Every summer, the paths of William Land Park come alive with all things banana for the annual Sacramento Banana Festival. Taking a look at the banana’s influence as a staple food in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, the festival incorporates activities that celebrate those cultures, including jazz and reggae music and international dance performances. One unique draw is the Power Soul Stroll 5K Run/Walk, and food lovers can munch on plantain chips, banana teacakes, or frozen bananas. There are also banana-themed art exhibits and an open-air marketplace, making it easy to find the right banana depiction for your home's kitchen or banana closet. To close out the day, watch kids mug for the audience in the banana pageant or spend some time walking down the banana bread path while tasting recipe samples and raising money for local organizations.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set
Now celebrating its 16th anniversary, the Sacramento Art Festival continues to blossom as one of the country's top cultural jubilees with its periphery-stretching array of creations. This year's festival features 225 artists working a myriad of techniques, including painting, sculpting, ceramic making, printmaking, photographing, metalworking, stone crafting, and pyrokinetic blacksmithing. Forty-two painters display their works in oils, pastels, watercolors, and acrylics, while 25 ceramic artists unveil porcelain masterpieces. Meanwhile, 18 woodworkers whip out their exotic carvings, 12 sculptors find malleability in bronze, and 40 jewelers forge and fuse adornments. To boot, most of these artists are happy to share their tricks of the trade with attendees. The spirit of competition also adds to the glee of gawking, as all art is reviewed by a jury.
Throughout the day, art fans can feast on Restaurant Row's variety of Greek, Indian, and American grub while taking in the sounds of GG Amos Blues Bands and the Kurt Ribak Jazz Quartet. After eating, guests can watch the comedy jugglers and marvel at their ability to keep balls in the air without breaking any pottery.
Watch the River Cats shred the Sky Sox like a pair of standard cotton socks from the comforts of the Solon Club, the River Cat's open-air sports bar. Located a few rows off of the right-field foul line, the Solon Club combines the joys of live spectatorship with the luxuries of televised replays, accessible ballpark eats, and a fully stocked bar (food and beverage purchases not included with ticket price). As the sun dips below the horizon during the seventh-inning stretch, remove your souvenir River Cats cap—complete with slick lettering and design—and salute the baseball spirits who came all the way from their cornfield to prove that dreams not only come true, but they also come in the form of hot dogs.
Fewer than five years after its San Francisco debut, the Snowbomb Ski and Snowboard Festival has exploded into a multivenue event, affording NorCal-powder addicts ample opportunity to get in on a weekend of discounted winter gear and giving VIPs chances to sample locally produced beer and wine. Representatives from resorts command mountains of swag and offer tips about their slopes’ terrain and local yeti dialects. Dozens of exhibitors also show off their goods—not just winter-sports outfitters but also car companies, local restaurants, and national chains.
Launch unites eclectic artistic forms in a dance-infused celebratory atmosphere. Guests can irrigate ear canals with a variety of musical performances. Breakout musician Neon Indian tops the bill with infectious psychedelic pop, and turntablers such as DJ Sam I Jam will spin records in reverse to unlock instructions on how to perform the Macarena during emergencies. The runway fashion show will parade eye-catching apparel and catwalk dynamics cooked up by up-and-coming designers such as Van Der Neer, who custom crafts pieces from vintage fabrics. Along the hotel's corridors, guests connect with designers, photographers, and painters and search for Where's Waldo motifs in their displayed pieces.