Archive for Holidays
Wondering what to do this Memorial Day Weekend? We have a few suggestions for you (and suggest trying them all)…
1. Hug a Vet (or at least thank one).
2. Have a BBQ and invite friends and family (or just eat something fresh from the grill).
3. Relax by a pool/pond/lake/river/ocean (or in a sea of bubbles in a tub).
4. Go to the Sacramento Music Festival in Old Sacramento (or wait for my write-up/pix and maybe plan to go next year).
5. Make a list of fun things you’d like to do this summer (or discuss with partner in crime).
6. Have a cool refreshment on a patio or in a backyard (or even better, on a boat).
7. Finally, attend the 120th(!) Annual Portuguese Festa in Freeport on Sunday (It’s fun and IT’S FREE!!).
So this weekend we’ll all be green with envy for those with Irish blood, or at least those able to celebrate the festive holiday, right? Whether it’s the Beer Bust this Thursday evening at Downtown Plaza, Keri Carr live at The Torch on Friday, ye Old Sacramento St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Saturday, or the St. Patrick’s Day K Street Krawl on Sunday, it promises to be a shamrockin’ good time.
But it’s not too early to plan for the following weekend – maybe a tiny trek out of town for a little festival flavor a la the California Delta?! I suggest you try the The Blue Moon French Quarter Street Fair in Downtown Stockton March 22 from 4-8pm. It’s a street fair with some New Orleans flair – including food booths with Cajun and French cuisines, live jazz bands, strolling entertainers, beads, masks and a “hurricane” of a good time. VIP Packages are $31 for 2 admissions, 2 food vouchers, 2 hurricane drinks with souvenir cups, and a $5 food pass, or General Admission is $6. http://downtownstockton.org/stockton_events_french_quarter.php
Don’t miss your chance to immerse in these rich cultural creations. It’s what life’s all about!
Are you looking for a place to have a nice Thanksgiving meal?http://sacramento.downtowngrid.com/events/index.php
Are you looking for a nice place to rest your weary head? http://pages.exacttarget.com/page.aspx?QS=38dfbe491fab00eaeef96aa0cf2aef64b0732a4cdc94047ff8ef05f40e7b5adc
Are you looking for a reason to be grateful? “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder
Are you wondering why Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday?? Thanksgiving was established as a National Holiday by President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, and he specified that the last Thursday of each November should be set aside as a day to give thanks for the founding of our nation.
Ok…. but why?
Because that was the day President Abraham Lincoln observed the holiday when he declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.
Still not satisfied?
It is apparently not known on exactly what day the Puritans celebrated Thanksgiving, but it is believed to have occurred in October. “It may be that Thursday (and November) became tradition in order to distance the event from the Sabbath day among the Puritan colonists. Thursday was also a typical day for lectures in New England, with ministers giving a religious talk each Thursday afternoon.” Practically speaking, Washington celebrated Thanksgiving on a Thursday, and Lincoln continued the tradition.
Well, you can’t say our country isn’t at least interesting…
Bountiful Blessings, Everyone (and tip top digestion to you)!
There was a time “when 12-hour days and six-day weeks were routine. Wages were low; there were no sick days, pensions or holidays. There was certainly no unemployment insurance. Any attempts at organizing were met by the combined wrath of business and government.” It was “a period in which thousands of workers died in America’s unsafe and unsanitary factories and mines, and hundreds more died in riots and pitched battles over workers’ rights.” ~Kenneth Davis
Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the United States. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City (by way of demonstration and picnic) on September 5, 1882. However, its origins actually go back to 1872 in Toronto, Canada, when a parade was held to support a strike against the 58-hour work week. It wasn’t until 1938 when child labor was outlawed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
It seems important for us to look back at our past struggles and hardships, battles won and lost. Relating to this history of ours with true interest can shed light on a bigger picture and affect how we’re living our lives today. This intimate relationship we should have with our country’s history isn’t often taught in schools – or the intention misses the mark. But we can generate a passion of our own for looking back, comparing, relating, and coming up with new ideas for living in the now… even if borrowed from a piece of the past.
EASTER SUNDAY – April 8th, Enotria Sunday Brunch
Join Enotria Restaurant & Wine Bar for a springtime brunch with fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared by Chef Lance Carlini. Featuring Champagne, Mimosas, and a Bloody Mary Bar with House-infused Vodka selections. Dining in the courtyard is available weather permitting, serving hours are 10:00AM to 3:00PM, the cost is $30 per guest, and reservations are recommended. http://www.enotria.com
STAY: The Greens Hotel (http://www.thegreenshotel.com)
UNIQUE SUNDAY – April 15th, Sews & Bows
Bows & Arrows Beginning Sewing Classes begin, 5-8PM, $25. http://www.bowscollective.com
STAY: Amber House Bed & Breakfast (www.amberhouse.com)
BOUNTIFUL SUNDAY – Ongoing, Cerftified CA Farmer’s Market
8th & W streets, 8AM-noon. And be sure to click on the link ‘To Your Health’ for immunity tips, energy boosts, fresh recipes, and much more! http://www.california-grown.com/Market-news.html
STAY: Residence Inn at Capital Park (www.marriott.com)
Enjoy the fine weather, fresh bounty and fun, ecletic things to do in Sacramento~
A GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH: Food is medicine too, and many winter fruits are packed with enough natural vitamin A and C to knock out winter colds with a one-two punch. Try a Christmas stocking filled with satsuma mandarins or tangerines and fuzzy kiwi fruits. Add a mug with lavender or dried herbs for soothing tea, and throw in a couple of lemons and a little jar of local honey.
BIG BREAKFAST GIFT BASKET: If you’re staying at the home of your holiday hosts, show how much you appreciate their hospitality. Line a large container with pretty dishtowels and fill it with all of the fixings for a yummy omelet breakfast: California cheese, little red potatoes, gourmet mushrooms, garlic, green onions, fragrant herbs and farm fresh eggs. Carry in a big bag of oranges along with a bottle of bubbly and assure your hosts that brunch is on you.
INDOOR PICNIC: A sweet gift idea for the cute couples in your life is an indoor picnic basket. Line a basket or box using any fabric item with a red-checkered motif. Fill with an assortment of California grown snacks, such as olives and tree nuts. Fresh apples pair well with sharp dry cheeses, and dried fruit, such as medjool dates, pair well with soft fresh cheeses. If you choose, you might include a fun music mix, a deck of cards, and a malty microbrew or beautiful local wine.
For some great holiday decorating ideas inspired by Mother Nature and information on the area’s farmers’ markets, visit http://www.california-grown.com and stay awhile.
When I saw the altar in the middle of Sacramento’s popular Zocalo restaurant, and the lights dimly lit all around, I grew more curious than usual. What exactly was this Day of the Dead celebration? Resembling a miniature Tim Burton movie set, the table had shelves and curvaceous lines with gangly skeleton-like figures fully clothed and even fuller of life. With large hats, feathery boas and musical instruments, they made death seem like nothing to fear, perhaps just an after-hours party to celebrate the freedom from mortal existence and bad mortgage loans.
The celebration typically takes place on November 1st and 2nd – in conjunction with Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day – although some in America (perhaps incorporating Halloween) begin celebrating on October 31st. Instilled with rich culture and long-standing history, el Dia de los Muertos is a traditional holiday in Mexico and other North, Central and South American countries.
Not to say there isn’t mourning for loved ones who’ve passed, but this is a celebration of their lives, their spirits, their transcendence, and their return as well. Marigolds, for instance, are often chosen because it is believed that their scent can lure the dead back to visit. And since “the path back to the living world must not be made slippery by tears,” this celebration has all the fixings of one hearty party.
People gather in cemeteries, cleaning and decorating gravesites, making offerings to the departed, enjoying picnics and socializing with others. There are large feasts – often in the early morning or evening hours – and town center gatherings with street vendors selling colorful decorations and treats like sugary skulls and sweet bread made with “bones of the dead”. The holiday can be traced back to the Aztecs, and according to Wiki, “similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.”
A great deal of art is inspired by el Dia de los Muertos and much respect is paid to this multi-faceted holiday. It makes me think about how often we speak of our dead in the past tense, and how it feels so untrue… Borrowing from other cultures, perhaps I can start a new tradition within my own family this year
This one’s for you, Dad.
For some related Sacramento area events, visit:
[Image from Wikipedia]
Can’t decide between having a cup of tea or mug of beer? It’s a common conundrum. Luckily, the people at Hoppy Brewing have created the perfect solution: Tea-infused beer. But it’s only available during the holidays, so don’t sleepy-time-tea your way through this one.
Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale is an amber ale with Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea in place of the hops. Bengal Spice contains a unique mixture of cinnamon, roasted chicory root, roasted carob, dates, ginger root, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg that obviously adds some interesting character to this holiday brew.
In keeping with the ‘containment’ of the holiday season merriment, however, Hoppy Brewers only brew enough to last through the holidays. So, like I said, don’t wait for your cup of Darjeeling to cool before trying something new. And bring your appetite because Hoppy Brewing has great food too!
6300 Folsom Blvd, East Sacramento
Be a great gift giver, enjoy the art of gift giving, and feel good about your purchases at the same time! How? By shopping at local museums, finding hidden treasures and holiday gifts, and supporting local history and the parks that preserve it.
When searching for holiday gifts, local shoppers often think of malls and mass retailers. However, hidden treasures and unique items are available at various museums and historic parks throughout the Sacramento area as well. Outlined below is a sampling of some of the unique, quality items waiting to be discovered at a few favorite historic destinations around town.
California State Railroad Museum
California Poppy Necklaces & Earrings — Made exclusively for the Railroad Museum Store, fashion necklaces and earrings are available that showcase an elegant floral design taken from the Santa Fe Railway’s “California Poppy” china pattern. This china pattern was used for decades on many Santa Fe passenger trains traveling to and from California. The necklace comes with a 30″ chain that can be shortened. The earring wires are hypo-allergenic.
Polar Express Merchandise — Of course, the Museum Store sells difficult-to-find and crowd-pleasing Polar Express merchandise, all officially licensed. Gift items include water globes, picture frames, throw blankets, mugs and holiday ornaments.
Gift Memberships — The gift of membership to the California State Railroad Museum makes a wonderful gift with many benefits such as free entrance into the museum, free excursion train rides, special discounts, invitations to members-only events and much, much more!
Huntington & Hopkins Hardward Store (located next to Railroad Museum)
Wooden Toys & Puzzles — Reminiscent of an earlier time, wooden puzzles and time-tested toys spur imagination and hands-on creativity for kids of all ages.
Local History Books — Wonderful and thought-provoking books are available about Sacramento’s role in the Gold Rush and the Pony Express.
Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park
California or State Parks Branded Merchandise — Perfect for California lovers, the Governor’s Mansion SHP store has California branded merchandise such as mini flags, California bear mugs,t-shirts, books, pins and more. Plus, a variety of State Parks branded merchandise is available, too.
Period Popular Jewelry — Affordable yet tasteful costume jewelry (that represents the period of interpretation 1903-1967) is available in the Mansion store and includes necklaces, bracelets, brooches, pins and earrings. Great conversation pieces!
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Books About 19th Century Life — Appropriate for the restored Mansion, two popular books are available at the on-site store, titled “Essential Handbook of Victorian Entertaining” and “Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette.” Both books provide guidance for properly conducting oneself in an era where social norms differed materially from those we are familiar with today.
State Indian Museum
Native American Artwork — Unique and original artwork made by talented Native American artisans from all over California is available in the Museum Store.
Soapstone Kits — Wonderful for children with active imaginations who love to explore and enjoy hands-on activities, soapstone carving kits are available in a variety of figurines such as a bear, wolf, sun disk or dolphin.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Corn Husk Doll Angels — Traditional corn husk dolls bring the magic of Christmas as charming angel ornaments. Available handmade by the artisans at Sutter’s Fort or as “do-it-yourself” kits.
Hand-Dipped Beeswax Candles & Pine Cones — Made on-site, Sutter’s Fort SHP has its very own line of beeswax candles and pine cones that range in shapes, sizes, scents and prices. Beeswax candles lit the night during the cold winter of 1846. Now everyone can enjoy the beauty and scent of hand-dipped candles.
No admission fee is necessary to browse through the various on-site stores. More information and hours for the various sites is available online at http://www.parks.ca.gov/CapitalDistrict.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
At noon on November 16 a trio of acrobats from Broadway Sacramento’s upcoming production of Cirque Dreams Holidaze will entertain lunchtime crowds for free with their acrobatic skills. The acrobats from Uzbekistan will showcase their hand balancing feats as a preview to their show coming to the Community Center Theater December 29-January 3.
Drag Queens on Ice
Outword Magazine will host a charity LGBT night, Drag Queens On Ice, at the ice rink on November 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. This all ages event will benefit the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, NorCal AIDS Cycle, and CGNIE, and will be hosted by local drag queens Felicity Diamonds and Rusty Nails. 100 percent of the money raised during the 2-hour event will benefit your choice of the aforementioned organizations. Tickets are $5 per person in advance and includes admission and skate rental.
Harry Potter 7 Horcrux Hunt
Muggles beware. Wizards and witches will take over the ice rink on November 18 for Harry Potter Night at the rink. Costumed characters receive free skate rentals between 4 to 8 pm. To celerate the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part I, the ice rink has teamed up with the Esquire IMAX Theatre for the Harry Potter 7 Horcrux Hunt. The Horcrux Hunt begins at 8 p.m. at the ice rink. Witches and wizards will be guided by a series of riddles leading them to the seven Horcruxes hidden throughout Downtown. Teams will have until 11 p.m. to complete their quest and meet at the Esquire IMAX Theatre. Teams will use smartphones instead of wands to post their photos on Twitter using QR codes as they complete each task.
The rink will be open daily November 5 through January 17. Regular admission to the ice rink is $8 for a two-hour session and $2 for skate rental. The Ice Rink offers parking validations for the Westfield Downtown Plaza garages located at 5th & J streets and 4th & L streets.
For more event and contact information:
Lisa Martinez or Kelsey Perry