PGIF: A weekend to remember

It’s a big weekend for Pacific Grove, and for our country. A time for festivals, charities, football, and remembering our heroes. Here’s a look at a few things to do in Monterey this September 9 to 11:

Trumpet at Sunset

Star composer and trumpeter Chris Botti gives a hit performance today (Friday) at the Sunset Center in Carmel. Voted one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” the phenomenal jazz instrumentalist has sold nearly 3 million albums to date and has worked with such award-winning talents as Sting, Josh Groban, and Frank Sinatra.

Walk, Don’t Run. Or Do Both.

Our hometown is in the spotlight with some exciting community events! Stroll through the town’s charming Victorian-era streets at the Wine, Art & Music Walk here in Pacific Grove Friday from 6-9pm, highlighting some of the finest art the city has to offer. Or go for an all-out sprint along the coast in the Pacific Grove Triathlon hosted by Tri-California Events, Inc., which also runs the Alcatraz Challenge Swim in San Francisco, the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, and Wildflower Triathlons. The PG Triathlon includes a “Kelp Crawl” swim, looped bike and run courses by Lovers Point, Olympic Distance Triathlons, and 5k and 10k fun runs.

Bella Italia!

Where would Monterey be without the fishermen who have made it home to some of the best seafood in the world? The 78th Annual Festa Italia Fisherman’s Festival, Friday through Sunday, celebrates these hardworking professionals as well our community’s rich Italian heritage with music, dancing, and of course, tantalizing Italian cuisine. Festival highlights include a parade, bocce ball tournament, and much more.

And speaking of great Italian food, Cantinetta Luca in Carmel is celebrating the tomato on Monday with their 4th Annual Three Chefs Heirloom Tomato Dinner, where every course highlights this juicy Mediterranean staple…including dessert!

‘Cruisin’ for the Cause’

It’s hard to go wrong when you combine classic cars, Cannery Row, and a great cause. The Cherry’s Jubilee Motorsports Festival, begun as a fundraiser for the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, is a stellar combination of all three, having raised more than one million dollars and a host of loyal supporters since its beginning almost 20 years ago. Motorists in the festival will start up the weekend cruising down beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf, then it’s on to Pacific Grove as part of Saturday’s Show & Shine on Lighthouse Avenue before moving on to Cannery Row to wow spectators and enjoy all that the famous strip has to offer. The festival ends with a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at Laguna Seca where visitors can catch fresh flapjacks flying from a flatbed truck. Try saying that three times fast.

Remembering Our Heroes

It’s hard to believe it has been ten years since the tragedy that forever changed American history. In honor of the heroes of September 11, 2001, Carmel Plaza is sponsoring the Community Hospital Blood Drive on Saturday from 1-4pm. Monterey will also hold a local Heroes Run on Sunday at 9am, part of a nationwide commemoration by the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization that ‘honors the fallen by challenging the living.’ Although registration for this event is now closed, the runners in Monterey need your support! We will never forget those who were lost, their loved ones, or all who have sacrificed for our amazing country.

We hope you can take time out from a busy back-to-school schedule to slow down a bit and take in life along the coast with us, or wherever you are, with family and friends. Remember: that’s what the weekend is all about.

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