Posts Tagged ‘Festival’

Stars on the Monterey Peninsula

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
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With the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am now over, the celebrity count on the Monterey Peninsula may have fallen…but that does not mean that celebrity has left the Peninsula entirely. In fact, the area has been a stomping ground for entertainment’s biggest stars. From movies and music, to the arts and professional sports, the biggest names often use the Peninsula for escape, inspiration and even invention.

Star wattage on the Central Coast starts and stops with John Steinbeck. One of America’s most famous and most respected writers, many of his novels were based in and around the area. From Salinas’ East of Eden, Of Mice and Men and Monterey’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, Steinbeck lived and breathed the Monterey Peninsula, as did other noted authors and poets including Robert Louis Stevenson, Robinson Jeffers and Henry Miller.

Movie stars have also made and continue to make their homes on the Peninsula. It’s no wonder with the area’s proximity to Los Angeles and slower pace of life, Monterey County and beyond, has played host to a number of notable movies, television shows and numerous commercials. If you want a closer look, check out Monterey Movie Tours Highlights include the locations from scenes in From Here to Eternity, Turner & Hooch and Play Misty For Me, just to name a few. Doris Day, Clint Eastwood and George Lopez call Pebble Beach home and let’s not forget that most of old Hollywood were at one time or another, residents or frequent visitors to the area.

How about our friends in the music industry? Well, since the 1950’s, the Monterey Jazz Festival has graced our area with the biggest names in jazz and at the time, popular music holding court at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. The popularity of that ongoing musical masterpiece let way to the seminal music experience that started it all, The Monterey Pop Festival.  Big names will often grace the more intimate venues of the area as they travel between the arenas in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The Sunset Center in Carmel, the Golden State Theatre in Monterey and the Rodeo Grounds in Salinas have all seen world famous acts and rocker Frank Zappa, the Eagles and jazz musician Kenny G have called the area home.

If sports are your “game”, the Peninsula has plenty of high powered athletic residents. NFL coaches and referees, Jim Tunney, Herm Edwards, John Madden and Ron Rivera along with Hall of Fame Member James Lofton live here, as do Olympic athletes, Nick Cunningham, Gary Figueroa and Blake Russell. Professional baseball and softball residents include: Reggie Jackson, Pete Incaviglia, Mike Aldrete and Monica Abbott. As always, golf plays a big part of the culture of the Peninsula with many notable PGA & LPGA players either growing up here or now making their home here including Bobby Clampett, Johnny Miller and Julie Inkster.

So, if it’s star power you want without the traffic and smog of Los Angeles or the chaos of New York City, the Monterey Peninsula may just be what you are looking for – beauty and just the right amount of glitz and glamour.

Big Sur Food & Wine

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
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 Photo © Big Sur Food & Wine

Big Sur has been the location of movies and commercials and an inspiration to beatniks and metaphysical practitioners. It is beautiful, rugged and has been called the “greatest meeting of land and sea” by poet, Robinson Jeffers. And, while several thousand people call it home, interestingly, there is no actual city or town of Big Sur. What better way to properly celebrate this wonderful mish-mash of quintessentially Californian attributes, than to have a food and wine festival in its honor!

The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival runs Thursday, November 1st through the 4th and features a bevy of out of the box food and wine centric events, just like the region itself. Friday’s offerings feature the beginning of the Hiking with Stemware series with allows participants to take in the beauty of Big Sur on foot along with the beautiful taste of some of the area’s best wines. The events feature meals al fresco from local chef’s and are often paired with an inside look at artisan producers from around the state.

Evenings embrace the wild mystery of the area with events like the Wine & Swine and a series of Winemaker’s Dinners. These limited seating events feature small batch wineries paired with the creations of local chefs. The nighttime activities conclude with the After Parties at the Henry Miller Library. This venue has played host to a Who’s Who of American creative genius from Jack Kerouac to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and this weekend features music, wine, food and fun.

There is a wonderful mix of events throughout the weekend so you can choose to try a taste or go whole hog. The event organizers have graciously provided shuttle transportation for some of the events so be sure to check the Big Sur Food & Wine website for more details. As food and wine festivals go, this one may give you a little more than you bargained for; and that’s a good thing!

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

Friday, October 19th, 2012
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The Salinas Valley is widely known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”. From strawberries and lettuce to artichokes and broccoli, much of our nation’s produce comes from this fertile region. So it should come as no surprise that one of the fastest growing events in Monterey County is the Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival. The fun begins on Saturday October 20th at noon and runs until 5pm. Featuring world class wine and gourmet food, the event highlights the culture of the Salinas Valley and takes over six square blocks of Oldtown Salinas. The event is free to the public and those wishing to taste wine and beer can purchase a wristband.

In addition to the gourmet highlights of the day, a variety of art and activities are also available including musical acts performing throughout the day and a classic car show. The National Steinbeck Center also plays host to a VIP Pavilion starring an additional 150 vendors. In addition to food exhibitors the VIP Pavilion an additional 50 wineries and 30 breweries will be on site. The Portola Hotel & Spa’s very own Peter B’s Brewpub will be on site, pouring some of their famous craft beers. So come experience the bounty and the rich culture of the Salinas Valley at the Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival!

Carmel Art & Film Festival

Monday, October 8th, 2012
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The Monterey Peninsula has always had an affinity with film. As one of the most beautiful places in the world, many filmmakers and commercial directors have utilized varying landscape and scenery of the area as backdrops for their work. From Turner and Hooch to From Here to Eternity, the Monterey Peninsula always seems to make a cameo.

Now in its fifth year, the Carmel Art & Film Festival runs October 10 – 14, 2012 in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, and boasts screenings of almost 100 films in four different categories: features, documentary, short, and student submissions. In addition, the Festival also promotes a growing art and music segment showcasing renowned Los Angeles artist Thierry Guetta, a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash and L.A. based musical act, Shyboy.

The 2012 screening venues are as eclectic as the event itself with the Sunset Center, Golden Bough Playhouse, Carmel Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel Youth Center Theaters, and Carmel Beach; all holding viewings throughout the week. Awards for the films include: Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best Student Film, and the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award. The Carmel Art & Film Festival also includes several parties and post screening events where attendees can mix and mingle with the filmmakers, celebrities and VIP’s. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Carmel Art & Film Festival Scholarship Fund, a 501 (c)(3), supporting and encouraging young people to advance their work in art and film through education. It’s a great event for a worthy cause.

Lights, Camera, Action!

 

Blue Ocean Film Festival

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
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Photo by Doubilet©

If you are lucky enough to grow up around the ocean you’ll almost certainly develop an appreciation for the great big blue and if your childhood was spent landlocked, chances are that you’ll want to experience as much of the ocean as you can. For all the ocean you can handle, plan on attending the BLUE Ocean Film Festival. The BLUE Ocean Film Festival, September 24-30, 2012, is being held right here in Monterey and is a global film festival and conservation summit for underwater filmmakers and marine researchers. While an “industry” event, it is open to the public and is more than just insiders talking fish. It’s a true celebration of the ocean and all its wonders. Since it is a film festival, there are entries and submissions from all over the world, each showing a new and different perspective. Some of the films are true art and some are more documentary in style, but after you attending just a few minutes of the festival, you will come to appreciate what a wonderful natural treasure you have right in front of you.

The home of this year’s festival is the Portola Hotel & Spa. As Monterey’s first and only LEED®-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™  certified hotel, it’s only natural (no pun intended) that they partner with the festival to host some of the events. Selected films then tour the country as part of BLUE On Tour, but nothing is more powerful than watching a submission and then walking outside to look out upon the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A truly wonderful experience.

For tickets to the Blue Ocean Film Festival visit www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org