Arts & Festivals

Oleander captivates at Friday Night Concerts in the Park.

Oleander captivates at Friday Night Concerts in the Park.

Photo By Wes Davis

82. Practice your French

If you’re suffering sensory overload from this summer’s bonanza of apocalyptic Hollywood blockbusters, the Sacramento French Film Festival is a good remedy. From June 15 through June 24, Francophiles can see the newest and most acclaimed French films released in 2012, as well as classic French films, shorts and locally made films that showcase the French flavor of movie making. Sacramento French Film Festival, Crest Theatre; 1013 K Street; A.W.

83. Start your weekend with live music

Friday Night Concerts in the Park’s new booking team, Play Big Sacramento, is gearing the series toward 20- and 30-year-olds, partly by adding deejays to the lineup. See DJ Whores (June 22), DJ Nate D with Inkdup on drums (July 6) and DJ Crookone (July 20). Check the website for a complete schedule of bands, and bring your dancing shoes. Fridays at 5 p.m. through July 27. Free admission. Friday Night Concerts in the Park, Cesar Chavez Plaza; 910 I Street; J.M.

84. Add an art gallery to your pub crawl

Elliott Fouts Gallery has a new home kitty-corner from the Zebra Club on P Street. This month, hanging on its walls is the art of Christopher Stott, a contemporary painter with a penchant for realistic portrayal of vintage and classic objects—like steel fans or old-school telephones. The gallery itself is new and fresh; Fouts recently moved into its new digs and reopened on June 1. Be sure to check out Stott’s show through July 5. A post-gallery visit to Zebra is on you. Elliott Fouts Galllery, 1831 P Street; (916) 736-1429; N.M.

85. Do the time warp

The Sacramento Historical Society recreates the gold-rush era for Time Travel Weekends. Experience music from the 1800s, live Wild West stage shows, pioneer crafts, mining camps and more. The reenactments happen every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., from July 7 through August 29. Old Sacramento, B.C.

86. Rediscover The Little Mermaid

A redhead with clamshells on her coconuts: That’s what comes to mind for most of us when think of The Little Mermaid, thanks to Disney’s 1989 animated feature. But the story of this half-fish princess is based on a centuries-old tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The gruesome differences left out of the film will pique your morbid curiosity. (It would be unfair to reveal them, but let’s just say when the sea witch takes the little mermaid’s voice, it’s more macabre.) Check out the story in Maria Tatar’s The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, and then see the live interpretation of the Disney version July 10 through July 22, at Music Circus. Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H Street; (916) 557-1999; S.

87. Enter the 10x10 Filmmaker Challenge

A good time doesn’t count anymore unless it’s documented, so film your friends this summer. If you are looking for a challenge, try your hand at the 10x10 Filmmaker Challenge, a special program of the Sacramento Film & Music Festival. Contestants get 10 days to film and edit a 10-minute short. Since 2004, 120 films have been produced and screened at the festival. This year’s 10x10 launch party is tentatively scheduled for late July. Check the website for details. 10x10 Filmmaker Challenge, A.N.

88. Tip your hat to the Folsom Pro Rodeo

I haven’t attended the Folsom Pro Rodeo since I was a kid, but I remember being impressed with the bull riders, fireworks and mutton busting. Held every year on Fourth of July weekend since 1960, this festival has also recently added more modern entertainment, such as dirt-bike jumping and stunt skydiving. The rodeo is set for the weekend of June 29 through July 1, with specially programmed fireworks and entertainment on July 4. Folsom Pro Rodeo, Dan Russell Rodeo Arena; 401 Stafford Street in Folsom; J.M.

89. See the Bard under the stars

The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival is a fun tradition. You’re encouraged to bring in food, drinks, blankets and lawn chairs. Don’t forget bug spray and a jacket, because the park can get unnervingly mosquito-heavy and cold at night. This year’s productions include an original telling of King Arthur (June 29 and 30, and July 8, 13, 15, 20, 22 and 27) and The Comedy of Errors (July 6, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 and 29). Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, William A. Carroll Amphithteatre; 3901 Land Park Drive; (916) 558-2173; J.M.

90. Get medicated

Explore the use of cannabis as alternative medicine at Sacramento Hempfest 2012 from August 3 through 5. Musical performers like Real One, Yukmouth and Element of Soul will keep the flow as you take in activist speakers, vendors, and the 215 smoking area. Admission is $25 per day.

Sacramento Hempfest, Rio Ramaza Marina; 10000 Garden Highway;


91. Drive to S.F. for a concert

Need a place to escape the August heat of the Valley for some quality music? Head to San Francisco for the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. Dozens of bands from all genres of music play from noon to 10 p.m., August 10 through 12. Whether you’re going for Jack White, Metallica, Neil Young, Stevie Wonder or Geographer, there are plenty of nonweather reasons to go.

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco,

K. Bu.

92. Party with fire dancers

If the notion of fireflies hovering in the air on a summer night is attractive, then catch Sacramento’s fire dancers at the Fire Spectacular from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. The dance troupe Obsidian Butterfly incorporates the fine art of dancing with fire, sometimes swallowing fire or flinging fireballs to tell stories through movement and light. It’s like watching ethereal insects from another realm.

Fire Spectacular, William A. Carroll Amphithteatre; 3901 Land Park Drive;


93. Wrangle a ticket to the Outlaw Country BBQ

There’s no need to get on the wrong side of the fuzz to enjoy the Outlaw Country BBQ on Saturday, August 18. This all-ages event costs just $10 and gets you a plate of tasty barbecue and a drink, as well as an afternoon of unlawfully fun country and rock, with acts such as Felix Thursday & the Cheatin’ Hearts, Maidens Sorrow, the Johnson Creek Stranglers, and the Dry County Drinkers.

Outlaw Country BBQ, Ione Memorial Hall; 207 Amador Street in Ione;


94. Walk the dusty streets of Old Sac

Pull on your boots and bonnets because Labor Day Weekend means Gold Rush Days. From August 31 to September 3, time will be turned back in Old Sacramento to the 1800s. Tons of dirt will hide the new-fangled paved streets, and reenactments of historical events by performers in period costumes will entertain. Factor in bluegrass music, food, libations, gold panning, pony rides and free admission, and you’ve got yourself a golden opportunity for old-timey fun.

Gold Rush Days, Old Sacramento; (916) 808-7059;


95. Take a chicken to a play

The Fair Oaks Theatre Festival, held annually at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre in old Fair Oaks, is likely to be attended by the village chickens, as well as people. This year’s program includes a musical version of Willy Wonka, June 15 to July 22; The Great American Trailer Park Musical, August 10 to September 9; and The Best of Broadway, September 14 to 30. The festival also includes two nights of music by iconic folk group the New Christy Minstrels and three separate comedy nights.

Fair Oaks Theatre Festival, Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre; 7991 California Boulevard in Fair Oaks;


96. Laugh long

For its second year, the Sacramento Comedy Festival will stretch to one hyperextended weekend—some might call it a week—of stand-up, improv and sketch comedy September 7 through 15. The festival will also spread beyond its host venue of the Sacramento Comedy Spot to Luna’s Café & Juice Bar and other comedy stages around town. Sacramento improv acts Anti-Cooperation League and Lady Business, and the multimedia geek comedy show Critical Hit are already confirmed. Follow updates at the website to find out who else is partaking in this comedy bonanza.


97. Horse around

For centuries, horses have been partners to humans in hunting, farming and traveling. The Draft Horse Classic, held September 20 through 23, is a reminder of horses’ strength and beauty, and of our shared history. Admission to the fairgrounds is free, so fairgoers can visit with the horses in the barns or catch a clogging performance or a cook-off. We recommend you pony up some dough to be dazzled by the hardy horses at one of the special showcases. Tickets are $10 to $21.

Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley; (530) 273-6217;


98. Van Gogh for it

Ask a child to paint a bowl of fruit, and there’s no hesitation. Ask grown-ups and most will make excuses for why they can’t. We’ve lost the courage to be creative. Enter artist Aimee Rebmann—and some booze. Under the name Creative Juices, Rebmann’s spent the last year getting Sacramento liquored up to help liberate our inner artists, teaching guided painting classes amid food and drink specials at local eateries. Register online, don an apron, sip a cocktail, come home with a masterpiece. And if you’d prefer a more intimate setting for you and your pals to paint, Rebmann makes house calls, too. What better time than summer to host a party en plein air?

Creative Juices Events,


99. Dance over the rainbow

Midtown’s Rainbow Festival touches down every Labor Day Weekend to close the summer with dancing and revelry. In its 25-year history, the event has raised more than $500,000 for LGBT charities. Mark your calendar with a glitter pen for August 31 through September 2, and be at the corner of 20th and K streets when the music starts.

Rainbow Festival,