When Summerfest fizzled at the last minute on Aug. 16, organizers vowed to refund vendors and pay back disappointed music fans with a free show. On Monday from 12-8 p.m., the Summerfest folks make good on the free music at Humboldt Brews featuring the Rezonators and the Fickle Hillbillies. They'll also be selling the concert shirts off their backs with an everything-must-go fundraiser swag sale.
Yes, that guy with the hat and glasses is Bobcat Goldthwait, iconic '80s comedian who starred in Police Academy and once lit the Tonight Show set on fire. If you don't recognize him, it's probably because he's been making the funny behind the scenes in recent years, directing The Jimmy Kimmel Show and his black comedy with a heart of gold God Bless America, among other things. Now he's back on the stand-up circuit with his "You Don't Look the Same Either" tour.
On Sunday at 8 p.m., Goldthwait is bringing his cracking voice and filthy mouth to the Arcata Theatre Lounge (18 and older, $22 at the door, $18 in advance). These days, his act touches on his long-running career and involves almost no screeching.
Hey, wasn't he just here with that Willow Creek horror movie? Indeed, he was, so a Bigfoot sighting is not out of the realm of possibility. If nothing else, we're having a lot of Bobcat sightings up here in Humboldt. Don't worry — he's probably not going to light anything on fire. But maybe check the exits just in case.
Maybe you missed the Rodeo Barbecue. Maybe you missed Hops in Humboldt. Maybe the Mad River Summerfest washout left you one outdoor festival short of a summer. Maybe you've just been trapped indoors, growing like a pale, little mushroom without sunlight.
Fear not — the So Hum Beer Fest and BBQ Smoke Off is coming to your rescue. At 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Mateel Community Center, $15 gets you in for barbecue samples and music. Chow down and use your sticky fingers to vote for the best thing off the grill. For $25, the drafts of breweries and home brewers from near and far are yours to taste and judge. The champion brewer takes home a plaque, and you take home a commemorative glass. Just be sure a sober driver is taking you home.
Surf rockers Aloha Radio will be squeezing out the last drops of that beachy summer vibe you'll be sighing over in November. But keep your beard on, because Rooster McClintock is bringing the honky-tonk that mingles so well with the smell of barbecue and beer.
See? Even if you spent the last three months in your windowless office/on your couch hypnotized by Netflix, you can still have a summer. Maybe put on a little self-tanner first.
The clutch of industrial buildings known lately as Arcata's creamery district is in the midst of a revival. It's an artsy enclave — home to the Arcata Playhouse, Redwood Raks dance studios, Holly Yashi Jewelry and the Kinetic Sculpture Lab, among others — and it's throwing itself a three-day coming out party.
Friday's Elemental night starts at 8 p.m. west of K Street by the old creamery building, and it sounds dreamy. All those lanterns you've seen at the farmers market make their debut alongside huge sculptural lanterns on parade through the streets with stilt walkers and giant puppets. There's a shadow play, salsa dancing, even a choir singing before it wraps up with an outdoor showing of Buster Keaton's silent classic The General with a live score from a five-piece band.
On Saturday starting at 11 a.m., a dozen local bands, including 51 Cards, La Patinas, Bandamonium, Lemon Lemon Cherry and Kingfoot, rock the block with a day of free music (full schedule at creameryfestival.com). Stroll around and check out street performers, craft booths, food vendors, kinetic sculptures and SCRAP Humboldt's kids' area. The Randles, LaBolle and Amirkan trio jazz things up from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. before violinist Jenny Scheinman takes the stage at 8 p.m., followed by sax quartet The Tiptons and guest drummer Scott Amendola ($15, $13 for students). The afterparty is over at the Arcata Playhouse, where Los Angeles troupe Wet the Hippo ($10) is funnin' with some improv and sketch comedy.
Sunday morning at 11 a.m., get the good news from the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir, followed by the Scotia Band. At 2 p.m., turn the clock back at the Big Top Vaudeville Variety Show — rope tricks, a tap dancing saxophonist (what's with all the sax?) and some Wild West stunts ($10, $7 for kids). Here goes the neighborhood.
The tenth annual Hops in Humboldt beer festival on Saturday in Rohner Park is your chance to bask in beer without the lederhosen and oompah ($40). Here's how it's done.
First, leave the kids and pets at home. It's a beer festival.
It should also go without saying that you need an exit strategy. Plan A: Take the bus. Buses run from Fortuna to Eureka and Arcata, and the $2.75 fare spares you, other drivers, pedestrians and local law enforcement much grief. Plan B: Snag a designated driver. Non-drinkers get in for $5, and paying for your D.D.'s ticket and a day's worth of festival grub is still cheaper and more fun than the aforementioned grief. Be generous and your D.D. may even be merciful with Facebook footage.
Eat. There will be a tomorrow, so you need to put down a base. Tamales, tri-tip, "beer-kissed" sundaes and frozen cookie dough on a stick are all on the menu. Order before the taps open at 1 p.m., while you still have some judgment.
Drink. So many craft beers, so little time/room in your body. Last count was 40 participating breweries bringing all manner of IPA's, stouts, sours and more. You need a strategy. Of course you want to sip some classics, so put aside about 20 percent of your internal real estate for those. With the rest, drink around. Take advantage of the sheer variety before you and expand your palette — discover what you didn't know you loved. Then, armed with experience, text your favorite for the Taster's Choice Award.
Be Merry. Slather on the sunscreen and revel in outdoor fun (nobody likes a festival burn). Shop the local crafts and get a temporary tattoo — no regrets! Beer-themed games are afoot, too, like beer bottle ring toss. Is beer pong over? Give Drink-O a try. That's the name. What else do you need to know? Keep in mind all the proceeds go to area nonprofits, which means you're not just day-drunk in the park — you're a philanthropist.
So when they shut it down at 6 p.m., hug your D.D. a little too long and roll home happy.
Humboldt State University is turning 100 — have a cookie! A whole year of events is planned, but the kick-off party is this Saturday. So pick up your kale at the farmers market and hang around the Arcata Plaza for all kinds of college-level fun at the centennial celebration from 4-7 p.m.
The Humboldt Folklife Society has five bands lined up to keep you dancing including Huckleberry Flint and The Striped Pig String Band, and the Marching Lumberjacks are cutting in. Oh, too cool for band? Perhaps you haven't seen the suspender-rocking musicians do their thing. You'll want to.
Not kidding about the cookies! Birthday cookies (which maybe we should all give a second look as an option) from Ramone's are free to the masses. Also, lawn dancing works up an appetite, so Pasta Luego, Luke's Joint, the Alibi and Cafe Brio are all coming to your rescue with take-out specials for the occasion.
Little hands love to roam all over the Discovery Museum and HSU's Natural History Museum, both of which have teamed up on a kids' zone. Sneakily educational activities aren't all, though. Strolling street performers, puppeteers, antique cars and fire truck rides round out the entertainment.
The crafty folks of Blue Ox Artisans, Humboldt Hardware and Monument Settings are demonstrating their skills for the curious. Inspired? Commemorate the day with a historically themed portrait in the photo booth.
Best of all, no finals.
The Facebook page for this past weekend's cancelled Mad River Summerfest reads like a slow car crash. That queasy feeling began with the announcement of a delay "due to logistical issues" on Friday evening at 7:47 p.m., nearly two hours after The Rezonators were to take the stage. Those issues later turned out to be insurance related.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, with vendors and ticket holders already showing up for the second day of music at Christie's Pumpkins, organizers finally cried "uncle" and posted that the concert was indeed cancelled. Bands scrambled to find alternate venues, and vendors and would-be audience members asked (some rhetorically) how they'd get their money back. While vendors will be paid back, Summerfest organizers announced that they would repay ticket holders with a do-over concert.