Autumnal amour

photo illustration by brian breneman

Autumn in Sacramento: It's probably the name of a local painting or two, maybe a song, or even a short story. Now that it's arrived, let's enjoy it—because it's one of the nicest seasons and most beautiful times of the year here. We've got falling leaves, temperatures that usually range between 50 and 80 degrees, and natch, plenty of happenings that go along with the changing season. Check out the following three events this week that SN&R believes, in a way, capture the essence of the season.

Beer might taste sweeter in the summer, but in autumn come Oktoberfest lagers, and all sorts of spiced ales (including pumpkin-flavored ones). Total Wine & More (locations in Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville) hosts its Autumn Brewfest, featuring a beer class that will help you get familiar with newly released seasonal brews. It happens on Thursday, September 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and tickets cost $15. Visit for more details.

The Seafarer's Pirates & Pumpkins Festival on Saturday, September 28, is basically for people who already want to

start the Halloween party season early. This family friendly celebration pairing the seemingly disparate worlds of gourds and sea plundering will feature live music (by Skip Henderson, John Blakemore, the Mad Maggies and the Black Irish Band), cannon battles, kids' activities, belly dancers, a pumpkin patch and lots of people dressed as pirates (costumes are recommended). Gates open at 11 a.m. at the Rio Ramaza Marina, RV & Event Park, (10000 Garden Highway), and the party ends well after dark. Admission costs $7, and food and drink are extra. Visit for more information.

Cool Patch Pumpkins (6585 Milk Farm Road in Dixon) is now open for fall. It houses a huge corn maze (through November 5), and also offers a pumpkin patch, food, hay rides, a “kid zone” and scarecrow contests. To add a bit of awesome, sometime during the last week of opening, the patch hoists a huge pumpkin with a crane and smashes a car with it. Billy Corgan would be proud. Call (530) 304-0163 or visit for more information.