Faces and Places: National Night Out in East Sacramento

A heavily armored SWAT vehicle pulls up in front of an East Sacramento craftsman house. There’s also a fire truck, a police car, and an officer strolling the sidewalk with a police dog. Yes, it’s the canine unit. More than fifty people mill about on the lawn. Is there a spectacular crime in progress? No, this is National Night Out, an evening when people all over the city gather to chat with friends, introduce themselves to new neighbors, meet their First Responders, and let their kids climb (well supervised) into the fire truck and SWAT car. In this particular event, sponsored by the East Sacramento Preservation, everyone eats ice cream donated by Compton’s market. City Councilman Jeff Harris is there, as is a representative from the Mayor and two staffers from Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s office.

Councilman Harris speaks briefly, answers questions. During his remarks new visitors amble over, stay to listen. Firemen speak and pass out fire hats to kids. Of immense interest is the dark, forbidding SWAT car. Officer Bevins (David Lubin alumni) discusses its uses, then allows citizens to try on one of the protective vests worn by the SWAT team. The vest is heavy (60lbs), encumbered by gizmos. Someone asks if a female has ever qualified for the SWAT squad. Yes, he says, one has recently retired, another has just qualified. Police Bike Patrol rolls up. Officer Takehara patrols Mercy Hosptial. He’s happy to be out of the cruiser for a while. Officer O’Mallory from the City Police Department speaks next, gives a lot of useful information. He is well received, but the most popular officer of the night has four legs from the canine unit. Better disciplined that some of the humans, he doesn’t scarf down brownies and cupcakes from the dessert table. It’s an unusually cool August evening. Kids clamber over the vehicles, toddlers scurry around, adults sit in lawn chairs or stroll, bottled water is passed out, voices rise and fall, laughter bubbles up, a breeze sweeps by. A perfect National Night Out for neighbors.


Faces and Places: 4th of July Festival at Glenn Hall Park

The River Park Neighborhood Association held the annual 4th of July Festival at Glenn Hall Park in River Park. The celebration began with the firecracker parade of antique cars through the neighborhood and children’s bike parade from Caleb Greenwood to the park. The festival included carnival games, a bounce house, face painting, balloon artists, potato sack and egg races, and a water balloon toss.


Faces and Places: Hollywood Park Neighborhood 4th of July Parade

Photos by Greg Brown
Photos by Greg Brown

The annual 4th of July Hollywood Park Neighborhood Parade featured a vintage 1920s fire truck, which led the parade through the streets. Dressed in red, white and blue, some residents and their families marched the parade route, while neighbors cheered them on from their front yards. Along the parade route, there was a lemonade stand and World War II veterans. Like every year, snacks and refreshments were served at the end of the parade at Leonardo DaVinci School.


Faces and Places: Carmichael Fourth of July Parade

Photos by Barry Wisdom
Photos by Barry Wisdom

Classic cars, community floats, marching bands, military units and dignitaries made their way down Fair Oaks Boulevard to Cypress and toward the Elks at the 57th annual Fourth of July Parade. The parade ended with a big party – free swimming, barbecue, games and bocce ball for everybody! Carmichael resident Lt. Col. Jim Grey was the grand marshal.


Faces and Places: Sutter Hospital and Sutter’s Fort community day

Sutter Hospital and Sutter's Fort community day
Sutter Hospital and Sutter's Fort community day

Shown here are photos from the community day held on Saturday, June 20 in the Sutter district, celebrating the dawn of new medical advances at the Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center at Sutter hospital, as well as the history of medicine at Sutter’s Fort. The event featured live music, yoga demonstrations, art projects for the kids and lectures on Gold Rush-era medicine inside the fort. The fort will soon be undergoing the biggest renovation since the 1890s.

Sutter’s Fort to undergo most extensive restoration since the 1890s

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

California State Parks and the Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to announce a number of major restoration projects for Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park that, in total, represent the most extensive restorations at the Fort since a major reconstruction effort in the 1890s. While some of the Fort upgrades have already begun, the overall scope of the current restoration project includes the following: restoration of the Fort’s historic exterior wall; repair or replacement of the east and south gates; seismic stabilization of the historic Central Building; upgrades to various pathways in and around the Fort; and installation of outdoor lighting for the interior courtyards. Led by California State Parks, the work is scheduled to occur in phases with most of the work being coordinated by the State Parks Northern Service Center. Most of these exciting restoration projects are expected to be completed in 2015 with even more rehabilitation developments in the works for 2016.

These important restoration projects are made possible through a successful combination of public funds and private donations with the support of California State Parks, Friends of Sutter’s Fort and private donors. In fact, after being impressed with and motivated by the major roof rehabilitation project that was completed on the Central Building in 2013, Fair Oaks resident and involved community member Ron Leineke pledged to donate needed funds to the Friends of Sutter’s Fort, the non-profit foundation that raises funds for Sutter’s Fort, to restore the historic walls and gates at the fort.

Exterior Walls

Rebuilt for the first time in the 1890s (to replace the adobe structure with more sturdy brick) then resurfaced in the 1950s (after damaging vines were removed), the iconic exterior walls of the Fort are once again in dire need of restoration to preserve the historic masonry. The current restoration project will include repointing mortar, repairing cracks and applying fresh “breathable” paint to protect the surface.

East and south gates

Recently completed, much-needed restoration of the historic gates was concluded in late 2014. The rehabilitation work included the replacement of the east gates and the repair of the south gates to the Fort. As background, the east gate was previously rebuilt in 1956 and the south gate in 1991. As part of this current restoration process for the historic east gate, “new” redwood was used (repurposed from a previous state parks project) and the aging hardware for both gates was refurbished and reinstalled in good working order.

Seismic stabilization of the central building

Seismic stabilization of the historic Central Building will provide much needed support and stiffen the structure in the case of a seismic event. The Central Building is the only lasting original structure in the Fort that dates back to John Sutter’s time.


As part of the restoration efforts happening at the Fort in the summer of 2015, various pathways in and around the Fort – including the exterior pathway from the east gate to the bus stop — will be addressed. New grading, enhanced drainage and resurfacing will a more solid surface for greater ease and accessibility that will not wash away during heavy storms.

Outdoor lighting

Additionally, specially-designed outdoor event lighting will be installed in 2016 to the fort’s interior courtyards to enhance the safety and festive atmosphere for guests during increasingly popular evening events.

While the public will be able to visit the Fort as usual for most of 2015 – and be able to see glimpses of the important restoration progress underway – the work will require the Fort to be closed to the public for 30 days beginning July 13 to maximize guest safety and project efficiency (note the dates could slide a few days earlier or later if needed)*. Additionally, rehabilitation work will continue through November and possibly into December. To find out if there will be any impacts during planned visits to the fort, call 445-4422.

Updated information about these restoration efforts or about Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park in general is available at www.suttersfort.org. For community members and/or businesses interested in contributing to the current or future rehabilitation efforts are encouraged to call 916-323-7626.

*California State Parks encourages visitors to visit other historic Sacramento-area State parks, including the nearby State Indian Museum celebrating its 75th anniversary that is located at 2618 K Street. Operated by California State Parks and supported by the California Indian Heritage Center Foundation, the State Indian Museum is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day) for self-guided tours and school group visits. Current exhibits include traditional basketry, bead-work, ceremonial regalia and hunting & fishing items associated with many of the tribes of California, as well as contemporary artwork. For more information, call 324-0971 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/indianmuseum.

Heating up the boulevard: The Sacramento Taco Festival celebrated Mexican culture and paid tribute to the delicious taco

Taco Festival
Taco Festival

The Sacramento Taco Festival brought added heat to Del Paso Boulevard on the 99-degree Saturday, June 20. Featuring Lucha Libre wrestlers, Chihuahuas and tacos, the event was expected to drawetween 2,000 to 3,000 people to the daylong festival.
Held on Del Paso Boulevard between El Camino Avenue and Arden Way, The Sacramento Taco Festival was cohosted by SacramentoVice Mayor Allen Warren and SacLatino Magazine. Two years ago when the festival was first held, organizers primarily attracted the crowd of about 1,000 taco lovers through social media marketing. Then, the winning taco was from El Michoacano (Franklin Boulevard) and the winner of the taco eating contest was a 5-foot, 20-year-old woman from Sacramento, who beat out a couple of very large guys. “She won $75! She was very happy and made the event that much more fun. If we work things out as planned, we will be making this into an annual event,” says Adrian Perez, event coordinator.
The tacos are made by the different taco makers at the event. Since the average person eats three tacos, several thousand tacos are made and consumed. From vegetarian, chicken, carnitas, adobada, and asada tacos to the more tacos, for those with iron stomachs, the taco festival also included tacos made from stomach, intestines and head.
The wrestlers are professional and can be seen on a variety of levels from World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. to local wrestling events. From Los Angeles, the wrestlers specialize in Mexican wrestling, which includes masks and a lot of high flying maneuvers.
The idea of doing a Taco Festival came from the owner of a local taqueria, Taqueria Jalisco, on 16th Street.
Providing further background organizer Adrian Perez explained that Daniel, the owner of Taqueria Jalisco told him about National Taco Day. “So I looked it up and found that it’s unofficial, but October 4th is known as National Taco Day. Knowing the fresh tacos a very nutritional, we talked about doing a festival. I discovered that several cities celebrate the taco, but at different times during the year…Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, and now, San Jose. Knowing Sacramento is different than those cities, we decided to make ours into a street festival featuring a mascot that is native to Mexico, the chihuahua. We also wanted a fun look, so we opted to do a 60s throwback. As a result, we have a real ‘hippie’ poster with promotions using tie-dyed shirts.”
Perez said he was originally going to hold this event in a park, but after a good discussion with Vice Mayor Warren, he agreed that Del Paso Boulevard has the look of a community lost in the 60s and some great businesses, existing and coming in. “Moreover, the layout makes it ideal for a real street festival. So, here we are. And, the surrounding community loves it,” he adds.
Because there was so much excitement leading up to this event, Perez didn’t do any press releases until the day before because the media was already contacting the organizers even two weeks before that. “We also had two other large events contact us to see if we could cross promote. We tied in with the Hello Kitty Festival at Sleep Train Arena, and a scholarship beauty contest being sponsored by D’Primera Mano Magazine. But, overall, Sacramento has never seen anything like this and we are the first to hold an event celebrating tacos in Northern California,” Perez said.

Dog faces and places

Photos from the Doggie Dash
Photos from the Doggie Dash

Photos by Stephen Crowley
Dogs and their owners seemed to have had a barking good time at this year’s SSPCA Doggy Dash in Land Park on Saturday, June 6.

Faces and Places: Fire Station 8 open house

Families visited with local fire fighters at Fire Station 8’s open house, held on Saturday, May 8. Meeting the firefighters and medics who protect your neighborhood; visitors toured the station looked an up-close look at the trucks, engines, ambulances, equipment, and gear that your first responders use every day.


Pocket Parade 2014

Photos by Monica Stark Shown here are a selection of photos from last year's Spirit of the Pocket 4th of July Parade.
Photos by Monica Stark Shown here are a selection of photos from last year's Spirit of the Pocket 4th of July Parade.