Quick! Name One Amazing (Good) Thing About Redding

When Rocky Slaughter opened for Ben Parr recently at McConnell Foundation headquarters, Slaughter took the opportunity to also introduce his latest website, Amazing Redding.com … A Collection of Reasons Why Redding is Amazing.

Rocky Slaughter introduced Ben Parr at the McConnell Foundation last week, but he also rolled out Slaughter’s new website, Amazing Redding.com. Photo by Nigel Skeet.

The site, created by Slaughter’s Sugar Pine Media, is trying to change the conversation and perception about Redding, California, a place that’s always struggled with its Poverty Flats roots, but lately has even more identity issues.

Play the word-association game about “Redding” and you’re likely to hear common descriptions: It’s hotter than hell. It rates high when it comes to unemployment, divorce, suicide, foster-child population, registered sex offenders and domestic violence.

It scores low when it comes to things like per capita income and advanced degrees.

Maybe hometown bashing is a sport in most cities, but Slaughter says enough. It’s time to accentuate the positive. Behold, Amazing Redding.com.

I’d guess that the most obvious Amazing Redding.com submissions would include places like the Sacramento River and its trail system, and the Sundial Bridge. So far on Amazing Redding, just one famous Redding person was mentioned, Merle Haggard. And just one famous Redding-born person was listed: Kevin Rose, a young Silicon Valley millionaire.

Another “amazing” thing cited on Amazing Redding.com is that Redding has the last northern-most In ‘n’ Out Burger location in California. And Redding’s Aquatic Center has the only Olympic size swimming pool north of Sacramento.

Does it feel like we’re stretching here? Maybe. Uh, what else? Shasta Dam? Nooo, that’s not in Redding. Whiskeytown Lake (as seen above)? It’s not in Redding, either.

I kept clicking on Amazing Redding’s OK, give me another button to see more submissions on the Amazing Redding page. But by my count, there are only about two dozen answers on Slaughter’s Amazing Redding page. Some are about specific businesses, like the Dermstore, or a company that created the “Jetovator”. Other nominations have more to do with their proximity to Redding, like Shasta Lake, which, to my mind, is kind of cheating, because Shasta Lake isn’t in Redding.

So, here’s our task for the day: Name some amazing things about Redding. You can leave them in the comment section below, so we can all see them. But if you’d like, you can also go to Slaughter’s webpage and enter your response.

We can do this. Here, I’ll go first, since I tend to be attracted to some of the more quirky amazing finds, like Snoopy Rock on 299 east, but that’s outside Redding, or the Freeway Christmas Tree, but that’s outside Redding, too.

OK, just Redding …

I’ve got one! My nomination for an amazing Redding place is Jindra’s 76 Auto Service station and community message board on East Cypress in Redding. I find myself looking toward that station for a boost, and am rarely disappointed when I read messages of love, pride and joy.  Happy birthday, happy anniversary, happy retirement, welcome home, will you marry me. It’s about $5 per message. You go into the station, pick a date, and choose the message; 11 characters each on three lines. It’s a community service, and I’m always grateful Jindra’s does it, though I always expect that one day, they’ll stop.

I left a message there when oldest Josh arrived home safely from Iraq, and when youngest son Joe, his wife and their friend visited America this summer. Also, as far as I know, Jindra’s is the only full-service gas station in Redding.

My challenge to you, just for today, is to describe one amazing thing about Redding. No mention of the heat or transients or crimes or poverty or meth, please. Not today.

One Amazing Redding thing is …

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Chamberlain was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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56 Responses

  1. Andrea Charroin Andrea Charroin says:

    Driving over the river as I go towards downtown. I love looking at the trees, watching the changes in colors, and spotting the nest of some special birds.

  2. Avatar Denise says:

    The eagles!

  3. I wrote a whole song celebrating what I love about Redding:


    But I'll add one more: The lack of traffic always astounds me. I've lived in LA and the Bay Area and every time I go back, I'm amazed at the sheer volume of cars on the road and the tediousness of travel. It's such a treat to hop in the car in Redding at ANY time and be able to get from one end of town to the other in a matter of minutes.

    Love this place – and glad to know others are cheering for it, as well.

  4. Avatar Laura says:

    Lema Ranch – I love watching the seasons change as my family enjoys the walking trails. It always makes me wish I lived in the neighborhood, it's such a great resource.

  5. Avatar Patricia crow says:

    Charlie Price, an award winning Local author with five published books and passionately penning another. He's also a noted Inspirational Speaker called to instill positive pointers to the corporate

  6. Marilyn Traugott Marilyn Traugott says:

    Many outstanding local musicians and artists

  7. Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

    We've got one of the very best fireworks shows anywhere.

  8. You all rock. The morning has barely started and look how many reasons you've listed why Redding is amazing! (I agree with every one, btw.)

    Another one of MY reasons why Redding is amazing is the 10s of thousands of smart, communicative anewscafe.com readers. <3

  9. Avatar jacki g says:

    River Trail…!

  10. Avatar DougM says:

    JPR the local public radio. Great people and interesting programs. It makes my morning!

  11. Avatar Patricia crow says:

    Aww shucks, Charlie moved to Dunsmiur this week, so visit North Valley Art League in Caldwell Park where over 90 artists display their talents.

  12. Avatar dan kupsky says:

    Riverfront Playhouse"- For such cultural gems as the current " Women Of Lockerbie"

    The Beautiful Sacramento River.. The west's greatest trout fishing right in downtown!!!

  13. Avatar 2r's says:

    …..it's Surrounded by Beauty and Nature.

  14. Avatar c says:

    Cascade Theatre

  15. Avatar Terry says:

    Also we have some Amazing restaurants for our small town – Kobe, Market Street Steakhouse, Moonstone Bistro, etc. But my favorite part of Redding is how wonderfully friendly the people are – more than any other place I've ever lived.

  16. Avatar Handouts Don't says:

    The most amazing thing about Redding?

    EASY – our people!

  17. There's a lively conversation happening on my Facebook page this a.m. about this topic. (If you're on anewscafe.com, and you're not my FB "friend" send me a request.) https://www.facebook.com/doni.chamberlain.5

  18. Doni – Thanks for this article! Our community will benefit from this reminder of who we actually are.

    So far the criteria we've had (which has been loose) is to select slightly lesser known facts – not the tourist stuff. I was hoping to use the site as a vehicle to give us ammo to use in the "but, aren't you ranked as one of the worst cities for women?" discussions. Many of us – including me – don't know all the amazing things that are happening here 🙂

    Thank you thank you for everything you do and we'll have to chat again soon.

  19. Oh also – don't worry about location – really this site is about the Redding area 🙂

    • Redding-area cracks it wide open. That means we can have Snoopy Rock and the Freeway Christmas Tree! How about the Shoe Tree on Highway 36? And Whiskeytown's free Kayak Tours, and the Pedestrian Bridge, and all the north state wineries … Oh, here's a great one: The Redding Co-Op Preschool, nearly 60 years old.

  20. Avatar Kevin Schindler says:

    One word right? Sundial!

    So special to me, and it always will be. =)

  21. Avatar jacki g says:

    One word…Redding 'area'? Anselmo!

  22. Avatar Christy Largent says:

    The breathtaking beauty everywhere.

  23. Avatar c says:

    The central location – easy access to lakes, mountains, snow, international airports within a 3 hour drive.

  24. Avatar Doreen O. says:

    I love waterfalls and we can get to waterfalls with about an hour of travel from Redding every direction you can drive except south.

  25. Avatar Mickey says:

    How about the HUGE American Flag right on I-5. We have many veterans and many serving in the military from here.

  26. Avatar Dottie Smith says:

    The Sacramento River runs right through the heart of the city. Every time I drive into Redding (from the east) I look forward to that beautiful view – any season of the year.

  27. Avatar Handouts Don't says:

    This isn't fair to name just ONE amazing thing about Redding.

    There are so many.

    Our people is easily the number one amazing thing.

    We are a loving, caring and compassionate bunch that helps the sick and less fortunate. Redding boast more services, agencies and organizations who help the homeless than any other place in California. No other city as much as we do. None.

    We have excellent leadership thanks to Rick, Missy, Patrick, Francie and Gary. Thanks to their hard work we are one of the best managed cities in the country.

    So, hats off to you, Redding! An all American city of love and compassion.

  28. Avatar Stephanie says:

    All my amazing friends that I have there. I love them all and miss them dearly!!!

  29. Avatar Thomas O says:

    Agreed with the comment about musicians. In classical music alone, we have the Performing Arts Society which sponsors monthly concerts (often by people from here) and the North State Symphony. All of our middle and high schools also have great music programs.

  30. Avatar Larry says:

    Paraphrasing Goldilocks, "Not too hot, not too cold…Just right!"

  31. Avatar KarenC says:

    Driving into Redding from the east side of the river, seeing Mt. Lassen, Mt. Shasta and the mountains to the west. Crossing the Sacramento River to go into downtown to the Farmer's Market on Saturdays at City Hall. The fountain is on at our beautiful City Hall building. There is hardly any traffic at 7:00 in the morning.

    The bounty of Farmer's Markets in Redding and surrounding area is amazing. Plus, if you know enough friends who garden, who needs to go shopping at all. We all share!

  32. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    I refer you to my JUST SAYIN' article #7, published on anewscafe Jan. 2012 entitled 'JUUUUUST RIGHT!" I said it 18 months ago, and I still believe it!!!

  33. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    O.K., I couldn't let it go at that. Someone above mentioned school music programs and the symphonies (that's plural, folks). Shasta College Symphony and The North State symphony. We have more school string programs than most cities ten times our size. Highly acclaimed high school programs which includes Shasta High's Madrigal Singers and Enterprise High's Starship.

    We have famous people from the likes of Kathleen Kennedy from the movie world and most recently the producer of the highly acclaimed movie, LINCOLN; Scott Joss with Dwight Yokum for 13 years and now Merle Haggard's musical director; Megan Lynch, most recently 1/3 of the Pam Tillis Trio; Sydney Mancasola now with the Metropolitan Opera (this year's competition winner) . . . oh, yeah . . . that Jacoby girl from the Rod Stewart Band.

    We are just awesome, that's all there is to it!!!

    • I'm so glad you mentioned the other famous people, including "that Jacoby girl from the Rod Stewart Band" … I know you're a proud mama, and for good reason. (We're proud, too, and we just know her mother.)

    • Avatar Steve Fischer says:

      I want to re-emphasize the comments on local school music programs. We have three high schools right here in Redding that produce more and better music and young musicians than many towns and cities much larger than we. And they couldn't do what they do without the support of the feeder schools' programs (as AJ well knows, having been in the thick of that for many productive years). We have middle schools with music envied by big cities, fed by elementary schools and local music teachers doing a remarkable job – all with the hearty and generous support of thousands of parents and local music lovers.

      Keep it up, Redding – you are amazing!

  34. Avatar rmv says:

    The Sidewalk from U Prep, ( (was Shasta High )) to the Subway Sandwich Shop,

    ((was the TRIANGLE DRIVE INN )) on "Eureka Way", where i met CAROL, now

    married to me for 51+ years! Thank You GOD, and GOD BLESS REDDING!! 🙂 🙂

  35. Avatar Handouts Don't says:

    What about ANEWSCAFE and Doni?

    There are two amazing things about Redding right there!

    Surprised no one mentioned this!

  36. Avatar Liv Thompson says:

    Since I arrived 1983~single mom 3 sons…I can say Redding is a wonderful area to begin a new life. It always feels good to me.I am eager for more All ways! It vibrates to number 7(numerology) , ego and Spiritualism. Can you see that? We are tied to well being here, it vibrates in our energy. 4 yrs after I arrived here,married a wonderful man (pioneers of Redding) I have never wanted to be anywhere else. I know this is my personal journey, but Magic Happens enjoy the unfolding of what is!

  37. Avatar Canda says:

    I'm ashamed to admit I bashed Redding before moving from here to San Diego in '97. The truth is, it wasn't Redding, it was me. I was so lonely, I couldn't even enjoy the beauty around me. Now back for 7 years, I see Redding through appreciative eyes with a grateful heart. I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above comments. Having just returned home last night from a week in San Diego, the first thing that tugged at my heart strings was majestic Mt. Shasta.

    Those of us who grew up in LA know the "killer instinct" one must develop to survive on the freeways down there. I was happy to leave that behind once I got closer to home.

    There really is a lot to do in Redding, both outdoor recreation and culture. The great thing about it is that all these things are so accessible. From obtaining (affordable) tickets to an event, to traveling to the destination and parking, Redding wins in my book.

    I'm sorry for making the statement that Redding is boring. The truth is, there isn't even time to take advantage of all Redding has to offer. Often you have to choose which event to enjoy on any given day. I've come home, and it feels so good!

    • Avatar `AJacoby says:

      Like I used to tell my students when they would whine about being bored, "Only boring people are bored!" Boring is only a projection of ourselves . . . which is what you are saying.

      But I still say, we want to be careful with this proclamation of what's good in Redding. If word gets out . . . .

  38. Avatar Sandy Tincher says:

    I'm an artist and Redding is the perfect place for me. I can find beautiful sites right here in Redding, such as many places along the Sacramento River and places in Turtle Bay. But I can also go in almost any direction and find more and more beauty.

    Also, in great resturants someone forgot to mention JACK'S. We go there about once a month. Also, with authors we have another new, but wonderful author–Steven Callan. If you haven't read his book BADGES, BEARS AND EAGLES you really should. It is great.

    A person could go on and on about Redding. I know I first moved here when I was one month old as my Dad worked on Shasta Dam. When it finished it was hard for him to find work and so we had to move. So we lived in Arizona and then down by Bakersfield. I always hoped that I could come back to Redding as no place else had the beauty that we have here. So here I am and plan to stay for the rest of my life. I love it here.

  39. Avatar Ginny says:

    Redding is the gateway to two (2) of the most beautiful dams in the world. One wonders at the size and scope of Shasta Dam. Then, the Glory Hole at Wiskeytown Dam. Hear JFK speak at its official opening just months before he died nearly 50 years ago.

    There are fishing, boating, water skiing, walking trails, camping, swimming. The view of the Trinty and Sierra Mountains rimming Redding, and see Saddleback, Shasta, and Lassen all poking up into the sky, many snow capped year around.

    There are more chuches in Redding than most cities much much larger have. The majority of the church's congregations are very given to the area's charities. Then we have our own organizations such as Alyssa's Wings of Angels, McConnell Foundation, Redding Racheria's grants, and many others that contribute to the area to make us a giving group of people, in a not alwasy so giving World.

    We live in the most beautiful region, even though we sometimes are called the Death Valley of the North because of the hot temps in the summer. Yet, we have all four (4)seasons of the year. Maybe some are short, so you have to appreciate what time you are given them.

    Horray for Redding area!

  40. Avatar Joanne Snyder says:

    I arrived in Redding in 1978 with everything I owned in my car. Including my dog. It was difficult to earn my living (waitressing, paper mill, retail) but I eventually (14 years) was able to break into a very tough market and earn job in education. For all of those lean years I always was thankful that Redding is a great place to live if one loves the outdoors and has little money. There are great walking trails, and hiking trails. The library is bigger and better than ever. More roads are safe for bike travel than ever before. The public transportation system, which didn't exist when I moved to Redding is getting better.

  41. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    I'm surprised that it took 50 comments before someone mentioned the library. (or did I miss an earlier comment?) Every time I go into that place my buttons just burst with pride for our community . . . because the library is truly a monument to the foresight, hard work and perseverance of a few community minded people.

    Also, along with the Sundial Bridge, we now have some other graceful, interesting bridges. thank you CalTrans and City of Redding.

  42. There are Many great reasons to be in Redding! When we focus on the Positive and not dwell on the Negative things can only be better!

    I like Lema Ranch for incredible Sunset Picture opportunities….



  43. Avatar Richmond Johnson says:

    As a car enthusiast, please alloy me to interject the gearhead pleasures of the Redding area. We have one of the longest operational NHRA drag strips in the entire USA. Some would argue it is the longest.

    We host the Kool April Nites event every year. This next year will be the 25th anniversary edition. This event has a very beneficial effect on our local economy as well as benefiting local charities.

    There are several nationally known award winning custom and hotrod builders in our area. Some of their creations have graced the pages of major automotive publications.

    We have a long history of Bonneville Salt Flat racers building record holding race vehicles that date back to the 1950's and they are still doing so to this day.

    There is a large car culture in our area which is an economic boon to our local economy. We have Historical vehicle groups, drift car enthusiasts, off road Baja type vehicles, circle track vehicles of all classes and descriptions. All of them have rabid fan followings.

    We also have the Big Bike Weekend for motorcycle enthusiasts. This fall will be its 12th year event. It is also an economic boon for Redding as well as helping local charities.

    Although not automotive related, I want to include the cycling events which are sprouting up in our area as well as the running events beginning to turn out more participants ever year. Everything benefiting our Redding area.

  44. Avatar Jan Grantham says:

    Has no one said the Arboretum? We are so lucky to have over 200 acres right in the center of our town with gorgeous gardens and spectacular art like Colleen Barry's Children's sculpture.

  45. Turtle Bay!….another great thing about Redding…