasalian, a Hanford resident who's been participating in Splash Dogs events for about 11 years, proudly says that this is a new personal best for Legend. His previous? 19 feet, 10 inches.

"We do it for the fun of the dog," she said.

She brought five dogs to Saturday's Splash Dog event at the State Fair, which can be found near the entrance of the Miller Light Grandstand in the east side of the fair lot. While you won't find Amasalian and her troupe of flying dogs, the rest of the Splash Dogs outfit will still be out Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Video: Splash Dog competition at the state fair:

The daily schedule offers other suggestions at the California State Fair.

July 9, 2013
The State Fair used to... stage train crashes?

By Janelle Bitker

If you're anything like us, you can't wait for the rides, food and family fun that come with the California State Fair, which kicks off Friday.

One of many State Fair-related stories came out in today's Bee, with Debbie Arrington guiding us through a quick history lesson of the fair's 160 years.

What's been most surprising to many of our readers - and to us - is the fact that the State Fair staged train wrecks from 1913 to 1917. The spectacle was purely for fair-goers' amusement, until someone decided it was maybe a bad idea.

But you can still see the destruction in all its smoky glory on YouTube. Fast-forward to the 27 second mark to cut straight to the action.

June 27, 2013
New equine center hosts Penryn open house, horse health fair

image002.jpg Horse lovers - as well as folks interested in the care of other large animals - are invited to check out the new Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center on Sunday during its grand opening and horse health fair.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, the center's new Penryn facility will be open for tours. Located at 2973 Penryn Road, the state-of-the-art facility can accommodate up to 40 patients. It includes a full-service hospital and emergency care for horses, llamas, alpacas, goats and other large animals.

Although temperatures are expected to hit triple digits Sunday, fair organizers say they will try to keep everybody cool - including the horses.

During the fair, patrons can learn about equine rescue, training, tack and equipment and other horse-related products and services. Staff doctors will speak on such topics as podiatry and lameness, emergency care, breeding basics, eye care and acupuncture. Food and entertainment help make it a family-friendly event.

"This new facility will allow us to continue to help many animals live longer, healthier lives and give us the opportunity to not only expand our services, but to add more work space and three additional highly skilled veterinarians to our team," said Dr. Langdon Fielding of the Loomis Basin center.

The new facility also will offer classes for both youth and adults on horse care basics. To learn more, click on or call (916) 652-7645.

June 10, 2013
Burning Man documentary 'Spark' plays Crest Theatre Tuesday

SparkCrest Theatre is screening "Spark: A Burning Man Story" Tuesday (June 11) at 7 p.m.

The documentary gives an inside look at the organization, preparation and execution of the annual Burning Man festival, held in Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nev.

"Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams," according to the film's description.

A Q&A with the film's directors and producers, Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter, will follow the screening.

Tickets for "Spark: A Burning Man Story" are $14.50 and can be reserved through Tugg.

June 10, 2013
'Long Island Medium' lecture sells out in Sacramento

Theresa Caputo

TLC's "Long Island Medium" is scheduled to give a sold-out lecture and psychic readings tonight during "Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience" at the Sacramento Convention Center.

During her lectures, Caputo "reads" audience members and relays messages she says she receives from deceased loved ones. She also talks about growing up and living in Long Island, managing her family, being on television and communicating with spirits.

According to her website, Caputo is a certified medium with the Forever-Family Foundation. She reportedly has clients scheduled about three years in advance for psychic readings.

Season four of "Long Island Medium" premiered in May. It follows Caputo as she tries to balance her roles as a wife, mother and medium.

Before selling out, tickets for "Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience" ranged from $38.75 to $88.75.

June 7, 2013
France designates film festival director Downs as a knight


The French Order of Arts and Lettres has designated Cecile Mouette Downs -- longtime heroine of the Sacramento film community -- as a chevalier, or knight.

The order honored Sacramento French Film Festival founder and executive director Downs, a French native, along with 200 or so other artists and arts organizers in its most recent chevalier class.

San Francisco French Consulate cultural attache Denis Bisson will present a medal to Downs June 21, opening night of the 12th Sacramento French Festival.

June 5, 2013
Sacramento's River-Friendly Inspiration Garden makes debut

coreopsis.jpg Sacramento's newest water-wise garden makes its debut Thursday morning.

At 10 a.m., local officials will celebrate the grand opening of Sacramento County's "River Friendly Inspiration Garden," adjacent to the water treatment facility on Waterman Road.

A federal Environmental Protection Agency Climate Showcase Community Grant helped make the garden grow.

"Sacramento County was one of only 50 communities selected out of over 750 applicants to receive funding as a Climate Showcase Community," said Karen Irwin of the EPA's Region 9. "They were recognized for their innovative project that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide additional economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits, and inspire other communities to action."

Partners in the project included Sacramento County's Departments of Water Resources, Transportation and Regional Parks, University of California's Cooperative Extension and Sacramento County master gardeners, the Regional Water Authority, Ecolandscape California and the River-Friendly Landscaping Coalition.

The garden is a living example of how smart use of low-water use plants and landscaping techniques can benefit both the environment - and your wallet.

"When you come to the River Friendly Inspiration Garden and take some of our ideas home to use in your own gardens, you are teaching your children about the beautiful results we can achieve when we take a few simple steps to protect our environment," said county supervisor Jimmy Yee.

The garden is located on Waterman Road at Westray Drive, just north of Calvine Road. For Thursday's event, additional parking is available at Cochran Park.

May 31, 2013
Launch festival drops lineup, party details

By Jack Newsham

This post has been updated to reflect new information about the block party.

Launch, a festival that bills itself as "Sacramento's annual celebration of creativity," has released further details for the opening-day block party, and this week named the 28 artists scheduled to play Cesar Chavez Park on Sept. 7 and 8.

The festival is scheduled to open with a block party on Sept. 4, to be held at the MARRS Building in midtown. According to Justin Nordan, the project manager for Launch, the party is free and open to the public, and will feature four musicians and a beer garden.

Nordan said that additional details would be made available in early July.

The lineup for the festival's two days of music were announced earlier this week. Mash-up artist Girl Talk and indie bands Rocket from the Crypt, Imagine Dragons and Minus the Bear are headlining the festival.

Tickets for the musical event range from single-day tickets being sold for $55 to weekend-long passes for $85. A limited number of student tickets are also available.

Now in its fourth year, Launch also includes a fashion show and a second party that will feature Oakland-based artist Wallpaper.

May 31, 2013
Sunrise at Night concert series adds country, R&B acts

By Jack Newsham

Country and R&B fans, rejoice! The Sunrise at Night concert series has announced that '90s soul trio Boyz II Men, R&B group Bel Biv Devoe and country chart-toppers Trace Adkins and John Michael Montgomery will be performing at the Sunrise Marketplace later this summer.

The acts join a lineup including hard rock, soft rock and jazz acts. The groups will perform at the Sunrise Marketplace's outdoor pavilion in Citrus Heights at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane.

The concert series begins Aug. 10 with a show from jazz artist Dave Koz and Friends, and concerts continue through September. Other artists performing in the concert series include Christopher Cross, Orleans, Bachmann & Turner and Blue Öyster Cult.

Ticket prices vary by act and seat, but range from $29.50 to $110.50. More information can be found and tickets can be purchased at

May 30, 2013
Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Shinedown to headline Aftershock

By Morgan Searles

Aftershock PosterOrganizers have revealed the headliners for this year's Aftershock, the second annual Monster Energy-sponsored rock and metal festival that draws fans to Sacramento's Discovery Park, and they include Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Papa Roach, Shinedown and others.

One more headliner has yet to be announced, according to the festival's website.

The festival takes place Sept. 14 and 15. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on June 7. A "Pre-shock Presale" will be available from June 4 to 6.

Two-day general admission passes are $99.50 and single-day passes are $54.50. Two-day VIP passes are $199 and include use of a VIP entrance, a VIP lounge area, seated and standing areas in view of the main stage, a seated area with shade for dining, private restroom facilities and a VIP guest laminate.

A general admission "Revolver" four-pack - or four tickets for both days - is also available for $298 and includes a one-year subscription to Revolver Magazine for one person.

Here's the current line up:

May 23, 2013
On the scene at the Long Live the Kings rally

The Bee's Carla Meyer provides updates from the Long Live the Kings rally in downtown Sacramento on Thursday:

6:57 p.m.: Black canvas, part 2: Sacramento's David Garibaldi, the internationally known performance painter, seemed to use an unusual amount of purple in the portraits of Michael Jackson and John Lennon that he speed-painted on stage at the rally.

Garibaldi, a finalist last year on "America's Got Talent," also appeared to have painted purple designs on his white shirt for the occasion.

6:56 p.m.:The Kings' rally drew a crowd that appeared to be similar size to the more popular of the Friday night Concerts in the Park: eyeballing it, it looked to be upward of 5,000 people.

There were key differences, though. The number of people carrying beers were fewer, and the branding was, of course, more specific. Nearly all signs and stands were team-related, and representatives approached often to urge the purchase of season tickets, making it hard to have a non-Kings thought.

But the branding was participatory as well. Fans lined up to write personal messages on a black canvas reading "1985 -- Forever." The banner will be hung at Sleep Train Arena.

Darryl Saeturn, 27, said he wrote on the banner and came to the rally because "it is the only sport in Sacramento." Saeturn credited Mayor Kevin Johnson with keeping the team in town. "Without K.J., we wouldn't be in this position," he said.

Saeturn's message on the banner: "Kings forever."

5:58 p.m.: An informal survey of Kings jerseys worn by fans at the rally revealed Tyreke Evans' No. 13 as the most popular choice.

Some others made bold choices ("Artest") and others chose to honor Kings legend Chris Webber, scheduled to appear later at the rally.

"He is my ultimate sports guy," said Brad Bick of Roseville, proudly sporting a Webber jersey.

Bick was fighting a cold, but he came out for Webber, bringing along his 5-year-old son, Preston Bick. The pair have attended all the keep-the-Kings rallies, Bick said, including a lightly attended one back when the Kings flirted with Anaheim.

He liked today's event better.

5:36 p.m.: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson joined prospective new majority team owner Vivek Ranadive for a photo in the middle of Cesar Chavez Plaza.

Fans ringed the perimeter of the cordoned-off area, erupting into a chant of "Thank you, KJ!" A similar attempt to honor Ranadive with a cheer died out just after it started, perhaps because fans were unsure about how to pronounce his name.

5:06 p.m.: Kings fans, most dressed in purple, lined up by the hundreds this afternoon on J Street waiting to enter the "Long Live the Kings" rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 10th and J streets.

"You would think they would let us in 15 minutes early," Angelica Heaphy said outside the park entrance just before the park officially opened to fans, at 5 p.m. Thursday.

But Heaphy, of Carmichael, was not begrudging her favorite team much these days.

"It's so exciting, with the new ownership," Heaphy said.

She came with her son, Alex, and her small dog, Rusty, his white fluff offset by a purple leash to honor the Kings.

May 23, 2013
Traffic and parking tips for Thursday's Kings rally downtown


If you are one of the thousands of purple bleeders expected to descend upon Cesar Chavez Park tonight to celebrate the Kings staying in Sacramento, here's some essential information that will help you navigate the closed streets and crowds:

Where's the rally? Cesar Chavez Park: 924 J. St. Sacramento, 95814

When does it start? 5 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m.

Cost: It's free.

SNAPSHOTS: Look for The Sacramento Bee's Snapshots photographer at the rally. See all the crowd galleries at

What streets are closed? The city announced on Wednesday that Ninth Street between I and J streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to midnight Thursday to accommodate the rally.

Where should I park? Limited street parking is available near the park. However, there will also no parking on the west side of 10th Street from I to J; the south side of I Street from Eighth to 10th; the north side of I Street from Ninth to 10th; the north side of J from Ninth to 10th; and the south side of L Street between 11th and 12th.

How about parking garages?

May 20, 2013
No Cake for Mayor Johnson at Thursday's Kings rally


When Cake wasn't even mentioned in the press release, it was clear something was up.

Mayor Kevin Johnson had announced Friday that Sacramento rock band Cake would be headlining a rally for the Kings - previously scheduled for Wednesday - at downtown's Cesar Chavez Park. The event would celebrate the Kings' staying in Sacramento and the team's pending sale to new owners.

However, when the Kings put out a press release about a date change for the rally (from Wednesday to Thursday), Cake was a notable omission among big-name attendees, with the release only stating that there would be "a live musical performance."

Our friends at ranSACked have seemingly put the pieces together, suggesting that Johnson may have gotten ahead of himself with Friday's announcement, citing Cake's writing on its Facebook page that the band never agreed to play the gig. From ranSACked:

On their Facebook wall, a CAKE fan asked about the upcoming (Sacramento Kings) gig on a thread discussing public education. CAKE responded with the following: "We're not playing that rally. Mayor announced it without even checking with us!"

And then early-afternoon Monday, Ben Sosenko, press secretary for Johnson, released this statement:

"The members of Cake are absolutely thrilled by this historic win for Sacramento. In the excitement of last week's victory, Cake's participation was announced prior to fully finalizing their availability due to a staff miscommunication. While unable to participate in this week's rally, Cake looks forward to commemorating this special moment with the people of Sacramento in the near future."

So while they won't be at Cesar Chavez, Cake will be playing Sacramento soon, with three sold-out shows scheduled for May 31-June 2 at Folsom Lake College's Three Stages.

Thursday's "Long Live The Kings Rally" - which includes appearances by the Kings new majority owners, Kings players, dancers and mascot - will be held from 5-9 p.m. Thursday. The event is free. Attendees are encouraged to show up wearing Kings gear and to tweet up the event using the hashtag #LLTKRally.

May 16, 2013
Tickets to Saturday's SacMod home tour selling fast

sacmod.jpg In Sacramento, mid-century modern is a hot seller. Tickets are going fast for Saturday's second Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Tour, featuring seven homes and dozens of points of interest.

"We'll have some limited tickets available the day of the tour on a first come, first served basis," said Gretchen Steinberg, one of the tour organizers.

Tickets on the day of the tour will be priced at $40 for the general public, $30 for SacMod members, Steinberg said.

The tour is limited to 1,000 tickets, Steinberg noted. SacMod's inaugural tour in 2011 sold out.

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. at the tour's hub, Sacramento Executive Airport, 6151 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. People can sign up through 2:30 p.m. - but tickets likely will not last that long.

Also at the airport, a car show featuring vintage 1950s and 1960s vehicles starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. At that same site, several displays highlighting Sacramento's mid-century modern architecture and history will be open during the tour. Admission to the car show and exhibits are free.

The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more details, click on .

May 14, 2013
Don't fear the reaper: Blue Oyster Cult at Sunrise Marketplace

Grab your Bic lighter and ready the time machine.

Sunrise.jpgThe second season of Sunrise Marketplace's "Sunrise at Night Concert Series" has been announced and it features marquee names of decades past including Christopher Cross (Aug. 24) as well as Bach & Turner and Blue Oyster Cult (Sept. 7).

The series, held in the 2,500-capacity Sunrise Marketplace pavilion, kicks off Aug. 10 and runs through September. Most shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29.50 to $110.50 and can be purchased at Parking is free.

Here's the announced lineup, with more acts to be added:

Aug. 10: Dave Koz & Friends "Summer Horns Tour" featuring Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot (tickets on sale May 24)

Aug. 24: "Sail Rock Tour" featuring Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree, Player (tickets on sale now)

Sept. 7: Bachman & Turner with Blue Öyster Cult (tickets on sale now)

May 11, 2013
Dispatches from BottleRock: Food lives up to Napa standards


And you thought the SactoMoFo mobile food festival had some cool eats.

In addition to the four days of bands here at Napa's BottleRock festival, the cuisine to feed the masses ranks as a star of the show.

And yes, we can actually use the term cuisine here.

True to its reputation as a land of fine wine and Michelin-starred restaurants, Napa's BottleRock is featuring a next-level experience for festival foods.

We're talking oysters on the half shell and grilled cheese on brioche. Moromoto's food booth includes Korean hot dogs, sushi and a pretty amazing Yuzu Red Bull Push-Up Pop as a frozen treat.

More than 40 food vendors in all are participating, including such Napa notables as Kitchen Door, Oenotri, Fish Story and La Toque.

Of course, these fine festival eats don't come cheap. First you have to convert cash into $5 food "chips," which are then redeemed at the vendors. That Korean hot dog from Morimoto costs two chips. A banh mi from Kitchen Door costs three chips. You don't have to do the math to figure those chips go fast.

Lines for food were all more or less manageable, and BottleRock ran fairly smooth on Friday, and capped with a rockin' set by The Black Keys. Despite all the wine and beer being consumed, the crowd self regulated and didn't harsh too many mellows.

We're hearing some gripes about the shuttle service running to the festival, but parking issues don't seem to be as apocalyptic as predicted by locals. Some downtown businesses are actually reporting slower than predicted sales.

Today's run, which includes sets by Jane's Addiction and Kings of Leon, will probably be the true test of BottleRock's infrastructure. Stay tuned for more dispatches from this land of food, wine and music.

-- Chris Macias

Photo: Yuzu Red Bull Push-Up Pop, ribs and other eats from Morimoto

May 8, 2013
America's most organized woman shares her secrets

HPIM0285 (1).JPG Author and organizational expert Deniece Schofield, known as "America's most organized woman," visits the Sacramento area this week to teach her secrets to organizational success.

During her workshops, Schofield will focus on "finding more space without throwing everything away," she said. Designed for homemakers and families, her no-nonense methods concentrate on time- and space-saving shortcuts to bring order out of everyday chaos.

Admission is $25; no reservations necessary. The sessions will be held at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday at Orchid Suites, 130 N. Sunrise Ave., Roseville; and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn, 11269 Point East Drive, Rancho Cordova. For more details, click on or call (800) 835-8463.

May 2, 2013
Cinco de Mayo events in the Sacramento region

Cinco de Mayo 2013 is celebrated this weekend, May4-5. Here are some events planned for the Sacramento region. For complete calendar listings, see our events section.


Mexican American Digital History Exhibit and discussion of the Mexican American Digital History Project. Learn how to record family history. Photos welcome. 1:30 p.m. May. 4; Sol Collective, 2574 21st St., Sacramento. Free. (916) 361-9072.


Cinco De Mayo Celebration Old Sacramento comes alive Cinco De Mayo weekend. Participating bars will have live music, comedy, karaoke and dancing (River City Saloon, Fanny Ann, O'Mally's Pub, The Other Office, Vega's, Sports). The final party celebrating Cinco De Mayo will be on May 5 from 6 p.m. to closing time. Free. (916) 863-7465.

April 9, 2013
New space is previewed at San Francisco's Exploratorium

By Ed Fletcher

With triple the space at its new Pier 15 location, the Exploratorium promises to build on what was already a must-see San Francisco experience.

The new building opens to the public April 17 and adds 150 brand new exhibits -- including a free outdoor space -- to the experience.

"It was a bit dark," Dennis Bartels, the center's executive director, said of the old space where the hands-on museum lived for 43 years in the Palace of Fine Arts.

He said the new center with views to both the city and the bay will be more accessible.

Some 200 journalists attended the preview Tuesday.

Advanced tickets are for sale online. Tickets are $25, with discounts for various groups. For more information visit Read the full preview in the April 19 ticket section.

April 9, 2013
See puppy matches at Sacramento dog show at Cal Expo

dogshow.jpg This week, Cal Expo goes to the dogs - and it's a good thing.

Starting Thursday, the Sacramento Kennel Club hosts its annual show, a Sacramento tradition stretching back almost a century.

More than 4,000 dogs representing 100-plus breeds are expected to compete in this four-day event, which runs through Sunday. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. In addition, dozens of vendors will offer canine-related products and services.

For the first time, the Sacramento show will host "puppy matches" - special competitions open only to puppies, age 4 to 6 months. Organizers expect the puppy matches to become an instant fan favorite.

Admission is $10; seniors and juniors, $8.50. Children under age 12 are admitted free. Only dogs participating in the event are allowed on the Cal Expo grounds.

Thursday and Friday are devoted to terriers. All breeds will compete Saturday and Sunday. For full details and schedules, click on

April 4, 2013
Tonight in Davis: Prom, poetry and pink wine

time_.jpgPeople Magazine staff writer Oliver Jones will be at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis tonight (April 4) for a reading of his essay "The Last Time I Had Zinfandel," part of the book "The Time of My Life: Writers on the Heartbreak, Hormones and Debauchery of the Prom."

Jones, who was written for magazines including Details and Premiere and is a past winner of the Glasscock Poetry Prize, will be joined by poet and UC Davis English and creative writing professor Joe Wenderoth, whose work has been widely anthologized.

Language and topics might be not be suitable for some listeners. Time permitting, there will be a Q&A after the event (an open mic at the gallery begins at 9 p.m.).

John Natsoulas Gallery is located at 521 First St. in Davis. Event starts at 8 p.m.

-- Tim Swanson

April 3, 2013
Rolling Stones play Northern California in May


Maybe it's not so much of a drag getting old.

The Rolling Stones have announced new dates for its "50 and Counting" tour - celebrating the band's 50th anniversary - and they include stops at Oakland's Oracle Arena on May 5 and San Jose's HP Pavilion on May 8. (What? No Sleep Train Arena?)

Front man Mick Jagger, who turns 70 this summer, will be there along with guitarists Keith Richards, Ron Wood and drummer Charlie Watts. Former Stones member Mick Taylor will also share the stage.

"'50 and Counting' has been pretty amazing so far," Jagger said in a statement. We did a few shows in London and New York last year ... and had such a good time that we thought ... let's do some more. It's a good show. Lots of the classic stuff everyone wants to hear ... with a few gems tucked in here and there."

The last major Stones tour was its "A Bigger Bang" show that ran August 2005 to August 2007.

"50 and Counting" tickets for Oakland, San Jose and other cities go on sale Monday (April 8) at 10 a.m. local time and will be available at

-- Tim Swanson

March 20, 2013
SF Flower Show opens with world's largest succulent globe

Worlds Largest Succulent Globe.jpg Spring arrives today with a new spin on gardening at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show at the San Mateo Event Center.

Centerpiece for the mammoth show - the third largest flower show in the nation - is the world's largest succulent globe.

This green planet fits this year's theme, "Gardening Makes the World Go Round." Created by the show's staff and Succulent Gardens nursery in Castroville, this living planet spins at a 23-degree angle - just like Earth - but completes a rotation in 30 seconds, not 24 hours.

This is no garden-variety container planting. The 14-foot-tall globe weighs 2,800 pounds and measures more than 32 feet in circumference. It took more than 30,000 succulent cuttings to create its surface. They've been growing in place for more than seven months.

In addition, the event showcases 18 internationally themed gardens and offers 90 seminars and workshops. More than 300 vendors are part of the marketplace. There also is a large activity area for children. Celebrity chefs will demonstrate garden to table recipes.

The San Mateo Event Center is located at 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: $20; seniors, age 65 and up, $18; children 16 and under admitted free; parking, $12.

Questions? Click on or call (888) 695-0888.

March 15, 2013
Los Lobos to headline 2013 Sacramento Music Festival


The Sacramento Music Festival announced Friday that it's lowering ticket prices by 15 percent and booking acts of wide appeal -- such as longtime rockers Los Lobos -- in an effort to attract a wider audience this year.

The 40-year-old festival, once known as the Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, will present the 2013 festival in Old Sacramento on Memorial Day weekend, from May 24 - 27.

Los Lobos will be the headline act performing May 26. Other headline acts booked include Ben Taylor, the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, as well as The Blasters, John Lee Hooker Jr. and the U.K.-based The James Hunter Six.

March 1, 2013
Sacramento Home and Garden Show opens today at Cal Expo

fredhoffman.jpg Get inspired for a busy spring at the 32nd annual Sacramento Home and Garden Show, which opens at noon today at Cal Expo for a weekend run.

Attracting thousands of patrons, this show emphasizes renovation and renewal with hundreds of exhibitors and vendors. Among the guest speakers are radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman (pictured), who will answer garden questions from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and "Lighting Geek" Tommy Herren.

Billed as Sacramento's "original home show," this event packs three buildings at Cal Expo, located at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

Show hours are noon to 6 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $7; children age 12 and under admitted free. Bring a can of food and save $1 off adult ticket price with the donation to the Sacramento Food Bank.

For complete details and exhibitor list, click on

February 22, 2013
Plenty to do in Sacramento and region

Lonesome River Band: Keeping good company in Winters

You couldn't blame the Lonesome River Band for continuing the celebration that started with the band's 30th anniversary last year. The International Bluegrass Music Association deemed Sammy Shelar the best on banjo, and it said this five-man band had the best instrumental performance of 2012 with "Angeline the Baker." Their tight harmonies, rockin' rhythm and traditional roots might have you thinking the same thing. 8 p.m. today at the Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St., Winters; $20. Information: (530) 795-1825;

The Last Reef 3-D: Cities Beneath the Sea

Footage shot over three years reveals the underwater life of the reefs of Palau, Bimini, Cancun, Bora Bora and other exotic places. This 3-D documentary connects modern city life against life among the corals. 11 a.m. today; 12:15 p.m. today-Monday at the Esquire Imax, 1211 K St., Sacramento; $10. Information: (916) 443-4629,

Toujours le cinema: Array of films from France

Every summer, the Sacramento French Film Festival offers the best in new French feature films and at least one classic. Every winter, the SFFF offers a shorts program composed of new films and greatest hits from previous festivals. Saturday's event will double as a festival fundraiser and will include French pop from DJ Christophe, free Luigi's pizza and a recap of today's Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars. (Films are in French with English subtitles). 7:30 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento; $7. Information: (916) 455-9390,

From the Crayola box of life: Keith Lowell Jensen's 'Elf Orgy'

Comedy Kill this month offers Keith Lowell Jensen for the release of his third CD, "Elf Orgy." Be it on Joan Rivers, snuff porn or the rapture, this Sacramento comic has his own way of focusing the lens. Others on the showcase lineup are Johnny Taylor, Jaime Fernandez and Michael Patten. 7 p.m. Sunday, Punch Line, 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225, Sacramento; $15. Information:

Designing fashion: Get ready for the runway

Sacramento Fashion Week kicks off a full week of fashion-related events around the city that will culminate March 1-2 with two showcases highlighting local designers. They will debut both spring and summer ready-to-wear apparel, as well as fall and winter collections. Activities include a fashion forum at California State University, Sacramento, and workshops on hair and makeup, and walking the runway.

The designer showcases are at 7 p.m. March 1-2 at the Elk Tower Ballroom, 921 11th St., Sacramento; $40-$100. Information and tickets:

February 15, 2013
Sacramento weekend: So many things to do

Discovering heroes: Tribute by music

The Sacramento Philharmonic pays homage with "Heroes!" It's a family concert of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" (with celebrity narrators), John Williams' "Superman March," Disney's "Suite from Mulan" and "Star Trek Through the Years."

Saturday, 12:45 p.m. festivities; 2 p.m. concert; Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento. $13 adults; $8 children; free under 4 years old. Information: (916) 808.5181;

Zoom, vroom: Classic cars

Thumbnail image for old-car.JPGBilled as one of the longest- running indoor car shows in the world, the 63rd Sacramento Autorama offers 500 custom cars, hot rods, classics, motorcycles and specialty vehicles from across the nation.

Noon-8 p.m. today; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; Cal Expo. $18 adults; $8 children; free for 5 and under. Information: (916) 920-5477;

Wait, wait ... Comedy without a net

Paula-Poundstone.JPGWhen Paula Poundstone played the Crest in 2011, it inspired her to blog about meeting a "full-time activist." She wrote: "I felt tired just thinking about it. It seems so active ..." Who can imagine what's in store this year from this comic known for spontaneity?

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Crest Theater 1013 K St., Sacramento. $27-$42. Information:

A family affair: Black history festival

Showcasing the art, culture, history and traditions of the African diaspora, the Crocker Art Museum opens for a holiday festival with storytelling, music, dance, gallery tours, hands-on learning, a community marketplace and Arabella Grayson's extensive collection of Black paper dolls. It's all presented as a collaboration with the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum and the Sacramento Observer. Museum open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; festival 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, 216 O St., Sacramento. Free. Information: (916) 808-7000;

February 14, 2013
A Sacramento weekend of car show, crab feed and Carnaval

Huge car show starts Friday at Cal Expo

old-car.JPGThe 63rd Sacramento Autorama, featuring some of the West's top automotive craftspeople and hundreds of colorful cars, kicks off its three-day run Friday at Cal Expo. Billed as one of the longest-running indoor car shows in the world, this year's event will spotlight more than 500 custom cars, hot rods, classics, motorcycles and specialty vehicles from across the nation. Show awards will be distributed Sunday.

Time: Noon - 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $18 adults; $8 children; free for 5 and under

Info: Ticket and other information can be found at

Crab feed raises money for water rescue team

Sacramento's Drowning Accident Rescue Team is holding its 10th Crab Feed and Silent Auction from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Sunrise Event Center, 11167 Trade Center Drive in Rancho Cordova. Tickets go for $50 per person, or $400 per table of eight, and can be purchased from any DART member

All funds go toward the purchase of equipment and the maintenance of response rigs, boats, and dive equipment, as well as training for volunteers and water safety promotions.


Carnaval comes to midtown

Carnaval 2013 will be celebrated Saturday with a host of activities at the YWCA in Sacramento, 1122 17th St. Entertainers will include "Tambores Julio Remelexo with Palvara," two female drummers and special guest singers from Bahia Brazil. Guests are encouraged to dress in Carnaval style.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Cost is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Info: (916) 387-7344;

Little Saigon parade on Stockton Boulevard

The Little Saigon Street Festival Parade on Saturday will be followed by the Tet Festival Celebration hosted by Vietnamese American Community of Sacramento. A combination of music, classic cars, floats and cultural performances will highlight the parade, which begins at 9 a.m. The parade will travel south on Stockton Blvd. beginning at Fruitridge Road and finishing at Florin Road, where the annual Tet Festival will continue the festivities.


Darwin's birthday a cause for celebration

You may have celebrated Feb. 12 as President Lincoln's birthday (he would have been 204), but another historic figure, Charles Darwin, who was born on the same day, will be feted Sunday at the La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, in Carmichael. The Sixteenth Annual Sacramento Darwin Day Festival, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., features a talk by UC Davis professor Ivan R. Schwab, author of the book "Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved."

Darwin Day is a celebration of science to honor of the life's work of Darwin, the originator of the biological theory of evolution. Schwab's book was named one of the 12 best science books of 2011 by Scientific American.


February 11, 2013
Learning activities in Sacramento this week

Program focuses on birds and reptiles

owl.JPGThe Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library celebrates National Science Literacy Month at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with a program that helps families learn to classify birds and reptiles by their special characteristics. The free program is led by Effie Yeaw Nature Center representatives.

Info: Call (916) 264-2920 or visit

Biographer to discuss S.I. Hayakawa book

Gerald Haslam will discuss his book, "In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S.I. Hayakawa," on Wednesday at California State University, Sacramento. Hayakawa was a semanticist, U.S. senator, and controversial president of San Francisco State. Haslam is a professor emeritus at Sonoma State. The book is co-authored by his wife, Jan. The free discussion, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., is part of the Friends of the University Library's Author Lecture Series. Info: (916) 278-5954.

Class separates fat fact from fat fiction

The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op's Community Learning Center, 1914 Alhambra Blvd., is offering a class from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday on "Demystifying Fat," led by naturopathic doctor Antonella Aguilera-Ruiz.

Aguilera-Ruiz will help participants make sense of good fats, bad fats, trans fats and omegas. She will also discuss misconceptions about fat and help clarify facts about fat from fiction. Recipes incorporating healthy fats will be tasted. Cost is $15; Co-op owners, $10.


-- Bee Staff

February 8, 2013
Activities for a fun weekend

Bee staff

Chasing the muse: Funk rock in the night

What: Martin Luther says his music is "just soul" that's revolutionary.

Others might find other words to describe his velvety vocals, hot guitar work and poetic lyrics. You can check out this San Francisco choirboy-turned-rocker in a club setting and worry later about how to label his musical talent.

When: 10 p.m. today

Where: Harlow's Restaurant & Nightclub, 2708 J St., Sacramento

Cost: $15

Information:; (916) 441-4693

Satisfy a sweet tooth: Dessert Auction

What: The Davis Musical Theatre Company heard that the way to someone's heart is through the stomach: thus, its third annual Valentine's Dessert Auction fundraiser. You can bring something sweet to add to the evening or bid on one of the offered desserts. They brag about the "amazing array of cakes." There will be entertainment and free lemonade and coffee. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased from the bar.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: DMTC's Performing Arts Center, 607 Peña Drive, Davis

Cost: Free admission

Information: (530) 756-3682;

Mardi Gras: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

What: You need not wait for Fat Tuesday. Don beads and a mask and saunter on down to the river for the Old Sacramento Mardi Gras celebration with live music, laughs, food and drinks. A purchased wristband will get you entry to all the music and preferred service at a dozen bars and restaurants.

When: 5-10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Old Sacramento

Cost: $10 in advance online; $15 night of event


Make 'em laugh: Paul Reiser

What: Comedian and actor Paul Reiser (remember "Mad About You?") returns to stand-up comedy. "It's embarrassing how much fun I'm having," he says. Steve Hytner opens the show, which is in cooperation with the "Laughter Is the Best Medicine" program of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Center for the Arts,

314 W. Main St., Grass Valley

Cost: $40 members, $45 nonmember at the box office (530) 274-8384, ext. 14; at the BriarPatch Co-op Community Market (530) 272-5333 or online.


February 7, 2013
Can't wait for those Thin Mints?

The Girl Scout cookies we ordered in our neighborhoods, at work or in front of the supermarket, make their way to us Feb. 22 to March 17. But there's hope for those who just can't that long.

thinmint.JPGFriday morning from 8 to 10, you can purchase Girl Scout cookies at a sale at Capitol Garage, 1500 K St., Sacramento. Picture it: Thanks-a-Lot, Mango Cremes, Lemonades, Thin Mints and more -- $4 a package and you get 'em before the booth sales or deliveries.

It's all part of a nationwide campaign. For more information: .

Bee staff

February 6, 2013
If you're already thinking about the weekend ...

Is is ever too early to plan for the weekend? Here are a couple of events to keep in mind.

Wee wheels: Microcars are coming to the California Automobile Museum at 2200 Front St. in Sacramento. A nearly three-month exhibit, "Pint-Size: Microcars on the Road," kicks off Saturday with models from Zundapp, BMW, Peel, Crosley, Heinkel and Vespa.


Get a head start on Mardi Gras: Celebrate three days early on Saturday with live music at bars, restaurants and clubs in Old Sacramento. Wristbands will get wearers special access and specials at participating entertainment establishments. A dozen bars and restaurants within a two-block walk of each other are participating in the one-night-only live music festival. Cost is $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event.

Info: For a list of participating businesses, go to

Ensemble to perform at library: Explore Afro-Cuban culture through drumming, dance and song with Ebo Okokan, a folkloric music and dance ensemble. The free event begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sacramento Central Library, 828 I St.

Info: (916) 264-2920 or

Bee staff

February 1, 2013
Black Keys, other top acts to perform at big Napa music festival

By Carla Meyer

Blues rockers the Black Keys and Alabama Shakes and alternative rocks acts ranging from Kings of Leon to Jane's Addiction will perform in May at the inaugural BottleRock Napa Valley music, wine and food festival in the town of Napa.

The festival will run May 9-12 and span three stages at the 26-acre Napa Valley Expo. The 50-act lineup also will include Furthur (featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead), the pop band Train, folk-rocker Ben Harper, country favorites the Zac Brown Band and veteran R&B and gospel singer Mavis Staples.

BottleRock, which appears to be on a par with festivals such as San Francisco's Outside Lands, will be the closest major festival to the Sacramento region and will highlight two bands with strong Sacramento ties. Alternative band Cake will perform, as will the Black Crowes, the long-running blues-rock group that now counts Sacramento's Jackie Greene among its members.

The festival also will offer wines from 60 vintners, beers from artisanal microbrewers and food from dozens of Napa Valley restaurateurs.

Special presale three- and four-day festival passes start at $249 and go on sale Sunday. The passes can be purchased through Regular passes start at $299 and go on sale Feb. 10.

February 1, 2013
For this weekend's entertainment

A sampling of things going on this weekend in the greater Sacramento area:


Sacramento Museum Day

What: One of the city's most popular events is this weekend. A record 30 sites will offer free or half-price admission Saturday during the 15th annual Sacramento Museum Day. Twenty-eight of the 30 museums will offer free admission. Two other sites - the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town - will offer half-price admission.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last guests admitted at 4 p.m.)

museumday.html for a list of participating museums

Cost: Sacramento Zoo is $5.75 for adults, $3.75 for children ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2; Fairytale Town is $2.50 for everyone and free for children ages 1 and under.


The Art of Beer

What: Pop the top off the second California Craft Beer Month with the Art of Beer, an evening of unlimited beer tasting. Midtown's Rubicon Brewing Co. and newcomer New Helvetia can be counted among the two dozen or so breweries offering up specialty suds, which can be paired with eats from regional food vendors. A portion of the proceeds will go to Ales for Autism and Stanford Youth Solutions Art Therapy Program.

When: 6-10 p.m.

Where: Fusion International Arts Center, 510 Arden Way, Sacramento

Cost: Advance $40; $50 at the door


Oscar-nominated films

What: The Crest Theatre presents, in two programs, the animation and live-action short films vying for Oscars at this year's Academy Awards. In other words, these films are must- viewing for Oscar-poll participants who want to ace the long-form ballot. Highlights include the live-action "Asad," in which a Somali boy confronts hunger, pirates and challenges to his integrity. If you go this weekend, arrive at the box office early. Last year's Saturday and Sunday animation showings were packed. On Feb. 16 and 17, the Crest will show the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts.

When: Today-Feb. 7. Animated shorts: 12:10 and 7:30 p.m. today- Sunday, 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; live action: 2:15 and 5 p.m. today-Sunday, 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday

Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento

Cost: $9.50, $6 students, seniors, matinee for each program

Information:, (916) 442-7378

January 17, 2013
Local celebs to shake a leg at Hispanic Chamber gala

Local notables including Channel 10 news anchor Christina Mendonsa and City Councilman Allen Warren will perform in a "Latin Dancing With the Stars" show Feb. 1 at Sacramento State as part of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce business awards dinner.

The dancers already are rehearsing for the gala, the chamber's largest annual fund-raiser. The evening will include a three-course meal and a live auction by David Sobon of Sobon Auctions.

The gala will be held in in the university's ballroom (6000 J St.). It starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $150 for members, $175 for non-members, and $1,500 for tables of 10. For information, call the chamber at (916) 486-7700 or visit its website.

The other "Latin Dancing With the Stars" dancers are Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios, Taro Arai of Mikuni Sushi, Sharon Gerber of Six Degreez, Inc., and Sean O'Brien of Merrill Lynch.

January 16, 2013
Mavericks big wave surf contest set for Sunday

The three-year wait appears over - the Mavericks Invitational is a go.

Northern California's legendary big wave contest will be held Sunday at the famous surf break on the northern edge of Half Moon Bay, announced Jeff Clark, the contest's founder.

"A big storm is coming in and we're expecting waves upwards of 30 feet or more," Clark said. "The weather is supposed to be gorgeous. It looks like perfect conditions."

Unlike past contests, the two dozen elite surfers who will compete got almost four days notice instead of the traditional 24-hour call to hit the beach. The contest will start at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Among the surfers expected to compete are past winners Greg Long, Anthony Tashnick, Grant Baker and Chris Bertish. In addition, 11-time world surf champion Kelly Slater may make it, too.

Also in a break from past contests, viewing will not be allowed on the beach at Pillar Point. Instead, fans are invited to attend a special surf festival at Oceano Hotel at Princeton Harbor where they can watch the action live on big screens and meet the competitors after their heats. Tickets are $10 advance online or $20 at the gate.

The contest also will be webcast live, free online. To watch on Sunday or get tickets to the Mavericks Invitational surf festival, click on

January 15, 2013
See the Stanley Cup at State Capitol today

stanley.JPGOne of sports' most recognizable icons makes a rare visit to Sacramento today.

The Stanley Cup - the championship trophy of the National Hockey League - will be on display to the public for one hour - 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - in Room 125 of the State Capitol.

Accompanying the Cup will be representatives of the Los Angeles Kings, the reigning NHL champions, including team president Tim Leiweke and Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille.

After ending a lengthy lockout, the NHL starts its season Saturday.

"Like countless other fans, I am delighted to welcome hockey back this weekend, and I can think of no better way to usher in the season than to host our NHL champion Los Angeles Kings as they publicly display this historic trophy," said Assembly speaker John Perez, who represents Los Angeles.

As part of a storied tradition, the Stanley Cup remains in possession of the championship team until a new champion is crowned. Every member of the winning team gets to spend 24 hours with the trophy and take it wherever they want.

Since winning the 2012 crown, members of the Kings have taken the Cup to several L.A. landmarks, including the Hollywood Bowl, Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica Pier.

January 14, 2013
'Simeon's Story' author will tell the tragedy of Emmett Till

Simeon Wright, civil-rights activist and author of "Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till," will give a free presentation at 4 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Capitol City Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 6701 Lemon Hill Ave., Sacramento; (916) 381-5353.

In the coming-of-age memoir, Wright recalls the horrific scenario surrounding the 1955 kidnap and murder of his teenage cousin, Emmett Till, and the sensational trial that followed. The case had a major impact on advancing the nation's civil-rights movement.

January 11, 2013
Sac Antique Faire's move delayed

By Debbie Arrington

The giant Sacramento Antique Faire, the monthly marketplace for all things collectible, is staying put - at least for two more months.

Sunday's faire will be held as usual from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. under the freeway at X and 21st streets in midtown Sacramento.

A planned January move to Front Street has been delayed, said marketplace director Marylon Rose. Heavy equipment sitting on that site has yet to be moved.

January 11, 2013
Sierra sites host family fun on Winter Trails Day

Get ready for a family snow day - and learn how to be safer in winter, too.

Saturday is the 18th annual Winter Trails Day with free special events and demonstrations at Sierra ski areas.

This family day features snow safety presentations, gear try-outs, snow shelter building, avalanche beacon scavenger hunts, snow science activities, snowman building and guided snowshoe hikes.

Most of the activities are free or available at deep discounts. Coffee, hot cocoa and other refreshments will be offered, too.

Among the sites hosting events:

- 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tahoe Meadows snow play area, Hwy. 431 (Mt. Rose Highway), just north of Incline Village, NV.

- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center, 15275 Alder Creek Road, Truckee.

- 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Kirkwood Mountain Resort, 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood.

- 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Carson Pass Sno-park south, Hwy. 88 at Carson Pass summit. Includes free tours of back-country trails; $5 day pass per car required.

Find out more at

January 4, 2013
Free admission today at Cal State Home and Garden Show

katkowsky.jpgStart the new year with fresh ideas and a bargain: Free admission today at the California State Home and Garden Show.

The three-day show opens at noon today at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento. Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

On the weekend, admission is $7; youth age 16 and under admitted free. (Find a $2 discount coupon in the Sacramento Bee or online at the show's official website.)

Featured at this year's show is author and remodeling expert Steven Katkowsky, who will share his budget-minded and space-saving secrets. He gives three presentations each day including "Going in Style: Turning the bathroom that everyone has into the bathroom everyone wants." That's at 3 p.m. today and again at noon Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

For more details, click on

December 21, 2012
Comedian Louis C.K. to perform in Sacramento


Louis C.K., the brilliant standup comedian and creator and star of the Fox show "Louis," will perform Feb. 12 in Sacramento.

The show will be at Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H St. Argo Tickets are $45 and are available only through

The tickets, rather reasonably priced for a star of Louis' stature, also come with all fees includes.


November 30, 2012
Rain or shine, Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour starts today

Regardless of weather, the home tour must go on.

"Rain or shine, we're open," said Kris Quigley, among the organizers of the 39th annual Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour, which started its three-day run today. "There's been so much work put in by our designers and home owners, there's no way we could postpone. Hopefully, the rain will let up a bit and people will still come out."

Featuring five elegantly decorated homes in East Sacramento's Fabulous Forties neighborhood, the tour usually attracts more than 5,000 patrons. This weekend, its organizers had to add rain gear to its preparations.

"Bring your umbrella - we're ready," Quigley said. "We've got booties you can slip on over your shoes and take with you to the other homes."

A major fund-raiser for Sacred Heart Parish School, the tour continues until 8 p.m. tonight. The homes also will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $30 and available at the tour's booth on 38th Street between J and M streets or online at Or call (916) 556-5050.

November 20, 2012
Sacramento's Death Grips: Spin's 'Artist of the Year'

Sacramento's Death Grips were named Spin magazine's "artist of the year" on Tuesday, capping a tumultuous year for the brash and critically acclaimed punk-rap group.

Death Grips' recent past includes being dropped by Epic records, scrapping a hotly anticipated tour, releasing two albums -- including one without the approval of its record label and a very NSFW album cover -- and re-mixing a track for Bjork.

Spin magazine's accompanying feature on Death Grips details the band's humble beginnings, including frontman Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett's longtime stint as a busser at Paesano's restaurant, to its very public fight with Epic records.

November 20, 2012
Tickets are still available to Bill Clinton's Dec. 4 presentation

It's not too late to buy tickets to witness a bit of living history. Former U.S. president and author Bill Clinton will speak at 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., Sacramento. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

The founder of the philanthropic William J. Clinton Foundation is part of the Sacramento Speakers Series' lineup of six global notables hosted by the community lecture series.

"We have a limited number of VIP seating in the Dress Circle, and some in the second balcony," said Tiffany Kelly, the company's executive director for marketing and business development.

October 31, 2012
Hurricane Sandy forces cancellation of Crest Theater event Nov. 1 & 2

The effects of Hurricane Sandy has forced the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Sacramento to postpone the presentation of "Pass It On...An Evening with Bill W. & Dr. Bob - the co-founders of A.A." at the Crest Theatre.

The performance, which was scheduled at the Crest Theatre Nov. 1 and 2., is to be rescheduled.

The postponement was due to the inability of Gary Kimble and Richard Springle to fly to Sacramento to present the play. Both live in New York, and had their flights canceled.

Plans are to reschedule the show in January. Details will be available on the NCADD Sacramento website at

October 31, 2012
Ask the chef your cooking questions at Bee Book Club event

If you're looking for great recipes and expert advice for the holiday cooking season, Brian Streeter is the man to see.

He's the executive chef and culinary director of the Napa Valley's Cakebread Cellars winery, and author of "The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook."

On Thursday night (Nov. 1), Streeter will talk about all things food and cooking, including recipe development, ingredients, techniques and wine-and-food pairings. His presentation and question-and-answer session for the Sacramento Bee Book Club will be especially timely as Thanksgiving and other holiday "cooking days" quickly approach.

Join the culinarily curious crowd and ask Streeter your cooking questions. He will give a presentation and autograph the cookbook at 6 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento; (916) 452-5881.

Barnes & Noble will be there to sell the cookbook for 30 percent off the retail price (Ten Speed Press, $35, 203 pages.

Through Thursday night, these bookstores will offer a 30 percent discount on the title: Barnes & Noble, Avid Reader at the Tower in Sacramento, Avid Reader in Davis, Time Tested Books, Face in a Book in Eldorado Hills, Underground Books, the Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento, the UC Davis Bookstore and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.

For information on the Bee Book Club: (916) 321-1128

October 24, 2012
Poundstone's Carson City show cancelled

Paula Poundstone 's appearance scheduled for Friday at the Bob Bolbrick Theater in Carson City, Nev., has been postponed due to a family emergency.

According to the ticketing website, all charges will be removed on credit-card ticket purchases.
-- Mel Shields

October 24, 2012
Crocker Kingsley Art Competition moves to Roseville's Blue Line Gallery


The long standing Crocker-Kingsley Art Competition is moving to the Blue Line Gallery.

The Kingsley Art Club's Board of Directors announced the new partnership recently between the Crocker Art Museum and Blue Line Gallery in Roseville for their biannual show. The show was first juried in 1940.

This year a special competition will showcase award winners at Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum. Work will be selected by juror Michael Duncan, corresponding editor for Art in America.

October 18, 2012
Capital Nursery hosts Elk Grove food truck fest tonight

Food trucks, music and garden talk? Capital Nursery celebrates fall with that unusual combination from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight at its Elk Grove nursery, 8423 Elk Grove Blvd.

Called Capital Nursery's Food Truck Mania, the event will feature such popular food trucks as Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen, Coast to Coast Sandwiches, Smoothie Patrol, Knucklehead Hot Dog Diner and Crave American Tacos.

Admission is free. For more details or directions, click on or call (916) 684-2100.

October 5, 2012
Putah Creek Nature Walk Set for Saturday


Lake Solano_Photo by Jeff Janik (43)_larger (1).jpgPutah Creek, which runs through Solano and Yolo counties, is the subject and venue of a nature and history hike on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

The two-hour walk will begin at 10 a.m. at Lake Solano in Winters and will explore the flora and faunca of the surrounding area, as well as delve into the history on the Patwin Indians' settlement in the area.

The event is free, but parking at the Lake Solano Park Nature Center at 8685 Pleasants Valley Road in Winters is $5 per vehicle.

(Photo courtesy of Jeff Janik)



October 1, 2012
Bike your way to two Lake Tahoe festivals, and more

Two festivals are happening on the south shore of Lake Tahoe this weekend, Oct. 6-7. In past years, we've found the best way to enjoy both is by pedal power on bikes from one of our go-to's, Anderson's Bike Rental (pictured), situated near the action.

We'll get to that in a minute, along with a restaurant recommendation. But first - the 18th annual Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson will feature German-style foods and beers, children's activities, entertainment, dancing, contests and more (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days). Camp Richardson is on Highway 89 heading toward Emerald Bay, 1900 Jameson Beach Road; (800) 544-1801,

Just down Highway 89 from Camp Richardson is the Taylor Creek Visitors Center (and scenic Rainbow Trail), which will host the annual Kokanee Salmon Festival (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days). The fest is educational and entertaining, with hands-on activities, trail runs, streamside programs, a salmon barbecue and more; (530) 543-2674,

September 28, 2012
Father Boyle, author and anti-gang advocate, to speak in Carmichael

Father Greg Boyle, the Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles and is a leading advocate for gang intervention, will speak Saturday night at a Sacramento-area church.

The event, which is free, begins at 7 p.m. at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, 5645 Marconi Ave.

Homeboy Industries offers a variety of services for gang members and other troubled youth, including education, job training and counseling. Boyle wrote a book about his work with Homeboy Industries titled "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion."

Boyle also once worked at Folsom Prison.

September 27, 2012
Crocker Museum offers first SketchCrawl

As part of its Thursdays 'til 9 events, Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum tonight is launching its first SketchCrawl -- a chance to sip beer and try your hand at sketching.

Area artists will be on hand to demonstrate drawing techniques and display some of their sketches. The no-host bar will feature regional beers on tap and specialty bottled beers.

Hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the museum, 216 O St., Sacramento.

The SketchCrawl, an idea borrowed from San Francisco animation artist Enrico Casarosa, is in conjunction with the museum's exhibition, The Artist's View: Landscape Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum, which features landscape drawings from the major European schools. The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.

Admission to the SketchCrawl is free with museum admission, $10 for adults, $8 for those 65 or older and for college students, $5 for those ages 7-17 and free to children 6 and under and to museum members.

Information: (916) 808-7000, or

Bee Staff

September 24, 2012
Billy Mills: First Inductee to Sacramento Running Hall of Fame


LC BILLY MILLS.JPGThe Sacramento Running Association's newly-formed Hall of Fame has named its first inductee -- Olympic gold medalist distance runner Billy Mills.

Mills (left), who lives in Fair Oaks, won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic track and field history in the 1960 Tokyo Games. In the decades since, Mills, an Oglala Lakota Sioux, has worked as a spokesman for Running Strong for Native American Youth. He also has promoted physical fitness at schools throughout the country.

Mills will be honored at a dinner on Jan. 26 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

The SRA's Hall of Fame is looking for nominations for other runners deemed worthy of enshrinement. Nomination can be made via the organization's website   through Oct. 15. Categories include, track, cross country, road racing, marathon and ultramarathon.

Tickets for the banquet cost $50 and can be purchased online on SRA's website.


September 22, 2012
'Lawless America' comes to Sacramento today

A Sacramento courthouse and the State Capitol will be the backdrop for filming today of the documentary, "Lawless America ... The Movie."

Bill Windsor, an entrepreneur and publisher turned filmmaker, brings his 143-day cross-country odyssey to Sacramento. At each stop, he interviews people about judicial and government corruption.

According to his blog, Windsor hopes to interview more than 700 people on a 16,000-mile trek that will take him to all 50 states. His Sacramento stop -- Day 101 of his journey -- starts a California tour with visits to San Francisco, San Quentin, Santa Barbara, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego.

At 5 p.m., his crew plans to unfurl a 150-foot "Crime Scene" banner at William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento.

"All victims of that court who are present will be able to go on camera to make a short sound-bite comment," Windsor said.

Then, it's onto the State Capitol, where the group plans to stretch the banner on the front walkway. Windsor will do his on-camera interviews near L and 10th streets.

"All victims of California government who are present will be able to go on camera ...," he said. "Following the filming there, we will return to the Homewood Suites at 3001 Advantage Way, where 'Lawless America ... The Movie' will film additional victims."

Windsor hopes to interview at least 175 Californians for his documentary. For more details (and Windsor's blog), click on the film's website,

September 20, 2012
Yeardley Smith returns to Sacramento with Marchez Vous

So many fashion-conscious women showed up at the Pavilions Salon Shoes store last April to meet and greet Yeardley Smith that the actress-designer is coming back for an encore engagement.

The big draw was Smith's line of Italian-made padded high heels, pumps, booties and wedges from Marchez Vous, the high-end footwear company she founded.

Yeardley (pronounced "YARD-lee") Smith is well-known as the voice of Lisa Simpson, the brainy daughter of Homer and Marge on the Fox network's "The Simpsons," but that's just part of her resume.

September 19, 2012
Wynton Marasalis to headline UOP's Brubeck Festival

Thumbnail image for WyntonMarsalis.jpegWynton Marsalis, pictured left, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will headline the 2013 Brubeck Festival in March in Stockton, the festival announced today.

The University of the Pacific and the Brubeck Institute released the initial lineup of the festival, which also will feature an appearance by trumpeter-composer Marsalis on campus with the school's Pacific's Powell Scholars, the recipients of a the schools most prestigious academic scholarship. That question-and-answer event will also be open to the public, according to an emailed press release from UOP Media Relations Coordinator Chris Heredia.

As part of the festival's educational mission, the Brubeck Institute will reserve 250 free tickets for school children to see Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Bob Hope Theatre in downtown Stockton, the press release said.

Thumbnail image for Dave-Brubeck-cropped.JPGThe Brubeck Festival is an annual cultural celebration that explores the legacy and influence of celebrated jazz pianist and 1942 UOP alumnus Dave Brubeck, pictured right.

Bee Staff

September 17, 2012
Lake Tahoe's 'in-between' season offers a full agenda

It's the "in-between season" around Lake Tahoe, that time of year when armies of tourists have ended their occupation of the lake, making it easier for you and me to get around.

The in-between season, also known as the "shoulder season" by those in the travel biz, gets better as September goes by, peaks in October and winds down in November, ending with the first snowfall. Just about everything you can do at the lake in the summertime, you can do now, without the crowds.

Festival-wise, consider these (details at

- Music, hayrides, pumpkin-painting, pie-eating contests, a beer garden and a cornucopia of gourmet fare will be among the highlights at the Resort at Squaw Creek's Harvest Festival, Oct. 5-14 in Olympic Valley.

- Choose from among three-course lunches and dinners for $20, $30 and $40 at restaurants around the lake during Tahoe Restaurant Week, Oct. 7-14. No tickets or coupons are necessary.

- The Tahoe City Harvest Festival and Oktoberfest will offer a tasting of German wines, 5-K and 10-K runs, a pub crawl, a ghost walk and a pumpkin-carving workshop, Oct. 6-20.

- Grilled bratwurst, beer, live music and arts-and-crafts will headline the Oktoberfest in Incline Village, Oct. 13.

- The adults-only Historical Haunted Walking Tour in Truckee will take attendees back in time, Oct. 18-19. Plan on hearing ghostly tales at "historic buildings and legendary watering holes."

September 13, 2012
Public invited to conference on Hinduism

By Stephen Magagnini

Saturday, those curious about Hinduism, a 10,000 year old religion practiced by close to 1 billion people worldwide - including 25,000 in the Sacramento region - are invited to to a free Sangam, meaning confluence.

Devotional music, dance, teachings, discussions, plays and Sanskrit poems will be presented at the Shree Laxmi Narayan Mandir temple, 7495 Elder Creek Road, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event - sponsored by various Indian organizations under the banner "Annapoorna," a Sanskrit word meaning well-fed -- will offer free Indian vegetarian food for everyone at 12:40 to 2 p.m., said Venu Mallesara, one of the organizers.

September 12, 2012
Drive down memory lane to 1968 at California Automobile Museum

Where were you in 1968? And what we're you driving?

The California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St., Sacramento, will take a detailed look at the tumultuous year - and the cars that were part of it - in its "1968" centerpiece exhibit, kicking off Sept. 22 and running through May 12, 2013.

Sponsored by Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, the showcase includes colorful walls with information and photos of cars of the era, automotive magazines, popular culture of the times and a timeline of key 1968 events, many of which occurred in the Golden State. A revolving display of 1968 cars will be the center of attention.

A "Mod Preview Party" of the exhibit (wear your best 1960s clothes), is open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 21, featuring guest speaker Stan Atkinson, retired reporter/anchorman for Sacramento TV station Channel 3 (KCRA).

More info: Call (916) 442-6802 or visit

Bee Staff

September 10, 2012
Cal Expo hosts day of reflection for victims of 9/11 attacks

On this 11th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, Sacramento-area residents can pay tribute to the victims at Cal Expo, which is hosting a day of reflection Tuesday at the State Fair's September 11 Memorial Plaza from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking and admission to the memorial are free on Tuesday.

Construction of the Cal Expo memorial began a year after the attack, when board member Larry Davis acquired and donated 125,000 pounds of wreckage from the World Trade Center to Cal Expo. The memorial also includes a granite ball inscribed with the names of 9/11 victims.

For more information:

September 7, 2012
Sacramento roller-derby skaters work it in photo exhibition

DaddysGirl_Small.jpgRoller derby competitors are bruisers on the track.

But in their non-derby lives, they are chefs and real estate professionals.

Those dual existences are the subject of a Saturday photo exhibition by derby skater and photographer Jenna Baxter. The exhibit will be up starting at 6 p.m. at Salon Paisley, 2404 K St., hSacramento.

"A thing I thought was really cool was that everyone had their daytime life, but then they would come and play," Baxter said of her fellow skaters in Sacramento's Sacred City Derby Girls league. "I thought it would be interesting to contrast their daytime lives against their personalities as skaters."

Baxter's photos show the skaters in work clothes (or kitschier, sexier variations thereof) and work settings. But they still have on their skates.

Sacred City skater Daddy's Girl, shown above, had to navigate a cleaver and skates during a photo shoot at her workplace, a restaurant. Other photos by Baxter depict a bartender, a real estate agent and a warehouse worker.

Baxter is selling the prints from the show for $250. But her goal for the project was to raise awareness of Sacred City Derby Girls. The league has a big event coming up in February 2013 at Memorial Auditorium.

Saturday's Salon Paisley event will feature derby skaters wearing their wheels, hair-styling demonstrations and a DJ.


September 7, 2012
Multi-cultural center opens on Del Paso Boulevard

A multi-cultural community center will open Saturday with a celebration on Del Paso Boulevard.

Fusion International Arts Center opens in the building at 501 Arden Way, which once was home of LIMN furniture.

Saturday's celebration starts at 11 a.m. and continues through 6 p.m. with international arts and crafts exhibits, entertainment and food trucks. Admission is free.

Organizers of the non-profit Fusion center say it will showcase local artists through music, dance and art with the hope of nurturing understanding among diverse cultures.

Bee staff

September 7, 2012
Cultural diversity served up at Little Saigon neighborhood fair

The cultural diversity of the neighborhood will be available for sampling at Big Fair in Little Saigon this weekend.

The Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce hosts the fair at the corner of Stockton Boulevard and Florin Road from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The fair comprises a variety of entertainment acts, food booths, a fashion show, ping pong tournament and carnival rides.

For information, call (916) 627-5165 or go to

Bee staff

September 6, 2012
Bee Book Club will feature 'The Orphan Master's Son' tonight

Stanford University creative-writing professor Adam Johnson invested seven years in research and writing - including visits to North Korea - for his novel "The Orphan Master's Son." It's set in the world's most secretive country - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - and is one of Random House's most acclaimed titles of the year.

It's the Bee Book Club's choice for September.

Johnson will give a presentation and autograph books at 6 p.m. tonight at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. Barnes & Noble will be there to sell the trade paperback edition of "The Orphan Master's Son" for 30 percent off the retail price (Random House, $15, 480 pages).

The epic tale takes place in territory previously uncharted in the literary canon. Readers follow "average citizen" Pak Jun Do throughout his life, first as a boy in a work camp for orphans, then as a soldier patrolling the dark tunnels underneath the demilitarized zone, next as a crew member aboard a spy boat.

Later, Jun Do is briefly hailed a hero, then damned to a gulag as a threat to the state. Freed in a bizarre case of state-engineered "mistaken identity," Jun Do's arc intersects with North Korea's sociopathic "Dear Leader," Kim Jong Il, and that of iconic movie star Sun Moon.

Along the way, readers meet the country's propaganda-saturated citizenry, murderous secret police and paranoid party leaders. Despite the bleak vision, the story interweaves hope with humor, dignity with courage.

For information on the Bee Book Club: (916) 321-1128.

September 4, 2012
Head for the high country for sips, samples and cool air

Ready to get out of town and into some cool mountain air? Nosh a little food, sip a little wine?

Now's the time to make plans to join 2,000 other foodies on culinary safari at the 27th annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival. It's going on now, but the heart of the event will be this weekend at the Village at Northstar ski resort (

"We're moving forward with the growing trend of culinary tourism," said Pettit Gilwee, public-relations representative for the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureau.

The centerpieces of the festival will be the Grape Stomp (Friday in Tahoe City); Gourmet Marketplace, and classes, seminars, demonstrations, tastings, food-and-wine and beer-and-cheese pairings, and cooking competitions at Northstar (Saturday); and the Grand Tasting and Culinary Competition at Northstar (Sunday). At the judged Grand Tasting food-and-wine pairing, guests can graze and sip at more than 30 booths.

Some events are free, others are ticketed ($15 to $95). For details (including special lodging packages) and to buy tickets:

September 2, 2012
Greek Festival brings delicacies galore to convention center

Greece is the word as the 49th annual Greek Festival continues today. More than 30 Greek delicacies, including baklava (pastry), pastitsio (baked pasta) and spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), will be offered for purchase.

In addition to food and drinks, there will be cooking demonstrations, games, live music by Mythos Band, dance lessons and more.

When: Noon to 10 p.m. today (Sunday, Sept. 2).

Where: Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento

Cost: $5 general, $4 for seniors and free for children 12 and younger.


September 2, 2012
Gold Rush Days: Shootouts, pony rides, music in Old Sac

Gold Rush Days continues through Monday as Old Sacramento, the city's 27-acre historic district, is transformed into a scene from the Gold Rush era with the help of nearly 200 tons of dirt.

The four-day event features K Street shootouts, live music, dancing, Old West theatrics, history re-enactments, horse-drawn carriages, pony, wagon and train rides, gold panning and children's games. The popular Tent City will give visitors a peek at daily life during the Gold Rush.

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today (Sunday, Sept. 2); and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3.

Where: Streets of Old Sacramento

Cost: Free

Information: (916) 808-7777 or

August 22, 2012
Get ready to run or walk at Saturday's Race for the Arts

2012 RFTA balloon archway.jpg
You can walk, you can run or you can cheer from the sidelines and urge on the crowd of serious (and not-so-serious) walkers and runners.

You choose your own speed at Saturday's 14th annual Race for the Arts, beginning with a 5K run-walk at 8:30 a.m. Saturday (timed by D Tag), followed by Kids Fun Runs at 9:30 a.m. Registration opens at 7 a.m. at shady William Land Park, 15th Avenue and Land Park Drive. Or stop by Fleet Feet for an entry form (2311 J St., 916-442-3338). Cost is $15 to $30.

After the walking-running is over, stay for the arts festival featuring music, continuous entertainment, assorted munchies, and 40 interactive booths centered around drama, live music, dance and art. Look for a special performance by the band AZUAR. Check out the Instrumental Discovery Zone, make a hat, get your face painted and learn some new dance steps. Also on site: Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen food truck, and the Sacramento Public Library's bookmobile.

Race for the Arts is a fund-raiser to benefit California's non-profit visual, performing and cultural arts organizations, and school music, drama and art programs. Choose which organization you wish to benefit from your pledges. Pledges are not required to participate in the race.

This year, the Sacramento Philharmonic will dedicate its Musical Petting Zoo to the memory of musician and volunteer Marlene Grass.

For more information: (916) 933-4056,

August 20, 2012
Peruvian food to be feted in Sacramento

By Richard Chang

Have you ever wanted to experience Peru, but didn't have the time or money to travel there? Here's your chance to experience the picturesque South American country without leaving Sacramento.

The 8th annual Peruvian Food Festival will take place Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ben Ali Shriners Center: 3262 Marysville Blvrd., Sacramento.

"It's an opportunity for people to experience some of the best Peruvian food," said Ernesto Iglesias, vice president of Club Peru, the event sponsor.

In addition to various delicacies and desserts, there will be a Peruvian horse show. The festival is extremely popular. "Last year, we had to turn away 400 people," Iglesias said.

Admission is $3 per person; parking is an additional $2.

August 15, 2012
Laughs Unlimited hosts fund-raiser for Hope 4 Harlow

Laugh, dance and help families coping with seriously ill children.

On Aug. 26, Old Sacramento's Laughs Unlimited will host a music and comedy fund-raiser for Hope 4 Harlow, a non-profit fund to pay for special medical equipment.

The fund is named for Harlow Crisamore, the daughter of Iraq war veteran Sgt. James Crisamore. Harlow, now 19 months old, has cerebral palsy. The toddler is blind, epileptic and requires special care.

While dealing with their daughter's medical needs and expenses, James and Rachael Crisamore of Citrus Heights decided to reach out and try to help other families in similar situations.

"We want to provide equipment for other children," James Crisamore said. "(With this event), we're hoping to provide a wheelchair for a young boy. They're very expensive. The one Harlow needed cost $7,000."

Crisamore also is accepting items for a raffle during the Laughs Unlimited event. To donate, call him at (206) 353-7420.

This is the second comedy night for Hope 4 Harlow following a successful February show.

"It turned out to be a real good event," said Crisamore, who was severely injured while on duty overseas. "We had lots of families turn out. Skip (Cappawana, co-owner of Laughs Unlimited) has been wonderful."

The upcoming fund-raiser starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, with live music and a family atmosphere. At 7 p.m., the comedy show begins for an audience age 17 and up.

Laughs Unlimited is located at 1207 Front St. in Old Sacramento. Tickets are a $15 donation and available online at or by calling (916) 446-5905.

August 14, 2012
Two more food-and-wine events on offer this Saturday

Can there be enough food-and-wine events? Not if you love sampling and sipping. Two more chances are happening this Saturday. Start at one, transition to the other.

We're talking about the 17th annual Grape & Gourmet, and the 14th annual Off to the Races.

Grape & Gourmet will feature pours (and sales) from the 200 wineries that won medals in the California State Fair Wine Competition. Nosh on award-winning cheeses and samples from 20 area restaurants.

Grape & Gourmet will be 3 to 6 p.m. in Buildings A and B at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Online group sales of 10 or more are $35 per person. To buy tickets and get more information: (916) 263-3636,

After Grape & Gourmet, more goodies await at Off to the Races. Line up for hors d'oeuvres from Bella Bru Cafe, Fabian's Italian Bistro, Monsoon, Roxy's, Ruth's Chris, Splendid Gourmet, Sutter Street Steakhouse, Mandarin, and Zac Jack Bistro. Sip wines from Napa Cellars, St. Supéry, Andis, Mount Aukum, Sean Minor, Shadow Ranch and the Hess Collection.

Off to the Races will be emceed by KCRA news anchor Edie Lambert. Accompanying will be live entertainment.

The event will be 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the courtyard at Pavilions center on Fair Oaks Boulevard (east of Howe Avenue), Sacramento. Tickets are $40 at the door or in advance at (916) 933-4056.

Off to the Races is the kickoff event for the 14th annual Race for the Arts, Aug. 25 at William Land Park. Both "Race" events benefit arts groups and arts programs throughout California.

For more information:

August 3, 2012
Civil War artifacts on display at the California State Library

For scholars, historians, buffs and re-enactors nationwide, the Civil War lives on.

Now the California State Library has assembled 60-some rare Civil War-era artifacts and documents for its free "California During the Civil War" exhibit.

The display includes a "Dixie First Reader" textbook (once a schoolroom staple for children in Southern states), a Colt pistol once carried by a Union soldier who later settled in California, and a copy of the 1863 edition of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen printed on wallpaper (there was a paper shortage).

There's more: books, tintypes, photos, California ballots for the presidential elections of 1860 and 1864, and a roster of 100 California volunteers who fought for the Union.

The California State Library, founded in 1850, regularly displays archival materials from its vast collection. The Civil War showing is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 31, in the library lobby at 900 N St., Sacramento. Information:

August 1, 2012
Stroll along Main Street at Placerville's annual Crafts Faire

Placerville is much more than just a drive-through town on the way to Lake Tahoe. Pull off Highway 50 and take a stroll along historic Main Street.The eclectic shops and restaurants are housed in architecturally interesting brick-and-beam buildings dating to the mid- and late-1800s, when the gold rush "built" what used to be called Hangtown.

The Placerville Downtown Association does a good job of bringing special events to town. Like the 16th annual Crafts Faire, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 12. More than 100 artisans will display and sell their wares - from jewelry and pottery, to hand-made candles and decorations for the garden. As usual, vendors will sell food and drink, and parking and admission will be free.

Look for more special events at, including the Hangtown Car Show (Aug. 23), Oktoberfest (Sept. 22) and the Antiques Street Faire (Sept. 30).

August 1, 2012
Hot August Nights Vrooming Into Tahoe, Reno

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Or, as the case may be, crack open another brewski to cool off and watch others rev up the hot rods.

Yes, if this is August, it must be time again for Hot August Nights in the Tahoe-Reno area.

Friday through Sunday, Hot August Nights convenes in South Lake Tahoe. Then, the show moves to Reno from Aug. 7-12.

Among the highlights will be the usual array of "classic cars," drag races featuring eardrum-obliterating hot rods and music, headlined by the Village People. One new attraction is "Ride & Drive," which gives spectators the opportunity to do a ride-along with speedy "professional drivers" in souped-up Fords and Chevys.

For more information and directions, click here.  

July 30, 2012
5,000-plus attend Launch 2012 festival's concert finale

The Launch 2012 festival wrapped up on Saturday night following six days of music, fashion and art at various venues around Sacramento. According to festival organizers, Saturday's all-day concert at Cesar Chavez Plaza attracted more than 5,000 who witnessed the likes of DJ Shadow, Chromeo, the Joy Formidable plus a variety of local bands.

Now in its fourth year, Launch more than doubled its attendance from 2011, which was held at The Greens Hotel on Del Paso Blvd. and attended by 2,500. This year's edition featured fashion and design shows, along with music that was capped with Saturday's concert.

Other highlights included a free album release concert for local indie-rockers Exquisite Corps in front of midtown's MARRS building and a packed fashion show on Friday night at the Landmark Building near 10th and J streets.

"It was a huge success," said Clay Nutting, co-producer for Launch. "For several months we were telling people that we were trying to build something special. We don't come from a lot of financial means, but I feel we pulled this off to the best of our abilities."

July 30, 2012
CIM Registration Increase Deadline Approaching

The California International Marathon, which will celebrate its 30th running this December, reported that registration is ahead of last year's pace, when the race sold out in late October.

Runners wanting to register at the $105 fee have until Aug.1 at 11:59 p.m. to enter. After that, the race entry jumps to $125.

The field is limited to 8,000 participants.

For more information, click here.

July 29, 2012
State Fair wraps up with mariachi music, boxing, motocross

Mariachi music, boxing and motorcycle races bring down the curtain today at the State Fair.

Cal Expo's annual salute to all things Californian wraps up at 10 p.m. tonight as the State Fair concludes its 18-day run.

Among the highlights of Closing Day:

- This afternoon, more than 170 motocross riders will be on Cal Expo's one-mile main track - usually reserved for horse racing - to compete in Eddie Mulder's West Coast Dirt Track Series. The event includes divisions for vintage vehicles and attracts riders from throughout the United States and Canada.

- For more thrills, freestyle motocross riders will test their limits at the Xtreme Zone with stunt shows at 3, 5 and 7 p.m.

- Amateur boxers will show they can take the heat (and plenty of punches) during afternoon bouts, presented by Golden Bear Amateur Boxing at the Golden 1 Stage. Loren Reed and Benito Garcia host the live bouts, from 3 to 7 p.m.

- Mariachi music featuring Ezequiel Pena and his dancing horses and a Hispanic rodeo will pack the fair's horse show arena. This special show (with a $30 ticket price including fair admission) starts at 4 p.m.

- At 8 p.m., Harlee and the Sugar Daddies close out the fair's live concert series at the Golden 1 Stage.

For more details, click on

July 29, 2012
Courtland's Pear Festival in full swing today

A lot more than fresh Bartletts will be rolling out for today's Courtland Pear Festival.

More than 7,000 pear lovers are expected to turn out for this summer salute to juicy pears. The Bartlett harvest has just begun and promises to be a good crop, say festival organizers. California is the nation's No. 1 Bartlett pear producer.

A Delta tradition since 1972, the Courtland Pear Fair features lots of family fun including puppets, games and (of course) pear pie-eating contests. There also will be almost non-stop live music and plenty of fresh pears and pear treats to eat.

Headlining today's festivities is the annual Pear Parade through town, starting at 1 p.m. That's followed by the crowning of the 2012 Pear Queen at 1:30 p.m.

The Pear Festival continues until 6 p.m. tonight at 180 Primasing Ave., Courtland. Admission is free; parking is $10.

For more details, directions and a schedule of activities, click on

July 27, 2012
See bug-eating plants at Sacramento show

Some plants can turn the table on bugs - they "eat" them.

Find plants with a real difference this weekend at the 42nd annual Sacramento Bromeliad and Carnivorous Plant Society Show and Sale at McKinley Park's Shepard Garden and Arts Center. Admission and parking are free.

See hundreds of colorful bromeliads, unusual tropical plants that range from pineapple to "air plants" that grow in trees.

But it's the bug-eating carnivorous plants that attract an audience, especially among children fascinated by these well-adapted and healthy examples.

"Many plant varieties (at the show) are not seen in any other place in Northern California," said the society's Eric Trygg. "There will be educational displays on carnivorous plants, and members of the society will be on hand to answer questions and provide tips on growing both families of plants."

Take some plants home, too. The event includes a wide selection of both bromeliads and bug-eaters for sale.

"Most of the sale plants cannot be found in nurseries and will provide a colorful and easy-to-grow addition to your garden or plant collection," Trygg said.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Shepard Garden and Arts Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

July 27, 2012
Casting agency looking to cast local mom for national commercial

The L.A.-based casting agency Cast Iron Productions is seeking to cast a local mom for a commercial for a major national retailer.

The shoot will take place on Aug. 4 in the Sacramento area. The commercial will require one day of work and is paid.

The person to be cast needs to be an everyday mom who is not an actor. The agency is looking to cast someone who looks between 28-49 years of age.

Information: (310) 914-0117;

July 26, 2012
Trail work focus of Tahoe event

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association is organizing a Backcounty Trails Camp next weekend (Aug. 10-12), near Barker Pass on the west side of Tahoe.

Cost to join the trail building and maintenance crew is $55 for the weekend to cover food provided for participants. Long pants and long-sleeved T-shirt are recommended, along with boots and work gloves. The TRTA will provide all necessary trail-building equipment.

For more information, click here or call (775) 298-0232.  

July 26, 2012
Romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips will take the stage for Bee Book Club tonight

Susan Elizabeth Phillips.JPG If you know who "SEP" is, then you're likely a "SEPPIE."

New York Times best-selling romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips - whose initials are SEP - has a fan base that's loyal and legion, and her followers call themselves SEPPIES. Because she "puts it all out there" on her website,, and her FaceBook page, she says they know pretty much everything about her.

Meet SEP and join the SEPPIES at a free presentation and book-signing for the Sacramento Bee Book Club at 6 tonight at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. Barnes & Noble will be there to sell Phillips' new book, "The Great Escape" (William Morrow, $25.99, 432 pages), for 30 percent off the retail price. Other books by Phillips also will be available.

"My books have a love story at their centers, but I also like to write about family and community, and the bigger scale of women in relationship to each other," Phillips said

Tonight, Phillips will talk about book touring, dish about "other romance writers who are friends of mine," and do the SEP Trivia Quiz. That involves her asking questions about her books and herself, and fans responding.

"When they get the answers right, I throw candies into the audience," she said with a laugh. "It's going to be a really fun evening."

July 23, 2012
Nitro Night gala honors Funny Car star Medlen

A popular Funny Car racer from San Joaquin Valley will be remembered Thursday evening at the sixth annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner at the Stone Tree Golf Club in Novato.

The kickoff event for this week's NHRA Sonoma Nationals, the charity gala honors Oakdale's Eric Medlen, the 2006 NHRA Funny Car champion at Sonoma. Medlen, a driver for John Force Racing, was killed in March 2007 during a testing accident in Florida.

Several NHRA stars will turn out for Thursday's dinner, including Medlen's former teammate Ashley Force-Hood. Also expected are Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Ron Capps and Top Fuel drivers Brandon Bernstein and Morgan Lucas. NHRA announcer Bob Frey will serve as emcee.

The gala has sold out five previous years. Tickets for the evening are $125, and include wine, beer and prime rib dinner. All proceeds will go to Sonoma County youth groups in Medlen's name through Speedway Children's Charities.

For Nitro Night tickets, call (707) 933-3950 or e-mail

The 25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals are set for Friday through Sunday at the Sonoma raceway. For more information, visit or call (800) 870-7223.

July 21, 2012
SactoMoFo 5 opens today at noon under the freeway

SactoMoFo 5, the ongoing series of mobile food truck fairs, returns to Sacramento today. The event features more than two dozen mobile food vendors, a beer garden, live music, an arts-and-crafts fair and a "kids corner" with a video game truck. Between 8,000 and 10,000 attended the previous edition of SactoMoFo.

Where: Sixth and X streets, Sacramento.

When: Noon to 7 p.m.

Cost: No admission charge. Food available for purchase. Parking is free if participants donate school supplies or canned/packaged food to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. Parking $2 without donation. There will be free street parking in the neighborhood.


July 10, 2012
California State Fair is getting ready, so we take a tour

There are few things more eerie and seemingly disorganized than a fairgrounds before the fair opens.

Earlier today, California State Fair Media Center staffer Elizabeth Guyer and I cruised Cal Expo in a battery-powered cart for a behind-the-scenes look at the pre-fair goings-on. The fair opens Thursday.

The Midway was devoid of the masses that will congregate there during the fair's 18-day run, a strange, empty sight. Most of the food stands were still being assembled and hosed off. Trucks whizzed by carrying construction gear, pieces of pavilions, and piles of pastel-colored plush toys to be handed over as prizes at the carnival-type games. Workers moved slowly in the mid-morning heat. The whine of electric saws echoed in the distance.

We stopped at Birds In Paradise, a strategically forested retreat beneath a blessedly cool, airy, high-ceilinged tent. Parakeets and macaws fluttered, colorful finches tweeted, and peacocks strutted and shrieked.

"I want to set them all free and see what kind of havoc I can cause," Guyer joked. Perhaps we should start by liberating the cardboard cutouts of pink flamingos, which would look great in my front yard.

We scooted over to The Farm, which has grown about 40 California-centric crops on its 3-1/2 acres - tall corn, peppers, zucchini, cotton. Look for the Farmer's Market, Insect Pavilion, Petting Zoo and Hen House. Along with goats and pigs, milk cows and pony rides.

In the Aquaculture Tent is a tank of 30-pound sturgen, three to four feet long, which you can touch - if you're quick. Other tanks hold crawfish, catfish, bass and baby sturgeon. In The Farm's "aquaponincs program," some of the fish water is used to water and fertilize some of the flowers and crops, which seem to thrive on it.

Our last stop was Toytopia in Expo Center Building 5, a clutter of boxes and paint cans that will be transformed into a marvel of toys and games of all sorts.

It houses the world's largest operating Etch-a-Sketch. The giant classic toy looks to be about six feet high and nine feet wide. But after you etch a sketch on the screen, how do you pick up the toy and shake it to get the screen back to blank?

We rode back to the Media Center, dodging people, pickup trucks and other carts. "We had almost nothing here four days ago," said Guyer, on summer break from Wittenberg University in Ohio. "Then it exploded."

We can't wait to see the finished product on Thursday.


July 10, 2012
UC Davis art show revives Slant Step phenomena


A new generation of works inspired by the time-honored Slant Step phenomena is on tap at the Nelson Gallery's fourth Flatlanders exhibition at UC Davis.

This year's show - Flatlanders on the Slant - opens July 12, and comprises almost 50 works inspired by the Slant Step, the seemingly useless object linked to renowned UC Davis artists William T. Wiley and Bruce Nauman.

The original slant step (pictured right) will be on display, too.

July 10, 2012
Migrate to the Pacific Flyway Wildlife Art Festival this weekend


This weekend, migrate your way to the 42nd annual Pacific Flyway Decoy Association's Classic Wildlife Art Festival.

You'll join birders, expert decoy carvers and other artists and craftspeople for wildlife-art and antique-decoy exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, interactive activities and contests for children and adults, juried art, raffles and door prizes.

Bring the festival home: Exhibitors will sell art, framed photos and books, all themed to the natural wonders of wildlife.

The gathering will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the DoubleTree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento. More information is at (925) 754-4978,

July 6, 2012
Thoroughbred racing returns to Cal Expo for State Fair

Horse racing returns to Cal Expo next Thursday on opening day of the State Fair.

The thoroughbreds - along with Arabians, quarter horses and mules - will be in action for eight days - July 12 through 15 and July 19 through 22 - during the first two weeks of the fair's run.

First post will be 1:45 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays with a 3:45 p.m. first post on Fridays. A minimum of eight races will be run each day.

Fans can pick up coupons at any Cal Expo entry gate for a free program in the Miller Lite grandstand. For more details, see

More than $1 million in purses will help draw horses from throughout California for the short meet. Patrons also will be able to wager on simulcast racing from Del Mar, Saratoga and other major tracks.

Meanwhile, plans are in the works to bring back harness racing in November. The Cal Expo board of directors has approved a term sheet outlining a proposed agreement with European Wagering Services, which would take over as operator of the harness meet.

Since 2008, Cal Expo has operated the harness meet itself. But in December, fair officials announced that they wanted an outside operator to assume the risks and provide the funding to market and grow the meet.

Since 2000, Cal Expo has been the only California track to host harness racing. The last harness meet wrapped up June 16.

"We are pleased that EWS has stepped forward to operate the harness racing meet here at Cal Expo," said Cynthia Bryant, chairman of Cal Expo's racing committee. "Our hope has always been that harness racing would continue at Cal Expo as it supports many jobs and greatly impacts the local economy."

A final contract still needs to be approved by the Cal Expo board. In addition, EWS must get approval from the California Horse Racing Board to operate a meet in this state. The CHRB also must approve race dates for Cal Expo.

Under the term sheet, the proposed dates will be Nov. 2 through May 11, 2013, with racing two to three nights a week.

July 3, 2012
Rockwell classics coming to Crocker Museum

By Jing Cao

During much of his lifetime, prolific American artist Norman Rockwell was shunned by "serious art critics" for portraying idealized images of American life. While he gained some recognition for his later work, which focused on more serious subjects such as racism, the adjective "Rockwellesque" - referring to his sentimental illustrations--maintains a negative connotation. But this style has since become an American icon, and it will be on display at the Crocker Art Museum's Rockwell exhibition that begins in November.

From November 10 through February 3, 2013, "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell" will exhibit over 50 paintings and 323 original "Saturday Evening Post" covers, which encompass his themes of family, innocence, and hometown heroism.

The Crocker Art Museum is located at 216 O Street in Sacramento. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+) and college students, $5 for youth (Ages 7-17), and free for children 6 and under.

Museum hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

For more information: (916) 808-7000 or

July 3, 2012
Tour wineries, nurseries and farms in Half Moon Bay

As the notorious Sacramento summer heats up, one cooler option is the 25-mile strip of Highway 1 between Montara (south of San Francisco) and Pescadero (north of Santa Cruz), known as Coastside. In between is Half Moon Bay, the largest of the towns along that stretch.

Now comes word of the 21st annual Tour de Fleurs, a tour of area wineries, farms, nurseries and greenhouses. Many of them are closed to the public the rest of the year.

Choose from six one-hour self-guided-tour packages, $20 each, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 21.

To buy tickets (space is limited), and for maps and other directions: (650) 726-8380,

July 2, 2012
Catch Mark Twain on a train Saturday in Old Sacramento

Mark Twain had plenty of experience riding the rails. Sacramento's most famous chronicler knew a thing or two about the Sacramento River, too.

So, what better tour guide on a summer evening down by the river than Twain on a train?

Saturday, the California State Railroad Museum presents "Riding the Rails with Mark Twain," a special event that combines Twain lore with a riverside sunset ride aboard the Sacramento Southern Railroad.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Eagle Theatre in Old Sacramento. Twain, as portrayed by Pat Kaunert, will spin tales of life on the rails while accompanied by fiddler Dave Rainwater.

At 7:30 p.m., it's all aboard the Sacramento Southern Railroad for a leisurely excursion along the river, with Twain and Rainwater providing entertainment and travelogue. Refreshments include lemonade and iced tea for the river ride.

Tickets are $24 for adults, $12 for you ages 6 to 17. Children age 5 and under are admitted free. Seats are limited, so reservations are recommended.

For more details and tickets, click on or call (916) 445-5995.

June 22, 2012
Daylily Days celebrates summer blooms in Amador County

Get your summer off to a flower-filled start during the 16th annual Daylily Days in Plymouth.

Held this weekend at Amador Flower Farm, Daylily Days celebrates the 14-acre farm's plentiful crop of daylilies. Located in the heart of Amador County's wine country, the farm grows more than 1,000 varieties of the colorful perennial.

Free tram tours make it easy to tour the farm's long rows of daylilies and see millions of blooms. In addition during this special free event, visitors can take part in hourly gardening demonstrations and get expert advice from Amador County master gardeners.

There also will be a summer fruit tasting Saturday, hosted by Dave Wilson Nursery, and tastings of olive oil and gourmet jams, salsa and sauces both days.

Food booths will be available or bring a picnic lunch to enjoy under the farm's massive oaks. Daylily Days will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Amador Flower Farm is located at 22001 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth. For more details or directions, click on or call (209) 245-6660.

June 20, 2012
Davis will be hub of activity this weekend

You would think, now that the UC Davis have mostly gone home for the summer, Davis would revert to its summer sleep-mode.

You would think wrong.

No less than three events will take place in this hub of Yolo County culture: a music festival, an arts festival and, of course, a bike ride.


  • The Downtown Davis Art & Craft Festival will be held in the E Street Plaza Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More details, click here.
  • The Davis Music Fest will be held at various venues throughout the city from 1:30 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday. Tickets ($20) good for all venues can be purchased at Armadillo Music on F Street and byclicking here.
  • The Livestrong Challenge bike ride begins Sunday at Central Park, covering courses 20, 65 and 100 miles in length. More than 2,000 cyclists are expected. There will be a "Livestrong Village" at Central Park open all day.    
June 15, 2012
Isleton Cajun Festival this weekend

The Isleton Cajun Festival continues this weekend, featuring Zydeco and Cajun music, Bayou cuisine, vendors, carnival rides and street entertainers.


Hosted by the Isleton Chamber of Commerce, the event on Main Street will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call (916) 777-4800.

Bee photo by Lezlie Sterling: Francia Trout and Terry Stoker dance at the 2011 Cajun Festival in Isleton.

June 14, 2012
Veggies won't grow? Ask master gardeners for help

Why won't your veggies grow? What's that bug (and is it good or bad)? How do I get bigger tomatoes?

On Saturday morning, UC masters gardeners will be out in force and ready to answer all sorts of garden-related questions during Open Garden Day at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks Park, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. Admission is free.

From 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., the master gardeners will be demonstrating some of the finer points of summer fruit and vegetable gardening. That includes summer fruit tree pruning, T-bud grafting, using herbs as a lawn alternative and how to care for grapevines.

But their expertise makes this event a big opportunity to solve plant puzzles. Got a mystery plant or pest? Bring a sample (in a sealed plastic bag) for identification and suggested remedies if needed.

For more details, click on or call (916) 875-6913.

June 13, 2012
Adventure Sports Week will stir up action at Lake Tahoe

The second annual Adventure Sports Week takes off Friday and runs through June 24. You can compete or simply enjoy the action and entertainment.

As for competitive events, there will be a bike race, runs, stand-up paddleboard races and an off-road triathlon. If you want a "tune up," experts will host clinics on mountain biking, fitness and diet, and open-water swimming.

A schedule of family-friendly entertainment will include music concerts, comedy acts, car shows, dining, easy hiking, dancing, a summer solstice festival, movies, fireworks, and winetasting at the annual Tahoe City Wine Walk (

To register, and for a calendar of events, go to

June 13, 2012
Comedian Kevin Hart to perform at Power Balance Pavilion


Comedian Kevin Hart has been just about everywhere over the past few months. He starred in the film "Think Like a Man" and appeared in "The Five-Year Engagement" and on television's "Modern Family."

Now he is coming to Power Balance Pavilion on Oct. 6 with his "Let Me Explain" stand-up tour.

Tickets run $59.35-$141.20 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster (800-745-3000).


June 12, 2012
"Redemption Garden" show opens at SMUD gallery...

SMUD install 6_8_12.jpg

Did you know that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District has an art gallery?

That gallery, a partnership between SMUD and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission Commission (SMAC), is fronting the work of "Open Studio Artists," from Lakeside Artists. The show is comprised of art works made from recycled plastic soda bottles.

The show runs through July 31 and an example of the kinds of exhibits and shows that are part of SMAC's Art in Public Places Program.

June 6, 2012
Old-fashioned potluck supper teams with 'Music Man' singalong

River City, Iowa, will meet River City, California, when chamber choir Camerata California hosts an old-fashioned potluck supper and special-celebration singalong of the iconic Broadway hit "The Music Man."

Guests can sing from a stage or from their seats, or simply sit quietly and enjoy the show tunes. Proceeds will help fund California Camerata's "Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Program" (

As for the menu, it will reflect the setting and era of the play: 1910 rural Iowa. After a "social hour" of hors d'oeuvre and drinks (beer, wine, soda, lemonade), guests can help themselves to an array of meat-filled and meatless casseroles (including lasagna), mac 'n' cheese, fresh-picked corn on the cob and other veggies, salads (green, fruit, potato and Jell-O) and cornbread, with apple pie for dessert - of course.

Admission is $60 a person, or $100 a couple. Music (by Impromptu) and food will meet at 5 p.m. Sunday at 5412 Gibbons Drive, Carmichael. RSVP at (916) 483-1386.

June 5, 2012
Dinner raises funds for double lung transplant

A dinner aims to raise funds to defray the cost of the $800,000 double lung transplant needed to save the life of Stockton resident Yolunda Barquet, age 40. She suffers from a rare disorder causing the accumulation of iron in the lungs, which has led to pulmonary hypertension and other health woes.

Her sister, Selena Barquet-Peacock, who lives in Sacramento, said: "She got so medically compromised, but she's really determined. She wants to get out and do things. She wants to get better."

The National Foundation for Transplants, a nonprofit that raises funds for people who need organ transplant surgery, is helping coordinate donations.

The chicken dinner is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. June 19 at Hill Top Restaurant and Catering, 126 E. Market St. in Stockton. Tickets are $12 a person.

For tickets or for more information, call Barquet-Peacock at (916) 821-5564.

June 5, 2012
Prelude and Concours will feature hot fashions and hotter cars

Concours photo 7.jpg
Here's something big to look forward to over the weekend: the combination of hot cars, haute couture, tasty hors d'oeuvres (and larger plates) and cool wines. It starts Saturday with the Prelude d'Elegance and ends Sunday with the Capitol Concours d'Elegance.

The Prelude is the preview event for the 18th annual Concours, both sponsored by Wells Fargo.

At the Prelude, bites and sips will be served as models show off the latest in fashions by Los Angeles designer Tiana Vega at the unveiling of her Concours d'Elegance Collection.

The fashions will reflect the era of each of the 10 cars on display. Among them will be a 1929 Pierce-Arrow, 1935 LaSalle, 1941 Lincoln, 1955 Thunderbird, 1963 Corvette, 1970 Shelby Mustang and a 1980 Ferrari Testarossa. Guests are encouraged to chat with Vega and the car owners.

The Prelude will be 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento. Tickets are $40; all proceeds will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California and the California Automobile Museum.

The Capitol Concours d'Elegance will feature displays of more than 100 rare and classic cars (pictured here). Three marques will be highlighted: "Cars of Hollywood," "Cars of 1962" and "Streamliners," pre-World War II autos that were ahead of their time in aerodynamic styling.

Attendees can nosh from 10 food trucks while watching artists use their brushes and paints to put images of the metal masterpieces onto canvases. Music will be courtesy of the Sacramento Youth Symphony.

The Capitol Concourse will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday along Capitol Mall between Fourth and Ninth streets in Sacramento. Tickets are $20.

For more information: (916) 933-4056,

June 5, 2012
California State Library's Juneteenth exhibit documents history

Juneteenth will be celebrated June 19, but the California State Library is getting a jump on the holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the freeing of the last slaves in America, on June 19, 1865.

The library's Juneteenth National Freedom Day Exhibit 2012 features "historical items that document the African American experience," taken from the library's collection. Among them are:

- The first California printing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
- A copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, which forbids slavery and involuntary servitude.
- Rare books on slavery and the Abolitionist Movement.
- A transcript of the 1839 Amistad Slavery Trial.
- Art by African American illustrator Grafton Tyler Brown.

The exhibit is on display now through July 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at 900 N St., Sacramento.

More information:

June 4, 2012
ACC Park City celebrates 10th anniversary

The Asian Community Center's Park City site -- which houses a host of community-based services for older adults -- will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a health fair on Saturday.

The fair will include a blood and bone marrow drive, tai chi and hula lessons, a variety of senior services vendors, a sake ceremony and Asian art exhibit. Bill Tom, winner of the statewide Aging Services of California volunteer services award, will make an appearance at the fair.

The services offered at ACC's Park City site include transportation, caregiver respite programs, utilities education and wellness classes.

The fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 7375 Park City Dr. in Sacramento. For more information, call (916) 394-6399 ext. 139.

June 1, 2012
Sunset Celebration becomes destination for devoted readers

Thousands of Sunset magazine readers will converge this weekend on the headquarters of their favorite magazine for the annual Sunset Celebration Weekend.

Billed as "the pages of Sunset come to life," the home and garden festival features scores of demonstrations and seminars emphasizing the best of western living. Among the presenters are celebrity chef Guy Fieri, cookbook author Tom Douglas, Sacramento landscape designer Ahmed Hassan and Sunset's editors and staff.

Shop "Secondhand Sunset" for great buys on items used in magazine photo sessions. Don't miss the "Ultimate Outdoor Living Room."

Sunset magazine headquarters are located at 80 Willow Road, Menlo Park. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $16; seniors age 60 and up, $14; children age 12 and under admitted free. For parking, directions, seminar schedule and more, click on and follow the links to "Celebration Weekend." Or call (800) 786-7375.

May 31, 2012
Sacramento Philharmonic announces new season plans


The announcement of a 2012-13 season is the first step taken by the Sacramento Philharmonic in the wake of its success raising a must-have $150,000 over a five week period that ended May 15.

Prior to raising the funds the orchestra's board of directors was contemplating outright closure or a cancelled season because of financial woes earlier this year.

The new season begins Sept. 29 with "Viva la Musica" a concert offering a wide range of music from Latin America. Americas music specialist Polly Ferman will appear as will bandoneonist JP Jofre.

May 30, 2012
Cuisine, fine wines, hot music and golf coming to Glen Ellen

Let's mix some hot licks and cool blues with haute cuisine and fine wines. Then add a golf tournament and spread out the party over four days.

That's the scenario for the 26th annual B.R. Cohn Charity Events Fall Music Festival, Charity Auction Dinner and Celebrity Golf Classic. It'll be happening Oct. 5-8 in Glen Ellen in the Sonoma Valley. Tickets will go on sale Friday.

Here's a brief rundown:

May 29, 2012
Wet a line at Jake's On the Lake Charity Fishing Derby

may 81 2011-06-05.jpgPhotograph: Garry Moore

If you're an angler, you're likely having feelings of some sort - maybe envy? - from looking at the photograph at left.

That's longtime sportsman Tom Waters of Tahoe City with a 13-pound, 15-ounce mackinaw trout he pulled out of Lake Tahoe. The catch made him the grand prize winner in last year's Jake's On the Lake Charity Fishing Derby.

If you think you can fish, here's a chance to prove it and possibly win some cash (and braggin' rights) and help a good cause at the same time. The 19th annual derby is this Sunday, with competitive fishing starting an hour before sunrise and ending promptly at noon.

Prizes are substantial: $1,000 to the angler with the biggest mackinaw trout (known as the "great white shark" of Lake Tahoe); $500 for the biggest brown trout; and $250 for the largest rainbow trout. The weigh-in always attracts a crowd on the lawn and deck at Jake's, a lakefront restaurant on the North Shore well-known for its deck dining.

The $50 derby entry fee includes a T-shirt, buffet brunch and raffle. If you're not a contestant, the brunch is $18 for adults, $12 for ages 12 and younger. The derby benefits community charities through the Tahoe City Rotary Club Foundation.

For registration, rules and regulations, tickets and more information: (530) 583-0188 or Or show up in person by 5 p.m. Saturday in Tahoe City, at either Jake's (in the Boatworks Mall, 780 N. Lake Tahoe Blvd.) or Pete 'n' Peter's tavern (395 N. Lake Blvd.).

Boat inspection and boat ramp information is at The Lake Forest boat launch ramp in Tahoe City (at the Coast Guard Station) will open at 4 a.m. Sunday.

May 25, 2012
Pioneer House honors WWII vets on Memorial Day

To honor the 22 World War II veterans living at Pioneer House, a senior living community in downtown Sacramento, administrators there have scheduled a flag-raising ceremony on Memorial Day.

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson is scheduled to speak at the ceremony, which will also feature Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8358 and Boy Scout Troop 259.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. May 28 at Pioneer House, 415 P St. in Sacramento. For more information, call (916) 442-4906.

May 24, 2012
Natomas Rose Garden hosts mixer, seeks business

Business will be blooming this evening at Sacramento's newest public rose garden.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Natomas Rose Garden will host members of the Natomas Chamber of Commerce at a business mixer. Besides an opportunity for networking, the setting will try to sell itself with hundreds of roses in full bloom.

Located at 2921 Truxel Road, the garden is adjacent to the South Natomas Library and Community Center and was designed to host outdoor events, such as weddings, parties and community get-togethers.

Staffed by all volunteers, the Natomas Rose Garden debuted in May 2008 with sections dedicated to veterans and historical roses. The garden features more than 500 bushes.

For rental information, call (916) 808-1571 or click on

May 23, 2012
See Sacramento modern masterpiece during SacMod home tour

See a mid-century modern gem during a special home tour, hosted by Sacramento Modern.

On June 2, the Roush residence - one of Sacramento's most original and unusual homes - will be open to the public. Built in 1954 in Arden Oaks, the house was designed by Terry Waters, who studied and worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, John Launter and Walter S. White.

Robert Roush, the home's original owner, founded Roush Bakery Products, best known for its Hillbilly bread.

Tickets for the home tour are $45 and must be ordered in advance. Deadline is May 31. To keep the tour from overwhelming the home, tickets will be assigned in time blocks from 1 to 5 p.m. To order, click on

Half the proceeds will go towards an upcoming California Museum exhibit showcasing the work of Sacramento native Ray Eames, among the most influential modernists.

Led by local architects and designers, the SacMod home tour includes appetizers and beverages, music, a commemorative booklet, vintage displays and photographs of the home. A restored 1956 Nash Ambassador Custom will be parked in the carport.

For more on SacMod and the home tour, visit

May 23, 2012
Live local music on a budget at Sacramento County Fair

The Sacramento County Fair often gets overshadowed by that other Cal Expo fair, the one for the whole state. But the county fair, running Thursday-May 28, offers plenty of enticements beyond livestock and carnival rides.

Thursday afternoon and evening, local bands Hot Tar Roofers, The Generals, Walking Spanish and Dog Party will play on the community stage as part of the fair's Community Night.

There also will be a classic car show and food trucks including Drewski's and Wicked 'Wich.

That's more entertainment than you can shake a stick at, or lead a pig with, and all for just $5 for adults. Children 12 and younger are free.

Parking, however, is $10 at Cal Expo. So pile into a van, band style, or find another way to get to Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For information, see the county fair's website.

May 22, 2012
Crocker Art Museum to auction off small art works...

The onset of summer weather means it's art auction season at the Crocker Art Museum

The auction season kicks off May 24 with "Big Names, Small Art," a silent auction event where the public will be able to bid on smaller format works (12 x 12 in. or less) by noted regional artists.

Bids will start at $25.

May 22, 2012
Roberts to speak at Quarryhill's 'silver' spring garden party

Celebrate spring in Sonoma and a quarter century of garden building June 2 at Quarryhill Botanical Garden.

Located in Glen Ellen, the famous Asian-themed garden marks its silver anniversary with a "Spring Celebration" luncheon.

Warren Roberts, superintendent emeritus of the UC Davis' arboretum, will serve as keynote speaker, sharing his favorite adventures as a plantsman.

Overlooking vineyards and built on the site of old rock quarries in the Mayacamas foothills, Quarryhill is home to one of the largest American collections of wild-sourced Asian plants, including hundreds of oaks, maples, magnolias, dogwoods, lilies and roses.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the celebration includes bento box lunch, silent auction and plant sale. Visitors also will get a chance to take docent-led tours of the 20-acre garden in full bloom.

Tickets for the celebration are $45 for Quarryhill members, $55 for non-members. Reservations are required.

Also in honor of its 25 years, Quarryhill offers free admission on the 25th of each month, including free self-guided tours. May's free admission day is Friday.

Quarryhill Botanical Garden is located at 12841 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen. For tickets and other details, call (707) 996-3166 or visit

May 22, 2012
Free E-Book Celebrates Golden Gate Bridge

The California Historical Society has released a free e-book for iPads on San Francisco's Golden State Bridge, which celebrates its 75th anniversay this weekend.

The multi-media book, titled "A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge," features morethan 350 historical photographs, artwork, memorabilia and stories.

You can download the document from the California Historical Society's website or get it free as an app from the iTunes store.

May 21, 2012
Ultramarathoner to run for Loomis School District

RB 24 Hour Run 3.JPGGreg Bomhoff, the Granite Bay ultramarathoner who in the past has completed the Badwater Ultra in Death Valley to raise funds for his children's school, will embark on a 24-hour run on Thursday to benefit the Loomis School District.

This will be the second time Bomhoff has run for 24 hours at Franklin School. He ran 128.75 miles in a 24-hour period in 2010. This time, there will be considerably more hoopla. Bomhoff will run to all seven Loomis schools, where there will be assemblies featuring him, during his jaunt. Gordon Medd, the Loomis school superintendent, will accompany Bomhoff to the seven schools. There also will be a 24-hour relay in tandem with his attempt, as well as two communtiy fun runs.

Most activities, including the 6 a.m. Thursday start, will occur at Franklin Elementary in Loomis at 7050 Franklin School Road (off Laird Road). 

For more information about the charity run, or to sign up for a 5K, click here.    

May 18, 2012
Looking for Laughs? Catch Leigh Rubin at The Bee

Bee Staff

Pierced_Udders.JPGNationally syndicated cartoonist Leigh Rubin is bringing his cartoon menagerie to The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday, May 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Rubin, the creator of Rubes (left), is always entertaining - if you like a twisted take on the world, that is. His comic panel, which runs Monday-Saturday, has been a staple of The Bee's comic pages since 2004.

At the event, Rubin will share his humor, talk about drawing a daily cartoon panel and take questions from the audience. He also will sign books, T-shirts and copies of his comics from that day's paper. He also will have his latest books, magnets and other funny stuff available for purchase.

To sign up, go to BeeBuzzPoints. Seating is limited so make sure to print and bring your tickets the night of the event.

Parking is free and located on the corner of 21st and Q streets. The entrance is on Q Street.

May 18, 2012
Spend 'A Day on the Farm' with Soil Born on Sunday

Take the family to the farm in the city Sunday during Soil Born Farms' annual "A Day on the Farm."

With something for every member of the family, this kid-friendly event features cooking classes, workshops, nature walks, local arts and crafts, children's activities, music, food, native plant sale, farm stand and more.

Among the workshop topics are raising chickens and beekeeping.

Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5.

For more details, click on or call (916) 363-9685.

May 18, 2012
Ask a Green Gardener Day offers water-saving advice

Interested in having a more sustainable backyard, but don't know where to start? Here's your chance to get free expert advice.

Saturday is Ask a Green Gardener Day, a local event that invites area residents to learn how to have a water-efficient, pesticide-free yard - and a beautiful flower-filled garden, too. Experts also will have advice for organic vegetable gardening for both beginners and longtime gardeners.

Seven local nurseries will take part:

- Big Oak Nursery, 10071 Grant Line Road, Elk Grove. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

- Bushnell Gardens Nursery, 5420 Douglas Blvd., Granite Bay. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

- Fair Oaks Boulevard Nursery, 4681 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

- Front Yard Nursery, 5801 Mother Lode Drive, Placerville. Hours: 10 a.m.-noon.

- The Flower Farm, 4150 Auburn Folsom Road, Loomis. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

- Green Acres Nursery & Supply, 901 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; 8501 Jackson Road, Sacramento; and 205 Serpa Way, Folsom. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

- UC Davis Arboretum teaching nursery, 920 Garrod Drive, Davis. Hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

In addition, the UC Davis Arboretum will be hosting its season-end clearance sale at the nursery with sizzling deals on summer bloomers during those same hours.

For more information on Ask a Green Gardener Day or other water-saving tips, click on

May 18, 2012
AARP hosts community conversation on federal benefits

As part of AARP's national initiative on the future of Medicare and Social Security, AARP is bringing the debate to Sacramento, in a free community event called "You've Earned a Say."

The 90-minute conversation, hosted by California AARP president David Pacheco, begins at 6:30 p.m. on May 24 at the Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Sacramento. Doors open at 6 p.m., and food will be available.

More than 210,000 Social Security recipients and 190,000 residents who depend on Medicare live in Sacramento County. AARP surveys indicate that almost all Americans think that Social Security and Medicare are vital to their health and financial wellbeing during their retirement years.

The Sacramento event is open to people 50 and older. To RSVP, call (866) 448-3614 and ask for "You've Earned a Say" events in California.

May 18, 2012
Registration Opens for Annual 'Rex Ride'


Rex2012.gifRegistration is now open for the annual summer bicycle jaunt, the Rex Ride, along the American River Parkway on Sunday, June 10.

The ride, sponsored by Rex Cycles, a bicyclemaker in Sacramento, supports the American River Parkway Foundation. It's a 60-mile noncompetitive ride that begins at William Pond Recreation Area, goes to Discovery Park, then all the way to Beal's Point in Folsom, before heading back to William Pond. There will beaid stations at William Pond, Discovery Park and Beal's Point.

And, of course, riders do not have to complete all 60 miles to enjoy the post-ride barbecue at the starting point. 

Cost is $75, which includes a T-shirt, and registration concludes June 1. To register to get more informatiion, click here.  

May 17, 2012
Geek out, explore state of geekdom, at Sac Con event

Comic-book style geekiness reaches an apex this summer with the releases of "The Avengers," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises." .

But if those movies are too mainstream for you, there's Sac Con, happening June 3 at the Scottish Rite Center, at 6151 H St., across from Sacramento State.

The one-day comics convention will feature a 4:30 panel discussion on what it means to be a geek, specificially a Sacramento geek.

The panel discussion will kick off a summer of geeky inquiry and celebration by the Sac Geeks website and Meetup group.

The panel talk will help introduce a Sac Geeks project that puts images of geek-friendly local businesses and celebrities on a deck of 54 collectible playing cards.

"One of the queens will be Kiki from Warp 11," Sac Geeks' Stephanie Rector said.

For you non-geeks, Warp 11 is Sacramento's own saucy, Star Trek-themed rock band.

May 16, 2012
Back to the Farm will return to simpler country times

The notion of spending a bucolic day on a 200-acre walnut farm an hour's drive from Sacramento brings to mind the "unofficial anthem" of the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969. Sure, there's a connection.

"Goin' Up the Country" by Canned Heat became an international hit after Woodstock, with lyrics that include, "I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away.../Well, I'm going where the water tastes like wine.../ I'm goin' to some place where I've never been before."

Which sounds a lot like going to Back to the Farm - yes, in the country - where you'll find live entertainment, smokin' barbecue, a farmers market, pie-eating contest, games of horseshoes and a good ol' fashioned milk bottle toss. Plus: tractor and farm equipment exhibits and demonstrations.

You'll take Highway 99 north toward Yuba City, then scenic Highway 20 west to Meridian, finding Farmlan Road when you arrive.

The good times will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2. Admission will be $5 "per wheel," so you'll pay $20 if you arrive by car, $10 if by motorcycle. Information: (916) 355-4056, Back to the Farm will benefit Ben Ali Shriners.

May 16, 2012
4-Day AIDS ride starts Thursday at Folsom Lake

As many as 150 cyclists will gather tomorrow at 7 a.m. at Folsom Lake to embark on a four-day ride to raise money and awareness.

The annual NorCal AIDS Cycle will cover 330 miles through the Sierra foothills and Central Valley. Each participant has raised at least $1,500 for AIDS education and research. Among the participants will be Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer, who will present a proclamation from the city before tomorrow's start.

For more information on the fund-raising effort and the route of the course, click here.

May 15, 2012
Civil War reenactors will occupy Gibson Ranch this weekend

CivilWar3.pngCivil War reenactments are slices of living history, staged by serious-minded recreationists all over the United States and even abroad. The well-planned events, which usually focus on specific battles, will be especially elaborate this year, the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States.

For a close-up look, hundreds of reenactors from around the West will perform their dramatic scenarios and recreate 1860s battlefield lifestyles and camps Saturday and Sunday in "The Civil War Experience" at 300-acre Gibson Ranch. Included will be period fashion shows, speeches by President Abraham Lincoln, food concessions, live music and 19th century-era arts and crafts.

As a walk-up to that, on Friday more than 2,000 students (fifth through 12th grades) will take part in a living history day, bringing their classroom studies to life.

The "Civil War Experience" will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Gibson Ranch Regional Park is at 8556 Gibson Ranch Road, Elverta. The $7 general admission included parking. For tickets and more information: (916) 806-3868.

May 15, 2012
Japanese Festival Coming to Placerville

The Wakamatsu Festival, honoring traditional Japanese cultural, will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm at941 Cold Springs Road in Placerville.

All aspects of Japanese culture will be featured, including a sushi making display by celebrity chef Taro Arai, a samurai sword demonstration, sake tasting, a taiko drum performance and origami making.

 The Wakamatsu Farm, established in 1869, is widely believed to be the first permanent Japanese colony in the continental United States. The 272-acre ranch was recently acquired by the American River Conservancy to preserve the site's cultural and natural resources.

For details and to purchase tickets ($15 for adults, $7 for children ages 10 to 18, under-10 is free) click here.

May 14, 2012
Memorial Day weekend event honors Japanese American vets

A Sacramento event recognizing the surviving Japanese American veterans of World War II is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

In November 2011, veterans from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the Military Intelligence Service were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal -- but because many of the elderly recipients were unable to travel to Washington, D.C., for the official ceremony, Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) is hosting the Sacramento event, as well.

The Sacramento event will take place at 11 a.m. May 26 at the California Museum's courtyard. The museum is located at 1020 O St. in downtown Sacramento.

Eligible veterans who would like to receive a replica gold medal are encouraged to RSVP at

The local event is co-hosted by the Sacramento Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian Community Center and AARP.

May 14, 2012
Lots of Activities at Sacramento County Fair

corn dog.jpg 

The Sacramento County Fair, which takes place May 24-28 at Cal Expo, has adopted the theme "Let's Eat, Have Fun & Celebrate the Red, White, & Blue" this year. 

And what's more red, white and blue than a corn dog eating contest? 

Yes, that's one of the highlights, along with other All-American acitivites such as a demolition derby, a street hot road show and bull riding.

Cost is $5 for adults. Children under 12 are free. Click here to purchase tickets.  


May 11, 2012
New trail race to benefit Type 1 diabetes
Northern California has more than its share of trail races. But a new one that will take place on May 19, called the Coloma River Run, will have several unusual twists:

• It will be a charity trail race, benefitting Type 1 diabetes.

• And it will be held at Cronan Ranch, trails that were opened to the public only last year and that have not been previously been used for trail races.

The run, which features 5K, 10K and 10-mile distances, benefits the Northern California Inland chapter of JDRF, the diabetes organization focused on Type 1 diabetes. It will start at 8 a.m. in Lotus and the Cronan Ranch trailhead. Cost is $45.

"Runners are looking forward to the challenging terrain and breathtaking views," said Roger Leasure III, a JDRF board member, and ultra-runner, said in a prepared statement. "It's a hidden gem 40 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 49."

To register, click here.
May 11, 2012
McKinley Park, East Sac host flower-filled festivities

McKinley Park and the surrounding neighborhood will be bustling with garden lovers Saturday as the hub of three events.

Starting at 10 a.m., volunteers and officials will gather at the historic Frederick N. Evans Memorial Rose Garden for its reopening ceremony. Hosted by Friends of East Sacramento, the re-dedication begins at 10:30 a.m. and will feature the release of white doves, music and light refreshments. The public is welcome to attend the free event.

With more than 1,150 roses, the 83-year-old rose garden has been closed since last fall for major renovations including the installation of a new irrigation system, new walkways and other improvements to make the garden more accessible to visitors. The rose garden is located on H Street between Alhambra Boulevard and 33rd Street.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Geranium Society is hosting its annual show and sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the park's Shepard Garden and Arts Center, located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento. This free show features hundreds of geraniums and their close cousins, pelargoniums. Many unusual varieties will be offered for sale.

Also on Saturday, seven outstanding residential gardens will be open to the public during the 14th annual East Sacramento Garden Tour. A fund-raiser for the David Lubin Elementary School, the tour starts at the school, 3535 M St., and winds through the Fabulous Forties neighborhood. A boutique also will be held at the school's multipurpose room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets for the tour are $25. Too busy on Saturday? The tour also will be held on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a Mother's Day treat. Learn more at

May 8, 2012
'Vettes for Vets' car show is cruising for Corvette owners

The Corvette has been America's sportscar since General Motors introduced the first model in 1953. The fiberglass convertible was meant to compete with the likes of British-made Triumph and Jaguar, and cost around $2,000. The Beach Boys' song "Shut Down," about a drag race involving a 1963 Stingray, helped put the official stamp on the Corvette as an icon.

That's the kind of lore that you'll hear when Corvette owners and fans gather at the "Vettes for Vets" car show at the California Automobile Museum, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 27. It's in honor of "the hard work and dedication that military veterans have committed to our country."

The Corvette showing is free to everyone; military veterans will be admitted free to two special exhibits inside the museum, opening the same day. "No Job Too Big" will display commercial vehicles such as buses, tow trucks and police cars. The second show will feature the French Citron DS.

If you're a Corvette owner, you can display your car at the "Vettes for Vets" show. Advance registration is $10, or $15 the day of the event. To register: (916) 442-6802,

General admission to the museum is $8, $7 seniors, $4 students, free for age 4 and younger. The museum is at 2200 Front St., Sacramento.

May 8, 2012
Get free admission Friday on National Public Gardens Day

They're green, growing and ready resources of both information and relaxation. Now is a great time to check out these living libraries for ideas, too.

Friday is National Public Gardens Day, when scores of great gardens will welcome visitors with special events.

"They're a rich source of ideas," said Paul James, HGTV's "Gardener Guy" and national spokesman for public gardens. "A lot of what you see has obvious impact in your own garden. You can see what grows under the shade of an oak tree, how to edge a garden bed, create a pathway or an effective mix of plants. And 99 percent of the time, the plants are clearly labeled."

May 4, 2012
Sac State's One Book Selection Revealed
Sacramento State University's "One Book" program selection for 2012-13 has been announced -- and it's "One Amazing Thing," a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The story involves nine people trapped in an India visa office in the United States during an earthquake. In the aftermath, they learn to cope and survive by telling their personal stories."
Divakaruni will give a lecture on the Sacramento State campus on Oct. 25 and also meet with students throughout the day and do a book signing. 
More information here.   
May 4, 2012
Two Solano County Hikes Set for This Weekend


Johnny1 at Lynch_By Karlyn Lewis.jpgHikers looking to traverse areas not normally open to the public should head to Solano County this weekend.

The Solano Land Trust is hosting two hikes. Saturday at 9 a.m., a docent will lead a group on the King-Swett ranchland. On Sunday at 9 a.m., another group will hike the hilly Lynch Canyon Open Space.

Participants on either hike should bring a backpack with plenty of water, and snacks or lunch. They should wear boots or sturdy closed-toe shoes, long pants, layered clothes, and protection from sun. Lynch Canyon drivers should also bring $5 cash for parking. 

For Saturday's hike, participants are to meet at the Park n Ride lot off the American Canyon/Hiddenbrooke Parkway exit of Interstate 80. On Sunday, hikers will meet at the Lynch Canyon trailhead lot at the intersection of Lynch Road and McGary Road, between the American Canyon/Hiddenbrooke and Red Top Road exits off I-80.

More information here.

May 3, 2012
Eclipse Viewing Tour Set for Redding

Those who like to look to the firmament already are marking May 20 on their calendars. That's when an annular eclipse of the sun, in which the moon appears smaller than the sun and is surrounded by a rings, will take place.

Elk Mountain Cabins at Redwood National Park in Orick, on the eclipse "path,"  is offering a $40 eclipse guided-tour package that includes commentary by experts.  By the way, the eclipse will take place between 5:30 and 7 p.m. and last 4 1/2 minutes. Redding, too, is considered a prime viewing spot, because it's located only 18.6 miles south of the eclipse's path.

For more information about the Orick tour package, click here.

May 2, 2012
Peacock walk and talk coming up at Lake Solano

The wild peacocks of Winters will be the subject of a special nature presentation and hike on Saturday, May 12 at the Lake Solano Park Nature Center outside of Winters.

Volunteer Barbara Cooper will lead a viewing party through the riparian forest around Lake Solano starting at 10 a.m. at the nature center, located at 8685 Pleasants Valley Road. Parking is $5. The peacock viewing is part of a twice-monthly nature program at Lake Solano.

"You may be one of the first visitors of the season to see newly-hatched pea-chicks. It's sure to be a fun and educational experience for all ages," Cooper said in a prepared statement.

For more information, call (707) 432-0105, extension 200.

May 1, 2012
Plein Air festival in Winters? Grab hat and sunblock

Hey... if you're going to have a week of painting out-of-doors and new art viewing why not do so in the town of Winters, right?

Well, that's the deal in Winters - from May 4-30, with the below slate of Plein Air painting activities. Bring sunblock.

The festival is sponsored by Briggs & Company which is, adroitly, using it as a way to show off their new gallery and restaurant at 314 Railroad Ave. in Winters.

April 27, 2012
Spring fever? Find cure at Asparagus Fest, home tours

Get out and enjoy warm spring weather this weekend. There's no shortage of special events that will make the most of it.

Celebrating a home-grown green bonanza, the Stockton Asparagus Festival opens today in downtown Stockton. Many of the festivities at this famous food fest will be held at the Stockton Marina district. Park at Stockton Arena, 248 W. Fremont St., Stockton.

Featuring many ways to eat asparagus as well as music, carnival rides and entertainment, the family-oriented festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Sunday.