So summer is over and you're done with beer fests, right? That's a hard nein. Because on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.to 3 p.m., the green expanse of Rohner Park may as well be the Black Forest for all the Teutonic partying that'll be going on during the fourth annual Oktoberfest (free) benefiting the Fortuna Senior Center. Oh, ja.
Feast on a traditional German meal of brats (the sausages, not Hansel and Gretel), German potatoes and cabbage ($20, $15 advance, kids' meals available). As for beer, your stein runneth over with both German and local brews from which to choose. Come to think of it, can you run with your mug in hand? (Talent comes in all forms and we're not asking how you got good at it.) If so, there's a stein race and barrel races in which entrants use their Wagnerian might to roll kegs.
And what better way to celebrate the birthplace of Angela Merkel and leather shorts than with an open-air "oompah" concert from the tuba-tastic Scotia Band and the Humboldt Accordionaires. In case you've somehow hobbled through life without learning to polka, now is your chance. It could be the next swing dancing, you never know.
North Country Fair 2016 Day 2
North Country Fair 2016 Day One
Minor Theatre Opening
Every third weekend in September, the Arcata Plaza swells as thousands of revelers, families, dancers, artists, musicians, crafters and makers gather for the North Country Fair. This year, the fair falls on Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (free) and promises all the usual fun by The Same Old People, plus a few new treats.
Arcata's biggest family-friendly party never disappoints, usually taking place under abundant sunshine. This year, there are 170 art and craft vendors, three entertainment stages showcasing 18 local bands, an assortment of local food booths, kids' activities, two parades and a drumline filled with community members. The annual Samba Parade on Saturday at 1 p.m. is led by Samba da Alegria, the hip-shakin', sparkly folks who have brought the tambourine and tight drums for the last 30 years. Sunday's All Species Parade, led by the Arcata Playhouse's large and small creature creations at 1 p.m., is also open to community members. And new this year is the addition of a Wellness Row, offering community health information, tea samples, massage and yoga both days.
The North Country Fair aims to be a zero-waste event. Helping in that endeavor is SCRAP Humboldt and its zero-waste kids' craft zone where kids (of all ages) can create something wild for the All-Species Parade with reused materials. Pitch in and bring your own pint cups for beer and refillable bottles for water.
The Minor Theatre, Arcata's iconic and beloved movie house, is cleaned up, back under local ownership and ready for its close-up.
A decade ago, under corporate rule, the Minor shifted to playing the same blockbusters and mainstream films as everywhere else, and a piece of many an arthouse-film-loving Humboldtian died. The Minor had always been the alternative to the popular crowd — the quiet, creative kid. When its lightbulb-lined marquee announced titles like Mission Impossible III and You, Me and Dupree, those of us who'd fed our indie appetites there for years blinked in disbelief and shuffled off to the local video store.
Resurrected with blood, sweat and new owners Joshua Neff and Merrick McKinlay's "love of local," the Minor Theatre will once again fill the Arcata air with the salty scent of popcorn — this time with swanky seats, local goodies and adult beverages, plus snappy new sound, screen and projection systems. Put on your best black-tie attire for its Grand Reopening and Short Film Festival, Sept. 16-18 ($10). Opening night starts at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, featuring an evening of locally produced short films, a live film scoring of a classic Buster Keaton chase sequence and a recreation of the original opening night photo taken in 1914 (hence the black tie). Also, Neff and McKinlay promise a special "secret cinema screening" at the end of the evening. Intrigue!
Because smaller is better and everyone who's anyone will be there, seating will be limited. Tickets are online at www.minortheatre.com.
Wrap up the sweetness of summer at an outdoor gathering with good friends, great food, fun beverages and live music. You've got two high-stepping parties in the greenery this week. Pick your pleasure and dress accordingly.
First up is Barntini! Martinis in the Barn, the annual benefit for the Jacoby Creek Land Trust and the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center at Kokte Ranch and Nature Preserve on Friday, Sept. 9 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. ($35, $30 advance). Sip on Dutch and Dewey vodka martinis, enjoy the taco bar with home-made tortillas, Kokte Ranch grassfed beef and all the fixin's, and oysters poppin on the grill around a fire. A silent auction, dancing and music by the Honkey Tonk Detours round out the evening.
Down the highway a stretch on Saturday, Sept. 10 is the sixth annual Garden Gala at Humboldt Botanical Garden from 1 to 5 p.m. ($60, $50 for members, $50, $40 advance, free for children under 12). The fragrant and fancy garden is the perfect setting for an afternoon of barbecue, wine, pizza and root-beer floats, all to the music of Vintage Soul. Bring the kids to remind them that discovering a butterfly or a beetle is just as exciting as catching a Pokémon.
See, saying goodbye to summer isn't that bad.
We're cool here on the coast. And what's cooler than classic cars or motorcycles? It seems like there's a car show, expo, ride, run, show, shine or swap happening more times on our calendar than in most places.
One of the coolest of cool things we do is Cruz'n Eureka. The fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods kicks off its three-day run with the Eureka Napa Poker Run on Thursday, Sept. 8 starting at the Red Lion Hotel at 6 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 9, there's a full day of car ogling and cruising starting with a Show and Shine on Commercial Street between Fourth and Fifth in Eureka from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (free). At 5:30 p.m., catch the cars lining up under Samoa Bridge before the Cruz' through Old Town at 6 p.m. (free). Close out the day with the coolest dude to strap on a duty belt and slap a siren on top of his car when Steve McQueen stars in Bullitt at the Eureka Theater at 7:30 p.m. (price TBA). Saturday, Sept. 10 is the Cruz'n Eureka Car Show in Old Town from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (free). Stick around to see who takes home trophies at the Car Show Awards at the gazebo at 3 p.m. (free).
Fans of two-wheeling action can check out the Moto Envy Show, a bike show and slow race hosted by and at the Black Lightning Motorcycle Café on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. (free). Drool over the sweet rides and vote for the best in categories like café, vintage, sport/racer, vintage racer, custom, rat, daily rider and more. Basically, whichever bike is envied most wins. Cool.
I Block Party 2016