Escapes: Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Twenty-four barbecue masters will show off their ribs at this year’s festival.
Twenty-four barbecue masters will show off their ribs at this year’s festival. Nugget Casino Resort

More than 500,000 people are expected to attend the 27th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, which fires up this week. The six-day event near Reno features 24 of the best BBQ masters from around the world, as well as bands, food-and-drink booths and a rib-eating showdown.

Admission and parking are free. Food and drink prices vary with vendors. For true barbecue diehards, VIP tickets – ranging from $850 to $950 – offer access to unlimited ribs and drinks in “Rib Village.”

The event runs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m Sept. 2 to 6 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 7 at the Nugget Casino Resort (1100 Nugget Ave, Sparks, Nev). For more information, visit

Beer ice cream floats

What: San Francisco ice-cream connoisseurs Jake Godby and Sean Vahey will share the inspiration behind their innovative frozen-dessert shop Humphry Slocombe. Attendees, 21 and older, also will have the opportunity to sip Anchor Brewing beer floats while learning how to make beer ice cream.

When: 6-9 p.m. Sept. 1

Where: The Chapel Bar, 777 Valencia St., San Francisco



Capitola Begonia Festival

What: For the past 63 years, residents and tourists of Capitola have celebrated the begonia. This year’s three-day festival will feature a sand sculpture contest, rowboat races, a fishing derby and floating parade with boats laden with begonias.

When: 5-9 p.m. Sept. 4; 8 a.m. to dusk Sept. 5; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 6

Where: Capitola Beach and Soquel Creek, Capitola Village

Cost: Free


Bathtub boat races

What: Unconventional boating enthusiasts will race their “bathtub racers” – or any human-powered, makeshift water craft – down the San Joaquin River. Children and adults may compete in designated categories. Onlookers are welcomed.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 30

Where: Louis Park Boat Launch, 3499 Monte Diable Ave., Stockton

Cost: Free


Party like Mardi Gras

What: Millbrae will host its 45th annual Art & Wine Festival in celebration of Labor Day with Mardi Gras-themed live music, handmade art and crafts, beer and wine tasting, an artisan food selection and garden displays.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 5-6

Where:Broadway Avenue, Millbrae

Cost: Free

Information: or 650-697-7324

Bigfoot celebration

What: An annual parade – with an oyster feed, logging contest and lawn mower race – will occur in the heart of Humboldt County in honor of Bigfoot. Sasquatch himself, who locals claim to roam nearby wilderness, is likely to make an “appearance,” as in years past.

When:Begins 10 a.m. Sept. 5

Where: Main Street, Willow Creek

Cost: Free

Information: or 530-629-2693

Bee staff