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Independence Day Traditions 

The Fourth of July holiday weekend has a bit of tradition surrounding it and should send your favorite memories tumbling down the sensory chute and straight into your frontal lobe. I think of my first foray into lip-on-lip action — the girl I kissed on a family campout. My family camped at the same spot every year, but she never came back. Humboldt County has its own great Fourth of July weekend traditions, too. If you're not out at a music festival, camping out looking for that girl who got away or lazily floating down the Eel River, check out a few them.

The Jim Lahman Band, Redwood Dixieland Gators, Doug Fir & the 2x4s and the John David Young Trio will all be playing on the Old Town Square stage, smack in the middle of Eureka's five-city-block Fourth of July Extravaganza. Just down the street at Second and C, you can catch Fogliner, Lyndsey Battle, the M Notes and even more of the Redwood Dixieland Gators on the stage in front of Mantova's Two Street Music. Keep walking and the Hot Rods Band will be playing at the foot of C Street from 5pm–9 p.m. as part of the summer concert series. The Hot Rods are a high-energy oldies show band from the San Francisco Bay Area, pumping out classic hits from the '50s and '60s. 

Ferndale is bringing out the stars and stripes spectacular with a full day of events including "Celebrate America" at the Ferndale Repertory Theatre at 3 p.m. "Celebrate America" features Charles Beck as Mark Twain, and Elisabeth Harrington, Kyle Ryan, Craig Walvogel, Jeremy Webb, Elena Tessler and Dianne Zuleger singing songs that honor the land of Budweiser and big ol' trucks. Tickets are $10, $5 for students. Call 1-800-838-3006 or go online at

Friday will most likely find you somewhat beer-bloated and realizing that girl/guy you were kissing in the dark under fireworks was not the person you wanted her/him to be. Chew off your arm and head to the Zeltsman Marimba Festival featuring Nancy Zeltsman and Fumito Nunoya with Pedro Carneiro playing music of Paul Simon — fist pump — and Suzanne Vega. It's a 10 spot or a five and two singles for students and seniors. The curtain rises at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, check out psychedelic-folk-Americana-revival singer-songwriter Joanne Rand at the Mattole Valley Community Center in Petrolia. The show is part CD release party for her newest, Stories from the Inside Out, and part benefit for the Mattole Elementary School. The suggested donation at the door is $10-$15 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). Bring extra cash for the bake sale at the venue. 

On Sunday, Allison Miller and Boom Tic Boom pound their way into the Arcata Playhouse at 8 p.m. Miller has played drums for everyone from Natalie Merchant to Ani DiFranco, and the group is on tour promoting their newly dropped No Morphine, No Lillies album. Miller stands alongside Myra Melford on piano, Jenny Scheinman on violin and Todd Sickafoose on bass, to play some very accessible progressive jazz. Pay specific attention to Melford as she floats and coaxes sound from her piano keeping the Miller-produced numbers tight, yet vibrant.

Another Humboldt tradition is Monday night's Rude Lion Sound funky reggae party at Ocean Grove in Trinidad. This reggae rager will leave you feeling irie and most likely hungry. Bring pudding packs, cherry limeade and goldfish crackers for the ride home. 

Happy Independence Day, Humboldt.

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Travis Turner

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