Can't tell the Big Dipper from Cassiopeia? Couldn't spot Orion in the starry sky if he hit you over the head with his big club? Head over to the Garland Ranch Regional Park Star Party. There will be telescopes, hot drinks, cookies and knowledgeable amateur astronomers sharing their knowledge. Begins at sundown. Garland Ranch Regional Park parking lot, Carmel Valley Road. Free.

The Monterey Public Library hosts its elegant annual Chocolate and Wine Tasting Benefit. Drink local wines and chocolate beer and devour both sweet chocolate treats and savory molés. There's a silent auction, live music, door prizes and the annual Best Chocolate Cookie Contest. 7 - 9 pm, 625 Pacific Street in Monterey, tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Call 831-646-5601 to order tickets.

The award-winning ATOS Trio (seen above performing Cassado) perform at the Sunset Center in Carmel tonight. The program includes Beethoven's Piano Trio, Op. 1, No. 2; Cassadó's Piano Trio in C Major; and Schubert's Piano Trio in E-flat Major. 8 pm, San Carlos St. and 9th Ave. Tickets are $29 to $52 and can be purchased on the Chamber Music Monterey Bay official website.

San Francisco's Ryan Bisio has a quirky, bluesy, rootsy sound that combines influences like Tom Waits and Dave Matthews to create something truly unique. San Diego's Jon Ji plays an acoustic blend of jazz, folk and blues that sounds a bit like Jack Johnson. They play Jose's at 638 Wave Street in Monterey tonight. Salinas singer/songwriter Michael James Glines opens. 9 pm, $5.


The Monterey County Fair's "Gigantic Garage/Fair Sale" lets you take home your own piece of the Monterey County Fair. 8am-noon, 2004 Fairgrounds Road, enter through Gate 5. Shark by Mike Rainey





Shark by Mike Rainey

It's a sharktastic weekend at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with "Shark Days." Watch shark and bat ray feedings, hear shark stories, watch video programs on shark research efforts, attend a book signing by "Sherman's Lagoon" creator Jim Toomey, create items in the shark crafts workshop, and more. There's even exclusive, behind-the-scenes Shark Days tours, which can be reserved in advance through this web link. The first 500 people to visit the event information booth today will receive a 2010 "Sherman's Lagoon" shark calendar. Shark Days is included with regular aquarium admission; Shark Tours are $10 extra for members and $12 extra for non-members. 10 am - 5 pm.

The Monterey Symphony's program "Little Russian Treasures," featuring guest conductor Dmitri Yablonsky, is loaded with interesting compositions not often heard in this area. The program begins with Valse fantaisie by the father of Russian classical music, Mikhail Glinka and includes two of Shostakovich's most fun pieces (Jazz Suite No. 2, featured in the clip above as conducted by Yablonsky, and Tahiti Trot) and the ever-controversial Scriabin's Symphony No. 2 in C minor. Hear this intriguing program at 7 pm at Sherwood Hall, 940 N. Main St., Salinas. Tickets are $15 for the 2pm final rehearsal and $20 and $39 for the 7 pm performance and can be purchased on the Monterey Symphony's official website.

The Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa hosts an all-night 1930s-style extravaganza to benefit Monterey's Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). "The Cotton Club" features dinner, dancing to the music of Dennis Murphy and his 17-piece Big Band, a live and silent auction, raffles, and more. 5:30pm-11:30pm.

Tickets range from $225 up and can be purchased at the official website. The Paige Too Trio plays a mix of smooth jazz and R&B tonight at the Big Sur River Inn. 7pm, Highway One, no cover.

The Cannery Row IMAX hosts the fundraiser "Ultimate Wave Search Jam" for the Surfrider Foundation and Camp SEA Lab, featuring the debut of surf legend Kelly Slater's IMAX movie "Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D". The party starts at 6:30pm; the film premieres at 7pm at 640 Wave Street in Monterey. Each $15 ticket includes one free raffle ticket.

Smoky-voiced Sarah McCoy of the Zippidy Yeah's has a voice like Janis Joplin and plays piano like Tori Amos. She plays a solo set tonight at Fernwood Resort on Highway One in Big Sur. 9pm, no cover.

Santa Cruz indie act Electric Leaves play wandering, introspective music that wears its Radiohead influences on its sleeve. They play at Jose's tonight along with indie/punk trio Tan Sister Radio and Pacific Grove's Familiar Spheres. 9 pm, 638 Wave Street Monterey, $5.


Learn all about the mysterious and fascinating world of sharks as Shark Days continue at the Monterey Bay Aquarium from 10am-5pm. Shark Days is included with regular aquarium admission; Shark Tours are $10 extra for members and $12 extra for non-members. 10am-5pm. The Monterey Symphony brings the fascinating "Little Russian Treasures" to the Sunset Center at 8th and San Carlos in Carmel at 3pm. Tickets are $48-$69 and can be purchased at the Monterey Symphony official website.