25 Ideas for Summer Fun in Sacramento

People are ready to-cautiously-gather again. It’s time for some summer sunshine, shows, sports and social interaction.
25 ideas for summer fun in sacramento
Old Sacramento Waterfront. Photo by Francisco Chavira.

Sacramento is not out of the COVID woods completely, but the path back to normal is clearing, and that means it’s time to fill the summer calendar with fun. Luckily, the region is teeming with options. Previously canceled events like the California State Fair, Great American Triathlon and Concerts in the Park are back on, and venues large and small, both indoor and out, are humming again. Sacramento’s summer couldn’t look better.

Old Sacramento Waterfront

The ever-evolving Old Sacramento Waterfront is on a roll as area residents have rediscovered its pearls and an influx of Bay Area transplants are finding it for the first time.

“We have this opportunity to introduce this area as the front porch of Sacramento, not just a tourist-focused destination,” says Scott Ford, who oversees the waterfront district for Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “We have a regional wine-tasting room, a cluster of artist collectives, dance studios, escape rooms and boating businesses so you can get out on the water.”

Attractions include the Waterfront Wheel and Front Street Carousel, and there is a water experience for everyone: slow and easy via City Cruises (formerly Hornblower), at a thrilling clip on Sacramento Jetboats, or by pedal power on a Sac Brew Boat.

New this year on the last Wednesday of the month is the Sip & Shop Wine Walk hosted by area retailers with complimentary tastings, music and a chance to win prizes. Also, on July 31 at 4 p.m., country music star Jimmie Allen will headline the SAC Waterfront Festival on the lawn near the Sacramento History Museum. To enhance safety, the district has improved lighting, added walking beat patrols and reduced the number of electric scooters allowed in the area. oldsacramento.com

Great American Triathlon

triathalon in sacramento
Photo by Bill Clough

Rich Hanna took part in Sacramento’s iconic Eppie’s Great Race for years, even claiming first place just out of high school as a solo triathlete in 1984. The 45-year Eppie’s tradition ended in 2018, and today, Hanna is overseeing its renaissance as co-race leader of the Great American Triathlon, a uniquely Sacramento competition that substitutes swimming with paddling—whether in a kayak or canoe or on a paddle board.

After a successful inaugural race in 2019, the event was canceled in 2020 and 2021. This year, on July 16, Hanna expects some 2,000 competitors to join the fun. “We live in a perfect place to put on a race like this,” says Hanna. “Not many cities have a river and a bike trail like ours.”

With an array of race categories to suit all ages and skill levels, hard-core triathletes and weekend warriors alike can shine as they race along the American River Parkway on land and water. The event culminates in a post-race party with music by singer-songwriter Ruby Jaye, lunch and a beer garden.

Nonparticipants can enjoy the race, too, either as volunteers at the kayak and bicycle transition areas or as fans watching from Guy West Bridge as the runners come in and cyclists take off. Sponsored by Citrus Heights-based Innovations Health, the nonprofit event benefits the American River Parkway Foundation and CASA. greatamericantriathlon.com

Rhythm on the River

West Sacramento’s Summer Concert Series welcomes music lovers of all ages all summer long with live band lineups on the last Thursday of every month.

Rhythm on the River, which kicked off at Drake’s: The Barn in May, returns June 30 with rock bands, July 28 with country jams and Aug. 25 with Latin and funk grooves. The free shows, put on in partnership with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Drake’s and the Bridge District, run from 5:30–9 p.m.

Kids will have plenty of entertainment, too, with face painting, games and crafts. Food and drink will be available for purchase on-site. cityofwestsacramento.org

Juneteenth Celebration at William Land Park

juneteenth celebration in sacramento

Gary Simon has put on Sacramento’s Juneteenth event for the past 18 years but said this year’s marking of America’s history of slavery and the freeing of enslaved people after the Civil War feels especially important. 2022 is also the first year that Juneteenth (Sunday, June 19) will be recognized as a federal holiday.

The free, three-day event in Land Park begins the evening of Friday, June 17, with “Gospel Under the Stars,” a collection of local gospel choirs, bands and solo acts. Everyone is welcome to take a seat—or bring their own lawn chair—to soak up the sacred, spiritual music. This year they’ll gather on the Land Park soccer fields.

The tunes continue Saturday, with a variety of bands from blues to neo-soul represented on the main stage and the winners of a youth talent show showcased on a second stage. Food and other vendors as well as booths with community resources and health information will line the soccer field. A large tent houses the arts and education pavilion, and various speakers will address this year’s theme of economic equality for African Americans throughout the day.

The event, whose major sponsor is SMUD, concludes with a golf tournament Sunday at William Land Golf Course. sacramentojuneteenthinc.org

Sacramento Southern Railroad Weekend Excursion Rides

sacramento southern railroad excursion
Photo by Francisco Chavira

A child will forever remember their first train ride, and for some, the experience will make them lifelong railroad fans. Fortunately for kids young and old, the Sacramento Southern Railroad has fully reopened, after two seasons of stops and starts, with weekend excursion rides.

Since 1983, excursion trains have delighted passengers for 50-minute rides departing from Old Sacramento and chugging down along the levees of the Sacramento River. Riders can select the locomotive’s open-air seating or vintage closed coaches. californiarailroad.museum

Baby Shark Live! 2022 Splash Tour

baby shark musical in sacramento

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo. The earworm will eat its way into your hearts, too, on June 22 when Baby Shark Live! 2022 Splash Tour comes to Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium.

Launched in the fall of 2019, Baby Shark Live! played to throngs of adoring children on stages around the country. Subsequent shows, including one originally scheduled for March 11 in Sacramento, were postponed due to the pandemic.

Families will be treated to costumed characters singing and dancing through new and well-known songs, including (doo doo doo doo doo doo) “Baby Shark,” as well as “Wheels on the Bus,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Five Little Monkeys” and “Monkey Banana.”

“We are excited to invite families and young people down to introduce them to the gorgeous and historical venue, Memorial Auditorium,” says venue manager Sid Garcia Heberger. “It will be colorful and lively, and a great way to kick off the summer.” safecreditunionconventioncenter.com

Sacramento River Cats

sacramento river cats
Photo by Francisco Chavira

You don’t have to know your triples from your bunts to enjoy a River Cats game at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento. Giveaways, post-game fireworks, promotions and a slew of new food and beverage options round out the experience.

Theme nights include 90s Night on June 24, Sactown Night Aug. 5 and, as part of Minor League Baseball’s new partnership with Marvel Entertainment, Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond Night Aug. 27, when players wear special edition, superhero-branded jerseys.

Fans also get a dose of great baseball. The River Cats, a Triple-A affiliate of the 2021 National League West Champion San Francisco Giants, are one of the most successful minor league franchises ever. milb.com/sacramento

Midtown Mini

Mini golf has never been so silly. On Sept. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m., the area of 20th and K streets transforms into a wacky miniature golf course for some 500 participants to putt balls through, under and over obstacles.

“There are many golf tournament fundraisers,” says Midtown Association executive director Emily Baime Michaels. “We wanted a version that was more tongue-in-cheek and fitting for midtown.”

Midtown Mini raises funds for midtown parks, farmers markets, free yoga and other amenities Sacramento residents have come to enjoy. Each of the 30 holes is sponsored by a local business and will have its own theme. Ticket holders receive a signature cocktail, tasty nibbles from area restaurants and chances to win raffle prizes. A live band and DJ will keep the vibe alive. exploremidtown.org

Crawdads on the River

crawdads on the river
Photo by Francisco Chavira

Got a hankering for blackened fish tacos or a frozen cocktail while safely floating on the Sacramento River? Put summertime at Crawdads on the River on your to-do list. The restaurant built on a barge, which doubles as a music venue, has been a Sacramento staple for good times with a Cajun flair since 1986.

“Crawdads has always been a place where people come and enjoy music and the river,” says owner Trevor Shults, who spent time as a young man doing just that before buying the place eight years ago. “We are carrying on the tradition bringing a Bayou-chic vibe.”

Crawdads kicks off the summer June 3–5 with its River Fest featuring eight bands, including Sacramento-based rockers Red Voodoo, as well as Maroon 5 tribute band Maroon Vibes. Sunday nights mean sunset parties with DJs starting at 8 p.m. Crawdad’s is located at 1375 Garden Highway. Boaters can dock at the restaurant or rent a slip at Riverbank Marina next door. saccrawdads.com

DOCO: Makers Market and Live at 5

DOCO Makers market
Photo by Francisco Chavira

Sacramento’s Downtown Commons, anchored by Golden 1 Center, is also home to great restaurants and shops, a wine and craft beer bar, luxury salon, movie theaters and the swanky Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. And every summer, the vast DOCO plaza becomes an entertainment venue and showcase for local makers.

Presented by River City Marketplace, the Makers Market hosts 40–50 local vendors and artisans June 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with handmade items such as jewelry, bath and body products, artwork, greeting cards and other unique items, as well as live music, interactive children’s games, performances, and hands-on arts and crafts activities.

DOCO also hosts its Live at 5 Summer Music Series with a diverse variety of live entertainment. The Happy Hour events, which run Thursdays 5–7 p.m. through October, will feature up-and-coming acts and professional local musicians, including multi-instrumentalists, DJs and more. docosacramento.com

SAYS Showcase: Hip Hop, Spoken Word & Poetry

patrice hill

Speaking truth to power is the engine powering Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, or SAYS, a program elevating the voices of young people to communicate passionately and lyrically about social justice issues, as well as deeply explore and navigate their own lives.

Based at UC Davis and home to the current National Youth Poet Laureate, SAYS is also an educational and mentorship project that creates pathways to higher education for at-risk young people of color.

SAYS performers will take the Mondavi Center stage in collaboration with UC Davis Chicano Studies students on June 2 for three hours of spoken word, hip hop and poetry. The event will feature performances by slam poetry teams and individual spoken-word artists.

“Everyone has something they to need to heal from, and SAYS allows people to become change agents and authors of their own lives,” says associate director Denisha “Coco” Bland, an accomplished poet who has performed at Mondavi events with Hillary Clinton and UC Davis Chancellor Gary May.

Joining Bland as hosts for the event will be SAYS director Patrice Hill and DJ Lady Char.

The show takes place at the Vanderhoef Studio Theater at Mondavi Center. mondaviarts.org

Yoga Moves Us

yoga moves us
Photo by Francisco Chavira

To the uninitiated, yoga may seem a big stretch—literally. But Yoga Moves Us, which brings
free outdoor yoga classes to spaces throughout the city and beyond all summer, makes the ancient practice accessible to all.

The nonprofit, started in 2015, brings together a diverse cadre of yoga instructors of various styles with people of any age and any level of experience. They gather at parks and other public sites throughout the Sacramento region for community and connection.

“You have people doing headstands and others just lying on the mat enjoying the outdoors,” says Kirsten Johnson, Yoga Moves Us president. “That’s the beauty of having teachers who recognize that everyone has their own ability.” The program will nearly double in size this year, with 11 locations from Elk Grove to Folsom and Davis to Old Sacramento.

“Pandemic isolation really gave everyone some perspective on how we are dependent
and connected to each other when we can do it in a healthy, safe environment,” says Johnson. yogamovesus.org

USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships

Some of the best young athletes in the country will descend on Sacramento July 25–31 for the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships.

Some 7,000 runners, jumpers, hurdlers, pole vaulters, shot put and javelin throwers ages 7–18 will compete at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. These athletes from all 50 states will bring their coaches, officials, and families along for their dazzling performances on the field.

“It’s the largest youth track and field meet in the country, and a huge event for Sacramento and our region,” says David Eadie, Sacramento Sports Commission vice president. visitsacramento.com

Crawfish & Catfish Festival

crawfish festival sacramento
Photo by Aaron Childs

When Sue Ramon left her home in Louisiana and first set foot in Sacramento in the 1980s, she fell in love with the place. But there were two things missing, she thought: moss and crawfish.

Known far and wide as Louisiana Sue, Ramon couldn’t do much about the moss, but she has since brought tons of crawfish to the region, heading up crawfish, Cajun music and Mardi Gras festivals in Isleton, Woodland, Old Sacramento Waterfront and Las Vegas.

Louisiana Sue’s Crawfish & Catfish Festival roars into Sacramento’s Southside Park Sept. 10–11 with classic Southern cuisine along with more exotic treats: alligator ribs, crawfish remoulade, fried lobster on a stick and Cajun corn dogs, to name a few.

“I just want to bring what I ate, felt and heard when I grew up to everyone here,” she says.

“That is what I do, and that is why we are successful. I have families bringing the new generation in. Everybody is happy and enjoying the day. It’s like a huge family reunion.”

Nine Bay Area and Sacramento bands over the two days will deliver the blues, Cajun, zydeco, New Orleans jazz and funk to crowds. Don’t be shy about joining a second line parade or two.

“You come for the food and you stay for the music because it is unbelievable,” Ramon says.

“Bring your lawn chairs, your dancing shoes and a big appetite.” louisianasuepresents.com

Concerts in the Park

nate curry performing at concerts in the park
Nate Curry. Photo by Gabriel Teague.

They’re back—those free, live music extravaganzas that transform Cesar Chavez Park into Friday-night dance parties.

After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, Concerts in the Park, presented by Downtown Sacramento Partnership, will again fill the vast block at Ninth and J streets from 5 to 9 p.m. through July with the amplified sounds of local artists—think Nate Curry, Arden Park Roots and Camilla Covington—and national bands, as well as DJs. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the longest-running outdoor music festival in the city. godowntownsac.com/CIP

Paddling on Lake Natoma

paddling on lake natoma
Photo by Tim Engle

Lisa Horton considers Folsom Lake State Recreation Area’s Lake Natoma the region’s most precious gem, a paradise tucked alongside cities where paddling a kayak, canoe or stand up paddle board can foster both serenity and sense of community. That’s why she started a Lake Natoma Paddlers Facebook group, now 4,800 strong. The site is a forum for events, including glowing nighttime paddles, tip sheet and welcome mat. “Paddling sports exploded when the pandemic hit and things got locked down,” she says. “People were looking for something close to home they could do and not be around a lot of people.”

The lake’s ice-cold water is a refreshing salve for a 100-degree summer day, and paddlers can enjoy various experiences along the 4-mile waterway, from hard-core, upper-body workouts to bird watching. Furthermore, lighting is gorgeous at sunrise and sunset.

“If you go in at Negro Bar and go left, you are in a river canyon looking up at steep granite faces,” Horton says. “Go the other direction, and you get a lake experience—calm, placid water and beautiful scenery around you. From Mississippi Bar at the other end of the lake, you get meandering backwaters filled with wildlife.” facebook.com/natomapaddlers

Sacramento Republic FC

sacramento republic fc
Photo by Francisco Chavira

Diehard Sacramento Republic FC fans are getting rewarded for their patience this summer with a star-studded team, a new cool-down area and relaxed COVID mitigation measures.

“Our members have been so loyal and supportive of the club through what was obviously a challenging two seasons,” says Allison Yee-Garcia, vice president for marketing. “They have really stuck with us, and the numbers have grown. Our club provides a family-friendly, affordable experience.”

Republic FC, which plays at Heart Health Park at Cal Expo, welcomed two hot strikers this year—Douglas Martinez Jr. and Sergio Gontán Gallardo, known as Keko. Returning this year is fan favorite midfielder Rodrigo López Alvarez, affectionately known as RoRo. sacrepublicfc.com

World Butchers’ Challenge

world butcher's challenge
Photo by Francisco Chavira

As spectator sports go, butchering meat may not be on anyone’s Top 5 list. But that’s about to change—at least for meat lovers, farm-to-forkers and anyone with adventurous tastes.

Dubbed the “Greatest Butchery Event on Earth,” the World Butchers’ Challenge comes to Sacramento Sept. 2–3, hosted by none other than Sacramento’s Danny Johnson, butcher extraordinaire, Taylor’s Market owner and captain of the World Butchers’ Challenge American team.

Spectators will gather at Golden 1 Center to watch teams of butchers from Bulgaria, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand and 12 other countries compete in meat cutting and product presentation.

“You have these whole carcasses hanging—a side of beef, half a hog, a whole lamb and five chickens,” says Johnson. “You see this team turn it into a mouth-watering display with a theme. Meat cutting is very visual. It’s like Iron Chef on steroids.”

Taylor procures sustainably raised meats from his regular vendors, including hogs from Butte County’s Rancho Llano Seco, beef from Stemple Creek in Tomales, chicken from Pitman Farms (Mary’s) in Sanger and lamb from Superior Farms in Dixon.

Johnson pulled a team together to compete in Belfast in 2018 and took sixth out of 12 countries. He figured it was a perfect event for Sacramento, the Farm-to-Fork Capital, and the lobbying began. The organization loved his presentation, and Sacramento leaders were wildly enthusiastic, as were the other team captains, who visited the city in 2019 before the pandemic forced postponement of the event two years running. Johnson’s 2022 team includes Taylor’s meat department manager Paul Carras, plus butchers from South Carolina, Virginia, Texas and San Francisco.

World Butchers’ Challenge CEO Ashley Gray calls the event a “competition of epic proportions—the ultimate mash-up of passion, sport, food, skill, tension, rivalry and camaraderie.” worldbutcherschallenge.com

Gay Men’s Chorus to the Max

gay mens chorus to the max
Photo by Francisco Chavira

Get out your shoulder-padded jackets and puff up or perm your hair for the long-awaited “To the Max: The Best Hits of the 80s,” performed by a 100-singer-strong Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus at 7 p.m. June 17–18 at The Sofia.

Singing along is allowed, and for those old enough to remember the tunes, hard not to do. Think: “Take On Me,” “I’m So Excited” and, of course, “We Are the World.”

Conducted by SGMC artistic director Christian Bohm and with a live pop band, the chorus will also bring some surprises to the show. Don’t fret: They’ve got singers who can hit the high notes.

SGMC executive director Lynda Walls says this high-energy show was originally planned for 2020, and over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the size of the chorus has doubled.

“All of our singers love the ’80s,” says Walls. “The tunes are so iconic. We are having a ball with it.” sacgaymenschorus.org

Sippin’ at Winn Wine Garden

sippin wine
Photo by Francisco Chavira

In response to the tremendous success of the Wednesdays at Winn market, the Midtown Association has launched Sippin’ at Winn Wine Garden. Nestled in tree-studded Winn Park at midtown’s 28th and P streets, the wine garden provides yet another reason to enjoy the market’s locally grown and crafted products and delicious food in a relaxed park setting.

Sippin’ at Winn Wine Garden operates from 5 to 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month through October, while the regular Winn market will take place every Wednesday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. The wine garden is sponsored by Acheson Wine Company and Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op. exploringmidtown.org

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World”

rupaul's drag
Lady Camden

Now in its 14th season, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is an international smash hit TV show that pits drag queens against one another in dance and lip-synching challenges until one is voted the next Drag Queen Superstar. It’s a winning, thrilling recipe for fun with a powerful mantra: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anyone else?”

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World” comes to Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.

The TV show has millions of devoted fans, including 55-year-old Calvin Lindberg of Sacramento, who loves the drama and competition and is inspired by the diversity and inclusion.

“It’s a look into a fascinating realm of a subset of gay culture,” he says. “It has definitely been a beacon for queer kids and adults who are not allowed to express themselves.”

Lindberg and husband David Nancarrow look forward to the live show and seeing Lady Camden, aka Rex Wheeler, a former Sacramento Ballet favorite, who was first runner-up in the just-concluded season of “Drag Race.”

Koobs Nature Area Public Open Days

koobs nature area
Photo by Francisco Chavira

It may be the best-kept secret in the region, but Koobs Nature Area in the heart of Carmichael is teeming with life. The 4.7-acre chunk of land hidden behind La Sierra Center is named for the late Jack Koobs, who taught science at La Sierra High School and, with his students and other community members, raised the money to buy what had been an empty dirt field in 1973 and turned it into an outdoor classroom.

Thanks to Carmichael Kiwanis Club volunteers, who manage and maintain the property, the area is lush and vibrant, full of plants, ponds and trails—the perfect location for its free monthly Nature Days. The outdoor amenity is also home to one of the oldest Vietnam War memorials in the country, dedicated to La Sierra High School students who lost their lives in the war.

Upcoming events at Koobs include Native Plants Day on June 4, Pond Day on July 2, Beat the Heat on Aug. 6 and Bees and Butterflies Sept. 3.

Activities this summer include nature hikes to identify native plants like valley oaks and milkweed, exploration of plant and animal life in the preserve’s ponds, learning how critters survive summer heat and the work of nature’s pollinators. Themed crafts round out the days’ events. kiwanisclubofcarmichael.com

California State Fair

california state fair

If you’ve been dreaming about diving into a bacon and pecan cinnamon roll or devouring a jalapeño bacon jumbo corndog, your wait is over. The California State Fair and Food Festival is back.

After two years of serving as a state COVID testing and vaccination center, wildfire emergency evacuation and operations center, and shelter for unhoused COVID-infected individuals, Cal Expo will transform July 15–31 into a playground for foodies, livestock lovers, music fans and anyone craving a carnival ride.

Cal Expo sports $15 million in facility improvements, and the fair now has a 16,000 square-foot wine garden to better reflect California’s viticultural stature. Visitors can find 110 different food and beverage providers, including winners of the craft beer competition, and an array of cuisine from deep fried to roasted, meat-centric to vegan.

4H and FAA members will show off their prize-winning hogs and other farm animal favorites, and the winners of the fair’s olive oil, cheese and cannabis competitions will be on display, as well.

The daily slate of concerts kicks off with world-renowned Mariachi Vargas, and Butler Amusements will be back with more than 80 carnival rides.

“The governor is reopening the state,” says Cal Expo and State Fair CEO Rick Pickering, “and we are excited to get back into business.” calexpostatefair.com

Mariachi Festival de Sacramento

mariachi festival
Mariachi Bonitas. Photo by Francisco Chavira.

The sixth annual family-friendly Mariachi Festival de Sacramento will take place this year at the new SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center Sunday, Aug. 14, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Mariachi Estrella de México, one of the world’s largest and best-known mariachi bands, will headline the show, along with Lupita Infante, granddaughter of the legendary mariachi singer Pedro Infante. Infante also will perform with Mariachi Bonitas, Sacramento’s own all female mariachi group, which appeared last year on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” Also featured and joining the mariachis will be Ballet Folklorico Nube Oro from Sacramento.

The festival is hugely popular in Sacramento, which is home to many Mexican Americans eager to celebrate and share their vibrant and rich traditions with a broader audience. Mariachi typically combines traditional guitar, guitarrón, trumpet, violin and harp with robust singing about life’s joys, trials and triumphs.

“When you hear the songs traditional to our culture, it livens your heart and lifts your spirit,” says promoter Miguel Castillo. “Mariachi can’t be duplicated by any genre. It stands alone.” facebook.com/mariachifestsac

Farm to Fork

sacramento farm to fork festival
Photo by Francisco Chavira

Sacramento’s Farm to Fork events will be back in all their bountiful glory. The annual celebrations of the region’s cornucopia of produce, meats, fish, poultry, wine and craft brew are expected to again draw thousands to downtown Sacramento.

After serving up a slightly scaled-back version of events last year, Visit Sacramento plans to fully revive the celebration, with a few additions. The lineup begins with Legends of Wine on the steps of the State Capitol on Sept. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. The intimate tasting event will feature regional varietals selected by local wine legends Darrell Corti and David Berkley, as well as food samples from area restaurants.

The wildly popular, 800-person Tower Bridge Dinner will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, and feature dishes by Greg Desmangles (Bawk!, Urban Roots, Pangaea), Patrick Prager (Kimpton Sawyer), Tyler Bond (Lemon Grass), Q Bennett (Q1227) and longtime Sacramento chef Nina Curtis. Registration for the random drawing for a chance to purchase public tickets begins July 15.

Farm to Fork concludes with the free street festival on the Capitol Mall between Fourth and Ninth streets from Friday evening Sept. 23 through Saturday, Sept. 24. In addition to the usual rich array of food and beverage vendors, cooking demonstrations will be back, and organizers plan to add a second stage this year for the full two days of music. farmtofork.com