8 Sacramento events to experience in July

The great Annie Sampson will perform live with her band at the Blues in the Grove festival along with a stacked lineup of musicians. (Courtesy of Harold Adler)

By Steph Rodriguez

Sacramento is home to dreamers, artists, musicians, Golden Globe Award-winning filmmakers and dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to create unforgettable experiences. 

In July, check out a movie under the stars celebrating hometown heroine Greta Gerwig at the Crocker Art Museum. Dabble in the dark arts and take home a haunted antique during the Witching Hour pop-up market at the historic Turn Verein. Stop by Sol Collective and support its latest exhibition “Tro Sketches” from artist Nak Bou, while also shopping for hand-beaded jewelry, ceramics and more at its monthly Global Local Mercado. 

For those die-hard Frida Kahlo fans, the annual Fiestas de Frida is back at the Latino Center of Arts & Culture with its look-alike contest and little Frida children’s parade. So sign up to honor your inner Frida and check out more fun possibilities to make your July memorable. 


Gather Your Coven

Step into Sacramento’s historic Turn Verein with the Seven Veils Society, where mystique meets macabre. Explore over 60 vendors with one-of-a-kind magical treasures, witchy wares, eerie artwork and haunted antiquities. (Courtesy of Seven Veils Society)

Saturday, July 6: For those who fancy the beauty of dark arts, the Witching Hour market calls upon you. This pop-up marketplace inside Sacramento’s historic Turn Verein, hosted by the Seven Veils Society, conjures the “mystical and macabre.” It beckons attendees to shop their hearts’ desires with a carefully curated selection of over 60 vendors selling one-of-a-kind magical treasures and artwork, oddities, witchy wares, bones, bugs, taxidermy, unique jewelry, haunted antiquities and other gothic goodies. Witness live painting demonstrations by Cory Swenson, music by harpist Sarah Fromm and DJ Keyz, belly dance performances by Alchemy Bellydance and otherworldly tarot readings. Guests can also book a tintype photography session with Brouhaha Tintype or learn to craft a special talisman in a workshop hosted by Glyph Artisans Jewelry. Tasty food from Vegan Food Circus and drinks from Black Sails Coffee and Free Spirit Elixir will also be available for purchase. Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J St.; 12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $5 general admission, $30 advance VIP tickets with early admission access at 11 a.m.; All ages welcome; Children 12 and under are free. 

Honor Your Inner Frida

For almost a decade, the annual Fiestas de Frida celebration has honored acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with a look-alike contest for all ages as well as dance and musical performances. (Courtesy of Latino Center of Art and Culture)

Saturday, July 27: It’s time to celebrate Latino culture and innovation at the annual Fiestas de Frida event organized by the Latino Center of Art and Culture (LCAC). For almost a decade, this enchanting occasion has invited children and adults alike to dress up as their best impression of acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in honor of her creativity and cultural significance in art history. This year, LCAC’s celebration takes on the theme “El Bus de Frida” (Frida’s bus) honoring women like actress and politician Eva Perón, Chilean composer Violeta Parra, Mexican concert pianist Consuelo Velázquez and more influential women from past decades. (You also won’t want to miss the absolute cuteness that is the Frida children’s parade.) Fiestas de Frida will also double as a fundraiser this year for LCAC’s youth program, Cultura es Fuerza (culture is strength). This initiative teaches traditional Mexican dances for free, offers professional development workshops and provides a $400 stipend to each participant at the culmination of the program. Follow LCAC on Instagram @sac_lcac for the latest updates. Latino Center of Art & Culture, 2700 Front St.; 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; This event is free for all ages.

Take Home Local Art

Sol Collective’s Global Local Mercado returns monthly from July to December, aligning with Second Saturdays. Discover a vibrant makers’ market featuring hand-beaded jewelry, zines, artworks, ceramics, clothing, plants and more. (Courtesy of Sol Collective)

Saturday, July 13: Sol Collective’s Global Local Mercado runs monthly from July to December, coinciding with Second Saturdays. At this local maker’s market, shop a variety of items like hand-beaded jewelry, soaps, paintings, ceramics, plants, blankets and more. Vendors attending so far include Emmis Lemonades n Sweets, serving cold drinks and mini pancakes with sweet toppings; Gifts From Eternity, a mother-daughter mobile crystal shop selling reiki-infused gemstone jewelry; Con Amor Creations, offering handmade ornaments, customized iced coffee cups and wine glasses; Healing Spirit Studio, an intuitive curandera (healer) and oracle specializing in reiki; La Pop Shop, providing colorful accessories with a pop of Indigenous culture; and Daisy Girl Cards and Stuff, with handcrafted greeting cards created by artist Nicole Espino. This event also encourages attendees to see the latest exhibition on display inside the Sol Collective art gallery. This month, artist Nak Bou celebrates his first solo show “Tro Sketches,” a collection of work Bou produced during 2018-2024. “Tro” is a Cambodian bowed string instrument his dad often played at night, a treasured childhood memory for the artist. Bou’s artwork captures his experience and memories growing up as a Cambodian American through different mediums like spray paint, acrylic, pen drawings and watercolor. Sol Collective, 2574 21st St.; 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; This event is free for all ages. 

Sacramento Loves Greta

Celebrating hometown hero Greta Gerwig, the Crocker Art Museum’s “Movies Off the Wall” series shines a spotlight on her acclaimed films in a big, cinematic tribute underneath the stars. (Courtesy of Crocker Art Museum)

Thursday, July 18: Golden Globe Award-winning film director Greta Gerwig’s works will be showcased in this year’s “Movies Off the Wall” series at the Crocker Art Museum, in honor of Sacramento being Gerwig’s hometown. For each event, guests arrive and settle in with lawn chairs and cozy blankets in the outdoor courtyard where films are projected against the Teel Family Pavilion’s iconic architecture. “Barbie” was showcased underneath the stars in June. For July, attendees can enjoy a screening of “Frances Ha,” a story about a New York woman’s passion for dance and drive to follow her dream. “Lady Bird,” Gerwig’s coming-of-age tale set in Sacramento, is on deck for Aug. 15. Before the movie starts, visit Majka in the Crocker cafe for pizza, sandwiches and salads while vibing out to film-inspired DJ sets. In recent years, Sacramento has become a destination for Hollywood movie-makers bringing actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Teyana Taylor, Michael Cera and Kristen Stewart to film scenes in the City of Trees. With that in mind, “Movies Off the Wall” collaborates with the City of Sacramento’s Film and Media Office, where film commissioner Jennifer West and the Crocker team work to uplift the talents of local artists and create conversations centered on all things Sacramento. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.; 7 p.m.; $8-$16.

Four Comedies, One Stage 

Thursday, July 18-21: B Street Theatre’s New Comedies Festival is back for its fifth year and is sure to tickle audiences’ sense of humor from The Sofia’s gorgeous Mike and Bobbie Voris Mainstage. Each year, B Street invites playwrights nationwide to submit their funniest new comedies that are currently unproduced. Following hundreds of submissions and multiple rounds of evaluation by numerous script readers, B Street’s artistic staff selects the top four for live stage readings. Ultimately, at least one new comedy will be chosen to receive a full B Street Theatre Mainstage production in the upcoming season. Plays include: “This Is Government” by Nina Kissinger, a new dark comedy that explores the impact of political chaos; “The Mallard” by Vincent Delaney, a high-stakes yard sale over a prized, wooden duck gets real; “Dog Mom” by Tate Hanyok, a mid-life crisis comedy about an unexpected friendship with a stray dog; “Advice” by Brent Askari, a friend’s self-help book disrupts a couple’s anniversary celebration. Weekend and VIP packages are available for the festival and Jayna Gyro is offering a buffet meal deal where each purchase comes with a choice of soda, water, beer or wine from the B Street Kelly Bar. Get ready to witness these four, never-before-seen comedies. B Street Theatre at The Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave.; Ticket prices vary from $15-$75; Show times vary, visit The Sofia website or call the box office at (916) 443-5300 for more information. 


Party at the Bike Kitchen

he Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen’s Second Saturday concert series supports the local nonprofit’s mission to keep people pedaling safely through the city. (Courtesy of SBK)

Saturday, July 13: The Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen has a long tradition of hosting a concert series from May through September that coincides with Midtown Sacramento’s Second Saturday activities. Bands play inside the shop under hanging bikes, wheels and spare parts while the community gathers to celebrate. Entry is always free to this all-ages event hosted at the bicycle repair hub and nonprofit. Those 21-and-over may purchase craft beers poured onsite, which helps raise funds for SBK. Each month, the showcase features local and traveling bands and is an opportunity to invite the community into the SBK space to introduce new folks to its mission of keepin’ people pedaling throughout the city safely. July’s live music includes a Bay Area hardcore takeover with a set from San Francisco and Oakland punks, George Crustanza, blasting songs from its EP “Billionaire Blastoff” and its latest full-length, self-titled album. Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen, 1915 I St.; doors open at 6 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m.; free for all ages. 

Groove in the Grove

Gifted gospel and soul singer Marcel Smith is set to perform at the Blues in the Grove festival. (Courtesy of Bob Hakins) 

Sunday, July 21: The Elk Grove Arts Commission invites you to a lively afternoon of roots music at the Blues in the Grove festival, featuring award-winning Northern California artists delivering stellar performances in blues, soul, R&B and zydeco. Mick Martin’s Big Blues Band headlines this indoor event, with Martin, a renowned harmonica player and radio host, leading an ensemble of talented musicians. Other live acts include gifted gospel and soul singer Marcel Smith; the jubilant, Cajun rhythms of the Zydeco Flames; Louisiana native and powerful blues vocalist Annie Sampson and her band; the classic R&B and smooth jazz sounds of Bob Jones and the Chosen Few; and the Papa Day Blues Band rounds out this stacked lineup. Emcee and solo performer Gary Mendoza will host the event filled with soul-stirring blues sure to captivate audiences and get everyone dancing. District56, 8230 Civic Center Dr., in Elk Grove; Doors open at 11 a.m., music starts at noon-6:30 p.m.; $40.

Rock Out at the State Fair

Sacramento’s The Ghost Town Rebellion will perform live at this year’s California State Fair the same night as British rock band Bush. (Courtesy of Jayson Angrove)

Wednesday, July 24: The Ghost Town Rebellion, Sacramento’s five-piece gritty rock band, will headline the Promenade Stage (near the food court) at this year’s California State Fair on Wednesday, July 24, from 9-11 p.m. Blending genres like grunge, Americana, and a little country and blues, The Ghost Town Rebellion have performed live since 2013. Its music draws inspiration from life experiences and Sacramento history, with vocalist/band founder, Shawn Peter, writing lyrics that reflect the city’s neighborhoods heard in songs like “McClatchy” and “Poverty Ridge.” The band’s latest single, “A Perfect Storm,” will be featured on its upcoming album “Modern Minstrels” set for release this fall. What’s more? British rock stars Bush will also perform the same night on the Grotto Stage from 8-9:30 p.m. Plan ahead and catch both sets! The California State Fair, 1600 Exposition Blvd.; Weekdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; $10-$16 admission, children under 4 are free.

This story was funded by the City of Sacramento’s Arts and Creative Economy Journalism Grant to Solving Sacramento. Following our journalism code of ethics and protocols, the city had no editorial influence over this story and no city official reviewed this story before it was published. Our partners include California Groundbreakers, Capital Public Radio, Outword, Russian America Media, Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento News & Review, Sacramento Observer and Univision 19.

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