THE HEIGHT OF CITRUS
Mandarin Festival coming to Auburn
When it comes to citrus, mandarins are at the top of the food chain in taste and texture. Reason enough to celebrate the 19th annual Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn.
Placer County growers will be there to sell their bounty and offer free samples, and more than 200 vendors will display a wide array of gift items. Also, look for a cooking contest, cooking demonstrations, a "peel and eat" contest, children's activities and entertainment.
On offer will be chocolate-covered mandarins, mandarin gelato, and scones with mandarin curd. Plus, mandarin barbecue sauces, syrups, olive oils and dressings.
The festival will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Sunday. Admission is $3 Friday with two nonperishable food items for the Auburn Food Closet. It's $7 over the weekend, $5 for seniors, free for children. Parking is $5.
The Gold Country Fairgrounds are at 1273 High St., Auburn; (916) 663-1918, www.mandarinfestival.com.
If you use trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and the like, give a nod to the nonprofit Redding-based American Trails. It's a national resource for all things trail-related, whose mission is to "create and protect America's network of interconnected trails."
The deadline for its National Trails Awards program has been extended to Nov. 30, giving grateful outdoors enthusiasts some extra time to nominate "volunteers, professionals and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans."
Winners will be announced in April at the American Trails International Trails Symposium awards banquet in Arizona.
To download the nomination package, go to www.americantrails.org and click on the green "Symposium" button.
More information at (530) 547-2060.
HOLIDAY ON ICE
Union Square rink opens
One of the best holiday traditions is an excursion to Union Square in San Francisco, and a whirl around the Holiday Ice Rink at the corner of Geary and Powell streets.
It will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. now through Jan. 21. General admission is $10; $6 for children 8 and younger. Skate rentals are $5. Group rates are available.
The rink will feature a singles mixer at 8 p.m. Nov. 29. Be among the first 100 singles to show up wearing your favorite "ugly sweater" and get a free mistletoe headband.
More information: (415) 781-2688, www.unionsquareicerink.com.
Rooster Tails meeting
The nonprofit Rooster Tails Fishing Club of Northern California will hold a breakfast ($12) and seminar featuring Mark "the Striper Guy" Wilson. The veteran angler will "provide his personal tips for catching trophy striped bass."
Breakfast will be served from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday at the Elks Lodge, 195 Pine St., Auburn. Wilson's presentation starts at 9 a.m.
The 30-year-old, 157-member club meets the third Friday of each month to "educate, entertain and enhance the fishing experience." Information: (530) 887-0479, www.roostertailsfishingclub.org.
TOP HOTEL RANTS
Travelers tough to please
Some travelers go with the flow, others always find something to gripe about. The online "reputation-management consultant" to the travel industry, www.trustyou.com, released this list of top rants about hotels from those on the go (who maybe should have stayed home):
Unprofessional/incompetent service; small room; overpriced; bad breakfast; bad food; dirty room; unfriendly service; bad bathroom; bad service; loud, noisy room.
CARSON CITY, NEV.
Elvis tribute at Nugget
Are you an Elvis fan headed to Carson City, Nev.? What a coincidence.
Elvis lookalike Donny Edwards will show off his award-winning Elvis Presley tribute show at the Carson Nugget hotel-casino at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets are $25 and $35 at www.ccnugget.com.
Veterans and active military will receive one free ticket by stopping by the VIP office or calling (775) 883-3093.
The Nugget is at 507 N. Carson St; (775) 882-1626