Mendocino Wants to Take You to the Edge

Dystopian banquet and topless tapas, anyone?

Situated on California’s sun-drenched shoreline with 90 miles of fantastic Pacific fringe, Mendocino County has long been an enclave for arts and artisans with an offbeat edge. Marking its second year, the Almost-Fringe Festival showcases a rousing line up of 40+ events including performing arts, gallery showcases, musical events and a salute to all things goat. Set for April 2018 and staged throughout the county, this event is loosely based on the model set by the original Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a distinct Mendo twist.

SIGNATURE EVENTS

Sparkling Wine Celebration – April 7; 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; $65

Sporting 25+ sparkling wine producers, Mendocino County is terra firma for visitors seeking a little bubble in their step. Terra Sávia Winery is the stop for an alfresco day of strolling the grounds of a working olive mill and vineyard, glass in hand backed with live music and shucked oysters. Located at the gateway of Mendocino County in Hopland, this event is certain to pique every palate. www.terrasavia.com

Mendocino Coast Uke Fest – April 13, 7:00 p.m., free; April 14, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; $30.

It’s all things ukulele this spring including workshops, open mic and performances from the Ukeholics among other entertainment. Friday night kicks off with a uke jam-fest open to all levels. Fort Bragg, Calif. www.facebook.com/MendocinoStories

Mushroom as Color: A Mendocino Rainbow – April 13 – 15; 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; $20 fee.

For centuries mushrooms have been used by local denizens as a dye. Ford House Museum will showcase an exhibit and workshop on the dying process, showcasing Mr. Fungi in a spectrum of color. Visitors can learn the art of silk scarf dying and take home a treasure at the Mushroom Dye Workshop; exhibits and demonstrations are free. Mendocino. mendocinocoastmushroomclub.weebly.com 

Dystopian Banquet and Topless Tapas Dinner – April 14, 6:30 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.; $25.

Flynn Creek Circus partners with Circus Mecca and the Mendocino Dance Project to deliver a four-course topless tapas dinner show with chef Nicholas Petti driving the stoves. The evening heads for the edge with a sexy circus and one-of-a-kind dystopian prom flush with aerial acts, interactive survival games and the much-anticipated “Anti Prom King and Queen contest.” Haul out the old prom dress and accessorize with survival gear for the ultimate apocalypse. Mendocino. www.flynncreekcircus.com

Trashion Show – April 21; check website for time; $20

Trash as fashion is the focus of this eye-popping show, celebrating the recycling and refashioning of thrift store finds into clothing and accessories for the adventurous jetsetter. A statement to today’s throwaway society, the runway will be peppered with a variety of creative takes in true Mendocino fashion. Ukiah.  www.spaceperformingarts.org/trashion

Wine and Whale Celebration – April 21; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; free.

Kick off Earth Day weekend with a family event certain to heighten all senses. Set on the expansive Point Arena Lighthouse grounds, enjoy seasonal grey whale sightings backed with a sky flush with works of art fluttering above the lighthouse, compliments of Berkeley Kite Wranglers. Food and drink available for purchase. Point Arena. www.pointarenalighthouse.com/wind-whale-celebration

Fourth Annual Goat Festival & Wildflower Show – April 21; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; $5.

Get that inner goat on and check out the capricious creatures celebrating springtime. Learn the art of crafting goat cheese or try a hand at milking and goat calling. Also on tap is the annual Wildflower Show featuring all things fragrant and bold calling Mendocino County home. Boonville. www.avfoodshed.com

Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change – April 22, 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.;
free with museum admission; $4 Individuals; $3 students/seniors; $10 families.

Celebrate Earth Day with an informative talk focused on the growing impact of human activity on wild spaces and threats posed by climate change. Renowned photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter will discuss their inspiration and technique around their award-winning photographs of Golden State wildflowers. Take a lap through the museum’s interpretive gardens for a front seat to the spring blooms. Ukiah. www.gracehudsonmuseum.org

Nature Fest: A Bio Blitz – April 28; $10.

Become a citizen scientist and connect with the biodiversity of UC Hopland Research and Extension Center’s amazing woodlands by teaming with experts and naturalists for a day of informative lectures and walks at the Institutes’ 5,000-acre wonderland just east of Hopland. Binoculars in hand, join in for the morning bird walk (7:00 a.m.), spider and scorpion talk (10:00 a.m.) and bio blitz (11:00 a.m.). Speakers include Lauren Esposito of the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Peter Alagona from U.C., Santa Barbara and Kate Marianchild. Hopland. hrec.ucanr.edu

Wine Hour with the Giraffes – April 28, 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., $60

It’s a tall order, giraffes painting a pair of wine glasses as visitors sip Mendocino’s favorite local juice. Step into the sanctuary called B. Bryan Preserve, located along scenic Highway 1 in Point Arena, for an afternoon of outback education. Visitors will join these amazing endangered creatures in the Giraffe House for an informative art session, paired with wine. Each visitor will receive two original works of glass art. Must be 21. Point Arena. www.bbryanpreserve.com

For more information, click here.

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