Ten Chico party cards that trump the Joker scene

Emily Moldy

Emily Moldy

The real Chico party Another school year is upon us, and Arts DEVO is here to remind us all that Chico is much more than its 25-cent beers and Rockstar cocktails. The Chee-ko! Party! sucks, especially for those who have to clean up the puke, piss and blood. But to put all of our energies into worrying about the sloppy few is to let all their toxic bodily fluids poison the well to the point where all of our refreshing, life-giving goodness begins to taste like frat-house toilet water.

Below are 10 rad examples (happening over the next couple of weeks) of the art, passion and fun that make up the true Chico party and showcase the community at its best.

1. Free Chico pop-up store: Existing in the freaky space of time between the start of school and the opening of Burning Man, this pop-up store in the Garden Walk Mall (225 Main St.) will feature locally made fashion and accessories, live music by Bunnymilk and the Duffy’s Sirens, plus food, live art and more. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 22-23, 7 p.m.

2. Chico Pride: The whole weekend is packed with LGBTQ+ events (see This Week, page 30, for info), with the centerpiece being the day-long Pride Fest in the City Plaza, Saturday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

3. The Big Bang Extravaganza: With new owners comes new energy at the Naked Lounge, and the hip downtown coffee shop will be bursting with art and music for its grand re-opening, Friday, Aug. 30, 7 p.m., with art by Seamonster and tunes by Chico’s The LoLos and soulful East Bay singer/songwriter Emily Moldy.

Josh Hegg

4. Epic Fest!: A 13-band lineup of nearly every local heavy-maker—from the death metal of Astronaut to the “doomy-poppy-stony-sludgey-saucy-cheesy riffs” of supergroup Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy—earns the “epic” in its title. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2-10 p.m., Chico Women’s Club. All ages.

5. Butcher Shop: The annual gathering of Chico’s theater community (past and present) in the almond orchards for two free nights (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 6 p.m.) of original avant-garde one-acts, live music, and more. Ride your bike south on Normal Avenue until it ends at 2500 Estes Road.

6. Butte Area Cypher Crew: Every week during the Thursday Night Market, starting at 6 p.m., in the driveway next to Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, local wordsmiths gather to freestyle. (See 15 Minutes, page 47, for more info.)

7. Farmers’ markets: Speaking of the Thursday Night Market, there’s that, too, starting at 6 p.m., as well as the Saturday farmers’ market, every week in the parking lot at Wall and Second streets, starting at 7:30 a.m.

8. Chico Palio: The annual community-arts celebration, featuring live music, dancing, and the racing of the art horses. Sept. 7, noon-5 p.m., at Sycamore Field in Lower Bidwell Park.

9. Fork in the Road: Chico’s fleet of food trucks—from the Filipino grill of Inday’s to the fried, cheesy goodness of Mayhem Gourmet Grilled Cheese—circles the lawn at Manzanita Place for its semi-regular street-food rally. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 5:30 p.m.

10. Josh Hegg, party master: The wizard behind the keys of indie-progsters Clouds on Strings and jazz-pranksters Bogg has been pulling the strings as music director at the 1078 Gallery for a while, and now he’s added the booking job at Café Coda (replacing the longstanding Dan Elsen, one of Chico’s great live-music ambassadors) to his expanding collection of hats. Check and for the semester’s eclectic calendar of local and touring indie, rock, jazz, folk, metal, experimental and classical shows he’s planned for the two all-ages venues.