Thursday, December 31, 2015

To Your Health

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • File photo

Hiking, paddling, walking — there are plenty of healthy, outdoorsy things to do on this first day of 2016. Put down the remote, yank up those comfy yoga pants Santa left you and lace up your new sneakers. Resolutions or not, a day spent out in Humboldt's natural beauty and fresh air is a grand day, indeed. (And while a little hair of the dog might be a good thing the day after ringing in the New Year, please leave Fido at home for these adventures.)

As part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative that encourages families to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, the First Day Hike at Dry Lagoon on Friday, Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. (free), is a perfect opportunity to start off the New Year on the right foot.

The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is also lovely place to take in a wide array of natural habitats and inhabitants. Join like-minded friends for an easy-going, hour-and-a-half-long New Year's Day Walk starting at 10 a.m. starting at the first parking lot on the South I Street entrance (free).

If you'd rather sit than stride, you can drop into a kayak or canoe for the First Day Paddle Tour at Stone Lagoon Visitor Center Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. and paddle around on a peaceful 4-mile trip (free). Bring your own vessel or rent one for half price from Kayak Zak's.

Nothing like heading outdoors to turn over a new leaf.

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Revelry before Resolution

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 4:00 AM


New Year's Eve ... it's time for your last hurrah. Come Jan. 1, all your bad habits will be a thing of 2015, right? Riiiight. No really, right. You mean it this year. Here's where you can tip your glass to Father Time and pinch Baby New Year on his little bottom for luck. And remember, should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind, make sure you designate a sober driver for the evening beforehand.

On Thursday, Dec. 31, the Sapphire Palace at Blue Lake Casino comes to glittering life when Portland's fabulous drag performers, Caravan of GLAM, take to the stage and take you through the decades. It's high-kicking fun. Pressure Anya provides the sounds with visual styling by Marmalade Sky. Show starts at 9 p.m. ($35 VIP, $25).

The name of Cher-Ae Heights Casino's event at 9 p.m. says it all: Totally Awesome '80s New Year's Eve with Dr. Squid (free). If you can't have a good time at this one, you should probably just stay home and watch the ball drop on TV with your cat. And your grandma.

Things get rip roaring at the 1920s-themed New Year's Eve Glitter & Gold party at Bear River Casino with party favors, a balloon drop and music by the Undercovers and Lighting Boom Productions (free).

Scotia Inn's ritzy shindig takes place from 7 p.m. to midnight with appetizers, party hats, a jazz band, and a glass of bubbly on the house at midnight ($25/person, $45/couple).

What about the kids? They can have fun at the RampArt New Year's Celebration at RampArt Skatepark from 9 p.m to 1 a.m. ($15). No Champagne toast, but plenty of live music, skating and good times.

And if you want to dance your way into 2016 as a family, head to Redwood Raks from 6 to 8 p.m. for the Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Party complete with disco lighting, pot luck dinner, a balloon drop and a bouncy house ($8).

See you next year.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Art House Kids

Posted By on Sun, Dec 20, 2015 at 4:00 AM

A Single Life
  • A Single Life

Do your kids still whine about not being able to see the Spike and Mike animation festivals? Have the little ones watched all the holiday specials a dozen times each? Is the new Star Wars too mainstream for them? Take heart. Richards' Goat Tavern and Tea Room brings the best of the NY International Children's Film Festival to its miniplex on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 24 at 4 p.m. ($6.50). It's 70 minutes of G-rated shorts from all over the world to entertain your burgeoning film buffs without a toy tie-in.

The eight movies in the selection include live action, animation and stop motion gems with Oscar bait written all over them. The Czech animated short Mythopolis features the cutest little Minotaur and other classical creatures with modern problems. Stop motion fans will dig The Single Life, a film from the Netherlands about a woman who discovers the power of vinyl as she time travels via an old record, and Johnny Express, a South Korean offering in which a delivery man in the year 2150 slacks his way through space. From Denmark and Afghanistan, we get the live-action film Layla's Melody — the story of a young girl studying music in Kabul with the looming worries about an arranged marriage.

Expect lively conversation from adults and kids alike on the trip home. But beware: Next year they'll probably want to direct.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Show of Force

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 1:40 PM

The Force is strong with this one. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The Force is strong with this one.
Wow. I mean ... Just... Wow. I was ready to roll out the Star Wars puns and unleash all kinds of Jedi-like cleverness on this post, and then comes this picture of local Tattoo artist Justin Love with the helmet and those knuckles. Oh, and what's that he's driving? It's a Ford Falcon. Well played, sir. Well played.

Love was one of many who braved the cold, wet dreariness that was Humboldt's Thursday night to check out the much-hyped local premier of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Broadway Cinema, where a line stretched around the building well in advance of the opening screening. There were storm troopers, a Yoda beanie and the most aDarthable family you'll ever see. (Sorry, just couldn't help it).

Local photographer Mark McKenna was on scene taking it all in and shared the following slideshow. (Those KNUCKLES!!!)

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Cinematic Cheer

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 4:00 AM

The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol.

There are two kinds of people: those who have a favorite holiday movie and those on the naughty list for being straight-up liars. Even the most heartless film critic has a favorite, whether it's Jimmy Stewart saving the town in It's a Wonderful Life or Bruce Willis shimmying through the air ducts in Die Hard, because the variety is endless. This week's big-screen line-up is your chance to come out of the ornament storage closet and live your truth.

Start with the classics. The Eureka Theater shows Christmas in Connecticut on Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. ($5). It's Barbara Stanwyck as a phony of a food writer trying to fake a Pioneer Woman lifestyle for her editor (Sydney Greenstreet) and a returning vet (Dennis Morgan).

On Sunday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. you can push aside all your conflicted feelings about the rebooted series and relax into the familiarity of The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) with Michael Caine as Scrooge at the Arcata Theatre Lounge ($5).

Do you need an excuse to hit the grand, old Winema Theater? How about pizza and a B movie? On Sunday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m., you can take the family for dinner, music by Winema Winds and a showing of Santa Conquers the Martians (dinner $5, $3 kids under 6; movie $5, $3 kids 6-16, free to kids 5 and under). The title kind of says it all.

Maybe next year you can stop pretending you've never seen Love, Actually.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bright Lights, Big Rigs

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Layer up, fill the thermos with hot cocoa and figure out the nighttime photo option on your phone. It's time for the light-covered convoys of many colors to come rolling through Humboldt. Is this the year you blow the kids' minds by taking them to all three free events? Grinch, it might be.

  • Courtesy of KEKA

Warm up your engines in Fortuna on Friday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m., when the Electric Lighted Truck Parade takes off from the Redwood Village Shopping Center. You'll want to scout out a spot along Main Street early like the pros with folding chairs and lap blankets.

Eureka is next with its Trucker's Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 12, leaving from Redwood Acres at 6 p.m. Bring warm gloves and wave like mad at all the folks along for the ride, because you are not too cool for this and Santa is watching.

Top off the electric weekend with the farmer-powered Lighted Tractor Parade down Ferndale's Main Street on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. The Deeres and Caterpillars cruise downtown with as much sparkle as those 18-wheelers, so don't miss the heavy machinery light show.

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A Little Variety Courtesy of Arcata Playhouse

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Take a break from the fireplace channel and head out for some vintage Vaudeville entertainment. Tune in for the Bigfoot Lodge Holiday Radio Hour at the Arcata Playhouse at 8 p.m. from Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13 ($12; $10 seniors, veterans and members; $8 kids 12 and under).

Bigfoot Lodge Holiday Radio Hour at the Arcata Playhouse
  • Bigfoot Lodge Holiday Radio Hour at the Arcata Playhouse

Some heavy hitters are signed on, from sets by Lush Newton and James Hildebrandt to Bob Wells and David Ferney paying homage to Laurel and Hardy. And Lord help the mister who comes between Joan Schirle and Jackie Dandeneau singing "Sisters" from White Christmas with music by Tim Randles (and if you haven't seen that movie yet, for the love of tinsel watch it before anyone finds out and you end up a casualty in the War on the War on Christmas).

Besides, Sasquatch is set to make an appearance and seeing him on stage is warmer and less socially awkward than staking out a spot in the woods with Bobo. (Sorry, Bobo, but last weekend was weird.) Other guest stars abound, including the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir on Friday night, Bandemonium on Saturday and The Brendas on Sunday. You might want to call ahead for tickets so you're not left out of the lodge.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Theater Kids

Posted By on Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 7:35 AM


Sometimes the craft we experience this time of year isn't of the yarn and wreath variety, but rather that of staging, scene and Stanislavsky. Theater students from two area schools — Dell'Arte International and Humboldt State University — have dug deep and brought forth their best and it's time to give them props. Cue the lights.

HSU's Anton in Show Business features all-female cast playing characters of both genders in this satiric comedy directed by Rae Robison. Catch the "madcap comedy that follows three actresses across the footlights, down the rabbit hole and into a strangely familiar Wonderland that looks a lot like American theatre" on Friday, Dec. 4, Saturday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gist Hall Theatre ($10, $8, limited free seating for HSU students).

Next, take a look behind the facade with Dell'Arte's MFA student show, The Character Projects. Running four days and featuring students from Denmark, Sweden, Greece, South Korea, India, Zimbabwe and the U.S., the show is the culmination of the students' study of the transformation of actors through their characters and how plays take shape from the performers' imaginations. Catch the magic Dec. 10-13, 8 p.m. at Dell'Arte's Carlo Theatre (pay what you can).

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Got a Light?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 9:35 AM


Brace your elves, the holiday season is upon us. Things are about to get a lot more merry and bright as towns throughout the county flip their switches and light their menorahs. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches? Well, let's have a look.

Thursday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. Strongs Creek Plaza in Fortuna holds its Holiday Open House, with tree lighting at 7 p.m. (free).

The Season of Wonder and Light in Arcata kicks off Friday, Dec. 4 from 5 to 9 p.m. on the Plaza with stories, songs, blessings and the lighting of the trees (free).

Saturday, Dec. 5, several celebrations take place from Willow Creek to Rio Dell. The Community Tree Lighting happens at 5 p.m. at the Community Commons in Willow Creek. Enjoy the lighting of the tree, Christmas carolers and hot chocolate (free). If you're in Eureka, swing by the Inn for the local holiday favorite, the Eureka Inn Tree Lighting at 5 p.m. (free). Heading south a bit, you'll find the skies lighting up with holiday sparkle at the Rio Dell and Scotia Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting Ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. with Christmas carols, Santa handing out candy canes and tree lighting at 6 p.m. (free).

On Sunday, Dec. 6, take the picturesque drive out to Ferndale to enjoy cookies and cocoa and see the huge spruce at the end of Main Street light up at 5:30 p.m. (free).

In Arcata on Sunday, Chanukah on the Plaza takes place at 4:30 p.m. There'll be a menorah lighting, dreidels, music, raffle, face painting and more (free).

And on Wednesday, Dec. 9 the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor's Center in Weott features homemade treats and caroling at 6 p.m., with the tree lighting and a visit from Santa at 7 p.m. (free).

That ought to brighten things up.

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