Hot Picks 09.01.22

(right) The annual Monterey County Fair takes over the fairgrounds Thursday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 5. There will be food, entertainment and events of all kinds – including the All Alaskan Racing Pigs. (bottom) A tour of The Steinbeck House in Salinas takes visitors through both the first and second floors of the 1897 Queen Anne Victorian home. (left) The 15th annual Seaside Artist Tour, which takes place Sept. 3 and 4, is an opportunity to meet your neighbors and learn about the cool things they’re making.

Fair Time

Is there anything better than sitting at the top of a carnival Century Wheel, legs hanging, eating chocolate-dipped churros and looking at Monterey and the Pacific from the above? In addition to the traditional livestock show, including the popular junior livestock auction, the Monterey County Fair has a lot to offer also for those not devoted to animal-raising or farming. Set on 22 oak-studded acres, the fairgrounds offer countless vendor experiences: wool and knitting stands, horse racing, a farmers market, pony rides and bullfighting. Thursday kicks off as a Seniors, Military & Veterans Day – they attend free all day. Friday is Kids Day and denizens ages 12 and under are free. (In addition to the Century Wheel, carnival rides include Shock Wave, Black Widow and Alien Abduction.) Saturday is Natividad Day and Water Awareness Day and, among other things, features Om Shanti Indian Bollywood Dance Group performing on the Payton Stage at noon. The event closes with Fiesta Day on Sunday. In addition to fresh and fried food, expect an energetic live music lineup, with country star Joe Nichols performing Thursday night (see more on p. 34). [AP]

Noon-11pm ( until 10pm on Sunday) Thursday-Monday, Sept. 1-5. Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. $10 admission. 372-5863,

Deakfest at a Dive

This second annual Deakfast takes place in the seasoned Seaside dive bar specializing in live music. Cuz’s Sportsman’s Club is bringing something like 43 bands to perform over a three-day period. Expect acts like: Speed Demon, No Fucking Good, and Valley Zeros – among many others. Black Lung kicks off with the first set. The organizer of the fest is Douglass Guyot, the lead guitarist and vocalist, as well as founder of the local metal band Speed Demon. Speed Demon began in 1985 and, like many bands in the lineup, has been entertaining local fans, on and off, for decades. Other Speed Demon members are: Matt Hogue, John Brooks and Matt O’Meara. [AP]

Starting at noon Friday-Sunday, Sept. 2-4. Cuz’s Sportsman’s Club, 594 Broadway Ave., Seaside. $10 “a buy” or $25 “in abundance.” 394-2666,

Pause For Play

If you want to celebrate Labor Day in community, attend Marina’s Labor Day celebration. This is a classic community affair – expect music by DJ John, dance performances, food, disc golf and face painting. The event is family-friendly offers activities for all ages. Plus, it goes all day – if you find yourself still with energy in the evening, there is a movie screening in Vince DiMaggio Park after sunset. [CJ]

10am-3pm Saturday, Sept. 3. Marina Teen Center, 304 Hillcrest Ave., Marina. Movie starts after sunset at Vince DiMaggio Park, 3200 Del Monte Blvd., Marina. Free. 384-6712,

Neighborhood Arts

All too often, it is the area right around our homes that gets the least exploratory attention. It can be very rewarding to get to know your neighbors though – especially if they are interesting people doing cool things. To that end, the Seaside Artists Association is back with its 15th annual Seaside Artists Tour. This self-guided tour takes you all over the city and into the studios (often also homes) of painters, sculptors, metal workers, etc. Who knows what kind of treasures you’ll discover, or what kinds of friendships you’ll form. [TCL]

11am-5pm Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4. Various locations around Seaside; pick up a map at City Hall, Oldemeyer Center or from any of the participating artists. For more information, call Jan at 394-0754.

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Steinbeck’s Eden

What is it about connecting to the artifacts once owned or used by authors who are beloved to us? There’s a certain thrill at seeing the items they touched, especially the very writing instruments they used, original manuscripts or the desks they sat at to write great works. If these relics are fascinating, then the homes where authors existed are even more so. Lit Hub contributor Phoebe Hamilton Jones likens visiting a dead author’s home as akin to reading itself: “You walk through the past and through someone else’s life and space without becoming them. A gentle kind of ghosting, a kind of stepping into other shoes, ever so slightly intrusive.” Here in Monterey County we are fortunate to have the childhood home of John Steinbeck open for visiting, to see where he was born in 1902 and spent his formative years in the heart of the valley he would later make famous in books, including East of Eden. The Steinbeck House is operated as a restaurant and gift shop by the nonprofit Valley Guild year-round, but the best way to see it is on one of their guided summer house tours, the first and third Sundays of the month. [PM]

Last summer house tour is 11am-2pm, Sunday, Sept. 4. 132 Central Ave., Salinas. $5-$20; free/under age 10 and military; Monterey County residents receive discounts. 424-2735,

Work and Play

Work knows no bounds. It’s 9-to-5 or night shift. Toiling in fields or sitting behind a desk, and so on. Monterey County Pops! is representing labor with a free concert. We’re guessing an orchestra version of “Sixteen Tons,” followed by ‘Workin’ Man Blues” and concluding with “Take This Job And Shove It,” along with… No? Instead, this is a fun, rousing performance by a 22-piece orchestra under the direction of Carl Christensen. “Stars and Stripes Forever” should fire patriotic fervor. “The William Tell Overture” is about as electric as classical gets. Also on the list are more modern favorites such as “Remember Me,” “La Bamba” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (because sometimes working stiffs wind up on trial for murder – we knew they’d come around to the dark side). Hartnell grad Tatiana Magdaleno starts the event off with a performance of the National Anthem. The event is hosted in English and Spanish. It’s all free. Pops! wants you to keep your hard-earned cash. Finally, labor has its day. [DF]

2pm Sunday, Sept. 4. Closter Park, 401 Towt St., Salinas. Free. 484-5511,

Sugar and Spice

Tucked away against a hill along Highway 218 in Del Rey Oaks, the Monterey Moose Lodge is a hidden gem, a community gathering spot with friendly, low-key vibes that feels like a throwback to another era. And it has an expansive wooden dance floor perfectly suited for the activity du jour: salsa lessons. No partner is required, only an open mind and a good attitude. And if you got good duds, there’s no better time to show them off. The bar area will open to those 21 and over, the salsa lessons open to those 18 and over. [DS]

6:30pm Wednesday, Sept. 7. Moose Lodge, 555 Canyon del Rey Blvd., Del Rey Oaks. $15. 394-6896,

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