Be Grateful at these Sacramento Thanksgiving Events

ThanksgivingAs Turkey Day steadily approaches, we at have searched far and wide for local outings that’ll put you in the spirit of giving (and eating)! Feel-good turkey trots will support local nonprofits and keep your metabolism high for your Thanksgiving feast, while local Black Friday and Small Business Saturday celebrations will ensure that our community (and wallets) benefit from holiday spending.

Be driven to share…

8th Annual Turkey Drive*
Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services
Fri (11/20) 4:30am-7pm

*Families interested in receiving a turkey can go to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Service Building on Monday, November 23. Distribution begins at 8am.

If you want to move for a great cause, consider one of these Thanksgiving Day races:

Run to Feed the Hungry
Sacramento State
Thurs (11/26) 8am

Folsom Turkey Trot
Folsom Parkway Trails
Thurs (11/26) 8:50am

A number of local groups will be offering free Turkey Day meals for those in need:

Thanksgiving Community Meal
Ray Robinson Oak Park Community Center
Thurs (11/26) 11am-1pm

20th Annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner
Pannell Meadowview Community Center
Thurs (11/26) 11am-2pm

Don’t stress out this Black Friday…treat yourself to some fun activities while supporting local:

Free Admission Day: Canned Food Drive
Fairytale Town
Fri (11/27) 10am-4pm

Brewery Black Friday: 3rd Annual Party
New Helvetia Tasting Room
Fri (11/27) Noon-Midnight

Sacramento Kings v. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kings Food Drive Game
Sleep Train Arena
Fri (11/27) 7pm

Search the Holiday Events page for a cornucopia of things to do during the long holiday weekend.

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


Make It an ARTober Halloween Night!

Light pumpkin on Halloween

Halloween is this Saturday! Like many of you, we at are counting the days to play dress up, nosh on candy corn, and scream at the top of our lungs. And with National Arts and Humanities month (a.k.a. “ARTober”) in full swing, the Sacramento area also happens to have a number of artistic outings with a haunted twist!

You’ll find plenty of thrills at one of these #ARToberSac events below:

Got brains?
Zombie The Musical
The Sacramento Comedy Spot
Oct 30-31
Sacramento comedians Eric Barger and Lincoln Bartlett add musical numbers and a zombie twist to Shakespeare’s classic tale, Romeo and Juliet.

Holiday fun on R Street!
Fall Carnival and Casa de los Espiritus

Casa de Espanol
Oct 31
Casa de Espanol adds a little bilingual fun to traditional Halloween fare! The Center’s new R Street digs will be transformed with a pumpkin patch, haunted house, and cultural games and activities. Proceeds from the event will go to the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Scholarship Fund.

Have a titillating adventure!
Halloween Burlesque & Variety Show
Tommy T’s Rancho Cordova
Oct 31
During this special ghoulish-themed Halloween night performance, you’ll “flip out” and laugh out loud to the aerial and comedic antics of this burlesque troupe.

Calaveras y huesos
Souls of the City: Día De Los Muertos 2015
Old Sacramento
Nov 1
Sol Collective and the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation are honoring those who’ve passed with a celebration of the vibrant Mexican holiday. Join a rhythmic procession and try your hand at ofrenda (offering) making, sugar skulls painting, and more.

Pooches and pumpkins
Midtown Halloween Festival and Pooch Parade
Marshall Park
Oct 31
Head to the heart of Midtown for an afternoon filled with craft-making, trick-or-treating, and adorable prancing canines. The Food Literacy Center will also be on hand with healthy snacks and an interactive photobooth.

Looking for more haunted outings? Check out our Holiday Events page for plenty of spooky (and not-so-spooky) events that will please ghouls and goblins of any age!

And remember to get social and share how you experience the Sacramento arts scene by using the hashtag #ARToberSac on your Instagram pics. Your snap could earn you a box of local treasures from The Sacramento Box!

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

Too Much Good Stuff this Labor Day Weekend

Chalk It Up Festival_ Photo courtesy of Chalk It Up

Photo courtesy of the Chalk It Up Festival.

This Labor Day in Sacramento is absurd. Truly, I have never seen so many events I’ve wanted to attend in a matter of days. If you are searching for ways to be creative, explore your culture (or a new one), or just something that’s free to do, you WILL find something right up your alley this long weekend. See below for a few noteworthy happenings that you MUST check out here in the River City. Enjoy!

Party Like It’s 1850!
Gold Rush Days 2015
Old Sacramento; Various Times
It’s back! The wildly fun and free heritage celebration offers a variety of family-friendly special activities that take place throughout the historic district to help visitors experience what life was like during the Gold Rush.

Get Animated
Sacramento Convention Center; Fri & Sat 10am-12:30am, Sun 10am-10pm
More than 10,000 people will dress in their favorite anime costumes to provide Japanese-influenced pop culture fun for the entire family!

It’s All Greek To Me
Sacramento Greek Festival 2015
Sacramento Convention Center; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat Noon-11pm; Sun Noon-9pm
Opa! Don’t miss out on the vibrant entertainment and delicious dishes you’ve been craving all year at the 52nd Annual Greek Festival.

Do Look Down
Chalk It Up Festival
Fremont Park; Sat-Mon 10am-6pm
Listen to live music all day long as you watch 200 artists make masterpieces with chalk! Now in its 25th year, this fundraiser has several hands-on art activities for children, making it a great way to get the entire family creating.

Brazilians Do It Better
Brazilian Independence Day Sacramento Street Festival 2015
Outside the MARRS Building; Sat 4pm-9pm
Shake your bum bum with the folks of Casa de Brazilian Folkloric Arts! The spirit (and delicious food) of Rio de Janeiro comes to Midtown this Saturday.

Let Your True Colors Shine Through
Sacramento Rainbow Fest
20th St and K St; Sun 10am-6pm
This colorful block party includes events at local nightclubs, a street fair, performances by local and regional talent, political speakers, and much more! See how far the LGBTQ community has come and help raise money for local charities.

Scream and Shout!
Tejano Conjunto Festival
Cesar Chavez Plaza; Sun 1:30pm
The biggest names in Conjunto — also known as Tejano or Tex-Mex — music will perform at this cultural event where there will also be a grito (shouting) contest and margaritas!

Be a Local Globetrotter
Fiesta En La Calle: Latin America Independence Celebration
Southside Park; Sun Noon-6pm
No need for a passport! Celebrate all of Latin America’s many independences with the region’s music, food, art, culture, and traditions.

Make this Labor Day weekend event better — find nearby restaurants, bars, and even hotels (perhaps you plan to have some drinks while you’re out tackling the town?) and Make It A Night!

And for even more things to do this Labor Day weekend, check out Sacramento365’s Holiday Events page.

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

Music Circus Ends on a High Note with Hair


Oliver Thornton as Claude (center) and the company of Hair. Photo by Charr Crail.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! But to be fair, my silly pun works. This week Music Circus closes out its 65th season with Hair, and the iconic anti-war musical soars higher than the simulated pot smoke that wafts through the Wells Fargo Pavilion.

Like the hippie generation it depicts, the production is less than conventional: filled with social commentary, paisley prints, and hair, the show breaks musical standards and skips the dialogue. Instead, it takes the audience on the melodic trip, complete with 38 songs. The back-to-back musical numbers weaves the story of Claude (Oliver Thorton), a flower child from Flushing, New York (or Manchester, England, as he wants the audience to believe) as he is drafted into the Vietnam war. You’ll rediscover ‘60s pop culture through hits like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” and of course, “Hair.”

Complementing the psychedelic score is the beautiful set design. The pavilion transforms into a hippie den with a beautiful array of hanging lanterns, (you will undoubtedly be snapping pictures of them before the show like I did), graphic projections, and oscillating floor. These staging elements combined will have you believing that you too are “tripping out” with the tribe.

Other show highlights include the Claude’s deliriously wacky hallucination in the second act, and one lucky audience member’s chance to disrobe Berger, the “psychedelic teddy bear.”

If you’re feeling a little rebellious, put on your flower crown on and end your summer with Hair. Performances run through Sunday, August 23, with evening performances at 7:30pm. Matinee performances at Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets start at $40. For more information, visit the show’s event page.

Disclaimer: The musical’s depiction of free love, pot smoking, and its infamous nude scene makes the production inappropriate for younger audiences.

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

Be A Total Knockout at the Sacramento Hair and Fashion Battle

12 teams. 2 prizes. 1 very haute night.

Mark your calendars for this Saturday, July 18, for one of the most fashionable events of the year! A Berry Special Event’s Sacramento Hair and Fashion Battle and Expo continues its legacy of showing off Sacramento’s most avant garde creations at the Sacramento Scottish Rite Center. Part expo, part runway show, the Battle brings together Sacramento’s top salons, designers, and stylists for a healthy dose of friendly (and fierce) competition. After using up hundreds of cans of hairspray and reams of fabric, two local creatives will earn top honors as the “Best Fashion Designer” and “Best Salon and Make-Up Artists,” all in the name of raising money for the after-school program, Designing for a Difference.

Complementing the model showcase will be an interactive vendor expo, allowing guests to shop ‘till they drop and learn more about the ins-and-outs of the fashion industry. Hosting this night of glitz and glam is Project Runway Season 11 contestant Daniel Esquivel.

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Ready to bring out your inner fashionista/o? Dress to impress and make your way to the Sacramento Scottish Rite Center Saturday night from 6:30pm-10pm. To learn more about this fashionable fete, visit the Battle’s event page. Note: An exclusive VIP cocktail reception will be held at 5pm.

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

Not Your “Normal” Musical

Photo courtesy of Runaway Stage Productions.

Starting this Friday, grief, suburbia, and the field of psychiatry get the musical treatment in Runaway Stage ProductionsNext to Normal. Leaving its 24th Street Theatre home base to the West Sacramento Community Center Black Box Theatre, the company sets off to tackle the not-so-typical musical on a grander stage  — a move that makes sense given the show’s storied Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning history.

With provocative lyrics and a thrilling pop/rock score, Next To Normal follows a family’s struggle to cope with its matriarch’s bipolar disorder. The result? A deeply moving piece of theatre.

Andrea Thorpe, Darryl Strohl-de Herrera, Michael Roivas, Kristina Dizon, Taylor Presnall, and Tylen Einweck star in this Runaway Stage Productions show.

Next to Normal takes the West Sacramento Black Box Theatre stage July 10 through August 16. Friday and Saturday shows will be held at 8pm; Sunday matinees at 2pm. For more information, visit its event page.

Because of its dark subject matter, this show is recommended for Ages 16+.

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

Bye Bye Birdie: A Rock-and-Roll Delight

MUSIC CIRCUS -Bye Bye Birdie dress - 07062015

Photo by Kevin Graft.

Before the Beibs, girls were in a tizzy over the crooning, hip-shaking Conrad Birdie. Hot on the heels of the Antebellum musical, Big River, Music Circus lightens its mood with the nostalgic musical, Bye Bye Birdie. Set in the early sixties, the delightful pastel colored rock-and-roll show follows the crackpot scheme — devised by mama’s boy music manager Albert Peterson (played by Larry Raben) and his secretary/lover Rosie Alvarez (perfectly portrayed by Janine DiVita) — to bring a little publicity to the struggling Almaelou record company. The plan: Have teen heartthrob and Elvis doppelganger, Conrad Birdie give a lucky fan “One Last Kiss” before he joins the Army. A pelvis is thrusted; girls faint; parents call to arms; and tongue-in-cheek hilarity ensues.

Despite what the title implies, the pompadour-coiffed singer is not the main point of interest of the musical, but merely the glue to the plot line’s antics. Truly, the female characters take center stage in Bye Bye Birdie. Anytime Rosie “The Spanish Rose” Alvarez takes the stage it is pure magic. DiVita’s drunken Shriner’s Ballet was easily the show’s highlight. Her nagging future mother-in-law, Mae Peterson (Mary-Pat Green), adds a comic relief with biting put-downs and one liners. And of course, the lucky kiss recipient, Kim MacAfee (Amanda Jane Cooper) is a perfect blend of cheer and teen angst.

Audience members will easily sing along to hits “Put On A Happy Face,” “How Lovely to Be a Woman,” “Kids,” and “A Lot of Livin’ to Do.”

The California Musical Theatre Academy’s Junior Company adds energy (and fan girl excitement) to Bye Bye Birdie. Photo by Charr Crail.

Another feel-good moment: Peppered into the cast are members of the California Musical Theatre Academy’s Junior Company, a program that trains young performers to participate in a Music Circus production alongside actors and crew.

Bye Bye Birdie bounces through the Wells Fargo Pavilion through Sunday, July 12. Evening performances are Tuesdays through Sunday at 7:30pm; matinee performances at Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. For more information, visit the production’s event page.

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