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August Event: Gridley

Opening Day at the Butte County Fair is a Steal!

Butte County Fair Midway;
Photo courtesy of ButteCountyFair.org
Butte County Fair Midway, courtesy ButteCountyFair.org

Seniors and children under 12 get in FREE; adults pay only $4 at the Butte County Fair in Gridley tonight, August 21 - how great is that!

And that's just the beginning of four days of fun with Critters, Crops, and Carnivals! Celebrating 75 years as a "feel good family event," the emphasis is on the critters with 4-H/FFA livestock shows, local team roping, extreme bull riding, and Splash Dogs - dock jumping, diving, and big air dogs struttin' their stuff.

But there's plenty more county fair fun to be had as well: catch the tractor pull and destruction derby at the arena; Becky's Creations' Farm-Tastic Show and Circus Imagination for the kiddies; food contests and tastes of Butte County; Missette, Miss Teen, and Miss Butte County competitions; Farmer's Hall and exhibits of all kinds; lots of entertainment, including Chico's own Dear Misguided; and - of course - the Midway of Fun carnival rides and games!

Butte County Fair
Thursday, August 21 - Sunday, August 24, 2014
Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley

Butte County Fair: "Creating memories for over 75 years!"

For more about Butte County, visit Discover Butte County, California.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Event: Gridley"

A beautiful road trip from Mendocino to Eureka

I met my brother in Mendocino where my husband and i stayed in a town called little river in a cottage - at the time it was called the seafoam Inn. my

Continue reading "A beautiful road trip from Mendocino to Eureka"

August Event: Fortuna

Good Beer & Live Music coming to Fortuna this Weekend!

Hops in Humboldt crowd;
Courtesy of HopsInHumboldt.com
Hops in Humboldt crowd courtesy HopsInHumboldt.com

It's the 11th Annual Hops in Humboldt Beer Fest this Saturday at Rohner Park in Fortuna, with unlimited samples of hundreds of different micro-brews offered by over 35 breweries from across the country - including NorCal's very own Sierra Nevada, Eel River, and Lost Coast breweries.

Join the crowd and enjoy the musical entertainment from four bands rockin' the stage, including The Dirty Rats, brought back by popular demand. Then there are games (win cool prizes); voting for your favorite in the Tasters Choice Award event; art and craft vendors with Humboldt clothes, hand-blown glassware, and more; and food vendors with all kinds of good eats.

Hops in Humboldt
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rohner Park, Fortuna

HiH wants you to know: "Please note that this is a pet, free, adults only, small children- and baby-free zone. 21 and over only, please."

To learn more about Humboldt County, please visit Discover Humboldt.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Fortuna"

August Event: Samoa (California)

Last Lumber-style Cookhouse Standing

Timber Heritage Association Banner;
Courtesy of TimberHeritage.org
Timber Heritage Assn Banner courtesy TimberHeritage.org

Well, one of the last, but it's a pretty amazing experience nonetheless!

And Saturday, Aug. 23rd, the Samoa Cookhouse, Roundhouse, Historic Shops and Museum are central to the Oysters, Salmon, Ales and Rails fundraising event, which supports the Clarke Museum and the Timber Heritage Association.

Ride the rails aboard the Timber Heritage crew car speeder, partake in the festivities - BBQ salmon served with salad, baked beans and soda ($20); Oysters, ales and wines available for additional purchase; kid's hot dog meal available too ($10); live music, artisan booths, and kid activities - and spend an afternoon in historic Samoa, where they've been "Preserving Humboldt County's Timber History since 1977"!

Salmon, Oysters, Ales & Rails
August 23, 11:30 am - 4:30 pm
Samoa Roundhouse & Shops, Samoa, CA

The dinner bell's ringin' - Come and get it in Humboldt Bay!

For more about the county of Humboldt on California's North Coast, take a peek at Discover Humboldt.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Samoa (California)"

Big Sur Backcountry Camping

Big Sur backcountry camping offers you get away from it all, nature communing, rustic self-reliant solitude in the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Continue reading "Big Sur Backcountry Camping"

August Event: San Francisco

I can't think of a better place for a Street Food Festival
than San Francisco!

People enjoying the street food;
Photo courtesy sfstreetfoodfest.com
People enjoying the street food

But it only happens once a year - Saturday, August 16th - so get yourselves on over to the Mission District for some of the best food and music in the Bay Area!

With over 80 food vendors participating, and offerings such as specialty bar drinks, Brazilian Cheese Bread, Chicken Kaya Penang Chilqquiles, and Deviled Ham Scotch Egg you're sure to find at least a million tasty bites!

Calling all Foodies to the City by the Bay!

Discover more about San Francisco. And for more Foodie fun, check this out: Ferry Building Marketplace

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: San Francisco"

August Event: Sacramento

Celebrating John Sutter's Contributions to Sacramento
and the State of California

Pioneer Reenactor at Sutter's Fort;
Photo by Suzi Rosenberg
Pioneer Reenactor at Sutter's Fort by Suzi Rosenberg

If it weren't for Johann August Suter - John Sutter to you and me - there might not have been a California Gold Rush, and California would likely have taken a lot longer to settle.

For that reason, California State Parks and Sutter's Fort State Historic Park are celebrating the 175th anniversary since John Sutter's arrived in California on August 16, 1839.

A very special Hands on History interactive and interpretive event will enchant fort visitors with period reenactors like the gentleman in the photo, plus stations for stencil rubbing of John Sutter's brand, pioneer dress-up (great for photo ops), pen and quill activities, 1800's-style laundering, pioneer children's games, corn husk doll crafting, brick oven cooking and tastings, and Gold Rush-era weaponry demonstrations.

Hands on History: 175th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 10 am - 5 pm
Sutter's Fort, Sacramento

There's no better way to get to know our history than through
hands-on experiences like this one!

For more about Sutter's Fort and the Sacramento area, visit Sutter's Fort and Discover Sacramento. To see photos of Sutter's Fort, check out our Facebook album, A Virtual Tour of Sutter's Fort.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Sacramento"

Panning for Gold

How's the recession treating you? Not so great? Worried about your finances? I have a thought - have you ever considered panning for gold? It's an idea more and more people are embracing!

Continue reading "Panning for Gold"

August Event: Woodland

One of the Last Free-Gate Fairs!

Yolo County Fair;
Photo Courtesy of Yolo County Fair
Yolo County Fair

As one of the last entrance-fee-free fairs in the state of California, the Yolo County Fair in Woodland, August 13 - 17, is a real-deal surprise!

The catchy-phrase theme, "Swine on Harvest Moon," fairly shouts out about what's to come: livestock exhibits and demolition derby; musical entertainment; flower house and gardens; antique equipment; with carnival rides, carney games, and fair food thrown in for good measure.

Interestingly, the fairgrounds was once the Blowers Ranch, and still contains and utilizes the old farmhouse, the horse and cattle barns, and the bunkhouse - take in a little history with your fair fun!

Yolo County Fair
August 13 - 17, 2014
Woodland

Don't miss out on the Wednesday Night Gala - filled with Yolo County produce, food, and music!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Woodland"

August Event: Monterey Peninsula

It's all about Cars - all week long -
all throughout the Monterey Peninsula!


If you're into cars, you'll love this event! Follow the shows from classic cars to little ones; from the most luxurious automobiles to the Concours d'Lemons (Pintos, Pacers, & Corvairs), and you won't be disappointed.

It's the Monterey Auto Week & Concours d'Elegance, kicking off with Carmel's Concours on the Avenue - followed through with The Little Car Show in Pacific Grove, Legends of the Autobahn at the Nicklaus Club in Monterey, Concorso Italiano on Monterey Bay, - and culminating with the over-50-year-old-tradition of Pebble Beach's Concours d'Elegance along the legendary 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Monterey Auto Week
August 11 - 17, 2014
Monterey Peninsula

"All over Monterey County, classic cars take to streets, golf courses, parks and the world-renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, surrounding visitors with automobiles from yesteryear."

For more about the Monterey area, visit Discover Monterey County.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Monterey Peninsula"

August Event: Squaw Valley

Weekend Event at Squaw Valley Village:
Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest!

Guitar Playing;
Courtesy Squaw.com
Guitar Playing Courtesy Squaw.com

Benefiting the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, this fab and popular annual event brings western states' breweries together with Jazzy funky music making for a fun-filled weekend!

"AND you can bring your canine companions to party down with you!"

Please your palate with 40 different brews, and entertain your ears with funky Jazz from Mark Sexton, Monophonics, Terraplane, Mojo Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Thick Newton and more - all while aiding and abetting our fine furry friends.

Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest
Sat & Sun, August 9 & 10, 2014
Squaw Valley Village

Making great summer memories in 2014!

For more about the Tahoe area, visit Discover Lake Tahoe.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Squaw Valley"

August Event: Willits

Powering It Up at the Willits Kinetic Carnivale!

Willits Kinetic Carnivale Participants;
Photo Courtesy of KineticCarnivale.com
Willits Kinetic Carnivale Participants Courtesy of KineticCarnivale.com

If you love watching hand cars, crafting kinetic creations, or power sourcing your transportation, put the Willits Kinetic Carnivale on your calendar!

Offering an amazing array of activities for aficionados of kinetic energy and steam power, the fair brings craft and food vendors, entertainment, rail car rides, and historic and steampunk-themed workshops, lectures, and discussions.

Plus local and regional bands will entertain, along with dance performers, aerialists, and a German Wheel performance.

See (or participate in) kinetic handcar races, the Whimsy Circus for children, a mustache and beard competition - then attend the spectacular Grand Ball (in vintage or steampunk costume, if you'd like).

Willits Kinetic Carnivale
August 9 - 10, 2014
Willits

Catch up with the Movers and Shakers at the
Willits Kinetic Carnivale Fair!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Willits"

August Events: Santa Cruz County

Looking Forward to Two Great Beer and Wine Events this Weekend
in Santa Cruz County!

Beer Flight;
CC Adam Fagen
Beer Flight by Adam Fagen

California Beer Festival will once again be held in Santa Cruz County at the Aptos Village Park, but in expanded form.

Craft Beer Haven - a favorite of beer enthusiasts - takes place on Saturday for sampling over 85 craft beers on tap and enjoying live music, fabulous food, and - wait for it - Bocce Ball.

New on Sunday is the exciting Hamburger & Hops Music Festival, presenting gourmet hamburgers and sliders, craft beers (for sale; there are no samples on Sunday), and a Tribute to the Tributes show, with the Unauthorized Rolling Stones, Petty Theft and more!

California Brew Festival &
Hamburger & Hops Music Festival
Sat & Sun, August 9 & 10, 2014
Aptos Village Park, Aptos Village

But that's not all! Head on up to Scotts Valley for the Scotts Valley Art & Wine Festival, also being held Saturday and Sunday.

Enjoy art, wine and beer tasting, live music and great food. Nearly 100 juried artists will be displaying paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry and much more.

Indulge in traditional favorites right off the grill, as well as stuffed artichokes, tacos, kettle corn, smoothies, and frozen treats!

Scotts Valley Art & Wine Fest
Sat & Sun, August 9 & 10, 2014
SkyPark, Scotts Valley

Looks like the place to be this weekend is Santa Cruz County!

For more about it, visit Discover Santa Cruz County.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

August Event: San Francisco

OutsideLands Music & Arts Festival Comes into its Own!

SF OutsideLands;
CC Saket Vora
SF OutsideLands by Saket Vora

It has always shown promise, it's grown every year, it's had its die-hard believers, but OutsideLands Music & Arts Festival has proved it's got what it takes to draw in the greats!

With headliners like Kanye West, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Killers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, they've taken this festival to a whole 'nother level and music fans are the beneficiaries. Check it out for yourself, August 8 - 10.

Oh yeah, then there's all the other stuff! OLMAF has taken over the meadows, hollows, fields and forests of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to bring you A Taste of the Bay Area (restaurant and food trucks, Choco Lands and Outside Lambs), Beer Lands (16 breweries), Wine Lands (40 wineries), Eco Lands (you supply the power), Outsider Art (live-painting, installations, and one-of-a-kind musical theater), The Barbary (comedy and variety), and Summer Pairings (food, wine, and music) - all of which are bigger, badder, and better than ever before.

And new this year: GastroMagic, presenting "all things startling and unexpected in food, drink, music, magic, and more."

When you go, just remember that parking is extremely limited so take an alternative mode of transportation!

Ranger Dave says, "We recommend getting there by bicycle."

For more to do in San Francisco. For photos of San Francisco, see our Facebook album, San Francisco. For an alternative way to get to San Francisco for the festival: How to have a better (San Francisco) commute.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: San Francisco"

August Event: Portola

Celebrate at the
32nd annual Portola Railroad Days Festival this weekend!

Portola RR Workers;
CC David Brossard
Portola RR Workers

Portola is a railroad town, being a crew change site on the Union Pacific Railroad Feather River Route over the Sierra Nevada mountains. It's only natural that they would want to celebrate their railway heritage!

And you can join in on the fun! Enter the Bass Fishing Derby to try for the Biggest Bass cash award. Visit the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, one of the largest in the West. Sign up for the Coed Softball Tournament or the Lucky Duck Race. Take a Railfan Tour through Feather River Canyon. And enjoy the lively entertainment and commercial vendors hawking their wares in Portola City Park.

Portola Railroad Days
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, August 8-10, 2014
Portola (Plumas County)

Beware the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it's a train!
Paraphrasing Charles Barkely

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Portola"

August Event: Yreka

It's time for some Fun in the Mountain Sun
at the Siskiyou Golden Fair!

Presenting the flag;
Photo courtesy sisqfair.com
Presenting the flag

You won't want to miss this great hometown county fair in Yreka, August 6 - 10! They really know how to put on a fair with Battle of the Bands, CCPRA Rodeo, Destruction Derby, an Exotic Petting Zoo, Gold Rush Gold Panning, and concerts by Fortunate Son and The Chris Gardner Band.

And that's in addition to the usually anticipated fair fare of livestock exhibits, home arts, fine arts, floral and horticultural competitions, and talent shows!

With these daily specials, you can go day after day after day: Wednesday is Two Dollar Day ($2 admission for everyone); Thursday is Kid's Day (kids 12 and under free); Friday is Senior Day (Ages 62 and older free); Saturday is Farmer & Rancher Day; and Sunday is Family Day (free for everyone)!

Sounds like a dynamite deal to me!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Yreka"

August Event: San Francisco Bay

The Orca Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon & Swim is this Sunday!

Tri-California;
Photo by Lisa Ouellette
Tri-California by Lisa Ouellette

Hundreds of swimmers will mimic famous Alcatraz Island escapees on Sunday when they jump into the near-frigid, choppy waters and strong currents of San Francisco Bay.

Beginning at The Rock (yes, the one called Alcatraz) and culminating at the East Beach of Crissy Field in the Presidio, participants will take part in the 1.5 mile swim under some of the most grueling swim conditions found anywhere.

Some will then go on to run the seven miles along the Presidio's Golden Gate Promenade, then up a set of wooden steps, along a dirt trail, through a brick tunnel and up onto the east span of the Golden Gate Bridge to Vista Point and back again to the finish line.

Athletes will be testing the views of iconic San Francisco Bay Area attractions like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, along with testing their limits - whether they're there for the swim only or for the full-blown aquathlon!

Sixth annual Orca Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon/Swim
Sunday, August 3, 2014
San Francisco Bay

It's one heck of a way to see the sights, if you ask me!

For more about the Bay Area, visit Discover San Francisco, Discover Marin, and Discover Alameda County.

To see photos of the Bay Area, check out our many Facebook albums.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: San Francisco Bay"

August Event: Grass Valley

And speaking of fairs - puttin' on five days of fun
at the Nevada County Fairgrounds!

Nevada County Ferris Wheel;
Photo courtesy of NevadaCountyFair.com
Nevada County Ferris Wheel

Located in Grass Valley, California, the Nevada County Fairgrounds has been called California's most beautiful fairgrounds, with nearly 100 acres covered with hundreds of pine trees to provide shade and a gorgeous setting.

Starting August 6 and running through the 10th, the Nevada County Fair promises lots of fun and excitement.

Arena events include the Flying U Extreme Rodeo, Monster Trucks, and the Destruction Derby.

Special contests offer Family Feuds, several Ultimate Food Contests, Squash Mobile Races, an Instagram Contest and more.

And the stage entertainment is vast and varied, providing multitudinous styles of music from Blues to Swing, with everything in between that's sure to please.

Nevada County Fair
August 6 - 10, 2014
Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley

It's Simply Fun! at the Nevada County Fair!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Grass Valley"

August Event: Livermore

There's nothing quite like a good Taste of...!

Buggy Ride in Downtown Livermore;
Photo courtesy of LivermoreDowntown.com
Buggy Ride in Downtown Livermore courtesy LivermoreDowntown.com

And Taste of Downtown Livermore is a great one, with barrels of local wines; tasty treats from local chefs, wineries, restaurants, etc.; free horsedrawn buggy rides; shopping till you're dropping; free Wine Trolley rides; and live entertainment throughout the downtown area.

Taste of Downtown Livermore
August 2 & 3, 2014, 12 pm - 5 pm
Downtown Livermore

Get your tickets
to sip and taste your way through Livermore!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Livermore"

Enchanting Healdsburg

Meghan Malloy's article about Enchanting Healdsburg - her favorite home base for visiting Northern California's Wine Country!

Continue reading "Enchanting Healdsburg"

August Event: Lassen

Stargazing from Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Lassen Star Party;
NPS Photo
Lassen Star Party, NPS photo

"Half the park is after dark!"

Many people don't realize it, but the civilized, urban lifestyle that is our country - especially in California - creates light polution, which inhibits our ability to see the stars and planets as our forebearers did.

Even in more bucolic settings out in the countryside, there's a certain amount of light polution that blocks out part of the Milky Way. But there's hope for us!

Join budding astronomers and sky rangers alike for the Lassen Dark Sky Festival, August 1st through the 3rd.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of few places that can boast a complete lack of light pollution - where better then to host a Dark Sky event!

Highlights of the festival include: nightly constellation tours and stargazing, astronomy activities, and discussions and demonstrations by National Park Dark Sky rangers.

Dark Sky Festival
August 1 - 3, 2014
Lassen Volcanic National Park

Take back the night - dark skies, that is!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Lassen"

Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County, California holds many surprises for the Northern California traveler, even for native Californians.

Continue reading "Contra Costa County"

August Event: Mammoth

Fun is the name of the game at Bluesapalooza!

Slideshow courtesy of MammothBluesBrewsFest.com

Mammoth Lakes probably puts on more festivals per capita than any other town of its size in Northern California!

But the biggest and the bestest is the Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza that's happening this weekend, July 31 - August 3, 2014

Kick it off with a special Thursday Night Texas Blues Jam...

Finish it off at the Soulful Sunday Hangover Party and Concert...

Fill in the middle with Friday Night Rock 'n' Blues Kickoff, Saturday's Grand Tasting and Bluesapalooza, beer offerings from over 70 handcrafted microbreweries, jammin' blues from 16 bands and performers...

You're gare-awn-teed to have FUN!

Mammoth Blues and Brews Festival and Bluesapalooza
July 31 - August 3, 2014
Sam's Wood, Mammoth

Get your tickets, grab your tasting glass, and go party!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Mammoth"

August Event: Fremont

Doing it up BIG at the Fremont Festival!

Video courtesy of FremontFestival.net

Fremont Festival of the Arts organizers claim it's the "largest free street festival west of the Mississippi River."

With over 700 artisan booths, close to 400,000 attendees, 18,526 ice cream bars consumed, and 23,552 mugs of beer sold, it's hard to dispute their claim!

The main attraction is four miles of juried and hand-crafted, quality artisan booths with offerings of fine art, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, and specialty items you'll want to pick up to tick off the items on your gift-buying list.

For families, there's Kid City with peformers, hands-on amusements, and rides. Two stages provide continuous music for your listening and dancing pleasure. The popular trade show, Business Alley, offers local goods and services to browse and buy. Local non-profits earn money with their food booths, and they get a little help from the addition of Food Truck Mafia and their gourmet food trucks. The Wine Garden returns again with its shady oasis and lovely buffet...

But my favorite spot is the Gourmet Marketplace. Browse around the specialty food items and cooking ingredients - you won't find these in your local supermarket! Tea-time treats; grow-at-home-mushroom kits; hand-crafted jerkys, pastas, oils, and vinegars; specially blended rubs, seasonings, and marinades - there's plenty to choose from for spicing up your own cooking or finding the perfect hostess gifts! I like to do a first round trying the free samples, then zero in on the things I liked best!

August 2nd and 3rd... Fremont Festival of the Arts... Be there!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Fremont"

August Event: Ukiah

Changing it up every year in Ukiah!

Redwood Empire Fair Poster;
Poster courtesy of RedwoodEmpireFair.com
Redwood Empire Fair Poster

A couple of years ago it was Aloha, last year it was II Big, this year it's Ocean Adventures from the Redwood Empire Fair! Let that be your first clue that this is no ordinary country fair!

Oh sure, they've got your Carnival Midway Rides, Stars on the Stage, Ag Displays, Flower Arranging, Home and Fine Arts Exhibits, and FFA/4H Livestock Judgings just like any country fair.

But have you ever been to a fair with an Ultrasound Carcass Contest or a Window Decorating Contest? I ask you! Then there's the Fat Chance Truckin' Band and Mudd Bogg Races and a free Kids' Park!

And we've probably all been to at least one livestock showmanship event associated with a fair. But what about live stringray petting and wild animal exhibits? Or swashbuckling entertainment? I'm telling you, with or without the Ocean Adventure theme, this is one quirky and funky fair!

It's this weekend, July 31st through the August 3rd, at the 12th District Fair Grounds in Ukiah, California.

Redwood Empire Fair
July 31 - August 3, 2014
Ukiah, Mendocino County, CA

Here's to Ocean Adventures from the Redwood Empire Fair!

Mendocino County is a place of romantic adventure, reknowned for its awe-inspiring scenery...

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Ukiah"

August Event: San Francisco

San Francisco -
Royal Palate Palace of Northern California!

SF Chefs Ribbon Cutting;
Photo Courtesy of SF CHEFS on Flickr
SF Chefs Ribbon Cutting

The San Francisco Culinary Cuisine Xcene represents the World of Royalty when it comes to the avant-garde in Northern California wine, food, and spirits savoir-faire.

And next weekend, August 2nd and 3rd, SF will be strutting its royal stuff with the premier food festival in all of California - it's Eat Drink SF (formerly SF Chefs) 2014!

Between the kings and queens of Chefdom, the princes and princesses of Mixologyland, and the regal courtiers from restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries, you're in for treats that will delight the tastebuds of any royal palate!

Events have moved from the old Union Square Plaza location to Fort Mason and the Fort Mason Conference Center. The weekend starts off with a Food Arts Industry Day and Grand Opening celebration on Friday, Aug 1st; the fun continues Saturday with several events and presentations before the Big Saturday Night Party; then finishes off Sunday with more events and an afternoon of food, drink, music, and friends.

Eat Drink SF - it's where the elite meet to hold court
... and to eat, drink, and be merry!

Here's my favorite list of Great Places to Eat in San Francisco!

More San Francisco Royalty: the King George Hotel and the "Royal" Academy of Sciences

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: San Francisco"

August Event: Fremont

Doing it up BIG at the Fremont Festival!

Video courtesy of FremontFestival.net

Fremont Festival of the Arts organizers claim it's the "largest free street festival west of the Mississippi River."

With over 700 artisan booths, close to 400,000 attendees, 18,526 ice cream bars consumed, and 23,552 mugs of beer sold, it's hard to dispute their claim!

The main attraction is four miles of juried and hand-crafted, quality artisan booths with offerings of fine art, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, and specialty items you'll want to pick up to tick off the items on your gift-buying list.

For families, there's Kid City with peformers, hands-on amusements, and rides. Two stages provide continuous music for your listening and dancing pleasure. The popular trade show, Business Alley, offers local goods and services to browse and buy. Local non-profits earn money with their food booths, and they get a little help from the addition of Food Truck Mafia and their gourmet food trucks. The Wine Garden returns again with its shady oasis and lovely buffet...

But my favorite spot is the Gourmet Marketplace. Browse around the specialty food items and cooking ingredients - you won't find these in your local supermarket! Tea-time treats; grow-at-home-mushroom kits; hand-crafted jerkys, pastas, oils, and vinegars; specially blended rubs, seasonings, and marinades - there's plenty to choose from for spicing up your own cooking or finding the perfect hostess gifts! I like to do a first round trying the free samples, then zero in on the things I liked best!

August 2nd and 3rd... Fremont Festival of the Arts... Be there!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "August Event: Fremont"

July Events: Northern California

Coming up this weekend: 6 more NorCal events and festivals!

Broadway Compilation;
Photos by Ryan Daffurn, Courtesy of TrancendenceTheatre.org
Broadway Compilation by Ryan Daffurn

Summer is in full swing in Northern California - proof of the pudding? The fact that there are six Northern California events and festivals to still announce for the weekend of July 25 - 27, 2014!

Broadway Under the Stars

"Transcendence Theatre's Fantastical Family Night is always a labyrinth of magic, exploring Broadway, Disney and other lovable songs in a family-friendly night of entertainment."

When & Where:
July 25 - 26, 2014
Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen

Annual South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic

"The South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic is presented each year by the Antique & Classic Boat Society of Northern CA, Lake Tahoe Chapter, on the last weekend of July. See over 65 wooden antique and classic boats in the water and 8 race boats on their trailers from the early 1900's to the fiberglass boats of the 1960's."

When & Where:
July 25 - 26, 2014
South Lake Tahoe

Bay Area Black Expo®

"In its 23rd year, this is the largest African-American cultural event in Northern California. Discover and utilize educational, community, and health and wellness resources, network, and enjoy classic entertainment with live music, a talent show, vendor showcases, food courts, and stuff to entertain the kids."

When & Where:
July 26, 2014
Oakland

Benicia Waterfront Festival

"The popular summer event is back with a splash! Benicia celebrates its picturesque waterfront locale with two days of live music, microbrew tastings, arts & crafts marketplace, delectable gourmet foods, and kids' activity area."

When & Where:
July 26 - 27, 2014
Benicia Waterfront

Donner Lake Triathlon

"For years the Donner Lake Triathlon has been, and remains, the favorite triathlon of many. It's no wonder as the event features an epic setting, a beautiful and challenging course, and is located very near Truckee and North Lake Tahoe."

When & Where:
July 26 - 27, 2014
Truckee

Moss Landing Antique Street Fair

"The quaint fishing village of Moss Landing becomes the antique capital of the world where hundreds of antique booths set up on the streets for the Moss Landing Antique Street Fair, selling antique furniture and every kind of vintage item imaginable."

When & Where:
July 27, 2014
Moss Landing

This weekend promises fun in the sun throughout Northern California!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

July Event: Gilroy

There's Garlic Everywhere at the Gilroy Garlic Festival!

Garlic Flame-up;
Photo Courtesy gilroygarlicfestival.com
Garlic Flame-up

This weekend, you have the opportunity to join the other 3,837,796 guests who have experienced the Gilroy Garlic Festival over the last 35 years! That's an average of 116,297 visitors per year, but no worries - they're spread out over three days - July 25, 26, & 27! (Insider Secret: Go on Friday if you can - most people are still working!)

Fun newer stuff: Teen Zone, featuring an Orbitron Gyroscope Ride, a Mechanical Bull, the "Titanic" Slide, and the Quad Jump - an inflatable maze and a 250-foot long Zip Line!

But you can expect the Old Regulars to show up too! Gourmet Alley and Christmas Hill Park offer garlic in just about anything you could think of to eat - including a Surf & Turf Wrap, Ice Cream, and Jelly!

Don't miss the Celebrity and Local Celebrity Chefs struttin' their garlic, the Master Chef Challenge, the Garlic Showdown, or the ever popular Gourmet Alley Pyro Chefs and the Great Garlic Cook-off!

Gilroy Garlic Fest
July 25 - 27, 2014
Gilroy

There's tons to discover at the Gilroy Garlic Fest,
but nary a vampire will you find!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Gilroy"

July Event: Fortuna

The Fortuna Redwood AutoXpo:
A Happy Days Carnival of Cars!

Fortuna Auto Expo;
Photo Courtesy RedwoodAutoXpo.org
Fortuna Auto Xpo

What IS it about the '50s that has such a pull on us? Whatever it is, it's happening in the Eel River Valley/Giant Redwood Country town of Fortuna this weekend, July 25 - 27!

Don your pink poodle skirts and bobby socks, slip those fuzzy dice over the rearview mirror, and rock on up to Fortuna for "cool cars that are hot" and a whole carnival of FREE admission fun!

Your Not-to-be-Missed-List: The Cruise, the Swap Meet, the Artisans Faire, the Judged Car Show, the Show and Shine Vintage and Exotic, the Antique Show, the Antique Farm Equipment, the Poker Run, the Tractor Pulls, the Burnout Contest, and the Sock Hop! I swear, I don't think I've ever seen a longer list of funky fifties fun!

"Step right up folks, for the biggest, baddest,
most colorful and chromiest event in Fortuna!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Fortuna"

July Event: Pacific Grove

Over 100 Years of Tradition!

Feast of Lanterns Collage;
Collage Courtesy of feast-of-lanterns.org
Feast of Lanterns Collage

Back in 1905, the residents of Pacific Grove celebrated the end of the popular Chautauqua Assembly with a Feast of Lanterns festival - a ceremonial parade of lighted lanterns, a boat parade across the bay, and fireworks over the cove.

Visit PG this week, July 23rd through the 27th, for all that and more! Feast of Lanterns has grown and evolved to include the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday; a Feast of Flavors, Pet Parade, and Feast of Dancing on Friday; Children's Activities, Entertainment, a Sand Castle Contest, and the Pagaent Presentation of the Legend of the Blue Willow at Lovers Point on Saturday; and Sunday's Closing Ceremonies, which conclude the weekend with more entertainment.

Feast of Lanterns
July 23 - 27, 2014
Pacific Grove

Celebrating the history and culture of Pacific Grove -
100 Years at a Time!

For more about Monterey County

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Pacific Grove"

July Event: Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay's 23rd Annual Tour des Fleurs is this weekend!

Half Moon Bay Flower Bed;
CC Wonderlane
Half Moon Bay Flower Bed by Wonderlane

Fields of flowers, overflowing nurseries, glass houses filled with budding beauties - that's what you get when you sign up for the once-a-year Tour des Fleurs event in Half Moon Bay, along the beautiful California coast.

Each tour package takes you to three different nurseries (with six tour packages from which to choose), and at each stop you'll get a one hour tour of the behind-the-scenes operations.

Tours can include flower growers, farmers markets, nurseries, hot houses, succulent growers, a salt-box home, ranches, a working harbor, and/or rare plants, depending on your tour of choice.

Tour des Fleurs
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Half Moon Bay

What a great excuse for a visit to beautiful Half Moon Bay!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

If you would like to spend the weekend, here's where you'll find the best prices for your Half Moon Bay Hotel.

Continue reading "July Event: Half Moon Bay"

July/Aug Event: Santa Cruz

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music begins Sunday

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music;
Photo Courtesy CabrilloMusic.org
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music

CabrilloMusic.org is fearless about bringing you the au courant and the extraordinaire because it's all about the new!

"During the first two weeks of August each year, audiences are joined by both preeminent and emerging composers, an orchestra of dedicated professional musicians led by famed conductor Marin Alsop, and renowned guest artists from across the globe to give voice to works which are rarely more than a year or two old, and sometimes still wet on the page."

Highlight events: five programs of new works, a chamber recital, open rehearsals, talks, meetups, and the Church Street Fair.

Don't miss this most excellent opporunity to see what's new on the orchestral music scene!

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
July 27 - August 10, 2014
Santa Cruz, CA

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music just gets more
fresh and feisty every year!

Discover Santa Cruz, California; Discover Things To Do in Santa Cruz

Discover Santa Cruz Photos on Facebook

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Get a great price on Santa Cruz area hotels.

Continue reading "July/Aug Event: Santa Cruz"

July Event: Capitola

"The Best Little Road Race in California!"

Capitola Wharf to Wharf race;
CC loraleebiz
Capitola Wharf to Wharf race CC loraleebiz

It's the 42 year-old, six mile, annual, Wharf to Wharf Road Race from the Wharf in Santa Cruz to the Wharf in Capitola-by-the-Sea on Sunday, July 27th!

The reason it's called "TBLRRIC"? It's so popular with runners in-the-know - from casual joggers to world-class elite athletes and future Olympians - they have to limit the official field to only 15,000 runners each year!

And this race is not only popular with participants - thanks to its scenic, seaside, beach party atmosphere, with live entertainment all along the coastal neighborhoods route - it's just as popular with spectators!

The first race was run in 1973 with, coincidentally, 273 runners - it has since become part of the local cultural fabric of the Santa Cruz/Capitola area...

Wharf to Wharf
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Start of the race is Beach Street in Santa Cruz; Finish is Capitola Village

You've come a long way, Baby!

For more about Santa Cruz, see Discover Santa Cruz, and Things To Do in Santa Cruz. And for local pix, Santa Cruz Photos

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Capitola"

Northern California Beaches

Though they're not always sandy and they're not always overcrowded, Northern California beaches have a lot to recommend them.

Continue reading "Northern California Beaches"

July Events: NorCal

Coming up this weekend: 3 more NorCal events and festivals!

Marysville Peach Festival Poster;
Courtesy of MarysvillePeachFest.com
Marysville Peach Festival Poster, Courtsy of MarysvillePeachFest.com

The Dog Days of Summer just keep getting better and better here in Northern California.

Events and festivals are popping up like sprouting mushrooms!

Here are three more for this weekend, July 18 - July 20, 2014.

15th Annual Marysville Peach Festival

"Come and enjoy the food, entertainment, arts and crafts with the thirty thousand plus other people who regularly visit the annual Marysville Peach Festival in Historic Downtown Marysville!"

When & Where:
July 18 & 19, 2014
Historic Downtown Marysville

1st Annual Oroville Rock Reggae Jamfest

"Ifa Journey and Stephen Marley have known each other from they were youths... Collaborating to do A festival was a No Brainer for these two young men who grew up together as Rasta youths in Jamaica."

When & Where
July 19 & 20, 2014
4360 Pacific Heights Road, Oroville

Carmel Bach Festival

"The Festival’s mission is to celebrate the works, inspiration and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach worldwide by immersing audiences in a festival experience integrating music, education and ideas."

When & Where
July 19 through August 2, 2014
Various venues, Carmel

Get out and have some fun this weekend!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Best Day Trips

Best Day Trips is all about getting out and exploring. Where ever you are in Northern California, there's a perfect day trip just waiting for you.

Continue reading "Best Day Trips"

July Event: Nevada City

Storytelling is an art from the heart

Storytellers;
Photo courtesy of SierraStorytellingFestival.org
Storytellers courtesy of SierraStorytellingFestival.org

And you'll find an abundance of storytelling heart keeping the traditions alive at the historic one-room North Columbia Schoolhouse in Nevada City this weekend.

From tall tales to true stories, legends and myths to histories and memoirs, the Gold Rush Country hills and dales come alive under the pines and the evening stars with some of the best storytelling from some of the world's best storytellers at the "Queen of Storytelling Festivals."

Experience three days of storytelling, workshops, and concerts that will have you laughing and crying and pondering the mysteries of life.

Sierra Storytelling Festival
July 18 - 20, 2014
Nevada City, CA

You're in for a storytelling treat this weekend!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Nevada City"

1906 San Francisco Earthquake

The story behind Seán Street's interview of Herbie Hamrol, oldest survivor of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake for BBC Radio in 2006.

Continue reading "1906 San Francisco Earthquake"

July Event: North Lake Tahoe

Mixing it up: An adventure of mind, body, and soul
in beautiful Squaw Valley this weekend

Wanderlust Festival 2013
Photo by Alex Wang, Courtesy of Squaw.WanderlustFestival.com
Wanderlust Festival 2013 by Alex Wang

Wanderlust Festival is bringing yoga teachers, top musical acts, inspirational speakers, wellness chefs, and exciting performers to Squaw Valley this weekend, July 17 - 20, to help you unwind from the ordinary and discover the extraordinary.

Study yoga and meditation with internationally renowned instructors to the tunes of live musical performances.

Practice standup paddleboard yoga, take a mountain bike ride, go hiking, or raft the Truckee River; learn more about the mindful life through the Speakeasy lecture series; let the roving artists and performers inspire you to tap into your own creative spirit; freshen up at the spa-like Beauty Bar; discover your inner beauty at the Wellness Haven; or shop till you drop at the eclectic Kula Market.

Wanderlust Squaw Valley
July 17 - 20, 2014
Squaw Valley, North Lake Tahoe

"From early morning meditations to all-night chakra-spinning musical performances, come practice and party in the most awe-inspiring locations in the world."

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: North Lake Tahoe"

July Event: Salinas

California Rodeo Salinas - Where the West comes alive!

Bareback Ride;
Photo by RichardFieldLevine.com Courtesy CaRodeo.com
Bareback Ride by RichardFieldLevine.com Courtesy of CaRodeo.com

Originally dubbed "The Wild West Show" in the 1910s, what started out as a rough and tumble, show-off-your-working-skills, week-long event-for-local-cowboys, has evolved - more than 100 years later - into one of the most popular and respected professional rodeo venues anywhere!

In addition to the rodeo events like bareback riding; saddle bronc riding; bull riding; tie-down roping; steer wrestling; team roping; and steer roping, the Tough Enough to Wear Pink program is fast becoming a rodeo tradition; Carnival 2014 continues; trick riding performances reign; and John Harrison, Rodeo Clown Extraordinaire, keeps you entertained and the cowboys safe!

So head on over to Salinas July 17th through the 20th
for a weekend of Get Your Cowboy On!

For Pictures of a Salinas icon, check out our Facebook album, The Farm

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Salinas"

July Event: Napa Valley

Napa Valley's On Stage with Festival del Sole!

Concert at Castello di Amorosa;
Photo by Vi Bottaro, Courtesy fds.org
Concert at Castello di Amorosa

And the highlights include world-class artists from around the world, exclusive food and wine events, one-of-a-kind lifestyle programs, and special wellness programs - each event taking place in an exceptional Napa Valley setting like the concert at Castello di Ambrosa in the picture above.

The festival kicked off Friday the 11th with the opening night Gala Concert and Dinner, but it continues through the 20th with concerts, dance performances, Yoga in the Vineyards, plays, dinners, vintner's luncheons and more!

Napa Valley always does it with Style!

See our Downtown Napa Photo Album on Facebook

For more about Napa Valley, check out: Discover Napa County

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Napa Valley"

July Event: Sacramento

17 Days of California's The Best of California!

California State Fair;
Photo Courtesy of bigfun.org
California State Fair

Come to the California State Fair at Cal Expo between July 11th and the 27th and celebrate the State of California in all its diversity!

The "Best of California" theme is a perfect way to describe what the annual California State Fair brings to the table.

It's a celebration of what makes California the best - wine, cheeses, artists, innovations, agricultural products, culinary delights, fabulous eco-systems and amazing scenery.

But, hey, it's still a fair, right? So you've also got your entertainment, midway games and carney rides, livestock shows, concerts, and live horse racing, plus exhibits of every description!

California State Fair
July 11 - 27, 2014
CalExpo Fairgrounds, Sacramento, CA

The California State Fair - Everything a State Fair Should Be!

For more about Sacramento, visit Discover Sacramento, CA. To see photos of Downtown, Midtown, the Fab40s, and more, check out our, Facebook Albums.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Sacramento"

July Event: Grass Valley

Dedicated to bringing you the world's finest artists in music and dance!

Banana Slug Band;
Photo by Alan Sheckter; Courtesy California Worldfest
Banana Slug Band, CA Worldfest

The annual California Worldfest starts today at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley and runs through Sunday, July 13.

Worldfest brings you artists like the Banana Slug String Band, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli, The Kruger Brothers, Carlos Nunez, Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, Matuto, There is No Mountain, and the Clowns Not Bombs Circus

The festival features eight stages, camping, workshops, international foods, fine crafts, and a fabulously-acclaimed children's program, along with the musical and dance performances ranging from Afro/pop to Bulgarian harmonies to Latin to bluegrass to Scottish fiddle tunes to rock & roll to jumpin' jazz to Gypsy to folk to new accoustic to mariachi to Russian folk to swing to jazz to gospel to Bollywood to the newest Celtic incarnations. Something for everyone!

California Worldfest
July 10 - 13, 2014
Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley

So head for Grass Valley this weekend and become a part of Bono's solution ...

"Music can change the world because it can change people"
~ Bono

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Grass Valley"

Family Friendly Hikes in Yosemite

Hiking through the gorgeous Yosemite National Park can make your family’s vacation both memorable and educational. There are many hikes that can take you

Continue reading "Family Friendly Hikes in Yosemite"

July Event: Mammoth

This weekend's Mammoth Food & Wine Experience
promises to be the best yet!

Mammoth Food & Wine Seminar;
Photo Courtesy of MammothFoodandWine.com
Mammoth Food & Wine Event Seminar Courtesy of MammothFoodandWine.com

Friday is filled with seminars, Wine Walk, Al Fresco Dining, and the Best-of-the-Best-Burger-Battle.

And Saturday continues with more food and wine seminars, and the main event: the Grand Tasting where over 25 wineries will be pour 100+ wines, culinary school teams will compete, professional chefs will offer food tastings, entertainment, and live and silent auctions will prevail.

Proceeds from this event benefit higher education and the arts in the Mammoth Lakes area.

Mammoth Food & Wine Experience
Friday, July 11 - Saturday, July 12
Mammoth Lakes, California

Educating your palate while helping a worthy cause - life is good!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Mammoth"

Happy Trails With A Beer Lover

How do you keep your husband involved in the vacation planning? How do you get good food while on vacation? Here is the trick I found. “Hey honey,

Continue reading "Happy Trails With A Beer Lover"

July Event: San Francisco

There's still time to get in on the Fillmore Jazz Festival today!

Fillmore Jazz Festival;
CC Jager McConnell
Fillmore Jazz Festival CC Jager McConnell

Over 100,000 people are said to rock out on the Fillmore Jazz Festival every summer on famous Fillmore Street in San Francisco.

Touted as the largest free Jazz festival on the West Coast, Fillmore has been the happening summer place-to-be for great Jazz music since the first festival in 1985.

But Fillmore Street has been puttin' out Jazz since long before World War II - with Jazz clubs and record shops, and performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and so many more jazz legends.

The festival continues today with three stages "Celebrating Women of Jazz and Beyond" from 10 am to 6 pm.

Fillmore Jazz Festival
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Fillmore Street, San Francisco

Be there or be square!

For more about San Francisco, visit Discover San Francisco.

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September


Continue reading "July Event: San Francisco"

July Event: Truckee

The 7th annual Beerfest & Bluegrass Festival is
being held today, July 5, at Northstar Village

Beerfest & Bluegrass Festival;
Photo Courtesy of NorthstarCalifornia.com
Beerfest & Bluegrass Festival Courtesy of NorthstarCalifornia.com

If you were out watching the fireworks last night, you likely missed the Brew Master's Dinner at Northstar, but there's still time to get in on the fun!

Head to the Village at Northstar this afternoon for some jammin' to live music, plenty of beer sampling from over 25 breweries - Alaskan Brewing Company, Deschutes Brewery, and Lagunitas Brewing Company included - fun family festivities, smokin' BBQ, and hours of true-blue Bluegrass entertainment.

Featured Bluegrass bands are Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players (from 3 - 4:30) and Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys (from 5 - 7).

7th annual Beerfest & Bluegrass Festival
July 5, 2014; 3 pm to 7 pm
Northstar Village, Truckee, CA

The 4th may be over, but the fun is definitely not!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Continue reading "July Event: Truckee"

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