On your marks, get set, slow! International worm races return to Clearlake

Kids compete in the 2009 international worm races in Clearlake to see whose worm will come out on top.
Kids compete in the 2009 international worm races in Clearlake to see whose worm will come out on top.

If you don’t mind your hands getting a bit dirty, head to Clearlake with some speedy worms to compete in the 50th annual international worm races Saturday, July 1.

The races, located at Austin Park, are part of the city’s annual Fourth of July celebrations, which include a parade, food vendors, a car show and fireworks. Started in July 1967, the first race lasted three days and had more than 1,000 entries, according to Carl Webb of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce. Some of those first worms were named Lightning, Harry, Fred, Heliatrophy and Slimey.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants can bring in their own trained worms or rent a worm “from the famed stables” of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, according to the event website.

Worms will wiggle their way to the finish line for competitors in three age divisions: under 6, 7-14, and 15 and older. For more information, visit

Tahiti Fête of San Jose

What: Get a taste of Polynesian tales and history at the largest Tahitian dance competition in the United States. The three-day event will have performances from international dance companies, traditional Polynesian food and crafts, and cultural dancing workshops.

Where: San Jose State University Event Center, 290 S. Seventh St., San Jose

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, July 1, through Monday, July 3

Cost: $25 per day


High Sierra Music Festival

What: Bust out those instruments gathering dust and check out the High Sierra Music Festival, which, according to organizers, is “not a spectator sport.” The four-day festival will have performances from more than 50 artists. Also enjoy campground jams, a free-for-all acoustic stage, yoga classes and kickball games at sunrise.

Where: Plumas County Fairgrounds, 204 Fairground Road, Quincy

When: Saturday, June 29, through Sunday, July 2

Cost: $85.50-$95.50 for general one-day passes; $285.75 for four-day passes


Willits Frontier Days

What: Home to California’s oldest continuous rodeo, Willits Frontier Days also invites attendees to grab some barbecue, dance to live country music and see how their teams fare at a horseshoe contest at this multiweek Fourth of July celebration.

Where: Willits Rodeo Grounds, East Commercial Street, Willits

When: Events continue on Sunday, June 25, and resume Friday, June 30, running through Tuesday, July 4.

Cost: Mostly free, up to $15 for certain events


Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks: 916-321-1418, @ayoonhendricks