Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

By Dixie Reid

A couple thousand treasure-hunters are expected to participate in today's third annual Race for the Ring, a benefit for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

Participants race in teams from site to site in midtown and downtown, either on foot or bicycle, picking up clues via text message.

The idea is to solve various riddles and complete challenges to accumulate the greatest number of points.

The prizes include $30,000 in jewelry from event sponsor Rogers Jewelry Company.

Team registration is $40. All proceeds go to SFBFS.

The event is open to anyone 18 and older. The 10 a.m. kick-off (and after-party) are at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

For more information:


By Dixie Reid

SPICES is the theme of the 19th annual Pacific Rim Street Festival, which takes place Sunday in Old Sacramento and around nearby Westfield Downtown Plaza.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The opening ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free. (The Bee is an event partner.)

For more information:

Legendary Sacramento restaurateur Frank Fat dreamed up such a celebration of Asian and Pacific heritage in 1993, and it flourishes more than a decade after his death, attracting thousands of people each year to enjoy food, music and dance.

Entertainment on four stages is a huge part of the event:

10 a.m. VAV Cinnamon
11 a.m. Bieu Quang Lion Dance Team and Oakland Raiders cheerleaders
11:30 a.m. Opening ceremony
12 noon Anwar Khan Kite Master, Old City Kites
12:15 p.m. Sacramento Taiko
1:15 p.m. Ho Okipa Hawaiian Music
2:15 p.m. Hui O' Hawaii of Sacramento, Inc., and Halau Ka Waikahe Lani Malie and Kekaniwai
3 p.m. Koa Young, Hawaiian Reggae
4 p.m. Elk Grove Chinese Association

10:30 a.m. China Moon
11 a.m. Naomi Kalama
11:45 a.m. Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai
12:15 p.m. Makame Polynesian Dance
12:45 p.m. Capitol Chinese Orchestra
1:45 p.m. Koyasan Taiko
2:15 p.m. Sinag Tala Filipino Theater Ensemble
3:15 p.m. East Wind Classic Pop

10 a.m. New Star Chinese School
10:30 a.m. CATABE Martial Arts
11 a.m. KMA Filipino Cultural Dance
11:30 a.m. Te Mau Tamari'l A Tiare Polynesian Dance
12 p.m. Filipino Martial Arts
12:30 p.m. Matt Grasso
1 p.m. Janny Wu Tai Chi
1:30 p.m. Halau O Keikiali
2 p.m. Phyllis Chang
2:45 p.m. Diana Tang, Chinese harpist
3:15 p.m. Liahona Warrior Arts
3:45 p.m. Vince Horiuchi Breakdance crew
4 p.m. Pearl of Pacific

PHOTO: Ella May Bonjac, a member of Pearl of the Pacific, performs a Polynesian dance at the 2009 Pacific Rim Street Fest. (Manny Crisostomo, Sacramento Bee)


By Dixie Reid

Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Jack Sparrow's rascally father, played by the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, star in the fourth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise.

And to celebrate today's midnight premiere of " 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' - An IMAX 3D Experience," several downtown bars and restaurants are offering pirate-themed specials:

Sheraton PBM Bar - "Capt. Morgan" and his first mates will visit from 9 to 10:30 p.m. The bar will offer $5 Captain Morgan drink specials from 9 p.m. to closing time and $5 appetizers from 9 to 11 p.m.
Brew it Up - Serving $4 Captain Ron's XXIPA (an Imperial India Pale Ale), Kraken Dark & Stormy Cocktails and Sailor Jerry Mai Tai Cocktails.
Capitol Garage - Serving a special drink called Sex on a Pirate Ship.
Ten22 - Pineapple-Coconut Bread Pudding (made with dark caramel and vanilla ice cream) is 25 percent off and the drink special, Pirate's Booty, is $5.
4th Street Grille - Will serve a Jack Sparrow Cocktail.
3 Fires Lounge - Captain Morgan drink specials are $5.

And what's a pirate party without pirates?

Costumed characters from the upcoming Seafarer's Marketplace & Pirates Festival (scheduled for September) will converge on the Esquire theater at 10:30 p.m.

Movie-goers who come in pirate costume for the midnight show will receive a free small popcorn from the Esquire. And theater personnel will hand out free Disney commemorative "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" trading pins to the first 100 people who show up.

Tonight's pirate-themed event is presented by the Sacramento Downtown Partnership and the Esquire IMAX Theatre.

The Esquire is at 1211 K St. For more information and midnight-show tickets:
PHOTO: Captain Jack (JOHNNY DEPP) and Angelica (PENELOPE CRUZ) make their watery way through the jungle in search of the Fountain of Youth. (Photo by Peter Mountain, ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.)


By Dixie Reid

KISS - the legendary rock band known for its glitter-glam costumes, outlandish makeup and enduring music - will headline the 2011 Walk 'n Rock for Kids fund-raiser May 29 at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $40 and available through Ticketmaster and at the Raley Field box office.

Walk 'n Rock for Kids, presented by the Hope Productions Foundation, includes a 5K walk at 8 a.m.

KISS made a YouTube invitation to the concert:

PHOTO: Gene Simmons, Paul "Ace" Frehley and Paul Stanley perform of the rock band KISS. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Edward A. Ornelas)


By Dixie Reid

If you haven't yet seen the "new" Crocker Art Museum, or can't get enough of it, this is a good day to grab a fellow art-lover and pay a visit.

The museum at 216 O St. in downtown Sacramento is offering two tickets for the price of one today only, in honor of International Museum Day. The Crocker will close at 7 p.m.

More than 100 North American art museums are participating in the Association of Art Museum Directors' Art Museum Day.

"Art Museum Day is an opportunity to celebrate the collective memory of human creativity, both past and present, that art museums hold in the public trust," said Kaywin Feldman, AAMD president and director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

"AAMD believes that art should be accessible and relevant to all, and we are so pleased that the Crocker Art Museum is joining with us and the global community of museums to create new opportunities for audiences to engage with museum collections and programs," she said.

The Crocker's admission fees are $10 for adults, $8 for college students and anyone 65 and older, and $5 for ages 7-17. Kids 6 and younger always get free admission.

For more information on tpday's special offer: (916) 808-1182,

PHOTO: Stephen Kaltenbach's "Portrait of My Father" is a favorite among many patrons of Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum. (Andy Alfaro, Sacramento Bee)

By Dixie Reid

Saturday is the second annual International Learn to Fly Day, and several flight schools and flying clubs in the region are hosting events for would-be pilots.

In Sacramento, Executive Flyers Inc., a Cessna Pilot Center at Executive Airport (6151 Freeport Blvd., room 151) will have an open house from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They'll have airplanes on display, drawings for a chance to fly with an instructor, and pilots on hand to talk about flying.

Other area participants include Mach 5 Aviation in Auburn, Bridgeford Flying Services in Napa, Rancho Murieta Airport in Rancho Murieta, and WINGS Flight School at the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville.

Learn to Fly Day is presented by the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

For more information on events this Saturday in Northern California and elsewhere, go to the EAA's searchable website:

By Dixie Reid

Here we paint.

Sacramento Kings fans not only can watch performance painter David Garibaldi create a Kings-themed mural during today's Second Saturday Art Walk - but can submit photographs for the project, as well.

Garibaldi will work from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the corner of 20th and J streets. Send your Kings-related photos to his Facebook fan page or Tweet him at @garibaldiarts.

The artist sends Kings fans a YouTube message.

The unique, live art event is part of the Kings' campaign to sell 2011-12 season tickets. Team representatives will hand out Kings merchandise as Garibaldi paints.

Anyone who makes a $100 deposit toward the purchase of season tickets also gets VIP access to the team's draft party and the June 8-9 Select a Seat event. June 3 is the deposit deadline. For details, call 888-91-KINGS or click here.

Fans who renewed their season tickets or made a $100 deposit will get discounts at 15 businesses in the Second Saturday neighborhood.


By Dixie Reid

All aboard the Volunteer Express!

Both the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park are looking for folks 18 and older to give of their time this summer sharing tales of California's railroading and Gold Rush past with tourists.

Applications are due May 31, and all volunteer candidates will be screened.

Orientation begins June 25.

Volunteers are expected to spend 84 hours a year "on the job." Hours are flexible.

To learn more about the program, call the Railroad Museum's volunteer training coordinator at (916) 324-7593 or go to

PHOTO: Will Williford III, a former California State Railroad Museum docent, shows off a meal in the restored Santa Fe dining car Cochiti. (Photo by Don Satterlee, Satterlee Studios)


By Dixie Reid

"Glee Live! In Concert!" originally scheduled for May 22 at Sacramento's Power Balance Pavilion has been rescheduled for May 23.

Tickets for the original show will be honored on the new date.

A news release issued today by promoter Live Nation Entertainment offered no explanation for the change.

PHOTO: McKinley High cheerleaders perform in a special episode of GLEE airing after SUPER BOWL XLV on Sunday, Feb. 6. (Michael Yarish/ FOX)


By Dixie Reid

Tickets are on sale for the June 17 lecture by Dr. Zahi Hawass, the reknowned Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, who'll be speaking at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno.

Hawass will reminisce about his five-year search for the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, as well as discuss excavations at the Valley of the Kings and solving mysteries of Tutankhamun and Ramesses III.

His talk starts at noon.

Tickets are $15 ($12 for Nevada Museum of Art member.) Go to for tickets and details about Hawass' visit.

This summer, the Nevada Museum of Art will host the exhibition "To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum." It runs June 11-Sept. 4.

PHOTO: Zahi Hawass, left, with the 3,300-year-old mummy of King Tutankhamun in 2005. The mummy was about to be X-rayed to learn the cause of the young king's early death. (AP Photo/ Saedi Press)


By Dixie Reid

Just when you planned to return that overdue book, you see that the Colonial Heights Library is closed.

The closure, which begins this week, is just temporary. The library reopens May 23 with a spruced-up children's area and, as part of the day's celebration, the Friends of Colonial Heights Library will present a used-book sale and magic show for the kids.

In the meantime, regular Colonial Heights branch patrons can visit these other nearby Sacramento Public Library locations:

Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 South Land Park Drive
Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave.

For more information: (916) 264-2920 or

PHOTO: The mouse from "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," by Laura Joffe Numeroff. Illustrated by Felicia Bond.

Third Place Winner Jeff Schwarz.jpg

By Dixie Reid

The Placer Arts League is seeking entries for its 2011 Open Juried Art Show, a fine arts competition and exhibition presented in conjunction with the Lincoln Arts & Culture Foundation.

The show will hang June 14-July 29 at the Lincoln Arts Gallery, 580 Sixth St. in Lincoln.

Acceptable categories are oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, mixed and other media, 3-D sculpture, jewelry and digital/photography. Maximum size is 36-by-36 inches.

The fee is $15 for one item, $25 for two and $35 for three. For a entry form:

For an entry form:

Artwork must be delivered to the Lincoln Arts Gallery between noon and 4 p.m. June 10 or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 11.

An artists reception and awards ceremony is June 23.

Questions? Call Pat at (530) 888-8311 or go to

PHOTO:"Fool Me" - Stoneware, Slips, Glaze, Hand Built, Mold. Artist Jeff Schwarz.
Credit: Lincoln Arts

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By Dixie Reid

Put on your walking shoes and get to know some of Sacramento's most diverse neighborhoods up close this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sacramento will participate in Jane's Walk, a international series of free guided tours that honor the late urban activist Jane Jacobs.

The Sacramento Old City Association is coordinating the local effort, which showcases five neighborhoods - Alkali Flat, midtown Sacramento, Southside Park, Central Oak Park and downtown Sacramento - over two days.

Go on as many tours as you can fit into your schedule. No reservations are needed; simply show up at the designated starting point. For more information, call (916) 455-2935 or email


Alkali Flat
10 a.m.-noon
Starting point: Shine Coffee, 1400 E St.
Tour Guide: Luis Sumpter, Sacramento Old City Association board member

2-4 p.m.
Starting point: Mondo Bizarro, 1827 I St.
Tour Guide: William Burg, Sacramento Old City Association board member


Southside Park
10 a.m.-noon
Starting point: Callahan Bandstand at Southside Park, 7th and T streets
Tour guide: William Burg

Central Oak Park
10 a.m.-noon
Starting point: Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.
Tour guide: Neighborhood activist Tom Sumpter

Downtown: From the Railroad Tracks to the Civic Center
2-4 p.m.
Starting point: Sacramento City Hall, 915 I St.
Tour guide: Historic architect Melisa Gaudreau

PHOTO: A Victorian on Oak Park's Third Avenue is believed to be the oldest house in the neighborhood. It was restored by now-Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Photograph by Bryan Patrick, Sacramento Bee

Picasso portrait.jpg

By Dixie Reid

Tickets go on sale May 11 for "Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris" at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

The exhibition, which opens June 11 continues through Oct. 9, includes 150 important paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

"This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition is comprised of works from every phase of Picasso's extraordinary career, including masterpieces from his Blue, Rose, Expressionist, Cubist, Neoclassical and Surrealist periods," John E. Buchanan Jr., director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco said in a news release.

The artwork is on an international tour while the Musée is closed for renovations.

For ticket information and the de Young's hours:

PHOTO: Pablo Picasso, June 2, 1954 in Vallauris, France. Copyright Arnold Newman/Getty Images

By Dixie Reid

This month's Evaluation Day hosted by the Art Service Group will focus on art and money.

On May 10, Karen and Jim Karen Alkons will make informal appraisals of your paintings, and Doug Scougale will assess gold, silver, coins, currency, antique photographs and daguerreotypes.

Appraisals are $10 per item or $45 for five items.

The Art Service Group, which supports the Crocker Art Museum, is now accepting reservations for appointments between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Call (916) 808-7752 to schedule and get more information.

crumb.bmpBy Dixie Reid

The San Jose Museum of Art announced today that one of its big summertime exhibitions will be "The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb's Book of Genesis."

The show runs June 23 through Sept. 25.

Robert Crumb, a popular underground artist known for such unforgettable characters as Keep On Truckin' (photo at left) and Fritz the Cat, spent five years adapting the Holy Bible's first book in comic form. In 2009, W.W. Norton published 224-page "The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb."

The exhibition will include Crumb's original drawings from the book.

"R. Crumb's influence has spread far beyond the world of comics and graphic novels," said museum director Susan Krane. "Many of his images are now icons of our visual culture. In his adaptation of Genesis, he has recast familiar narratives from this fundamental text of Western civilization in his instantly recognizable style and brought these stories alive for a contemporary audience."

Los Angeles' Hammer Museum organized the exhibition.

The San Jose Museum of Art is at 110 S. Market St. in downtown San Jose. For hours, admission and information: (408) 271-6840,

PHOTO: One of R. Crumb's most memorable characters is "Keep On Truckin'." The image comes from the 1995 documentary "Crumb."

Credit: Associated Press/Sony Pictures Classics


By Dixie Reid

This sounds more than fair: Anyone who attends the Dixon May Fair next Wednesday can use the same admission ticket to get in free any other day during the fair's run.

"It's the first year we are going to a five-day fair, and the board and I thought this would be a good incentive to boost attendance on a new grand opening day," May Fair CEO Jack Murphy said in a news release.

The 136th annual fair opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday and continues through May 8.

This year's event will include concerts by blues performers Jonny Lang and Robben Ford; John Kay and Steppenwolf, with openers Eric Burdon and the Animals; country singer Trace Adkins, with Merle Haggard opening, and pop singer Selena Gomez.
The ever-popular Demolition Derby will be back on May 8.

For a complete fair schedule and ticket prices:

PHOTO: Bluesman Jonny Lang will play the fair on Wednesday. Credit: Dixon May Fair

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By Dixie Reid

In anticipation of its upcoming "Summer of Impressionism" blockbuster, the Crocker Art Museum on Thursday evening will host the Open Art event "Artists & the Environment."

Shelly Willis, who manages the Art in Public Places program for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, will moderate a panel discussion on the plein air paintings of Impressionists. Artists Enid Baxter Blader and Ned Kahn will be on the panel.

The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 for Crocker members and $12 for those who aren't. For details, call (916) 808-1182.

Open Art is a part of the Thursday's 'till 9 program series.

The Crocker's three "Summer of Impressionism" exhibitions are:

"Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870-1940," opening May 14.
"Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism," opening June 11.
"Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff," opening June 25.

The Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St., Sacramento. For general information: (916) 808-7000 or

PHOTO: John Hubbard Rich's "Day Dreams," 1918. Oil on canvas. 24 x 20 inches. Crocker Art Museum, Melza and Ted Barr Collection.

Fast 5.JPGBy Dixie Reid

Keep your eyes on the screen and your foot off the gas pedal. It's "Fast Five Dusk to Dawn" night at the West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In.

The outdoor theater will be open all night Friday with continuous showings of "Fast Five," the latest installment in popular "The Fast and the Furious" franchise.

In "Fast Five," Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent, according to

The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson. Justin Lin is the director.

"Fast Five Dusk to Dawn" showtimes are 8:15 p.m., 8:55 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 11:25 p.m. Friday and 1:10 a.m., 1:55 a.m. and 3:35 a.m. Saturday. Admission is $6.95 adults, $1 ages 5-11 and free for kids 4 and younger.

Sacramento 6 is at 9616 Oates Drive, just off Highway 50 and Bradshaw Road. The info line is (916) 363-6572.

PHOTO: Dom Toretto (VIN DIESEL) and Luke Hobbs (DWAYNE JOHNSON) let the fists fly in the action-thriller "Fast Five." Photographer: Jaimie Trueblood


By Dixie Reid

The outfield won't be the only thing that's green at Saturday night's River Cats game.

The theme is "Green Awareness," and the first 2,500 fans through the gates of Raley Field will receive an organic lip balm. In addition, team mascot Dinger will offer his tips for "green living" throughout the game.

The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. A fireworks display will follow the Tucson Padres-River Cats game.

For more on the home team:

PHOTO: Andy Alfaro, Sacramento Bee


By Dixie Reid

Friday is the last day to sign up for the April 23 family-oriented "Egg-ceptional Art" workshop at the Crocker Art Museum.

Participants will first study images of ancient emu egg carvings and fabulous Fabergé eggs for inspiration and then decorate their own papier mâché eggs with paint, fabric and beads.

Afterward, there will be an egg hunt in the museum's E. Kendell Davis Courtyard.

"Egg-ceptional Art" is 1-3 p.m. April 23, and the $10 fee ($8 for museum members) covers one adult and one child. The museum will supply egg-decorating materials.

For a registration form and a complete class schedule:

For more information, call (916) 808-1182 or email

PHOTO: Michael A. Jones, Sacramento Bee

By Dixie Reid

Check this out: The Sacramento Public Library now has more than 100 electronic readers ready to lend.

Each is loaded with about 20 books of a particular genre: mystery, romance, non-fiction, biography, science fiction/fantasy/horror and best-sellers.

Spanish-language eReaders also are available.

"We believe the Sacramento Public Library is the first in the nation to have this scale of pre-loaded lendable Nook eReaders for library patrons," said library director Rivkah K. Sass. "We are extremely proud to be leading the way for other library systems throughout California and the nation."

The collection of circulating eReaders is the result of a partnership between Sacramento Public Library, Barnes & Noble and the California State Library. A $100,000 grant from the State Library paid for the devices and their content.

For more on the program: (916) 264-2920 or


By Dixie Reid

"Mountains," a themed exhibition of work by acclaimed Sacramento artist Wayne Thiebaud, opens Tuesday at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery in Rutherford.

It's believed to be Thiebaud's first show in the Napa Valley and will hang through June 30.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is free.

"I believe that fine art is the perfect marriage to great wines," said St. Supéry owner Robert Skalli. "We are thrilled to be partnering with the Paul Thiebaud Gallery to bring these legendary works to the Napa Valley."

Wayne Thiebaud's son, Paul LeBaron Thiebaud, was a prominent art dealer who owned galleries in San Francisco and New York. He died of colon cancer last June at age 49.

For more information on St. Supéry's upcoming tastings related to "Mountains," call (800) 942-0809, ext. 44, or go to

The winery is at 8440 St. Helena Highway in Rutherford.

Photo: Wayne Thiebaud, left, is congratulated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during the annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremony last December.
Sacramento Bee photograph by Hector Amezcua.

A heads-up for library patrons in Citrus Heights: The Sylvan Oaks Library will be closed next Monday and again April 29-30 for a little interior facelift.

On those three days, readers can visit these Sacramento Public Library branches nearby:

North Highlands-Antelope Library, 4235 Antelope Road, Antelope - Open noon-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

Fair Oaks Library, 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks - Open noon-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

Orangevale Library, 8820 Greenback Lane, Suite L, Orangevale - Open 1-8 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

For more information: (916) 264-2920,

-- Dixie Reid

organic.jpgAfter an enjoyable spell of warm, sunny weather, local gardeners no doubt anxious to get out in the back yard and plan their organic garden.

Just in time is Saturday's organic gardening workshop at the Fair Oaks Library, 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks.

It's free and starts at 2 p.m.

The guest lecturer is urban gardener James Bridges.

Questions? Call the Sacramento Public Library's information line at (916) 264-2920 or go to

- Dixie Reid

Photo: Lezlie Sterling, Sacramento Bee

DS LOWRY PALETTE.JPGCalifornia State Parks and the California State Indian Museum today issued a call for artists to participate in the second annual Plein Air Day on May 14.

The open-air painting event will take place on the shared grounds of Sutter's Fort State Historic Park and the Indian Museum.

Artists can register by calling (916) 324-0971 by May 6. The first 25 who sign up will receive a gift from the Indian Museum.

The general public is welcome to watch the artists at work outdoors between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The California State Indian Museum is at 2618 K St., Sacramento. For more information on museum exhibits and events: (916) 324-0971,

-- Dixie Reid

Photo credit: Dick Schmidt, Sacramento Bee


San Francisco historian Philip P. Choy, author of the 2008 book "Canton Footprints: Sacramento's Chinese Legacy," has received the Oscar Lewis Award for western history from the Book Club of California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Choy, a retired architect, was born and raised in San Francisco's Chinatown and is an authority on Chinese American history.

He accepted no money for writing "Canton Footprints," which was published by the Chinese American Council of Sacramento ($30 hardcover, $20 paperback, 160 pages, 178 historic photographs).

"Sacramento, like every Chinese community, has a similar story to tell," Choy told The Bee in 2008. "But it was the No. 2 city once upon a time (San Francisco was First City), and it's been somewhat neglected. No one had taken upon oneself to write the story, so it's long overdue."

Photo: Domestic servants on their day off. from "Canton Footprints: Sacramento's Chinese Legacy" by Philip P. Choy


Mountain Lions fans are invited to attend the April 1 final auditions for the Lady Lions dance team at Dream Ultra Lounge, 908 15th St., Sacramento.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Auditions begin at 6 p.m.

Admission is free.

The competition will be fierce: 53 women are vying for 32 spots on the roster. Among them are 19 members of the 2010 Lady Lions cheerleader squad.

One fan will be chosen to join the judges' panel. For details, go to
The Lady Lions will perform at the four Mountain Lions home games this season, which begins in August. Ticket information will be posted soon at

Photo: Julia Daniels performs for the judges at the Mountain Lions cheerleading tryouts on July 30, 2010. Photograph by Kyle Grantham, Sacramento Bee

The Voetberg Family Band - eight siblings ranging in age from 9 to 22 - will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at Central Library, 828 I St., in downtown Sacramento.

The concert is free.

The Centralia, Wash., band has won 10 Washington State fiddle championships and awards from the Washington State Music Teachers Association.

Questions about Sunday's performance? Call the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or check out

Photo credit: Michael Rabb

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Sierra College's Community Education program has arranged for a May 14 bus tour to fabulous Filoli, the 36,000-square-foot Georgian country house and 16-acre English Renaissance garden in Woodside, south of San Francisco.

Register by April 4.

The $112 fee includes a guided tour and a "hosted gourmet" box lunch.

Questions? Call (916) 781-6280 or go to

Filoli is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

PHOTO CREDIT: Barbara Braun


By Dixie Reid

The California State Fair today issued a call to artists for its 2011 California Fine Art competition.

Entrants must be 18 or older and submit original work by April 22. The winners, who will share a prize package in excess of $20,000, will have their art displayed during the California State Fair, which runs July 14-31.

The competition's seven categories:

Painting - oil, acrylic, water media and plein air in any medium
Other two-dimensional art - drawing, pastels, color pencil, printmaking, collage, mixed media, digital art
Sculpture - single medium, mixed media, assemblage and Rube Goldburg
Photography - black-and-white, color and alternative process
Fine craft - ceramics, glass, jewelry/small metals, fiber/textiles and wood
Themed - "Equine & Western Art," "The Art of Culture," "The Art of Wine" and "Adventure!"
Plein Air - A special State Fair contest

For entry information, go to and click on "California Fine Art" on the adults competition page, or call the State Fair Entry Office: (916) 263-3146 or e-mail

The California Exposition & State Fair will be at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento.

PHOTO: Tony Natsoulas' "Lee Counts His Snails Under the Bodhi Tree," 2009, ceramic, won the Jurors Award and Best of Show sculpture award at the 2009 California State Fair art show.

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By Dixie Reid

Tennis superstar Serena Williams brings her overhead smash to Sacramento this summer when her Washington D.C. Kastles take on the Sacramento Capitals in a World Team Tennis match.

The league announced its 2011 schedule today.

Williams, the 13-time Grand Slam singles champion who was inducted into the California Hall of Fame at the California Museum in December, will be here July 9.

The Capitals' play at Sunrise Mall. The team's home opener is July 8, against the New York Sportimes, followed by the Kastles on July 9, and the Newport Beach Breakers on July 10.

For Capitals tickets and more information: (916) 488-5000.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Bee file

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By Dixie Reid

A sure sign that spring is on its way is the Capay Valley Almond Festival, coming up on Sunday.

It's been a rite of the season for years, a way to celebrate the beautiful white blossoms that precede the almonds' arrival.

"The festival started in 1915," said Esparto Regional Chamber spokesman Monique Garcia, "and they moved it from fall to spring. We don't know why or when. It's a complete mystery."

Folks from the communities of Guinda, Rumsey, Brooks, Capay and Esparto - a 21-mile stretch of road - will host the culinary and agricultural tour, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Among the events and entertainment:
Almond Festival fun run
Almond baking contest
Countryside Community Church rummage and bake sale
Pancake breakfast
Zumba, folklorico and karate demonstrations
Dilly Dally the Clown
FFA Cow Plot Bingo
Capay Organics hosts a farm tour
Car show
Farmer's market
Climbing hay pyramid
Esparto Library book sale
Petting zoo
Blacksmith and beekeeper demonstrations
Farm equipment

For the schedule and a map:, or call the chamber for more information: (530) 787-3242

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Bee file photo


By Dixie Reid

Happy 25th, Elk Grove Library!

A community-wide silver anniversary celebration is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at 8900 Elk Grove Blvd. in Elk Grove, hosted by Friends of Elk Grove Library.

It's free.

There will be student poetry readings and performances by violinist Michael Chan and jazz vocalist Martin Beal.

Questions? Call the Sacramento Public Library helpline at (916) 264-2920 or log on to

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Allen Jones, Sacramento Bee (2008)

By Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Public Library introduces its Lucky Day collection, available at these locations:

Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 South Land Park Drive, Sacramento
McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento
Elk Grove Library, 8900 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove
Rio Linda Library, 901 Oak Lane, Rio Linda

The idea is that patrons can walk into these branch libraries and expect to find best-sellers ready for check-out -- on a first-come, first-serve basis -- and not have to wait weeks for a desired title.

"Lucky Day collections restore the idea of a browsing collection for patrons who visit a branch," said Berta Boegel, collection services librarian. "When patrons find these titles waiting on the shelf, it really is their 'lucky day'."

Two rules: Books can't be reserved or renewed after the initial three-week borrowing period.

Questions? Go to or call (916) 264-2920.

By Dixie Reid

The traveling humanities program "Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: A National Conversation" lands Thursday at Three Stages on the campus of Folsom Lake College.

Admission is free.

The event, described as part reading, part town hall meeting, is a collaboration of Aquila Theatre Company, the Urban Libraries Council, the American Philological Association, the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C.

The idea is to bring communities together to read and talk about classical literature and its influence on American culture.

On Thursday, actors from Aquila Theatre Company will read from Homer's "Odyssey," Sophocles' "Ajax," Euripides' "Heracles" and Aeschylus' "Agamemnon." Attendees can then join in a discussion with program director Peter Meineck.

"Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives" starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Three Stages, which faces East Bidwell Street on the campus' west side.

Folsom Lake College is at 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

For more on the traveling program:

button back2.jpg
By Dixie Reid

Button collectors from all over are likely to converge on the Sacramento Button Club's annual Button Bazaar this weekend.

Described as "a miniature antiques and collectibles show," the event will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Carmichael Community Club House, 5750 Grant Ave. in Carmichael.

Club members request a $2 donation as admission.

For details:

By Dixie Reid

The budding literati at Sacramento City College needs a little financial help to get Mainline magazine published.

The student-produced publication is scheduled to hit the streets May 9, and they're hoping to raise enough money to produce a 24-page glossy.

"We have a great bunch of students. Some have journalism experience, some don't, but all are eager to put out a quality magazine. So far I'm pretty excited about the mix of articles and photos they're working to put together," said adviser Rachel Leibrock.

Mainline, launched in 1995, gives student writers, photographers and designers a chance to practice their craft.

Donations are tax-deductible:

By Dixie Reid

A sign that spring really will be here soon, the Sacramento Zoo is hosting its sixth annual Bloomin' Crazy Plant Fest on Saturday.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"As of right now Bloomin' Crazy is still on," said zoo spokeswoman Marisa Hicks. "The event is rain or shine, but if it is the rain is too hard, then we will cancel it the day of. We are definitely keeping our eye on the weather."

It's a chance to talk with all sorts of folks about how your garden grows. Among the groups represented are California Rare Fruit Growers, Capital City African Violet Society, Carmichael Geranium Society, Friends of San Juan de Oriente, Friends of Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Bromeliad & Carnivorous Plant Society and Sacramento Orchid Society.

It is the zoo, after all, so there will be special programs focusing on the residents: a wildlife stage show at 11 a.m. and chats with zookeepers at 2:15, 2:30 and 2:45 p.m.

The zoo is on Land Park Drive near Sutterville Road. Admission is $11 general and $7 for ages 2-11.

Details: (916) 808-5888,

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Zoo

By Dixie Reid

Old Sacramento has its ups and downs - and the downs, the fabled underground - is a must-see.

The second season of the Old Sacramento Underground Tours starts April 2, and tickets go on sale today.

Buy them now at

Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tour check-in is at the Sacramento History Museum, 101 I St., in Old Sacramento.

The one-hour tours are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays through May, with Thursdays and Fridays added to the schedule June through August.

Time slots fill up fast. Last year, the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation sold more than 10,000 tickets.

The foundation works in tandem with the City of Sacramento, California State Parks, Old Sacramento Business Association and various Old Sacramento merchants and businesses.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Allen Jones, Sacramento Bee

By Dixie Reid

Sweatin' that upcoming SAT? Sacramento Public Library will ease some of the pressure with a series of free practice tests open to all high school students.

The sessions, administered under actual test conditions by Kaplan Test Prep, are set for 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, as well as April 2, April 30 and June 4, all at the Central Library, 828 I St. in downtown Sacramento.

In addition, on the Tuesday following each practice session, students can return to the library for a workshop on improving their test scores. Those start at 6 p.m.

Registration is required for the SAT practices. To sign up: (916) 264-2920 or

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.


By Dixie Reid

Who isn't looking for bargains these days?

South Natomas Library is the place to be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12, when the branch launches its sale of used books, CDs, DVDs and magazines.

The fund-raiser for Friends of South Natomas Library continues through March 22 during regular business hours.

South Natomas Library is at 2901 Truxel Road, Sacramento. For more: (916) 264-2920,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jose M. Osorio, Sacramento Bee

By Dixie Reid

Bank of America customers will get free admission to the California Museum of History, Women & the Arts and the Crocker Art Museum on March 5-6.

They are participants in the bank's Museums on Us program, which allows free entry at 150 cultural institutions across the country on the first full weekend of each month.


Customers must show their Bank of America credit or debit card - and a photo ID.

The offer also applies at these Northern California destinations:

-- San Francisco and Oakland --

Chabot Space & Science Center
Contemporary Jewish Museum
de Young Museum
Legion of Honor
Museum of the African Diaspora
Zeum, San Francisco's Children's Museum

-- Silicon Valley/San Jose --

San Jose Museum of Art
Tech Museum of Innovation

For more about Museums on Us:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

PHOTO CREDIT: Manny Crisostomo, Sacramento Bee

By Dixie Reid

British-born choral and opera conductor Simon Holt will lead a choral music workshop next month in Davis.

"Music of the British Isles, Past and Present" is set for March 18-20 at Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 27074 Patwin Road, Davis.

Registration is $45 for adults and $22.50 for high school and college students.

For more information, send an e-mail to

The workshop opens with a Friday evening "jam," an introduction of the weekend's repertoire (works from the Renaissance to today) and a dessert social. The workshop's choir will perform at the church's Sunday morning services.

Holt is head of Music and director of Fine Arts at Saint James School in St. James, Md.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

"And the Academy Award goes to . ..."

As the Oscars are being handed out Sunday in Los Angeles, an event equally as opulent and exciting will unfold in Sacramento.

Some 600 people are expected to attend Oscar Night Sacramento, presented by Capital City AIDS Fund, in the fancy clubhouse-for-a-night penthouse of the Gateway Towers building.
"We decided to do something very different and very cutting-edge this year," CCAF board president Joyce Mitchell said in a news release.

In addition to a live feed of the Oscars ceremony, there will be catered dinner for premium ticket-holders ($125) and appetizers for lounge ticket-holders ($75.)

For Oscar Night Sacramento tickets:

The event starts at 4 p.m. Sunday at 2020 Gateway (off Interstate 5 and Garden Highway.)

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.


By Dixie Reid

Yolo County Historical Museum is seeking volunteers to share the story of its lovely Gibson House with the public.

Docent training is 10 a.m.-noon Thursday at the museum, located at 512 Gibson Road in Woodland. Refreshments will be served.

Gibson House, according to the museum's website, is Woodland's only historic home that's open to the public.

There is the main 11-room house and several outbuildings, including a blacksmith shop and barn. Gibson House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

For more on volunteer opportunities, call the museum office at (530) 666-1045 or email

Another contact is Carol Conley at (530) 662-0628 or

For more about the museum:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Kondos Gallery at Sacramento City College will host a March 4 closing reception for its latest show, "The Faces of Art," an exhibition of dozens and dozens of large-format photographs taken by Tower Records founder Russ Solomon.

He has spent the last several years shooting black-and-white portraits of artists and others in the Northern California art world - including Wayne Thiebaud, Helen and Alan Post, Gregory Kondos, Joan Moment, Mel Ramos, Clayton Bailey, Fred Dalkey, Julia Couzens, Jerald Silva, Kurt Fishback, Ken Waterstreet, Jian Wang and Crocker Art Museum executive director Lial Jones.
Solomon will be at the reception signing pre-ordered photographs, which can be purchased for a minimum $25. Proceeds go to art scholarships for the college's juried student show in May.

The March 4 closing reception runs 2-5 p.m.

For information on ordering Solomon's photographs, send an e-mail to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

PHOTO CREDIT: Lezlie Sterling, Sacramento Bee

By Dixie Reid

Hundreds of Hollywood hopefuls are gathering in downtown Sacramento to record audition tapes for the NBC show "America's Got Talent."

Singers, dancers and musicians are showing off - and recording - their talents at the Hyundai Store in the Westfield Downtown Plaza. The tapes will be sent directly to the casting director of NBC's "America's Got Talent."

The recording continues Saturday, and registration is required.

By Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum will be open Monday - Presidents Day - with a slate of holiday activities.

"Patriotic Tours" of artwork that celebrates U.S. history are at 10:15 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Children can work on patriotic art projects from noon-3 p.m. And, the Sacramento Youth Symphony performs at 2 p.m.

The Crocker, at 216 O St. in downtown Sacramento, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Admission is $10 general, $8 ages 65 and older and college students, and $5 ages 7-17. Members and kids 6 and younger get in free.

The museum also will be open on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

For more: (916) 808-7000,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Public Library will screen Frank Martin's four-hour documentary "For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots" in two parts - on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 - at the Valley Hi-North Laguna branch library.

Showtime is 6:30 p.m. both days.

This is an excerpt from the film's website, :

If prevalent and accepted accounts of American History - both scholarly and those portrayed by Hollywood - are to be believed, the face of the United States Armed Services was white.

The truth is over 5,000 Black soldiers fought in the American Revolution. And though most were not recognized as citizens or even free man, more than 200,000 took up arms in the Civil War. Over 380,000 African-Americans served in WW I and more than 2,000,000 defended this country in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Yet most accounts of their valiant actions are absent from history books and contemporary film.

"For Love Of Liberty: The Story Of America's Black Patriots" finally, and for the first time, sets the record straight.

The library presents the documentary in celebration of Black History Month.

Valley Hi-North Laguna Library is at 7400 Imagination Parkway, Sacramento (off Bruceville Road and south of Cosumnes River Boulevard.)

For more information: (916) 264-2920,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

If the best part of waking up for you is humming a little tune, singing a little song, rethinking the Folgers coffee jingle, then you should know about this:

TV American Idol.jpgThe second annual Folgers Jingle Contest. The winner gets $25,000 and a role in a Folgers commercial.

And the entry deadline for submitting a video is coming up fast: March 1.

Five finalists - last year there were more than 1,000 entries - will perform their original interpretation of the iconic Folgers "the Best Part of Wakin' Up" jingle for former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi this summer in New York City. She'll choose the winner.

The contest is open to individuals or groups of four or fewer. Must be 18 or older and U.S. residents.

Check out the official rules and instructions on how to submit a video at

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Bee File

By Dixie Reid

River Cats individual-game tickets are now on sale, making it the perfect time to plan ahead and take advantage of the team's 2011 giveaways, events and promotions.

Here is a sampling:

Opening Night (April 7) - Game Schedule Cling to first 7,500 fans

Art Day (April 10) - Team poster to first 2,500 fans

Collectible pin nights (April 12, May 21, Aug. 2 and Aug. 30) to first 2,500 fans

Mother's Day Celebration (May 8) - Cold Cup Tumbler to first 2,500 fans and a special pregame brunch package

"Hangover" Movie Night (May 26) - Postgame showing of the movie on Cat Vision for ages 17 and older

Team Spirit Night (June 3) - Rally Hawk giveaway to first 2,500 fans

Bark in the Ballpark (June 12) - Bring your dog to the game.

Father's Day Celebration (June 19) - Postgame appearance by Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey and a special barbecue package

Independence Weekend Celebration (July 2 & 3) - Fireworks extravaganza

Dinger's Birthday Bash (July 17) - Dinger Bobblehead to first 2,500 fans

Swing for the Cure (July 23) - Silent auction of jersies

Fan Appreciation Night (Sept. 1)

To see the entire list, go to or download the River Cats iPhone app.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Check it out: The Galt-Marian O. Lawrence Library - Sacramento County's second-oldest library - will be closed March 8-15 for renovations.

When it reopens at 11 a.m. March 16, patrons will find a new used-book and -magazine sales area in the lobby but likely won't see the improvements made to the staff's workroom.

During those eight days, patrons are encouraged to visit either the Elk Grove Library, 8900 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, or Valley Hi-North Laguna Library, 7400 Imagination Parkway, Sacramento (off Bruceville Road and south of Cosumnes River Boulevard).

To learn more about the Sacramento Public Library and its branches: (916) 264-2920 or

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Roseville guitarist Sue Lutz will be at Sunday's 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles - surrounded by a glittering group of nominees, from Beyoncé and Norah Jones to Michael Bublé and the Zac Brown Band.

But Lutz, an emergency-room nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville, is no nominee herself. She's already won her Grammy Award: an all-expense-paid trip for two to the telecast, including airfare and hotel, from radio station NOW 100.5 FM.

"All last week, they were having qualifier for a trip to the Grammys, four or five times a day," Lutz said. "On Wednesday, I was driving into my garage when there were doing the 4 o'clock one, so I dialed and got through. Four is my lucky number."


By Dixie Reid

OK, you lovebirds, it's three days until Valentine's. Take a breath: You have all weekend to make Monday a real Red-Letter day for that special someone.

Here are some almost-last-minute ideas:


Rite-Aid drugstores have Valentine's assortments priced at $1 and up. This week, foil-wrapped chocolate roses were on sale for 88 cents each.

See's, the iconic California candy-maker, offers a variety of heart-shaped boxes filled with their trademark treats.
For instance, the Red Signature Heart filled with two pounds of milk and dark chocolates is $46.75, and the four-pound Red Romantic Heart is $103. A snazzy-looking Tuxedo Heart box with one pound of various See's offerings, is $26.

Red roses

Relles Florist in Sacramento is selling two dozen roses in a clear glass vase for $227. A dozen stems is $100. And a single rose is $25.

Flowers De Amor in El Dorado Hills has a dozen long-stem roses for $75. One rose in a glass water-stem is just $4.99.

And Twiggs Floral Design Gallery in Sacramento has its Valentine's roses priced at $89 a dozen. One rose is $6, hand-wrapped in clear cellophane with fancy greenery.

Keep in mind that while day-of Valentine's deliveries are possible, you could pay as much as $25 for the surprise.

The card is the gift

Coffee shops, department stores, iTunes, hardware stores, big-box stores and restaurants sell signature gift cards, and you can load 'em up with as much speding money as your heart desires. Target's Valentine's-themed gift card, for instance, holds up to $1,000.

A night on the town

If your loved one has a sense of humor, check out the "Valentine's Day Comedy All-Stars" at 8 p.m. Monday at the Punchline Comedy Club, 2100 Arden Way, Sacramento. Tickets are $20. Information: (916) 925-5500.

For the musically minded, "Valentine's Day with Vivian Lee," featuring the popular jazz impresario, starts at 7 p.m. Monday at Harlow's, 2708 J St., Sacramento. Tickets are $10. Information: (916) 441-4693.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

PHOTO CREDIT: Florence Low, Sacramento Bee

By Dixie Reid

Saturday's sunshine and blue skies lured locals out their winter doldrums in record numbers for the 13th annual Sacramento Museum Day, when admission was free.

In all, 113,533 people visited 26 area museums over seven hours, breaking by a whopping 26,818 - the population of a small California city - the previous attendance record set in 2010.

By 2 p.m., Sacramento Police were advising drivers to avoid Land Park, home to the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town. California Highway Patrol noted heavy traffic on Highway 99 and Interstate 5 near the Land Park exits.

Fairytale Town had the largest turnout this year: 19,529. Sacramento Zoo, across the street, was second, with 19,448. The third most-visited was the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento, with 13,742. The Crocker Art Museum hosted nearly 10,000 visitors.

"We were having record heat on Saturday," said Paul Hammond, a Museum Day founder and chairman of the Sacramento Association of Museums. "There is no getting around the fact that when it's a nice day, people want to get out and do something."

The California State Military Museum welcomed some 6,000 visitors, its best numbers ever on Museum Day.

"Museum Day has been an opportunity for this region to know that it has a lot of museums and to be proud of that," Hammond said. "That's been the mission: To get the region to recognize the wealth of what it has."

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

More than 2,500 people showed up at Raley Field last weekend, hoping to land any of 100 seasonal jobs with the River Cats and in-house vendor Ovations Food Services.

Team officials report today that all positions were filled and have canceled a second job fair, set for this Saturday.

"We were surprised at the turnout," said spokeswoman Rebecca Brutlag. "One man came at 7 on Friday and waited all night for us to open at 10 a.m. Saturday."

In case of future openings, she encourages job-seekers to send their resume to or call the hiring hotline at (916) 376-4783.

The River Cats' 2011 season kicks off April 7 at Raley Field, against the Tacoma Rainiers.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

Having ourselves just returned from a fabulous 48 hours in Vegas with the two best girlfriends, and hearing about other female friends planning weekend trips with their best gal-pals, we thought the subject would make for a good story in The Bee.

So, if you've recently taken or plan to take such a trip, please let us know:

Dixie Reid
Entertainment & Sports writer
Sacramento Bee
(916) 321-1134
-- or reply in the 'comments' area below

By Dixie Reid

Explore a new place or revisit a favorite during Saturday's 13th annual Sacramento Museum Day.

The Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) once again offers all-day free admission to 26 area institutions of art, culture, history and adventure.


Organizers suggest visiting two or three sites, given the distance between them and travel time, and warn that the zoo, Railroad Museum and Crocker Art Museum are traditionally very crowded.

Museum Day hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. No one will be admitted after 4 p.m.

These are the participants:

Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Foundry History Museum, California State Military Museum,California State Capitol Museum, California Museum of History, Women & the Arts, California State Indian Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum, Fairytale Town, Folsom History Museum, Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland, Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, Museum of Medical History, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park, Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento History Museum, Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Wells Fargo History Museum (locations on Capitol Mall and in Old Sacramento).

The California Museum, at 10th and O streets downtown, is the central transfer spot for the free shuttles that will run throughout the day to many participating museums.

"With an expanded and energized focus on the arts, culture and museum offerings in the Sacramento region, this is an exciting time to explore the rich experiences available at a wide variety of local museums," said Paul Hammond, museum assocation chairman.

For more information on Museum Day: (916) 808-7777, (click on 'events')

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

PHOTO CREDIT: California State Railroad Museum

By Dixie Reid

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown - known as "The Movie Railroad" - will open up its usually off-limits shops and roundhouse to the public next week.

Guided tours are 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 8, and are included in park admission: $5 adults and $3 ages 6-17. Younger kids get in free.

It is an opportunity to talk with the men and women who restored Sierra No. 3, the star locomotive that appeared "Bound for Glory," "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again," "Shadow Riders," "Back to the Future III" and Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven."

And you can learn about work on Caboose No. 7 and the No. 2 Shay, plus have a chance to poke around in California's dusty, cobwebby railroading history.

Jamestown is in Tuolumne County, near Sonora and Columbia.

Here are two routes from Sacramento:

Highway 99 south to Highway 108/120 east at Manteca (Exit 242, the Yosemite National Park turnoff). Continue to Oakdale and turn left on East F Street to continue on Highway 108, which merges with Highway 49. In Jamestown, follow the signs to Railtown.

Highway 16 (Jackson Highway) east to Highway 49 south. It will eventually merge with Highway 108. In Jamestown, turn left at Fifth Avenue and follow the signs.

For more, call (209) 984-3953 or explore

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday for Sugarland's Incredible Machine Tour, coming to Raley Field on Aug. 25.

Sara Bareilles is the opening act.

Ticket prices are $40 to $75. Call (800) 745-3000 or go to

For VIP packages - including premium seats, meet-and-greet, photo opportunities and pre-show parties - contact I Love All Access: (888) 458-8297, e-mail or Twitter @iloveallaccess.

The country duo Sugarland ("Baby Girl"/"Something More") has sold more than 9 million records. Pollstar called its Incredible Machine Tour one of last year's top 50 tours.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

In its January issue, industry publication Venues Today ranked the California State Fair in 27th place - based on its 2010 attendance - among the top 50 fairs and festivals in North America.

The California State Fair changed its start date from August to mid-July last year, because schools no longer launch the fall semester after Labor Day. Most area kids were already in class when the fair's season revved up.

Thanks to the earlier start, State Fair officials saw 10 percent increase in attendance in 2010, with 742,352 fairgoers walking through the turnstiles at Cal Expo.

"We are grateful for this industry recognition," general manager Norb Bartosik said, "and pleased with our ability to provide real value, quality programming and entertainment to the fairgoers."

The 2011 California State Fair runs July 14-31.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Here's something new to bookmark:

Launched this week, it's an enhanced website that offers a calendar of upcoming concerts and other special events, along with a photo gallery (see shots of Lady Gaga at Endfest in 2009, for instance.)

Look today and you'll see that the River Cats 2011 home opener is April 7, the 5th annual Brewfest is May 13 (featuring 30 regional breweries) and Sacramento's Junior League will host its Wine & Dine event on Aug. 26.

The site offers tickets sales and a venue to plan your own event at the West Sacramento ballpark.

"In coordination with Ovations Food Services, our Raley Field events and entertainment staff is committed to providing guests with the best service and leaving them with lasting memories," said Raley Field executive Alan Ledford. "The launching of this enhanced website is another great stride in fulfilling that commitment."

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

This Valentine's Day, your Cupid can be a Sweet Adeline quartet from the Sacramento Valley Chorus.

A harmonious foursome will pop in on your beloved and sing two songs, barbershop-style, and present a silk rose, heart-shaped box of candy and a Valentine's Day card inscribed with an original verse.

Singing Valentine deliveries are for Feb. 14 only. The package is $40.

To book a reservation, call (916) 420-1662 or go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The River Cats and in-house vendor Ovations Food Services are hiring workers for the upcoming baseball, concert and special-events season.

Interested applicants, who must be 18 or older, should attend one of two job fairs, to be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 5 and Feb. 12 at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

Among the seasonal jobs are concessions workers, crowd managers, sales staff for the On Deck store, Clean Team members, parking attendants and the in-game promotions crew.

By Dixie Reid

Here is a little-known bit of baseball trivia:

The Oakland A's haven't opened the season at home on a Friday since April 16, 1979.

But this year, the Bay area team will rewrite the "record book" when they host the Mariners on April 1 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Tickets for that game, and other individual games throughout the season, will go on sale at 9 a.m. Jan. 29.

Buy tix either online at or by calling (877) 493-BALL (-2255).

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

That childhood dream of working on the railroad, or being a California pioneer, can come true - in a modern-day sort of way.

The California State Railroad Museum and Sutter's Fort State Historic Park both are looking for history-minded volunteers.

Applications are due by Friday. Training begins Feb. 19.

To learn more about volunteering at the Railroad Museum: (916) 324-7593 or

And for details on Sutter's Fort volunteer opportunities: (916) 324-0040 or

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park is at 2701 L St. in Sacramento. The California State Railroad Museum is in Old Sacramento, itself is a state historic park.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

National Geographic continues to build its online Sierra Nevada Geotourism MapGuide, now expanding to the southern Sierra Nevada.

Starting today and continuing through April, individuals can nominate their favorite destinations, restaurants, events and activities in that region at the Web site

"We define geotourism as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place, including its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents," said Jim Dion, National Geographic project manager. "Geotourism helps travelers to tread lightly and enjoy a locale's sense of place."

National Geographic partnered with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Sierra Business Council last year to create the MapGuide.

Already available online are guides to the Yosemite National Park gateway and Tahoe Emigrant Corridor. The nomination period for for the Sierra Cascade region will be announced in a few months.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Tickets are on sale now for "John Tesh: Big Band Live!" coming to Rocklin's Sunset Christian Church on Feb. 11.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Reserved seats are $20 and $30, plus service charges. A limited number of $75 VIP tickets include a backstage meeting with the singer and a copy of his book, "Intelligence for Your Life."

To purchase tickets: (877) 840-0457 or

Sunset Christian Church is at 6900 Destiny Drive in Rocklin.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The River Cats continue to prepare for the upcoming minor league season on the field, as well as off.

In addition to the search for an emcee announced earlier this week, the team is looking for folks to perform the national anthem at home games.

Singer auditions will be held Feb. 26 at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

To register for one of 60 audition times, go to

No tapes or CDs will be accepted. Neither will phone calls concerning the auditions, said team officials.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum will break with long-standing tradition and be open four Monday holidays this year, starting with next week's Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It'll be open Presidents Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day as well.

Among a full slate of activities planned for MLK Day next week are museum tours based on the civil rights leader's teachings, at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Cosumnes River College Contemporary Gospel Choir will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The film "Martin Luther King Jr.: Legacy of a Dream" will be screened at noon and 2 p.m. And readings of artist-writer Faith Ringgold's "My Dream of Martin Luther King" are set for 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., followed by an art-making project.

The Crocker, at 216 O St. in Sacramento, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 adults, $8 ages 65-plus and college students, and $5 ages 7-17. Children 6 and younger are admitted free.

For more details, go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Public Library will sponsor a series of art workshops for adults starting Feb. 12 at Arden-Dimick Library.

Space is limited, so interested artists should sign up right away.

Classes are at 2 p.m. for four consecutive Saturdays:

Feb. 12: Paper Arts - Ink and Wash
Feb. 19: Printmaking - Scratchboard
Feb. 26: Art and War - Exquisite Corpse
March 5: Photography - Photogram

To register for the series, call (916) 264-2920 or go to

Arden-Dimick Library is at 891 Watt Ave. in Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The River Cats are looking for someone with a good voice and an engaging personality as its on-field emcee for 72 home games - and potentially the playoffs - during the upcoming season. Baseball knowledge and on-camera experience are bonuses.

Applicants must submit a 60-second video of themselves hosting a between-innings promotion. Either introduce and explain to fans that three mascots are racing from first base to the plate, or ask a fan to answer a trivia question for a prize. In both scenarios, applicants choose a contest sponsor.

The entry deadline is Feb. 18. Submit tryout videos in one of two ways:

1. E-mail a digital file (.mov, .wmv, .avi or .mp4 type), along with your resume, name, age, e-mail address and phone number to

2. Mail a video (DVD, miniDV or VHS), along with your resume, name, age, e-mail address and phone number to:
River Cats Emcee Search
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Finalists will be invited to a live audition March 15 at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

The River Cats home opener is April 7. Season tickets are on sale now. Individual game tickets go on sale online Feb. 7. For ticket info, call (916) 371-HITS (371-4487)

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Time to quickly dig out those would-be family treasures, because the Art Service Group is holding an antiques evaluation event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Crocker Art Museum.

Appointments are required: (916) 808-7752.

Appraisers will focus on particular objects, so ask when calling for an appointment. Informal appraisals are $10 per item or $45 for five items.

The Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St., Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sierra Nevada's snowpack is making for a tremendous ski and snowboarding season. And now it gets even better. The non-profit Tahoe Fund has a slew of free lift tickets to give away.

Starting today, anyone who orders a Lake Tahoe special-interest license plate ($50 for Californians, $61 for Nevadans) will receive a free lift ticket to use at Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe (downhill and Nordic), Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl, Tahoe Donner (downhill and Nordic) or Tahoe Cross Country.

To learn more about the Plate for Powder Program, go to or

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) has installed a new exhibit - "In the Studio: Public Artists in Their Private Spaces" - at Sacramento International Airport's Terminal B.

It's a look at the studio work of Suzanne Adan, Gerald Heffernon, Kurt Steger, Willem de Groot, Jack Nielsen, Michael Stevens and Richard Feese, who also are widely known for their public art.

"In the Studio" fills 10 cases at Terminal B, but only ticketed passengers can see the entire exhibit. The general public can view four displays.

The show is up through April 11.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Talk about a road trip.

The San Francisco Giants are touring their giant, glittering 2010 World Champions trophy.

After two days in San Francisco, it comes to Sacramento on Thursday.

The trophy will be in Room 211 of the Capitol, 10th and L streets, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then it moves to Sacramento City Hall, 951 I St., from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The trophy will tour throughout Northern and Central California, as well as parts of Oregon and Nevada. The tour ends at AT&T Park in April, for the Giants 2011-12 home opener.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Rookie center DeMarcus Cousins is one of nine Kings players donating game-day tickets for the first "Kings for the Community Night" on Thursday.

Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, Carl Landry, Donté Greene, Jason Thompson, Omri Casspi, Tyreke Evans and Pooh Jeter joined him and the Kings basketball operations staff in giving out 600 tickets for the Denver Nuggets game.

This season, the Kings will donate 6,000 tickets to such organizations as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area; Foster Family Services; the Institute for Advancing Unity; La Familia Counseling Center; the North Roseville Recreation, Education and Creativity Center; the Roberts Family Development Center; the Sacramento Children's Home; St. Francis Home for Children and the WIND Youth Center.

"I will always remember my first NBA game," Cousins said in a news release. "Being able to give the opportunity for kids to come out and have a good time feels pretty good, especially since they may not be able to attend a game otherwise."

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Anyone planning to visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco over the next few weeks might want to take a camera.

The Academy, in Golden Gate Park, has launched a photography competition in the following categories:

Land life - butterflies, snakes, alligators, all land-dwellers
Aquatic life - fish, sea stars, coral, all life underwater
Still life - architecture, dioramas, specimens, fossils
Family life - people at the Academy
Night Life - the Academy at night

Photographers should post high-resolution images (tagged "academylovelife") on Flickr by Feb. 14.
The top prize is a behind-the-scenes tour to photograph the museum's collections. For contest details:

Be aware that the Rainforests of the World exhibit is closed for maintenance through Jan. 14.

The Academy of Sciences is at 55 Music Concourse Drive in San Francisco. For more information: (415) 379-8000.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael will play host to the American Watercolor Society's international traveling exhibition, starting Jan. 7.

It consists of 40 watercolors by artists from the United States, Canada and Singapore. The exhibition is on a U.S. tour and will remain at the Fine Arts Center through Jan. 30.

The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission to the watercolor show is a $5 donation. Anyone attending the Jan. 6 opening reception is asked to donate $15.

For more information: (916) 971-3713,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

San Francisco's de Young Museum has extended its hours for the final weeks of "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post Impressionist Masterpieces."

The exhibition of 120 masterworks from the permanent collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris is on loan to the de Young while the French museum undergoes gallery renovations. The de Young show closes Jan. 18.

Among the works on display are Claude Monet's "Frost" (1880), Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "A Dance in the Country" (1883) and Vincent van Gogh's 1887 self-portrait and his iconic "Starry Night" (1888).

Hours this week are 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. today through Thursday (last ticket sold at 7:30 p.m.), and 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday (last ticket sold at 4 p.m.)

And, the de Young will be open 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 6-9 and Jan. 13-18 (last ticket sold at 7:30 p.m.)

Timed and dated tickets for "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond" are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

The museum is in Golden Gate Park at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. For information: (415) 750-3600,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Tickets are on sale now for Cirque du Soleil's "Quidam," which will have its Sacramento premiere May 11-15, with eight performances at Arco Arena.

Prices range from $37.50 to $97.50.

More than 10 million people around the world have seen the production in which 52 acrobats, musicians, singers and characters tell the story of an unhappy girl who escapes into a world known as Quidam.

For tickets and more information: (800) 745-3000,,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum, which debuted its $100 million expansion and refurbished historic wing in October, offers "pay what you want" admission on the third Sunday of every month.

That would be this weekend.

Sunday hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition, the Crocker is among 25 Sacramento-area museums and parks participating in Sacramento Museum Day on Feb. 5, with free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is the complete list:

Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Foundry History Museum, California State Military Museum, California State Capitol Museum, California Museum for History, Women & the Arts, California State Indian Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum, Fairytale Town, Folsom History Museum, Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, Museum of Medical History, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park, Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento History Museum, Sojourner Truth Multi-Cultural Arts Museum, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Sacramento and the Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland.

For details on Museum Day, go to

By Dixie Reid

Looking for a last-minute present for an art lover? How about a gift certificate for the Crocker Art Museum?

It can be purchased in any denomination and used for museum admission ($10 adults) and toward Studio Art & Art History classes (which cost as much as $250).

"The certificates are a card that comes with a shiny silver envelope. They're perfect for teachers, co-workers and friends," said museum spokeswoman Kathleen Richards.

Another gift possibility is a museum membership, starting at $65 for an individual and $85 for a couple or family. Among the benefits are free admission for a year and discounts on museum events and purchases at the Museum Store and Crocker Cafe.

To buy gift certificates or memberships, call (916) 808-7000 or drop by the admission desk anytime the museum is open: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St. in downtown Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Lincoln Arts & Culture Foundation needs art supplies to be used in art therapy programs for at-risk children.

Here is the organization's wish list:

Construction paper, poster paper, child-safe scissors, washable paints, plastic foam in various shapes, plain white paper plates, Crayola Classic Color Markers and Crayons, 20-by-28-inch easel pads, pastels, acrylic paints, writing journals, scrapbooks, colored pencils, paintbrushes, beading kits, glue, scrapbooking materials, picture frames and matte boards, aprons, sponges, Play-Doh, quick-drying clay, jewelry-making kits, Popsicle sticks, yarn, crochet hooks, and small wooden boxes to paint and decorate.

Donations can be dropped off through Dec. 23 at Lincoln Arts' office: 580 Sixth St. in Lincoln.

Questions? (916) 645-9713 or

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Believe it or not, Santa isn't too busy for a train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown.

This weekend, the Railtown folks will hook up the legendary - and recently restored - Sierra No. 3, known as the "Movie Star Locomotive," for short excursions into the Tuolumne County countryside.

Departures are hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dave Rainwater, the "roving fiddler," will be on hand to keep Santa company.

Tickets are $13 general, $6 youth, and free for ages 5 and younger.

Sierra No. 3 was in dozens of Hollywood films, including "High Noon" and "Back to the Future III," and the TV series "Petticoat Junction."

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is at 18115 Fifth Ave. in Jamestown (90 miles southeast of Sacramento.) It's an outpost of the California State Railroad Museum.

For more information, call (209) 984-3953 or explore

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Matt Williams and Will Clark, two former and beloved San Francisco Giants players, are confirmed as speakers at the Fresno Grizzlies 50th Anniversary Hot Stove Gala on Feb. 3.

The Grizzlies are the Triple-A affiliate of the reigning World Series champion Giants (and a rival of our hometown Sacramento River Cats.)

The event at the Fresno Convention Center features a VIP reception with former and current major league ballplayers and members of the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. An awards ceremony will recognize top Central Valley baseball and softball players and coaches. Silent and live auctions will benefit the Grizzlies non-profit Community Fund.

For gala tickets and a chance to hobnob with the Giants legends, call the team's community relations staff at (559) 320-2547.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Santa seems to be at every mall in the country, but he's never too busy for a fun train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown.

This weekend, the Railtown folks will hook up the legendary - and recently restored - Sierra No. 3, known as the "Movie Star Locomotive," for excursions in the Tuolumne County countryside.

The locomotive had "roles" in such films as "High Noon" and "Back to the Future III," as well as the TV series "Petticoat Junction."

Train departures are hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dave Rainwater, the "roving fiddler," will be on hand to keep Santa company.

Tickets are $13 general, $6 youth, and free for ages 5 and younger.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is at 18115 Fifth Ave. in Jamestown (90 miles southeast of Sacramento.

For more information, call (209) 984-3953 or explore

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The rotunda of California's state Capitol is alive with the sounds of holiday music every day through Dec. 23.

The free Holiday Music Program - 11 a.m.-1 p.m. - features the likes of a Salvation Army brass quintet, a Cal-Trans vocal ensemble, a trombone jazz group, bell-ringers, harpists, violinists and a school choir.

Sponsors are the State Capitol Museum and California State Parks, along with the Legislature's joint rules committee, the governor's office and the Department of General Services.

The Capitol is at 1315 10th St., Sacramento.

For more information, call the museum at (916) 324-0333, or go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Christmas memories relived is the theme of a special holiday event Saturday and repeated Dec. 18 at Governor's Mansion State Historic Park.

The graceful Victorian where 13 governors and their families once lived is gaily dressed for the holidays. Costumed docents will portray life as it was in olden times, with holiday music and storytellers adding to the festivities.

The mansion is at 1526 H St., Sacramento.

Hours for "Christmas Memories" are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for kids 5 and younger. A photo with Santa is $3.

Questions? Call (916) 323-5916 or go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

If the holiday hustle and bustle has you wishing for simpler times, Saturday's "A Simple Emigrant Christmas" at Sutter's Fort may be just the thing.

Docents dressed in period attire will recreate the fort's holiday traditions, circa the 1840s: dipping candles, stringing popcorn and cranberries for the tree, and making paper decorations.

The demonstration event is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for kids 5 and younger.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park is at 2701 L St., Sacramento.

To learn more: (916) 445-4422,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The blockbuster exhibition "New Wave of Chinese Contemporary Art" opens today in the Library Gallery at California State University, Sacramento.

The opening reception is 5-8 p.m. today.

The show - a collection of paintings, graphics and sculptures by 19 established and up-and-coming Chinese artists - will continue through March 12, 2011.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information, call CSUS at (916) 278-4189.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

On the night of Dec. 16, K Street in downtown Sacramento will be closed at Eighth, Ninth and 10th streets to allow fans of the movie "TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D" to attempt to string together the longest "glow stick" in Guinness World Records history.

Street closures will occur between 8 and 11 p.m.

The glow stick buildup starts at Westfield Downtown Ice Rink, Seventh and K streets, where event sponsors - the Esquire Imax Theatre and Downtown Sacramento Partnership - hope to attract enough participants to make a continuous rope of 1,500 glow necklaces from there to the theater at 1211 K St.

Check-in is at 8:30 p.m. at the ice rink. Adults must accompany minors.

Each participant will receive a $3 discount to "TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D" at the Esquire. For tickets to the Dec. 16 midnight show, go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Fiddletown Preservation Society's efforts to maintain its Chinese Gold Rush-era history have been rewarded once again.

The citizens volunteer group, made up mostly of folks who live in or near the tiny Amador County town, has worked long and hard to save its surviving Chinese structures, in particular the old gambling hall and general store.

The group and partner Garavaglia Architecture recently were given the 2010 Governor's Historic Preservation Award.

Earlier this year, they earned honors from the American Institute of Architects' San Francisco chapter, as well as a preservation design award from the California Preservation Foundation.

Fiddletown lost its last Chinese resident more than 40 years ago.

"People say, 'You're all Caucasians, what do you care about a Chinatown?' " Elaine Zorbas, a member of the Fiddletown Preservation Society, told The Bee in 2009. "It's part of the history of our town. We're proud of our town, and we want to preserve the legacy of the Chinese."

All that's left of Fiddletown's Chinese district, which once made up half of a thriving community with 2,000 residents, is a general store, gambling hall and the Chew Kee store, where Dr. Yee Fung Chung dispensed herbal remedies in the mid-1800s.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento's River Cats are the country's first minor league baseball team with an iPhone app. And it's free.

Use it to check out the 2011 schedule (the April 7 season opener is a home game against Tacoma), along with charming Art of Baseball drawings by Sacramento area students.

Once the season is under way, the app will carry live pitch-by-pitch and in-game updates.

It will have Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare feeds, the latest River Cats news, team standings, and giveaway and special-offer notifications.

Starting Feb. 7, app users can buy River Cats tickets from their phone.

Until then, season tickets, mini and flex plans are available at

A River Cats app for Android users will be introduced early next year.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Just saw on Facebook that Jim H. Smith, a Davis art collector, has given 11 paintings and four sculptures to Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Art in Public Places Program.

The gifts - by such regional artists as Yoshio Taylor, John Tarahteef, Robert Ransom, Camille Vandenberg, Gale Hart and Tom Gracy - will start showing up in Sacramento city and county buildings early next year.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

For those of you making a list and checking it twice - and looking for clever and unusual gift ideas - head to the Davis Art Center's 20th annual holiday sale this weekend.

Hours are noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, at 1919 F St. in Davis. Admission is free.

Browse the offerings at 70 booths, which will include hand-knitted scarves, ceramic teapots, Yummy Dummy chocolate bars made in Davis and wall art.

Fifteen percent of sales will go to the non-profit art center for its education and class funds.

The Holiday Café will be open throughout the weekend.

To learn more about the event: (530) 756-4100,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Youth Symphony Academic Orchestra is here to offer respite from the hustle and bustle of the season with a free holiday winter concert designed for the entire family.

The concert is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library, 828 I St., Sacramento.

Angelo Moreno will conduct the full symphonic orchestra, featuring the Saltarello Flute Ensemble and Clarion Clarinet Quartet.

For more information on the event: (916) 264-2920,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

November 30, 2010
Find an elf, win a prize

By Dixie Reid

A dozen of Santa's elves are on the loose in midtown Sacramento and, with your help, they'll be rounded up and returned to the Big Guy in time for his Christmas Eve rounds.

Elves are hiding out in any of 30 midtown locations, from the Luxe Salon to Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, and maybe even Harv's Car Wash.

Starting Wednesday, and every day through Dec. 12, one elf will be waiting to be found. Clues will be posted at Explore Midtown, Sacramento, on Facebook and Twitter.

Each elf-finder will receive a nice prize from Santa himself. It might be cash, a gift certificate or holiday items from midtown businesses.

The elves could be in any of these locations:

Art Ellis
Artworks 21
Asha Yoga
B Bops Costumes & Thrift
Big Brothers Comics
Bobbi Little Skin Care
Bobbi Little's House of Balance
Bows & Arrows
Caren Templet
Cuffs Urban Apparel
Denim Spot
Felicia Strati
Fig Tree Alley Fiber Arts
French Cuff Consignment
Harv's Carwash
J's Beauty Supply
Kennedy Gallery
Luxe Salon
Midtown Framing
Relles Florist
Revolution Wines
Roberta Skin Care
Sutter's Fort
The Book Collector
Thunderhorse Vintage
Time-Tested Books
Tres Chic Boutique
United State
University Art
Zanzibar Trading Co.

View Find an Elf midtown in a larger map

The Midtown Business Association is masterminding the Great Elf Hunt of 2010.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

"New Wave of Chinese Contemporary Art" opens Dec. 10 in the Library Gallery at California State University, Sacramento.

The show will be up through March 12, 2011, and showcases paintings, graphics and sculptures by 19 established as well as up-and-coming Chinese artists. Admission is free.

The opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Dec. 10. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

"This exhibition is a continuation of the commitment the Library Gallery has to bring exhibitions that expose our students and region to art from around the world," said gallery director Phil Hitchcock.

For more information, call (916) 278-4189.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Bank of America's Museums on Us program offers its customers free admission to 120 arts, cultural and educational institutions across the country during the first full weekend of every month.

This weekend - Dec. 4-5 - BofA cardholders pay nothing to explore the following sites in our area:

- Sacramento -
California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
Crocker Art Museum

- Davis -
Explorit Science Center

- San Francisco -
Contemporary Jewish Museum
de Young Museum
Legion of Honor
Museum of African Diaspora

- Silicon Valley/San Jose -
San Jose Museum of Art
Tech Museum of Innovation

- Reno -
Nevada Museum of Art

To gain free admission, museum-goers must show a photo ID and valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card.

For more information, go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Television journalist Lisa Ling, who grew up in Carmichael, was today appointed to the board of trustees for the California Museum of History, Women & the Arts in Sacramento.

"Lisa's passion is contagious and, as a journalist, she helps us experience a myriad of people and cultures all over the world," said executive director Claudia French. "Who better to put a magnifying glass on California - one of the most innovative, exciting places in the world - and make those stories come to life?"

Last year, Ling brought national attention to Sacramento's homeless population living along the American River in a report for "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

She was in town again earlier this year for the California Museum's first Day at the Museum, a celebration of National Women's Month. Ling was on a panel with astronaut Sally Ride, environmental activist Erin Brockovich and actress Rita Moreno, moderated by first lady Maria Shriver.

Ling will host her own show, "Our America with Lisa Ling," premiering Jan. 30, 2011, on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The latest offering from the "new" Crocker Art Museum is a series called "Thursdays 'til 9," and it launches this week with Film Frame.

The idea is to offer art-lovers something different from the greater arts world each week.

"Thursdays 'til 9 lets visitors choose what kind of art experience they want to have -- whether through film, music, social gatherings or hands-on experiences," said Christian Adame, manager of the museum's life-long learning program.

Film Frame is every first Thursday. It's a series of films relating to the museum's collections or exhibitions or to important issues in arts, and will include gallery tours and various activities.

The inaugural Film Frame, at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, is a screening of "Cleophas and His Own - A North Atlantic Tragedy" (2009, 120 minutes), the story of American painter/poet Marsden Hartley, who suffered a great loss that affected his paintings during the final years of his life.

Director Michael Maglaras will introduce and discuss the film.

Reservations are required. Tickets are $6 for museum members and $12 for non-members. Purchase at the admission desk or at

Art Mix is every second Thursday and will feature local bands and DJs, along with live art demonstrations, short films, interactive installations, photo shoots, special in-gallery tours and talks.

Playlist is on third Thursdays. It's a concert series that will bring in performers from all sorts of genres, from blues and reggae to country and hip hop.

Open Art is on fourth Thursdays, starting in January 2011. The Crocker will partner with community arts organizations to offer special performances and guest speakers.

Thursdays 'til 9 is presented by Bank of America.

To view upcoming programs and check out ticket prices, go to

The Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St. in downtown Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Shop Black Friday - and the rest of Thanksgiving weekend - in style, at the Crocker Art Museum's annual Holiday Art & Craft Festival.

A hundred artists and craftspeople will be on hand with their artsy wares for sale. A Victorian-era Santa will be on hand to hear Christmas wishes. Dining will be courtesy of Ambrosia Cafe.

Festival hours are 1-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m - 4 p.m. Sunday, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento.

Admission is $6 general, $3 students and ages 65-plus; free for museum members. Free parking.

For details: (916) 808-7000,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento kicks off the Christmas season this week with its "Small Train Holiday."

On Friday and Saturday, the wandering Amazing Harmonatras will entertain museum-goers, and Mrs. Santa Claus (apparently her husband is busy elsewhere) will visit with the kids and host storytime.

There also will be handcar rides, scale model and toy train displays and holiday decor.

"Small Train Holiday" activities are included in museum admission: $9 adults, $4 ages 6-17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information: (916) 445-6645,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

A can of food, or a packaged food, is the price of (free) admission to Fairytale Town this coming Friday.

The park - at 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento - will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day, weather permitting.

All donated food goes to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

For more information: (916) 808-7462,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Solomon Dubnick Gallery is on the move, vacating its 25th Street location - other than for charity events - for a new spot at 723 Rhodin Way, near 7th and S streets downtown.

The new gallery opens Dec. 1 with the invitational show "Small Treasures" featuring the works of such artists as Gary Dinnen, Ken Waterstreet, James Mullen, Maija Peebles-Bright and Eric Dahlin. It runs through Dec. 31.

The opening reception is Dec. 4.

Hours at the new gallery will be noon-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

If the Omaha Nighthawks beat the Florida Tuskers tomorrow, the Sacramento Mountain Lions move on to the UFL championship game.

So, the home team is hosting a viewing party for Lions fans at MVP's Sports Grill, 2110 L St., Sacramento. Festivities get under way at 5 p.m. Friday. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. (HDNET will broadcast the game live.)

Mojo, the Lions' mascot, and Lady Lions dancers will be at the party. MVP's will offer drink and appetizer specials.

The Lions drew some 73,000 fans to the four home games of its inaugural season, according to team officials.

The championship match is Nov. 27 in Omaha. Las Vegas, with a 5-2 record, already has clinched a spot.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

One of the first exhibitions to open at the "new" Crocker Art Museum is the first to close.

"Wayne Thiebaud: Homecoming" will end on Nov. 28.

Sacramento's most famous painter, who turned 90 this week, had his first solo show at the Crocker Art Gallery in 1951.

"Homecoming" is a survey of his favorite subjects: Sacramento river scenes, San Francisco city scenes, desserts and people.

Bee art critic Victoria Dalkey, in her review of the exhibition, wrote:

"Ranging from 1961 to the present, the works in the show include examples of his famous still lifes of food, among them the stunning 'Bakery Case,' San Francisco cityscapes, Delta landscapes, and images of family and friends from Sacramento, among them a large and vibrant painting of his wife, Betty Jean, and former Bee Editor in Chief C.K. McClatchy determinedly ignoring each other.

"Thiebaud's first show was called 'Influences on a Young Painter.' This show demonstrates the continuing influence art history has on his work, his influence on other painters of this region, and the restless reinvention of themes that keeps his work radical while lesser painters rest on their laurels," said Dalkey.

The Crocker is at 216 O St., Sacramento.

It's open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Every third Sunday is "Pay What You Wish."

Information: (916) 808-7000,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Mountain Lions, fresh from a 27-24 win over Las Vegas last week, must beat Jeff Garcia and his Omaha Nighthawks this weekend to have a chance of making it to the United Football League championship.

Kickoff for the Lions' last regular-season home game is 8 p.m. Saturday at Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State campus.

Fan Fest, which starts at 5 p.m., promises to be the biggest of the Mountain Lions season. In addition to a tailgaters' cook-off (entries are closed), a number of entertainers - including Styx cover band Renegade, the Flex Flav Breakdance Crew and Mariachi Los Gavilanes - are set to perform.

After the game, Lions players, coaches and dancers will sign autographs on the field.

"As a football organization, you can't ask for anything more than a home stadium full of cheering fans. If we win, it will be that much more fitting to have Sacramento out on the field with us," head coach Dennis Green said in a news release.

For more information and tickets, which start at $15:

Saturday's game will be broadcast on Versus TV and radio station KHTK (1140 AM).

Omaha defeated Sacramento 20-17 the last time the teams met. Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper threw for 212 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Garcia, the onetime San Francisco 49ers quarterback from Gilroy, was intercepted twice.

The UFL championship game is Nov. 27 in Omaha.

See Denzel Washington on David Letterman, talking about his son's first touchdown for the Mt. Lions:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Calling all Harry Potter fans to gather in downtown Sacramento on the night of Nov. 18.

Teams will embark on a scavenger hunt for seven Horcruxes hidden somewhere between the Downtown Ice Rink and the Esquire IMAX Theatre, where "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" has its premiere at midnight.

Participants should gather at the ice rink, Seventh and K streets, by 8 p.m. to begin solving riddles and hunting for the Horcruxes, which - in the Harry Potter books - are where dark wizards have hidden a bit of their soul.

Teams have until 11 p.m. to complete their task. Each team will need a smartphone with Internet capabilities and a Twitter account. To learn more:

And to buy advance tickets for the midnight movie:

Downtown Sacramento Partnership and the IMAX Theatre are sponsors of the Horcrux Hunt.

A special, Harry Potter-themed skate session will precede the hunt from 6 to 8 p.m. Anyone in a Harry Potter costume will get free skate rental. Otherwise, it's $8 to skate, and shoe rental is $2.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The folks at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services anticipate a busy holiday season - and they're looking for a little help.

On Nov. 19, donors can drop off frozen turkeys and packaged side dishes such as stuffing, pumpkin pie filling, green beans and potatoes at the agency's Oak Park facility.

Donations can be made from 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 3333 Third Ave., Sacramento.

Last year, Sacramentans delivered 6,592 frozen turkeys to SFBFS and all went to families in our community. This year, the agency needs 7,000 turkeys to make sure everyone they serve has a happy Thanksgiving.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Beautiful, tree-lined Sacramento can seem apologetic for itself because it isn't San Francisco. But then again, it isn't Fresno.

And now Jerry Brown - who slept on a mattress in an N Street apartment during his first gig as governor - says he will not move here but continue to reside in Oakland.

Our civic insecurity has deep roots, says Sacramento historian William Burg.

"If you got rich in Sacramento, you moved to San Francisco," he says. "The (transcontinental railroad's) Big Four did, and even (merchants) Weinstock and Lubin did. The people who stayed here were middle-class. The working class came in and out as the jobs did, but middle class stayed, the ones with ongoing business interests.

"They didn't make enough money to move to San Francisco, but they made enough to move to Boulevard Park, or Land Park, or east Sacramento.

"The middle class is a little self-conscious. We're close enough to poverty where we can see it and far enough from wealth that we want it - and we worry about station and what people think about us because we're on our way up.

"We have nothing to apologize for," says Burg, vice president of Sacramento County Historical Society. "We've done great things, and we've always been a city. Part of that (insecurity) is that we discount anything great that comes from here, and that we have in abundance."

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

From now through Dec. 23, anyone who brings a non-perishable food item or a new, unwrapped toy to the Sacramento Zoo will earn $1 off the price of admission.

The food goes to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, and the toys are headed to Toys for Tots.

Sacramento Zoo, Land Park Drive near Sutterville Road, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Admission is free on Christmas Eve, when the zoo closes at 1:30 p.m. It will be closed all day Dec. 25.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Any idea what your "family treasures" are worth?

Art Service Group - which supports the Crocker Art Museum - is holding another of its popular evaluation sessions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Shepard Art & Garden Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

This one is just for paintings, glass, pottery, paintings, prints and costume jewelry.

Appointments are required: (916) 808-7752.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Library Journal today announced its list of the Top 10 books of 2010.

Librarians throughout the country and the journal's book reviewers chose the titles, both fiction and non-fiction.

And their picks are:

"American Terroir" by Rowan Jacobson (Bloomsbury)
"By Nightfall" by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
"Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
"How to Live, Or, a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer" by Sarah Blakewell (Other Press)
"Room" by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown)
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot (Crown)
"The Passage" by Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
"The Tiger" by John Vaillant (Knopf)
"The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" by Isabel Wilkerson (Random)
"Walker Evans Decade by Decade" (Hatje Cantz)

This is Library Journal's inaugural "best books" list.

"Our Top 10 serves the dual purpose of recognizing deservedly celebrated marquee names, as well as showcasing rising talents who may have gone unnoticed because of the sheer volume of books published," said book-review editor Heather McCormack.

Library Journal, founded in 1876, is one of the oldest publications devoted to libraries.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Best-selling "Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert is the keynote speaker at the Yoga Journal San Francisco conference in January. Her talk is open to the public.

She's expected to share lessons of creativity that guide her as a writer and spiritual seeker.

Gilbert's appearance, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, is part of the Jan. 13-17 yoga conference headquartered at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Tickets to "An Evening With Elizabeth Gilbert" are available to the general public for $59.

For the entire conference schedule and more information:
click here for the website
Or call (800) 561-9398
Or e-mail

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Old Sacramento Underground guided tours, scheduled to end this weekend, have proved so popular that the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation has extended them through Nov. 21.

Sacramento's streets were raised a dozen feet or so in the 1860s and '70s, to keep homes and businesses from flooding. That created caverns beneath the new sidewalks.

Anyone taking the tour should wear sturdy, comfortable shoes for walking on uneven ground. In addition, expect low "ceilings" in places and some tight spaces.

The tour schedule for Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14: 11 a.m. Fridays (one tour) and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays (seven tours each day, departing every half hour).

In addition, there will be one tour on Nov. 19, at 11 a.m., and four tours scheduled for Nov. 20-21, departing every half-hour from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tours last about an hour. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Check in at Sacramento History Museum, 101 I St., Old Sacramento.

For more information: (916) 808-7059,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Baseball fans will get a chance to meet Sacramento's Harry Dunlop - a player, coach, scout and manager in both the minor and major leagues from 1952 to 2005 - during a talk and book-signing next week at Belle Cooledge Library.

The free event begins at 3 p.m. Nov. 6. The library is at 5600 S. Land Park Drive, Sacramento.

Also on hand will be Raymond Ledesma, who co-wrote Dunlop's memoir, "50 Years in a Kids Game." Copies of the book will be for sale.

The Bee's Joe Davidson recalled in a 2006 column that Dunlop had a role in baseball history: "He was the catcher for Ron Necciai, who had 27 strikeouts in a nine-inning no-hitter - a baseball first, regardless of level - when they were minor league teammates in 1952."

"The older I get," Dunlop told Davidson, "the more I realize how incredible that was. I don't know if we'll ever see something like that again."

For more information on his appearance: (916) 264-2920 or

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Ann Silberman, the Sacramento woman who writes the blog Breast Cancer? But, Doctor, I Hate Pink!, is one of five cancer survivor-bloggers featured in the current issue of Woman's Day magazine.

The women talk about blogging throughout their treatment and recovery - and why they do it.

In the Woman's Day article, Silberman wrote:

"Almost the first thing I did when I heard the words 'You have breast cancer' was pick a blog name. I realized that being breastless and bald would not go unnoticed, even among my more distracted family members, and the thought of repeating the same information by phone to various relatives exhausted me.

"So it seemed logical to put it all down in one place and let people choose what they wanted to know and when. I chose the name 'But, Doctor, I Hate Pink' because it perfectly described how I felt about being drafted into this pink-ribbon world."

Read the entire article at

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Next Tuesday, a crowd of about 30,000 attending the Women's Conference in Long Beach will hear talks by an all-star lineup that will include former first lady Laura Bush, "Today" host Matt Lauer, California gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, and poet Mary Oliver.

Also speaking will be ABC "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer, Eastman Kodak executive Leslie Dance, Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court.

No one in Sacramento need feel left out -- the California Museum will host a live simulcast of the talks from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. next Tuesday. Admission is free.

Members of the National Association of Women Business Owners local chapter and other professionals are expected to attend.

The Women's Conference, called "the nation's premier forum for women," is hosted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver.

Box lunches will be sold during the simulcast.

Anyone who registers on the California Museum's Facebook page by 2 p.m. Friday will receive an admission to the California Museum and, while supplies last, a copy of "Tips For Life," a calendar book introduced by Shriver.

The California Museum is at 1020 O St., Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

With the Nov. 2 election around the corner, the folks at the California State Capitol Museum are turning back the clock to the 1906 gubernatorial race.

On Saturday, everyone is invited to vote - as if it were 114 years ago - for California's governor. The candidates are: Theodore Bell (Democrat), James Gillett (Republican), William Langdon (Independence League) and Austin Lewis (Socialist).

Costumed docents will portray the candidates and deliver campaign speeches in 15-minute plays, which will be repeated throughout the day.

Women couldn't vote in 1906, so costumed suffragists will be campaigning for their right to vote.

"1906 Election Day Living History" is 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the museum, which is at the state Capitol, 10th Street between L and N streets in downtown Sacramento.

Admission is free. The event also will include special activities for children.

For details: (916) 324-0333,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

For the first time, the University of California, Davis, will celebrate both the arts and nature on a single day.

The Arboretum Arts Festival, set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, will take place at various campus sites, including Lake Spafford and the arboretum's redwood grove.

The festival is part of the UC Davis Arboretum GATEways (Gardens, Arts and the Environment) Project, designed to showcase creative work by students and to introduce the arboretum as "a portal" to the university.

Here is a schedule of performances. All will take place at Wyatt Deck, next to the arboretum's redwood grove.
-- Noon: Gamelan Ensemble of Indonesia
-- 12:30 p.m.: Brazilian Samba School
-- 1 p.m.: Excerpts from "Tilly No-Body: Catastrophes of Love," a production continuing through Sunday at the Mondavi Center
-- 1:30 p.m.: Chamber music
-- 2 p.m.: Excerpts from UC Davis' recent "Slaughterhouse Five" project
-- 2:30 p.m.: Original choreography and music by graduate student Ching-Yi Wang
-- 3 p.m.: Student monologues
-- 3:30 p.m.: Chamber music
-- 4 p.m.: Sound poet DeNNiS SOmeRA

The following art events will be go from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
-- An environmental installation by Iranian artist Minoosh Zomorodinia on the north shore of Lake Spafford. (At 3 p.m., students will use Zomorodinia's installation as the subject of plein air paintings.)
-- "Wonderers," a photography exhibit, at the Nelson Gallery in the Art Building
-- Student Film Festival, Dance Studio in the University Club

For more information and to find festival-related maps:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

A huge turnout for the Sacramento Mountain Lions' first home game last month literally stopped traffic.

Now, team officials are prepared to host the more than 20,000 fans expected to descend on Sac State's Hornet Stadium on Friday night when the Mountain Lions take on the Las Vegas Locomotives.

Grammy-nominated rapper/hip-hop artist Flo Rida will perform during FanFest (5-8 p.m.) and at halftime.

"For the second game, we've addressed all of the traffic concerns with additional staffing, signs and planning. We expect a much cleaner flow of traffic," said Joe Wagoner, the Mountain Lions' director of business management.

He suggested that fans arrive early and enter the stadium parking lots off College Town Drive or J Street. Bike lockups are available. Light rail and city buses also serve the campus. Learn more at

Friday's kickoff is at 8 p.m.

For tickets:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Live Nation announced today that Sara Evans will open for Rascal Flatts at the trio's rescheduled Sleep Train Amphitheatre show on Saturday.

Evans, who debuted on the country charts in 1997 with "Three Chords and the Truth," had her first Billboard chart-topper the following year: "No Place That Far."

She replaces the previously announced openers Kellie Pickler and Chris Young.

For more information on the concert, which was postponed from Oct. 7, go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Public Library - all 28 locations - will be closed Oct. 13, for a staff day.

Patrons can go through to use the library's catalog and databases or to access e-books, audio books and music.

For details about the library's one-day closure, check the Website or call (916) 264-2920.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Spotted at Saturday night's Sacramento Mountain Lions home opener at Hornet Stadium:

- Denzel Washington, in town to watch son John David Washington (No. 28) run for the Lions.
- Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings guard (and NBA rookie of the year) and cagefighter Urijah "The California Kid" Faber, going head-to-head in a football skills challenge. Evans, who is quite the field-goal kicker, won.
- Mayor Kevin Johnson, the honorary coin-tosser whose introduction was met with both applause and boos from the crowd.
- Jeff Keith, Tesla lead singer, singing the national anthem.
- Jackie Greene performing during the pregame Fan Fest and at halftime.
- Bobby Jackson, the beloved former Sacramento Kings, causing a stir when he wandered through the eastside bleachers.
- Unknown fans with mullets -- really long mullets. (Are they back in "style" ?)

And, on the field:
The Mountain Lions came from behind to beat the Florida Tuskers 24-20, with just 31 seconds in the game.

Attendance was around 21,000, nearly a sellout.

The next home game is at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 - a Friday - against Las Vegas Locomotives.

Tickets are $15-$35. Parking is $5. More information:, (916) 383-5466

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

El Dorado County will conduct its first-ever Arts Census throughout October.

The idea is to better define the county's creative sector, said Deb Jensen, who heads the El Dorado Arts Council.

Creativity Counts! El Dorado County Arts Census 2010, a joint project with the El Dorado County Office of Economic Development, will include every El Dorado community, including South Lake Tahoe, Cool and El Dorado Hills.

Artists and anyone involved with arts organizations or businesses can schedule an Arts Census interview - it takes about 15 minutes - by e-mailing Jensen at

The council is looking for volunteers to help with the census. To sign up, call (530) 295-3496 or e-mail

"We want to know how many practicing artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers and poets there are in El Dorado County," Jensen said. "Galleries, music stores, frame shops and other arts-related businesses are part of the creative economy, too. Finding out how they perceive the business climate is important."

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

wayne.jpgBy Niesha Lofing

Google is celebrating its 12th birthday today with a special logo by Sacramento's most famous artist, Wayne Thiebaud.

Above the search bar on the search engine's homepage today is an image of a simple, round birthday cake bearing the name "Google," a red candle standing in for the letter "l."

cake.jpgThe image is quintessential Thiebaud, and reminiscent of the 89-year-old artist's 1963 painting, "Cakes" and a 1992 drawing titled "Celebration Cakes." (the latter drawing, shown at right, is courtesy of Richard L. Nelson Gallery)

Thiebaud, shown at left in a photo by The Bee's Carl Costas, will be honored in an exhibition of his work at the Crocker Art Museum when the newly renovated and expanded museum opens Oct. 10. Thiebaud's first solo show was held at the museum, then called the Crocker Art Gallery, in 1951.

He also will be among 14 notable Californians inducted into the California Hall of Fame in December.

Click here to read Bee staffer Dixie Reid's story about Thiebaud and other 2010 inductees.

By Dixie Reid

Somewhere in Sacramento is a life-size cutout of Sacramento Mountain Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

Find it first and you win an autographed football.

Runners-up are encouraged to take a photo of themselves with the cutout and e-mail the image to to be eligible for other prizes.

Clues to the "Where's Daunte?" social-media scavenger hunt are on Facebook ( and Twitter (@SacMtnLions).

The contest kicks off today and runs through Friday.

The Mountain Lions' first home game is at 8 p.m. Saturday at Hornet Stadium on the campus of California State University, Sacramento. Pregame activities begin at 5 p.m. with a performance by Jackie Greene, tailgating and family-style activities.

For tickets:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

September 17, 2010
Pitching their baseball saga

By Dixie Reid

Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns was in Sacramento on Thursday to preview his latest project, "Baseball: The Tenth Inning," for an invitation-only audience at the Channel 6 (KVIE) studios.

Nearly 200 people saw excerpts from the two-part, four-hour documentary, which will air at 8 p.m. Sept. 28-29 on Channel 6 and other public broadcasting stations around the country.

Bee columnist Marcos Breton, a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan who has written books about baseball, is one of the film's most prominent storytellers.

"The Tenth Inning" continues Burns' epic history of the game, "Baseball," an 18 1/2-hour series that debuted on PBS during the 1994 players strike.

"We turned out to be the only baseball that was on the dial," Burns said Thursday, "and that may have been responsible for the fact that this is the most-watched PBS series in history, with 43 million people starved for baseball looking in."

Burns and directing-producing partner Lynn Novick hadn't intended to do a follow-up to "Baseball," but by the end of the 20th century, the game was changing radically, with players pumping up their bodies and statistics with performance-enhancing drugs, and an influx of Latin and Asian talent that would change the game forever.

Earlier Thursday, Burns and Novick appeared on KFBK radio's morning news program and the Armstrong & Getty show on Talk 650 (KSTE). They will continue their promotional tour for the documentary with a stop in Seattle.

Burns and "The Tenth Inning" will be profiled in The Bee's Living Here section on Sept. 27.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Happy birthday, California.

Our state turns 160 on Thursday and to celebrate, California State Parks and the State Capitol Museum, along with its volunteers, are throwing an Admission Day party.

It starts at 11 a.m. on the north steps of the state capitol, 11th and L streets. Admission is free.

Everyone is invited to stop by for birthday cake and ice cream and to hear some rousing patriotic music.

For details: (916) 324-0333,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa will become comedy central on Saturday when 16 cartoonists gather to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Schulz's iconic comic strip, "Peanuts."

Schulz died in 2000, the day before the last original "Peanuts" appeared in Sunday papers. His work continues to appear in newspapers throughout the world, including The Bee.

Among those taking part in Saturday's sketch-a-thon are Dan Piraro, creator of "Bizarro" and this year's winner of the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for cartoonist of the year; "All Over Coffee" creator Paul Madonna; digital caricaturist Rhoda Draws, and Nickelodeon animator Mike Gray.

Museum visitors can talk with the cartoonists and watch them work from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., Piraro will discuss his work in the museum's theater.

Other cartoonists participating are Brent Anderson, Michael Capozzola, Alexis Fajardo, Brian Fies, Shaenon Garrity, Debbie Huey, Greg Knight, Jonathan Lemon, Brian Narelle, Thien Pham, Lark Pien and Frank Roberson.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. Admission is $10 general and $5 for ages 4-18 and 62-plus, and college students with valid ID.

For more information:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento will be a busy place over the Labor Day weekend, so the Sacramento Police Department issued an alert Thursday about several upcoming events and their impact on traffic.

Here's what you should know to make getting around town a little easier:

Gold Rush Days
Friday-Monday in Old Sacramento
All streets in Old Sacramento will be closed.

Sacramento Day of Prayer
Saturday on Capitol Mall
Capitol Mall between Third and 10th streets will be closed.

Private wedding
Sunday at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J St.
Traffic controls will be in effect 1:45-2:30 p.m. along I and J streets, between 11th and 13th streets.

Rainbow Festival
Sunday in midtown
20th Street between L and J streets, as well as K Street between 20th and 21st streets will be closed.

Labor Day Picnic and Run for Democracy
Monday at William Land Park
Temporary morning street closures for 5K run/walk.

There are no planned street closures for Chalk-It-Up! which runs Saturday-Monday at Fremont Park, 1515 Q St., or the Tejano Conjunto Festival on Sunday at Cesar Chavez Park, Ninth and I streets.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sal Valentino Band & Strings concert set for Sept. 9 at Fairytale Town has been cancelled.

The reason, according to a news release, is "unforseen scheduling conflicts."

Fairytale Town staff can answer any questions: (916) 808-7462.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Mountain Lions, heading into the start of the United Football League season, will play a practice game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Foothill High School, 5000 McCloud Drive, Sacramento.

The public is invited. Parking and admission are free.

"It's another chance for us to play on artificial surface," head coach Dennis Green said in a news release. The team held a similar practice last weekend at Rio Linda High.

"And this time it's at night and a lot of our games will also be at night," Green said.

Mountain Lions merchandise will be available for sale.

The team will play its home games at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium.

Here's the schedule:

Sept. 18 at Hartford, Conn.
Sept. 25, vs. Florida in Sacramento
Oct. 2, at Omaha
Oct. 15, vs. Las Vegas in Sacramento
Oct. 21, at Florida
Oct. 30, vs. Hartford in Sacramento
Nov. 6, at Las Vegas
Nov., vs. Omaha in Sacramento

The championship game is Nov. 26.

For tickets:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Alternative-rock radio station KKDO (94.7 FM) today announced Casey Lewis and Alisha Pek as a new on-air team with additional duties.

Pek, who is also the station's new music director, comes to Sacramento after stints on San Francisco stations Alice@97.3 and Movin' 99.7.

Lewis, who also will oversee the station's social-networking efforts, is an actor who has appeared in an episode of "ER" on NBC and in more than 30 music videos.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

During this weekend's Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum will send history lovers a few decades forward to celebrate the Hollywood-immortalized Harvey Girls.

English immigrant Fred Harvey operated restaurants up and down the Santa Fe Railroad's main line, from Chicago to California, throughout the late 1800s, hiring attractive, efficient young women - Harvey Girls - to wait on customers.

The waitresses were immortalized in the 1946 musical "The Harvey Girls," starring Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury. The museum will screen the film twice this weekend, at 4 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday, in the East Theater.

Memorabilia from the movie is a part of the museum's exhibit "Rails & Reels: Hollywood, Trains and the Making of Motion Pictures."

Stephen Fried, author of "Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West," will lecture on the history of Harvey and his Harvey Girls at both screenings.

The railroad museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. This weekend only - Friday through Monday - a two-for-one special allows entry to both the railroad museum and the nearby Sacramento History Museum for $9 general, $4 for ages 6-17. Admission is free for children 5 and younger.

There is no additional charge for the Harvey Girls events.

The Railroad Museum is at 111 I St., Old Sacramento. For more information: (916) 445-6645,

The 11th annual Gold Rush Days runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday throughout Old Sacramento. Admission is free.

Gold Rush Days is sponsored by the city of Sacramento, the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, California State Parks, the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation, the Old Sacramento Historic District Office and Sacramento History Museum.

For more on Gold Rush Days: (916) 808-7777,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Humorist Garrison Keillor, who introduced "good, loving people who drive each other crazy" in the book and radio versions of "A Prairie Home Companion," returns to Sacramento on Sept. 23.

Tickets have gone on sale for "An Evening With Garrison Keillor" at the Community Center Theater.

By now, Sacramento must feel as much like home to Keillor as his fictitious Lake Wobegon.

He was a part of the Mondavi Center's Distinguished Speakers Series in 2003, the Sacramento Speakers Series in 2006 and California Lectures in 2008. He canceled his September 2009 appearance at Memorial Auditorium after suffering a minor stroke.

Keillor's night of humor and yarn-spinning is set for 8 p.m. at the theater, 1301 L St.

Tickets are $49-$69.

For more information: (800) 225-2277, (916) 808-5181,

"A Prairie Home Companion" airs on National Public Radio stations around the country, including both of Sacramento's Capital Public Radio outlets, KXJZ (90.9 FM) and KXPR (88.9 FM).

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Mountain Lions will practice Saturday at Rio Linda High School.

Head coach Dennis Green temporarily moved training camp because the school's field has turf similar to that at Sac State, where the Mountain Lions will play their home games.

Saturday's training camp is in two sessions: 8:45-10:30 a.m. and 2:30-3:45 p.m.

"In the morning we'll practice all aspects, and in the afternoon we'll do a mock game," said Green. "(The high school is) easy for fans to get to, if people want to come out and watch."

Admission and parking are free.

On Monday, the team resumes its workouts at Harvard Corporate Center.

The Mountain Lions kick off their UFL season with an away game at Hartford on Sept. 18. The first home game is at 8 p.m. Sept. 25 against Florida.

For tickets: (916) 383-LION (383-5466)

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has said his rescheduled wedding will not take place in Sacramento.

Johnson made the remark Wednesday during his regular "Midweek With the Mayor" interview with KFBK's Kitty O'Neal .

Johnson and fiancee Michelle Rhee, chancellor of Washington, D.C., schools, had planned a Sept. 4 wedding at St. John's Lutheran Church in downtown Sacramento. A dinner-dance was to follow at the Arden Oaks mansion of Sacramento developer and Johnson friend-supporter Angelo Tsakopoulos.

The couple e-mailed their 200 guests earlier this week to tell them that a downsized wedding will take place on a different day at a different location.

"It won't happen in Sacramento," Johnson said in the interview. "We haven't decided when and where."

Johnson took some heat in recent weeks for having his wedding reception at the home of one of the city's most powerful and influential developers.

"I thought it would have been cool to do it in Sacramento," said Johnson, who was born and raised here.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Wayne Thiebaud, Gregory Kondos and Fred Dalkey will be the featured artists in the inaugural exhibition at the new Gregory Kondos Gallery at Sacramento City College. The exhibit opens Thursday.

It's a rare opportunity to see favorite pieces of art handpicked by the three artists - all of whom once taught at the college. Dalkey also was a student there.

"Works by Fred Dalkey, Gregory Kondos and Wayne Thiebaud" continues through Sept. 24. Look for a story on the exhibition and the newly reopened gallery in Friday's Ticket section.

Gallery hours are noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment. The opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Sept. 2. Admission is free.

The Kondos Gallery is in the Fischbacher Art Building at Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento

For more information, call (916) 650-2942 or e-mail

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Rancho Murieta Bandits defeated league rivals Sierra Highlanders to win last weekend's California Cup, a baseball tournament to determine bragging rights as the best vintage base ball team in Northern California.

The Bandits defeated the Highlanders 4-3 in Sunday afternoon's championship game, at Rancho Murieta's Stonehouse Park.

Both teams play by 1886 rules, wear baggy reproduction uniforms and catch balls in small, barely padded gloves with no webbing.

The Gold Country Vintage Base Ball (as the word was spelled in 1886) league was featured in an Aug. 15 story in The Bee.

The two Sacramento-area teams held off challenges from two Bay area teams, the Santa Clara Stogies of the California Vintage Base Ball Federation, and the New Almaden Quicksilvers of the Bay Area Vintage Base Ball league.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Mountain Lions are throwing a big party tonight for their fans.

The event, from 6 to 9 p.m., is at the team's home field: Hornet Stadium, on the campus of California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J St.

A number of Mountain Lions players, as well as head coach Dennis Green, are expected to be on hand for autographs, and the team's cheerleading squad will perform.

Fans will be able to buy Mountain Lions merchandise and take part in a quarterback challenge.

In addition, this event is the public's first opportunity to buy single-game tickets. Prior to today, only season tickets were available.

The first home game is Sept. 25.

For more on the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions, call (916) 383-LION (383-5466).

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

What's "up" is a free movie - Disney/Pixar's "UP" - Friday evening at Fremont Park in midtown Sacramento.

The screening is part of an annual movie-night event hosted by CADA (Capitol Area Development Authority), the City of Sacramento and the Friends of Fremont Park.

The party kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with face-painting by Mimo the Clown, balloon art, music and hot dogs. The movie will start at dusk, around 7:45 p.m.

"UP" won an Oscar as the best animated feature film of 2009. The voice talent includes Ed Asner as old man Carl Fredericksen and Jordan Nagai as his kid sidekick, Russell.

Fremont Park is bordered by P and Q streets, between 15th and 16th streets.

For more information, go to the "UP" event on CADA• s Facebook page:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

This beats "dot racing" any day.

The Sacramento River Cats on Friday will put to rest the lingering question: Which of the two leading candidates for California governor is the biggest bobblehead?

The first 2,500 fans through the gates can choose either a Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman bobblehead doll - in effect casting a vote in the Bobblehead Election.

The winner, assuming some dolls are left unclaimed, will be announced during the game.

The Cats take on the Iowa Cubs at 7:05 p.m. The gates of Raley Field open at 6 p.m.

Click here to vote for your favorite bobblehead.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Country in the Park is moving to the city.

The 11th annual music festival sponsored by radio station KNCI will relocate to downtown Sacramento on Aug. 29.

Capitol Mall, with its wide swath of greenery, will be closed to traffic between 3rd and 7th streets. Festival-goers will have views of the Tower Bridge, Old Sacramento, the State Capitol and the Crocker Art Museum.

"The (Convention and Visitors Bureau) came to us with the idea, 'Why not move it downtown?' and it seemed great to us," said KNCI promotions director Matt Vieira. "We thought we'd give it a shot. There is grass and a lot of trees, and to have the Capitol as a backdrop is really cool. A lot of major cities to big concerts downtown, which is something Sacramento hasn't done."

Mike Testa, spokesman for the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, hopes that Country in the Park return to Labor Day weekend after this year.

"We see the potential marriage between this event and Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento, which also is held over Labor Day weekend. The idea for us is twofold: to create activity that attracts a local audience and draws visitors from elsewhere, with programming downtown and in Old Sacramento."

Dierks Bentley, Jack Ingram and Whiskey Dawn are this year's Country in the Park headliners.

Gates open at 11 a.m., and the show starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are $24 in advance at participating Ace Hardware stores. The event is free for children 10 and younger.

In past years, Country in the Park has alternated between Gibson Ranch, a Sacramento County park in Elverta, and Discovery Park near Old Sacramento. The festival was moved up a week this year to accommodate the performers' schedules, said Vieira.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

One memorable story in transcontinental railroad history took place May 8, 1869, when Sacramentans celebrated with cheers, bells and cannon fire the precise moment former Gov. Leland Stanford tapped a ceremonial spike into the final tie.

Except that he didn't, not that day.

They didn't know that the ceremony in the Utah Territory had been postponed two days after a Union Pacific Railroad executive failed to make it on time.

Dick Dotters and Evan Gage will share many colorful stories during the "History of the Railroad" tour, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway.

The tour is free. Donations will be accepted for cemetery restoration.

Tour-goers should park in a lot across Broadway from the cemetery's 10th Street main gate.

For more information, call (916) 448-0811.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The 2010 California State Fair went out with a bang Sunday night, ending its 19-day run with a total attendance of 741,189 - a 10 percent increase over 2009.

The two Tuesdays during the fair's run saw record attendance, the highest weekday totals in its 157-year history: 56,505 on July 20 and 73,363 on July 27. Kids 12 and younger were admitted free, and midway rides were $1 apiece for everyone on both days.

Fair officials credit an aggressive campaign of discount admissions and lower-cost concessions for the overall numbers boost.

As many as 100 food vendors cut their prices 25 percent, leading to long lines, and fair attendees sampling more offerings than they might ordinarily. This year's fair saw the addition of such "delicacies" as chocolate-covered bacon and alligator on a stick, along with perennial favorites such as funnel cakes, corn dogs and cinnamon rolls.

Among the admissions deals was the State Fair Season Pass (a combination ticket to the fair and Raging Waters water park), which saw a 400 percent sales increase over last year.

More than 1,500 Californians took advantage of the "Recession Special," an offer of free admission to the State Fair with their unemployment-check stub.

This was the first time in more than a century that the California State Fair opened in July, rather than starting in mid-August and ending on Labor Day. The change accommodated an earlier start to the school year. And this year the fair opened on a Wednesday, rather than the traditional Friday, to accommodate the horse-racing schedule.

"We're thrilled with this year's attendance," State Fair general manager Norb Bartosik said in a news release. "With the transition to a new schedule, we didn't know what to expect, but the numbers show that Californians came out in droves to support the fair, and for that we say, thanks."

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Today kicks off the final weekend of the 2010 California State Fair, which runs through Sunday at Cal Expo.

Hours for the last three days are 10 a.m.-10 p.m., with the Magnificent Midway open until 11 p.m.

Among today's highlights:

It's Seniors Day, which means anyone 62 or older will pay just $8 admission before 8 p.m. - and gets free rides on the Grand Carousel and Giant Gondola Wheel in the carnival midway.

Watermelon-eating contest gets under way at 12:30 p.m. at the Farm.

The hot rod tractor pull starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Miller Lite Grandstand.

Foghat will take to the Golden 1 stage at 8 p.m. for a free concert. Local favorite Mick Martin & the Blues Rockers will perform at 5 p.m. on the shaded Blues and Brews stage.

Stand-ins for the Foster Farms 2010 Presidential Turkeys are holding court at the Coca-Cola Main Promenade. The actual turkeys to be pardoned this Thanksgiving by President Barack Obama are "infants" and too young for their "15 minutes of fame" quite yet.

Livestock judging continues in the Livestock Pavilion.

Hungry? Stop by the "Dirt to Dish" demonstration kitchen at the Farm for food samples: 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Cal Expo is at 1600 Exposition Blvd., off the Capital City Freeway (Business 80).

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Fans heading to tonight's matchup between the Sacramento River Cats and the Colorado Spring Sky Sox at Raley Field will encounter new - but minor - parking issues.

Starting today, some parking lots will be affected by the City of West Sacramento's work on the Bridge District development.

Here is a rundown:

South River Road, between Ballpark Drive and Riske Lane, is temporarily closed, impacting entrances and exits for Lots C2 and D1, which move temporarily to Riske Lane.

Lots F1 and F2 are closed temporarily.

Lot F6 is now open for fan parking.

Parking remains available in Lots G and H, off West Capitol Avenue and 3rd Street.

Questions? Call (916) 376-4676 or check for updates at

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The public is invited to cheer on Sacramento Mountain Lion's cheerleader/dance team hopefuls during their final round of auditions Friday night.

Thirty finalists will compete for 15 open spots, joining 17 dancer/cheerleaders already on the team.

The finals begin at 8 p.m. Friday at Venue Events Center, 1417 R St., Sacramento. An after-party will follow.

The Mountain Lions' cheerleading-dance team will perform during the four home games at California State University, Sacramento, and will serve as team ambassadors at public functions.

The team's home opener is Sept. 25. To purchase season tickets: (916) 383-LION (383-5466) or

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The California State Fair is taking its "Passport to Adventure" theme seriously.

On Saturday, fairgoers can apply for and process their U.S. passport paperwork at the Passport Station, located near the entrance of the Horse Show and Rodeo Arena at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

Once finished, passport applications can be mailed at the State Fair's post office.

The service is offered in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service.

Applicants must submit one of the following proofs of U.S. citizenship:
Certified U.S. birth certificate
Certificate of natural citizenship or naturalization
Existing, fully valid U.S. passport
Consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth

And applicants must have one of the following proofs of identity:
A current, valid driver's license
Military ID
Valid passport
Recently issued certificate of naturalization or citizenship with recognizable photograph

Children under 16 must apply in person and be in the company of their parents or guardian. They must bring the following:
Evidence of the child's U.S. citizenship and his or her relationship to parents or guardian(s). The adults also must present identification.

If only one parent will accompany the child, bring the following:
Second parent's notarized, written statement giving consent for child's passport
Primary evidence of sole authority to apply
Written statement (made under penalty of perjury) explaining the second parent's unavailability.

Applicants will need two identical color passport photos, measuring 2-by-2 inches, taken within the past six months. They must show a full-face, front view and have been taken against a white or off-white background. The subject must be in normal street attire and not wearing headgear.

For a list of passport fees and more information about the application process:

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Due to overwhelming interest in its "Hang at the Crocker" community art project, the Crocker Art Museum has extended the submission deadline until Sunday.

"We are hearing from so many people that they want to be a part of it," said museum spokeswoman Kathleen Richards.

The original deadline was Tuesday and, by the end of the day, the museum had received as many as 500 submissions.

Individuals may submit a 4-by-6-inch, two-dimensional piece of personal art that will become part of a new-media animated collage designed by artist Rachel Clarke. The resulting mosaic will be projected on a wall in the museum's new wing, the Teel Family Pavilion, when it opens Oct. 10.

Everyone who submits a piece of art must be a museum member.

For details and instructions on how to participate in "Hang at the Crocker," go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Daunte Culpepper-led Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League will hold cheerleader tryouts this weekend.

The team is looking for young women 18 and older with dance and cheer experience. Hopefuls should dress in dance wear (briefs or boy shorts and a half top) and bring a resume and head shot.

The preliminary audition, which is closed to the public, starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Venue Events Center, 1417 R St. in Sacramento. It is expected to last several hours.

The final round on July 30 will be open to spectators. Time and location will be announced later.

The cheerleading-dance team will perform during the Mountain Lions' four home games at California State University, Sacramento. The home opener is Sept. 25.

Team members are required to attend rehearsals and make special appearances on behalf of the Mountain Lions.

Interested candidates can learn more by e-mailing

Signups are at the door or in advance at

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The California State Fair, already responding to difficult economic times by lowering the price of most food concessions by 25 percent, now offers free admission both today and July 27 to anyone who can show the stub from their unemployment check at the box office.

The free ticket is good on the day of issue only.

"The California State Fair is doing its part to ensure that priceless memories are affordable for people who may not otherwise be able to enjoy those special moments," general manager Norb Bartosik said in a news release.

Tuesday also is Kids Day, when youngsters 12 and under are admitted free, and all carnival rides are $1 for everyone.

The fair opens at noon today and closes at 10 p.m. The State Fair continues through Aug. 1 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento. Parking at the fairgrounds is $10.

For more information about the free ticket offer, call (916) 263-3049 or e-mail

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Lincoln Arts & Culture Foundation has put out a call to artists for its upcoming "Paint Mexico" show, to be held at gallery.

The deadline to submit an entry is Friday. Work must be delivered on Aug. 2. The show opens Aug. 3 and continues through Sept 17.

A reception for the artists is 6-8 p.m. Aug. 6.

Foundation officials are looking for images of Mexico or Latin America in paintings, sculpture, photos or any other media.

Entry fee is $10, and the foundation will take 30 percent of all art sales.

For details, call Lincoln Arts at (916) 645-9713 or drop by the gallery - 580 Sixth St. in Lincoln - during business hours.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Tuesday is River Cats Day at the California State Fair.

And, the first 3,000 people through the turnstiles when the fair opens at noon will each receive a free ticket for an upcoming Cats home game.

The Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A farm team of the Oakland A's, play at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

For more on tomorrow's giveaway, as well as everything else going on at the California State Fair, look here

The California State Fair is under way at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

Hot dogs are a staple at the California State Fair, and the "hottest" dogs there this weekend will be competing in the 11th annual Dachshund Derby.

Sixty-four pooches are entered, competing for a jackpot of $650 - which will buy a lot of kibble and treats.

The first of eight heats begins at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Miller Lite Grandstand at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

The Dachshund Derby is free with State Fair admission and benefits the Blue Buffalo Foundation, which funds cancer research for dogs and cats.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

Fairytale Town, long Sacramento's favorite playground, is making its name as a concert venue on no less than the Mother Goose Stage.

Next up is Mumbo Gumbo, celebrating its 20th anniversary as a band, on Aug. 11. Sal Valentino Band & Strings (Valentino is an alum of the Beau Brummels and Stoneground) follows on Sept. 9.

Both are 7 p.m. shows

Tickets are $10. Get them at the Fairytale Town box office, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, or online at, or by calling (916) 808-7462.

- Dixie Reid

History buffs - particularly California State Fair history buffs - will get a kick out of Carson Hendricks' newly published "California State Fair," a part of Arcadia Publishing's popular Images of America series.

The 128-page paperback showcases more than 200 black-and-white photographs that trace the fair's history from its 1854 beginnings in San Francisco to its long tenure on Broadway in Sacramento and its move to "modern" Cal Expo more than 40 years ago.

Hendricks, a Sacramento resident, is at the fair today, signing books and visiting with folks from noon to 8 p.m. in the California Building. "California State Fair" retails for $21.99.

Cal Expo is at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

Lindsay Davenport, one of the top female tennis players in the world - and a former member of World Team Tennis' Sacramento Capitals - will be back in town tomorrow when her St. Louis Aces take on the hometown aces at 7:30 p.m. at Westfield Galleria shopping center in Roseville.

Prior to the matches, Davenport will make an appearance at "Drop Shot Diva Day," a special Westfield Galleria event for women who love tennis and being pampered.

Here's the schedule:
3 p.m. at Macy's - Makeovers, prizes and special offers.
5 p.m. at Il Fornaio - Italian cuisine and a meet-and-greet with Davenport.

The package is $75. Call (916) 638-4001 to purchase.

For more information on the Sacramento Capitals, check out

The team's temporary stadium is at the corner of Galleria Boulevard and Roseville Parkway in Roseville. From Sacramento, take I-80 East to Highway 65 North and exit onto Galleria Boulevard.

- Dixie Reid

Tuesday is the last day to snag cut-rate tickets for the 2010 California State Fair, which opens Wednesday and runs daily through Aug. 1 at Cal Expo.

The Poppy Pak - four admissions, four rides and one parking pass - is a great deal at $39.95 (parking alone is $10). Poppy Paks are not available at the gate; they can be purchased online today and Tuesday.

Single tickets are $2 cheaper now than when the fair is under way: general admission, $10; ages 62 and older, $8; and ages 5-12, $6.

Children 4 and younger are admitted free.

Go to to see all available discounts.

Fair-food fanatics will be delighted that vendors - other than those in the Magnificent Midway, Miller Grandstand and Kids Park - have lowered their prices 25 percent from last year.

State Fair hours are noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Exhibit buildings close at 10 p.m. daily.

The Magnificent Midway is open 2-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Sunday.

The Kids Park is open noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Cal Expo is at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For more on the California State Fair, check the website or call (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247).

- Dixie Reid

Urban gardeners can learn about the importance of native bee species during the free workshop called "What's the Buzz About?" at 9 a.m. July 17 at Sacramento's Historic City Cemetery.

Representatives of the Urban Bee Project at the University of California, Davis, will be on hand.

Attendance is limited. Make a reservation by calling (916) 548-0618.

The workshop, which will take place in the Hamilton Square Garden, is free, but donations will be accepted for cemetery maintenance.

Parking is available across from the main gate, 10th Street at Broadway.

- Dixie Reid

The Sacramento River Cats have a limited number of tickets available for Saturday's Independence Day Celebration and matchup against Pacific Coast League rivals the Fresno Grizzlies at Raley Field.

A big crowd is expected for the game and what team officials promise will be "a fireworks spectacular," so the gates will open at 5 p.m. The first pitch is early, at 6:35 p.m.

The three-game home stand against Fresno starts Thursday and marks the homecoming of Grizzlies outfielder John Bowker, who played high school ball at Rio Americano. The San Francisco Giants sent him to its Triple-A club for "seasoning." Bowker was named PCL player of the week June 14-20.

Fireworks will also follow Friday's 7:05 p.m. game against Fresno. Toyota Family Value Fridays means hot dogs and desserts are just $1.

- Dixie Reid

Van Maren Ranch and Van Vleck Ranching and Resources Inc., both based in Sacramento County, are among more than 30 new inductees in the California Agricultural Heritage Club, announced today by California Exposition & State Fair officials.
To be considered, California farms, ranches, organizations (such as equipment dealers and irrigation districts) and agribusinesses must have been in continuous operation for at least 100 years.
This year's inductees will be recognized July 30, during the run of the California State Fair. They are (along with the year they were established and home county):

Blue Diamond Growers, 1910, Sacramento
C & H Sugar Co., 1906, Contra Costa
C.L. Best, 1910, Yolo
El Peco Ranch, 1868, Madera
Erickson Ranch, 1897, Marin
Fausel Ranch, 1877, El Dorado
Gist Farm, 1886, Tulare
Kickham Ranch, 1866, Santa Clara
McConnell Ranch, 1908, Imperial
Mettler & Son, 1900, San Joaquin
Moore's Blacksmith Shop, 1910, Tehema
Sullivan Ranch, 1910, Glenn
Chrisman Ranch, 1853, Tulare
Chrisman Ranch-Drum Valley, 1885, Tulare
Dotta Ranch, 1874, Plumas
El Peco Ranch, 1868, Madera
Fausel Ranch, 1877, El Dorado
Keegan Ranch, 1880, Colusa
Kickham Ranch, 1866, Santa Clara
Lynch Farms, 1885, San Joaquin
Morehead-Hill-Tavis Ranch, 1872, Butte
Rancho Mission Viejo, 1882, Orange
W.J. Kickham Ranch, 1878, Santa Clara
California Wool Growers Association, 1860, Sacramento
Lavers Ranch, 1858, Kern
Level Lea Farm, 1860, San Mateo
Murphy's Historic Hotel, 1856, Calaveras
Randolph Jewelers, 1852, El Dorado
Robie Ranch, 1860, Calaveras
Trident Ranch, 1860, San Joaquin
Van Maren Ranch, 1854, Sacramento
Van Vleck Ranching and Resources Inc., 1856, Sacramento
Vineyard Brothers, 1859, Placer

- Dixie Reid

"The Purse & The Person: A Century of Women's Purses," an exhibition of more than 100 purses and accessories from a private collection, opens Saturday at the California Museum for History, Women & the Arts, 1020 O St., Sacramento.

"A purse is a symbol of a woman's economic power," said executive director Claudia French. "No matter where a woman is on the social ladder, she understands that a purse represents the ability to buy things and provide for oneself."

The show concentrates on purses - and the changing role of women - over the past century. Just as interesting as what they carried is what they tucked inside their purses.

"The Purse," on a nine-city national tour, continues at the California Museum through Sept. 26.

And anyone who donates a new or slightly used purse during July will receive one free museum admission. The collected purses will go to St. John's Shelter for Women & Children.

For more:

- Dixie Reid

If you're in Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport between now and mid-September, check out "From Scratch."

It's a new exhibit of public art from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, featuring the work of four artists who routinely create their own unique medium:

S.S. Solis works with an ancient Greek technique of mixing beeswax and dammar crystals with hand-ground pigments.
Richard Hotchkiss, a ceramics artist, uses Nevada County's "wild clay."
Tom Weideman builds kites with paper he made from such things as wild mustard and Japanese iris.
Margie Miller's medium is egg tempura, which dates to the early Egyptians.

The artwork is in 10 cases in Terminal B - six of which are beyond the security gate. The show will be up through Sept. 14.

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento's underground - the empty spaces left when the city raised the streets against flooding in the early days - has always fascinated folks.

And now, for the first time, the "Old Sacramento Underground" tours will allow the masses to explore beneath the sidewalks and learn how Sacramento's pioneers battled against the rising river waters again and again.

Advance tickets - $15 for adults and $10 for children - go on sale today. The one-hour tours are scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays. They begin July 10 and will continue through Oct. 31.

Order tickets and check the tour schedule:

"Old Sacramento Underground" is coordinated by the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation, in partnership with the City of Sacramento, California State Parks, Old Sacramento Business Association and various merchants.

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento Police Activities League, which serves a lot of youngsters in this community, is teaming up with the Sacramento Police Officers Association for a fund-raiser breakfast on Saturday.

The community is invited to drop by the SPOA headquarters at 550 Bercut Drive (just off Richards Boulevard) between 7 and 11 a.m. On the menu are pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, juice and coffee.

Tickets are a bargain: $5 general, $3 ages 6-17 and free for ages 5 and younger.

The non-profit Police Activities League teams officers with young people for various recreational and educational activities.

For more on the program:

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento Taiko Dan will present its lively Summer Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the 24th Street Theater, 2791 24th St., Sacramento.

Tickets for the Japanese drumming show are $15 and can be purchased at the door.

To learn more, call (916) 444-5667 or go to

- Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Kings, holding the No. 5 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, are throwing a big party for fans starting at 4 p.m. Thursday at Arco Arena.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

As if being a part of Draft Day excitement isn't enough, everyone who attends will get a free ticket to a 2010-11 Kings regular-season home game.

RSVP to the the party and print out free admission tickets online at

- Dixie Reid

North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, 2109 Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento will host a book sale/bake sale on Saturday.

In addition to an array of gently used books for sale, there will be baked goods to buy, as well.

The event, presented by Friends of North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, will run 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and benefits the branch library.

For more information: (916) 264-2920,

- Dixie Reid

Poppy, the golden fleece mascot of the California State Fair, will make a personal appearance at 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday in Room 114 of the state capitol.

Poppy's assistants will be on hand to sell discount tickets to the fair, which gets under way July 14.

Now is the time to pick up some bargains before ticket prices go up on July 13:

• General admission - $10 ($12 regular price)

• Ages 62-plus: $8 ($10 regular)

• Ages 5-12: $6 ($8 regular)

• Children 4 and younger admitted free.

Other special deals offered Thursday:

Poppy Pak - $39.95 (four admissions, four ride tickets and a parking pass.)

State Fair Season Pass - $29.99 (for the State Fair and Raging Waters Waterpark)

Unlimited Ride Wristbands - $28

The California State Fair will run through Aug. 1.

- Dixie Reid

Bobby Wright of Sacramento is one of 214 Guitar Center store finalists in the fourth annual King of the Blues national talent search.

They will compete Thursday at the district level. The regional final is set for July 15.

The winner will be named Guitar Center's King of the Blues and receive $25,000 cash, endorsement deals with Gibson, Ernie Ball, Boss and Egnater, and assorted musical instruments.

"Guitar Center is scouring the country in search of true original talent, someone who deserves to be recognized for his or her ability to take the blues ... and make it their own," Guitar Center executive Dustin Hinz said in a news release.

- Dixie Reid

"Time Travel Weekends," the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation's new summertime street-theater series gets under way Saturday. And it's free.

Costumed performers will be in Old Sacramento from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekend through Aug. 29, portraying life as it was during the city's giddy, post-Gold Rush era.

There will be the usual heroes and villains, gamblers and damsels in distress, along with Pony Express riders, musicians, dancers, jugglers and soldiers. The New Golden Melodeon Revue will have actors portraying real-life characters Lotta Crabtree, Lydia Thompson, Lola Montez and Sam Brannan.

"Time Travel Weekends" is presented in partnership with the City of Sacramento, California State Parks and the Old Sacramento Business Association.

To learn more:

- Dixie Reid

You have a question about small-claims court or veterans affairs or your rights as a renter - and where do you go for answers?

The library.

Sacramento Public Library and the California Department of Consumer Affairs are teaming up to offer free public programs on the first Wednesday of the month at Central Library, 828 I St.

All "Take Charge California! @ Your Library" sessions begin at noon in the West Meeting Room. Reservations aren't necessary, and light refreshments will be served.

Next up is "Prescription Drug Do's and Don'ts" on July 7, when Virginia Herold, a California State Board of Pharmacy executive, and Steve Golka, Sacramento County's chief pharmacist, will give advice on medications.

Here's the balance of the 2010 schedule:

Aug. 4 - "Renters' Rights and Landlords' Responsibilities"
Sept. 1 - "The Doctor is In: Medical Care in California"
Oct. 6 - "Small Claims Court, the Legal System and You"
Nov. 3 - "Veterans, Get the Benefits You Deserve"
Dec. 1 - "Have a Safe and Scam-free Holiday"

To learn more about the series, call (916) 264-2920 or go to

- Dixie Reid

Tomorrow, several Sacramento River Cats players and the team mascot, Dinger, will visit patients at the Sutter Rehabilitation Institute, at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, and Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital.

These are the last two stops on the team's annual Summer Caravan, a 10-year-old project created in partnership with Sutter Health.

The River Cats start a six-game home stand today, taking on the Reno Aces at 7:05 p.m. at Raley Field.

For full game schedule, go to

- Dixie Reid

The "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" Tour, with the world-famous, high-kicking Rockettes, is coming to Sacramento for the first time, with two performances Dec. 15 at Arco Arena.

The New York City-based show, announced today by the folks at Arco, will travel to 27 communities on the West Coast and throughout the Midwest during the holiday season.

Group tickets, for 10 or more, are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

Individual tickets go on sale in September and will range from $47.50 to $67.50.

- Dixie Reid

The Oakland East Bay Symphony will perform at a free July 3 "Independence Day Celebration" at the Craneway Pavilion on the waterfront in Richmond.

The family-style event, sponsored by Target, offers a fireworks extravaganza against the backdrop of San Francisco's skyline. The celebration starts at 6:30 p.m., with the symphony's performance beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing throughout the fireworks show.

Craneway Pavilion is at the Ford Point Building, 1414 Harbour Way South, in Richmond's marina district.

Gates open at 5 p.m. The pavilion opens at 6:30 p.m.

Bring your own blankets and chairs.

For more information:

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof this week was named "Hero of the Week" by the HLN channel for his generosity to the world of skateboarding.

He and his brother Gavin, also a Kings owner, have donated to the city of New York the $1.5 million world-class skate park they built in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens for last week's Maloof Money Cup.

The top skaters in the world compete in the Maloof Money Cup. First prize is $100,000.

The Maloofs' first skate park was in Costa Mesa, in Southern California, where the Maloof Money Cup-Orange County returns for its third annual event Aug. 4-8. Next year, the Cup will make its debut in South Africa, when another skate park will be built and given to a community.

The parks provide skaters with a safe, legal place to learn and practice.

"We build a beautiful street course that mimics everything the skaters are used to on the streets: granite, marble, cement, railings and steps," Joe Maloof said today. "We leave it after the contest for kids to skate for generations to come."

HLN, formerly CNN Headline News, also recognized Maloof for his work through the Maloof Skateboarding Assistance Foundation, which gives financial aid to pro skaters, who are considered high-risk by insurance companies.

Joe Maloof is a one-time skateboarder. Literally.

When he was 12 years old, he tried it in an Albuquerque parking garage.

"At the bottom was a drain, and I hit it and flew about 50 yards and had a pretty tough landing," he said.

- Dixie Reid

California State Fair officials announced today that deeply discounted admission tickets to this summer's fair will go on sale Monday and be available through July 13.

The State Fair runs July 14-Aug. 1 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

Advance tickets, with no added surcharges, are on sale at the Cal Expo box office and online at

Early-birds can save 17 percent off the regular cost of general admission ($10), 20 percent off senior admission ($8) and 13 percent off youth admission ($6).

The Poppy Pak, which includes four admissions, four rides and one parking pass, is $40, a savings of 43 percent.

For a full list of pre-sale discounts and box-office hours, check the State Fair's website or call (916) 263-FAIR (-3247).

- Dixie Reid

The preseason mini-camp for the Sacramento Mountain Lions, of the United Football League, ends Saturday. Fans are invited to come out and see the newly fashioned team, which is led by former NFL coach Dennis Green and former NFL quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

The first 100 fans to arrive at 10 a.m. will get a Mountain Lions T-shirt. Chick-fil-A will provide their trademark chicken sandwiches.

The fan fest runs 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Grant High School, 1400 Grand Ave., Sacramento.

The Mountain Lions home opener is Sept. 25 at Hornet Stadium, on the campus of California State University, Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento Kings just announced that forward Jason Thompson will make an appearance Saturday evening at Kings On L, the team storefront that's to be a part of the Second Saturday Art Walk throughout the summer.

Kings On L will be open for "business" from 5 to 9 p.m. at 1801 L St. Thompson will be on hand from 7 to 8 p.m.

The first 100 fans will receive a free ticket to a select 2010-11 Kings home game. Everyone can spin a prize wheel, learn about ticket specials and peruse new Kings merchandise. Game highlights will be playing on a big-screen TV.

To learn more about Kings on L:

- Dixie Reid

The California State Fair starts in just over month, on July 14. So it's time to pick and choose (or plan on attending them all) from among the 15 free, headliner concerts and comedy performances.

Here is the line-up:

Fab Four, July 14
Slaughter, July 15
AllStar Weekend, July 16
Family Stone, July 17 (with original members of Sly & The Family Stone)
Little Big Town, July 19
Thirstbusters, July 20
Rick Springfield, July 21
Howie Mandel, July 22
Martina McBride, July 23
Lonestar, July 26
Village People, July 27
Eddie Money, July 28
Paul Rodriguez, July 29
Foghat, July 30
"Weird Al" Yankovic, Aug. 1

All are free with fair admission. You can buy reserved Gold Circle seats for $10-$49, depending on the performer. Get them at

This is the first time in more than 100 years that the California State Fair hasn't ended on Labor Day. The last day is Aug. 1.

For more on the fair, go to or call (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247.)

-- Dixie Reid

Sacramento's popular Second Saturday Art Walk has grown over the years from a gallery crawl to an all-out street party. And, starting this Saturday, the Sacramento Kings will be a part of those festivities.

Kings On L will be set up in a storefront on L Street (between 18th and 19th streets) and be open 5-9 p.m. every second Saturday throughout the summer.

The first 100 fans who drop by this Saturday will receive a free ticket to a particular 2010-11 Kings' home game.

Fans also can spin a prize wheel, learn about ticket specials and get ready for the upcoming season with new Kings' merchandise. Game highlights will be playing on a big-screen TV.

Throughout the summer, members of the Kings' dance team and staff, along with mascot Slamson and players when they're in town, will make appearances.

"It speaks to our larger mission to strengthen the bond between the team and the community," said Kings spokesman Mitch Germann. "Second Saturday is such a great thing, and midtown has such a good vibe."

Kings on L made its debut last month when the Amgen Tour of California came through town.

To learn more about Kings on L:

- Dixie Reid

Hidden somewhere in Sacramento are more than 50 very special soccer balls.

Each ball is good for two free tickets to Saturday's Major League Soccer match between Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes. Gametime is 7 p.m. at Raley Field.

And, the lucky person who finds the one "golden ball" will receive 10 mid-field tickets, an autographed jersey and $100 in Cat Cash, which can be used in the On Deck shop or at any Raley Field concession stand.

Found balls can be redeemed at Raley Field, 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento.

The soccer ball scavenger hunt and the first-ever Sacramento Cup, pitting two popular MLS squads against each other, is a preamble to the World Cup soccer tournament, which starts Friday in South Africa.

For more information on the scavenger hunt: (916) 376-4850,

Tickets for Saturday's MLS match are $25-$35 and are on sale at the Raley Field box office, and

- Dixie Reid

Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is looking for folks 18 and older to sign up for its next docent-training class, which runs five consecutive Mondays, starting Aug. 2.

The zoo, at 403 Stafford St. in Folsom City Park, is home to black bears Tahoe, Sequoia, Marty and Woody, tigers Misty and Pouncer, macaques monkeys Darwin and Wallace, along with foxes, wolves, feral pigs, horses, birds, sheep and deer.

Docents act as tour guides, storytellers and make presentations on behalf of the zoo on- and off-site, as well as participate in animal observation studies and zoo camps.

Training classes are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. Registration is $40.

To learn more, call Sandy Johnson at (916) 351-3513.

- Dixie Reid

If you're a wine lover looking for a getaway destination this weekend, head to El Dorado County for the Fair Play Winery Association's annual Fair Play Wine Festival.

It's 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets, at $20 apiece ($5 for designated drivers; free for children), are on sale at all 14 participating wineries:

Busby Cellars, 6375 Grizzly Flat Road
Cantiga Wineworks, 5980 Meyers Lane
Colibri Ridge Winery, 6100 Gray Rock Road
dkcellars, 7380 Vineyard View Drive
Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge, 7740 Fair Play Road
Granite Springs Winery, 5050 Granite Springs Winery Road
Iverson Vineyards & Winery, 8061 Perry Creek Road
Latcham Vineyards, 2860 Omo Ranch Road
Mount Aukum Winery, 6781 Tower Road
Oakstone Winery, 6440 Slug Gulch Road
Perry Creek Winery, 7400 Perry Creek Road
Sierra Oaks Estates, 6713 Mount Aukum Road
Single Leaf Winery & Vineyards, 7480 Fair Play Road
Chateau Routon Winery, 2800 Omo Ranch Road

You'll meet winemakers and winery owners, taste new releases, and sample special wine and food pairings. Each ticket-holder receives a souvenir wine glass, and there will be entertainment at every stop.

For more information:

- Dixie Reid

By Dixie Reid

So, you think you can dance?

The Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League will hold preliminary auditions for its dance team at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at 24 Hour Fitness, 1314 Fulton Ave., Sacramento.

Anyone wishing to try out should prepare an across-the-floor routine and dance number.

Get a registration form at
Click on "open tryouts."

The top dancers will be called back for a final round of auditions on June 12.

The Mountain Lions' season begins this fall. Home games will be played at California State University, Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

By Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum is about to close for four months.

Sunday will be the last chance for art lovers to approach the grand wooden doors at 216 O St. and step into the quaint and hushed 1872 Victorian Italianate gallery (other than for special occasions).

When the "new Crocker" opens Oct. 10, the main entrance will be in the newly completed $100 million contemporary wing across the courtyard.

Hours through Sunday are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $6 general, $4 ages 65-plus, $3 students with valid ID, and free for ages 6 and younger.
Admission is free for everyone 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday.

During the closure, the ground floor of the old building will be renovated, and the California Gallery (long the home of Thomas Hill's magnificent "Great Canyon of the Sierra, Yosemite," 1871), along with other gallery holdings, will be moved into the new wing.

Third Thursday Jazz concerts, art classes for adults and Brown Bag Art Chats will continue during the summer.

(See a story in The Bee's Living Here section on Monday for details.)

And to stay abreast of all the changes coming to the Crocker Art Museum, go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

Players who make it to the big leagues don't relish being sent back to the Triple-A level. Oakland A's star pitcher Dallas Braden is making an exception.

On Thursday night, the Sacramento River Cats will honor their former teammate as just the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to pitch a perfect game. He did so against Tampa Bay on May 9.

Braden will see his Cats' jersey added to the Raley Field Wall of Fame, and his grandmother Peggy Lindsey, who raised him in Stockton, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cats take on the Tacoma Raniers at 7:05 p.m.

A $19 "Purr-fect Game Package" for the game includes a Delta Box ticket, Dallas Braden T-shirt and food voucher. Only 209 packages are available (209 is Stockton's area code.)

For tickets, visit the Raley Field box office, 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento, or go to

- Dixie Reid

The Scorpions, with Ratt opening, is set to rock Raley Field on Aug. 4.

Tickets for "Get Your Sting and Blackout" World Tour are priced at $40-$60, and go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. River Cats' season ticket-holders can purchase concert tickets on Thursday.

This is expected to be the hard-rock Scorpions' farewell tour, with retirement on the horizon after 40 years and 100 million albums sold.

To buy tickets:
Go in person to the Raley Field box office, 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento
Go online to or

- Dixie Reid

Bank of America is offering its customers free admission to 120 museums, aquariums and zoos across the country on select weekends.

Starting June 5-6, and continuing through Dec. 4-5, anyone with a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit card or debit card can sweep through the ticket gates at these Northern California institutions:

Sacramento - California Museum for History, Women & the Arts and Crocker Art Museum
Davis - Explorit Science Center
San Francisco - Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, Legion of Honor and Museum of African Diaspora
Silicon Valley/San Jose - San Jose Museum of Art and Tech Museum of Innovation

For more information on the bank's 13th year of the Museums on Us program, and other participating institutions, take a look at

- Dixie Reid

Friday is your last chance to buy tickets for the Crocker Art Museum's June 11 Art Auction. They're $200 patrons, $150 general.

Included are cocktails, a dinner buffet and the chance to bid on pieces by more than 200 noted regional artists. The event is 5-11 p.m. at the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento.

Here's a sample of the offerings:
Kurt Fishback's iconic photo portrait of the late sculptor Robert Arneson.
Tom Hulse's limited edition print "J Street."
Maggie Jimenez's glass mosaic with ceramic sculptural elements "Ila Ilorona"
Gregory Kondos' monotype "River Trees."
Laureen Landau's oil on paper "Ignored Omens."

See all artwork on the auction block here

Call (916) 808-7843 for tickets.

- Dixie Reid

Cirque Éloize has canceled its 2011 North American tour, including a performance April 9-10 at the Mondavi Center on the campus of the University of California, Davis.

The Montreal-based group of circus artists was to have been one of two acts in the center's upcoming Marvels Series. MOMIX is still scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2011.

No reason was given for Cirque Éloize's cancellation.

Ticket-holders have three options:
Exchange the tickets for an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance on April 5 or April 6, 2011.
Receive credit for another show in the 2010-2011 season.
Ask for a refund.

For more information, call the Mondavi Center ticket office at (530) 754-2787 or toll-free (866) 754-2787.

- Dixie Reid

The title "State Fair's Most Talented Kid" is on the line again.

Auditions for the 5th annual Kids Talent Show will be held this Saturday at Cal Expo, during the Sacramento County Fair.
Thursday is the last day to reserve a time.
Call (916) 274-6180 or e-mail

You should know:
Auditions are open to California residents 15 and younger.
Singers and dancers are preferred, but other skills will be considered.
Prepare a 2-minute audition.

Final round of competition will be July 27 during the California State Fair.

""We are looking for kids that represent California's diversity and talent, so we urge anyone with a skill or a love for performing to come to the audition and give it a shot," said Norb Bartosik, State Fair general manager, in a news release.

Want to know more about tryouts? Call (916) 263-3010 or go to and click on "Contests and Competitions."

The 2010 California State Fair is July 14-Aug. 1 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento

- Dixie Reid

By Dixie Reid

Best-selling novelists Thomas McGuane ("Nobody's Angel") and Terry McMillan ("Waiting to Exhale") and comics-illustrator Art Spiegelman ("Maus") will headline California Lectures' 2010-2011 season, announced today.

They are part of the six-date Literary Arts Series lineup:

Michele Norris, host of NPR's "All Things Considered," (Oct. 6); McGuane, (Nov. 3); author Kim Edwards ("The Memory Keeper's Daughter," (Jan. 20, 2011); author Amy Bloom, ("Away"), (Feb. 23, 2011); McMillan, (Mar. 24, 2011), and Art Spiegelman (Apr. 29, 2011).

In addition, two special events are on the schedule: David Plouffe, President Barack Obama's campaign manager, (Sept. 13), and Alex Ross, author and music critic for the New Yorker, (Oct. 18).

All lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento.

Season subscriptions are on sale now.

The Literary Arts Series is $180 for the six lectures, or $240 when combined with the two Special Events.

Single tickets, at $30 apiece, go on sale Aug. 16 for Plouffe's lecture, and Sept. 13 for all other authors.

Each lecture includes a question-and-answer period and book-signing, as well as biographical Lecture Previews an hour prior to the event.

For tickets and more information, call (916) 737-1300,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

Sacramento Kings forward Donte Greene, who can hit from beyond the arc, has a chance tonight to show what he can do from the mound.

The 6-foot-11 Green will throw out the first pitch before the hometown River Cats take on the Nashville Sounds at 7:05 p.m.

Raley Field is at 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

This summer, 600 museums across the country - although none in Sacramento - will offer free admission to active-duty military and their families.

The Blue Star Museums offer is good Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Participating museums in San Francisco:

Asian Art Museum
San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design
Walt Disney Family Museum.

Others in our area:

Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley
San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose
Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum in Vallejo
Haggin Museum in Stockton
Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek
the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society/Gatekeeper's Museum in Tahoe City

Blue Star Families, National Endowment for the Arts and the 600-plus museums are sponsoring the Blue Star Museums program to thank families for their military service.

For more information, and a full list of museums:

- Dixie Reid

The great thing about karaoke is that you don't need to know lyrics - those you can read off a teleprompter - but you must be able to belt or croon, particularly when you get to this level.

The third annual California State Karaoke Championship is set for July 17 at Cal Expo, during the California State Fair.

Contestants will sing for a $2,000 prize and the chance to go on to the next level of the Karaoke World Championships USA.

To qualify, they must have a karaoke competition win between Sept. 7, 2009 and June 15, 2010.

Radio station KSFM (102.5) and the State Fair are presenting the local event.

Entry forms and rules are at (click on "Contests and Competitions").

For details, call (916) 263-3141 or e-mail

- Dixie Reid

This is such a great deal: Bring a Kraft Singles package wrapper to the Raley Field box office any Tuesday through Sept. 7, and when you buy one ticket to a River Cats, you get the second one free.

The offer is good only on Tuesdays. And only with a Kraft brand cheese wrapper.

This is the second year that Kraft has partnered with minor league baseball teams nationwide for "Tuesday Night Tickets."

Raley Field is at 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

It's high time to make weekend plans, and here's a good one coming up:

La Raza Galería Posada presents "Jammin' in the Park" from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Cesar Chavez Park, 10th and J streets in downtown Sacramento.

It's a celebration of Latino culture to benefit the non-profit gallery's performances, exhibitions and education programs.

The rock group Malo will perform, and there'll be dance clinics, food, community outreach, and arts and crafts.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale in Sacramento at such places as La Raza Galería Posada, 1022-1024 22nd St., and R5 Records, at Broadway and Land Park Drive. Also through

Want to know more?

- Dixie Reid

Everyone is invited to the party - 4 to 6 p.m. this Thursday - to celebrate 40 years of the Martin Luther King Jr. branch library.

Music, balloon artists, speeches, birthday cake and a display of photographs detailing the library's long life are compliments of Friends of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

The institution opened in 1970, and contains 110,000 books, including 30,000 children's volumes, along with materials in Chinese, Hmong, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. It's also home to the Sacramento Public Library's first Homework Center, offering free after-school help for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.

MLK Jr. Library is at 7340 24th Street Bypass, Sacramento.

(916) 264-2920,

- Dixie Reid

Now out in paperback is "The Practice of Public Art," the 2008 anthology edited by Shelly Willis, administrator of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Art in Public Places program, and Cameron Cartiere, a director of the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice at Birkbeck, the University of London.

Their book "examines the continual evolution of public art, from monuments and memorials to socially engaged public art practice," according to a news release.
Topics include understanding the challenges of public art vs. public design, and unraveling relationships between public artists and the communities they serve.

The hardback edition, published in May 2008 by Routledge, sells for $108. The new paperback version is $36, and the Amazon Kindle download is $32.44.

- Dixie Reid

North Highlands-Antelope Library is hosting a pop-culture trivia event tonight.

The fun starts at 6 p.m.

The library is at 4235 Antelope Road, Antelope.

Refreshments will be served. Bring your own smarts.

(916) 264-2920 or for details.

- Dixie Reid

Two big events are coming up at the Crocker Art Museum.

First is the Art Auction preview party, where you'll have a chance to visit with the artists and bid on original artwork in the Big Names, Small Art Silent Auction.

The preview party is 6-9 p.m. May 27. RSVP by May 21 if you will be attending: (916) 808-2692. Admission is free.

The Art Auction follows on June 5 and is a big-ticket affair: $200 patrons and $150 for the general public. Call (916) 808-7843 for details.

The event will include a cocktail hour, buffet dinner and both silent and live auctions of artwork.

The Crocker is at 216 O St. in downtown Sacramento. Art Auction artwork will be on view there from May 22 through June 5.

- Dixie Reid

On Saturday, the Aerospace Museum of California will celebrate Armed Forces Day with $5 general admission and free entry for active-duty military and their families.

Aircraft cockpits will be open, the Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base will perform, and the Cappucino Cruisers will bring in a bevy of custom cars. And, the Cantare singers, American River College jazz quintet and Harmoni-Coots will be on hand.

Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The museum is at 3200 Freedom Park Drive (in McClellan Park, off Watt Avenue.)

To learn more: (916) 643-3192,

- Dixie Reid

San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art has announced three finalists in the search for an architect to design its ambitious expansion:

Adjaye Associates of London. Projects include the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Foster + Partners of New York City. Projects include renovation and expansion of the Juilliard School and Phase 1 construction of the High Line, an urban park on an elevated railway in NYC.

Snøhetta of Oslo, Norway, and NYC. Projects include revival of the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site in NYC.

The winning firm will be announced in September, with initial design concepts to be unveiled next year. Expansion is to be completed in 2016.

The museum has raised more than $250 million of its $480 million campaign goal to add 100,000 square feet of galleries and public space.

SFMOMA is at 151 Third St., San Francisco., (415) 357-4000 for more information.

- Dixie Reid

Robin Koltenuk is the new interim director of marketing communications for the Crocker Art Museum, replacing LeAnne Ruzzamenti, who recently left the museum to work for the Dairy Council of California.

Koltenuk's first day on the job will be next Tuesday.

She has worked in marketing, communications and public relations for more than two decades, and adds the Crocker to a resume that includes the San Diego Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young Museum and California Palace of the Legion of Honor.)

The interim position is for six months, while the search continues for a full-time communications director.

- Dixie Reid

Bob Stanley, Sacramento's poet laureate, is leading a series of weekly workshops for writers at the Rancho Cordova Library.

Although the sessions got under way last month, it's not to late to join in. They will continue through Aug. 5. Participants can bring in examples of their work, such as poetry, short stories and essays, for discussion.

In addition to the regular workshops - 6 p.m. Thursdays at the library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento - a special one is set for 6 p.m. May 27 at Brookside restaurant, 9819 Horn Road, Sacramento.

Friends of Rancho Cordova Library and Sacramento Poetry Center are sponsoring the workshops, and Sacramento Region Community Foundation provided grant money.

For more information: (916) 264-2920 or

- Dixie Reid

What a perfect Mother's Day: brunch with the family and an afternoon at the ballpark.

The Sacramento River Cats are offering a four-ticket deal for Sunday's home game against the Colorado Spring Sky Sox. It's $99 for four Founders' Club tickets and includes a massage voucher for mom to use at her leisure.

Massage Envy, with several area locations, will provide the half-hour treatment.

Purchase the Mothers' Day ticket package at or at the Raley Field box office, 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento.

Sunday's first pitch will be at 1:05 p.m.

- Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum's 125th birthday celebration is noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is just $1.25. "Happy Birthday" will be sung at 1:25 p.m.

Lots of entertainment and museum tours are promised, and docents will portray key members of the Crocker family. And you'll get a sneak peak of the new, $100 million museum expansion coming together next door.

For museum info: (916) 808-7000,

-- Dixie Reid

So, you think you can dance, or sing? The California State Fair wants you.

Preliminary tryouts will be held May 16 for solo singers and dance groups to perform at this summer's fair.

Here's what the judges are looking for in the Step Up Dance competition:
All ages and dance styles
Groups only
A 2-minute audition
No explicit lyrics allowed

And in the State Fair Star singing competition:
Ages 16 and older
Soloists only
Maximum 2-minute a cappella song of your choice

May 12 is the deadline to apply for an audition spot. Call (916) 263-3912 or e-mail

Dance tryouts are at 1 p.m., followed by singing tryouts at 3:30 p.m.. both at the Miller Grandstand's Turf Club (at the racetrack) at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

The 2010 California State Fair runs July 14 through Aug. 1 at Cal Expo.

- Dixie Reid

History buffs will have the chance this summer to explore Sacramento's original underground, created in the 1860s and '70s when city streets were raised 12 feet to fend off flood waters.

Tours of Old Sacramento's hidden tunnels are scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays between July 10 and Oct. 31. Advance reservations can be made now by calling (916) 808-7973. (Online sales to start soon.)

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children. The 45-minute tours will be offered hourly from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Old Sacramento Underground tours, along with a summertime Street Theatre program, are sponsored by Historic Old Sacramento Foundation, City of Sacramento, California State Parks, and the Old Sacramento Business Association.

Street Theatre, which is a free, above-ground educational entertainment series, runs every weekend June 19-Aug. 26. Historic re-enactors will be portraying early-day Sacramentans.

-- Dixie Reid

"Take me (and the family) out to the ballgame."

That's the song River Cats' fans will be singing this season.

The team announced today the return of its Family Packs, which include four tickets to one of four upcoming games, four Raley Field food vouchers and four passes to Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town.

Family Pack prices start at $56. Tickets also can be purchased for additional family members.

The four Family Pack games are:

Saturday, May 8 (River Cats vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Sunday, June 20 (vs. Salt Lake Bees)
Saturday, July 10 (vs. Portland Beavers)
Saturday, Aug. 14 (vs. Omaha Royals)

Purchase the ticket packages at
or at the Raley Field box office.

- Dixie Reid

With the departure of LeAnne Ruzzamenti, the Crocker Art Museum's director of marketing communications, the search is under way for an interim replacement.

The position is for six months, while the search continues for a full-time communications director.

Ruzzamenti accepted a position as marketing director for the Dairy Council of California.

"Obviously, LeAnne was a very important player here, and it was quite a loss to us to have her leave," said Randy Roberts, the museum's deputy director. "We will fill the position as quickly as possible."

Roberts hopes to have the interim marketing director in place by next week.

"We have so much momentum going here, and we don't want to lose that momentum," she said.

The Crocker will close June 7 for the momentous task of moving artwork into the new, $100 million wing sitting just to the west of the existing Victorian Italianate structure. The "new" Crocker will reopen Oct. 10.

The job of communications director is "a key critical position" at this time, Roberts said.

"As we expand, we're looking to deepen and broaden our audience. We're about to complete a branding process that started under LeAnne's leadership. As we open the new Crocker, how do we get out the message that makes people want to check us out and reassure people who know the museum that they will still find the things they love?

"The message is more complicated than it once was," Roberts said. "And the person (communications director) must understand both the museum and the audience."

- Dixie Reid

Even as the Polish people mourn the loss of their president and many other leaders in a plane crash over Russia, the Polish American Club of Greater Sacramento sends out an open invitation to a celebration of Polish culture.

"Dance, Poland!" is set for 7 p.m. April 24 at the Polish American Club of Greater Sacramento, 327 Main St. in Roseville.

Traditional songs, dances and music will be performed by the Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble of San Francisco and Pulaski Polish Dancers of Fresno. Polish pastries will be served.

Admission is $15 general, $10 students and $5 for Children younger than 12.

Want to know more? Call (916) 725-8704 or e-mail

- Dixie Reid

OK, we won't bury the lead on this story: Rick Springfield is coming back to the California State Fair. He'll be here, in concert, on July 21.

Along with the "Jesse's Girl" and soap opera heartthrob, the free concert line-up announced today includes an array of stand-up comics, country and pop acts, and tribute bands:

Fab Four, July 14
Slaughter, July 15
Family Stone, July 17 (with Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson, original members of Sly & The Family Stone)
Little Big Town, July 19
Rick Springfield, July 21
Howie Mandel, July 22
Martina McBride, July 23
Lonestar, July 26
Village People, July 27
Eddie Money, July 28
Paul Rodriguez, July 29
Foghat, July 30
"Weird Al" Yankovic, Aug. 1

Up to four more shows will be added later.

All concerts are free with fair admission. Reserved Gold Circle seats, priced at $10-$49 depending on the performer, go on sale April 15. Buy them at

This year's California State Fair is an early one, running July 14-Aug. 1 at Cal Expo. It's the first time in more than a century that the fair won't end on Labor Day.

For the latest information on all things State Fair, go to or call (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247.)

-- Dixie Reid

Valley Hi-North Laguna Library will close at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 - three hours early - for scheduled maintenance.

It will reopen at noon on Tuesday, April 13.

The branch library is at 7400 Imagination Parkway, Sacramento.

If you want to know anything about the public library system, call (916) 264-2920 or go to

-- Dixie Reid

The last chance to try out for NorCal Sings!, an "American Idol"-like competition (without Simon Cowell and an audience in the millions) is April 10 at Sacramento's Westfield Downtown Plaza.

Singers compete in age categories, from 7 through adult, and in two genres: classical and pop/rock/country/musical theater.

The semi-finals, which will include 38 contestants from three earlier rounds, is April 25 in Sacramento. Sixteen singers selected from the April 10 competition will join them for the finals on May 2, also to be held in Sacramento.

Six winners each will receive up to $1,000 cash and other prizes.

Registration for the April 10 tryout is $45.

For rules and registration form, go to

For further information, call Jim Crosthwaite, president of FirstStep Sports Marketing Group, at (916) 768-9781.

- Dixie Reid

"Your Passport to Adventure" is the theme of this year's California State Fair, fair officials announced today.

And under that umbrella (a sun umbrella, of course, since it'll be summertime by then) are some new attractions:

"Days of the Dinosaur" - Life-size dinosaur robots and replicas of dinosaur skeletons, along with an "archaeological dig site" for kids.

"Jungle & Reptile Experience" - Up close and personal with birds, amphibians and reptiles, including alligators and large tortoises.

"Get Animated" - A pop culture exhibit that explores the world of animation.

The State Fair runs July 14-Aug. 1 at Cal Expo in Sacramento. Advance tickets go on sale April 15.

-- Dixie Reid

Singers, dancers, acrobats, musicians, jugglers, fire-eaters, street performers - here's your chance to show your stuff at the California State Fair, which runs July 14-Aug. 1 at Cal Expo in Sacramento.

If your talent is G-rated, you're invited to submit an application and promotional packet to officials for consideration. The deadline is March 31.

Find an application at

Send everything off to:

California State Fair

Attention: Entertainment

P.O. Box 15649

Sacramento, CA 95852

For more information, call (916) 263-3141 or e-mail

- Dixie Reid

Belle Cooledge Library, an institution in the South Land Park neighborhood since the early '90s, will shut down for three months starting Saturday. On the books is a much needed interior renovation.

Areas for children and teen-agers will be expanded, Internet access will be improved, and the whole branch library will get a modern, inviting look.

Patrons can get a "sneek peek" of the spruced-up space during the annual ice cream social on June 11.

Meanwhile, for the next three months, Belle Cooledge Library regulars can find their reserved books and materials at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 7340 24th Street Bypass in Sacramento. Its hours are: noon-8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 1-5 p.m. Fridays.

For more information: (916) 264-2920,

-- Dixie Reid

Here comes the bride - through the front gates of Sutter's Fort?

Capital District State Museums & Historic Parks announced today that the rustic fort, as well as the elegant Governor's Mansion, can be rented for weddings and receptions.

Both sites are available as soon as this spring.

The 1840s-era Sutter's Fort, 2701 L St., will accommodate up to 300 people for a seated, courtyard wedding, or 500 guests standing for the ceremony. The broad lawn is a possibility, as well.

And at the 1903 Victorian-style Governor's Mansion, 1526 H St., brides can make a grand entrance on the curved staircase. Couples might consider celebrating their big day both inside and out in the gardens.

For prices, reservations and more information on getting married at these historic sites, contact rental coordinator Cheryl Meyer at (916) 445-2560 or e-mail her at

-- Dixie Reid

Do people say you have a great voice? Now's the time to prove them right.

The Sacramento River Cats are looking for their "Voice of Summer," someone to be the team's public address announcer for 72 regular-season games at Raley Field - plus any home playoff games.

Here are the three required audition scripts:

"Now batting for the Sacramento River Cats, first baseman, number 38, Chris Carter."

"Are you feeling lucky? Today could be your lucky day to win $10,000, courtesy of the Les Schwab Tires Home Run Hole. If a River Cats player hits a home run through the hole in tonight's game, one lucky fan will win $10,000! Tonight's winner will be announced in the middle of the first inning, so pay attention and good luck!"

"Hey fans, be sure to log on to and check out all the newest features, including team information, upcoming events, special promotions and much, much more. Check it out tonight at"

The deadline for auditions is Monday, March 15.

Submit yours in one of two ways (and include your name, age, e-mail address and telephone number.):

E-mail a digital file (.wav, .wmv or .mp3) to

Or, send an audio CD or a video (DVD, miniDV or VHS), to River Cats PA Announcer Search, 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento, CA 95691.

A group of finalists will take part in live try-outs at Raley field on March 20. The winner will be announced before the Cats' opening day, April 16.

-- Dixie Reid

Starting March 6-7, and the first full weekend (Saturday-Sunday) of every month through December, folks who do business with Bank of America get free admission to 120 museums, zoos and aquariums throughout the country.

Several in our area are participating.

In Sacramento:
Crocker Art Museum
California Museum for History, Women and the Arts

In Davis:
Explorit Science Center

In San Francisco:
Contemporary Jewish Museum
de Young Museum
Legion of Honor
Museum of African Diaspora

And in San Jose:
San Jose Museum of Art
Tech Museum of Innovation

To take advantage of BofA's free Museums on Us offer, museum-goers must show a photo ID and a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card. One free admission per card-holder.

Fund-raisers, special exhibitions and ticketed shows are excluded.

For more information:

-- Dixie Reid

Sacramento's Olympic pair - Karl Alexander and Jeremiah Mayhew - need your votes to win the title of Ultimate Mobile Explorers, a $24,000 grand prize and a chance to blog for Samsung, the contest's sponsor.

They're currently at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, competing against four other Mobile Explorer teams.

And, three challenges into the competition, TEAM KINETIC - the Sacramentans - is trailing in fan votes.

To watch their snappy, humorous Olympian videos and cast your votes, go to:

-- Dixie Reid

Previous coverage:

Social-media 'Olympians' to represent Sacramento at Vancouver Games - Feb. 8, 2010

An American flag, a Santa Claus costume, lecterns, tripods and assorted folding chairs will be among the non-art items - along with pair of Chinese Fu dog sculptures and baseball exhibits from Chukchansi Park - belonging to the late, great Fresno Metropolitan Museum that will be auctioned tomorrow (Feb. 17.)

The museum was forced to close after 25 years in downtown Fresno when a three-year renovation project went way over budget. The auction is intended to help reduce the museum's $4 million debt.

So, if you're interested in running down to Fresno for some shopping, the auction starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday at 1515 Van Ness Ave.

Check out the offerings in advance - until 5 p.m. today and starting at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Read details in the Fresno Bee:

-- Dixie Reid

The writer T.J. Stiles will be in Sacramento tomorrow (Feb. 17) to talk about his latest, "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt," winner of the 2009 National Book Award for nonfiction.

His appearance and book-signing (Avid Reader will sell copies of "The First Tycoon" for $40) is part of the California State Library's ongoing Food for Thought series.

The program begins at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) in the California History Room of the Library and Courts Building II, 900 N St., Sacramento.

Admission is free. The California State Library Foundation will provide refreshments.

RSPV your attendance to Rebecca Fontaine by e-mail - - or call her at (916) 653-9942.

Stiles, who also wrote the well-received "Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War," lives in San Francisco.

In its review of "The First Tycoon," the New York Times said: "This is a mighty -- and mighty confident -- work, one that moves with force and conviction and imperious wit through Vanderbilt's noisy life and times."

-- Dixie Reid

Despite gray skies and intermittent, spitting rain on Saturday, thousands of people waited in long lines to take advantage of one day's free admission to area museums.

The preliminary count for Museum Day 2010 was 86,715, up more than 2,000 over last year's attendance.

And this despite Fairytale Town's surprise closing, because last week's rains had left the playground wet and quite muddy.

Other institutions, like Stanford Mansion, Governor's Mansion and the Crocker Art Museum, saw steady lines all day long.

"We were really busy," says Crocker spokeswoman LeAnne Ruzzamenti. "It was an interesting mix of people. Some had never been to a museum, much less the Crocker. And there was a lot of interest in the new building."

The Crocker's new $100 million wing will open in October, in plenty of time for the 2011 Museum Day.

Bob LaPerriere reported record attendance at the Sierra-Sacramento Valley Museum of Medical History: 606 visitors.

"We were never above 300 in the past." he says.

- Dixie Reid

Previous coverage:

Art to oddities, it's all free on Sacramento's Museum Day - Feb. 5, 2010

How Museum Day became one man's life-altering event - Jan. 31, 2010

Charles R. Schwab, board chair for San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, today announced that $250 million has been raised toward expanding the museum and adding to its endowment.

SFMOMA's goal is to raise $480 million to triple its gallery and public spaces, offer better public services, and create enhanced exhibitions and educational programs.

In addition, the museum wants to showcase in a new wing its Fisher Collection of modern and contemporary art, one of the best in the world.

The collection, initially loaned to SFMOMA by the family of Doris and Donald Fisher for 25 years, will now be at the museum for 100 years. The family will have the right to further extend the loan after that.

Museum officials will choose an architect for the 100,000-square-foot expansion later this year. An international search is under way.

Projected completion date for the new wing is 2016.

-- Dixie Reid

Dixon May Fair officials today announced the entertainment lineup for this year's fair: Foreigner, Billy Currington, Pat Benatar and Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

Tickets aren't yet available, but check for the on-sale date at TicketMaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.comm or at the Dixon May Fair's box office at 655 S. First St., Dixon.

Here's the schedule: Foreigner, May 6; Currington, May 7, and Benatar with Creedence Clearwater Revisited on May 8.

Concert tickets include all-day admission to the fair. This year's theme is "Fun For Ewe."

-- Dixie Reid

Sacramento's minor-league baseball team will host two job fairs -- 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 6) and Feb. 13 -- to hire employees for the upcoming season.

There are 200 open positions in such areas as: EMTs, warehouse workers, concession supervisors, parking cashiers and attendants, Kids Corner and On-Deck Shop attendants, grounds crew, culinary workers and in-seat servers.

Applicants must be 18 and older. Walk-ins welcome.

For more information, call the River Cats' Job Hotline at (916) 376-4783.

The Cats' first home game of the 2010 season is April 16.

-- Dixie Reid

"Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz as a boy had a crush on a little red-haired girl. And so, too, for years has good ol' Charlie Brown dreamed about his own little red-haired girl.

Valentine's Day is your lucky day if you're female with reddish tresses - and happen to be in the Santa Rosa area. On that day only, you'll be admitted for free to the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Hours are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Learn more about the Schulz museum - which is a tribute to the late cartoonist, his beloved comic strip and cartooning in general - at

The museum is at 2301 Hardies Lane in Santa Rosa, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

- Dixie Reid

You can see the de Young Museum's blockbuster exhibit "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" absolutely free on Feb. 20-21, thanks to sponsorship by Target.

Here's what you should know:

Tickets will be on sale at the museum and nowhere else for those two days -- and are first come, first served, so go early. The box office opens at 8:30 a.m. And, tickets are limited to four per adult in each party.

Museum hours will be 9 a.m.-5:15 p.m., with last "Tut" entry at 4 p.m.

As a special consolation for folks unable to secure "Tut" tickets, everyone can view the museum's permanent collection and participate in such programs as children's art, fortune tellers, tarot card readers, and belly and sword dancers, all for free.

The de Young Museum is in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. For information: (415) 750-3600,

- Dixie Reid

Folks of a certain age - coffee-drinkers or not - will remember the commercial jingle, "The best part of wakin' up is Folgers in your cup."

And in this day of a Starbucks on every corner, reliable, "store-bought" Folgers is looking to reinvent itself, jingle-wise, and has launched a contest - with a $25,000 grand prize.

The idea, according to a news release, is to "create the best, original version of the iconic 'The Best Part of Wakin' Up' jingle."

Individuals and groups of four or fewer can submit video entries through Feb. 28. Find contest information at

Songwriter and "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi will sit on the judge's panel.

Contestants must be 18 and older.

- Dixie Reid

The Sacramento River Cats announced today that Ovations Food Services will take over the culinary detail at Raley Field.

The company, based in Tampa, Fla., also services Cal Expo in Sacramento.

"Great ballpark food - with its signature aromas and flavors - is one of the hallmarks of the Raley Field experience," said River Cats president and general manager Alan Ledford. "The expertise that Ovations brings to the table will provide terrific quality, variety and value for the River Cats and our fans."

Among the vendor's plans are to provide an "Everything Fresh" menu, along with specialty hot dogs from around the country.

The River Cats' first home game on the 2010 schedule is April 16. For tickets and more information: (916) 371-HITS (371-4487),

- Dixie Reid
January 12, 2010

By Dixie Reid

Sacramento Youth Symphony Academic Orchestra is here to offer respite from the hustle and bustle of the season with a free holiday winter concert designed for the entire family.

The concert is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library, 828 I St., Sacramento.

Angelo Moreno will conduct the full symphonic orchestra, featuring the Saltarello Flute Ensemble and Clarion Clarinet Quartet.

For more information on the event: (916) 264-2920,

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

Museum woes continue in Fresno.

Last week, the Fresno Metropolitan Museum closed its doors for good, after 25 years of bringing class and culture to downtown. And now the Fresno Art Museum has laid off its curator and staff preparator and is reducing the number of annual exhibitions.

To read Fresno Bee reporter Donald Munro's story about the future of the art museum, go to:

- Dixie Reid

For the first time in its 38-year history, the non-profit Roseville Arts has created a juried membership exhibition, set to open June 19 at its Blue Line Gallery.

Members' work will be judged by Sacramento art gallery owners Pamela Skinner and Gwenna Howard.

Fees are $10 per entry, or three entries for $25. Deadline to submit entries is March 20.

Blue Line Gallery is at 405 Vernon St., Roseville.

For more information, call (916) 783-4117,

-- Dixie Reid
January 6, 2010
Fresno museum closes

After 25 years of bringing culture to downtown, the Fresno Metropolitan Museum closed on Tuesday. It fell victim to an ambitious renovation that went way over budget.

To read the story in the Fresno Bee, go to

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento businessman Fred Teichert has been named Exemplary Leader for 2010 by the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum.

He will receive his award during the organization's annual dinner on April 28.

"Every year, we honor a leader from our region," says ALF spokesman Scot Siden. "The selection committee, made up of our board of officers and past award winners, takes a look the person's body of work. It's a time to recognize someone for all that they've done in the last 20 or 25 years."

Teichert is executive director of Teichert Foundation, which awards grants to charities and community organizations. He was instrumental in founding Sacramento's first Boys and Girls Club. His community work includes People Reaching Out, the Marguerite Home Foundation and Mayor Kevin Johnson's Policy Board to End Homelessness.

Earlier this year, Sacramento State awarded Teichert a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree.

Among past winners of ALF's Exemplary Leader award are Pat Fong Kushida, chief executive officer of Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce; Lina Fat, executive chef at California Fats, and Michael Ziegler, president and CEO of PRIDE Industries.

- Dixie Reid

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is looking for local heroes worthy of its coveted Citizen Service Above Self Honors.

Anyone can nominate an eligible hero, defined by the Society as "a U.S. civilian who has clearly demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice for others, whether through a single act of extraordinary heroism at risk to one's life, or through a prolonged series of selfless acts."

The nomination period runs through Feb. 12, 2010. Find the nomination form at

A finalist will be selected from each state, and from those 50 individuals, a panel of Medal of Honor recipients will chose three people to receive a Citizen Service Above Self Honors.

The three will be honored on March 25, 2010 - National Medal of Honor Day - in a ceremony that will take place near the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Citizen Service Above Self Honors, formerly called Above & Beyond Citizen Honors, is one of this country's highest civilian awards.

For more information:

- Dixie Reid

The Powerhouse Science Center will open three years from now in the old Beaux Arts-style power plant north of downtown, and the robots will be more than ready to move in.

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from AT&T presented today to the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center - along with previous assistance from Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Otto Construction and Sacramento city council member Sandy Sheedy - work continues on a robotics laboratory for the new space.

It's the first original program designed for the Powerhouse Science Center and will be operational by the end of the school year at the Discovery Museum Space & Science Center on Auburn Boulevard.

"This cooperative effort demonstrates the confidence and commitment of our community to the Powerhouse Science Center project," said Michele Wong, co-chair of the Powerhouse steering committee, "and represents the kind of forward-looking programs the Powerhouse will offer."

The robotics lab program targets middle- and high school students interested in pursuing careers in math and engineering. The lab will accommodate 40 students at one time, all doing hands-on work.

- Dixie Reid

New or emerging writers are invited to submit work for the fourth William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.

A $5,000 award will be given for both newly published fiction (such as novels, short story collections and drama) and newly published non-fiction (memoirs, portraits and excursions into neighborhood and community, in the Saroyan tradition.)

The competition's launch was announced this week by Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation.

Deadline for entries is Jan. 31, 2010. Official forms and rules can be found at

Previous winners of the Saroyan Prize are Jonathan Safran Foer for his novel "Everything is Illuminated," George Hagen for his novel "The Laments," Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman for their non-fiction work "The King of California," Nicole Krauss for her novel "The History of Love" and Kiyo Sato for the non-fiction "Dandelion Through the Crack."

The Fresno-born Saroyan wrote the 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Time of Your Life," several short story collections, including "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze," and such novels as "The Human Comedy." He won an Academy Award in 1943 for his screen adaptation of "The Human Comedy."

He founded the William Saroyan Foundation in 1966. Its board of trustees offered his entire literary estate to Stanford University in 1990.

Saroyan died in Fresno in 1981.

-- Dixie Reid
October 28, 2009
Auto museum seeks volunteers

The California Automobile Museum is looking for folks who are crazy about cars, for its next docent-training class.

The 21-week session starts Jan. 7. A $95 fee covers course materials and includes a one-year individual membership in the California Vehicle Foundation.

Scholarships are available.

Participants must be at least 18 years old and need not know much about cars going in. Once they graduate, the new docents will serve two four-hour shifts a month for two years, working as volunteer teachers and tour guides at the museum.

The California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St., Sacramento, contains a unique collection of vehicles dating to the early 1900s.

For more information: (916) 442-6802, 21Q

-- Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum has announced another major gift - a collection of important Bay area abstract expressionist works - that will be showcased next year when the museum's $100 million expansion is completed.

The George Y. and LaVona J. Blair Collection consists of nearly 400 paintings and sculptures by some 200 artists, including Ernest Briggs, Edward Dugmore and Lawrence Calcagno.

The works characterize the ideals of a momentous period in mid-20th century American art and mark the West Coast's emergence as leading force in the art world, according to a statement issued by the museum.

George Blair fell in love with the California style of abstract art while attending school in San Francisco on the G.I. Bill. It was then he began to build his collection.

"Recent years have brought a reassessment of the works by California's abstract expressionist artists and an appreciation of the importance of this school in the history of American art," says Scott Shields, the museum's chief curator. "The Blair collection is extremely important to the Crocker because it represents a pivotal era that has been lacking in our collection of California art. Thanks to the Blairs' generous gift, we are able to offer a broad survey of artistic development in California since 1945."

-- Dixie Reid

Walk the cobblestone streets and listen to stories about Sacramento's early days - and the spirits that still haunt its historic waterfront district.

Old Sacramento Ghost Tours return this weekend, for five nights, with costumed actors portraying characters - morticians, train robbers, politicians, a "soiled dove" and more - dating to the Gold Rush.

The tours are presented by the Old Sacramento Living History Program and Historic Old Sacramento Foundation.

"Most of the stories are true. They'll throw in a few that are just for fun," says Kristina Swanson, the foundation's deputy director.

"Some things that happened here were extraordinary and a little bit funny. It's real history, but the actors put a funny spin on it, so it's family-friendly. And they will throw in facts - that the town was raised 18 feet; a lot of people don't know that - and so people will learn something about our city."

Tours are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, as well as Oct. 23-24, and Oct. 30, and will run every half hour between 6:30 to 9 p.m. Meet at the Eagle Theatre, 925 Front St., Old Sacramento.

Tickets are $15 general and $12 for children under 12.

- Dixie Reid

Roseville Arts! Blue Line Gallery has issued a call to artists for its 33rd Annual Open Show, with $2,000 in prize money.

It's open to all kinds of original art, and artists may enter up to five pieces. Fees range from $15 for one piece to $45 for five pieces.

Submission deadline is Jan. 8, 2010.

Chosen artwork will be displayed at the gallery from Feb. 20 through April 9 of next year.

The show will be juried from digital images by Shelly Willis, manager of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Art in Public Places collection.

For a prospectus, stop by the Blue Line Gallery, go online to or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Blue Line Gallery, CA 95678 405 Vernon St., Roseville.

- Dixie Reid

The Sacramento Kings are looking for artists to create Kings-inspired art pieces for billboard displays this season.

The deadline to submit a thumbnail version of your two-dimensional, large-scale artwork idea is Oct. 15.

Send the thumbnails to

Winning artists will be compensated for their time and materials. The billboard art will range from 12-by-25 feet to 14-by-48 feet.

The artwork will become the property of the Sacramento Kings.

- Dixie Reid

The $1 billion expansion project at Sacramento International Airport has taken off nicely, so it's time for a sneak peek at some of the $8 million in public art that will dress up the place.

Shelly Willis, manager of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Art in Public Places collection, will talk about airport art at on Nov. 5 at Roseville Arts! Blue Line Gallery.

She'll share designs for the first two phases of the airport expansion, which includes work by artists Ned Kahn, Camille Utterback, Joan Moment, Donald Lipski, Christian Moeller and Lawrence Argent.

According to the gallery's news release, "Willis will talk about the range of media, scale and content in the artwork designs - from a discreet interactive and multi-media piece located in the floor of the airport - to a 56-foot-long, suspended Fiberglass sculpture.

"Attendees will learn about the artists, the development of their designs and how the artwork will be fabricated and installed."

Admission to Willis' talk - at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 - is $15 general. The fees will be applied to the gallery's educational programs.

Blue Line Gallery is at 405 Vernon St., suite 100, in Roseville.

For more info: (916) 783-4117,

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento's monthly gallery crawl has become a happy, crowded street party, particularly in midtown.

It's not for everyone.

For those who would prefer to take their Second Saturday Art Walk at a saner pace, and without the driving, the Arts and Business Council of Sacramento and travel company Sports Leisure Vacations now offer shuttle service from four "park-and-ride" locations as far away as Roseville, to three midtown gallery "pods."

Starting this Saturday, and again Nov. 14, participating galleries will treat the "early birds" to art talks, art demonstrations and refreshments from 2 to 5 p.m.

The cost is $59 per person, with proceeds going to the Arts and Business Council.

To register and learn more about the new Second Saturday shuttle, call (916) 361-2051 or (800) 951-5556 (toll-free.)

- Dixie Reid

Maybe you don't dunk worth a darn, but if you can sing, dance or play a musical instrument, or if your pet does tricks, you might make it onto center court, after all.

The Sacramento Kings will hold open auditions at noon Oct. 11 at Arco Arena to choose local acts to perform at home games throughout the 2009-10 season.

According to a press release, the tryouts are "open to performance groups including, but not limited to, dance groups, bands, musicians, gymnasts, choirs, specialty acts, pet acts and human tricks."

Register for "Sacramento's Got Talent" auditions by calling Scott Freshour at (916) 928-8113 or e-mail him at

- Dixie Reid

By Dixie Reid

Brad Paisley brought his "American Saturday Night" tour to Sleep Train Amphitheatre on, appropriately enough, Saturday night.

He walked onto the stage unannounced, made his way to the end of the catwalk, picked up a waiting acoustic guitar and started singing "Start a Band," the duet he recorded with Keith Urban.

Suddenly, a huge black sheet across the stage fell, revealing his very own seven-man band and a video screen worthy of a drive-in movie theater.

Paisley is among country music's most successful and popular singer-songwriters. He's also one fine guitar-player. Ten years into his career, he's charted 14 No. 1 singles, including 10 in a row - something no other country singer has accomplished in 20 years of the Soundscan tracking era.

His 100-minute set was steady, tireless and endlessly entertaining. He also showed off his talents as a cartoonist and animator with a backdrop video in which he depicted himself as a superhero in a cape and cowboy hat, saving Reba McEntire from a dinosaur (was he ribbing her about her age?), Carrie Underwood from an oncoming train, Toby Keith from the Dixie Chicks, and various other country stars from similarly dastardly ends.

Paisley promised to play "until they kick us out," and said he wanted to cling to every last moment of summer - which wasn't unimaginable at the cool end of a 100-degree Sacramento Valley day.

"Till we stop playing, it's still summer," he said.

And so, until he got "kicked out," Paisley ran through his greatest hits, and more. He's a funny guy, song-wise, and one of his best-ever is "Celebrity," in which he makes fun of folks who live on the cover of tabloid magazines: " ... Can't wait to wreck a Ferrari on the way to rehab." He illustrated "I'm Gonna Miss Her" with a running video of hysterically gigantic fish.

Paisley is a guy's guy - yes, gals love him, too - who sings a lot about fishing, the waters that fish inhabit, hunting, beer and saucy women. But he's not all chest-thumping bravado. His "Waitin' on a Woman," which he did as a video duet with actor Andy Griffith, is quite sweet, as are "Letter to Me" and "We Danced."

Dierks Bentley performed prior to Paisley's set, in an all-male country revue that included Nashville newcomer Jimmy Wayne. It's amazing that Bentley is still someone's opening act. He last played this area with George Strait. No doubt he'll be headlining concerts before long. He's had No. 1 hits with such singles as "Feel the Fire" and "Sideways."

And he must have run a mile in his set, all over the wide span of the stage and up and down the catwalk, his blonde curls plastered to his sweaty face.

Before Bentley was Wayne, whose "Do You Believe Me Now," made its way to the top of the charts. He has an interesting story: His father walked out on the family, his mother was in and out of prison, and he lived in foster homes and on the streets as a teenager.

Unfortunately, Wayne's set was long over by the time much of the crowd made its way to Sleep Train, which is some distance from Sacramento and has a Wheatland address.

The traffic was horrible: It took two hours to drive from Sacramento to the amphitheater, but approximately 14,000 fans made it to the show, some of them buying tickets as late as 9:05 p.m., five minutes before Paisley hit the stage.

"American Saturday Night" was a great way to close out the summer. It also marked the end of Sleep Train's concert season.

On Nov. 11, Paisley will host the Country Music Association's awards show on ABC. He's earned the most nominations of any artist with six, including the top-dog Entertainer of the Year. His co-host will be Underwood.

Good thing he saved her from that cartoon train.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will become home to one of the world's finest collections of contemporary art, museum officials announced today.

The Fisher Collection - which belongs to Gap, Inc., founders Doris and Donald Fisher - will make its public debut next year as part of the museum's 75th anniversary celebration.

The couple, who founded the Gap 40 years ago, wanted to keep their collection intact to share it with people in their hometown, according to a press release.

The collection's 1,100 or so pieces include work by such well-known artists as Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Anselm Kiefer, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.

"San Francisco is where we raised our family and opened our first Gap store," said Don Fisher, "and we want to give back to the city we love by sharing the art that means so much to us.

"Doris and I share a vision with SFMOMA to enhance its collections and programs, and we are prepared to make a substantial gift to strengthen the museum's standing as one of the world's great contemporary art museums."

The museum is in the planning stages of an expansion project that would triple its gallery space.

The Fishers had thought of building a museum in the Presido by this past summer decided against that idea and turned instead to the Museum of Modern Art.

"SFMOMA is thrilled to forge this groundbreaking partnership and bring the Fishers' outstanding collection to the people of San Francisco and the world, which will make the museum an even greater public resource and provide visitors with a deeper, fuller view of key contemporary artists and movements," said museum director Neal Benezra.

Read the San Franciso Chronicle's story on the Fisher-SFMOMA partnership at

-- Dixie Reid

Here's a tasty way to make a charitable contribution.

Tomorrow -- Sept. 22 -- Big Spoon Yogurt will donate 30 percent of your purchase to the California Museum for History, Women & the Arts.

You will need to print out a Big Spoon fund-raiser card:

Then place your order tomorrow, present the card and say "The California Museum" -- and you're suddenly a philanthropist.

Store hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at these three Big Spoon locations in Sacramento:

2281 Del Paso Road, in the Natomas area
3644 J St. in East Sacramento
1735 Arden Way (Market Square, next to Arden Fair mall)

- Dixie Reid

Humorist and author Garrison Keillor is not coming to Sacramento after all.

Although he suffered a mild stroke over Labor Day weekend, Keillor had assured all concerned that he would be able to speak at a celebration of Lutheran Social Services of Northern California's 125th anniversary, which also was to be a fund-raiser for its homeless services programs.

However, Keillor has canceled his Sept. 22 appearance.

Classical jazz pianist Ricardo Scales, who was to share the bill with Keillor, has rescheduled and will play a benefit concert for Lutheran Social Services on Nov. 29 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Sacramento.

Ticket-holders will receive refunds for the Keillor event.

- Dixie Reid

BloodSource is offering a free IMAX movie admission in exchange for your blood.

Anyone who donates between this Sunday and Oct. 31 at any BloodSource location will receive a coupon for free entry to "Dolphins and Whales 3D" at the Esquire IMAX Theatre, 1211 K St. in downtown Sacramento.

The documentary film opens Oct. 16.

The free coupons expire Dec. 16.

For showtimes, go to or call (916) 443-IMAX (-4629).

For information on donating blood and BloodSource locations, call (866) 822-5663.

- Dixie Reid

Despite suffering a minor stroke over Labor Day weekend, humorist Garrison Keillor - who'll be released from the hospital sometime this week - still intends to make his Sept. 22 speaking appearance in Sacramento.

"An Evening With Garrison Keillor" is set for 7 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium.

His visit is sponsored by Lutheran Social Services of Northern California and is a celebration of its 125th anniversary. The event also is a fund-raiser for its homeless services programs.

Keillor's program "A Prairie Home Companion" airs on many National Public Radio stations across the country, including Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, with an audience of 4 million.

Tickets for "An Evening With Garrison Keillor" are $35-$70.

For more information: (916) 808-5181,

Tickets also are on sale at the Sacramento Convention Center box office, 1301 L St., Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

As the Crocker Art Museum staff anticipates completion of the new $100 million wing - which will quadruple gallery space for temporary exhibitions and triple the permanent-collections exhibition area - they were thrilled to receive two generous grants.

The Henry Luce Foundation gave $125,000, which will be used to reinterpret and reinstall the American art collection.

"The reinstallation will allow visitors to fully experience a collection that communicates a broader, and less frequently told, story of American art," chief curator Scott A. Shields said in a press statement. "With one of the nation's premier collections of Californian art, it is a story we are uniquely positioned to tell."

In addition, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation gave a $50,000 grant for arts education. The Crocker was the only museum in this area among 500 nonprofits to receive such a grant from the foundation.

The Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St., in downtown Sacramento.

The museum will close early next year, in anticipation of conditioning the new wing and installing art both there and in existing galleries. The "new" Crocker is set to open in the fall of 2010.

Follow construction updates at

- Dixie Reid

On Sept. 26, nine museums in our area will offer free general admission as part of Smithsonian Magazine's 5th annual Museum Day.

You'll need a Museum Day Admission Card, which allows two people from one household to enter participating museums here and across the country. You must present the card at the door.

Download and print your admission card at

Last year, more than 200,000 people across the country took advantage of the Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day.

Here are the participating museums near us:

Aerospace Museum of California, 3200 Freedom Park Dr., McClellan (off Watt Avenue in North Highlands)

California Automobile Museum (formerly the Towe Auto Museum), 2200 Front St., Sacramento

California Museum for History, Women & the Arts, 1020 O St., Sacramento

California State Railroad Museum, 111 I St., Sacramento

California State Military Museum and Resource Center, 1119 Second St., Old Sacramento

Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento

Explorit Science Center
, 2801 2nd St., Davis

Maidu Interpretive Center
, 1960 Johnson Ranch Road, Roseville

Sacramento Zoo, 3930 W. Land Park Drive, Sacramento

- Dixie Reid

This is music to our ears.

On Sept. 19, the California Museum will devote the day to celebrating the state's musical diversity. And, thanks to Target, admission is free.

Performers for "Musical California" include children's entertainer Francie Dillon, the drum group Red Circle with War Cloud, Camellia String Quartet, bluegrass band Natural Drift, the Gold Rush-inspired minstrel group Off to California and Sacramento Blues Society.

In addition, Disney's Rockin' Road Crew will perform scenes from "High School Musical" from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

There also will be a musical instrument "petting zoo," karaoke lounge, crafts and games.

The event runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

California Museum for History, Women & the Arts is at 1020 O St. (10th & O streets), Sacramento. Free parking on weekends across from the museum's entrance.

For more info: (916) 653-7524,

- Dixie Reid

Peter Yarrow, a member of the legendary folk group Peter, Paul and >Mary, is making a surprise concert appearance at noon today at the California State Fair.

Fair officials made the announcement with little notice to the press.

He'll be on the Promenade Stage in the fair's food court area.

Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey and Mary Travers made up the most popular folk group of the 1960s.

"Peter, Paul and Mary's roots run deeper than almost any other folk act one might care to name, while their appeal crosses audience lines that other acts couldn't (and can't) even approach," according to

The 2009 California State Fair runs through Sept. 7 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

The California State Railroad Museum is looking for a few good volunteers.

Applications are due Sept. 25, and training begins Oct. 17. Must be 18 or older.

Last year, some 600 volunteers helped with track constuction, restoration and maintenance, talked with visitors and did clerical work. Museum volunteers have served 2 million hours since the museum was created 23 years ago.

For more information, call volunteer-training coordinator Theresa Gonsolis at (916) 324-7593 or e-mail her at

Applications can be found at

- Dixie Reid

This is it, folks. Today is the last day you can buy discount tickets in person at the Cal Expo box office before tomorrow's kickoff of the 2009 California State Fair.

The box office is open from noon to 7 p.m. today. You'll find it at Cal Expo's main gate (the one "guarded" by the golden bear statues), 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

Fair officials report a brisk business, and long lines, in the days leading up to the fair's opening.

You'll still be able to land cheap admissions online this weekend, from Friday until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Get those at

You'll save $2 per ticket, and families can benefit from the popular Poppy Pak, which includes four admission four tickets, four monorail rides and a parking pass, for $39.99, which is a 45 percent savings.

The 2009 California State Fair runs through Sept. 7.

- Dixie Reid

California State Fair officials will keep the Cal Expo box office open longer to accommodate an "overwhelming response" for discount tickets before the fair opens.

Box office hours are now noon-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Advance sales end Wednesday.

No surcharges are added to purchases.

Examples of the discounts:

General admission - $10
Seniors 62-plus -$8
Children 5-12 -$6
Poppy Pak (four general admission tickets and monorail rides and a parking pass) - $39.95
Unlimited ride wristbands (good all day until 11 p.m.) - $28
Fun Fair Combo Pass (season pass to California State Fair and Raging Waters) - $49.99

For more info, call (916) 263-3049 or e-mail

The 2009 California State Fair runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 7 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

During the past six weeks, 27,000 people have viewed the Library of Congress' outstanding "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition" at the California Museum.

Because of its popularity and importance, the museum is extending its hours for the exhibit's final 10 days in Sacramento. The exhibit closes Aug. 23.

Starting Thursday, the museum will be open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, until the Lincoln show ends.

This is the only West Coast stop for "With Malice Toward None," which contains 200 rare objects, including the contents of Lincoln's pockets the night he was shot at Ford's Theater, the Bible both he and President Obama used at their inaugurations and a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The California Museum for History, Women & the Arts is at 1020 O St., Sacramento.

For more information: (916) 653-7524,,

- Dixie Reid

Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks, the most commercially successful duo in country music history, are splitting up.

They posted this today on their Web site:

"After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it's time to call it a day. This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed .... We owe it all to you, the fans.

"If you hear rumors, don't believe them, it's just time.

"We will release our (new album) '#1's and then some' on Sept. 8th and come see you all one more time in 2010, with 'The Last Rodeo Tour.' "

The tour dates haven't been announced, but look for Brooks & Dunn to head in this direction one last time.

They made their Sacramento debut in 1992 as Reba McEntire's opening act at Arco Arena. Five years later, the Reba/B&D pairing was country music's highest-grossing tour.

In a 2001 interview with The Bee, Brooks talked about performing here.

"We have said it time and time again: When people ask where our favorite place is to play, Arco Arena has come up in that conversation. Some of our funnest nights have been in Northern California. You guys know how to rock. It's always a party."

The two met as Nashville songwriters and decided to team up, write music for themselves and hit the road as a honky-tonk twosome.

Their first single, "Brand New Man" (1990), reached the top of the country charts.

They won the first of their many top vocal duo awards from Country Music Association in 1992 and their first CMA entertainer of the year award in 1996. The accumulation of trophies since the early days could fill a tour trailer, or two.

Check out more about the guys at

- Dixie Reid

Published: Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 - 6:28 am

By Dixie Reid

Rod Stewart's rock 'n' roll show, playing all the hits all night long, swept into Arco Arena on Wednesday, and it soon became clear why Donna Hamaker and Melisa Askew were there.
They met a few years back at one of Stewart's shows, and when Hamaker's husband gave her a 50th birthday present of a trip to Las Vegas, San Jose and Sacramento for three concerts in five days, she asked her best Rod Stewart-lovin' gal pal to come along, both traveling all the way from Alabama.
"I've been a fan since 1971, for 38 years, ever since a record dropped down on the turntable and I heard, 'If I listen long enough ...,' " Hamaker said before Wednesday's show. "I was hooked. He's got that thing, and that voice. Just wait. You'll see."
It's hard to believe the guy is 64 and has been doing this for more than 40 years.
Nobody had more fun than Stewart himself. He danced. He pranced. He preened. He joked. He teased his trio of back-up singers. He sauntered. He sashayed. He wiggled and swatted himself on the bottom. He fluffed his spiky blond hair a time or two. He kicked autographed soccer balls into the crowd.
And he changed clothes more often than Cher in her heyday, modeling everything from a baby blue silk jacket and matching tie - which both went nicely with the fedora a fan tossed on-stage and he wore for a bit - to stone-washed jeans and a drugstore-cowboy hat.
His 22-year-old daughter, Ruby, entertained the crowd while he made one costume change.
Stewart was in fine voice if you, like Hamaker are fond of his edgy, emotional sound, and he delivered a solid 90-plus-minute set to an adoring crowd, some of whom were older than he.
And the great thing when you're a fan of a guy's music, and you know every word to all of his songs, is that you can sing out loud for the entire concert -- and nobody minds, because they're all singing, too.
For some folks, his music truly was the soundtrack of a certain part of their lives, or at least the make-out music of their youth.
And Stewart didn't deliver his standards all funny, and try to make them different just to entertain himself after singing the same old songs night after night, decade after decade. Everything sounded pretty much like it did on radio, or eight-track, or cassette player, back in the day.
One of the best moments of the night was the encore, "Maggie May," which Stewart once said was the best song he'd ever written and the one he never gets tired of singing. He even let the crowd carry the first few lines, "solo," before joining in.
It truly was an all-hits show: "Tonight's the Night," "Hot Legs," "Forever Young," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," " Downtown Train," "You Wear It Well," Rhythm of My Heart" and "Some Guys Have All the Luck."
Hamaker was right: Stewart does have something special. He's a showman, an entertainer, and maybe he isn't leaping onto speakers the way he did 30 years ago, but he's still the same ol' Rod Stewart at heart. The guy loves a crowd that loves him.
Everyone who had tickets for Arco's upper level was moved down to the lower sections - and that made for a full house of sorts. Stewart acknowledged California's hard economic times, and thanked the fans for buying tickets to see him.
The outstanding Australian band The Kin opened the show.

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

The 2009 California State Fair will be here before you know it. Now is the time to get special deals on tickets before prices go up.

Discounted advance admissions - for which you'll pay no surcharge - go on sale tomorrow at the Cal Expo box office, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

Box office hours are noon-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The sale ends Aug. 19.

Here are examples of the cut-rate tix which are, more or less, the same as the 2008 prices:

General admission - $10 (will be $12)
Seniors 62-plus -$8 (will be $10)
Children 5-12 -$6 (will be $8)
Poppy Pak (four general admission tickets and monorail rides and a parking pass) - $39.95
Unlimited ride wristbands (good all day until 11 p.m.) - $28
Fun Fair Combo Pass (season pass to California State Fair and Raging Waters) - $49.99

For more info, call (916) 263-3049 or e-mail

The 2009 California State Fair is Aug. 21 to Sept. 7 at Cal Expo.

- Dixie Reid

YoloArts is the new name for the Yolo County Arts Council.

The change was made "to define the organization's image by expanding on an existing marketed name with a fresh, contemporary style and dispel perceptions that the organization is a division of the county," according to a news release.

The nonprofit YoloArts, created in 1981, will continue to work with Yolo County. One result of that long-standing partnership is Art in Public Places project.

- Dixie Reid

Since 2000, the Sacramento River Cats Players' Wives Food Drive has gathered an amazing 50,000 pounds of non-perishable food and enough cash to buy $300,000 worth of food and supplies for needy families in our community.

The 10th annual food drive is Saturday, during the Cats' game against the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

Game time is 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Families of Cats' players will accept canned goods from fans and sell autographed baseball cards of Cats' players and coaches. Proceeds go to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

Last year's event resulted in $22,000 worth of much-needed food and supplies.

Raley Field is at 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento. For tickets and more information: (916) 371-HITS (4487),

- Dixie Reid

San Francisco's de Young will be the only museum in the world to host two important impressionist exhibitions, museum officials announced Thursday.

"Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" opens May 22, 2010, and will continue through Sept. 6, 2010. It includes nearly 100 works by masters who lived in France during the mid-19th century and who influenced the impressionist style.

In this exhibit will be paintings by such notable artists as Monet, Renoir, Monet, Degas and American expatriate James McNeil Whistler, whose "Arrangement in Gray and Black" is better known as "Whistler's Mother."

The second exhibition, which opens Sept. 25, 2010, and runs through Jan. 18, 2011, is "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay." In it will be 120 of the Musée d'Orsay's late-impressionist paintings, including the works of Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, Lautrec and Van Gogh.

"These two exhibitions present a rare and unique opportunity for Americans to see the evolution and incubation of the impressionist style from the collection of the most important repository of French 19th and early 20th century art -- the Musée d'Orsay," said John E. Buchanan, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which includes the de Young.

"These exhibitions give us the opportunity to share with visitors some of the most seminal works of impressionist and post-impressionist art that they would only be able to see in Paris or in an art history book as the likelihood of them traveling en masse again is slim."

Musée d'Orsay in Paris is loaning out its artwork while it undergoes refurbishing and reinstallations, prior to its 25th anniversary in 2011.

Timed and dated tickets to the de Young exhibitions go on sale March 15, 2010.

The de Young Museum is at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

For more info: (415) 750-3600,

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento artist Fred Dalkey and Port Costa sculptor Clayton Bailey will be honored as California Artists of the Year during Arts Day at this year's California State Fair.

Both will receive Golden Bear awards on Aug. 29.

Arts Day also will feature music, entertainment and the works of California authors and visual artists.

The State Fair opens Aug. 21 and runs every day through Labor Day at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For information: (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247),

- Dixie Reid

Tony Natsoulas' ceramic "Lee Counts His Snails Under the Bodhi Tree" was named best of show at the California State Fair's California Fine Art competition.

The Sacramento artist's work was selected for the top honor from the prestigious Jurors Award winners. In addition to Natsoulas, the other artists are:

Nichole Bremer of Roseville, for "Into Sara's Eyes," a black-and-white digital print.

Roy Holmberg of Santa Cruz, for "Hardly A Davidson," made from vacuum cleaner parts, with wood, steel, found objects and neon lighting

Kyle Larson of Sacramento, for "Around," acrylic on wood panel

Judy Maynard of Cambria, for "Peacock Duo," stained glass with mixed media

Andie Thrams of Coloma, for "In Forests, Volume XVII," which is described as "a unique artist's book, a case-bound accordion book of seven folios."

An awards ceremony is set for Aug. 20.

All of the California Fine Art winners will have their work on display in Expo Center, Building 7, during the run of the California State Fair.

The fair opens Aug. 21 and continues daily through Labor Day at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For info: (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247),

- Dixie Reid

The Marin History Museum has just announced a concert featuring Metallica.

The heavy metal band with Bay Area roots will headline a benefit for the museum's Marin Rocks exhibition on Sept. 11 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.

Moon Alice will open.

Tickets start at $100 and go on sale Aug. 1. Get them at or by calling (415) 499-6800.

"There are no words that can really express our gratitude to Metallica for giving us this opportunity," museum executive director Merry Alberigi said in a news release. "Their support of the Marin Rocks exhibition has been phenomenal since the beginning."

The Marin Rocks exhibition celebrates the area's music roots and current music scene.

- Dixie Reid

It's a fun run like no other.

The second annual Memorial 5K Run/Walk, a benefit for Alzheimer's Aid Society of Northern California, starts and ends in a cemetery.

From East Lawn Memorial Park, the race route winds through the city's Fab 40s neighborhood, and then back to the "city of the dead."

Racetime is 8 a.m. July 25 at East Lawn, 4300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento.

Fees are $30 for adults on race day (less for early registration) and $16 for the children's event.

For more info: (916) 492-8966,

- Dixie Reid

John Irving, Ruth Reichl and Abraham Verghese are among the notable authors who'll appear during the just-announced seventh season of California Lectures.

All events take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

The 2009-10 season begins Oct. 22 with a talk by A.S. Byatt, author of the award-winning "Still Life" and "Possession: A Romance." Her latest tome, "The Children's Book," is due out in October. Byatt was appointed a Dame of the British Empire a decade ago and, in 2002, received the Shakespeare Prize from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation.

Irving, who won the National Book Award for "The World According to Garp," makes an appearance on Nov. 5. "Garp," along with "The Hotel New Hampshire" and "The Cider House Rules," were made into movies. Irving is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Letters.

Verghese, a physician whose nonfiction book "My Own Country" was based on his experiences treating HIV patients, will speak on Feb. 11, 2010. Mira Nair directed the movie adaptation of the book. Verghese is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Next up is Reichl, on March 26, 2010. She's editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and author of such memoirs as "Tender at the Bone," "Garlic and Sapphires" and "Not Becoming My Mother." She's received the James Beard Award and is the former New York Times restaurant critic.

The last speaker, on April 26, 2010, is Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition Saturday." His show has an estimated audience of more than 4 million. Among Simon's writings is "Windy City" and "Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball."

Each author is available for a question-and-answer session with the audience and book-signing.

And, prior to each California Lectures presentation, a professor from California State University, Sacramento, will present a biographical overview of the night's special guest. Those "Lecture Previews," free to ticket-holders, begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre.

"California Lectures features authors yearly who tour on a very limited basis," says Suzette Riddle, founder and president of California Lectures. "This season, we're pleased to continue presenting the literary greats, the NPR favorites and the internationally loved voices of our culture.
"During the season so many of our patrons discover a new favorite author whose work they enjoy delving into."

The five-author season subscription is $155 and is on sale now. To purchase a subscription or get more information: (916) 737-1300,

Single-event tickets go on sale Sept. 28 and are priced at $30 for all speakers but Irving, who is $35. Buy those tickets at the Crest Theatre box office, through
or by calling (800) 225-2277.

- Dixie Reid

As if spending time in minor league baseball's best ballpark and watching the Sacramento River Cats work their magic isn't enough, the team is upping the fun for its four-game stand against the Reno Aces at Raley Field.
Here's what they have in store:

'80s Night - Today
(Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7:05 p.m.)
Music from the era played throughout the game, with '80s in-game entertainment and costume contest (extra points if you wear hypercolor shirts and pegged jeans.) Miller Lite 'Que & Brew offers $2 Miller Lites and barbecue specials.

Snow Day at Raley Field - 5-8 p.m. Friday
A parking lot will be made into a snow park, thanks to Interstate Batteries, with a sled run and a kids' area, where they can throw snowballs and build snowmen.
For more info:
It's also Family Fun Friday, with $1 hot dogs and $1 ice creams throughout the game.
(Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7:05 p.m.)

6th annual 'Swing for the Cure' - Saturday
(Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7:05 p.m.)
River Cats players will wear special pink jerseys, which will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Komen for the Cure for breast cancer awareness and research.
At the On Deck Shop, all pink merchandise is 20 percent off. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, so if you don't have something, stop in the shop before the game.
"Swing for the Cure" has raised $82,000 in its first five years.
And, there will be fireworks after the game, a Saturday night tradition.

Dinger's 10th birthday bash - Sunday
12:10-12:30 p.m., the Cats' mascot and 30 of his mascot pals will join in a little pre-game kickball, presented by Jelly Belly
For more info:
(Gates open at noon. Game time is 1:05 p.m.)

Ticket Hotline is (916) 371-HITS (371-4487). General info:

The River Cats' home field is at 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

The folks at Broadway Sacramento, who hosted "Disney's 'The Lion King' " for a five-week engagement ending June 28, just announced that it set a box-office record at the Community Center Theater.

More than 88,000 people, many of whom traveled more than 100 miles, saw the show there.

"With total box office sales amounting to just under $6 million, this engagement of 'The Lion King' is the highest-grossing theatical return in Sacramento's history," says Richard Lewis, executive producer of Sacramento Musical Theatre, of which Broadway Sacramento is a part.

The production that was in Sacramento has moved on to Edmonton, Alberta, and will travel to Calgary, Anchorage, San Diego, Spokane and San Antonio.

A new production opened in May at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

"The Lion King" was the winner of six Tony Awards, including best musical.

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento definitely is a city on the move, arts-wise.

Joining the ever-popular Second Saturday gallery strolls is tomorrow's Third Thursday Art Walk - highlighting the artwork of South Sacramento youth. There also will be live music and hands-on art workshops.

It's 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Colonial Heights Library, 4799 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento (between 14th Avenue and Fruitridge Road.)

According to a news release, "The kids in South Sac are trying to bring meaning and joy to their often-challenging lives." When surveyed three years ago, they said they wanted more art, music and dance in their lives.

Third Thursday Art Walk is funded in part by a Sierra Health Foundation REACH grant and the Stockton Boulevard Partnership, along with help from Sacramento Mutual Housing Association.

For more information on Third Thursday Art Walk, call Emily Bender: (916) 384-8287.

- Dixie Reid

Abe Lincoln was in Sacramento?

Well, no, but "Young Mr. Lincoln," the 1939 movie directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda as Lincoln (Fonda reportedly wore shoe lifts to appear taller) was filmed in Sacramento.

You can see this classic "homemade" movie Saturday under the stars in the California Museum's Constitution Courtyard. It's part of Movie Night at the Museum summer series and the Second Saturday Art Walk.

As an added treat, PG&E will provide solar power to "energize" the 70-year-old "Young Mr. Lincoln."

"Moviegoers will see firsthand how the sun's rays can bring this nighttime event to life at the Sustainable Waves truck parked outside the museum," according to a press release.

The movie ties in nicely with the magnificent "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition," which is at the California Museum until Aug. 22.

(The museum itself won't be open tomorrow night, so you'll have to see the Library of Congress' traveling show another time.)

Bring your own camp chairs or blankets for the movie. Refreshments will be available for sale.

"Young Mr. Lincoln" starts at 8:30 p.m. and runs 100 minutes.

Admission is a $1 donation per person.

The California Museum for History, Women & the Arts is at 1020 O St., Sacramento. Free, lighted parking available nearby.

For more info: (916) 653-7524,

- Dixie Reid

Starting next Monday, seven Sacramento Public Library branches will be open just 36 hours a week, thanks to city budget reductions.

Not to worry: You'll find an open library somewhere in the system every day of the week - and three libraries will have longer hours.

Here's the schedule for the 10 affected branches:

Colonial Heights, 4799 Stockton Blvd.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday; noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 S. Land Park Drive
Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

Del Paso Heights Library, 920 Grand Avenue
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 7340 24th Street Bypass
Noon-8 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Ella K. McClatchy Library, 2112 22nd St.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Wednesday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd.
Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

North Natomas Library, 2500 New Market Drive
11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, 2109 Del Paso Blvd.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Wednesday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

South Natomas Library, 2901 Truxel Road
Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

"Sacramento Public Library card holders can also continue to access our free, online services any time of day from any computer with Internet access," said spokeswoman Alison B. Landers.

Go to to research databases, download books, music and videos and language courses, and find homework help for grades 3-12.

For more info on our public libraries: (916) 264-2920

- Dixie Reid

Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys (Calaveras County) kicks off its Summer Concert season on July 18 with a magnificent double bill: Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) and Boz Scaggs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Here's the lineup for the rest of a star-studded season at Ironstone Amphitheatre:

July 24 - The Moody Blues and Dave Mason

Aug. 7- Alan Jackson

Aug. 16 - Diana Krall with Dave Koz and Brian Culbertson

Aug. 28- Jason Mraz and Raphael Saadiq

Sept. 6 - Chris Isaak with Brian Setzer & Nashvillains

Sept. 18 - Lynyrd Skynyrd and Los Lonely Boys

Sept. 19 - Crosby, Stills & Nash

For ticket prices and purchases, call (800) 745-3000 or go to

Ironstone Vineyards is at 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys. For more info: (209) 728-1251,

- Dixie Reid

The luckiest kids in town get to spend part of their summer at Old Sacramento History Camp.

This year's day-camp sessions are July 13-17, July 20-24 and July 27-31.

To learn more about the sessions, call Janessa West, public programs manager for the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation at (916) 808-4980, or e-mail her at

Camp fees are $175 per week. Extended care - 7:30-9 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. - is available for an additional fee.

History Camp focuses on California between the years 1848 and 1860.

Campers will visit museums in Old Sacramento and other historic sites, pan for gold, create currency, make a time capsule, play old-fashioned games, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and go on a scavenger hunt.

Registration is under way now.

- Dixie Reid

Mumbo Gumbo, one of Sacramento's most beloved bands, will play a free concert downtown next Friday, June 26.

The band's appearance at the always popular "Concerts in the Park" is sponsored by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) and Downtown Sacramento Partnership as a celebration of the arts.

Some 25 local arts groups will be represented, and music-lovers can make donations to support the arts, as well as arts education, in our community.

The event is 5-9 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Park, 10th and J streets.

For more

- Dixie Reid

Saturday is the deadline to apply as a volunteer at the Governor's Mansion State Historic Park.

The next nine-week training class begins in July. Interested volunteers will be interviewed in advance. Minimum age to volunteer is 18.

For more information, contact Kendra Dillard at (916) 323-2500 or by e-mail at

The Governor's Mansion is an 1877 Victorian that housed 13 California governors and their families. It's at 16th and H streets in midtown Sacramento, with tours on the hour 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

For more info: (916) 323-3047.

- Dixie Reid

Grab a blanket, load the family into the car, and make it out to Elverta for Gibson Ranch Movie Nights this Friday and next.

This week's feature film is "The Sandlot" (1993), the story of boys, summertime and a dog. It stars Denis Leary, Karen Allen and a bunch of baseball-playing youngsters.

On June 26, it's "Hotel for Dogs" (2009), a comedy about children who secretly care for nine stray dogs in a vacant house. Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin and Don Cheadle star.

The gates open at 7:30 p.m. Showtime is at dusk.

The movies are free. Admission to the park is $6 per car. Concessions - hot dogs, cotton candy, snowcones and popcorn - are each $1.

Gibson Ranch, a Sacramento County regional park, is at 8556 Gibson Ranch Road, Elverta.

For more info on the two movie nights: (916) 875-6336,

- Dixie Reid

Hollywood has hit the rails. "Disney's A Christmas Carol" Train Tour is on a 40-city, 16,000-mile whistlestop trip - and will be in Old Sacramento this weekend.

The free, family event includes a sneak peek of the digital 3-D "Disney's A Christmas Carol," which opens nationwide on Nov. 6. It'll be shown in a huge inflatable, traveling theater.

Meanwhile, snow will be falling, carolers will be singing and the decorations will be hung as if it were already the holiday season.

Inside the Amtrak train cars, visitors can see artifacts from the Charles Dickens Museum in London, including a first edition of Dickens' book "A Christmas Carol." They can play an interactive game to "visit" Dickens' London and can morph their face into characters from "Disney's A Christmas Carol."

The Disney train will sit near the California State Railroad Museum, 111 I St., Old Sacramento, and will be open to the public 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

"Disney's A Christmas Carol" stars Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and was directed by Robert Zemeckis. When it opens this fall, the film will be shown in both Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D.

For more information, on the train tour go to

The California State Railroad Museum is offering extended hours and a great admission deal just for this weekend.

Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. A coupon from the information booth in front of the museum is good for 2-for-1 admission. For more information:

- Dixie Reid

Dixon still holds fast to its small-town roots even as surrounding farm fields yield new suburban houses, not crops. And nothing is more gloriously small town than a July 4th extravaganza.

Dixon's second annual Fourth of July celebration will be held on the grounds of the Dixon May Fair, 655 S. First St., on, of course, July 4.

Admission is free, except for the demolition derby ( $15 per seat, or $30 for a box seat.) Parking is $5.

The day kicks off at 11 a.m. when food booths open for business. Live music begins at noon, with "classic games" - including a watermelon-eating contest - under way at 1 p.m. The demolition derby is set for 6 p.m. Fireworks are at 9 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Friends of Dixon May Fair. For more information:

Dixon is 20 miles west of Sacramento, off Interstate 80.

- Dixie Reid

We know a woman whose sneezes come in rapid, high-pitched succession, and a guy who announces his approaching nasal explosion with a very loud "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Sneezing is one of the funniest things we humans do. And now it's time for competitive sneezing.

The Side-Splitting Sneeze Contest, sponsored by the makers of Chloraseptic and Little Allergies Allergen Block, involves you making a one-minute video of your own or someone else's silly sneeze.

You'll find the official entry form and instructions for uploading your entry at

Entry deadline is Aug. 30. The contest is open to ages 18 and older.

The voting public will chose the winners. Grand prize is a spa weekend for two, and three finalists will receive $100 American Express Gift Cheques.

By the way, one trick to trigger a sneeze is to tickle the inside of your nose with a tissue.

- Dixie Reid

Keith Urban fans: Set your cell phone's reminder alarm for 10 a.m. on June 6.

That's when tickets go on sale for his July 23 "Escape Together World Tour" concert at Arco Arena. LeAnn Rimes is the opening act.

Ticket prices start at $20 and will be sold at Ticketmaster locations, online at, and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

"LeAnn and I are going to give our fans in Sacramento a night to remember. A night where they'll be able to leave their cares at the door and just let loose for a few hours," Urban said in a news release issued today by Arco Arena.

"I hope our fans have as much fun offstage, as I know we'll have on," Rimes said.

Urban launched his 59-city North American tour earlier this month. Keep up with his comings and goings at

- Dixie Reid

Student artists at Lee Middle School in Woodland will see their mural "Global Peacemakers" dedicated during a June 1 ceremony.

Teaching artist Juli Ann Blanco worked with students from the Horizon special ed program and the Gifted and Talented (GATE) program to create the mural that celebrates global harmony.

"This powerful public mural is a reflection of these student artists' desire for peace in the world," Blanco says.

The dedication starts at 5:30 p.m. in the central quad at Lee Middle School, 520 West St., Woodland.

For more info, call the Yolo County Arts Council at (530) 406-4844.

- Dixie Reid

If you hestitate to use commercial pesticides, the Sacramento Public Library and Friends of Fair Oaks Library have a helpful workshop coming up.

Bill Hollins, of Water Wise Pest Control, will suggest ways to reduce the use of pesticides and teach you to control crawly critters with less-toxic methods.

The class is set for 6 p.m. June 8 at Fair Oaks Library, 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. Admission is free.

Registration is suggested. Call (916) 264-2920 or go to

- Dixie Reid

Governor's Mansion State Historic Park was home to 13 California governors over 64 years, so the place is full of history and great stories.

The elegant Victorian is in need of passionate, knowledgeable citizens to share its past with visitors.

So, if you're at least 18 years old and are interested in applying for the volunteer training program, contact Kendra Dillard at (916) 323-2500 or by e-mail at

Application deadline is June 20. Nine weeks of classes start in July, on a day to be determined.

Governor's Mansion State Historic Park is at 1526 H St., Sacramento. Tours are offered 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily. For park information: (916) 323-3047,

-- Dixie Reid

If you bank at Bank of America, your ATM, credit or check card - along with a photo ID - will get you free general admission to 120 museums, historical sites, science centers and zoos across the country.

The Museums on Us program starts June 6-7 and continues the first full weekend of every month, through Dec. 4-5, 2010.

Participating in our area are:
California Museum for History, Women & the Arts, 1020 O St., Sacramento
Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento
Explorit Science Center, 2801 Second St., Davis

In San Francisco, the offer is good at Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, Legion of Honor and Museum of African Diaspora, and in San Jose at San Jose Museum of Art and the Tech Museum of Innovation.

Please note that the free-admission offer for Bank of America customers is not valid for special exhibitions, fund-raising events or ticketed shows.

For more info and a list of participating institutions, go to

- Dixie Reid

Yolo County Arts Council and Davis Farmers Market Foundation is launching a program called "Artist in the Classroom."

It's all about second graders learning to appreciate art and farming.

The project will bring artists into second grade classrooms in the Davis Joint Unified School District, after the kids visit a local farm.

"Artist in the Classroom" complements the school district's existing Farm to School program.

"Davis Farm to School Connection is excited to be cooperating with this phenomenal opportunity to connect farm visits to art through the talented artists with the Yolo County Arts Council's art education programs," said Dorothy Peterson, president of the Davis Farmers Market Foundation.

For more info: (530) 908-4321,

- Dixie Reid

Think you've got talent? If you're 15 years old or younger, here's a chance to strut your stuff.

Auditions for the 2009 California State Fair's Kids Talent Show - individuals and groups - are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 23.

Call (916) 274-6180 or e-mail to reserve a spot.

The State Fair is Aug. 21-Sept. 7 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For general information about the fair: (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247),

- Dixie Reid

The 1839 fort founded by Swiss immigrant John Sutter - and now a California State Historic Park - received a major gift today.

Sutter Health, Inc., donated $25,000 to Sutter's Fort, which stands across the street from Sutter Medical Center. The funds went to Friends of Sutter's Fort and are part of State Parks' "Proud Partner" program.

"In these uncertain fiscal times, this donation will enhance our programming for the community and provide continued respite for Sutter Medical Center employees and patients who use the fort grounds as their local park," said Catherine Taylor, State Parks' Capital District superintendent, in a news release.

Tom Gagen, the medical center's chief executive officer, said, "Since our beginnings in 1923, Sutter Health and Sutter Medical Center have always enjoyed a very special relationship with Sutter's Fort. We continue to live and learn by the example of Sutter's Fort."

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park is at 2701 L St., Sacramento. It's open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is $6 general and $3 for ages 6-17.

For more information on the state park: (916) 445-4422,

- Dixie Reid

OMG! David Cook is coming to the 2009 California State Fair!

The "American Idol" season 7 winner opens the fair's 2009 Concert Series on Aug. 21.

And in other Big News about the place for Big Fun: Tickets for both the Concert Series and discounted fair admissions go on sale this Friday.

Here's the concert line-up:
David Cook, Aug. 21, $45
Tonic, Aug. 24, $15
Salvador. Aug. 25, $10
Hullabaloo Music Festival (Jay and the Americans, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Merrilee Rush, Badfinger, Sonny Geraci and Otis Day), Aug. 26, $10
The Fab Four, Aug.27, free show
Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Sept. 2, $10
MC Hammer, Sept. 3, $10
Three Dog Night, Sept. 4, $15
Blake Shelton, Sept. 5, $29
Tops in Blue Air Force Show, Sept. 6, free show

And here's a rundown on discounted State Fair admissions, available Friday through Aug. 19 (regular pricing goes into effect Aug. 20):

Poppy Pak (four general admissions and monorail rides and one parking pass), $39.95, a 43 percent savings

Single tickets:
General admission, $10, a 17 percent savings
Ages 62-plus, $8, a 20 percent savings
Ages 5-12, $7, a 13 percent savings

Unlimited-ride wristbands for the midway (ride all day, any day, until 11 p.m.) $28, a 20 percent savings

Fun Fair Combo Pass (season pass to both State Fair and Raging Waters at Cal Expo), $49.99, a 45 percent savings

The 2009 California State Fair runs Aug. 21-Sept. 7 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For more info: (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247),

- Dixie Reid

Gas up the car: Live Nation is bringing some of the summer's top concert tours to Sleep Train Amphitheatre, outside of Wheatland.

Here's the lineup:
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, with Marilyn Manson & Slayer, July 10
Coldplay, July 14
No Doubt with Paramore, July 24
Vans Warped Tour, Aug. 21
Nickelback with Hinder, Papa Roach and Saving Abel, Aug. 31
Def Leppard with Poison and Cheap Trick, Sept. 3
Brad Paisley, Sept. 26

Closer to home, Live Nation booked these tours at Arco Arena:
Beyonce, July 9
Green Day, Aug. 24
The Killers, Sept. 22

For tickets and info:,

- Dixie Reid

Chi Cheng, the Deftones' bassist injured in a car accident in November, was released from intensive care last weekend, according to the Web site

Cheng had been in a coma since the San Jose-area crash and, according to today's Web update, is now "in more of a semi-conscious state" and "started tracking with (his) eyes and saying words."

The Deftones, formed in Sacramento 21 years ago, released its first album in 1995. The top-selling hard rock band had its biggest success with the album "White Pony" (2000) and earned a Grammy for the song "Elite."

- Dixie Reid

Winters will have a new branch library later this year, on the Winters High School campus, and the Yolo County Arts Council invites Yolo County residents to submit proposals for public art to "decorate" the main entrance, central information area, and the children and young adult sections.

The artwork should be "pleasant, uplifting, inspirational and entertaining and illustrate the cultural diversity and history of Winters, along with county history," according to a news release. The project's budget is $30,300.

Find the proposals packet at Submission deadline is 3 p.m. June 11.

The Yolo County Arts Council is at 120 W. Main St., Suite B, in Woodland. For more info: (530) 406-4844,

- Dixie Reid

You may be lucky if you dillydallied about getting Dixon May Fair concert tickets.

Cheap Trick, Jessica Simpson and Chris Isaak have just released some of the best seats in the grandstand, which had been held for production crews and other folks.

Those prime tickets go on sale at noon today.

All concerts start at 7 p.m. and include admission to next week's Dixon May Fair.

Here's the line-up and ticket prices:

Cheap Trick - Thursday; $32 reserved, $25 general.
Jessica Simpson - next Friday; $42 reserved, $35 general.
Chris Isaak - May 10; $42 reserved, $35 general

To buy tickets: (877) 750-4400,

The 134th annual Dixon May Fair opens Thursday and continues through May 10. The theme is "Fun: You Can Bank on It." Fair hours are 2-10 p.m. Thursday, noon-10 p.m. next Friday, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. May 9-10.

The fairgrounds, site of the three concerts, is 655 S. First St., Dixon.

- Dixie Reid

John Legend, with India Arie opening, will play Raley Field on Sept. 4.

The show, just announced, is part of Legend's cross-country, 50-city concert tour.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday at the Raley Field box office and

Legend is a multi-platinum recording star and six-time Grammy winner whose latest album, "Evolver," hit the top of the charts.

For more info:,

- Dixie Reid

Charming little Locke, the historic Chinese town alongside the Sacramento River, will celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month on May 9.

Main Street will be awash that day in dancers, artists, musicians, kung-fu performers, calligraphy experts and more.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is free.

The Locke Foundation is the event sponsor.

For more information: (916) 776-1661, (916) 776-1828.

Locke is about 22 miles south of downtown Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid

Tickets for Kenny Chesney's July 18 "Sun City Carnival" concert at AT&T Park in San Francisco are on sale now.

Reserved seats are $29.50-$225.50.

The Kenny Chesney Family Plan is four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for $125 (plus a $6-per-ticket service charge.)

This is the country star's only major-league ballpark concert on his "Sun City Carnival" tour. The five-hour show, beginning at 5:30 p.m., includes performances by Sugarland, Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum.

Information and tickets: (800) 225-2277,

- Dixie Reid

The California Museum - along with Monterey Bay Aquarium, Sacramento Zoo, California Department of Fish and Game, Sierra Club, Save Our Sandhill Cranes and Cosumnes River Preserve - present the very special family day event "California Critters and Crawlers" on April 25.

And thanks to Target, admission to the California Museum that day is free 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kids can learn about California's 100-plus endangered animals and how to protect them. California's official reptile, the Desert Tortoise, and predatory birds will be on hand. Activities include entertainment by Francie Dillon, arts and crafts, and face-painting.

The California Museum is at 1020 O St., Sacramento. Downtown parking is free on weekends.

For more info on this and other California Museum events (the Library of Congress' Abraham Lincoln exhibition opens there June 24): (916) 653-7524,

- Dixie Reid

Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947, when he made his major-league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Sacramento River Cats celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday, the 62nd anniversary of Robinson's first game, with appearances by former Negro League players and members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen (the first African American pilots in the U.S. military.)

Fans are invited to attend the 9:30 a.m. event, which precedes the River Cats' 11:35 a.m. game against the Portland Beavers.

Cats' tickets are for sale at the Raley Field box office, by phone at (916) 371-HITS (371-4487), or online at

- Dixie Reid

The city of Woodland, known for its charming historic architecture and most recently for recently being dissed by favorite son Dustin Pedroia (the Boston Red Sox infielder), has another claim to fame: It's home to Gearhead Records.

The indie label with the motto "Punk 'n' Roll Begins Here" just signed sleaze-metal band Crank County Daredevils, of Asheville, N.C. Music critics have compared the group to Motley Crue and Faster Pussycat.

"This band is pretty different from the rest of the Gearhead roster, but they're great," label owner Michelle Haunold said in a press statement. "They make perfect sense with their classic rock sound and '80s metal look. And they're very hard-working, having toured continuously all over the South as part of the biker festival circuit."

Gearhead will release a new Crank County Daredevils album in late summer. The label also represents such bands as the Lords of Altamont, Hellbound Glory and the Mansfields.

For more info on Gearhead Records:

For more on Crank County Daredevils:

- Dixie Reid

Mumbo Gumbo, Kate Gaffney, the Poplollys, Dog Party and Middle Class Rut are among more than two dozen bands set to play this summer's free and wildly popular Friday Night Concerts in the Park.

The 15-week outdoor season at Cesar Chavez Plaza, 9th and J streets, launches May 1 with performances by Sol Peligro, Retrograde Revolution and La Noche Oskura.

Concerts are 5-9 p.m. every Friday through Aug. 7. The event is produced by the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

For the complete schedule and sample audio tracks:

- Dixie Reid

A world record is on the line, and hungry people will benefit from this week's massive "U-Can" food drive in Sacramento.

The goal is to raise 400,000 pounds of nonperishable edible goods for Loaves & Fishes and Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

The food drive, which ends Friday, is headed up by members of the Rotaract Club, a Sacramento State student organization, and the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region.

They're trying to set a Guinness World Record for food collection.

Loaves & Fishes, 1321 N. C St., is accepting foodstuff from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily through Friday, and Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, 3333 Third Ave., is open for drop-offs 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through Thursday.

For a complete list of donation sites:

For more info:

- Dixie Reid

Those of you who've waited patiently to board a Sacramento Southern Railroad excursion train will be happy to know that the season gets under way April 25-26.

It was delayed by construction on the riverfront-promenade expansion in Old Sacramento.

Steam trains will depart every hour on the hour weekends through September from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot, on Front Street between J and K streets in Old Sacramento. A six-mile ride along the Sacramento River takes 40 minutes.

Tickets for regular closed coaches and gondolas are $8 general, $3 for ages 6-17. A ride in the first-class car El Dorado is $15, regardless of age.

Train crew member Kevin Hecteman will sign copies of his new book, "Sacramento Southern Railroad," from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 25 at the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot. At 3 p.m., he'll lecture at the California State Railroad Museum, 111 I St., Old Sacramento.

Hecteman is donating proceeds from the book to the museum's supporting foundation, to continue operation and upkeep of the Sacramento Southern.

For more info: (916) 445-6645,

- Dixie Reid

This is National Cell Phone Recycling Week, and who among us doesn't have an old, outdated, no-longer-cool cell phone - or more - rattling around in a junk drawer?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 100 million cell phones go unused each year, and if they were recycled instead of thrown out, they could save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.

Recycling or donating old cell phones keeps them out of landfills and prevents pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Many cell phone manufacturers, retailers, network carriers, charities, and solid-waste programs will accept unwanted cell phones, PDAs and their accessories.

Check with such local businesses as Staples, Best Buy, Office Depot, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon for their drop-off or mail-in recycling programs.

For more on recycling your cell phones (and tips on preparing them for disposal), go to

- Dixie Reid

If there is an upside to the economic meltdown, it's when institutions such as the Folsom History Museum generously waive admission fees.

You can get in free 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and again April 13.

And, you pay no sales tax in the museum store April 13-17.

The featured exhibit is "Celebrating Folsom's Bridges," which focuses on, among other spans, the newly opened Folsom Lake Crossing over the American River.

Folsom History Museum is at 823 Sutter St., Folsom. For more info: (916) 985-2707,

- Dixie Reid

The folks at Live Nation sent out a long list of upcoming shows in the greater Sacramento area. A sampling:

Tix go on sale Friday for the Memorial Day all-ages Stone Soul festival - Charlie Wilson, Jeffery Osborne, Average White Band, and Ashford & Simpson - at Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord. $35.75-$89.75 reserved.

Closer to home, Fall Out Boy, Metro Station, Cobra Starship, All Time Low and Hey Monday play Memorial Auditorium on April 8. $37.50 general.

Chelsea Handler plays Sacramento Community Center Theater on May 1. $42.50 and $35.50 reserved.

All American Rejects headline Endfest on May 10 at Raley Field in West Sacramento. Also appearing: Lady Gaga, Flo Rida, White Tie Affair and 3oh!3. $20 general, $29.50 reserved, and $39.50 for a coveted GA Pit spot.

And, Fleetwood Mac hits Arco Arena on May 18. $149.50 gets you the best seat in the house. Otherwise, they're $79.50 and $49.50.

For more info and the rest of the schedule, go to

- Dixie Reid

March 31, 2009
Hawaiian music in Winters

It's Hawaii week at the Palms Playhouse in Winters.

The group Hapa performs tonight, and the Hawaiian Treasures Celebration Tour, featuring George Kahumoku, Dennis Kamakahi and Richard Ho'opi'i, is Sunday.

Hapa, according to the Palms' website, "evokes a place many people ... referred to as heavenly." Showtime is 7:30 p.m. today. Tickets are $30.

As for Sunday's concert, Kahumoku, Kamakahi and Ho'opi'i are legends - and slack key masters. If you love island music, you won't want to miss this. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

The Palms is in the old Winters Opera House, 13 Main St. in Winters. For more information on these and other upcoming shows: (530) 795-1825,

- Dixie Reid

Women's History Month will be celebrated in a big way Saturday in Old Sacramento.

Costumed docents from the Old Sacramento Living History Program will demonstrate daily life in the early days of this community, and the following authors will talk about their work and sign copies of their books:

Lynn Cook and Janet Ladue ("First Ladies of California")
Jackie Hanson ("Matilda" books)
Ellen Hartigan O'Connor ("The Ties That Buy: Women and Commerce in Revolutionary America")
Jody Hornor ("Golden Highway" books)
Melba Leal ("Women in the Pony Express: A Modern Tale of Changing Tradition" )
Marlena E. Uhrik ("In Grandpa's Hands")
Naida West ("River of Red Gold")

The event is 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday at 1849 Scene, in front of Sacramento History Museum (101 I St., Old Sacramento.) Admission is free.

For more info, call (916) 264-7059. The museum's Website is under construction and should be up and running any day now.

- Dixie Reid

The weather is just about nice enough to curl up under a shade tree with a good book.

If you're looking for the perfect read, mark April 18-26 on your calendar for the Sacramento SPCA's Spring Book Sale.

The book offerings are a mix of new and used, and will include fine and rare books, fiction, mysteries, adventure tales, science fiction, biographies, history, westerns, art books, references, business, cultural issues, foreign language, humor, home and garden, and books especially for children and teens.

Sale times are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. every day except April 26, when they're 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The SPCA's bookstore is at Marketplace at Birdcage, 6187 Sunrise Blvd. (next to Long's Drugs) in Citrus Heights.

The sale helps with the SPCA's efforts to care for more than 12,000 abandoned, abused and unwanted animals in our community.

For more info, call (916) 383-7387, ext. 9103, or e-mail

- Dixie Reid

Vlade Divac, one of the most beloved Sacramento Kings players ever, is coming "home" to see his No. 21 jersey retired during Tuesday's Kings-Hornets game at Arco Arena.

While in town, he's planning to shoot hoops with teens at the River Oak Center for Children, which is opening its new Youth Development and Education Center gym. And, he's invited 20 River Oak youth to participate in his Charitabowl fund-raiser Monday at Strikes in Rocklin.

"We are so grateful to Vlade and his nonprofit Humanitarian Organization Divac (HOD) for giving River Oak children these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," the center's president, Mary C. Hargrave, said in a news release.

For more details on where to find Divac in and around Sacramento over the next few days, go to

- Dixie Reid

If you're weird, wild or wacky - and, most importantly, entertaining - the California State Fair has a stage for you.

Interested individuals, bands, performance artists and dance troupes who offer family-oriented entertainment should submit an application and promotional kit by March 30.

Those chosen will perform at the 2009 California State Fair, which runs Aug. 21-Sept. 7 at Cal Expo in Sacramento.

This year's theme is "Weird, Wild & Wacky."

Find an application at:

For more info: (916) 263-3141,

- Dixie Reid

It's a Barbie world, and on March 28, the California Museum will host a 50th birthday party for the iconic glamour doll.

Local collectors are bringing in some 200 Barbies of all vintage and attire to join the museum's own Barbie collection for the day.

The staff is planning some fun arts-and-crafts projects for attendees.

And, Robin Gerber, author of "Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her," will be on hand to talk about Barbie and the doll's creator, Ruth Handler. Gerber also will sign copies of the book, for sale in the museum's store.

Barbie's birthday party is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Gerber's talk is at 11 a.m.

The California Museum of History, Women & the Arts is at 1020 O St. For more info: (916) 653-7524;

Regular museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8.50 general, $7 students and seniors with I.D., and $6 for ages 6-13.

- Dixie Reid

California State University, Sacramento, will be alive with the sound of music May 4, when it hosts a rocking, rollicking Battle of the Bands.

Here's the rub: at least one member of each band must be enrolled at Sac State and must perform in the competition.

March 16 is the entry deadline.

The contest, limited to 10 bands, is sponsored by University Union UNIQUE Programs, and American Marketing Association.

Applications are at

Prizes include a $500 Guitar Center gift certificate and a chance to perform during UNIQUE's Wednesday Nooner series.

For more info: (916) 278-3928,

- Dixie Reid

There's a Northern California connection to the hit Broadway musical "Avenue Q," coming to Sacramento's Community Center Theater on Wednesday.

Set designer Anna Louizos is a 1975 graduate of Yuba City High School.

The onetime actress is among a small number of female set designers working on the Great White Way. And she's talented, having earned Tony Award nominations for "In the Heights," in 2008, and "High Fidelity," in 2007.

Louizos also did scenic designs for "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," "To Be Or Not To Be," "Curtains," "Steel Magnolias" and "Uncle Vanya."

Playbill described her "Avenue Q" sets as "battered yet whimsical" and spoke of the "weathered facades of outer-borough dwellings that sprout colorful interiors worthy of pop-up children's books."

"Avenue Q," part of the Broadway Sacramento series, runs through March 22 at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L St. Tickets are $16.50-$61.50. The show is recommended for age 16 and older.

For more info: (916) 557-1999,

Here's a clip from the original Broadway production of "Avenue Q" as performed on the Tony Awards:

- Dixie Reid

If you like bunnies that glow in the dark, don't miss artist Eduardo Kac's talk on Thursday in Davis.

He specializes in making art with biotechnology and genetics. In 1999, he worked with French genetic researchers to combine a rabbit's DNA with that of a phosphorescent jellyfish. The result was a white rabbit that glowed green under black lights.

"It is a new era, and we need a new kind of art," Kac told the Chicago Tribune in 2000. "It makes no sense to paint as we painted in the caves."

His talk on "Telepresence and Bio Art" is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Veterans Memorial Center Theatre, 203 E. 14th St., Davis (between Davis High School and Davis Public Library.) Admission is free.

It's sponsored by the Art/Science Fusion Program at the University of California, Davis, and is part of the continuing Consilience of Art and Science colloquium.

After the lecture, Kac will autograph copies of his new book, "Telepresence and Bio Art: Networking Humans, Rabbits and Robots."

For more info on the program:

More on the artist:

- Dixie Reid

Prakash Chandras, an Indian immigrant who lives in the Bay Area, keeps a most unusual diary: Every day he paints a small picture of something he's seen.

Recently, it's been San Francisco's Coit Tower, a strawberry field, a crane, a seagull and Big Sur at sunset.

"These little cards are the essence of my California experience," he says.

To see examples of Chandras' California Daily Art, go to >

He sells the postcard-size pictures for $100, plus shipping and handling.

They're little reminders of why people the world over find California so appealing.

- Dixie Reid

Time to think about booking it to Berkeley, but don't leave yet. The 15th Celebration of Children's Literature isn't until April 18.

The free, multi-ethnic event is part of Cal Day, the annual open house at the University of California, Berkeley.

Among the several Bay area-based children's writers and illustrators slated to be on hand are:

Ying Chang Compestine, author of "Revolution is Not a Dinner Party," an autobiographical novel set during China's Cultural Revolution.
Robert San Souci, "Mulan" screenwriter and author of 85 books for young readers.
Yuyi Morales, Latina author of "Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book."
Todd Parr, best-selling author and illustrator of 33 children's books, including "The I Love You Book."
Lisa Brown, designer/illustrator of the best-selling "The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming."

Storytelling, music and a drop-in art activity will be part of the event. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Tolman Hall.

For more info:

- Dixie Reid

The Crocker Art Museum has launched an "arts stimulus package" to lure more folks through its grand wooden portal this year.

State, county and city employees get $2 off admission for themselves and three accompanying friends or family members every Friday in 2009. Show a business card or company ID for the discount.

In addition, membership fees have been reduced $5, to $40 for individuals and $50 for families. Membership has its privileges: free admission for a year, and invitations to exhibition openings, family programs and Third Thursday jazz concerts.

Finally, a coupon at is good for 10 percent off a purchase of $10 or more in the museum store.

"Historically, museums are very well attended during times of national strife and economic decline," Crocker Art Museum director Lial Jones said in news release. "Our goal is to keep the Crocker easily accessible during this difficult time."

Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St. in Sacramento. It's open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and until 9 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month. Regular admission is $6 general, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students. Admission is free 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays.

For more information: (916) 808-7000,

- Dixie Reid

Now that Sacramento has its own Zagat guidebook ("Zagat: Sacramento Restaurants," Zagat Survey, $5.95, 80 pages), published in January, can our own spin-off "Dating (and Dumping) Guide: Restaurants, Bars and Other Hot Spots" be far behind?

New York and Los Angeles just got theirs: Small volumes for pocket or purse in which locals recommend places to take a first date and, if things don't work out, where to deliver the "it's not you, it's me" speech.

The "dumping" part is a joke, Zagat's editors say. Participants in those cities simply rated locales you'll find more interesting than you do your current companion. A hookah lounge, perhaps.

Helpful dating tips are included, such as: Men are turned off by women who talk to cats, act like a princess, and wear "old lady" clothes and too much perfume. Women don't like guys who lie about their age, have "mommy" issues and don't open doors for them (men in turn expect women to let them open the door.)

Here are pick-up lines to avoid: "I dig older ladies like you" and "My mother would love you." Oh, and never, ever say, "I like your dress. It would look good on my floor."

The two 80-page "Dating (and Dumping) Guides," published by Zagat Survey, are $5.95 each. More info at

- Dixie Reid

Sierra No. 3, the "movie star locomotive" undergoing extensive restoration in Jamestown, is finally ready for a close-up.

The staff at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, the Jamestown branch of the California State Railroad Museum, will hold special tours Feb. 18 and March 18 to reveal the progress that has been made.

A 90-minute program, which starts at 11 a.m. both days, includes a tour of the historic railroad shops. Tickets are $5. Call (209) 984-3953 for reservations.

Sierra No. 3, built in New Jersey in 1891, "starred" in a number of Westerns, including the classic "High Noon," and such TV shows as "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke" and "Petticoat Junction." It is expected to return to work at Railtown 1897 next year.

For more information on Railtown 1897 State Historic Park:

-- Dixie Reid

Volunteers are being sought for 135-acre Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, in Pine Grove, the site of 1,185 limestone-bedrock mortar holes - the most in North America.

The park also is home to a reconstructed Miwok village and roundhouse, and the Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum.

Volunteers work on the hiking trails and in the native-plant garden, lead children's activities, perform traditional Miwok crafts, and meet and greet park visitors.

An open house for would-be volunteers is 10:30 a.m.-noon March 7 in the museum. A training session follows and will be repeated 9 a.m.-noon March 11. Volunteers only need to attend one training class.

For more information, call Wendy Harrison at (209) 795-7980 or e-mail her at

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is at 14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road in Pine Grove.

Visit for information.

- Dixie Reid

This is the last winter the Sacramento Zoo's giraffes will live in drafty quarters.

The Sacramento Zoological Association has spent three years raising money to build a new, warm barn for the three reticulated giraffes. And great news for folks who've always wanted to look a giraffe in the eye: The new habitat will have an elevated walkway for sight-seers.

The groundbreaking ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, with zookeepers and docents talking about the giraffes. At noon, remarks will be offered by Mayor Kevin Johnson, city council member Robert King Fong, zoo director Mary Healy and Zoological Society president Terry Kastanis. Children and dignitaries will turn the ceremonial shovelsful of dirt for the $1.75 million project.

Sacramento Zoo, at Land Park Drive and Sutterville Road in William Land Park, opened in 1927. It's home to 140 species.

For more information: (916) 808-5888,

-- Dixie Reid

The California Museum for History, Women & the Arts, in anticipation of this summer's arrival of the Library of Congress' "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition," on Thursday will throw a 200th birthday party for the nation's 16th president.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has accepted an invitation to speak. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver also may attend. Members of the 2nd Division California Calvary and 5th California Volunteer Infantry Brass Band will be on hand, and an actor portraying Lincoln will recite the Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln's birthday celebration begins at 1:15 p.m. at the museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento. "With Malice Toward None," now on exhibit in Washington, D.C., opens June 24.

For more information: (916) 653-7524,

- Dixie Reid

Sacramento resident Dorene C. Dominguez (above) is the only Californian on an exploratory committee for a National Museum of the American Latino.

The six committee members, from throughout the country, were appointed in December by former Pres. George W. Bush. They are charged with identifying a location for and the scope of such a museum.

"I am very humbled to have been selected for this tremendous honor," Dominguez said in a news release. "I am very passionate about our Latino heritage and excited about this opportunity to serve in this capacity."

She is chairman of the board of Vanir Group of Companies, headquartered in Sacramento. She lives here part-time, as well as in Los Angeles, according to a company spokeswoman.

Dominguez, 46, is a former member of the Los Angeles Planning Commission and served on California's state medical board. She has a degree in business finance from the University of Notre Dame.

-- Dixie Reid

By Dixie Reid

The rink that Sparky built is the site of the 13th annual Wine Country Face-Off Junior Hockey Tournament, which runs Feb. 12-16 at Redwood Empire Ice Arena, 1667 W. Steele Lane in Santa Rosa.

The rink was built 30 years ago by Charles M. Schulz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip and an avid hockey player until his death in 2000. Sparky was his nickname from childhood.

The Santa Rosa Flyers will host teams from Oregon, Arizona and California, including Capital Thunder from Roseville and the Vacaville Jets. Tournament admission is free. For a schedule, call (707) 546-7147 or go to

The endlessly entertaining Charles M. Schulz Museum is a short walk away at 2301 Hardies Lane. Among the new exhibits are "To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA" and "Sebastopol to St. Paul." For museum information: (707) 579-4452,

By Dixie Reid

This bit of news is sure to make a splash: Raging Waters Sacramento, the water park at Cal Expo, is hiring 300 people for the summer.

"Anything anybody is looking for, we probably have it - lifeguards, admissions, groundskeepers, food and beverage, marketing coordinators," says spokesman Joe Pinell. "We're seasonal, so we have to hire for everything."

Job applications filled out online at will be considered right away. A job fair for folks without computer access is planned for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 28 in Building A at Cal Expo.

Raging Waters Sacramento is open May 16 through Sept. 20. It will operate weekends in May and September, and daily June through August.

And in other good news: The water park is offering a season pass for the price of one day's admission: $27.99 for adults, $19.99 for kids (with some restrictions).

"We understand what people are going through with the economy," says Pinell, "so here you buy a day and get the summer free. We're going to give value to the point that it's a no-brainer. Come one time, and get the rest of the summer free."

Raging Waters Sacramento is owned by Palace Entertainment, which is based in Newport Beach and owns water parks around the country. The company made $1 million in improvements when it took over Water World two years ago, says Pinell.

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