It is a gorgeous, clear, blue-sky morning over Monterey Bay, and weather reports say that will be the case on Saturday and Sunday. Whether you want to save the oceans or just drink beer, there's something for you to do this weekend.
It's the first Friday of the month, and time for Salinas' First Fridays Art Walk. 50 stores, restaurants and venues in Oldtown Salinas open their doors, with live performances, art, and free food and beverages. 5-8pm, free.
Attend a free movie premiere! The National Steinbeck Center Museum in Salinas hosts the world premiere of gritty indie documentary Vinegar in the Valley, about the United Farm Workers movement and its effect on Salinas Valley farm workers. The filmmakers and journalist Miriam Pawel will speak at a panel after the movie. 6-8pm, free.
The Smuin Ballet appears at The Sunset Center in Carmel, performing three dance programs. Meet the dancers afterward at a wine and chocolate reception. 8 pm, tickets are $40 and $55.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosts the mountain bike racing event 24 Hours of Adrenalin. Why 24 hours, you ask? Because that's how long the relay race lasts. The goal is to do as many laps as possible in 24 hours. Each team pit is themed, and there are awards for Best Helmet, which adds a Burning Man-esque flavor to this crazy test of endurance. It only costs $5 to enter Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and watch the madness.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium marks World Ocean Day with a weekend-long celebration of the world's oceans. Kids can create art in the family craft room and get their faces painted. Watch live music performances, listen to readings by authors on ocean issues, and learn about ocean conservation. 10 am-6 pm, free with Aquarium admission.
Experience World Ocean Day on film with the Sea Studios Foundation "Think Beyond Plastics" film festival at the Cannery Row IMAX Theater. Documentary Marina of the Zabbaleen, about a garbage recycling village (yes, village) in Egypt runs at noon. Message in the Waves, a BBC documentary about Hawaiian environmental challenges, shows at 2:30 pm, and Dirty Secrets, a National Geographic documentary hosted by Edward Norton, shows at 5 pm. At 6 pm, a panel of experts will discuss plastics and the environment. $6/film, or $15 for the full day.
The Monterey History and Art Association celebrates Monterey's 239th birthday with the La Merienda Celebration. The party begins at 10:30 with dancing in the Sensory Gardens near Custom House Plaza. Gates to the Memory Gardens open at 11:30 am. There will be a barbecue, traditional music, and costumed re-enactors. Tickets are $45 for members, $55 for non-members, and can be purchased at the Monterey Maritime and History Museum.
The Monterey Beer Festival returns to the Monterey County Fairgrounds! You can try beer from over 70 breweries, ranging from the mad scientist brewer with the setup in his garage to the über-brewery behemoths, several of whom will bring their most unusual offerings. Hosted by The Beer Geeks, it is very likely to sell out, just like last year. Fairground gates open at 12:30 pm and close at 5 pm. $30.
On the other end of the culture spectrum, Smuin Ballet dances at The Sunset Center in Carmel at 2 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $40 and $55. Head to Fernwood Resort for some live reggae/fusion with jam band Green Machine. 9pm.
Sounding like a fusion of Modest Mouse and Wire, indie rockers French Miami have been getting the buzz up and down the West Coast. Catch them tonight at Jose's Mexican Bar and Grill on Wave Street in Monterey. 9pm.
It's the second day of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's World Ocean Day celebration. Learn about ocean conservation while participating in fun family activities. 10am-6pm, free with Aquarium admission.
Just next door to the Aquarium is the 6th annual Cannery Row Block Party. There's live music throughout the day, musicians, balloon artists, and a wild animal show. Throw in a rib-eating contest and an ice cream-eating contest, and you've got a day of crazy family fun. Plus, it's free! 11 am to 5 pm, Cannery Row.
Carmel-by-the-Sea's La Playa Hotel hosts its annual garden party benefiting the Carmel Youth Center. The event features food, wine from over 12 local wineries, live music by Andrea's Fault and a silent auction. 12-4pm, $45.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: there's way more going on in Monterey County than we can list here. Take a look at the Monterey County Weekly's calendar for more information.