Free Entrance At National Parks This Weekend


Did you take my advice and break away from the football games on television last weekend? If you did, you’re welcome. If not, there’s still hope for you this weekend.

The tube will offer another 14-plus hours of “must see” football once again this Saturday and Sunday, and that doesn’t count the endless pre- and post-game gabbing. Really, you don’t need to watch all of it. There are too many good things to do this weekend in and around Shasta County, especially if the forecasters are right and the mercury really does hit 60 in the North Valley. Let’s get started …

• Free parking … National parks are not charging admission for the entire long weekend. That’s right, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and all the other National Park Service properties in the good ol’ USA are free from January 15 through 17. Hike to one of the roaring waterfalls at Whiskeytown or try snowshoeing at Lassen. Other fee-free days are scheduled for National Park Week (April 16-24), the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (September 24) and Veterans Day weekend (November 11-13).

• Don’t try this at home … The Peking Acrobats are scheduled to return to the Cascade Theatre in downtown Redding for the first time in five years this Sunday, January 16. Everyone who sees this show raves. Previous appearances by the troupe sold out, and Sunday’s performance is darn near full, so act accordingly.

• Ready, set, go … If you haven’t spent the past four or five months training, it’s probably not a good idea to sign up today for Sunday’s Redding Marathon. But the Sundial Bridge 5K is also on Sunday, and you may still register. Hang around after you finish to cheer the marathon runners and gain inspiration for next year.

• A day on … Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and there is an extensive program to mark the event at Redding’s Old City Hall and the MLK Multicultural Center, as well as an organized march between the facilities. For details, call the MLK center at (530) 225-4375.

• Almost local … Sustainable farming celebrity Joel Salatin, made famous by author Michael Pollan and the films “Food, Inc.” and “FRESH The Movie,” is scheduled to speak at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, January 17, at the Chico Masonic Family Center. A sellout is likely, so don’t expect to get tickets at the door. Salatin also is scheduled to speak at a sustainable food and farm conference in Grass Valley on January 22. Of course, then you’d have to miss Shasta County’s own forum on expanding the local food system.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and co-author of Guide to California Planning, a reference book and college text. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.