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Catch A Buzz At The Honey Bee Festival

The biggest event of the year in Palo Cedro – the Honey Bee Festival – is set for this weekend, September 11 and 12, at Bishop Quinn Catholic Center.

Now in its 30th year, the Honey Bee Festival typically draws 5,000 to 7,000 people for two full days of live entertainment, food, arts and crafts, children’s activities and, of course, honey. Festival coordinator Emilie Reedy said the event is “just as popular as ever,” as evidenced by the 100-plus vendors who have registered.

“There are a lot of really nice arts and crafts, children’s furniture that’s handmade, jewelry, homemade crocheted items, pottery and ceramics,” said Reedy, who noted vendors are coming from as far away as the Sacramento region and Southern Oregon. “I think we’re better situated with vendors this year than last year. It’s a good time for holiday shopping.”

The infamous beard of bees.
Each day begins with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., the Boy Scouts officially commence the day’s activities with a flag-raising ceremony. Some brave soul will wear a beard of bees at 11:30 a.m. each day. The antique tractor parade is so popular that it is scheduled four times, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. New this year is the Little Miss Honey Bee Festival pageant at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Many activities for children, including an arts and crafts “bee hive,” face painting and a bounce house, are also available. Live entertainment by local musicians and singers runs just about nonstop, and there’s never any shortage of burgers, dogs, sweets and Foothill High School FFA tri-tip sandwiches.

“Nobody needs to go hungry,” Reedy said with a laugh.

And don’t forget to pick up a supply of fresh honey from local beekeepers. There will be many varieties of the sweet and sticky stuff from which to choose.

The Honey Bee Festival, which raises funds for the long-planned Palo Cedro community park, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and from 8:30 to 4 on Sunday. Organizers suggest that visitors arrive early in the day and check in at the information booth to get oriented. Bishop Quinn Catholic Center is at 21893 Old 44 Drive, just north of Highway 44, in Palo Cedro. There is no admission charge.

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Other good stuff this weekend:

• It’s the second Saturday, so that means it’s time for ArtHop. This month’s ArtHop includes the grand opening of the Market Street Promenade art project. At 8 p.m., artist Russell Rock and architect Jeanine Centuori are scheduled to discuss their vision and the completed design. At 8:15, it will be time to hit the lights on this very cool project. The Downtown Redding Business Association is sponsoring a champagne reception starting at 7:15. Stop by the blue benches at the south end of the old mall and a raise a toast to everyone who had a hand in the effort.

• A Latino independence days celebration is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the KC Grove in Anderson River Park. Lots of great food and drink, music, folkloric dancing, and children’s games, as well as demonstrations by Ginetes (Mexican cowboys) with their dancing horses, are on tap. And if you want to see a grown man cry, don’t miss the jalapeño-eating contest at 1 p.m.

Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and says tamales aren’t just for Christmas. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.