Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summertime activities, even though I’d swear summer started only a week or two ago. Those looking to get away from the North Valley heat might consider Mount Shasta, which has booked a collection of mostly laid-back events this weekend.
Things start at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 2, with a car cruise from Mt. Shasta Little League Park (on Everitt Memorial Highway) to Shastice Park, where a barbecue tri-tip and chicken dinner will be served starting at 5:30.
The Mount Shasta Police Department’s annual Cool Mountain Nights (huzzah for correct spelling!) car show is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday on Castle Street in downtown Mount Shasta. The car show is the focal point of a street fair that also involves food, arts and crafts, and entertainment. It’s too late to get your hot-rod into the show and cruise, but everyone is welcome to gawk, shoot photos and chat with the proud car owners. For details about the cruise and car show, call the police department at 926-7540.
Sunday’s activity gets started early with the annual Tinman Triathlon at Lake Siskiyou Resort. Hundreds of athletes are scheduled to jump in the lake for the first leg of the race at 8:30 a.m.
After you’ve finished the triathlon, or finished cheering on the triathletes, head over to Mount Shasta City Park, on Nixon Road, just off North Mount Shasta Boulevard, for the 25th anniversary Blackberry Music Festival from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The free concert features Americana duo Leslie Tift and Tom Scott at noon, the blues rock of Bill Churchill and Friends starting at 2 p.m., and the lively dance music of Yogoman Burning Band at 4 p.m.
Of course, the highlight of the festival for many people is blackberry pie, which is available by the slice and the whole pie. I recommend arriving early if you’d like a slice.
“I think we’re making 400 pies this year,” said Merle Anderson, an event organizer for the Mt. Shasta Rotary Club. “We always sell out. We’ve had people come by, buy a pie and leave. They don’t stay for the festival.”
But plenty of people do enjoy parts or all of the festival, which includes plenty of other food, beer, games and activities. For more details, contact the Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce, (530) 926-4865.
On Today’s A La Carte Menu:
• Flash Special at Turtle Bay … Have the Foursquare ap loaded on your smart phone? Good. This Friday, September 2, the first 40 guests who check in via Foursquare at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding get a free general admission ticket. If you’re a Turtle Bay member who gets in for free anyway, you’ll instead get a free ticket to the Grossology exhibit, as well as a nectar cup to feed to the birds in the parrot playhouse. If you don’t have the Foursquare ap or have no idea what I’m talking about, show up at Turtle Bay between 9 a.m. and noon on Friday and the folks from Turtle Bay and Sugar Pine Media will get you set up.
• Horsing around in Chico … Residents of Chico, or anywhere for that matter, still have time to entire Chico Palio, the event the kicks off the annual Artoberfest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 10 in downtown Chico’s City Plaza. Chico Palio is based very loosely on the famous Palio di Siena in Italy, a 350-year-old bareback horserace through the center of a town. The Chico version features a race and design competition among the artistic horses created by local artists and organizations. Learn more about the Chico event on the Palio website, and get the Artoberfest details right here.
• Singing and dancing in Chico … I don’t pretend to follow the deep Chico music scene closely, but it’s hard for even me to ignore the lineup of powerhouse musicians headed to town in a very short period of time. Plus, there’s something for just about every ear. On September 8, Willie Nelson plays Laxson Auditorium, an event that is – sorry – already sold out. On September 10, local boys-done-good The Mother Hips continue their 20th anniversary celebration with a show at the El Rey Theatre. On September 14, pick your choice of guitar heroes: Ronnie Montrose at the El Rey, or Robben Ford at Sierra Nevada Brewery’s Big Room. (Actually, the Robben Ford show is also sold out, and, no, you can’t have my ticket.) On September 16, Snoop Dogg, arguably the most influential rap musician ever, lights up the Senator Theatre. Finally, jazz icon Herbie Hancock is set for Laxson on September 20.
Paul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA. He may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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