Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

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.

April 19, 2013
Rescue baby birds in Placerville

Sierra Wildlife Rescue's April Baby Bird Nursery needs volunteers to help feed rescued orphaned and injured nestlings and fledglings from early May through July. But to help out, volunteers must be trained.

The SWR will provide that training at 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at its center, 3030 Newtown Road, Placerville. The feedings will continue from May through July.

Reserve a spot for the training at 530-621-2650, or at

April 18, 2013
Free movies next Thursday at Sacramento drive-in

The West Wind Sacramento Drive-In off Highway 50 and Bradshaw offers inexpensive entertainment every night. But on Thursday, April 25, it will show movies free of charge.

"Wreck-It-Ralph," "Fast and Furious 5" and "Jack the Giant Slayer" will be offered for free as part of the drive-in's customer appreciation night.

West Wind has offered customer-appreciation nights for the past few years as acknowledgments of robust drive-in attendance.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. at the Sacramento Drive-in at 9616 Oates Drive. Movies begin at dusk. The event will feature live music and bounce houses for children.

. For information, see the drive-in's website.

March 4, 2013
Downtown Sacramento 'Concerts in the Park' 2013 schedule announced

Time to bust out the calendar and circle some summer dates.

MAJ CHAVEZ PLAZA.JPGThe Downtown Sacramento Partnership has announced the band lineup for the 2013 Concerts in the Park season in Cesar Chavez Plaza, which runs Friday nights May 3 - July 26 and features notable acts such as Middle Class Rut, Mothers Hips and !!!.

"On the heels of last season's success, we are excited to have a lineup that is even bigger than 2012," said Downtown Sacramento Partnership's senior events manager Annie Stuckert in a release. "We had a nearly 40 percent increase in attendance in 2012. For (Concerts in the Park) 2013, we're taking all the elements that people loved last year and enhancing them."

Concerts, which include DJs spinning music between sets, will run from 5 - 9 p.m.

Check out the full schedule below (good to note that there's no July 5 show because of the July 4 holiday).

February 20, 2013
Birds for Sacramento and the world

The Sacramento Audubon will let the birds do the tweeting if you'll do the clicking - on your smartphone, that is.

SONGBIRD.JPGLearn how thousands of enthusiasts are using the Cornell Ornithology Lab's digital eBird program to contribute sightings to an international database. On hand will be Brian Sullivan, an "eBird" project leader at Cornell.

7 p.m. Thursday, Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael. Free. Information:

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.

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

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 4, 2012
Music, mobile food part of event to benefit American River Parkway

By Bill Lindelof

Music and mobile food will be featured during a "Truckin' on the River" event to benefit the American River Parkway.

More than a dozen food trucks are expected to be selling their wares at the event at William B. Pond Park on Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The entry fee of $5, plus service fee, can be purchased at Tickets are $8 at the door.

Also, a portion of the proceeds from each food truck will be donated to the American River Parkway Foundation.

Among the participating trucks scheduled to be selling: OMG Burger, Squeeze Inn, Leila's Lumpia, Off the Mapp Mobile Espresso, Wicked 'Wich and Willie's Burgers.

Music will be provided by Bell Boys, Kepi Ghoulie and Musical Charis.

September 26, 2012
American River Parkway Foundation Receives $30K Donation

The American River Parkway Foundation has received a $30,000 donation from the running organization Sacramento Friends in Training (SacFit), the foundation announced Wednesday.

SacFit, which sponsors the annual Parkway Half Marathon, has raised approximately $200,000 for the Parkway Foundation in the six-year history of the running event. The $30,000 in net proceeds this year will go toward adding additional drinking fountains along the Parkway.

Presentation of the check will take place Saturday at 7 a.m. during a SacFit member breakfast at the William B. Pond Recreation Area along the Parkway.   


September 24, 2012
Nevada City makes Outside magazine Best-of List

Magazines thrive on "lists," and Outside magazine's latest compilation -- Best River Towns -- has given a nod to Nevada City.

Credit should go to ... the citizens of Nevada City.

According to the magazine, "a whopping 2,539 people -- 83 percent of the populace -- cast their ballots for this tiny hamlet on the edge of the Tahoe National Forest."

Interesting, though: Many of the features that garnered Nevad a City attention aren't technically in the town proper: the Yuba River, the Tahoe National Forest, the Sugar Bowl ski resort.

But, hey, all of those attractions are close enough.

By the way, Sacramento did not get recognized as a top "river town," but it did get a tiny mention as a "write-in candidate."

September 11, 2012
Train to be a docent at Cosumnes Preserve

Amateur nature lovers can train to be an expert starting next month when the Cosumnes River Preserve begins a program to train volunteers to be docents.

Classes begin Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at the preserve site in Galt. In all, there will be four evening classes and one Saturday session. Participants will be trained by naturalists on all aspects of the preserve and its project, as well as wildlife-friendly farming, birds, cultural history and plants. 

And, yes, participants will get extended ogling of the famous sandhill cranes currently putting on a show every dusk.

Meet at the Cosumnes River Preserve's visitor center at 13501 Franklin Boulevard in Galt on Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. For more information, email

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 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 19, 2012
Celebrate Smokey in Solano

smokey.jpgIt's Smokey the Bear's birthday on Aug. 4, and Solano County is marking the event with a fun and educational celebration at Lake Solano.

Led by docent Barbara Cooper, with help from the Vacaville Fire Department, the "birthday party" for the forest service mascot will feature a detailed history of Smokey as a safety icon and a presentation of tools used to battle forest fires by Vacaville firefighters.

The event will start at 10 a.m. at the Lake Solano Nature Center, 8685 Pleasants Valley Road in Winters. Though the event is free, parking is $5. For more information, email

July 2, 2012
Events at Fairytale Town, Crocker, cemetery slated for summer

Sacramento museums and the convention bureau are promoting after dark events that start when summer days in the city mercifully cool.

Among the Sacramento after-dark events:

• Crocker Museum shows movies in the courtyard the first Thursday evening of the month through September. "Casablanca" is scheduled for Thursday. Food is available at the Crocker Café. Tickets are $5 for members, $8 for non-members. More information at

• Mumbo Gumbo plays Fairytale Town. The Sacramento band, with its danceable repertoire, hits the stage July 11. Tickets are $10, members get 2 for 1 admission and children 12 and under are free. More information at

• Sacramento Old City Cemetery mixes a couple drinks with tales of the city's checkered past in an evening titled "Beer, Babes and Brawls" on July 13. Guests learn about the colorful dear-departed and get two beverage tickets for beer, wine or soda. Tickets are $25. More information at

June 29, 2012
Lake Solano to Hold Fishing Seminar

To honor California Free Fishing Day, the Lake Solano Nature Center will hold a fishing seminar, led by docent Barbara Cooper, on Saturday, July 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is free; parking is $5. 

In addition to fishing at Lake Solano and Putah Creek, visitors will learn the difference between a salmon and a steehead, as well as other fishy facts. 

Though fishing licenses on July 7 are free, all other regulations (bag and size limit, gear specifications) are in place. Lake Solano Nature Center is located at 8685 Pleasanta Valley Road in Winters. 

For more information, call (707) 432-0150, ext. 200.   

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
Tahoe City Trail to open Thursday
It may only be the length of a single mile, but the opening next week of the Tahoe City Lakeside Trail will serve to link a larger trail system heretofore left uncompleted.

At 2 p.m. Thursday at Jake's on the Lake (780 North Lake Boulevard), a ribbon cutting will be held for the new segment of a project that has taken 11 years to complete. This segment connects the North Shore Trail, the West Shore Trail and the Truckee River Trail. Before the project was completed, pedestrians and cyclists had to traverse a busy roadway to link to other parts of the trail.

One reason for the delay, according to the Public Utilities District, is that the land was split between public and private jurisdiction.

Another ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. June 24 on the trail. More than 1,000 people will line the trail in a "human chain."

For more information on the trail, call (530) 583-3796.
June 7, 2012
Western States 100 Movie Screening Set

"Unbreakable," a documentary by Nevada filmmaker JB Benna about the 2010 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, will be screened on June 21 at the Oylmpic Village Lodge in Squaw Valley.

The Squaw Valley Institute also is bringing in guest speakers Tim Twietmeyer, a five-time Western States champion, and veteran Andy Wilkins-Jones to talk about their experiences in the race, which will be held June 23.

Admission price is $15, $10 for Squaw Valley Institute members and race competitors.

For more information, call (530) 581-4138 or click here


June 6, 2012
Running Western States 100 for charity

willy.jpgRunners tackle the annual Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run for any number of reasons -- including "because it's there" -- but many have helped raise funds for charities along the way.

One such runner is Willy Onate, who works at the Sacramento Childrens Home Family Reource Center, founded in 1867. Onate, who will be running his first Western States on June 23, said he hopes raise more than $3,000 for the organization that helps abused children and provides other family services.

He said he came up with the idea after participating in a charity climb up Mount Shasta in 2010. "It took us two tries, but we made it to the summit," Onate writes in a release. "I said to myself that if I ever got a chance to run the Western States 100, I would dedicate it to the Sacramento Children's Home Family Resource Centers."

To donate, click here.

May 31, 2012
Volunteers to tackle Land Park clean-up on Saturday

Help your public park and get some exercise, too.

On Saturday morning, the Land Park Volunteer Corps will tackle several jobs at Sacramento's largest city park.

"We have a number of important projects lined up, including our always impressive 'Monster Bush Trim,' a major planter bed clean-up, pond skimming, sucker patrol, litter patrol, island mulching and more," said lead coordinator Craig Powell. "It should be a lovely Saturday morning to work in the park."

Volunteers will check in at 8 a.m. Saturday in the picnic area behind the park's Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento. Coffee and refreshments will be available. After pulling weeds and spreading mulch, the group will break for lunch at the same spot at 11 a.m.

New volunteers are welcome. Bring gloves. Some tools will be available. For more details, contact Powell at or (916) 718-3030.

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
Clinic teaches rattlesnake awareness for dogs

Hikers in Northern California certainly know the dangers of rattlesnakes.

But what about their dogs?

The Hangtown Kennel Club in Placerville will hold a rattlesnake awareness clinic for canines on June 23-24. The clinic will teach dogs how to recognize the sound and smell of rattlesnakes to avoid unsavory encounters and potentially fatal bites.

Cost for the clinic is $70, and preregistration is required.

For more information, click here.

May 18, 2012
Sierra Nevada Geotourism map guide goes live...


With the travel season looming many Californians will be headed to the Sierras.

And they will be deeply interested in a new resource available in that pursuit.

It's called the Sierra Nevada Geotourism MapGuide. The guide - which can be accessed online at is a partnership between National Geographic, the Sierra Business Council and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, along with hundreds of local residents.

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 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 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 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.

April 27, 2012
Parkway Half Marathon to hold special tribute to officer
Officials at Saturday's Parkway Half Marathon, which benefits the American River Parkway Foundation, will hold a special ceremony before the race at William Pond Recreation Center, 5700 Arden Way. 

Police officer Randy Van Dusen, after being serenaded by a bagpipe band, will receive the honorary bib No. 1 for saving the life of a runner who collapsed during last year's race. Ralph Jefferies, the runner whose life was saved, will also be feted along with his wife, Felicia. The two also will run in the 13.1-mile event along the parkway's bike path and levee. 

The ceremony starts at 7:30 Saturday and will last 15 minutes. More than 4,000 runners then will loop a portion of the parkway from Riverbend Park to the Sacramento State area.    
April 26, 2012
Davis to host Bike Loopalooza


Davis, which in the past has come up with novel bicycle events such as a Guinness record for a bike parade and a Grand Fondo, will be hosting a Bike Loopalooza on May 6. 

Actually, it's the third year for the Loopalooza, which showcases the city's network of paved bike trails that especially loops the city. As in previous years, there will be 10 "stations" along the route where bike riders can get their "passports" stamped, go through a bike safety course and also maybe score a Clif Bar and some water. For more details, such as locations of the stations and times, click here

The event is held in May to highlight the national Biking Month. 

But, really, every month in biking month in Davis, isn't it?

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April 25, 2012
Come Sail Away to West Sac


Sailing may have the reputation as an elitist activity -- what with the prohibitive cost of a boat and all -- but the Lake Washington Sailing Club is trying to introduce more of the populace into the activity with its annual "Sail a Small Boat Day" in West Sacramento. 

The event, free, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., on Saturday and will offer free rides on sail boats -- weather permitting. 

It will be held at the Lake Washington Sailing Club's headquarters at the Port of Sacramento, just off Industrial Boulevard in West Sacramento. 

For more information, go to the <a href=" ">Lake Washington Sailing Club website.</a>

Did we mention it's free?

PHOTO CAPTION: Lake Washington Sailing Club holds an open house. Lake Washington Sailing Club

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April 20, 2012
Free Entrance for National Parks Week


bp yosemite.JPGWhat's better than enjoying the vast splendor of our national parks?

Not having to pay for the pleasure.

Starting Saturday and continuing to next Sunday, admission to any National Park is free. It's part of the celebration for National Parks Week.

Said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, in a prepared statement: "During National Park Week, stroll a woodland path or around the grounds of a presidential home. Kayak through a mangrove forest or on an urban waterway. All 397 national parks are great places to get some exercise while taking in spectacular scenery or learning something new. Whether you go to a natural, historical, or recreational site, or an urban, suburban, or rural park, every national park provides a place to exercise both the body and the mind."

Yeah, what he said.

More information here.

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April 19, 2012
New Trail to Open in Cold Canyon Outside of Winters

Thumbnail image for RP STEBBINS VIEW WEST.JPGThe completion of any new trail is a cause for celebration, so the  volunteers that blazed the new Annie's Trail at Stebbins Cold Canyon outside of Winters (near Lake Berryessa) will throw a grand opening bash at the site Sunday, "Earth Day," at 9 a.m.

Afterward, around 3 p.m., a potluck barbecue will be held at Solano Park's group picnic area.

The conservation group Tuleyome in 2009 purchased 72 acres in the Cold Canyon headwaters, enabling them to build a two-mile addition to the current stenuous five-mile loop popular with hikers and trail runners. The new trail, which goes through an oak glade before ascending to the ridge, was named for Anne Schneider, a founder of Tuleyome who died in 2010. 

More information here.  

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April 13, 2012
Clean Up the River Parkway


20110503_LS_PARKWAY331.JPGSacramentans are being asked to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 21 by helping to tidy up the area's recreational crown jewel -- the American River Parkway.

The annual clean up sponsored by the American River Parkway Foundation will be held at seven sites from 9 a.m. to noon. The sites: Discovery Park, Northgate at Highway 160, Howe at La Riveria, Watt at La Riveria, Ancil Hoffman Park, William Pond Recreation Center and Sunrise at South Bridge Street.

To register as a volunteer, visit or call the ARPF
at (916) 486-2773. 

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April 12, 2012
Lake Solano Park Hike: It's for the Birds

Bird watchers and, heck, nature lovers in general are invited on April 21 to embark on a two-hour guided tour of the birds on Lake Solano and Putah Creek, just outside of Winters.

The walk, from 10 a.m. to noon, begins at the Nature Center and 8685 Pleasants Valley Road in Winters. There is a $5 parking fee in the lot across Pleasants Valley Road from the center. Call (707) 432-0150, ext. 200 for further information or log on to Solano County's website.

Leading the tour will be volunteer Barbara Cooper, who will link "what birds have to do with dinosaurs.  

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March 28, 2012
No surf contest, but Mavericks Festival set for Saturday

Despite recent storms, the winter of 2012 was just too mild for Mavericks, Northern California's world famous big wave surf contest.

No waves equal to Mavericks' mythic reputation are expected before the contest's official window closes Saturday, so there will be no competition again this year, announced contest director and Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark.

But the party will go on. On Saturday, the contest organizers will host the first Mavericks Festival, to be held on the grounds of the Oceano Hotel & Spa, 280 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay.

The festival will include the presentation of the inaugural Mavericks Awards, honoring some of the greatest moments and performances from the past Mavericks surf season. Many of the world's top big wave riders are expected to attend.

Wimpy surf also cancelled big wave contests at other Pacific destinations, Clark noted.

"Winter threw us some good days, but nothing mustered enough power to hold the big wave contests at Mavericks, Nelscott Reef (Oregon) or Waimea (Hawaii) this year," Clark said. "That leaves a lot of big wave surfers with a whole lot of pent-up energy after a full season of training. So, we're throwing a party to celebrate the season, the athletes and the community."

With nature and the waves so fickle, Clark has wanted to have a post-season party celebrating Mavericks and big wave surfers for years, he said. Since 1999, the actual contest has been held only seven times; the last in 2010.

To be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the fest also will include food, giveaways, commemorative posters, autograph sessions and previously unseen video of Mavericks surf riders.

Tickets are $25 and available online at

March 22, 2012
Guide lists 20 Yolo County bike rides

By Sam McManis

Davis' love of all things bicycles-related is now reflected on the website of the Yolo County Visitors Bureau, which recently added a list of 20 rides in Davis and surrounding cities such as Winters, Woodland and the Capay Valley.

The Davis Bike Club developed the web page, which includes descriptions and links to maps. It can be found at

"Most of these rides start in Davis or Winters, where interest in bicycling is very keen, and we made a point to select rides for all skill levels, whether you are a novice out for fun or a serious cyclist looking for good training rides," Alan Humason, executive director of the visitor's bureau, said in a prepared statement. "We also intend to add routes from events that are held in our area, such as the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame Gran Fondo, the LiveStrong Challenge, and the Davis Double Century."

March 21, 2012
Updated Golf Guide a timely addition to local scene


It might be a huge tease whenever the sun appears, ready to really rev up and give us the warm spring we anticipate.

But even if we're in for more rain between the tantalizing solar bursts, it's definitely getting to be golf season -- and our updated Interactive Golf Guide has plenty of new information about local 18-hole courses open to public play.

Bee golf writer Stave Pajak has provided fresh information about prices, carts, yardage, local knowledge and where to find each track. The guide is easy to use and a comprehensive tool to help golfers choose where to play, and it has facts and figures for 40 courses in the greater Sacramento region.

Things will be drying out soon. Be ready.

PHOTO CAPTION: Cherry Island is one of 40 18-hole courses in the greater Sacramento region listed in the updated Golf Guide.

March 14, 2012
Daffodil time comes to Sierra foothills with Daffodil Hill, show

Despite this week's late-winter onslaught, Daffodil Hill expects to open on time for another spring gold rush.

A magnet for flower lovers of all ages, the famous McLaughlin Ranch in Volcano plans to open its gates for a 72nd daffodil season at 10 a.m. Friday. After that, the garden will be open to the public seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

But call before driving the two hours from Sacramento. For safety reasons, the garden is closed during rainy weather due to slippery paths.

March 9, 2012
New guide out to 60 hikes around Sacramento

By Sam McManis

Local hiking expert Jordan Summers has just released a new, expanded edition of "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Sacramento," an omnibus for those wanting to hit the trails close to home.

The updated guide, published by Menasha Ridge Press, and available at local bookstores and online, includes hikes in Davis, Roseville and more paths in Auburn.

Summers, who lives in Elk Grove, is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness Outdoor Educator program, a Leave No Trace Trainer, and a NOLS-Wilderness Medicine Institute certified Wilderness First Responder.

March 6, 2012
Valley oak starts 30,000-tree pledge drive for Sacramento area

This month-long party starts with a single tree in Sacramento, but will lead to an expanded urban forest - by as many as 30,000 trees.

At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Capitol Park, the Sacramento Tree Foundation will plant a valley oak to kick off its 30th anniversary celebration.

Wednesday - California's annual Arbor Day - also kicks off the foundation's drive to get pledges to plant 30,000 new trees across Sacramento's six-county region.

The valley oak - a symbol of the Sacramento Valley - was the perfect choice for a milestone tree, noted Ray Tretheway, the foundation's executive director.

"It's a native tree to our area, drought tolerant, strong and sturdy," he said of the oak. "It's also a very long-lived tree, which is appropriate."

The anniversary tree will be part of the Capitol's oak grove, located in the park's southeast corner. The planting ceremony will be just off 15th Street near the World Peace Rose Garden.

It will be the first of thousands of new trees to commemorate the foundation's 30th anniversary. In partnership with Greenwise Joint Venture, the foundation will gather tree-planting pledges through April 8 at

The foundation has a head start on its pledge drive, Tretheway said. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District offered 5,000 trees to local parks and schools. The City of Sacramento plans to plant 1,000 trees; the City of Folsom will plant 1,500.

"Those will all be in public places - parks, schools and streets," he said. "We've also had 1,000 pledged by neighborhood associations so far. The Lions Club plans to plant a tree for every member in the area - as many as 1,800. All these things add up; they're really neat."

Tretheway hopes that half of the 30,000 will come from private pledges as more individuals get involved.

To entice that effort, Green Acres Nursery - which has locations in Sacramento, Roseville and Folsom - is offering a free tree-planting kit with every 15-gallon shade tree sold. In addition, Green Acres will donate 10 trees to the campaign for every 100 sold.

To learn more, click on or call (916) 924-8733.

January 18, 2012
Live the outdoor life at Sportsman's Expo

Even if it's not raining, outdoors enthusiasts will don hip waders Thursday through Sunday and head to Cal Expo for the annual International Sportsman's Exposition, which features products, demonstrations and contests galore.

Highlights include the dog dock jumping contest and sports dog agility competition, as well as a casting for accuracy contest for anglers. Among the display highlights is the Eastman Trophy Deer Display, and seminars include a bass tank demonstration from professional bass fishermen and tips about fishing for Delta Stripers.

Cost is $15 per day; kids 15 and under are free. Parking is $10. Thursday and Friday, the expo goes from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday's hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, go to

--Sam McManis

October 18, 2011
Home & Garden events to fill the weekend

Whether you're working in the garden or on the house, there's lots to do this weekend. Here's a handful of events; check out Saturday's Home & Garden section for more.


Where: Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Free

Details: (916) 622-8048 or

This fall showcase features the best examples of bonsai from all four local clubs: Bonsai Sekiyu Kai, Sacramento Bonsai Club, American Bonsai Club of Sacramento and Satsuki Aikokai Bonsai Association. In addition to precious little trees, this event also presents suiseki (viewing stones). Each morning, members will work on trees that will be

raffled in the afternoons. Step-by-step demonstrations for beginners at 1:30 p.m. each day.


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

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; crop party, 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday

Admission: $9; workshops, $16-$48; crop party, $30

Details: (888) 252-3976 or

Go from overwhelmed to organized. Packed with classes and demonstrations, this inspirational event is designed for both novice and experienced scrapbookers. Scores of vendors offer the latest products and ideas. Exhibitor discount coupons and workshop schedule available online at event's website. A Roaring '20s-themed crop party runs until midnight.


Where: 21st Street between X and Y streets, Sacramento

When: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $3 general; free for ages 15 and younger. Free parking.


Find unusual gifts and home goods at this huge marketplace, held under the freeway rain or shine. Featuring hundreds of vendors, this monthly event offers hand-crafted jewelry, art, textiles, linens, furniture, home accessories, kitchen wares, toys, cosmetics, body oils, soaps and more.

October 6, 2011
Gather at noon Tuesday on Capitol steps for jumping jacks

By Sam McManis

Led by First Lady Michelle Obama, a group of national fitness organizations will attend to a set a world record for "most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period" to promote National Child Heath Day on Oct. 11-12.

Sacramento will be one of the regional sites where jumping jackers will gather and perform the exercise. People are encouraged to convene at the State Capitol steps at noon on Oct. 11 for Sacramento's effort, sponsored by California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Other jumping-jack venues in California will be Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, at the Hollywood sign, Universal City in Los Angeles and the Jamba Juice corporate headquarters in Emeryville.

Organizers are soliciting requests from schools and organizations throughout California to assemble additional groups of jumping jacks participants on Oct. 11. To register, email

The effort also will go international, via satellite. Organizers says they've set up events in every state as well as in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Trinidad, Bermuda and Puerto Rico.

Call The Bee's Sam McManis, (916) 321-1145.

September 30, 2011
Open registration for CIM ends tomorrow

By Sam McManis

The clock is ticking for runners debating whether to sign up for December's California International Marathon, which wends its way from Folsom to the steps of the State Capitol.

Open registration ends Oct. 1 at 11:59 p.m. After that, registration will remain open an additional two weeks only for runners who have achieved certain time standards in previous marathons -- standards on a par with Boston Marathon qualifying. If the maximum field of 7,500 runners has not been reached by Oct. 15, open registration will resume until the cap has been reached.

For more information and to view the time standards (based on age and gender), click here.

September 28, 2011
Strike a pose at 'Yoga Aid' in Sacramento's McKinley Park

By Sam McManis

The weekly free Yoga in the Park session will take on special meaning this Saturday at Sacramento's McKinley Park, as practioners will complete all 108 sun salutations for charity.

Called "extreme" yoga by organizers, the event promises to be one of the largest yoga classes ever in Sacramento, said organizer Gina Garcia. Starting at 9 a.m., participants will complete the two- to three-hour practice to raise funds for and awarenes of the Africa Yoga Project, a nonprofit spreading yoga and its nonviolent principles in Kenya. The Sacramento event is part of a national "Yoga Aid" project.

Last year's "Yoga Aid" event attracted 250 people to McKinley Park and raised $13,000 for the organization, Garcia said.

For more information, click here.

September 3, 2011
Join the Great Sierra River Cleanup on Sept. 17

By Dante Geoffrey

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help clean up rivers, lakes and streams throughout the Sierra Nevada region as part of the third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup on Sept. 17.

These waterways are an integral source of drinking water for Californians.

The volunteer work will occur from 9 a.m. to noon.

August 29, 2011
Acorn Festival to celebrate 100th Me-Wuk rancheria anniversary

By Dante Geoffrey

The Tuolomne Rancheria will play host to the Me-Wuk Indians' 100th anniversary celebration during this year's Acorn Festival.

The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians first congregated on the Toulomne Rancheria in 1911, when it was founded as a reservation for homeless natives. Now, spanning almost 1,700 acres, the reservation has its own health center, dental clinic, and the Black Oak Casino.

The Black Oak Casino is the reservation's second-largest employer and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary during the festival.

August 10, 2011
"Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" plays free in Land Park Saturday

By Tamma Adamek

Bring a picnic and a short lawn chair to Land Park Saturday night and watch the Coen brothers' "O Brother, Where Are Thou?" under the stars.

The movie's free and starts at 8 p.m. in the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre (on the corner of Land Park Drive and 15th Avenue, behind Fairytale Town and across Land Park Drive from the Sacramento Zoo).

August 8, 2011
Weekend festival to connect families to art, nature

artbeast2.JPGTickets are on sale for a family festival intended to connect parents and children with art, nature and each other.

The Festival of Little Houses, which will be held Sept. 23 to 25 along the banks of the American River in Colma, is being hosted by Art Beast Studio, a drop-in arts exploration space for children in midtown Sacramento. Art Beast is a program of Waking the Village, a nonprofit organization that runs Tubman House, a free transitional living program for homeless teen parents.

The September festival will include family art workshops and crafting, artisan demonstrations, story circles, music and performances and nature exploration and camping, an Art Beast news release states.

Participating families also will be able to create their own little house using items found in nature.

The event is a "weekend to put family, creativity, and community front and center to remind ourselves of the possibilities of all three," said Bridget Alexander, festival organizer and co-founding director of Art Beast, in a written statement.

The event will be held from 4 p.m. Sept. 24 until 4 p.m. Sept. 25. If purchased before Sept. 1, daily tickets for adults are $25 or $50 for the weekend. Tickets for children 12 years old and younger are $10 for one day or $15 for the weekend. Weekend tickets include camping. Tent rentals will be available and food will be available for purchase, the release states.

Ticket prices increase by $5 after Sept. 1.

For more information, click here.

July 28, 2011
Air show coming to Travis Air Force Base

By Ben Schenkel

Travis Air Force Base is playing host to the Air Power Expo this Saturday and Sunday.

VIDEO: See a refueling of the Thunderbirds

The aerial spectacle is free to the public, and it will last between 8:30 and 4:30 both days. Some of the highlights are a "Wings of Blue" parachuting demonstration, a cameo by the Thunderbirds, and interactive displays on the ground.

Organizers say the theme for this year's show is "Skies Over Solano," recognizing that community's partnership with the base.

Visitors are encouraged to bring earplugs if they don't think they can tolerate the noisy jets zooming overhead. Any bags or containers will be searched upon entering.

July 26, 2011
Kids can plant roots at State Fair's Save Our Water Day today

Help children put down some roots while learning about water conservation.

Today is "Save Our Water Day" at the State Fair. That puts the spotlight on the fair's award-winning "Save Our Water" drought-tolerant landscaping and water-wise home displays, which showcase ways to conserve water in your everyday life, both indoors and out.

Sponsored by the state's Department of Water Resources, demonstrations will focus on California-friendly, unthirsty flowers and plants. Volunteers will answer questions and share tips on creating a water-wise garden.

During today's celebration, children are invited to take part in "Water Savers for Roots Only!" Kids will plant flowers to take home and learn how these plants "drink." At 2:30 p.m., Radio Disney's Team Green will present its interactive program on how children and their families can help the environment - and have fun, too.

All this takes place at the State Fair's Farm, located behind the Cavalcade of Horses at Cal Expo. Gates open today at noon. For more details, click on

July 8, 2011
Learn how to hunt for wild pigs in Kern County

By Max Ehrenfreund

The California Department of Fish and Game is offering a one-day wild pig hunting clinic on July 30.

Wild pigs are a nonnative species in California. Because they are prolific breeders that can destroy crops and damage sensitive ecosytems, they are legal to hunt year-round, said Fish and Game's wild pig program coordinator, Marc Kenyon.

June 24, 2011
'Barefoot' running? Learn how at free local workshops

By Whitney Mountain

OK so it's not exactly barefoot. It's running with minimalist shoes, and author of Barefoot Running Michael Sandler is going to show Sacramento how to do it with two free workshops July 7 and 8.

The July 7 event is at 7 p.m. at REI, 1790 Expo Parkway, Sacramento. For information, call (916) 924-8900.

The July 8 event is at 7 p.m. at Fleet Feet, 2311 J Street. For Information, call (916) 442-3338.

Sandler recommends a few tips when getting started with barefoot running: start on a smooth surface, don't go too far, allow your muscles to rest, stay on your toes, and run tall.

For more tips and information about barefoot running, visit

June 22, 2011
Practice your Wookie call and head to Woodland on Friday

STARWARS77.JPGBy Max Ehrenfreund

The Yolo County Historical Museum is showing the original Star Wars movie Friday night outside the Gibson House in Woodland. Admission is free.

Museum event coordinator Dan Rice said Star Wars is a classic that appeals to both young and old. He is expecting a crowd of a few hundred at Friday night's fundraiser, especially given pleasant temperatures in the upper 80s forecast for the evening.

"We really got people stirred up," he said.

June 17, 2011
Father's Day ideas for any kind of dad, family

Not sure on what to do with dear ol' dad this Father's Day? It's Sunday, by the way, so it's time for a plan.

There's an array of activities, events and offers that can help make this Father's Day one to remember. Feel free to steal these ideas, which have been categorized interests, and adapt them to suit your father of honor's style and taste.

Hungry Dad: That old saying about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach? Pretty much true. So it makes sense to make or take dad out to a great meal Sunday. For those who want to grill up a great meal, head to Ikeda's California Country Market in Auburn or Davis and pick up one of their marinated tri-tips. Add some fresh vegetables and whatever you do, don't forget to grab one of their fabulous fruit pies.

June 11, 2011
Tile your way into history at White Rock Park

You've always wanted to cement your place in history, and now you can. Well, you can tile your place into history, anyway.

The Cordova Recreation and Park District is completely renovating White Rock Park at 10488 White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova, and they are offering residents the opportunity to paint 200 tiles that will embellish a mosaic city wall that will meander through the park.

Besides the mosaic wall, the park will feature a 2,500-square-foot recreation building, a barbecue and sheltered picnic area, two new basketball courts, two renovated tennis courts and a playscape. Kids of all ages will also be able to run through vertical and horizontal water sprays. The park will be complete in July, said recreation manager Marni Francisco-Cady.

June 9, 2011
This week, drop in on Drop the Lime or Tim McGraw

This week, we've completely fallen for the thumping rockabilly house beats of New York-based DJ and electronic producer Drop the Lime. He pumps up the volume late, late Thursday night at Mix Downtown. Maybe you could call in sick on Friday. Did we say that?
If you can't keep your eyes open much past midnight, you'll find some can't miss entertainment with Nashville-Hollywood darling Tim McGraw this evening or a discussion with classical pianist Charles Rosen on Saturday afternoon.
And, there's more.

Country music
Tim McGraw
WHAT: This genuine star lays claim to plenty of No. 1 hits and music awards, but fans buy up his albums because they see it as "sure bet" entertainment. Luke Bryan and The Band Perry open the show.
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 2677 Old Forty Mile Road, Wheatland
COST: $29.75-$89.90
INFORMATION: (800) 745-3000,
- C.M. Anderson

May 21, 2011
Pull out your tie dye and head to Grangestock in Orangevale

The 3rd Annual Grangestock takes place from 11:00am until dark today at the Orangevale Grange, 5807 Walnut Avenue.

The day-long outdoor festival features live music from the 60s and 70s - and a lot of laughs - for a day-long spoof of Woodstock and the era of hippies, hot pants & Hubert Humphrey. The picnic-style event is held at the Grange's four-acre natural amphitheatre. A $10.00 donation will be accepted at the gate. Children 12 and under are free.

Wear tie-dye shirts, let down your hair and start-up the old Volkswagen bus. Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed hippies, best Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin karaoke impersonators and trivia quizzes.

Donations will benefit Sacramento County Grange programs, including G.R.E.A.T. (Grange Relief Emergency Action Team), a program providing emergency assistance to victims of natural disasters. G.R.E.A.T. was started after five Grange families lost their homes last summer in Northern California wildfires.

May 6, 2011
Searching for things to do with mom? Options abound in Sacramento region

Forgot to make Mother's Day plans? Worry not, dear procrastinator, we're here to help.

From gardens to celebratory dining events, there are several events this weekend that could serve as a lovely opportunity to spend time with mom.

Two garden tours in Sacramento neighborhoods will offer guests a chance to stop and smell the roses.

Seven gardens in the Fabulous 40s are the focus of the 13th annual East Sacramento Garden Tour, a fundraiser for David Lubin Elementary School. The tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. An optional luncheon at Sutter Lawn Tennis Club, catered by Gonul's, also is available, the event website states.

April 23, 2011
Hug your mother - earth, that is

More than 40 years after the first Earth Day - on April 22, 1970 - we're still celebrating.

The Environmental Council of Sacramento will celebrate with its annual Sacramento Earth Day at Southside Park at T and 6th streets today from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Dozens of vendors will show ways to be more eco-friendly every day.

It's open free to the public and also will feature live music, theater, food, animals, a one-hour yoga class and children's activities.

March 29, 2011
Squaw Valley to remain open through Memorial Day

By Ed Fletcher

Squaw Valley USA Ski Resort announced plans today to extend its season to Memorial Day.

Remaining open for the July 4 holiday has not been ruled out, said Amelia Richmond, a resort spokeswoman.

The report has been scheduled to close May 8. The new plan is to remain open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 29. The resort will also be open the day of the Amgen Tour of California (May 16) and Memorial Day (May 30).

Just last week, Squaw officials weren't ready to extend the season. Richmond said today that the record-setting snowfall totals changed their minds. To date, the resort has received 691 inches of snow, surpassing the record of 662 inches hit twice since they started keeping records.

"The Fourth of July is being discussed," Richmond said. "It's not off the table."

Ski reports for Northern California resorts


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