Archive for the ‘Local Events’ Category

Summer Festivals in Monterey

Friday, May 10th, 2013
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As many know, the Monterey Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From the rugged coastline of Big Sur and the serene inlets of Moss Landing’s Elkhorn Slough to the winding trails of Carmel Valley and the Fort Ord National Monument, there is something for everyone. While those attractions are available throughout the year, some of the Peninsula’s most popular attractions only come around every 365 days.

Monterey and the surrounding area have long been synonymous with music and art of many kinds and nothing exemplifies that better than the summer festivals that make Monterey their home. The granddaddy is the Monterey Jazz Festival September 20-23, 2013. The longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, the MJF has continued to hold its September dates since 1958 and has features some of the biggest names in Jazz and popular music. Not to be outdone is the Carmel Bach Festival which is celebrating its 76th year with 15 days of performances, talks and educational events July 13-27, 2013.

 

Monterey stamped itself on the counterculture scene with the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, which was the blueprint for future musical spectacles like Woodstock and Lollapalooza and continues the tradition today, although with a slightly mellower vibe. The California Roots Music & Arts festival gets the summer started right, Memorial Day Weekend May 24-26, 2013. The good times continue August 9-11, 2013 with the Monterey Bay Reggaefest. In its 18th year, the festival is one of the largest in Northern California and features over 20 performers.

The ear has been satisfied, but how about the mouth? The food festival season kicks off with Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The three day event, May 17-19, 2013, focuses on sustainability and environmental stewardship in the food and beverage industry.  Also that weekend is the 54th annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. Celebrate California’s newly crowned State Vegetable and soak in a bit of history as the Festival counts a young Marilyn Monroe as one of their first “Artichoke Queens.” Memorial Day weekend features the Great Monterey Clam Chowder & Calamari Festival as two of the peninsula’s favorite seafood dishes collide at Custom House Plaza behind the Portola Hotel & Spa. If you are a wine lover, the area also plays host to the Monterey Wine Festival, June 7-8, 2013 and the Winemaker’s Celebration on August 10, 2013.  Both showcase the best of Monterey County’s vast winemaking region which was recently named one of the “Top 10 Wine Travel Destinations” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Ear; check. Mouth; check, but what about your eyes? Monterey also hosts a number of summertime art festivals and while music and food are certainly considered art, these are the traditional forms are highlighted at events like the Carmel Art Festival May 16-19, 2013. With its origins as a bohemian artist colony, Carmel-By-The-Sea plays host as the 20th annual event that showcases visual arts, sculpture, a judged plein air painting competition and much more. Three weeks later, the Valley gets into the act with the Carmel Valley Art & Wine Festival June 8, 2013. Carmel Valley Village comes alive as over 60 artists and art galleries display their works. Sand City, Monterey County’s hotbed of alternative art and vision hosts the Sand City West End Celebration August 23-25, 2013. Known for its independent and irreverent artistic atmosphere, the West End Celebration features and open air artist’s fair throughout the streets and the public is invited into the many studios and creative spaces that call Sand City home.

So if the dog days of summer are getting you down or you need to break for the coast to beat the heat, cruise into Monterey County and enjoy the eclectically rich summer festival scene. There truly is something for everyone!

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Season Preview

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
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At the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, nothing gets the heart pumping faster than witnessing auto racing’s elite hurtle around the track at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Once again, Spring brings the kings of the hairpin turn to the Monterey Peninsula for a full slate of American Le Mans, MotoGP, Historic Motorsports and Superbike racing.

The season kicks off with the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron May 9-11, 2013. This is the 15th year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the world’s premiere sports car racing championship and as a global leader in Green Racing, The American Le Mans Series pushes the drivers and their crews to the limit of human endurance. The weekend offers speed and excitement that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Not to be outdone by their four wheeled friends, supped up cycles descend on the Peninsula during the Red Bull U.S Grand Prix, July 19-21, 2013. In its ninth year at Mazda Raceway and featuring the MotoGP World Championship and a full slate of American Motorcycle Association (AMA) races, this weekend is one of the sport’s most popular events and draws huge crowds to watch 18 separate races over the three days.

Part of the Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, August 16-18, 2013 offers a glimpse into the past as authentic, race proven; period autos compete in class to determine bragging rights. This year, the featured marque is the American classic Chevrolet Corvette celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The season continues with the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival powered by MAZDA. The September 7-8, 2013 event features the Grand Am-Rolex Sports Car Series as well as the Daytona Prototype class and Grand Touring (GT) competition with some of the most exciting, in close racing this side of NASCAR. This weekend is a true treat for the whole family (You too ladies) as race weekend includes autograph and meet and greet sessions with the drivers that have in the past included Grey’s Anatomy star McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey and other stars of film and television.

The bikes return in the final event on the schedule as the SBK-Eni FIM Superbike World Championship makes it’s only U.S. appearance September 27-29, 2013. Two high speed races are featured over the weekend as teams’ race high-performance bikes from manufacturers like Kawasaki, BMW, Suzuki, Ducati and Honda.

With so many great motor sports events, why not enjoy them even more by booking your stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa. Nautically inspired guestrooms only steps from the Monterey Bay coupled with a location just a short drive from the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway makes the perfect complement to any of these action fueled weekends.

Pub Talk with the Beer Geek & Friends at Peter B’s Brewpub

Friday, April 12th, 2013
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One of the great American pastimes is to pop open a cold brew and have a good talk. Whether the talk is serious or lighthearted, about sports or life, people really like to unwind with a good beer. So what’s better that talking over a beer? How about talking about beer and doing it live from Peter B’s Brewpub located behind the Portola Hotel & Spa?

Chris Nelson, better known as The Beer Geek, talks about beer, life and his lifelong love of beer every Wednesday at 5pm on KRML Radio’s Pub Talk. Chris Nelson and his wife, Merideth started The Beer Geek website(www.thebeergeek.com) in 2005 to help document their extensive travels as they tasted their way around the world, sampling locally brewed beers at their source. As their knowledge and experience grew, so did their following and a book, Teachings from the Tap, and a series of video blog episodes, One Pint At A Time later, they have firmly established themselves as a go to source for information and insight into the rapidly expanding craft brew industry.

Peter B’s Brewpub, recently voted by Monterey County Weekly readers as Monterey’s Best Local Beer & Brewery, hosts Chris and his guests as each week, they explore the world of beer and other topics of interest from around the Monterey Peninsula and the greater Central Coast area. While topics can be far ranging, the sudsy libation is never far from the conversation and with Peter B’s house brewed craft offerings and featured small batch specials, guests are invited to come down to the live broadcast and enjoy the interactive show. So if you are a diehard fan of craft brews or just enjoy a cold one with friends, join Chris Nelson and friends at Peter B’s Brewpub each Wednesday at 5pm on KRML 102.1 FM and 1410 AM for Pub Talk. It’s an experience worth tasting!

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Thursday, February 7th, 2013
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Chris O’Donnell, Josh Duhamel, Bill Murray.

Golden Globes attendees?

Red carpet guest list?

How about some of the many celebrity players at this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am going on right now through Sunday?!

Now I know what you are thinking, a golf tournament, you can’t be serious. Stuffy golf fanatics in mismatched outfits craning for a view of no-name players chasing a little white ball around for hours. Well friends, this is not your father’s golf tournament. These are some of the biggest names in Hollywood, playing at one of the best resorts in the world. Fantastic food and people-watching all while soaking up the multi-million dollar views of the Pacific Ocean from the Pebble Beach Resort.

The AT&T Pebble Beach is of the premiere weekends on the Monterey Peninsula and is always a good time. Want an inside tip? Head out to Pebble early on Saturday and then retire to the Tap Room overlooking the 18th green for a bit. It’s a great opportunity to put your feet up and you may even see a celebrity or two relaxing after their round.

After your time out at the tourney, make sure to head on over to the Portola Hotel & Spa, where you can kick-back in their Grey Goose Lounge.  The lower atrium of the Portola, beginning this Thursday will be transformed into a swanky, cool lounge, where you can sip and savor fabulous cocktails among fellow AT&T guests, fans and if you’re lucky you might even have a celebrity sighting!

First Night Monterey

Friday, December 7th, 2012
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New Year’s Eve always brings a sense of hope and optimism about the year ahead. Figuring out what to do, that makes everyone in the family happy can be a bit of a challenge. First Night Monterey solves that problem in one fell swoop. The event offers something for the young and the young at heart and takes place throughout historic downtown Monterey. Now in its 20th year, First Night Monterey is a community celebration of the arts that kicks off at 3pm on December 31, 2012. Over 25 performance sites, most of which are indoors, feature a wide variety of music, interactive art, dance and fun. The alcohol-free event focuses on family fun with kid friendly activities and themed events. The event kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on the lawn of Colton Hall and Pacific Street. Kid’s Night Out begins at 3:30pm with interactive art activities, face painting, artists, puppet theatre, folk music and magic. Then the Twilight Procession progresses down Alvarado Street at 5:30pm. Musical performances range from Reggae to Classical and Jazz to Hip Hop. Performances also include dance, art and written and spoken word. The Grand Finale starts at 11:15pm and rings in the New Year at midnight.

The Portola Hotel & Spa offers a fun First Night Package that includes two adult First Night “All Access Buttons”, a nautically inspired guest room, warm homemade cookie upon arrival and is one of the best spots on the Peninsula, especially on New Year’s Eve! With its location on Custom House Plaza, the Portola Hotel is the perfect venue to explore the sights, sounds and good times of First Night Monterey.

Ring in the New Year with the Portola Hotel & Spa!