Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

July 25, 2013
It's Dodgeball time in Sacramento

By Brittany Torrez

Dodgeball fans will be bouncing off the walls at the local qualifier of the Second Annual Ultimate Dodgeball Championship held at Sky Zone Sacramento, an indoor trampoline park.

dodgeball.jpegThe competition begins at 6 p.m on August 4th. Teams can register at, players must be 16 years or older, and the entry fee is $50 per person. Deadline to register is August 2.

Winners have the chance to compete for the championship in Las Vegas to win $20,000.

Also, the Friday before the competition, younger ultimate dodgeball players can hone their skills and compete in a mini-tournament at 6 p.m. at Sky Zone.

Sky Zone Sacramento is at 1091 Tinker Road in Rocklin.

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.

September 26, 2012
Sonoma raceway announces NASCAR date for silver Cup race

It will be a silver season for NASCAR next June in Sonoma.

The Toyota/Save Mart 350 - Northern California's only Sprint Cup race - will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2013. The race will be held June 23, 2013, track officials announced Wednesday.

NASCAR weekend is set for June 21-23 at the wine country raceway in Sonoma. On the first weekend of summer (and a week after Father's Day), the silver anniversary party will salute past winners as well as continue its current tradition of ultra-competitive racing.

Clint Bowyer, who won the 2012 edition, was the eighth different winner in eight years at the renowned road course.

Sonoma always has been tough. Ricky Rudd set the tone with his victory in the inaugural NASCAR Cup event June 11, 1989. With a memorable last-lap duel, Rudd edged Rusty Wallace by only .05 seconds, still the race record for the closest margin of victory.

Fans can sign up now for ticket alerts, priority pre-sale or renew season tickets. Call (800) 870-7223 or click on

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.


August 23, 2012
IndyCar's Will Power goes for three-peat at Sonoma

Will Power makes the 100th start of his IndyCar racing career Sunday, and there's no place he'd rather do that than Sonoma.

The Australian driver will attempt a three-peat in the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Power won both the 2010 and 2011 Sonoma races, each time from the pole.

Currently the points leader in a tight race for the 2012 IndyCar championship, Power hopes Sonoma can give his Penske Racing team an edge.

"We're trying to put it all together," said Power over lunch in Sacramento on Thursday. "This has been the most competitive season since I've been (in IndyCar). We have five guys going for the championship. It could go down to the last race (Sept. 15 at Fontana). It's great for the fans - but nerve-wracking for us."

With three races to go, Power leads Ryan Hunter-Reay by five points (379 to 374) with Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe within striking distance.

For this race, Power helped tweak the track at Sonoma, which modified three turns on its 12-turn road course.

"Turn 11 was my suggestion," Power said. "Dario (Franchitti) suggested Turn 7. Turn 9 - who knows? It was a committee. But all the additions are good."

Under Power's suggestion, the entry into Turn 11 was lengthened 200 feet before the hairpin corner.

"The new track configuration will make it better for everybody," said Power, who tested at Sonoma last week. "We'll see a lot more passing. The hairpin is very difficult. But that's what makes it fun."

Practice starts Friday at the former Infineon Raceway. IndyCar qualifying will start at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for Sunday's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Tickets are still available. Click on or call (800)870-7223.

July 31, 2012
Sonoma tweaks track for upcoming Indy Grand Prix

IndyCar's annual stop in Sonoma just got more exciting.

Tuesday, raceway and IndyCar officials unveiled a new configuration for the road course, which will host the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 24-26. The new layout tweaks three turns to increase passing.

More passing makes for a more dynamic race, say drivers, who will get a chance to test at the Sonoma raceway Aug. 17.

"This was something we worked on in the offseason and I think it is really going to make for some exciting racing," said driver Will Power, among those consulted on the changes. "We will know more after the testing, but it looks like we will be able to go into Turns 7 and 11 expecting to be able to make a move."

The Aug. 17 test, which will feature all the IndyCar regulars, will be open free to the public.

Indy legend Mario Andretti was among the experts who developed the new 12-turn, 2.31-mile layout. The upcoming Indy Grand Prix also was lengthened from 75 to 85 laps, making the race about 196 miles.

The changes include extending the entrance into hairpin Turn 11 by 200 feet, widening the passing zone on Turn 9 to 50 feet and converting Turn 7 from a looping right-hander into a tight U-turn. The layout retains the "carousel" on Turns 5 and 6.

Tickets are now on sale for the Indy Grand Prix weekend. For more details, click on or call (800) 870-7223.

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 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 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.

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 20, 2012
NASCAR hauler parade to roll through Sacramento

On its way to Sonoma for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, NASCAR's traveling road show takes a slight detour through Sacramento for a lap around the State Capitol.

On Thursday afternoon, more than 50 massive haulers - the colorful trucks that carry the race cars and equipment - will form a convoy for a parade down Capitol Mall from the Tower Bridge, starting at 1:45 p.m.

From Capitol Mall, the hauler parade will turn right on 9th Street, then left on N Street, left on 16th Street and left on L Street for one lap around Capitol Park. Then, the convoy will head back to Interstate 80 and the former Infineon Raceway.

At the corner of L and 11 streets, NASCAR and Sonoma representatives will set up displays, offer giveaways and sell tickets for the upcoming race weekend. Qualifying is on Friday with the Sprint Cup race at noon Sunday.

For more details, call (800) 870-7223 or click on

Larry McReynolds previews NASCAR's trip to Sonoma.

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 30, 2012
Dickey talks racing at Sonoma Historic Motorsports Fest

Grass Valley's Don Dickey, a legend in California sports car racing, will talk about the early days of his sport during a special seminar this weekend at the former Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.

Set for 10 a.m. Saturday in the track's Drivers' Lounge, the free seminar is open to fans attending the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival.

Dickey will be part of a panel discussing "Moments in Time: A Celebration of the History of Motorsports," the theme for the race weekend. Also on the panel will be grand marshal Bill Pollack, winner of the main event at the 1952 Golden Gate Park Road Races in San Francisco. Other participants include pioneer drivers Mick Marston, Dick Guldstrand and Peter Giddings.

During the 1950s, Dickey made his reputation at West Coast races and hill climbs, including events at Golden Gate Park, Pebble Beach, Reno, Laguna Seca, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Arcata, Cobb Mountain and Sacramento. He competed in an Allard J2X, Jaguar XK120, Porsche Speedster and Porsche Carrera GT.

During the two-day festival, 15 groups of historic cars will compete on Sonoma's 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course. The paddock will be open to spectators, so fans can admire the cars close up.

In addition to the racing, patrons can take taste food and wine from Sonoma and Napa counties at the track's Wine County Pavilion.

Tickets are $40 per day or a weekend pass for $60. Youth, ages 13 to 20, will be admitted for $20 per day or $30 for the weekend. Children age 12 and under admitted free.

For more details on the racing, click on For tickets, call (800) 870-7223 or visit

May 24, 2012
A local Livestrong ride open to everyone

Here's a great opportunity for fans of Livestrong and those who want to make a difference in the many ongoing efforts related to cancer.

Anyone with a bike and some basic fitness can enjoy this event, which begins in Davis on June 24. There's still time to get your bikes tuned and get in some good training miles. You'll be able to choose the distance and difficulty that suits you.

Here's the press release we received from Livestrong, including information about how to register:

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
Young patients to hang out with Hangtown motocross riders

Motocross racing and medicine intersect Thursday when elite riders from the Hangtown Motocross Classic host about 70 young patients from UC Davis Children's Hospital for a special behind-the-scenes look at their sport.

"This is something the series has talked about for some time," said Hangtown spokesman David Plag. "About three or four of our young riders actually have been patients at that hospital, so they're very committed to trying to give back."

Located on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, UC Davis Children's Hospital will have extra staff on hand this weekend to handle any emergencies for young riders participating in Hangtown, Plag said.

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 2, 2012
Local documentarians to screen doc on Senior Olympics

You don't need to go to the Bay Area or LA to find documentarians like Sacramento natives Christopher Rufo and Keith Ochwat kicking out interesting work.

The two have produced and will be screening their latest doc "Age of Champions" - the story of five competitors who compete for gold at the National Senior Olympics.

Hailed by the Washington Post as "infectiously inspiring," the documentary plumbs the resiliency and spirit of a 100-year-old tennis champion, an 86-year-old pole vaulter, and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers.

The free screening is hosted by assembly speaker John Pérez and will include a Q&A with director Rufo and producer Ochwat along with aging and health experts. Free parking is included.

Age of Champions
WHEN: 6:45 p.m., May 21
WHERE: Crest Theater, 1013 K St., Sacramento
COST: Free
INFORMATION: (916) 456-5229;

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 23, 2012
Infineon lets motorcycle riders have day on Sonoma racetrack

Most motorsports fans can only sit and watch as the racers go by. Next week, Infineon Raceway will let some fans experience the action firsthand.

On May 2, motorcycle riders can pilot the Sonoma racetrack's famous twists and turns during 3J's Motorcycle Track Days' charity ride. Now in its 17th year, the annual event includes a full day of riding around the 12-turn road course, catered lunch, T-shirt, raffle and an evening reception for all riders.

Cost is $275 and includes six 20-minute on-track sessions throughout the day. All riding levels are welcome.

The 3J's Motorcycle Track Day also serves as the kickoff to the Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway, May 4-6. That weekend features the best in AMA Pro Road Racing, Supermoto USA and TTXGP electric motorcycles.

To sign-up for the charity motorcycle track day or for more information, visit or contact Jenah Smith, (707) 933-3990 or

During Moto Jam, Infineon also plans several other ways for riders to feel like racers. That includes: a Ride-In Bike Show (ride your motorcycle to the race with a chance to win prizes for best sportbike, vintage or cruiser), Park and Sell (paddock parking for motorcycles for sale), City Bike Ride (meet other riders in San Francisco, then travel over Golden Gate Bridge to Infineon before the May 6 finals) and free motorcycle seminars.

For more information or tickets to Moto Jam, click on or call (800) 870-7223.

April 3, 2012
LiveStrong Challenge to unveil Davis course

By Sam McManis

The LiveStrong Challenge, a long-distance cycling event that will take place in June in Davis, will unveil its course on Friday at a free event.

The preparatory kickoff for the charity ride, which benefits cancer research, will be at Sudwerk Brewery (2001 2nd Street, Davis) Friday from 5:30 to 8:30. The event is a "free" happy-hour at the restaurant, with the official course unveiling starting at 7 p.m.

To RSVP, email:

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.

February 28, 2012
North American bike show wheels into Sacramento Friday

More than 150 exhibitors showcasing custom bike frames, apparel and cycling accessories will be in town Friday and this weekend for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

A complete calendar of seminars, celebratory dinners, organized rides and other related activities is available at the website below.

When: 9-11 a.m. (industry only) and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento 95814; (916) 264-5291

One-day pass, $22; two-day pass, $38; three-day pass, $55; $8 a day for children ages 6-13; free for children younger than age 5; seminar passes (includes entrance all days and seminars), $150; Kent Ericksen seminar (frame builders only), $75



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