Two great events take over Monterey County this week. In Salinas, the California Rodeo Salinas draws cowboys from around the world to compete in events throughout the weekend. In Carmel, meanwhile, classical music reigns at the Carmel Bach Festival. Not a fan of either classical or cattle-roping? There's plenty more activities lined up throughout the weekend.


Gates for the California Rodeo Salinas open at 3pm today. Kids can compete in the Stick Horse Race on the track at 5pm. The Grand Entry and Rodeo begin at 6pm. Tickets are $13-$20 at the door.

The Carmel Plaza's great Jazz at the Plaza event continues with wine from J. Lohr Vineyards, food from Bistro Beaujolais and music from local "cowboy jazz" act Bruce Forman & Cowbop. Last week they had a packed house, so make sure to get there early for a seat with a great view of the stage. Looking for something free to do? Head to downtown Pacific Grove for the Wine, Art and Music Walk. Businesses and galleries host - as the title implies - art and live music while doling out wine (and appetizers, but "Wine, Appetizers Art and Music Walk" just got too long). Free. 6pm-9pm, downtown Pacific Grove. The Carmel Bach Festival kicks off with a performance of Haydn's "The Creation" at the Sunset Center. Tickets are $62 and $80 and include the opening night reception. The reception starts at 6:45; the performance is at 8pm.

Hyatt Regency Hotel's Fireside Lounge in Monterey hosts noted jazz chanteuse Julie Kelly. Free, 7pm. San Diego's indie, downtempo-y Ded Pigeons, and LA's Cream/Led Zep-esque retro-rockin' Dead Meters play Jose's Underground on Wave Street tonight. 9pm, $5.


Gates for the California Rodeo Salinas open at 10 am. You'll have to ask yourself - do you want to score the best grandstand seat, or do you want to watch the Horse Parade downtown at 11:30am? The Grand Entry and Rodeo begin at 1:15pm. Tickets are $13-$20 at the door.

The Del Monte Center hosts Kids in Motion Day. Bring your children along for a baby animal petting zoo, kite flying, cookie decorating, story time, prizes, a special appearance from the Wheelie Mobilee, and much more. Free. 11am-3pm. The World Wide Photo Walk takes place on Saturday throughout the world (if you didn't guess from the title), and three walks take place on the Monterey Peninsula. One runs from 9:30 am to 11:30 am and wanders through Carmel by the Sea, another goes from 11 am to 1 pm and targets Old Monterey, and the third runs from 1 pm to 3 pm and goes from Lovers Point to Cannery Row. If you're very ambitious, you could do two in one day. Free.

Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley offers a demonstration of lavender harvesting and a guided stroll through their gardens and vineyards, followed by a lavender-themed lunch. 11am-2pm, $85 includes lunch.

France's biggest film of 2004, Les Choristes, screens at the Sunset Center as part of the Bach Festival. It tells the story of a teacher at a boarding school for orphans and delinquents that changes the children's' lives by forming a choir. Bring tissues; this one's a tear-jerker. 1:30pm, $10.

Spend an evening strolling through the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s exhibits while sipping wine or beer and listening to live jazz at Evenings by the Bay. You can even make dinner reservations for the Portola Restaurant. 6-8pm, included in the cost of admission.

Jamie O'Neal and Creedence Clearwater Revisited play the Municipal Stadium in Salinas tonight as part of the California Rodeo Salinas. Doors open at 6:30 pm, Jamie O'Neal plays at 8 pm, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited hit the stage at 9 pm.

The Carmel Bach Festival spotlights Beethoven tonight with a performance of two of his works - the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major. Attend a free lecture explaining the background of the pieces at 6:45 pm, followed by a free brass performance at the Sunset Center's courtyard. The Beethoven performance begins at 8 pm; tickets are $47 and $65.

Jazz singer Julie Kelly wraps up her three-day stand at the Hyatt Regency Hotel's Fireside Lounge. Free, 7 pm. San Luis Obispo's Tom Petty-influenced Sparrow's Gate play Big Sur's Fernwood Resort at 8pm. The Northwest's rough-rock Brandon Daniel & Everybody Gets Laid sounds like the missing Iggy and the Stooges/Creem joint project. They play Jose's Underground tonight with Oakland's sixties-girl-group influenced Shannon and the Clams and local indie rockers The Mystery Lights. 9 pm, $5.


Explore Elkhorn Slough with your family on a trip arranged by the Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District. The trip is led by a professional kayaker who knows the Slough and is happy to give beginners a hand. All equipment included. 9:30am. $50 each plus $10 materials fee on site. Register online; the ride is listed under "Family Discoveries."

Gates for the California Rodeo Salinas open at 10 am. Don't worry about missing church - the Cowboy Church starts at 10:30 am. The Horse Parade through downtown is at 11:30 am, and the Grand Entry and Rodeo begin at 1:15 pm. Tickets are $13-$20 at the door.

Celebrity chef Martin Yan, of Yan Can Cook fame, gives a Chinese cooking demonstration and talk at the Monterey Conference Center. The event is a fundraiser for the Monterey Public Library. 2pm, $20/adults, $10/children 12 and under.

The World Adult Kickball Association (yes, it's a real organization) hosts a free pick-up game today at Peter J. Ferrante Ballpark, next to the Naval Postgraduate School. 2pm, free.

Take a ride through Del Monte Forest with the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. The ride is open to those 50 and older. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, 2pm, $55/ride. Register online; the ride is listed under "Teen to Adult Explorations."

Spend a romantic evening watching the sunset with your sweetheart from a kayak off Lovers Point. The trip is arranged by MPRPD; Adventures by the Sea provides the guide and the equipment. 5:30pm; $55/person. Register online; the ride is listed under "Teen to Adult Explorations."

Wrap up your weekend with a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Evenings by the Bay for jazz, wine and those amazing exhibits. 6-8pm, included in the cost of admission.


Need more ideas of what to do with your weekend? See the Monterey County Weekly's calendar section for even more listings.