Browsing articles tagged with " wine festivals"
Jul 25, 2014
Terri Judson

Reserve a weekend for summer’s pleasures

Here are seven focused on food, wine, and beer that go particularly well with the great outdoors. They’re listed in chronological order, so check your schedule, see which weekend fits, and block it off. After all, the October rains will be here before you know it…

 

Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine

July 24 to 27, Victoria

There’s no time like the present to make some last-minute reservations for this weekend. The sixth annual Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine kicks off this Thursday (July 24) and lasts four days.

At press time, a handful of tickets remained for the opening evening’s signature winetasting event, which features more than 100 B.C. wines, local chefs, and local cuisine. On Saturday (July 26), a whole suckling pig will be roasted on the patio at the Hotel Grand Pacific for the Swine and Vine party, which pairs pork with wine, tea, and cider as well as live bluegrass music. On Sunday (July 27), the Everything’s Better With Bacon dinner serves up a three-course long-table meal featuring the cult meat and Red Rooster wines.

There are other events in between; see the Victoria Taste website for info and tickets.

 

Wanderlust Whistler

July 31 to August 4, Whistler

Returning this year for a five-day run, Wanderlust focuses on yoga, spiritual renewal, mindfulness, outdoor activities, and inspirational music. The main draw is yoga headliners like Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, and Eoin Finn, as well as speakers like meditation educator Padma Shyam.

And of course, adding some good food and beverages to the mix also nourishes the soul. An August 1 event highlights wines from local, organic, and biodynamic vineyards, while an August 2 evening features B.C. craft beer and a separate farm-to-table dinner.

The Canadian National BBQ Championships (below) coincide with the Wanderlust weekend, and there’s no reason you can’t hit both while you’re up in Whistler—or carpool with a friend who’s going to one or the other. See the Wanderlust website for more details.

 

Canadian National BBQ Championships

August 1 to 3, Whistler

The highlight of the Pacific Northwest barbecue circuit takes place Creekside at Dusty’s Bar BBQ with competitions in pork butt, beef brisket, ribs, and chicken. Watch the action on the afternoons of August 2 and 3 and enjoy samples by donation.

For more serious meat eaters, August 1 features an all-you-can-eat rib dinner followed by a Led Zeppelin tribute band; on Saturday night, there’s a “bottomless” barbecue buffet. Secure tickets in advance at the Whistler Blackcomb website.

 

Slow Food cycles

August 2, 3, and 17 in Agassiz, Chilliwack, and Pemberton, respectively

These daylong, self-guided bicycle tours wind through farmland and offer opportunities to meet the farmers and artisanal food producers. Consider spending the weekend in the Fraser Valley to take in both the Agassiz and Chilliwack rides; local tourism boards will even shuttle your purchases back to each starting point so you can stock up on fresh produce, handmade cheese, honey, and more over the course of your journey. Sign up at Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tours  and Tourism Pemberton.

 

Silver Star Summer Wine Food Festival

August 8 to 10, near Vernon

and

Viva Las Pride

August 14, Kelowna

If you’re up for a drive to the Okanagan for a little winery-hopping, time your visit to coincide with these events.

The first runs over three days at Silver Star Mountain Resort and features a Mile High tasting with more than 30 wineries showcasing new varietals, an evening with chef David Hawks­worth, and activities such as cooking classes and guided alpine-flower hikes.

The Viva Las Pride event is organized by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society as part of Okanagan Pride week (August 9 to 16, visist the Okanagan Pride website). It features a Vegas-themed winetasting evening with 24 Okanagan wineries.

 

Whistler Village Beer Festival

September 11 to 14

While it’s true that September is not technically summer, the weather tends to hold for the first few weeks, so get out there and store up some sunshine. The festival’s signature tasting event takes place outdoors at Whistler Olympic Plaza on September 13 and offers a chance to sample more than 150 beers from 53 B.C., Canadian, and international breweries. Those in attendance include Red Racer (winner of the 2013 best in fest award), Whistler Brewery, Deep Cove Brewers, Phillips, Granville Island, Deschutes, Gigantic, Four Winds, Parallel 49, and more.

This year’s festival has expanded to four days and includes cask nights, parties, and brunches. There are also educational seminars such as Beer 101, Craft Beer Revolution, and History of Beer. For tickets, see the Whistler Village Beer Festival website.

 

Feast Portland

September 18 to 21, Portland

This four-day celebration of Oregon’s bounty boasts some big-name chefs not just from Oregon but from all over the U.S., including Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker and Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi. Notable events include a sandwich invitational, a “dessert for dinner” meal that features sweet treats, and a brunch village in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

On the beverage front, tasting panels will highlight tiki drinks, Negronis, the best new lagers, and more.

Some events, such as a dinner that celebrates Bon Appétit magazine’s best new restaurants in America, are already sold-out. Although there are plenty more to choose from, you’d best jump on those tickets now; see the Feast Portland website.

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Jul 25, 2014
Terri Judson

Chef hosts Star events

Chef David Hawksworth will host a dinner and a cooking demonstration during the Wine and Food Festival at Silver Star Mountain Resort. - Hawksworth Restaurant photo

One of Canada’s leading culinary talents is hosting a dinner to start off Silver Star Mountain Resort’s Wine and Food Festival Aug. 8.

David Hawksworth has appeared as a guest judge on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef and his Vancouver-based Hawksworth Restaurant was winner of Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Awards in 2012 and 2013 for restaurant of the year and chef of the year. Maclean’s named it Canada’s restaurant of the year in 2012.

Hawksworth is planning a four-course menu, paired with Okanagan wines.

“Being a part of food and wine festivals like this one at Silver Star Mountain Resort is a privilege and always a memorable experience,” he said.

“As a chef, I feel very lucky to live in a part of the world that is so beautiful and supplies us with such excellent produce and none more so than here in the Okanagan.”

Food and wine enthusiasts are invited to the Den Bar and Bistro for the event, which starts with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are limited and the cost is $230 per person including gratuity, plus GST.

For more casual diners, Hawksworth is hosting an interactive cooking demonstration for a small audience at 2:30 p.m. August 9. Guests are invited to observe the chef prepare a dish of choice with a tasting to follow.

The session will take place at the National Altitude Training Centre auditorium.

As seating is limited, purchase tickets in advance ($38 plus tax) by contacting Silver Star Holidays at 250-558-6083 or e-mailing info@skisilverstar.com.

In addition to Hawksworth’s appearance, Silver Star’s Wine and Food Festival features various food and wine seminars and art gallery viewings.

The B.C. Mile High Wine Tasting is an Okanagan Wine Festivals signature event in partnership with Silver Star Mountain Resort.

It begins at 4 p.m. Aug. 9 and attracts more than 30 winemakers.

 

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Jul 25, 2014
Terri Judson

Foodies, wine lovers walk ‘Abbey Road’

VINES AND VICTUALSmdash;Kelly Long of Camarillo prepares to sample the wine at a previous Taste of Camarillo festival. This yearrsquo;s wine and food event, with an English theme, is Sunday at the Camarillo Ranch. FILE PHOTO
VINES AND VICTUALS—Kelly Long of Camarillo prepares to sample the wine at a previous Taste of Camarillo festival. This year’s wine and food event, with an English theme, is Sunday at the Camarillo Ranch.
FILE PHOTO
The Camarillo Ranch House is known for its Victorian house and museum depicting early life in Southern California, but a different historical influence will descend upon the property this weekend.

“The British are Coming” to A Taste of Camarillo Wine and Food Festival, the annual event hosted by the Meadowlark Service League, a philanthropic women’s group.

The fundraiser takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sun., July 27 at the ranch house, 201 Camarillo Ranch Road.

This year the festival is centered around an English theme. It will include live entertainment from a Beatles tribute band, British-themed decor and vendors selling crafts and clothing along “Penny Lane.”

Wine lovers and foodies can walk “Abbey Road” to taste drinks and dishes from more than 100 food vendors, wineries and breweries.

Vicki Berman, an event chair, said her colleagues chose the English theme to set themselves apart from other food and wine festivals in Ventura County.

“Outside of tasting wonderful wines and foods, we really wanted to put an emphasis on entertainment, such as games and culinary demonstrations,” Berman said. “So we’ll have minigolf, bocce ball and the Beatles tribute band, which dresses up in full costume.”

The festival also includes its first VIP lounge, which sold out, and an outside bar decorated as an English pub.

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Jul 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Eat, drink, and escape at these BC and Portland summer festivals

Here are seven focused on food, wine, and beer that go particularly well with the great outdoors. They’re listed in chronological order, so check your schedule, see which weekend fits, and block it off. After all, the October rains will be here before you know it…

Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine (July 24 to 27, Victoria)

There’s no time like the present to make some last-minute reservations for this weekend. The sixth annual Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine kicks off this Thursday (July 24) and lasts four days.

At press time, a handful of tickets remained for the opening evening’s signature winetasting event, which features more than 100 B.C. wines, local chefs, and local cuisine. On Saturday (July 26), a whole suckling pig will be roasted on the patio at the Hotel Grand Pacific for the Swine and Vine party, which pairs pork with wine, tea, and cider as well as live bluegrass music. On Sunday (July 27), the Everything’s Better With Bacon dinner serves up a three-course long-table meal featuring the cult meat and Red Rooster wines.

There are other events in between; see the Victoria Taste website for info and tickets.

Wanderlust Whistler (July 31 to August 4, Whistler)

Returning this year for a five-day run, Wanderlust focuses on yoga, spiritual renewal, mindfulness, outdoor activities, and inspirational music. The main draw is yoga headliners like Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, and Eoin Finn, as well as speakers like meditation educator Padma Shyam.

And of course, adding some good food and beverages to the mix also nourishes the soul. An August 1 event highlights wines from local, organic, and biodynamic vineyards, while an August 2 evening features B.C. craft beer and a separate farm-to-table dinner.

The Canadian National BBQ Championships (below) coincide with the Wanderlust weekend, and there’s no reason you can’t hit both while you’re up in Whistler—or carpool with a friend who’s going to one or the other. See the Wanderlust website for more details.

Canadian National BBQ Championships (August 1 to 3, Whistler)

The highlight of the Pacific Northwest barbecue circuit takes place Creekside at Dusty’s Bar BBQ with competitions in pork butt, beef brisket, ribs, and chicken. Watch the action on the afternoons of August 2 and 3 and enjoy samples by donation.

For more serious meat eaters, August 1 features an all-you-can-eat rib dinner followed by a Led Zeppelin tribute band; on Saturday night, there’s a “bottomless” barbecue buffet. Secure tickets in advance at the Whistler Blackcomb website.

Slow Food cycles (August 2, 3, and 17 in Agassiz, Chilliwack, and Pemberton, respectively)

These daylong, self-guided bicycle tours wind through farmland and offer opportunities to meet the farmers and artisanal food producers. Consider spending the weekend in the Fraser Valley to take in both the Agassiz and Chilliwack rides; local tourism boards will even shuttle your purchases back to each starting point so you can stock up on fresh produce, handmade cheese, honey, and more over the course of your journey. Sign up at Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tours  and Tourism Pemberton.

Silver Star Summer Wine Food Festival (August 8 to 10, near Penticton) and Viva Las Pride (August 14, Kelowna)

If you’re up for a drive to the Okanagan for a little winery-hopping, time your visit to coincide with these events.

The first runs over three days at Silver Star Mountain Resort and features a Mile High tasting with more than 30 wineries showcasing new varietals, an evening with chef David Hawks­worth, and activities such as cooking classes and guided alpine-flower hikes.

The Viva Las Pride event is organized by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society as part of Okanagan Pride week (August 9 to 16, visist the Okanagan Pride website). It features a Vegas-themed winetasting evening with 24 Okanagan wineries.

Whistler Village Beer Festival (September 11 to 14)

While it’s true that September is not technically summer, the weather tends to hold for the first few weeks, so get out there and store up some sunshine. The festival’s signature tasting event takes place outdoors at Whistler Olympic Plaza on September 13 and offers a chance to sample more than 150 beers from 53 B.C., Canadian, and international breweries. Those in attendance include Red Racer (winner of the 2013 best in fest award), Whistler Brewery, Deep Cove Brewers, Phillips, Granville Island, Deschutes, Gigantic, Four Winds, Parallel 49, and more.

This year’s festival has expanded to four days and includes cask nights, parties, and brunches. There are also educational seminars such as Beer 101, Craft Beer Revolution, and History of Beer. For tickets, see the Whistler Village Beer Festival website.

Feast Portland (September 18 to 21, Portland)

This four-day celebration of Oregon’s bounty boasts some big-name chefs not just from Oregon but from all over the U.S., including Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker and Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi. Notable events include a sandwich invitational, a “dessert for dinner” meal that features sweet treats, and a brunch village in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

On the beverage front, tasting panels will highlight tiki drinks, Negronis, the best new lagers, and more.

Some events, such as a dinner that celebrates Bon Appétit magazine’s best new restaurants in America, are already sold-out. Although there are plenty more to choose from, you’d best jump on those tickets now; see the Feast Portland website.

Recommended Reading

Jul 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Eat, drink, and escape at these BC summer festivals

Here are seven focused on food, wine, and beer that go particularly well with the great outdoors. They’re listed in chronological order, so check your schedule, see which weekend fits, and block it off. After all, the October rains will be here before you know it…

Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine (July 24 to 27, Victoria)

There’s no time like the present to make some last-minute reservations for this weekend. The sixth annual Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine kicks off this Thursday (July 24) and lasts four days.

At press time, a handful of tickets remained for the opening evening’s signature winetasting event, which features more than 100 B.C. wines, local chefs, and local cuisine. On Saturday (July 26), a whole suckling pig will be roasted on the patio at the Hotel Grand Pacific for the Swine and Vine party, which pairs pork with wine, tea, and cider as well as live bluegrass music. On Sunday (July 27), the Everything’s Better With Bacon dinner serves up a three-course long-table meal featuring the cult meat and Red Rooster wines.

There are other events in between; see the Victoria Taste website for info and tickets.

Wanderlust Whistler (July 31 to August 4, Whistler)

Returning this year for a five-day run, Wanderlust focuses on yoga, spiritual renewal, mindfulness, outdoor activities, and inspirational music. The main draw is yoga headliners like Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, and Eoin Finn, as well as speakers like meditation educator Padma Shyam.

And of course, adding some good food and beverages to the mix also nourishes the soul. An August 1 event highlights wines from local, organic, and biodynamic vineyards, while an August 2 evening features B.C. craft beer and a separate farm-to-table dinner.

The Canadian National BBQ Championships (below) coincide with the Wanderlust weekend, and there’s no reason you can’t hit both while you’re up in Whistler—or carpool with a friend who’s going to one or the other. See the Wanderlust website for more details.

Canadian National BBQ Championships (August 1 to 3, Whistler)

The highlight of the Pacific Northwest barbecue circuit takes place Creekside at Dusty’s Bar BBQ with competitions in pork butt, beef brisket, ribs, and chicken. Watch the action on the afternoons of August 2 and 3 and enjoy samples by donation.

For more serious meat eaters, August 1 features an all-you-can-eat rib dinner followed by a Led Zeppelin tribute band; on Saturday night, there’s a “bottomless” barbecue buffet. Secure tickets in advance at the Whistler Blackcomb website.

Slow Food cycles (August 2, 3, and 17 in Agassiz, Chilliwack, and Pemberton, respectively)

These daylong, self-guided bicycle tours wind through farmland and offer opportunities to meet the farmers and artisanal food producers. Consider spending the weekend in the Fraser Valley to take in both the Agassiz and Chilliwack rides; local tourism boards will even shuttle your purchases back to each starting point so you can stock up on fresh produce, handmade cheese, honey, and more over the course of your journey. Sign up at Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tours  and Tourism Pemberton.

Silver Star Summer Wine Food Festival (August 8 to 10, near Penticton) and Viva Las Pride (August 14, Kelowna)

If you’re up for a drive to the Okanagan for a little winery-hopping, time your visit to coincide with these events.

The first runs over three days at Silver Star Mountain Resort and features a Mile High tasting with more than 30 wineries showcasing new varietals, an evening with chef David Hawks­worth, and activities such as cooking classes and guided alpine-flower hikes.

The Viva Las Pride event is organized by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society as part of Okanagan Pride week (August 9 to 16, visist the Okanagan Pride website). It features a Vegas-themed winetasting evening with 24 Okanagan wineries.

Whistler Village Beer Festival (September 11 to 14)

While it’s true that September is not technically summer, the weather tends to hold for the first few weeks, so get out there and store up some sunshine. The festival’s signature tasting event takes place outdoors at Whistler Olympic Plaza on September 13 and offers a chance to sample more than 150 beers from 53 B.C., Canadian, and international breweries. Those in attendance include Red Racer (winner of the 2013 best in fest award), Whistler Brewery, Deep Cove Brewers, Phillips, Granville Island, Deschutes, Gigantic, Four Winds, Parallel 49, and more.

This year’s festival has expanded to four days and includes cask nights, parties, and brunches. There are also educational seminars such as Beer 101, Craft Beer Revolution, and History of Beer. For tickets, see the Whistler Village Beer Festival website.

Feast Portland (September 18 to 21, Portland)

This four-day celebration of Oregon’s bounty boasts some big-name chefs not just from Oregon but from all over the U.S., including Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker and Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi. Notable events include a sandwich invitational, a “dessert for dinner” meal that features sweet treats, and a brunch village in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

On the beverage front, tasting panels will highlight tiki drinks, Negronis, the best new lagers, and more.

Some events, such as a dinner that celebrates Bon Appétit magazine’s best new restaurants in America, are already sold-out. Although there are plenty more to choose from, you’d best jump on those tickets now; see the Feast Portland website.

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Jul 22, 2014
Terri Judson

Wineries pour into Silver Star village

VERNON — An Okanagan resort is offering visitors a tasteful way to join the Mile High club.

Silver Star’s annual Summer Wine and Food Festival runs Aug. 8-10, and its highlight is the Mile High Wine Tasting. Hosted Aug. 9 by Okanagan Wine Festivals and Silver Star Mountain Resort, 30 wineries from across the region will showcase their new varietals on Main Street of Silver Star’s mid-mountain village. The weekend features wine masters’ dinners, food and wine seminars and art gallery viewings.

The event is an opportunity for the resort to show off Silver Star’s expanded its food and beverage service, and an introduction its first year-round executive chef, Brenden Blair.

New this summer is a full breakfast menu available at Town Hall from 8 a.m. and a newly licensed outdoor patio at the Saloon.

Silver Star is now operating its summer activity program seven days a week until Sept. 1. Its bike park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day with extended play every Wednesday and Friday until 7:30 p.m.

Riders of all abilities can explore 50 kilometres of trails at the bike park. Children accompanied by a full paying adult ride free on Wednesdays. Silver Star’s Ride Card is available online for $109 or at the mountain for $119 and is valid for any three days of riding this summer.

Silver Star also offers packages on lodging ranging from Victorian-inspired hotels, executive condos and vacation home rentals, to a hostel and RV and camping sites.

Mid-week visitors that stay and ride for three days between Sunday and Thursday will receive three nights of accommodation and lift tickets for the price of two until Sep 1.

Wine and Food Festival packages start from $133 including accommodation and Mile High Wine Tasting tickets. More information is available at summer.skisilverstar.com/s/my-activities-and-events/events/silver-star-summer-wine-food-festival

Submitted to The Sun

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Jul 22, 2014
Terri Judson

Promoter Chris Ricci rescues Riverbank Cheese & Wine Exposition

— Chris Ricci, a premier special-events promoter, will run this October’s Riverbank Cheese Wine Exposition and is scheduled to present a status report at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Ricci knows how to throw huge street parties. The Fat Cat Music House Lounge promoter created and continues to lead the Xclamation! Festival, or X Fest, expected next month to bring upward of 20,000 music fans to downtown Modesto for its 15th year.

Previous Cheese Wine festivals drew tens of thousands of people to Riverbank, but service clubs sponsoring the event burned out. City leaders a few months ago vowed not to let the city’s signature event die, and hired Chris Ricci Presents Inc. to work its magic.

The festival is scheduled Oct. 11-12. For more information, see www.riverbankcheeseandwine.org.

Also Tuesday, council members will consider criteria for creating districts for future council elections and could significantly change fees charged by the planning department.

The council two weeks ago decided to ask voters in November to change at-large elections to district elections, where council members would represent a few neighborhoods instead of being elected by voters throughout the city. The council deployed a consultant to propose how to split Riverbank into multiple districts.

Tuesday’s action formalizes the process with rules calling for districts with equal populations and common interests. Although the change is prompted by a desire to help minority candidates, proposed districts cannot be based on race.

A list of new planning fees, which haven’t been changed since September 2008, would require a $4,000 deposit for proposing an annexation, up from the current $810 charge, and other tasks would increase similarly. That should help City Hall recover its costs for processing applications, a report says.

Administrators also recommend that the council turn down Yuriy Smolinskiy’s request to build a gym and sauna next to a home on Alton Court. A neighbor opposed the project, and planning commissioners in May rejected the application, saying accessory buildings must not exceed 20 percent of the original home, while Smolinskiy’s would add more than 37 percent.

Tuesday’s council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the council chamber at 6707 Third St. For more information, see bit.ly/1p3Nc50.

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at gstapley@modbee.com or (209) 578-2390.

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Jul 21, 2014
Terri Judson

Contest Alert! Join the Mile High Club – Wine and Music included

KelownaNow, Silver Star Mountain, and the Okanagan Wine Festival Society want you to have a little Mile High fun.

And we think Saturday August 9th is a perfect day for it.

It’s easy just enter to win on the form below. But be careful, this is grown up fun. You can win two tickets to Silver Star’s Mile High Wine and Music event and stay overnight on the mountain!

So that means … well, no need to go further … you know what that means. So don’t be telling us you weren’t warned. Steal away for one of the best Mile High events of the year at the Okanagan’s spectacular Silver Star resort.

Enter below and Good Luck.

SPONSORS

CONTEST RULES

We need to tell you about some rules so that you know how this contest will work. In completing the contest entry form, you agree to the rules and regulations below. Good Luck!

  • You must be nineteen years of age or older to enter.
  • NO PURCHASE of any kind is needed in order to win.
  • One winner will be selected from entries submitted through KelownaNow.com between 12:01am Friday July 18, 2014 and 12:01pm (Noon) Friday August 6, 2014 for each of the two prizes. The winner will be announced on KelownaNow.com and on KelownaNow’s Facebook and Twitter channels.
  • The winner will be chosen at random.
  • Limit of one entry per person, per prize.
  • All visitors to KelownaNow.com are eligible to win (other than prescribed by age or by affiliation with excluded groups described below). Welcome to Kelowna Ventures Ltd., its assigns and representees are not liable for any failure with regard to execution of the contest or delivery of prizing.
  • No prize awarded for any component of Join the Mile High Club can be redeemed for cash value.
  • Employees and families of the following companies are not permitted to enter, either directly or through a representative: Csek Creative, Welcome to Kelowna Ventures Ltd., Kelowna Now.com, Silver Star Mountain Resort, Okanagan Wine Festivals, and Valley First Credit Union.

Good Luck!

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Jul 21, 2014
Terri Judson

Profile: Pedicab company showcases Las Cruces, Mesilla – Las Cruces Sun

LAS CRUCES GT;GT; For César Martinez, it’s just like riding the bikes he takes on the streets and trails of Las Cruces, only, through his business Mesilla Pedicab Company, he gets to share community events and history with his passengers.

“It’s really easy to navigate and feels just like a bike for me in the front,” Martinez said of the red steel-framed tricycle he totes, taking locals and visitors around festivals, farmers markets and the Mesilla Plaza, to name a few.

The pedicab — a human-powered buggie — has a bench attached to the bike with a canopy for shade that can accommodate three adults comfortably, he said.

Csar Martinez, owner of Mesilla Pedicab Company, waits near his pedicab to give a ride to visitors at the downtown Las Cruces farmers market. In

Martinez’s passengers include tourists to historic Mesilla, wine festival attendees, locals taking advantage of the produce and crafts at the regular and evening farmers markets and he said he hopes to build more community partnerships to accommodate more event-goers from near and far.

“(They’re) a good fit for the pedicab because it’s fun supporting their events and developing those partnerships,” he said.

After starting Mesilla Pedicab in 2012 with one bike, Martinez expanded to two bikes earlier this year and has taken passengers around local staples, like the city’s July Fourth celebration, movies on Main Street, Border Book Festival, Mesilla Cinco de Mayo fiesta, myriad wine festivals and, recently, the Southern New Mexico Pride parade.

“I feel really comfortable with the two bikes and I feel comfortable focusing on special events throughout the region and how it fits with what I’m doing,” he said.

What Martinez is doing is also sharing is a little piece of the region’s history with locals and tourists alike.

Mesilla Pedicab Company got it’s start in the Mesilla Plaza, where Martinez sets up each weekend from March through Christmas Eve to take passengers on tours of the historic town. After getting his degree from New Mexico State University in art history, he’s equipped to provide information about the area’s rich cultural lore.

“The tours feed their interest in the community and its history. The history tour is my favorite thing,” he said.

On three wheels, tourists can marvel at historic adobe homes, learn about local agriculture and peruse the historic shops dotting the plaza’s streets.

“Some people are visiting from far away and really enjoy it and the fact that we can do it better on a bike than walking or in a vehicle makes it interesting,” he said. “The reaction from people has been very diverse.”

From war veterans who relate the pedicabs to rickshaws they may have seen during deployments, to fellow cycling enthusiasts, Martinez said he enjoys hearing all of the different stories that get into his pedicab.

Csar Martinez, owner of Mesilla Pedicab Company, waits to give a ride to visitors at the downtown Las Cruces farmers market. His pedicab company,

“The community has supported and embraced bicycles and it’s nice to get out in the community and meet people who have an interest in cycling,” he said. “I really like to hear about that and talk to people about alternative transportation. Some people are avid cyclists and I really like how the pedicab can reach out to a diverse amount of people.”

Getting on a bike and offering rides and tours came naturally to Martinez, who has been riding for 20 years and has a garage full of bikes for his family — one pedicab was “no big deal”.

“I started seeing them in other cities and I thought it was something I could manage since I’m so familiar with bicycles and it seemed like something I could inherently do,” he said. “It was something I felt I could help manage in the community and introduce them in our region.”

Outside of the office

When he’s not showing people the wonders of Las Cruces and Mesilla on the nights and weekends, Martinez, of El Paso, works for a company remodeling and paintings homes.

His life outside of the office mirrors that of life on the pedicab.

Martinez is an avid bike rider outside of the pedicab, hitting area trails for mountain biking and hiking with his teenage son.

“I like to read a lot and visit local culture events or institutions, like new exhibits at art galleries and museums,” he said.

He also attends shows at the Rio Grande Theatre in downtown Las Cruces and attends the Las Cruces festivals and events to enjoy them in a personal capacity.

“I went to New Mexico State University and met my wife there. My son was born in Las Cruces and I’ve lived here before,” he said. “I enjoy working back and forth.”

The price of rides fluctuates depending on the distance, but are usually around $10, and children ride free with a paying adult.

For more information, or to book a ride, contact Martinez at 575-208-6480, email mesillapedicab@gmail.com or follow the company on Twitter @mesillapedicab.

Matlin Smith may be reached at 575-541-5468.

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Jul 20, 2014
Terri Judson

Visitors take in Marin’s first festival at a Coast Miwok village

Click photo to enlarge

Every summer, Marin is awash with festivals. Practically every town has one. Art festivals, wine festivals, music festivals, food festivals. It’s a tradition that goes back a long way. A really long way. Maybe as far back as 4,000 years.

That deep history was celebrated Saturday at the 34th Annual Big Time Festival, a traditional Native American trade festival at Kule Loklo, a recreated Coast Miwok village in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

“As indigenous, native people, we’re not in a museum. We’re still alive,” Dean Hoaglin, a Nicasio Coast Miwok, told a group of visitors who had gathered to hear him and his relatives sing traditional songs and blessings around a crackling campfire they started with a flint, dry grasses and kindling — no matches.

Scores of visitors, many of them parents and kids, attended the daylong event to see demonstrations of basket weaving, flint knapping and making beads from clam and abalone shells. Visitors were free to roam the village grounds, dotted with Miwok houses, called kotcas, made of wooden planks in the triangular shape of teepees. It’s a short walk along a dirt trail from the Point Reyes National Seashore headquarters.

“We were just checking out the sweat lodge,” said Adam Goodwin, a software developer from Woodacre who took in the festival with his three children, ages 2, 5 and 6. “The kids are making necklaces using Native American tools. One of my favorite things is the native garden with native plants and information on how they use each plant. This is a big part of California history. It’s a good thing.”

Throughout the day, there were performances by dancers from the Intertribal Pomo and Dry Creek Pomo groups. Several Native American vendors sold baskets and jewelry, and nonprofit organizations, such as the Miwok Archaeological Preserve of Marin and the Marin Museum of the American Indian, had information booths.

Festival-goers gathered around Peter Nelson and Tsim Schneider, Coast Miwoks from the Graton Rancheria, to watch them make arrowheads using deer antlers to chip away at glassy black pieces of obsidian in much the same way as their ancestors.

Schneider is doing post doctorate work in archaeology and Nelson is studying for his doctorate in archaeology, both at UC Berkeley.

“It gives us knowledge we can bring back to the tribe about Coast Miwok archaeological sites and heritage and how to manage cultural resources,” Nelson said, chipping away at a piece of obsidian. “Tribal members bring traditional knowledge, but we also need the archaeological knowledge and the policy knowledge. You have to bring those things together.”

The Big Time Festival was started 34 years ago by the late National Park Service Ranger Lanny Pinola, a Coast Miwok. It used to be held over a whole weekend, but federal budget cuts have limited it to just one Saturday each year.

“The idea is to let people know what’s going on with the first Californians, the Coast Miwok, the Pomo and other groups that have lived in Marin and Sonoma counties for so many years,” explained Ranger Loretta Farley.

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