The night sky will be the subject of study at the Sequoia and Kings national parks’ Dark Sky Festival. José Hernández, a NASA astronaut who embarked on the 2009 STS 128 shuttle mission, will be on hand to meet with visitors. People can also view the sun through a special telescope, take in night photography and walk a 2,000-foot scale model of the solar system.
Festival events take place Friday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Lodgepole campground area in Sequoia National Park and the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. Admission to all lectures and activities is free. Crystal Cave tour tickets range from $5 to $16 per person.
For details, visit www.exploresequoiakingscanyon.com/dark-sky-festival.html
Indian Fair Days
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What: The Sierra Mono Museum’s Indian Fair Days & Pow Wow celebrates new and old Native American traditions. Enjoy dancing, food, singing, arts and crafts.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7
Where: Minarets High School, 45077 North Fork Road
Cost: $5 admission at the gate; children 12 and under get in free
What: Debbie Newton, an English teacher and adventurer who has traveled throughout Portugal, will share her experiences of traveling in the country.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2
Where: Sacramento Public Library, 2443 Marconi Ave.
Cost: Free admission
Reggae on the River
What: The 32nd annual Reggae on the River is a four-day festival with late-night dancing, on-site camping and dozens of local and international bands.
When: Show times run from 8 a.m. to midnight, Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 4-7
Where: French’s Camp, 657 Highway 101
Cost: $90 for a single-day ticket; $200 for a three-day ticket; $250 for a four-day ticket; $500 Ambassador “VIP” Pass; children under 12 get in for free.
Old Spanish Days
What: The Old Spanish Days Fiesta is one of Santa Barbara’s largest, most beloved celebrations. The 90-year tradition has hosted acts from Shirley Temple to Will Rogers. Take in a parade that features more than 900 horses, a rodeo, historical tours and more.
When: Event times run all day from Wednesday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 7.
Where: Venue locations throughout Santa Barbara
Cost: Ticket prices vary per event and day, ranging from free to $75.
Jazz and Beyond
What: The Carson City Music Festival will host more than 100 musicians in multiple genres at over 60 events.
When: Times vary between Friday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 21.
Where: Multiple venues throughout Carson City
Cost: Most events are free. The Saturday, Aug. 13, “Speakeasy Dance Party” costs $20.