The North Country Fair on the Arcata Plaza, Saturday Sept. 19 and Sunday, Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (free) is the quintessential Arcata festival. With arts and crafts vendors, beer, a samba parade, giant puppets, political and nonprofit booths, kids games, live music and more, the plaza's got a groovy thing goin', baby. And naturally, a city that celebrates diversity would host an all-day party that features an all-species parade.
This Humboldt County tradition, put on by the Same Old People for 42 years, welcomes the fall equinox with nearly 200 booths all around the plaza, features two stages for music and speakers (at Eighth and G streets, and Ninth and H streets) and opens the north lawn for dancing and recreating with family and friends. The Samba Parade (Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. with Samba da Alegria) and All-Species Parade (Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. with Synapsis, Bandemonium and the Northcoast Environmental Center, in memory of Tim McKay) are two of the fair's biggest attractions. Along with sumptuous food and drink, enjoy live music from a cavalcade of local performers and musicians like the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir, Lost Coast Marimbas, Ya Habibi Dance Company, Josephine Johnson, Dynasty One, the Movers and the Shakers, the Jim Lahman Band, Bayou Swamis, the Miracle Show and many, many more. Admission to the fair is free, but bring money for all the goodies you'll want to eat, imbibe and gift to someone later on.