When the sun sets over Lassen Volcanic National Park, the day’s adventure is only about to begin.
Lassen’s Dark Sky Festival treats hikers and nature enthusiasts to a weekend of stargazing and telescope viewing. Running from Aug. 11-13, the festival features park rangers and astronomers teaching guests about the Milky Way and other celestial bodies.
Those afraid of the dark, fear not – there will be plenty of daytime festival activities, including screenings of “The Dark City,” a film about light pollution, and solar scope viewings, which allow guests to get an up-close look at the sun.
NASA researchers also will be giving several talks throughout the weekend about new and ongoing space work, such as how studying life at Lassen’s hot springs can help us learn more about life on other planets.
The vehicle entrance fee for the park is $20, and events run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/dark-sky.htm.
International Musical Saw Festival
What: To hear cutting-edge music, head to the International Musical Saw Festival for a weekend of performances by saw players and other acoustic musicians. A musical saw workshop will also teach people how to play the saw.
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13
Floating Lantern Ceremony
What: The ancient Buddhist Toro Nagashi ceremony is said to help guide the souls of ancestors back to the afterlife after reuniting with family to participate in the summer Obon festival. Guests will place lanterns into the water and watch the glowing lanterns float away.
Where: Woodward Park lake, North Friant Road and East Audubon Drive, Fresno
When: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12
Cost: $25 before Aug. 4, $30 at the door
Surf ‘n’ Suds Beer Festival
What: Attendees can hit the beach for a day of surfing fun, then cool off with their pick of drinks from more than 70 craft breweries, wineries and cider makers. Mega-sized beer pong, cornhole and food trucks will also be on-site.
Where: Carpinteria State Beach, 5361 6th St., Carpinteria
When: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m, Saturday, Aug. 12