It may be the weekend after Labor Day, but you wouldn't know it from the long list of events this weekend. Here are our hot picks.
Local jazz artist Steve Ezzo plays tonight at the Carmel Plaza's Jazz at the Plaza. The award-winning Paraiso Vineyards pours, while Bistro Beaujolais serves great food.
5-7 pm. $15.
The Henry Miller Library hosts "Henry Miller Unscripted," performed by improv act Varoom. Chicago folk musician Al Rose, known for his clever lyrics, plays between acts.
7 pm, $20 ($17 if bought in advance through the Henry Miller Library website).
Feeling athletic? There's still time to register for the Olympic-level races at the Triathlon at Pacific Grove - a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K bike ride, and 10K run. (Just reading those numbers gets us winded, so we'll be on the sidelines with a bag of Fritos, cheering on the participants.) Opening ceremonies are at 7 am. If you like any kind of motor racing - from Porsches to historic racecars to motorcycles and more - then claim your spot at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend for Club Auto Sport Uncorked. Practice and qualifying runs are in the morning, races take place in the afternoon.
8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Free.
Admire the most adorable creatures in the ocean at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Otter Days. You'll even get to see a volunteer (it could be you!) transformed into an otter. It's your last chance to see the Wild About Otters exhibit, which closes after this weekend.
10 am to 6 pm. included in admission fee.
The Festa Italia continues at Custom House Plaza. Don't miss the parade from the San Carlos Cathedral to Fisherman's Wharf starting at noon. Booths at the Santa Rosalia Festival sell every kind of Italian food you could possibly want, plus beer and wine.
Live music runs from 11 am to 6:30 pm. Free.
Have fun and learn about our oceans at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's Open House in Moss Landing. Watch deep-sea videos and presentations on new discoveries, check out the science and technology exhibits, and more.
Noon to 5 pm. Free.
Scheid Vineyards hosts its annual Rootstock music festival among the vines in Greenfield. Santa Cruz upbeat folk-rocker Geoffrey Rutledge opens, followed by Monterey locals Cocobeat. There's also great barbecue if you can stop dancing long enough to nosh.
5:30 to 9:30 pm. $65 ($55 for wine club members).
Local indie band The Rugers have a mid-sixties Haight-Ashbury scene sound to them. They play Jose's tonight, with Teen Inc. opening.
9 pm. $5.
If you've ever wanted to try a triathlon but are intimidated by the whole Iron Man thing, today's Triathlon at Pacific Grove's sprint events - just a quarter mile swim through the kelp, a 12.4-mile bike ride and a 2-mile run - may be for you. There's still time to register, and think of the bragging rights you'll get!
The race starts bright and early at 7:15 am.
Flex your artistic muscle at the 48th Annual Great Sand Castle Contest at Carmel Beach between 10th and 12th. This year's theme is "Carmel Playhouses and Doghouses." No word on if you get extra points for having a live dog as part of your sculpture.
8am to 2 pm. Free.
The fun continues at Club Auto Sport Uncorked at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Enjoy motor racing thrills of all stripes from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Free.
Today's your last chance to see the river otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as Otter Days wraps up. Get training in otter spotting, watch otter enrichment sessions and more.
10 am to 6 pm. Included in admission fee.
It's the last day for the 76th Annual Santa Rosalia Festival. Enjoy a little piece of Italy right at Custom House Plaza. Stuff yourself with pasta, rice balls, and gelato while listening to live traditional Italian music.
11:30 am to 5:45 pm. Free.
Spend an afternoon enjoying great music on the lawn of the Henry Miller Library with Be Brave Bold Robot (who sound like a mixture of Firewater, Cake, Dave Matthews Band and a male-led Dresden Dolls...if you have a better description, we'd love to hear it), beatboxing cellist Cello Joe, and the funky/jazzy Christie Winn and the Lowdowns.
2 pm. $1.
Still looking for a way to spend your time? Check out the Monterey County Weekly's calendar section for even more options.