Hide your Volvos and Volkswagens — the monster truck show is in town at Redwood Acres.
Starting Aug. 26, local residents can join the concert and jazz bands through community education classes at College of the Redwoods. If you've got some musical chops, you can tune up alongside matriculating students studying the history, skills and general ins and outs of playing in a concert or in the studio. Brian Newkirk is teaching the concert band class and William Allison is teaching the studio and jazz class. It's strictly B.Y.O. Instrument, and both bands perform for the public at the end of the semester.
Can't choose? The courses, $149 each, are two for one this semester. Check them out here.
Those on the side of good rally quickly around here. If you missed the fundraiser for Josephine Johnson at Mad River Brewery last Sunday, you can still make a donation to replace her stolen goods here.
Just over a week ago, Johnson (she of the guitar, newsboy hat and lovely music) was robbed. Her stuff (right down to the Q-tips) was stolen from her "crack shack" apartment by nefarious types. Check out her blog for details of the crime. According to her Facebook page, police are looking into fingerprints on a doughnut box left at the scene. Really.
And here's a ditty from our local songstress, just because.
Bridgeville is one of Humboldt's little gems, a friendly and quaint village nestled among the redwoods in the rural reaches of the county. Don't let Bridgeville's bucolic smallness fool you, though; that town knows how to have a good time. Saturday, Aug. 17, is the 17th annual Bridgefest and Flying Saucer Contest, and it is a sight to behold.
Held on the old, stone Bridgeville Bridge, the festival-based contest is both an exercise in physics and a costume extravaganza. Costumed contestants compete, following the detailed rules found on the event's website, to design, build and flawlessly launch and land hand-propelled flying saucers (think Frisbees, but more sciency). In teams of two, the contestants participate in front of a panel of three local judges and are awarded points for multiple criteria: design, overall performance and presentation, accuracy (there's actually a bulls-eye), distance and so much more! Anyone can enter with a $5 fee, and you can register from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the event.
If the spectacle of silly people doing strange things isn't appealing enough, keep in mind there's an entire festival surrounding this contest. There will be a slew of local vendors and live music from Attila & Friends, Melange, Knights of the Van Duzen, and many more. No one should launch flying saucers on an empty stomach, of course, so the Bridgeville Fire Department will be barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs. That is a lot of fun and entertainment for a free event.
If there's one thing we don't have a shortage of in HumCo, it's festivals dedicated to fish (I'm counting bivalves as fish in this instance). No complaints, of course; fish is delicious and festivals are fun! This weekend, Saturday, Aug. 17, is the 51st annual Yurok Tribe's Klamath Salmon Festival, and deliciously cooked salmon is only a fraction of what this festival has to offer.
The day kicks off with a veteran's breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Klamath Community Center, then a parade at 10 a.m., followed by the salmon barbecue at 11 a.m. The barbecue lunch is only $10 and includes locally caught Klamath salmon, Brio bread, salad from Ocean Air Farms and a side of fruit. Yurok Tribe Director of Public Relations Matt Mais described the traditional salmon barbecuing process over the phone: The salmon is speared onto redwood sticks and the sticks are driven into the ground at an angle, with the salmon roasting over an open flame. "It's delicious," he says. It's probably safe to assume that's true.
The rest of the day's events are more free-flowing. The barbecue keeps coming throughout the day, and so does the entertainment. There's a classic car show, a cribbage tournament, a traditional Indian card game tournament and a traditional stick game tournament. Mais said there was no way to compare the card game to any game people might already be familiar with. "It includes traditional drumming and singing, and takes about four hours to complete." The stick game tournament is a "combination of lacrosse and wrestling." This isn't like rugby-style, athletic scrambling, but actual wrestling, as in pinning another person to the ground via a series of strategic holds, but with lacrosse. All of these events are free, too. The only charge is for the salmon lunch.
The Yurok Klamath Salmon Festival is more than just a good time; it's a chance to experience the rich cultures that are such a vital part of HumCo. Plus, delicious food. Head on over to yuroktribe.org for more information.
Who doesn't love a fair? Rides, games, fried food, livestock, crafts and more fried food. For a brief moment, I felt like I'd covered all that with at Redwood Acres and the rodeo in Fortuna. But the Humboldt County Fair, now in its 117th year, is the mother of them all. It's on from Aug. 14-25 at the Ferndale Fairgrounds, and resistance is futile.
After all, you're not going to stay home and miss that sweet cut-grass-in-the-evening smell, the tilt-a-whirl lights coming on at sunset and the joy of walking around and tipping your hat at your neighbors. Nor are you going to skip the races.
There are a couple of ways to approach the races. Some bet with elaborate systems on every race, jealously guarding their picks. Other more capricious types choose a name and cross their fingers. Some people just look at it as a chance to wear a fancy hat. That might be the way to go for the risk-averse, but why not gamble something?
Even if you're not a gambler, put down a few bucks, kiss your ticket for luck and yell like crazy when the horses make their final turn. (Full disclosure: Last year, after two horses dropped out of a race, I bet everything on Divorce Attorney — how is that horse not a money maker? — to win, place or show. It just had to stay out of the last two places. No such luck. Meanwhile, a two-year old kid next to me picked the trifecta for her mother. You just never know.)
If you prefer slower moving livestock, there are barns full of 4-H animals for you to inspect with your thumbs hooked in your pockets. Then you can grab a bag toasty kettle corn and peruse the exhibits and goodies from all over the county. On your way out, if you have any money at all left over from the carnival games and the races, pick up some jam or a pie and make that county fair feeling last a little longer.