It was once one of Sacramento’s top hotels, frequented each morning by Gov. Edmund “Pat” Brown, who padded across the street from the Governor’s Mansion in his bathrobe to swim laps in the pool. That was a half-century ago, though, and the former Mansion Inn – later renamed the Clarion Hotel – closed for good in 2012.

As parks go, Cervantes Park is humble – a simple rectangle of lawn surrounded by plane trees along Freeport Boulevard north of Sacramento City College. A couple of park benches provide the only amenity. People sit on the benches or spread picnic blankets on the grass; dog owners throw Frisbees; sometimes kids kick balls around.

This week, thousands of children throughout the Sacramento region head back to school. Folsom Cordova Unified and Natomas Unified resume classes on Wednesday. The San Juan, Elk Grove and Twin Rivers districts go back Thursday.

The Elk Grove Unified School District board has scheduled a series of community meetings this week to gather information about the attributes residents want in a new superintendent.

Sacramento County’s animal shelter at 3839 Bradshaw Road will hold its annual Kitty Palooza blowout cat and kitten sale on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

The Crocker Art Museum and the Sacramento Theatre Company are joining forces to re-create elements from the fantasy movie “Night at the Museum” at a family-oriented event Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Frida Kahlo is the rare artist whose own image is so distinctive that it’s become an icon of popular culture – reproduced on T-shirts, jewelry and household goods – perhaps because the self-portrait was one of her favorite genres.

This is the week that Californians can buy pyrotechnics on a nearby street corner. Sales of “safe and sane” fireworks are allowed during the week leading up to July 4, which this year falls on Friday. Americans love their fireworks, judging from figures compiled by the American Pyrotechnics Association, an industry group.

The Woodland City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday to sell the shuttered State Theatre on Main Street to a theater operator that promises to restore the grandeur of the 1930s building and turn it into a multiplex.

Thousands of gay-rights supporters are expected to gather Saturday on Capitol Mall for the 30th annual Sacramento Pride parade and festival. Pride parades in Sacramento and around the country commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York in June 1969, an event that marked the start of the gay-rights movement.

Experts predict that turnout may hit a record low in this primary, since it’s a nonpresidential year and neither of the Republic candidates for governor has a realistic chance of unseating Gov. Jerry Brown. But you wouldn’t know that from the flood of advertising.

On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council will consider new standards for downtown’s taxi fleet. Yellow cab and other large cab companies generally support the proposal, but it has drawn protests from independent cab drivers who say it could force them out of business.

The Sacramento Music Festival, which runs from Friday to Monday, was known for decades as the Dixieland Jazz Jubilee. With the audience for traditional jazz shrinking, it was revamped in 2012 to appeal to a broader audience.

On Saturday, the new but already wildly popular Sacramento Republic FC soccer team will play the LA Galaxy II. The game will be the last the team plays in Hughes Stadium, at Sacramento City College, before decamping to its own facility at Cal Expo.

The Amgen Tour of California returns to Sacramento on Sunday in a big way after a two-year absence. Bicyclists competing in the eight-day road race will begin their journey in Sacramento, with a 123-mile opening stage that starts downtown and winds through Placer and El Dorado counties, gaining 3,900 feet in elevation before returning to the Capitol.

On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council will take up the fate of a crescent-shaped slice of land along the Capital City Freeway in east Sacramento. This 48-acre parcel, once a fruit and nut orchard, has been the focus of intense development battles over the years.

The public is invited to a free forum on drought and water issues at Sierra College in Rocklin on Tuesday, which is also Earth Day.

The Sacramento Running Association is encouraging people to “run and raise a pint” Tuesday to honor the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing. The nonprofit group, organizer of the California International Marathon, will hold a free three-mile run Tuesday evening in downtown Sacramento. No registration is required.

It’s not often that a developer proposes to build a project that will reduce traffic in a surrounding neighborhood. That fact goes a long way toward explaining why the Sutter Park housing development planned for the current site of Sutter Memorial Hospital has been greeted so calmly by east Sacramento residents.

Facial hair has made a serious comeback in the past few years, particularly among hipsters of the PBR-slugging variety. These aren’t guys who just didn’t bother shaving for a while; they’re guys with foot-long thickets of hair carefully divided into multiple points at the bottom, or mustaches waxed and curled like a vaudeville villain’s.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re in the mood for celebrating on a Monday, there are lots of places to find revelry and music with an Irish flavor.

If South Lake Tahoe were a country, its medal count from the 2014 Winter Olympics would be higher than that of the vast majority of nations that competed. The community (actually the hamlet of Myers just southwest of South Lake Tahoe) can claim credit for two of the nine gold medals won by the United States.

On Wednesday, 66 champion spellers from six counties will face off at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St., in their quest to represent the Central Valley at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

Today’s holiday, Presidents Day, has evolved into one that honors all U.S. presidents, but it is most closely associated with the February birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. In fact, the holiday has its origins in the nation’s annual observance of Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22.

The future of the Sacramento Kings is likely to top the agenda for the second year in a row at Mayor Kevin Johnson’s State of the City speech Wednesday.

This week is one of the last when visitors to the California Museum, 1020 O St., can with the price of admission catch two temporary exhibits highlighting the state’s mid-20th-century contributions to art and culture.

Sacramento sommeliers will need to be on their toes this week as restaurants in the central city fill with people who know a thing or two about wine.

Next weekend will be filled with events to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The highlight: Sacramento’s annual MLK Day march on Monday, which is expected to draw about 28,000 people.

For the 17th year, the city is trying to lure people downtown by offering free parking on the weekends and weekday evenings. The free parking zone extends from I to L streets and from Front to 29th. The no-fee policy is in place every weekend through Dec. 22 and weekdays after 4:30 p.m. through Christmas. Time limits and other parking restrictions still apply.

In the next few days, Old Sacramento will launch its popular holiday attractions – including a nightly show of lights, storytelling and music and its sold-out “Polar Express” excursion train rides.

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