Maybe you went to Bottlerock festival in Napa; maybe you’ve enjoyed some ice cream from Gunther’s on a scorching hot day; maybe you’ve even squeezed in a camping trip or quick vacation already this summer? No matter how much you feel like you’ve already packed in so far (or maybe you haven’t done shit yet, in which case this list is even more for you!), we’re here to tell you there is still a ton of rad stuff coming up in and around the Sacramento area to get pumped for this summer! Here are a few of our favorite Sacramento summer things.
Rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and/or just hanging out near bodies of water! Look, Sacramento gets hot in the summer. We all know this. The best way to “beat the heat” is most definitely to head to the American River, Lake Natoma, Folsom Lake, the Delta or any of the region’s other lakes or rivers to simply dip in and cool off. We suggest renting a kayak or stand-up paddle board at Lake Natoma, where there are actually two spots to do so: the Sacramento State Aquatic Center (1901 Hazel Ave., Gold River), and Adventure Sports Kayak and SUP Rentals (9698 Greenback Lane, Folsom). No matter what you do, please wear a life vest, as there have already been a number of drownings in the region this summer due to the abnormally high flows and bone chillingly cold water from all the snow melt. Enjoy the water, just please be safe doing so.
As of this week there are still five free shows left as part of Downtown Sac Partnership’s Concerts in the Park series. This Friday, June 21, check out headliners Smith & Thell, a Swedish pop/folk group, along with locals Island of Black and White, Occupy the Trees and DJ Lady Kate. Next week, on June 28, local act So Much Light gets the headline slot, with openers me&you, Animals in the Attic, Freature and DJ Epik. Concerts in the Park events go down at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Sacramento and are always free for all ages. Gates open at 5 p.m. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs or just hang up front and dance with thousands of other live music lovers in a friendly environment.
Wide Open Walls, the premier mural festival on the West Coast, returns to Sacramento from Aug. 8–18, bringing together international talent and local artists to create new murals all around town. Submerge has it on good authority that the lineup for this year’s W.O.W. will be announced within the next two to three weeks, so keep an eye on Wideopenwalls.com or find them on socials to await the sure-to-be-impressive list of artists who will be brightening up our city. Two of my personal favorite murals from past Wide Open Walls festivals both happen to be on the same building in downtown Sacramento, the Residence Inn by Marriott (1121 15th St.), where international street-art star Shepard Fairey’s giant mural of Johnny Cash lives, as well as a massive colorful abstract mural from painting duo How and Nosm.
While technically happening the week after summer ends, this year’s Farm-to-Fork Festival, taking place Sept. 27–28, is a great way to wind down the season. Headlining this year’s concert is Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real (Lukas is not only the son of American legend Willie Nelson, but was also Bradley Cooper’s inspiration behind the film A Star is Born, and Promise of the Real also plays with Neil Young as his band!), along with performances by Samantha Fish, Barns Courtney, ZZ Ward and locals me&you. Besides the music, the Farm-to-Fork Festival also features farmers, cooking demonstrations, plenty of fresh food, plus the best wines and craft beers from across the state. Keep an eye on Farmtofork.com for details.
**This write-up first appeared in print on page 8 of issue #294 (June 19 – July 3, 2019)**