Every year Coachella runs two weekends in a row—allowing hordes of affluent SoCal hipsters using their parents’ money to see some of today’s most popular musical acts (and a lot of obscure ones that only scenesters know about). But what happens when two small cities right next to each other throw festivals on the same weekend? That remains to be seen, when the Dixon May Fair and the Whole Earth Festival at UC Davis both compete for the festival crowd this weekend.
One thing’s for sure: They’re definitely going to draw different crowds. On the one hand, the Dixon May Fair (May 7-10; www.dixonmayfair.com) claims on its website to be the “oldest district fair and fairgrounds in the state of California”—so that’ll certainly draw a bunch of farming and farm-to-fork fans to its copious livestock exhibitions, horse shows and dog shows. There’s a bunch of other arts on display, too: quilts, culinary arts, fine art, photography and flower displays. Musical acts include headliner Martha Davis and the Motels (Friday), Mischief (Saturday) and Los Freddy’s de Arturo Cisneros (Sunday). On top of all that, there’s a rodeo on Friday, tractor pulls on Saturday and a demolition derby on Sunday.
On the other hand, you’ve got the Whole Earth Festival (May 8-10; http://wef.ucdavis.edu), which is more geared toward a college-age crowd, people into environmental activism and Burning Man fans. It’s also an old annual tradition, starting in 1969 when an art class turned into an “art happening” in which students used various mediums to teach people about environmental activism. This year it’s headlined by the Human Experience, Butterscotch and Ayla Nereo. The event’s website also lists 150-craft and service vendors, 20 organic food vendors, 40 spiritual and educational workshops and 10 art installations.
Berry Fun Color Run
Saturday, May 9
Here in the Sacramento region, we celebrate the harvesting of fruits and vegetables—because we got a lot of them. BerryFest in Roseville is one such event—and who doesn’t love fresh strawberries? The Berry Fun Color Run is a family-friendly 5k that’s part of the berry festival. The course goes right through the Placer County Fairgrounds and features five different color locations. Participants get free admission to the Berry Fest. $24-$40, 8 a.m. at Placer County Fairgrounds, 800 All America City Boulevard in Roseville; https://sites.google.com/site/berryfuncolorrun.
Old Sacramento Hysterical History Tour
Saturday, May 9
There’s a lot of important history here in Sacramento, but it can be a challenge to soak it all in, even for locals that have been to Old Sacramento 150 times. What better way to commit all this information to memory than to sprinkle in a little humor? The Old Sacramento Hysterical Walk is led by Myrtle, the “sassy cowgirl” who will delight people with hilarious anecdotes about Sacramento. It’s learning at its most fun. $20, 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Second and J streets; http://hystericalwalks.com.
Stigma Free 2015
Saturday, May 9
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s time for Stigma Free 2015, a celebration for youth hosted by the Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think project. Spoken word performances, music from 102.5 KSFM, photo ops at a “selfie station” and a scavenger hunt are among the day’s events. Vendors and representatives will also be on hand with information about services available for those living with mental illness. Free, 11 a.m. at Clunie Community Center, 601 Albambra Boulevard; www.stopstigmasacramento.org.
—Trina L. Drotar
Learn to Skate Class
Tuesday, May 12
Everyone should learn how to skate—no matter what age. You fall down, you get back up—and repeat. Although there are many metaphors for everyday life in one of Roller King’s skate classes, the real reason to join is that you and your kids will have a blast learning how to ride. Seasoned teachers will have you racing around the rink in no time as long as you aren’t afraid to crash and burn a couple of times. $9, 4 p.m. at Roller King, 889 Riverside Avenue in Roseville; www.rollerkingroseville.com.
Pow Wow Days
Thursday, May 14, through Sunday, May 17
Pow Wow Days is 52 years old. Fairgoers will enjoy food, drink and music spanning mariachi to rock. Butler Amusements hosts the midway, featuring the 2015 Pirate Jet ride, and young ’uns can race stick horses in the Tiny Tots Corral. For parade and talent show enthusiasts, Saturday’s the day. Sunday’s the day for live fiesta music and the Pee Wee Rodeo. There’s truly something for everyone, including a cornhole tournament. Free, times vary at Orangevale Community Park, 7301 Filbert Avenue in Orangevale; www.orangevalepowwowdays.com.