Arcata Oyster Festival
Get shucked, Humboldt! In willful defiance of Levitical law, the Oyster Fest has become arguably the biggest single-day annual social event on Humboldt's calendar, and definitely the most delicious. Thousands will descend on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday, June 18 to see how many slimy bivalves they can consume whilst still downing frosty beverages. It could get ugly.
In addition to countless oyster booth offerings from local tastebud tinglers, throughout the day attendees will witness live music from Vinyl, Full Moon Fever and Woven Roots, the highly competitive Shuck and Swallow Contest -- three-time defending champions Aiden Semingson and Conor Eckholm are gunning for the "Four-peat" -- and the sometimes-painful-but-often-adorable Oyster Calling Contest. Info: www.oysterfest.net.
Later that night if your stomach can hang, stick around for the Official Oysterfest After Party at HumBrews in Arcata featuring alternative rock elder statesmen -- and heroes to Kurt Cobain -- The Meat Puppets.
If your gut can still handle more ocean fare the next day, we'll also note that Sunday (June 19) after Oyster Fest, the 54th Annual Trinidad Fish Fest features a day of local beer and wine, kids events, Trinidad Head Lighthouse tours, Coast Guard rescue demos, live music and, of course, fish -- notably salmon and whitefish dinners.
Motorcycleheads, get your motor running and head on down the highway to Piercy for the 2011 Redwood Run running June 10-12. A loud and proud, two-wheeled celebration since 1977, the theme of this year's Run is "Back to Tradition" as the event returns to being put on by Kiwanis of the Redwoods, Garberville Chapter. Unlike previous runs, you'll want to plot a course for the Bowman Ranch, this year's site.
In addition to biker games, wet T-shirt contests, tattoo artists, vendors, food and brews, expect a healthy dose of live road tunes from bands sure to rev your engine. Headlining this year's run is legendary, road-tested guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who formed the aptly named hard rock band Montrose in the early '70s and pioneered the winning formula of featuring singer Sammy Hager in bands named after the lead guitarist. Over the years, Ronnie has also shredded for artists as diverse as Edgar Winter, Herbie Hancock and Van Morrison.
Other groups include Phil Lewis' version of L.A. Guns (long story), Tommy Castro Band, biker faves The Fryed Brothers, Kaye Bohler Band and II Big to name a few. Info: www.kiwanisrwr.com.
Humboldt Made Fair
June marks the first of two fairs on the Humboldt summer calendar, but just in case there is any confusion in your brain about why this mysterious, shiny, new "Humboldt Made Fair" is being advertised as taking place at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds during the week usually reserved for your beloved "Redwood Acres Fair" -- this year from June 23-26 -- fear not. They're the same thing. Kinda.
The name change is part of a rebranding attempt. Additions to the fair, spearheaded by the folks at Made in Humboldt, will naturally be Humboldt-centric. Throughout the week, attendees will notice a focus on local products, including food, beverage, arts and crafts. One night is slated to be a local film night. Another, a local music night.
But while the name and focus are slightly different, you'll still be able to enjoy the usual fair delights. Organizer Cindy Bedingfield said they're "adding to the fair, not taking anything away." (i.e. You'll still be able to regret eating greasy food right before riding the Gravatron.) Also, returning will be Exceptional Rodeo, Cattleman's Day and various 4-H competitions and displays.
Change is good. For more info, check out www.humboldtmade.com.