• How do you make Meals on Wheels even better? Well, Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valleyand the Arts Council for Monterey County found a way: deliver live music with the meals. For the past three months, their Art and About program has enlisted musicians Peter Meuse andJessica LeJeanue to accompany delivery volunteers to play and sing to homebound MOW clients as they receive deliveries. And why? They reason that music reduces depression and stress, and improves healing. That’s a performance that deserves an encore. 758-6325, laurieb@mowsalinas.org.
  • By the time you read this, I will have already judged. The 3-D Division of the Monterey County Fair art show, that is. I confess: I am not totally sold on the idea of competition, scoring and awards in art. Even though art is part of a marketplace with appraisals and valuation, and critique and appraisal comes with the territory. Having seen and written about the fair’s art exhibits a few times, I know the spirit and function of it is one of pure aesthetic appreciation for life around us in Monterey County, from regular folks at all levels of training. So I’m starting with an appreciation for all of it. But judge I must. After all, I signed a contract (with theSeventh District Agricultural Association, which runs the fair) and I’m getting paid $75 for the effort. So let’s get it on! montereycountyfair.com.
  • The 30th annual Aromas Day celebrates rural fun in the little village tucked into North Monterey County, with streets closed to vehicles and open to a pancake breakfast (7-11am, $8), vendors hawking jewelry, live musicians, arts and crafts, food and drink, horse-drawn wagon rides, folklórico dancers, the surfing magician, pony rides, a petting zoo, a climbing wall. Next door is a classic car show, at Town Square Park are the Aromas Hills Artisans, the parade starts at 2pm, and across the street is a community garage sale. That’s a big dose of small town culture. It’s 7am-4pm Sunday, Aug. 25. aromasday.com.
  • The Oliver Observing Station on top of a mountain on Tassajara Road in Carmel Valley periodically invites the public to check out its 36-inch professional research telescope and learn about MIRA (Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy) and its facility. It sounds like a fascinating trip. Just two things probably hamper the public from taking up that offer. One, space is limited. Two, it’s on top of a mountain on Tassajara Road. It’s way out there in the boonies. But then again, that might be a plus for some people. Anyway, 2:30-4pm Sunday, Aug. 25, is the next open house. It’s free; RSVP. 883-1000, mira.org.

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