Best bets: the top 10 ways to burn your cash

Summer is coming to an end. You’ve probably already spent much of your copious free time and disposable income on summer music festivals, vacations and the cost of admission to blockbuster movies. Still have a few dollars to spare? Here’s your last chance for no regrets: There are tons of events happening this week that you can spend your hard-earned dough on. Here are SN&R’s best bets—some free and some expensive.

1. Sacramento Film & Music Festival Summerfest

Highlights include Sac Music Seen, which unites local filmmakers with musicians and bands to create music videos; the 10x10 Filmmaker Challenge, in which filmmakers create 10-minute videos in 10 days; and Student Days, a presentation of student-created films. August 15-19, ticket prices vary; all-event passes are $60. Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street;

2. Banana Festival

Sponsored by the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum, this festival features bananas galore (a chef challenge, banana splits, banana pancakes—you name it), an open-air marketplace, live bands, dance groups and activities for kids. Saturday, August 18; 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday, August 19; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $5. William Land Park, 1401 Sutterville Road;

3. Time Travel Weekends in Old Sacramento

This street-theater program conjures gold-rush days, and this weekend’s theme is the Civil War, with performers in period attire performing scheduled and impromptu era-appropriate skits. Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free admission. Old Sacramento, (916) 808-7059;

4. Midtown Cocktail Week

In short: a weeklong excuse to dine at local restaurants, sip cocktails and have a good time. Events include a “classic summer cocktail” class and an old-fashioned cocktail competition (see Arts&Culture, page 24). August 19-26, prices and locations vary; (916) 442-1500;

5. Circus Vargas

This animal-free circus comes to Cal Expo with a mix of singing, classic daredevil stunts, dancing, juggling and, of course, a clown. Come on, there’s even a “Human Rocket.” August 16-20, $25-$65. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard; (877) 468-3861;

6. Love Poem Slam

Listen to some of Sacramento’s best wordsmiths, or try your own hand at reciting romantic lines. It’s hosted by local poet Terry Moore and also features live music and an open-mic. Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m.; $5-$10. Florin Business Arts Complex, Obama Room, 2251 Florin Road; (916) 208-7638;

7. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry screening

Artist Ai Weiwei’s critque of the Chinese government landed him in prison. Nevertheless, his rebellious spirit survives, highlighted here in the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. The screening also features an introduction by the Verge Center for the Arts’ Jiayi Young. Friday, August 17, at 7 p.m.; $12-$15. Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street; (916) 442-7378;

8. Pablo Francisco

Pablo Francisco performs his signature sound effects, impersonations and situational comedy. August 23-26, $25. Punch Line Sacramento, 2100 Arden Way; (916) 925-5500;

9. Ales on the rails

Here’s where you get to ride off into the sunset, beer in hand, grin on your face: Sample brew from Track 7 Brewing Co., eat appetizers from Crisp Catering and take in a nice view of the river. Saturday, August 18, at 7:30 p.m; $40. California State Railroad Museum, 111 I Street; (916) 445-5995;

10. Bom Vinho

Celebrate all things Portugal at the Bom Vinho festival, highlighting Portugese wine, food and music. Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free (plus cost of food and wine). Old Sugar Mill, 35265 Willow Avenue in Clarksburg; (916) 744-1625;