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California Roots Music and Arts Festival

california-roots-music-festival

If you are a roots reggae fan, and if names like Marley give you the pleasant kind of music vibe you want, you’ll love that on May 27-29, 2016, this year’s edition of the California Roots Music and Arts Festival takes place. The venue is the venerable Monterey County Fair and Event Center, or Monterey Fairgrounds as it used to be called. Among the opening acts on the first day will be Slightly Stoopid, J Boog, and Fortunate Youth. Following is more information so you can plan your attendance, or keep on top of the latest developments.

Let’s start with the venue. The festival organizers, in conjunction with the Fairgrounds, has every possible amenity and service in place for you. Among them:

  • Accessibility
  • First Aid
  • Parking
  • Stage schedules
  • Water refill stations

Everything is being put in a state of readiness, with safety, convenience, and enjoyment at the top of the list.

If great music from dedicated musicians isn’t enough, there are many other things happening at the festival. After parties are available, in the event you didn’t hear or do enough during the day, as well as there being an After Dark Lounge. There’s an Art Retreat, plus live paintings. There are great ways to help or contribute to various non-profit programs. There’s custom beer to quench your thirst, as well as the already-mentioned water refill stations.

The festival is serious about its greening efforts as well. In 2015, over 5,500 pounds of food waste was diverted from back-of-house areas. Almost 5,000 reusable containers were used. Over 29,000 single-use cups were kept from the landfill. You can read more about the greening process and successes here.

We mentioned earlier just three of the bands who will be at the festival. In fact, over the three days, there will be 45 bands or single musicians! Here are a few musician’s names for you:

  • Amp Live
  • Barrington Levy
  • Damian and Stephen Marley
  • Dub Architect
  • Bowman

To learn more about the event, please visit the main website. If you already know you want to jump in and buy tickets, please visit the event’s ticket page.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Quail Motorcycle Gathering

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Motorcycles have been around for well over a hundred years. But, how did today’s bike become what is it now? What did the 1916 motorcycle look like? How are competition bikes different from street bikes? If you are a motorcycle lover – if you love the feel of the open road, wind in your face, and engine’s vibration under you – then you’ll want to check out the upcoming Quail Motorcycle Gathering. This is the 8th annual running of the event, taking place on May 16, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., right here in your Carmel.

This special annual congregation honors bikes of all ages and all kinds, from sports to racing bikes. It also reaches back in time to pre- and post-war era bikes. What’s being featured this year? Categories include:

  • BMW Classics
  • Competition on- and off-road
  • Custom/Modified
  • Japanese bikes
  • Pre-1916 Motorcycles

You love the intrigue, freedom, and power of motorcycles. If you love good food and drink as well, it’s here. There will be a gourmet BBQ lunch, and offerings from local breweries and wineries. In addition, you’ll be treated to live music, and get to chat it up with leading bike vendors.

For more information about this gathering, please visit this Monterey.com’s Web page. To speak with someone at the Quail Lodge, please call (831) 620-8879.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Carmel Art Festival

Carmel-Arts-Festival

The weekend after Mother’s Day, the 23rd edition of the Carmel Art Festival will take place. This free public event, happening this year May 13-14, features a Plein Air Juried Painting Competition, Silent Auction, an Art Sale, music, and more. Everything takes place on Mission Street, between Ocean and 6th. In addition to enjoying the art, perhaps making a purchase, and talking to the artists, you can feel good in knowing that proceeds from this event benefit local youth art programs. Following is more information to help you plan your visit.

The first viewing this year, courtesy of the artists’ “freshly painted entries”, takes place on Friday, May 13. The next morning the Plein Air competition begins. Plein Air is a style of painting outdoors and was a central feature of French Impressionism.  Judges will be reviewing and judging 120 entries. At 6 p.m. on Saturday night, the silent auction begins. All day Saturday you will be able to view art, purchase past and present festival posters, and listen to live music.

Sunday has several activities:

  • 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Over 100 more paintings will be up for sale. These will be from artists who painted during festival week, but who were not part of the competition. These are all being sold at a set price.
  • 9 a.m. All around Carmel and Carmel Beach you’ll see winning artists painting in a special 2-hour “Quick Draw” competition.
  • 11 a.m. – Noon. A silent auction will be held. (Note that the Festival allows for Absentee Bidding, as all paintings entered into the festival are posted online.)

During this two-day festival, all sorts of local galleries and shops will have their own receptions, shows, painting and sculpture demonstrations. Grab a free festival booklet when you visit, as it will have detailed information about which gallery is doing what, and when.

Here are a few other facts about the event you may find helpful or interesting:

  • Artists who wanted to enter the current year’s contest would have had to apply between September 1 and December 1 of the previous year.
  • Plein air artists had to commit to painting two paintings in two days.
  • The event is juried, and only 60 artists are chosen each year.
  • Juried artists’ names are published on the website by March 1.
  • Anyone can sign up for the free mailing list (website below).

To view this year’s paintings, the schedule, past winners, or sign up for e-mail notifications, please visit the Carmel Art Festival’s main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Winemakers’ Celebration

Wine-Makers-Celebration

On May 7, 2016 the Winemakers’ Celebration will be raising a glass or two in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  You’ll be able to celebrate “the wines and winemakers of Monterey County’s world class growing region” from 1-5 p.m during the 24th annual edition of this popular event. It sold out last year, so here are a few more details to help you quickly decide whether you’re going.

On the day of, Dolores Street between Ocean and 7th will be transformed into a village reminiscent of a European “street festival”. Over 100 different and delicious wines will be available for the tasting, including wines from:

  • Blair Estate. “Just the right conditions” need to be in place for a fine Pinot Noir, and Blair, located in the Arroyo Seco district, meets those conditions.
  • Manzoni Vineyards. Found in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, this hands-on operation grows the grapes for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah wines.
  • Windy Oaks Estate. Premium wines, grown in “unique terroirs in Monterey and the Santa Cruz Mountains.” Offering Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

In addition to the three wineries mentioned above, another 20 will be in attendance. Quite a few vendors will be there as well. Last year’s list included Basil Seasonal Dining, La Playa Carmel, and Marich Premium Chocolates. Visit this Monterey Wines Web page for information and/or to purchase tickets for this year’s event. Prices are $75 for regular admission, or $125 for VIP admission. Check out the add-ons, such as a sommelier led tour or a designated driver for $35.  You can also phone (831) 375-9400 for information.

One of the great perks in attending this special annual Carmel festival is that you can ask questions of the winemakers themselves while sipping your favorite varietal.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Sea Otter Classic – A Celebration of Cycling!

Sea Otter Classic

The place: right here in Monterey. The dates: April 14-17, 2016. And most importantly, the event: the 2016 Subaru Sea Otter Classic. This is the world’s premiere cycling event, “a celebration of cycling” featuring over 10,000 athletes and nearly 70,000 spectators. Born modestly in 1971 from co-creators Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolf as the then Laguna Seca Challenge (for the first event there were only 350 athletes and less than half that number of spectators), this ‘celebration of cycling’ kicks off the North American cycling competitive season.

Monterey County is one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, so it attracts events—especially outdoor events—like the Sea Otter Classic. What kind of cycling and cyclists are represented at this annual event? Here’s a short list:

  • Professional and amateur
  • National, world, and Olympic champions
  • Mountain, cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and short track

Competition takes place in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Non-competitive events include cyclocross and others. Those events are offered for all ages. In addition to the exciting and intense competition, you’ll see “the largest bike exposition in North America”. It’s an amazing expo with hundreds of vendors. In addition to everything cycling, including new products, there will be free samples, good bargains, an international food court, entertainment, stunt shows, and even activities for children. This Classic has a lot of everything, catering to enthusiasts of all ages. The list of exhibitors this year is absolutely huge. For now, here are but a handful. As you can see, they’re from around the world:

  • 10 Speed Coffee (California)
  • 4iiii Innovations Inc (Alberta, Canada)
  • Bont Cycling Pty Ltd (New South Wales, Australia)
  • Brooks England
  • Da Bomb Bike (Taiwan)

The international flavor of the event, the competition, the vendors, and of course, you, help make this event so successful every year. A couple more things you might like to know: The Classic recommends you “Ditch the Car” and bike it; all or part of the way. If you intend to bike all or part of the way to Laguna Seca, you’ll want to visit this Web page for more information. Your pooch is only allowed at the campsite. You can read more about that here.

Finally, if you want the whole story, please consider visiting the Classic’s main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Pacific Grove’s Good Old Days Celebration

good-old-days-celebration-pacific-grove-presidio-monterey

For almost 60 years Pacific Grove’s Good Old Days Celebration, the largest arts and crafts show in this county, has brought us together for art, food, parades, entertainment, and lots of fun. This all-family affair takes place this year on April 9 and 10, from 9-5 p.m. each day, at various locations on Lighthouse Avenue between 11th and Congress.

Both days of this festival are jam-packed with events. Here’s a sampling for you, beginning with events and activities that will happen on Saturday and Sunday:

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Carnival and pony rides, Petting Zoo, Water Bubbles, Bunging Jumping Trampoline, and the Good Old Days Latin Stage (featuring Latin Dances, Zumba, and Latin Singers). In addition, the Pacific Grove Rotary Club Beer Garden will be open on both days during this time, serving beer and wine.
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. At Pacific Grove Masonic Lodge #331, your kids can get fingerprinted for free. This is about adopting good practices for child safety.
  • Saturday Special Activities. There are actually too many activities to mention (we’ll give you the right website addresses so you can check the details later), but included are the BookWorks Dance Stage and Pacific Grove Local T-Shirt Giveaways which run all day, the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast from 8:30 – 11 a.m., the family favorite PG Rotary Good Old Days Parade from 10 – 11 a.m., and at 4:30 p.m. the Lighthouse Fellowship Pie Eating Contest.
  • Sunday Special Activities. The Monterey Fire Department Fire Fighters Combat Challenge takes place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Firefighters from the tri-county area will be battling it out for your enjoyment (and support).

Our Good Old Days Celebration this year will include over 225 art and food vendors, all in downtown Pacific Grove. If you like being entertained, you’ll get to see and hear The Snarky Cats, Stu Heydon Blues Band, the Short Band, and a few more. On the BookWorks Dance Stage, new to this year, nine dance groups will perform for you. Catch the Stevenson School Dance, RockStar Dance Studio, Dance Center Carmel, and half a dozen more.

For more information on Pacific Grove’s Good Old Days Celebration, please phone (831) 373-3304, visit the Chamber of Commerce page here, or go to See Monterey’s event page here.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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How Runners Prepare for the Big Sur Marathon

BigSurInternationalMarathon

The annual Big Sur International Marathon—one of the world’s most recognizable, and beautiful runs—is coming up on April 24, 2016. If you’re already a distance runner, and have run a marathon before, you’ll know the kind of grit and constant training and running that’s required. If you haven’t, or perhaps not run one as hilly as Big Sur, you might find it interesting to discover how runners prepare for the Big Sur Marathon.

Hurricane Point

Running the Big Sur, you’re going to face something as challenging (and freeing) as Hurricane Point. It’s not simply a “hill”. But to train for the Big Sur International Marathon, you must include hill training. It’s not pretty, and it demands repetition. Your legs, knees, and endurance all need to be strengthened. Cop out in training and you may not do well, or finish, this marathon.

Training Regimes

Training for a marathon, particularly one as demanding as Big Sur, takes strategy. You’ll probably include interval training, hill training, distance runs, tempo pace runs, and yes, even some easy runs. Everyone trains differently, but there are similarities in training regimes. Most runners will train for 15 – 20 weeks. Following is a very simplified training sampler showing week 1, week 5, week 10, and week 15. It’s not inclusive, and not tailored for anyone in particular. It simply indicates some of the things a runner might do in training for a race where he or she will be running a very difficult (but beautiful) course for several hours on race day:

  • Week 1 – 5+ easy miles, some cross-training, several hills, 4-5 miles at normal speed, 5+ long slow distance (LSD) miles.
  • Week 5 – Cross-training, tempo miles, interval training, and perhaps 8-10 LSD miles. Your weekly distance has already been increased to perhaps 20 miles or more.
  • Week 10 – Your weekly distance may be 30+ miles at this point, progressively reached through LSD or other miles. If you haven’t already been doing so, you’ll want to take a day or two off. You’re probably running in excess of what you need for the Big Sur (not a bad idea).
  • Week 15 – Assuming this is race week, or perhaps the week before, you’ll want to mix in some easy training, while backing off to perhaps 10+ miles over several days.

There are other preparations that would be underway simultaneously; things like eating right, hydrating, taking care of any early signs of physical stress points, and mental preparation. Some of the more veteran runners would tell you to first and foremost enjoy what you’re doing, and especially, to enjoy the run itself! Take in the scenery, while training and most importantly on the run. Consider running with one or more partners on race day. Look ahead, and also take the time to look back: look back at what you’ve done.

It’s a Huge Deal

The Big Sur marathoner develops, among many things, grit, quad and other muscles, endurance, and a sense of accomplishment. It may sound like there are so many marathoners’ worldwide that running one isn’t a big deal. It’s a huge deal. Have you seen anyone get breathless climbing upstairs recently, or running a few steps for the bus?

Details About the Big Sur Marathon

Marathoners need to be well-stretched, trained, and have their vision in mind. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the route! For the Big Sur run, they know they’ll face serious hills, most probably be running against the wind at times; all the while striving to complete the race with their personal bests, or at least finish as many miles as they can. If you’ve never run this kind of race, but want to get out there and cheer the runners on for this sold out race, set aside this date in your calendar: April 24, 2016. It starts at Big Sur Station at 6:45 a.m., with the course winding from Big Sur to Carmel. If you’d like more information on this year’s run, please visit the main website.

Review the Route

Ben ran the race in 1993 and then his son, Grant, ran it exactly 20 years later.  Ben shares some insightful stories about preparing for the Big Sur Marathon and the run in the video he created, while he drove the route in 2012. If you haven’t had the pleasure of running the Big Sur Marathon, you can still experience the course from the comfort of Ben & Carole’s car…

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Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival

MontereyJazz

From April 8-10, 2016, 1300+ of America’s top student musicians will converge for another edition of the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival (NGJF). This prestigious event, showcasing some of our best up and coming jazz talent, will begin with the Opening Night Judges Contest and VIP Reception. Following we’ll share with you details of opening night, along with various other notes to entice you.

At 7:30 p.m. on April 8 at the Monterey Conference Center Pavilion, the gala kick-off event occurs. Doors open at 7 p.m., when you’ll be entertained by Josh Shpak and his Quartet, from the Berklee College of Music. Terri Lyne Carrington, the 2016 Artist-In-Residence, along with several others, begin the Judges Concert at 7:30 p.m. Following an impressive array of musicians, you’ll be treated to a Champagne and Sweets Benefit Reception. Things keep getting better the rest of the night. General tickets for opening night are free, while VIP tickets are $50, and include special seating among other amenities. You can feel good about this too, as proceeds go toward the Monterey Jazz Festival Education Programs. If you’re interested in opening night, please see this event Web page.

The list of finalists (with our congratulations to all of them) is staggering and varied, and represents young musicians from many different schools, institutions, and US states. Here is a very small sampling:

  • Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Stars – California
  • Las Vegas Academy of the Arts – Nevada
  • Eckstein Middle School ­– Washington
  • Tucson Jazz Institute Concord Combo – Arizona
  • Josh Shpak Quartet, Berklee College of Music – Massachusetts

These fabulous and talented young musicians will be judged in four different categories:

  • Middle School Big Band
  • High School Big Band, Combo, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Big Band Composer
  • Conglomerate High School Big Band and Combo
  • College Big Band, Combo or Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Learning on the bandstand: a place of honor and prestige. Billed as “one of the most inclusive festivals in the United States”, this competition and festival sees over 130 groups apply every year. You’ll see the best of the best here. And the students themselves? They will get tips and techniques from the pros, be impressed and inspired by “star-studded” judges, receive helpful and critiques from others, and jam for one another. To learn all of the details about this year’s NGJF, please visit their main website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Pebble Beach Resorts calls it “the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast”. It’s an annual occasion that features over 100 celebrity chefs, and hundreds of wineries. Which legends of the culinary world have appeared at this gathering? How about Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, and Masaharu Morimoto? Of the many. What’s the event, taking place from March 31 – April 3, 2016? It’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine.

Ideas abound at this four-day event. Having a dinner party soon? Need to add a few more bottles of vintage wine to the cellar? Want to know how to prepare that certain special dish? Then you’ll want to join the chefs, master sommeliers, and food & beverage experts coming in from all over the world just for you. Want to feel even better? This festival contributes to your local charities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, and more.

Let’s talk about your wine cellar, or favorite vintage. Pebble Beach Food & Wine is well represented. Many legendary wines and winemakers will be in attendance. You’ll sample and learn about rarest of wines to those that are simply “fun and engaging.” Whether you’re just beginning your collection and experience, or are an expert, there will be a workshop or event for you. Some of the best wines in the world will be offered Opening Night, and of course there will be Grand Tastings. Here’s just a few of the wineries that will be featured this year:

  • Bergere Champagne. Founded in 1949, this extraordinary winery has produced Champagne from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Each bottle, in the respectful Champenoise tradition.
  • Bernardus Winery. Yes, another of our own, will be in attendance. You’ve probably driven by, or maybe stopped in at their Carmel Valley Road winery. Their Marinus Estate Bordeaux style red is their foundation.
  • Gargiulo Vineyards. This Napa Valley operation is a boutique family winery. Their handcrafted wines are grown from two Oakville estate vineyards. Known for Money Road Ranch, and 575 OVX.
  • Jean-Luc Baldès. This is the premier estate from the Cahors region of France. It’s beautiful 160 acres lies along the banks of the River Lot. This winery produces bold Malbec-based wines.
  • Veuve Clicquot. Their non-vintage Brut is known the world over. It’s a classical blend of two-thirds black grapes, with one-third Chardonnay. Dry and elegant.

Do any of the above wineries have you dreaming of the festival already? If not, fear not, as there are another 150 to choose from!

Golf and wine mix: yes. In a way… join in on March 31, 2016 at Pebble Beach Golf Links for the Celebrity Chef & Winemaker Golf Tournament. This premier event is not to be missed if you (a) love golf, (b) want to watch and play golf with your favorite celebrity chefs or master sommeliers, and (c) you also love good wine and food. This $1,000 fantasy may be just to your liking. Of course, many other special events will take place over the festival’s marvelous four days. Here’s a small sample for you:

  • Opening Night Reception. March 31, taking place at The Inn at Spanish Bay, the kick-off event features “a night of unbridled indulgence”! That means you can sample decadent food, while sipping on a selection of 200 wines.
  • Living Local – The Bounty of Monterey. This April 1 event also takes place at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Our microclimate offers an incredible variety of wines, from Pinot Noirs to crispy acidic whites.
  • The Spellbinding Wines of Antica Terra. One of the nicest, most widely respected winemakers in America, Maggie Harrison will explore with you “wines that epitomize place”, some of the finest from Oregon.

If you’re ready to purchase tickets for one or more of the many events taking place at Pebble Beach Food and Wine, head over to this website now! If you want to learn before making your decision, this is the site’s main Web page.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Carmel Jewish Film Festival

carmelfilmfestJudy

The annual Carmel Jewish Film Festival (CJFF), now in its sixth year, takes place from March 5-20, 2016. The themes, messages, and motifs carry a universal appeal to an audience that encompasses the Monterey area, and beyond. The programs seek to engage both mind and heart. The festival wants “to engage the greater Jewish community in meaningful dialogue on important issues…”

If you’re considering attending this magic film festival, panels, and discussions, here are a few more details for you.

On opening night, March 5, producer, director, and blogger Ralph Senensky will be honored for his extraordinary 50+ year career in TV and film. For those of you who may not know the length, breadth, or spectrum of projects he’s worked on, a few of his career highlights include television episodes of:

  • Star Trek
  • The Twilight Zone
  • The Waltons

As mentioned, Ralph is a prolific blogger. You can catch his latest “adventures in film and television” at Ralph’s Cinema Trek by heading to this website.

On March 6, following the film The Green Prince, Dr. Nukhet Kardam and Dr. Jeffrey Bale will take part in a discussion on terrorism. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Bale has studied violence-prone political and religious extremists, publishing several scholarly articles on the same. The subjects of his many works include terrorism, right-wing extremism, Islamism, and covert political operations. Dr. Kardam’s passionate interests focus on “the nature of self and of identity” in terms of global norms that apply in specific cultures. Moderating the panel will be Dr. Amy Sands, Executive Director for Research Centers and Initiatives at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

A number of other thought-provoking, dynamic, and interesting events will take place over the festival’s duration. As a special treat, 91-year old Flory Jagoda will perform her Ladino song for the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. She’ll be accompanied by her daughter and several others. Flory’s performance will follow the film Flory’s Flame on March 12.

On March 19, following the screening of The Dove Flyer at the Golden Bough, survivors David Sabih and Sadok Masliyah will retell their harrowing stories of escape, and how they had to leave behind the life they knew and their families. Jaleh Pirnazar, from Iran, will also share her story, as well as research. Sam Ezekiel will moderate the panel.

Many more events will take place during the festival, and many generous sponsors are helping to make this happen. To find out more about the events, please visit the festival’s home page. If you’re ready to buy your tickets today, please head to this Web page.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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History of Carmel

CarmelHistoryBrian

Carmel Mission was originally to be situated in Monterey. But Father Junipero Serra, on realizing the obvious pluses of good soil, and a stable water source, decided on Carmel for the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission. Father Serra and the founders that followed him appreciated nature, the land, and the beauty they beheld. From the 1770s, the history of Carmel was preserved for families and can be seen in the magic that is Carmel-by-the-Sea today.

In 1850, John Martin, a Scottish immigrant, purchased land on the Carmel River. He built a ranch, and dairy. About 30 years later real estate agent Samuel Duckworth and his brother, on rumors the Southern Pacific Railroad would extend its reach to include the Mission, partnered with a French baker to parcel up almost 325 acres of his land in Carmel. Town lots were established. Some homes and a hotel were built. Duckworth’s dreams at the time for ‘Carmel City’ didn’t materialize when the rumored railroad expansion did not happen. Fast forward 10 years: picking up from the Duckworths, the San Francisco-based Women’s Real Estate Investment Company took over. Their new development scheme built new homes. Families began to arrive. “Carmel-by-the-Sea” was born.

During the history of Carmel there were many notable developments between 1900 and 1910. Among them were:

  • Frank Devendorf’s and Frank Powers’ push to populate Carmel with affordable lots and easy payment terms. Devendorf became a figurehead for Carmel promotion.
  • Louis Slevin purchased a lot on Ocean Avenue from Devendorf. Slevin built one of Carmel’s first businesses; we might call it a small department store today, offering many things including film processing. He became Carmel’s first postmaster. Much of Slevin’s influence and legacy can be seen today by way of photographs he took.
  • In 1904, Powers purchased the Murphy cabin, originally built in 1902. His wife, Jane Gallatin, turned it into her art studio. High above Carmel Beach, many of the Powers’ friends were entertained in the cabin. Many artists and writers who had been in touch with Powers began their interest in Carmel at this time. Poet George Sterling of San Francisco’s Bohemian Club was one of the first creative forces to move in, building his ‘Eighty Acres” home southeast of Ocean and Junipero Streets. It became a Mecca for writers, such as Jack London. A little later, Grace and Alice MacGown, writers of historical romance, children’s stories, and mysteries moved to Carmel.
  • Sunset, Carmel’s first public school was built in 1906.
  • By 1910 Ocean Avenue began to take shape as the main street.

The 1920s were just as, if not more prolific in terms of Carmel’s growth. Of particular note is 1924, when Hugh Comstock came to town and designed his storybook cottage to house his wife’s Otsy-Totsy dolls. This was a major turning point for Carmel, as fairytale cottages became the rage. Explosive and important growth took place shortly afterward, as the mix of old European and other distinctive design styles resulted in the Seven Arts Building and Theatre of the Golden Bough being built. Others followed suit. Near the end of the decade, a design shift toward Mediterranean took place. This look can perhaps best be found on Dolores Street, and in the example of the Kocher Building. In 1929, the Grace Deere Velie Clinic was created. A few years later it was converted to a general hospital; the forerunner of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

It’s perhaps pertinent to interject an event from 1926 at this point: it was then the Valley Ranch Club was formed on John Martin’s property. Many of the original farm buildings were retained. In the 1980s, Clint Eastwood purchased the property and working with it, created a beautiful resort that reflected the ranch’s history.

Many other significant and important events happened between 1930 and present day. Here’s a sampling of some of the more notable ones:

  • In 1933, in partnership with Gennosuke Kodani, a Japanese marine biologist, Alexander Allan opened an abalone cannery near Whaler’s Cabin. Later, the State of California purchased 300+ acres of land from the Allans, with assistance from the Save-the-Redwoods league.
  • The Bach Festival was created in 1935 by Carmel’s Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous.
  • In 1946, on the property of the All Saint’s Church, City Hall relocated.
  • Do you remember the movie A Summer Place? In 1948, architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home on Scenic Drive for Della Brooks Walker (later, Mrs. Van Loben Sells). The movie featured Sells’ house.
  • In 1960 the annual Sandcastle contest was founded.
  • Carmel Plaza construction began in 1972. In 1975, Robert Wright Campbell (R. Wright Campbell) moved to Carmel, writing many well-known and lauded novels, including his In La-La Land We Trust.
  • In 1986 our own Clint Eastwood was elected Mayor of Carmel, paying it forward. A year later, Pope John Paul II visited Carmel. In 1990, The First Murphy House was relocated to a lot on Lincoln, near the Library, later to become the home of the Carmel Heritage Society.
  • Sunset Theatre opened its doors in 2003.
  • Easily worth an entry on its own, the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours, part of Concours d’Elegance, was launched. Every August, historic and classic cars are seen against the splendid contrast of downtown Carmel.

Your Carmel is known for its natural beauty, and rich artistic heritage. Artists, poets, writers, and many others who have devoted their lives to “the aesthetic arts” have lived here and supported our ways.

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Jazz Bash by the Bay

Jazz Bash By The Bay FrankKeillor

Where do “world-class musicians make their home” once a year in March? You know it: Monterey! On that note, this year’s 36th Annual Jazz Bash by the Bay takes place from March 4-6, 2016. This is where you can hear great jazz, swing, blues and more, all in your historic Monterey.

The list of bands and artists appearing this year is impressive, and in addition to who we’ve mentioned, includes:

  • Jeff Barnhart
  • Carl Sonny Leyland Trio
  • Brian Holland
  • Blue Street Jazz Band
  • Tom Rigney & Flambeau

The history of Jazz Bash by the Bay dates back to 1980, when Dixieland Monterey was the theme for the Monterey County Fair. Just three volunteers lined up nine bands, a handful of venues, and some Clydesdales to kick-off the inaugural three-day event. Through very modest budgets at times ($18,000 in 1982), a newly minted Board of Directors and some passionate volunteers continued to create successful and popular events. As Founder John Keller has said, people return each year “because they love the music.”

If you really love great music, and want to get a head start, on Thursday night, March 3, there’s a massive kick-off party featuring big band Clicktrax Jazz orchestra, playing in the De Anza Ballroom. Admission for this separate event is only $25. Another big ticket item that night is the hit trio We3, featuring Bob Draga. They’ll be in the Bonsai Room. Badges for either Thursday night event, and all other events, can be purchased on this Web page, or by phoning (888) 349-6879.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Special Moments from Past Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournaments

PebbleBeachPro-AM
This year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will take place from February 8-14, 2016. Golf lovers and players: this rich tradition has been with us for almost 60 years! The 2016 edition offers $7 million dollars in prizes, and in the end, 60 professional golfers, along with 24 Pro-Am teams play Pebble Beach Golf Links for the championship. Much to be to be excited about. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the great stories and special moments from past Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournaments.

    1. Quiet, please! Or not. Comedian Bill Murray took time to stop and tell a joke at last year’s event. As everyone waited for him to take his shot, he told joke. You can have a look and listen below.

    1. Mark Hubbard asks: Meghan, will you marry me? Not only on the play board, Mark actually walked up to Meghan, got down on his knees, and popped the question. Here’s how it went.

    1. Man’s Best Friend, to everyone’s delight! Commentators took time out to comment on the great joy and fun this particular pooch was having as everyone else was focused on golf!

    1. Famous resident Clint Eastwood on the Crosby Clambake. As a GI, Clint tells the story of sneaking in on the Clambake, eating up the desserts, and seeing some very famous people.

    1. Great moments from the past, looking forward. Every Pro-Am offers countless memorable moments. We wanted to share a video that shows a few from years gone by, as we look forward to this year’s event.

Need more details on the 2016 Pro-Am? We have you covered! Click this link to read a post on the highlights and details of the upcoming event.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest

wineandFoodFestFredericSchneider

Get on your gourmand! The Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest happens this year from February 24-28 right here in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea. This is the third year if the event, founded by L’Auberge’s David Fink (he was the original founder of the Masters of Food & Wine). The idea is to marry the “world’s best Hoteliers, Chefs and Restaurateurs”.

The festival brings to you top chefs from around the globe, the best wineries, and the finest luxury brands. This year you can expect over 18 unique events, which include:

  • A strolling welcome party
  • Five wine tastings
  • Two rarities events
  • Two cooking demos
  • Four lunches and dinners

There is a lot more information at the festival’s main website, and we will provide you with a direct link to order tickets in advance. Before that, here’s more to tempt your palate…

You can feel even better than all that fabulous food and wine by taking part in a charity auction where 100% of the proceeds go toward supporting the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In fact, there’s a button on the main website’s home page that will allow you to place a bid on an item today. Of the many high profile and well-known participants, you’ll see Executive Chef Justin Cooley from Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, chefs Hiroshi Nakamichi and Tomoyuki Kon from Restaurant Molière, Pastry Chef Stephanie Prida of Manresa, and Master Sommelier Larry Stone. In addition to what has been already mentioned, events include A Morning with the Grand Crus, a Farmers Market Lunch, a Black Truffle Dinner, and much more.

To read more about each event, or to purchase tickets, please go to https://gourmetfest.yapsody.com.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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9 Most Romantic Places on the Monterey Peninsula

9mostromanticDavidSelbold

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we felt this the perfect time to talk about a few of the most romantic places on the Monterey Peninsula. Thinking of treating that special person to something exceptional? Maybe one of the following will give you an idea.

A special dinner is always nice. Our area has over 225 restaurants. A few of these, according to our sources, are just the ticket in terms of romance. Here are three we’ve chosen to get you started:

  1. Chart House – Cannery Row. Featured in Best Food in Monterey, and winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, what more wonderful place to dine at than an establishment in historic Cannery Row, right in the harbor? You’ll want to reserve your table, and can do so by phoning (831) 372-3362 Or you can visit their website: chart-house.com/locations/monterey/.
  2. Montrio Bistro – Downtown Monterey. Another Certificate of Excellence winner, this well-known Monterey landmark features Chef Baker’s best of “European and American cuisines.” To reserve your place, phone (831) 648-8880, or have a look at their offerings here: montrio.com/.
  3. Aubergine – Carmel. Hard to be disappointed at this award-winning Carmel-by-the-Sea landmark. Executive Chef Cogley, Executive Pastry Chef Mendoza, and the rest of their professional staff will serve up an amazing culinary delight in a romantic and ambient setting. Visit their site at auberginecarmel.com/, or give them a call at (831) 624-8578 to reserve your table.Perhaps you have dinner worked out already, or just want to take a short trip to a romantic place? Many wonderful spots await you; some just steps away.
  1. Carmel Beach, Carmel Bay, and Tor House. We’re surrounded by beauty. You know how lovely the drive along Scenic Road and around the tip of Carmel Point is. Add in Tor House as part of your trip, and you are truly indulging in a romantic getaway. Tor House was built by the poet Robinson Jeffers. There are frequent tours. If you have the time, you’ll want to visit the gardens and take in some of Jeffers’ work.
  2. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This is California’s ‘crown jewel’. What in nature could so lift your spirits and heart, and let you feel in touch with yourself and that special someone with you? An inspiration for countless poets, artists, photographers, and writers, this is truthfully an amazing trip to make. You may want to do a little planning first, so check the weather, and then head over to their website: http://www.pointlobos.org/.
  3. Lovers Point Park. A natural! Operated by the city of Pacific Grove, this popular park system is accessed on Ocean View Boulevard. Although great for the whole family, a romantic picnic for two may be just what you’re looking for. To find out more about Lovers Point, you can visit the City of Pacific Grove’s website, or have a look at this See Monterey website.So there are amazing, beautiful, and romantic spots nearby, and fabulous dining experiences. If you’d like to get out of the house for a night or two, our area has several delightful hotels, inns, and spas.
  4. Carmel. Hard to choose from over 20 charming hotels and inns. Doris Day’s Cypress Inn comes in at or close to number 1 on a number of lists. It’s an appealing landmark Inn, with so many extras to offer. From the décor to Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge. Check out their website, or phone them at (800) 443-7443.
  5. Monterey. There are quite a few ‘top five’ or ‘top ten’ most romantic hotel lists for Monterey. Oyster.com has one, Expedia another, and of course TripAdvisor has a list. The Spindrift Inn comes up constantly on many lists. It has a fantastic location and views, quite a history, and beautiful accommodations. To find out more or book your getaway, click the link for the website, or phone (800) 841-1879.
  6. Pebble Beach. According to Romantic Carmel Coast, Casa Palmero beckons “you in with the promise of romance.” If that’s true, there can’t be any better choice for your romantic getaway! There’s a spa available, great dining, and over 20 private rooms with wood burning fireplaces. Because this is a romantic getaway, we won’t mention the golf unless a tee time for two is on your romance list! To reserve your room, call (800) 877-0597, or visit their website.

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2016 Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PebbleBeachProAM

The organizers of the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am want you to “Watch The Best In Golf Play On The Best In Golf”. Of course, you already know that’s true! Last year’s Pro-Am champion was Brandt Snedeker. Would you like to know what’s in store for this year? Here’s an overview to pique your interest.

Exciting additions, past events, and changes continue to be announced on the site’s main website, so check it often, but here are some recent developments:

  • The GREY GOOSE 19th Hole Lounge. In previous years, this area required a special ticket. This year, all of-age spectators—you must be 21 years or older—will have access the Lounge. Great news, as this hilltop location overlooks holes 6 – 8. Specialty cocktails will be offered for purchase.
  • Award for Gold Certified & Awarded for Green Excellence. The Council for Responsible Sport has awarded the Pro-Am Gold Certification for Outstanding Practices in Event and Venue Resource Recovery.
  • Great Charity Shout-Outs. On February 10, 2015, the 49ers and Giants battled it out in a Chevron Shoot-Out. Record crowds attended the event. The 49ers won, by the way, by raising a total of $40,000.

The Pro-Am’s mission is “To stage the world’s premier PGA TOUR pro-am that brings the community together with global leaders in sports, entertainment and industry to raise charitable funds which create opportunities for success.” Have you been in the past? Would you agree? A list of who’s who will be featured at this year’s event, including professionals Ricky Barnes, Roberto Castro, and Cameron Percy. On the celebrity side of the fence, you’ll see Wayne Gretzky, Toby Keith, Mark Wahlberg, and several more.

The schedule gets underway on Monday, February 8, with an all-day practice round on all three courses. That round is closed to the public, but the ones on the next two days are open, and include a Chevron Shoot-Out as well as a Celebrity Challenge. First Round is on Thursday, February 11 at all three courses. Activities take place every day, but the Final Round is on Sunday, February 14.

Every year when this event rolls around, I remember my time playing as an amateur in 1996 and 1997.  What a great experience!

To find out more about the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, visit their main website (link above). It includes links to get involved (yes, you can volunteer). To buy tickets now, visit this link.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Big Sur Foragers Festival

big-sur-foragers-festival-karenneoh-flickr

Are you a lover of food, drink, and the gorgeous offerings of Big Sur’s abundant nature? Then you will want to consider attending the 2016 edition of the Big Sur Foragers Festival, a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center.

The event takes place from January 15-17. If you already know you want to go, you can purchase tickets online now. Ticket prices range from $35 for the hikes, to $60 for the popular Fungus Face Off, to $175 for the Grand Celebrity Chef Dinner. Click this link to go directly to the ticket sales page. In the meantime, following is a little more information to whet your appetites.

The list of events, participants, and highlights has been expanded for the forthcoming Festival, but includes some favorites as well. Here’s an idea of what will be happening in January:

New Events

  • Friday, January 15, 2016. At 5:30 there’s a cocktail reception and fungus presentation. Louie Schwartzberg will take you through it. It’s followed by a 5 course tasting menu. Wine pairings by Sierra Mar wine director Dominique DaCruz. There are only 22 tickets available, at $500 each. Call the Post Ranch at (800) 527-2200 if you’re interested.
  • Sunday, January 17, 2016. At 11 a.m. you can hike and then enjoy a 3 course lunch with Post Ranch’s Executive Chef John Cox. All items will have been foraged from the property, and be accompanied by local wines. This event is limited to 16 people. (The hike is weather permitting.) Call the Post Ranch to make your reservations.

By Popular Demand

  • Saturday, January 16, 2016. There are several interesting events. Two Wild Foraging Walk and Talk hikes are being offered. One for beginners, at Pfeiffer State Park, and the other for intermediate-level hikers, at Big Sur Wilderness. Each takes place at 9:30, and the cost for each is $35. On the deck at Ventana Big Sur is the very popular Fungus Face Off! It’s at 1 p.m., and the cost is $60. Over 60 items are being offered in the annual Silent Auction. You can win culinary prizes, hotel stays, and much more. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or 6 for $25.
  • Sunday, January 17, 2016. Imagine… Foraged Foods at Home. Big Sur Lodge is the location, chefs are to be announced, and everyone gets to both taste the foods and take some recipes home. There are 50 spaces available for this event, taking place from 2 to 4 p.m., and featuring chanterelles, nettles, and more.

To find out more about any of the events, about the chefs, or to plan your foraging, visit the 2016 event page by clicking this link.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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8 Monterey Peninsula New Year’s Eve Events

NewYearsMontereyJeffGolden

Christmas and New Year’s Eve seem like hand-in-glove. One joyous event leads to the celebration and calling of a new year. This New Year’s eve there are quite a few activities in our area. Here are 8 Monterey Peninsula New Year’s Eve Events to get you started.

Monterey Peninsula New Year’s Eve Events

  1. The Hyatt’s Pacific Edge in Carmel is offering a special New Year’s Eve dinner for $140 per person. Two seatings—one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 8 p.m.—give you the flexibility you need to get in on fine dining and fun. Phone (831) 622-5445 for reservations, or visit the reservations page on their website.
  2. The Carmel Valley Ranch usually offers up something spectacular on New Year’s Eve! Click this link for a sample menu. To find out what’s happening this New Year’s Eve, please call (831) 626 2599, or visit their site here.
  3. Monterey’s The Sardine Factory is an institution here. It has won many local awards, and a few national ones, including one of the 2015 Top 10 Seafood Restaurants in the US. They offer special nights out for all of the holidays, including New Year’s Eve. To find out more about the big night, phone (831) 373-3775 or visit their reservations page.
  4. You and your family can enjoy several all-ages events at First Night Monterey. The activities run from 3 p.m. right through to midnight, and include First Act for the Young – Kids Night Out, The Second Act: The Main Event, and Finale Performance – New Year’s Eve Countdown. Except for children under five, who are admitted free, you’ll need to buy buttons for the over 20 venues available. Head to this website to purchase yours in advance.
  5. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a great idea for this New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve Seashore Sleepover. This all-ages events (5 years to adult) kick-starts the night at 9 p.m. with a sparkling cider toast. There will be all sorts of family activities and programs. They recommend you reserve early, as space is limited.
  6. At the Embassy Suites Monterey Bay you can ring in the New Year in style, with music by the Joe Sharino Band. This semi-formal/formal event, called Getaway To Monterey #12, features a three-course gourmet meal with a double entrée of filet mignon and salmon fillet. Tickets can be purchase for Dinner & Dance, Dance Only, or Dinner, Dance, and Suite. Ticket prices range from $135 to $530 for an all-inclusive night and stay. For more details, or to reserve your spots now, please visit this website.
  7. Do you enjoy a good, cold pint? Then Bubbles and Brews A NYE Celebration is for you! This Monterey celebration takes place at the Alvarado Street Brewery. There will be several seatings, each priced at $130, or you can come to enjoy DJ and Dancing for $25. Dress code is business/casual for the night. As you need to reserve and RSVP before the night of, you’ll want to visit this website for more information and tickets.
  8. If you were out enjoying the night, you can enjoy Pacific Grove’s First Night on New Year’s Day. It’s an all-day event in the downtown area. Several participating businesses take part. Remember to “look for the Green flags”, as they signify participating businesses.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Events Celebrating Christmas in Pacific Grove

ChristmasIn-PacificGroveJasonDevaun

We have been talking about Christmas recently. You can view our previous posts on Christmas in Carmel CA here & Christmas in Monterey here.

Do you have Christmas in your sightlines yet? Wondering what to do? This is the last of three articles on the many events and attractions available this year, organized by area. This post covers events celebrating Christmas in Pacific Grove.

Christmas in Pacific Grove

  • The annual Christmas Tree Lighting is on November 30th this year, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Grab the family and head to Jewell Park for the lighting, live entertainment, and yes, Santa! Please visit the event’s website for details.
  • Just picture Victorian-era splendor, and you’ll soon be enjoying Christmas at the Inns. Travel back in time on December 1st and 2nd, and visit 10 Inns, all decked out for you. Limited tickets are available, so you may want to visit their special website
  • Do you love a good parade? If you do, join many others that do as well at this year’s Parade of Lights. You and your family can start enjoying the activities at 6 p.m. on December 3rd. Featured this year will be marching bands, holiday floats, dance teams, equestrian groups, and yes, a visit by Santa Claus! Stores will remain open afterward, and there will be many other activities. Please check your Community website for more details.
  • There’s still much more to do in your neighborhood! On December 5th, it’s the 22nd Annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park Activities begin at 10 a.m. and run all day. In store this year at Caledonia Park will be tons of wintry fun! Santa will arrive on fire truck, Frosty and the Snow Queen will be in attendance, plus there will be all sorts of other fun activities for the whole family. For further information, please have a look at this website.
  • On December 8th, you can attend the 55th Annual Anniversary Holiday Party and Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce Mixer. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. at Lovers Point Inn (the Mermaid Beach House). Everyone gets a goody bag, plus there will be complimentary appetizers, beverages, an ocean-themed sheet cake, and more. You can get the all details right here.
  • Can’t quite get Jingle Bells out of your head? Why don’t you run it off! This year’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk takes place on Saturday, December 12th, at Lovers Point Park. It’s billed as “the largest holiday 5K race series aimed to fight arthritis!” Your dogs are welcome too! For more information, visit the event page.
  • One of the Christmas holiday highlights in Pacific Grove is Candy Cane Lane. The neighborhood becomes an annual favorite best seen at night, and one that’s certainly less busy weeknights. Everything lights up and sparkles as the big day arrives. We don’t have an exact start date for you, but suggest you keep checking their Facebook page, or the Chamber of Commerce.

What you see above is only party of the options for the Christmas season! Please look for our previous posts on Christmas in Carmel CA & Christmas in Monterey for a full calendar of Christmas cheer. Whatever you and your family choose to do for fun this holiday season, have a wonderful time and please enjoy yourself safely.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Events Celebrating Christmas in Monterey

ChristmasInMontereyLauraTaylor Do you have Christmas in your sightlines yet? Wondering what to do? This is the second of three articles on the many events and attractions available this year, organized by area. This post covers events celebrating Christmas in Monterey. You can read about the events celebrating Christmas in Carmel CA here.

Christmas in Monterey

  • The spectacular annual Cannery Row Holiday Tree Lighting takes place on November 27th this year. It’s the 21st annual such event, it’s free, and of course it’s family-friendly. Here’s a link to the event page.
  • Feeling bright, like a bright light? Then you and your family may want to head to the harbor on December 6th at Custom House Plaza for the Brighten the Harbor Boat Parade 2015! This lighted boat parade takes place from 5:30-8 p.m. For all the details, please check out See Monterey’s web page.
  • Do you miss Christmas’ past? You don’t need to! On December 11th or 12th, enjoy Christmas in the Adobes. From 5-9 p.m., stroll through the streets of Historic Downtown Monterey. Tickets and information here.
  • Did you know there were Elves in Training? It’s true, and MyMuseum has you and your kids covered. All little elves, ages 3-5, can come out and play. There will be stories, costumes, a visit by Sprinkles and Twinkles, and much more. The date is December 13, and the location, Washington Street. Here are more details.
  • Have you decided you’ll treat yourself and your family to Christmas dinner this year? There are lots of great choices in Monterey. Here are just two: Jacks, at the Portola Hotel & Spa, usually serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner on December 25th. Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, with great views of the Bay, often has a special holiday menu on Christmas.
  • Looking for something holiday-oriented the last day of the year; something that stretches all the way into the next year? Then you’ll want to head to First Night Monterey on December 31st. Events run from 3 p.m. right through to and beyond midnight. It’s happening in Historic Downtown Monterey. Details here.

What you see above is only party of the options for the Christmas season! Please watch for Part III of our event list over the next few days, where you can pick up many other happenings in our area in December. This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same. Photo Credit

Events Celebrating Christmas in Carmel CA

Christmas in carmel

Do you have Christmas in your sightlines yet? Wondering what to do? This is the first of three articles on the many events and attractions available this year, organized by area. First we’re covering the events celebrating Christmas in Carmel CA.

Christmas in Carmel CA

  • On December 4th, take in the annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Carmel Plaza Holiday Party. Activities begin at 4:30 p.m., and one of the highlights of those will be when Mayor Jason Burnett lights the tree at 5:45 p.m. Head to Devendorf Park with the family in tow, and then later, to Carmel Plaza. More information can be found here.
  • December 4th and 5th, enjoy Smuin Ballet: The Christmas Ballet. A special treat for everyone, it plays out at the Sunset Center. Visit the event’s website for information or tickets.
  • Closer to the big day, enjoy an annual favorite at the Sunset Center: The Nutcracker. Opening night is December 11th, but the show runs for three days. Click here for information or tickets.
  • Imagine… a Sugar Plum Fairy Party with The Nutcracker Performance! This one’s really special. The Fairy Party is on December 13, 2015 at 11 a.m., in Studio 105. At 11:45 a.m. there’s a luncheon party. Following that, the Dance Kids of Monterey County will perform the story of the Nutcracker, along with guest artists. More information is available here.
  • Would you like to have breakfast with Santa Claus? No problem! We’re not 100% sure of this year’s date, but the 8th Annual Breakfast with Santa is likely to be on Saturday, December 19. Last year’s ran from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Carmel Youth Center. Please visit the Carmel Mission Trail Lion’s Club website for new updates.
  • Throughout December, with December 20th being the last date, you can catch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats at the Golden Bough Theatre. What a wonderful, colorful way to take in the holiday season. For more information or for tickets, please check out this website.

What you see above only kicks-off the Christmas season! Please watch for Part II & III of our event list over the next few days, where you can pick up many other happenings in our area in December.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

WheretoCutyourownXmastreeSarahHina

The air is fresh, and your kids – even you – are getting ready to welcome Christmas. You want to add to your beautiful home the smells and sight of a fresh pine, spruce, or evergreen, and everyone’s ready to help decorate. As you might expect, your neighborhood has various Christmas Tree farms where you can cut your own Christmas tree. We’ll start you out with three farms we know about in the area, plus give you some suggestions for places you can buy fresh-cut trees (but don’t need to cut).

Thompson’s Choosen Cut Christmas Tree Ranch – Aromas

This ranch opens the day after Thanksgiving, like most, and runs through to December 24. In addition to the many varieties of trees they carry (see below), they have a picnic area, gift shop, free coffee waiting for you, and other refreshments and amenities.

  • Address – 207 Aromas Rd, Aromas
  • Phone – 831-726- 9126
  • Website – N/A
  • Hours – 3 pm – sundown weekdays, 10 am – sundown weekends
  • Tree Varieties – Scotch Pines, Monterey Pines, Douglas Firs, Colorado Blue Spruce, Grand Whites, some Nobles

Wiley’s Christmas Tree Farm – Greenfield

This is a family-run choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm. In addition to trees and stands, they offer wreaths, swags, and even mistletoe. They have a boutique, and they’ll be waiting for you with cider or hot chocolate. When you’re there with the kids, you can enjoy a fun hayride too. Their motto: “We provide the saw, you provide the muscle.” They are open from the day after Thanksgiving, right to December 23.

  • Address – 36770 Elm Avenue, Greenfield
  • Phone – 831-674-5371
  • Website – http://www.wileytreefarm.com
  • Hours – 10 am – dark weekdays, 9 am – dark weekends
  • Tree Varieties – Monterey Pine, Leyland, Redwood, and Arizona Cypress

Church Christmas Tree Farms – Monterey

Located in North Monterey County, east of Elkhorn Slough Reserve, Church is “one of the oldest continuously operating Christmas tree farms in California”. Their Christmas trees are nursery grown, and on their farm there’s a mix of young and old. They open the day after Thanksgiving, and run through to at least mid-December. You can BYOS (bring your own saw!), but they do provide them if needed. They also carry wreaths and other holiday accessories.

  • Address – 470 Hidden Valley Road, Royal Oaks
  • Phone – 831-724-8032
  • Website – http://churchchristmastreefarms.com
  • Hours – 12 noon – 4:30 pm weekdays, 8:30 am -4:30 pm weekends
  • Tree Varieties – Douglas Fir, White Fir, Monterey Pine, Cedar, Spruce, and others

If you don’t want to cut your own tree, but still want to have a real one for Christmas, there are many choices open to you. Try Carmel Valley Kiwanis Tree Lot, for example, which is located at the Mid-Valley Shopping Center. In Monterey, visit Cardinale & Wright Christmas Trees, located at the Fairgrounds. In Pacific Grove, there’s the SaveMart at 200 Country Club Center. In the Seaside/Marina area, there are two SaveMarts, plus the Home Depot on Canyon Del Rey Blvd.

Interested in finding out a lot more about Christmas tree lots, the trees themselves, or the industry? Head over to California Christmas Tree Association. There is quite a lot of information on their website.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Monterey, Carmel, & Pacific Grove

ChristmasTreeLightingHannahS

The holiday season is just around the corner. What better way to kick it off than with tree lighting ceremonies in Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove? With caroling, holiday treats, and Santa appearances, these beautiful holiday traditions are far more than lighting up a tree in a public square or park: they are a rich experience for the whole family.

Our local tree lighting ceremonies offer wonderful choices to begin a new tradition, or to keep up or renew an old family tradition. Choose one, or overindulge in holiday cheer and attend them all! Note that weather and other factors can cause scheduling changes. Please visit the websites you see here, or contact the appropriate chamber of commerce before making your plans to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Enjoy the spirit of the season, and consider starting it with a tree lighting ceremony or three! Happy Holidays!

Local Tree Lighting Ceremonies 

Monterey’s Cannery Row

  • Date/Time: Friday, November 27, 5-9 p.m.
  • Location: Steinbeck Plaza, in front of Bubba Gump’s
  • Details: This is the 21st Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. It’s f-r-e-e, and is open to everyone. Your family and friends are invited to join in the holiday spirit, good cheer, and festivities.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

  • Date/Time: Friday, December 4, 3:30-7 p.m.
  • Location: Devendorf Park, Ocean and Junipero Avenues
  • Details: More than just a holiday Tree Lighting, this event includes Carmel’s Holiday Party as well. The Monterey Fire Department is chipping in for Santa’s transportation this year! There will be a performance and recital of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the Carmel Middle School Chorus, Junipero Serra School kids, and many others. Refreshments are being provided by the Monterey Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. And for Candy Canes, the Sunset Center is doing their part. At 5:45 p.m., Mayor Burnett will light the tree. Immediately following, you and your family can enjoy Carmel Plaza’s annual open house, right up to 7 p.m. For up to date information, please visit the event’s website.

Pacific Grove

  • Date/Time: Monday, November 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Jewell Park, Forest Ave and Grand Ave
  • Details: This year, the event will begin with live entertainment by school bands and choruses. That will be followed up by caroling and refreshments at Chautauqua Hall. And yes, Santa is planning on making an appearance! Tree lighting begins at 5:30 p.m. Please visit their website for more information.

 

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational

PebbleBeachInvitationalStevenLShepard

In 1972, the Hyatt Invitational debuted. Rafe Botts won the tournament that year. Through many different name changes – most recently the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational – this popular, non-professional golf tournament has attracted some of the best players, with a purse that hit $300,000 in 2014 (and will stay there this year). It includes a team competition, where professional players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions, and Web.com Tours compete against one another. This year’s Invitational is shaping up to be a stellar, exciting event.

The 2015 TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational takes place from November 17-22. The purse, as mentioned, will be $300,000, with a top prize of $60,000. While the field hasn’t been set at the time of writing, past golfers have included Bubba Watson, Jason Gore, Sandra Gal, and past champions like Mark Brooks. This year’s Honorary Host will be U.S. and British Open Champion, and current NBC Golf Analyst, Johnny Miller.

After the first 3 rounds of tournament play, the format this year includes a 54 hole cut to 10 amateur teams, plus all ties, and then the low 40 professionals and ties. Simultaneous rounds will be held at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and the Links at Spanish Bay from Thursday to Saturday, November 19-21. The final round will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday, November 22, 2015. There will be practice rounds on all three courses November 17-18.

This invitational is good news all the way around: the public may attend free of charge on all days. Spectators can “walk down directly behind the players.” Parking is usually ample, and available. And both the Kiwanas Club of Monterey and the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association will benefit from this tournament.

Need more information? Please visit the website, or phone (877) 853-5864.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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