Get to Know July Featured Artist Steven Valencia

Profile CropEnchanting, colorful costumes. Skillful footwork. A high pitch grito (shout). These are the familiar elements that define Mexico’s ballet folklórico or “folkloric dance.” Our July Featured Artist Steven Valencia might add “his inspiration”, too.

This month, we connected with Calidanza’s Artistic Director to learn more about his life-long passion. As the leader of the Calidanza folk dance company, Valencia seeks to advance, celebrate, and preserve the culture of Latino, Chicano, and Native populations for generations. And he’s been pretty good at it. He’s worked and toured with some of the best instructors from across the border, choreographed traditional and modern professional productions in and around the Sacramento region, and was even awarded the 2011 Maestro Award from The Latino Arts Network of California for his efforts. What may be the most peculiar thing about Valencia’s success is that he juggles his time at Calidanza with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Read on and discover what quite literally moves our featured artist here.


Celebrate the 4th in Sacramento!

For many, Memorial Day weekend evokes the start of the summer season—warm days, cool nights, and lots of outdoor fun. On the other hand, Memorial Day itself serves as a day of remembrance for those that have given their lives for our country. Sacramento events this weekend take on both those meanings, with ways to honor those that have fallen, plus plenty of outdoor festivities and summery fun – See more at:
Want to celebrate the 4th of July the right way? Then check out these awesome Independence Day events happening all over Sacramento. Not just your one-day celebration, these events will have you eating, running, and partying before and after the 4th. – See more at:
ant to celebrate the 4th of July the right way? Then check out these awesome Independence Day events happening all over Sacramento. Not just your one-day celebration, these events will have you eating, running, and partying before and after the 4th. – See more at:

Showing your national pride could never be more fun this Fourth of July weekend!

Not sure how to celebrate the USA’s birthday next Monday? Then check out this lineup of Independence Day events happening all over Sacramento. With amazing fireworks, spectacular parades, social festivities, and more, you’ll be eating, partying, and even running before and after the 4th of July.

Boom goes the dynamite:

Sacramento Independence Day Celebration
Cal Expo; Mon 5pm~10pm
Come and enjoy the largest annual fireworks show in the region! This year’s event includes music from iHeartMedia stations, a new kids festival area, and even more food and fun!

Fourth on the Field
Raley Field; Mon 6pm-10pm
Celebrate the USA’s birthday at the ballpark! Bring your blankets and grab a spot on the field for food, fun and — of course — a killer fireworks show.

Salute to the Red White and Blue
Elk Grove Regional Park; Mon 4pm-10pm
Be a part of Elk Grove’s premier patriotic celebration marking the nation’s freedom! Along with fireworks, families can enjoy live music, great food, and games in the park.

Independence Day pomp and circumstance:

Spirit of Freedom 4th of July Parade
Howe Park; Mon 10am-1pm
See creative floats, patriotic bikes, decked-out classic cars in honor of America’s birthday. After following the parade route, Howe Park will be filled with informational booths, family activities, and food vendors.

City of Roseville 4th of July Parade
Downtown Roseville; Mon 9am-1pm
Come out for a parade and stay for the fun in Royer Park! Carnival games, bounce houses, food vendors, and music by the Capitol Pops Concert Band are just some of the festivities planned.

Other festive fun:

Folsom Pro Rodeo
Dan Russell Rodeo Arena; Sat-Mon 6pm-10pm
Come experience a great American tradition! The Folsom Pro Rodeo has been kickin’ it for over 50 years. Don’t miss this fun family event that includes: bull riding, bareback riding, barrel racing, mutton busting, and a nightly fireworks show.

Red, White, and Brews
Old Sacramento; Sun 5pm-2am
Why wait for the fourth of July when you can party on the third? Old Sacramento bars will be celebrating the holiday early with a 15 bar crawl and $3 drink specials on American beers!

Rancho Cordova’s 4th of July 5K Color Run
Hagan Park; Thurs 4pm-11pm, Fri Noon-11pm
Dazzling colors aren’t just limited to the skies — get doused with powdered dyes before heading out to Rancho Cordova’s annual Independence Day festival!

For even more ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in the region, visit the’s Holiday Events page.

This blog post was written by’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

Celebrate Pops this Father’s Day Weekend

Father's Train

Photo courtesy of Sacramento RiverTrain.

This Sunday it’s time to cheer for Sacramento’s doting dads and fabulous father figures! June 19 is Father’s Day, so why not give the men in your life — and maybe even yourself — a much needed day (or weekend) of fun. has curated a short list of local outings that’ll help you give thanks all weekend long:

For the real-life superhero:
Wizard World Comic Con Sacramento
Sacramento Convention Center; Fri 3pm-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-4pm
Think your daddy-io has super powers? Let him show them off this weekend at the region’s ultimate gathering of sci-fi and animation fans!

For the foodie father:
Father’s Day BBQ Train
Sacramento RiverTrain; Sun 10am-1pm
Memories make the best gifts, so give the men in your life a Father’s Day adventure they won’t forget with a ride aboard the RiverTrain. Plus, they will appreciate the momentary break in BBQ duties!

The Great Race

Photo courtesy of Great Race.

For the auto aficionado:
Dad’s Day at Denio’s
Denio’s Farmers Market & Swap Meet; Sat 10am-2pm
Celebrate early and bring the father’s in your life to Roseville for classic cars, craft beers, live music, and hand-dipped corn dogs!

Great Race
Old Sacramento; Sat ~5:15pm-8pm
See 120 of the world’s finest collector cars as they make a pit stop in the historic district; these classics will be making their way to Moline, Illinois along the famous Lincoln Highway.

Father’s Day Celebration at the California Automobile Museum
California Automobile Museum; Sun 10am-5pm
Along with receiving free admission, dads of all ages can take a free ride in one of the riverside museum’s hottest cars. Other automotive treats will be on hand to show ’em how much they mean to you!

For the sports lover:
Maddbacker Celebrity Basketball Game
Sleep Train Arena; Fri 7pm
Does he love hoops? Take him out to celebrity game brings together 30 current and former professional athletes from around the country and includes many sports heroes from the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento Republic FC v. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
Bonney Field; Sat 8pm-10pm
Although Sacramento isn’t near the Copa América action, you can still see live soccer action this Saturday night! Their games are always action packed and fun.

Sacramento River Cats v. El Paso Chihuahua
Raley Field; Sun 1:05pm
Join the River Cats as they celebrate all things dad this Father’s Day! As well as peanuts, and Cracker Jack, families can enjoy a special pre-game barbecue.

To find even more Father’s Day festivities, visit the Holiday Events page. However you decide to celebrate the day, we hope you have a wonderful weekend!

***This blog post was written by’s Content and Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

Our Night Out with Elle Woods


Lauren Zakrin as Elle Woods and Chico as Bruiser in Legally Blonde. Photo by Charr Crail.

In honor of the start of the Music Circus 2016 season, is giving you two perspectives of Legally Blonde the Musical. Read up on how two-thirds of our team — Karlee Cemo and Jamila Khan — rate the musical that proves staying true to one’s self never goes out of style.


15 years ago a little film called Legally Blonde debuted on the big screen and left a big impact on our teenage selves. After watching the hilarious Reese Witherspoon-led comedy, we both became a little obsessed. Karlee wanted to be blonde, a lawyer, and Reese Witherspoon’s carbon copy, while Jamila wore a lot of pink accessories and would respond to her friend’s butchering legal jargon like Ms. Elle Woods. The film was Jamila’s first ever DVD and Karlee’s favorite film on VHS (Jamila’s note: Kickin’ it old school, Karlee!). To this day, it’s each of our favorite movies and we can pretty much recite the script from beginning to end.

When hearing that a musical rendition of the film would kickoff of the 2016 Music Circus season, we were stoked. Music Circus has been a summer tradition for both of our families, so seeing this non-conventional opener piqued our interest. Given that the film wasn’t originally a musical, we both wondered how exactly song and dance would be incorporated into the storyline.

Our excitement and expectations were high, and the luckily, the production did not disappoint. Elle Woods, played by Lauren Zakrin, sensationally channeled her inner Reese Witherspoon with a spunky performance that fantastically captured the perky essence of Elle Woods. We both coveted her chic pink wardrobe and well-trained Bruiser, Elle’s beloved chihuahua, played by two very cute dogs. Bruiser’s few appearances definitely provided for some hearty laughs from the audience; but then again…who doesn’t love a tiny dog “acting” on a live stage?

Karlee’s highlights:
– The clever and upbeat song lyrics lyrics incorporated a mixture of lines from the film, modern day references, and a pinch of adult humor. A few of my favorite numbers were “There! Right There!”, “Bend and Snap” (obviously), and “Whipped Into Shape,” which had fitness phenom and defendant Brooke Wyndham (Grace Stockdale) singing while jumping rope. Very impressive.
– The exaggerated mannerisms of hairdresser Paulette Bonafante’s (Ryah Nixon) love interest Kyle the UPS guy (Seth Danner) make him an unexpectedly entertaining and hilarious addition to the show.

Music Circus - Legally Blonde - 06132016

Seth Danner as Kyle in Legally Blonde. Photo by Kevin Graft.

Jamila’s highlights:
-Female empowerment and sisterhood is even more front-and-center in the stage production than in the film. Without spoiling the revised plot, let’s just say that mousy Vivienne Kensington (Shannon O’Boyle) is a little less witchy…
-Added to the story is a hilarious subplot related to Paulette’s Bonafante’s obsession with Ireland. I now will use the line “give my love to the leprechauns” whenever I can.

Were you a fan of the original Legally Blonde, too? Then make sure you grab a ticket to the pop-culture musical before it’s too late. Production runs through Sunday, June 19. Tickets start at $45. For times and ticket information, visit Legally Blonde’s event page.

***This blog post was written by’s Content and Marketing Manager Karlee Cemo and Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.

Sports365: Clash of Nations


Summer is really here and whether you want to heat up your competitive spirit or cool off and have some fun, our Content Specialist Dylan Fisher has found the perfect blend of sports fun for all.

This June I’ll be kicking back, staying cool, and watch the professionals show off their athletic prowess. No matter what you’re into, there’s sure to be something for you in this month’s Sports365 roundup!

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

This month, the USA Rugby Eagles return to Bonney Field to take on Russia in a friendly match (as friendly as rugby can be). This will be the Eagles last match of the summer, so you won’t want to miss your chance to chant “U-S-A.”

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

More importantly, the Eagles will be defending two unbeaten streaks in this match. The Eagles have never lost a match at Bonney Field (beating Canada and Japan in 2015) and will defend a six-game win streak against the Russians — in fact, they’ve never lost to them!

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

And if you’re a fan of our local Pro Rugby squad, the Sacramento Express, then you can also root for our home squad’s Olive Kilifi as he helps defend our nation’s honor. Don’t miss your chance to cheer on the Eagles as they soar to another victory against Russia! For more information about this match, click here.

More Playtime:
If your itch still hasn’t been scratched, then check out these fun local sporting events.

Paddle 4 D.A.R.T.
Crawdad’s River Cantina
June 11
Help raise funds for D.A.R.T. (Drowning Accident Rescue Team) by testing your balance on a stand-up paddleboard.

Photo courtesy of D.A.R.T.

Photo courtesy of D.A.R.T.

Maddbacker Celebrity Basketball Game
June 17
Sleep Train Arena
Basketball returns to Sleep Train Arena with a celebrity game featuring many prominent sports figures, including Terrell Owens and Mark Cuban!

Photo courtesy of Maddbacker Celebrity Basketball Game

Photo courtesy of Maddbacker Celebrity Basketball Game

California Storm vs. Primero de Mayo
June 18
Elk Grove High School
June is the month for soccer! Check out Sacramento’s amateur women’s soccer team as they take on Primero de Mayo.

Photo courtesy of the California Storm

Photo courtesy of the California Storm

Check back with Sports365 in July to see what activities I am most excited foror plan ahead on your own by checking out’s Sports page!

***This blog was written by’s Content Specialist, Dylan Fisher.

Get to Know June Featured Artist Maren Conrad

Profile Crop“Beware of artists: they mix with all classes of society and
therefore are the most dangerous.”

This month met up with one of Sacramento’s most sought out artists, Maren Conrad. Best known for striking metal leaf and layered resin paintings, her work, inspired by her subconscious, connects to universal truths and experiences through text and delicate koi fish and feathers designs. She’s also known for famously ruffling a few figurative feathers with her censored “Politically Vulnerable” collection.

This June we encourage you to get to know Conrad’s dangerous mind and her plans to keep shaking up Sacramento’s art scene here.

Get to Know May Featured Artist Mike Johnston

May FA 016 Profile Pic - CopyThis May, wants you to Make It a Music night. Throughout the month, we’ll be showing you ways to move and be moved, so, of course, we had to choose an artist fitting for the occasion. Drumroll to Mike Johnston, a Folsom-based musician and instructor who works to the beat of his own drum, literally.

From a charming studio (or as he calls it “hobbit hole”), Johnston inspires thousands around the world through, a website allowing aspiring drummers to learn and practice on their own time. As if that’s not impressive, on YouTube, his riffs and rudiments have been viewed over four million times and Modern Drummer readers awarded Johnston the “Clinician/Educator of the Year” award. And, oh yeah, Johnston was a world-touring rockstar at 21 and lived to tell about it.

To say we were intrigued by Mike Johnston’s story is an understatement. Read on and discover what moves our May Featured Artist here.