There's signs that summer's on the way. The sun is out, flowers are blooming and every weekend is full of great events!
Cooking For Solutions is the Monterey Bay Aquarium's annual celebration of sustainable cuisine. Friday night features the Cooking For Solutions gala, while Saturday is full of celebrity chef cooking demonstrations at the Aquarium, a Sustainable Foods Information Fair and "Food and Wine Adventures" throughout the region (two of which still have open slots). The Friday-night Gala is $150 for the general public and $120 for members. The Sustainable Food Information Fair is included with Aquarium admission. Other events range from $60 to $225. Call 831-647-6886 to purchase tickets.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is full of thrilling auto-race action with the American Le Mans Series Monterey. The central race, the American Le Mans Monterey, takes place from 2:30 to 8:30pm on Saturday, but there's even more race action throughout the weekend, from Friday's practice and qualifying races to eight additional races on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $30 to $70. Buy tickets at the gate, from Ticketmaster, or at any of the outlets listed on the official website.
Take a time machine back to the days of poodle skirts and greaser style with the Monterey Rock & Rod Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Friday night features a sock hop, while Saturday and Sunday feature classic car competitions as well as live performances by the Shirelles, Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, the Chicano All Stars, Trusting Lucy and more. Tickets range from $10 to $25. Buy tickets at the official Monterey Rock and Rod website.
Female-led instrumental progressive metal act Granted Earth play Jose's Lounge Underground tonight alongside moody low-fi rockers Commissure and local experimental rockers Minus Tides. 9pm. 638 Wave St. Monterey. $5.
Here's an early-morning hike worth getting out of bed for. The Monterey Bay Tracking Club teaches you how to identify the signs left behind by wild animals at "Reading the Signs: Animal Tracking." 8am-11am. Fort Ord Public Lands. $6 ($5 for residents of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District). Register online under "Teen to Adult Explorations."
Buy some beautiful, drought-tolerant plants for your garden, enter a raffle and learn about the history of Monterey's formal gardens at the Historic Garden League of Monterey's History in Bloom event. All proceeds go toward maintaining Monterey's historic gardens. 10am-2pm, in the Casa del Oro Garden at the corner of Monterey's Scott and Pacific Streets. Free to attend.
Take a winemaker-led tour of Ingrid's Vineyard followed by a tasting of new release Bernardus wines at Bernardus Lodge. 1pm-2:30pm. 415 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. $25.
Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" is one of the most famous classical works of the 20th century. You've heard it in film and TV ranging all the way from "10" to "Doctor Who" and as the background for many ice dancing and figure-skating performances (such as the above). It's the centerpiece of the final show of the Monterey Symphony's season, along with his Concerto for the Left Hand, Turina's Sinfonia sevillana and Rodrigo's Per la flor del Iliri blau. Final rehearsal 2pm; performance at 7pm. Sherwood Hall, 940 N. Main St., Salinas. Final rehearsal tickets are $15; performance tickets are $20 and $39 and can be purchased at the official website.
Indie band Monsters Are Not Myths, described as a mix of “Modest Mouse, Queens of the Stone Age and Barenaked Ladies,” play Jose's tonight with reggae rockers Fighting Chance. Make sure to enter our contest to win free tix to the show and free CDs by noon Friday! 9pm. 638 Wave St. Monterey. $5.
The Mazzy Starr-esque Bermuda Triangle Service return to Fernwood Lodge in Big Sur tonight, along with Americana-influenced The Spindles. 9pm, Highway One, no cover.
Patrick Tregenza, who normally hits the stage as drummer for "hard-bop jazz" act Along Came Betty, plays a low-key show today at the Big Sur River Inn as "Patrick Tregenza and Friends." 1pm-5pm, Highway One, no cover.
The Monterey Symphony performs a program of Maurice Ravel's Bolero and Concerto for the Left Hand, Turina's Sinfonia sevillana and Rodrigo's Per la flor del Iliri blau. 3pm. Sunset Center, 8th and San Carlos, Carmel. Tickets range from $35 to $69 and can be purchased at the official website.
In what will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting shows of the next several weeks, artsy and mysterious LA act Essay play Jose's tonight with Santa Cruz electro-disco act Nursery. 9pm. 638 Wave St. Monterey. $5.