Fall is supposedly when things wind down in Monterey County, but this October weekend looks just as busy as mid-summer.


Check out practice and qualifying runs during the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Three day passes at the gate are $70; Friday-only passes are $35. Besides the races, there's a neat event at which cyclists can ride the track alongside American LeMans drivers. (It's not entirely clear if those drivers will be on bikes on in cars.) The cycling event is from 6:30 to 7:30 and costs $10 per cyclist. Lake San Antonio hosts south Monterey County's biggest music festival with The Bandecky Bash, an all-weekend outdoor-music camp-out affair that will probably be wilder than the Spirit Music Festival but a bit tamer than Woodstock. The live music ranges from country to hip-hop to indie to rock. Bands include Motograter, Powerman 5000, and a number of local Central Coast acts. It's free for 12 and under. For everyone else, it's $35 for one day, $50 for the weekend. Take a free behind-the-scenes tour of the California History Room at the Monterey Public Library at 11:30am as part of History Fest, or get a free in-depth tour of the Monterey Maritime and History Museum archives and learn about Monterey's seafaring history. The Big Sur Jade Festival returns for its 18th year. The festival includes live music, great food and, naturally, tons of jade art. It's at the Pacific School, 65 miles south of Monterey. Noon-6pm, free. The impressive slate of films at the Carmel Art and Film Festival begins today at the Sunset Center at 2:30pm. Films screening today include The Queen and I, (Untitled), His Good Will, The Prankster, and Precious. See the official schedule for more information. Tonight at Jose's on Wave Street, it's Irish/metal band Bog Iron, who sound like what you'd get if Ozzy Ozzbourne joined Flogging Molly, and Blood and Love, who have a Megadeth-meets-Bad-Religion vibe. 9pm, $5.


Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has more qualifying runs in the morning for the Monterey Sports Car Championships; in the afternoon, there will be IMSA and Star Mazda races as a warm-up for the endurance-heavy American Le Mans Series race. 2-day passes are $60; Saturday-only passes are $50.

KidFest at the Monterey County Fairgrounds features food, carnival games, arts, crafts, photography, a science fair, BMX exhibitions, live music, an ice-cream eating contest and the requisite bounce houses. Note to parents: don't toss your kids into the bounce house immediately after they win the ice-cream eating contest. 10am-5pm, free. The Marina Air Faire adds "classic car show" to its menu this year. Ogle vintage machinery of the air and land, compete in a horseshoe tournament or sample the entries in the chili cook-off. Food booths ensure you won't go hungry. 10am-3pm, free.

The Bandecky Bash continues at Lake San Antonio with live music and camp-out craziness. $35 for the day (free for 12 and under); performances begin at 11 am.

The Carmel Art and Film Festival continues with an art show in Devendorf Park from 10am-6pm, an art & wine crawl from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, art lectures at the Sunset Center from 11:30 am to 3 pm, and screenings of the films Wat Misaka Story, Art & Copy, and September Issue. See their online schedule for more details.

When you go to Monterey's Custom House Plaza and Lower Presidio this weekend, you may feel like you've been transported back in time 150 years. Military re-enactors camped behind the Custom House will demonstrate what army life was like in 1847, while reenactors at Lower Presidio Historic Park will portray life from the Civil War era. Meanwhile, from 11 am to 3 pm, kids will get a hands-on education at the Custom House about what it was like to live on a Mexican-era rancho. From 10 am to 4 pm they'll also have the chance to learn where calamari comes from with Squid Day at the Monterey Maritime & History Museum, where scientists will dissect a Humboldt squid.

As if that weren't enough, the Defense Language Institute is offering van tours of the historic Upper Presidio (10 am to 1 pm, starting at the Lower Presidio), the only chance most civilians will have to see this area. Most events are free; the rancho education activities at the Custom House are $2 for adults and $1 for children.

The Big Sur Jade Festival continues from 10am-6pm. Proceeds benefit the South Coast Community Land Trust and the Pacific Valley School PTO. The Saurus says he's "The Best Rapper on the Planet." We suspect Lil Wayne might take issue with that. You can make your own decision tonight at Jose's. 9 pm, $5.

If you only see one gospel/surf/old-school country/Portuguese/garage/indie band this weekend, make it Mark Matos and Os Beaches. They play Fernwood in Big Sur tonight at 9pm. No cover.


The Monterey Sports Car Championship wraps up with four more races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Sunday-only passes are $40.

It's another day of contests, competition, live music, bounce houses and more at KidFest at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. 10am-6pm, free.

Take a beautiful drive down the Big Sur coast and visit the Big Sur Jade Festival. 10am-5pm, free.

Catch up with some of the events you missed yesterday at the Carmel Art and Film Festival. The art show continues in Devendorf Park from 10am to 6pm, and September Issue screens at the Sunset Center at 3pm. Additional events include a Music & Movies program with Alan Silvestri, and a short film screening at 7pm.

See the Carmel Art and Film Festival schedule for more information. As part of History Fest, the Monterey Museum of Art is offering free admission today at its Pacific Street location, directly across from historic Colton Hall. If you've ever wondered what California's Constitutional Convention was like, visit Colton Hall at 2pm. The reenactors recreating the Constitutional Convention do an excellent job of making the audience feel like they're really viewing the event, and they're unflinching in confronting some of the more controversial aspects of the decision-making process. There's invariably more people who want to watch than space; call 831-646-5640 to reserve your spot. Imagine if the Byrds played an all-acoustic set about meditation, and you've got a solid idea of what Australians The T.M. Band's set at Jose's tonight will be like. Locals "F*** I'm a Ghost" open to provide a louder, non-family-friendly counterpoint. 9pm, no cover.