If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, you may not see yours for some time after the Apple Harvest Festival in downtown Fortuna. The fruity fun starts early on Friday at 6 p.m. when the McLean Foundation hosts Taste of the Harvest, a night of cider sampling with music by Cliff Dallas and the Death Valley Troubadours ($25, $10 sober drivers). Proceeds go to the Wild Souls Ranch and its mission to help at-risk kids by teaching them to work with horses, so cheers to that.
The old-fashioned street fair runs on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street. Just follow the smell of apple pie, apple fritters, apple jelly and Texas barbecue. What, you thought it was just going to be fruit?
Hop a hay wagon over to the volunteer fire department for an engine ride, then to Rohner Park to hear Doug Fir and the 2x4s rock out at noon. Don't forget you've got pressing business at Clendenen's Cider Works and Apple Orchard, where you can see the cider made before you sample. A speeder car will zip you back to Eighth Street.
Come back with your shopping bags for the Apple Harvest Market on Sunday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (free). You'll want to load up on all the apple goodies, crafts and, of course, apples.
— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Are you out on the beach every weekend with your easel, or was the backyard fence the last painting you did? Beginners, pros and looky-loos can all indulge their artistic impulses during the Plein Air at the Lost Coast festival in Shelter Cove from Wednesday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 5 (free to attend, $65 registration).
There are painting workshops and daily kid-friendly walking tours with Bureau of Land Management naturalists to get your creative juices going, as well as music by Tony Nester and Chris Brannan on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Planet Four on Friday at 7:30 p.m. You can peer over the shoulders of artists at work along the shore all weekend (even more soothing to watch than Bob Ross on TV), and starting Friday, everyone can contribute to the community mural at Vern's.
On Saturday, check out the finished pieces at the Community Center at 3 p.m., followed by an awards presentation. Hang around for the reception at 7 p.m. to meet the artists and enjoy music by Ray Bevitori. Yours truly will be among the judges for both the paintings and the quick draw competition at the Benbow Inn on Sunday at 9 a.m. That's quick drawing with pictures, not guns. Right?
— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
If this century is getting you down, throw on some Dark Ages drag and get thee to the Excalibur Medieval Tournament and Market Faire at Mad River Community Hospital at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 and the following weekend, Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 ($8, $5 kids, free to kids under 5).
There are daily horse parades, some 40 vendors, costumed entertainers, 13th-century craft and skill demonstrations, medieval musicians and dudes in armor working out their feelings the old-fashioned way: with giant swords and lances. Get in on the less bruising action and test your aim in the archery competition, battle with foam swords or just stomp some grapes. Grab an ale at the Dark Horse Tavern, maybe eat some sort of meat on a stick and take a break from modern times without worrying that your favorite character is going to get killed off. Just don't forget to take a selfie with the Vikings.
— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Watching a talent competition on TV just isn't the same. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Eureka Theater, Not Your Momma's Talent Show gives you the live experience ($15, $25 VIP). The whole thing benefits NorCal Oasis and its work helping and educating people with nontraditional gender and sexual identities and their communities.
Sarah Torres, Zeke Herrera, Tribal Oasis Bellydance, Steven Alcantar, April Showers and Kalehua have all thrown their hats and headdresses into the ring for singing, dancing, juggling, burlesque and who knows what else, since this thing is 18 and over. Do you know these people? Cheer them on (or chant for the hook) as they compete before the esteemed panel of judges, Mr. Humboldt (Eric Hall), Rutabaga Queen Glitterina and KSLG's Myles Cochrane, all of whom will offer feedback before crowning a champion. Grab wine or beer (or both — competition is stressful, and there's a cash prize on the line) from the lobby bar and settle in for performances, games and giveaways. Bring your mama.
Did you forget this was coming? Because the North Country Fair is upon us Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (free).
Just like the previous 40 revels, the place will be stacked with vendors — art, crafts and food stalls to get lost (and stuffed) among. On Saturday at 1 p.m., the rhythms of Rio make their way around the plaza courtesy of the always sunny and spangly Samba da Alegria. And on Sunday at 1 p.m., the All Species Parade takes its laps (all species but dogs, that is — leave Fido at home). As for other entertainments — they are legion. Check out the three stages of all-weekend fun.
Eighth Street Stage
11:30 a.m.: Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir
2 p.m.: Jim Lahman Band
3:15 p.m. UFO8
4:45 p.m.: Elhadji Baay Faal
Ninth Street Stage
10:30 a.m.: Vanishing Pints
11:45 a.m.: Mon Petit Chou
2 p.m.: Fickle Heart
3:15 p.m.: Fire Sign
4:30 p.m.: Lost Coast Marimbas
Noon: Redwood Soo Bahk Do Karate
2 p.m.: Zumba with Marla Joy
3 p.m.: Ya Habibi Dance Company
4 p.m.: Humboldt Rockers
Eighth Street Stage
10:30 a.m.: Wild Otis
Noon: Uptown Kings
2:15 p.m.: Blacksage Runners
3:30 p.m.: Lizzy and the Moonbeams
4:45 p.m.: Asha Nan
Ninth Street Stage:
10:30 a.m.: Tin Can Luminary
11:45 a.m.: MoMosas
2 p.m.: Kingfoot
3:15 p.m.: Jan Bramlett Band
4:30 p.m.: Bayou Swamis
10:30 a.m.: Angel Fargas
Noon: Humboldt Capoeira
2 p.m.: Tribal Oasis Belly Dance
3 p.m.: Samba Na Chuva
— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Once upon a time, the North Coast Storytellers started a festival of fabulists. The Storytelling Festival By The Sea on Friday, Sept. 12, from 7 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Arcata Presbyterian Church is in its 15th year, and hasn't run out of yarn yet ($12, $10 advance, free to kids under 12).
On Friday, featured storyteller Patrick Ball and his Celtic harp will have you rapt, and the creepy Carpathian will give you the willies with ghost stories. At 10 p.m., when the under-13 crowd has gone to bed, the Cabaret variety show featuring the music of Squeeze Bug takes the stage.
Come back Saturday for a storytelling workshop, local legends from the North Coast Storytellers, Mary Lawrence, Dream Quest's youth stage, folktales with Seabury Gould and Native American tales with Frank Lake. Got the bug? Get in on the action during the story swap and, if you're feeling brave, the improvisational challenge. Go ahead — everybody's got a story.
Listen, celebrating Humboldt's LGBT community and all its supporters is a marathon, people, not a sprint. The rainbow-streaked party that is Pride weekend starts with Abruzzi's Fabulous Friday with DJs Pressure Anya and Joe-E at 9 p.m. ($5) A rhinestone's throw away is Where's Queer Bill's Rainbow Weekend Kick-off Party at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, at Humboldt Brews ($5). Hosted by fan-spinning phenom Nova Six, the evening promises dancing, comedy and dragliciousness from DJ Razorburns, Maniac, Fuscia Rae and In Love with You.
The Humboldt Pride Parade, led by Grand Marshall Todd Larsen on Saturday, Sept. 13, doesn't take off from the Eagle House in Old Town until 11:45 a.m., so you can sleep in and recover (free). The Marching Lumberjacks and Samba da Alegria will be beating their drums, however, so fair warning. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, however, can samba with them down to Halvorsen Park, where the family-friendly festival starts at noon (free).
The kiddies can jump into the bouncy house and get their faces painted, and there will be plenty of food trucks, vendors and info booths on hand. Over on the main stage, Emcee Sherae O'Shaughnessy will get the all-day party started. Then it's faux fur, feathers and feats of fabulousness from Portland's Caravan of Glam. Tribal Oasis keeps things shaking with bellydancing, and Pressure Anya will be spinning all day long for your dancing pleasure. If that leaves you parched, fear not: Helpful bartenders will be slinging beer, wine and Pride cocktails.
Are you tired? Believe in yourself. If you're over 21, you can hit the Glamorous Pride After Party with those Caravan of Glam queens at the Palm Lounge at 9 p.m. (free). Or light it up at the all ages Rainbow Glow drag and dance night with the Red Carpet Girls at Siren's Song Tavern at 10 p.m. ($5). On your mark, get set, party!
Get your oars in the water for Paddlefest on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (some classes and tours start at 9:30 a.m.) at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center (free entry, classes $5-$10). It's a lovely day on the bay for learning to stand-up paddleboard, honing your kayak skills, maybe touring some Coast Guard rescue craft and enjoying outdoor music and food.
The Eureka Channel Fun Race launches at 12:30 p.m., so be prepared to cheer. More cheering and plenty of wincing is expected during the Kokotat Cardboard Kayak Race at 3:30 p.m. Well, you can actually start worrying at 2 p.m., when teams start building their sketchy schooners with cardboard and tape. Prizes go out for actually winning the race, but finishing with your head above water is impressive enough. The creativity and Titanic prizes are some consolation, too.
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