PGIF: October Fests and Columbus Day Weekend

October. A time for pumpkins, festivals, Fleet Week, theater, beer, and celebrating the fall, our nation…and especially California. Here’s our quick list of just a few ways you can enjoy Columbus Day weekend 2011:

Further Back
It was around this time many years ago that Monterey housed the debates that have led California to where we are today: Statehood. Now you can see how it all began at the Monterey History Fest this weekend, October 8–9, at the Custom House Plaza and other venues around Monterey. It’s a fun way to dig deep into the richness of Monterey’s heritage, with historical reenactments, musket and cannon firing demonstrations, a Native American puppet show children will love, and Civil War encampments—plus a military camp of the California Historical Artillery Society, the largest mounted artillery group in the US. There will also be a special commemoration of the 162nd Anniversary of California’s Constitution Day, scripted from actual state records. Come be a part of history!

Further On
Grateful Dead founding members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir are coming to the area with their band ‘Further,’ on tour now. And Monterey is throwing a festival just for them! The Further Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, October 7–8, will feature an outstanding lineup of musicians, including Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, Joe Russo, Sunshine Becker, and Jeff Pehrson, as Further lights up the Peninsula with their signature jams and stellar style.

Pure Jade
The 20th Annual Big Sur Jade Festival kicks off this Friday, October 7–9, at the Pacific Valley School across Highway 1 in Big Sur. Peruse long tables covered with the precious stone and enjoy live music, good food, and lectures and demonstrations including how to carve a jade bangle. One of the world’s largest shows of its kind, the three-day event is perfect for craft-makers, collectors, hobbyists…just about anyone.

Photo by Digital Sophia

Footloose and Fancy Fare
If you’re in the mood for something sweet and savory with a little ’80s panache, try a Taste of Carmel, one of the top wine and dine events in the area, Thursday, October 6, at the historic Carmel Mission. Sample a variety of flavors from some of the best local restaurants and wineries—Cantinetta Luca, Merlot Bistro, Lula’s Chocolates, Morgan Winery, and Chateau Julien, to name just a few. You’re also invited to wear your ’80s best for this year’s theme, ‘Footloose and Fancy Fare,’ with a DJ and dance party.

Mini Mention
They may be small, but they are mighty: miniature ships at the Society of Miniature Ship Collectors Meeting, Northern California chapter, October 8 at the Portola Hotel & Spa, Monterey. Hundreds of models will be displayed, drawing exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. You might even see some Naval ships passing through the area, part of San Francisco’s Fleet Week.

Weekend Shorts
There are too many events to list this weekend! Here are a few more you might enjoy:

October 7
First Fridays Art Walk, downtown Salinas. A great way to observe California Arts Day!

Robinson Jeffers Fall Festival, Robinson Jeffers Tor House, Carmel. The festival runs Friday to Sunday with poetry readings, lectures, and an Annual Jeffers Poetry Walk on Carmel River Beach.

October 8
Beerfest at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Cannery Row, Monterey. Beer and live music, Octoberfest style.

Photo Safari, Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing. Beginner to advanced photographer, anyone can join this fun cruise through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, taking photos of the wildlife and making memories for a lifetime.

October 9
First Annual Monterey Beer Garden, Memory Gardens, downtown Monterey. Hosted by Peter B’s Brewpub of the Portola Hotel & Spa, the evening offers over a dozen brews, BBQ, and some great fall fun.

October 7-9
Romeo & Juliet, Outdoor Forest Theater, Carmel. A classic, right here in Monterey.

There’s no wrong way to celebrate Columbus Day weekend. We hope you celebrate with us!

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PGIF: It’s the weekend at Pacific Grove Inn

For film, music, art, and cuisine, Monterey has it all. Here’s a quick rundown of what to do in Monterey this weekend!

The Concerts in Carmel series continues today (Friday) @ Carmel Plaza. This week’s show stars musicians Lisa Taylor & SoulCity, Wrath Wines & Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, and Bistro Beaujolais. The featured charity is Kinship Center, an adoption and foster care organization in California. Come enjoy a fun evening and show your support!

The Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa also presents a concerts series each Friday this summer, starting at 5pm. A beautiful location on the beach near Cannery Row, it houses two waterfront restaurants: Schooners by the Bay, offering fresh seafood plus ‘Best Margarita’ and ‘Best Specialty Drink’ in the county; and The Duck Club Grill, an all-American dining experience with an exhibition kitchen and winning wine list.

If you’re looking for something fun the whole family can do together, the Monterey Museum of Art is opening up their La Mirada location for Family Day Photography, a full day of fun photographic memories, including portrait galleries to appear on the museum’s Facebook and Flickr pages, still life sketching, story time, and a scavenger hunt.

For the movie buff, this Saturday (August 13) Monterey welcomes legendary filmmaker, actor, and comedian John Waters (Cry-Baby, Hairspray) to the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur. It’s a rare opportunity for inside info, Q&A, comedy…and even a chance to meet and greet and have dinner with the guest star. Tickets are limited!

For those of you who love a great sale, check out the Pebble Beach Estate Sale happening all this weekend at 3197 Del Ciervo in Pebble Beach. Today’s tag sale is by private invitation only (2pm-6pm), but you can email info[at]pebblebeachestatesales.com for your tag. Shoppers can see en exquisite collection of French & European antiques, art, furniture, and much more!

For wine connoisseurs, this Saturday is the 19th Annual Winemakers’ Celebration, one of the biggest wine-tasting events in the county, at the Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel. Besides a sampling of over 200 local wines and treats from neighboring gourmet restaurants, you’ll have a chance to learn more about the fascinating business of winemaking from the pros. There’s even barrel building, live music, and a silent auction.

To get a preview of Saturday’s outdoor festival, stop by Taste Morgan, one of the event’s featured wineries, for Fromage Fridays. Located in Carmel’s Crossroads Shopping Village, visitors here can get a compelling taste of local vintages from a source of certified organic grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

And of course, for those in town, Pacific Grove Inn offers an outstanding pairing of flavors at our afternoon wine reception every day from 4-5pm.

Come indulge your eyes, ears, and appetite the Monterey way in a wonderful weekend of surf, sand, music, and gourmet tastes!

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