It’s a new month, a new year and a new decade, but one thing stays the same: Sacramento is a fun-as-heck place to live! Even in January—a month many would consider “slow” or “sleepy”— there are a plethora of awesome concerts, comedy shows and other events to choose from that are happening in around town. Here is a brief rundown of some highlights coming up this month.
SacAnime • Friday, Jan. 3–Sunday, Jan. 5
A pop culture festival with an anime twist, SacAnime’s gigantic annual winter event is this weekend! Expect thousands of costumed fans, a huge exhibitor room and artist alley with a fantastic guest list, plus plenty of autograph sessions, photo ops, along with guest panels, cosplay masquerade, late night electronic dance, swap meet, video gaming, collectible card games and more. With the Sacramento Convention Center currently under construction, SacAnime moves to Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Blvd.) for the first time ever. More info and tickets at Sacanime.com.
Winterfest 2020 at Ace of Spades • Saturday, Jan. 4
It’s always cool to see local bands on Sacramento’s biggest stage and at Winterfest 2020 at Ace of Spades (1417 R St.) you can do just that with a killer all-local lineup of rock, indie and pop bands: Dark Signal, A Foreign Affair, Nerv, The Color Wild, A Summer Alive, Centersight, For the Kids and Saint Juniper. Eight bands, $12, can’t beat that. All ages welcome, doors open at 5 p.m. Check out Aceofspadessac.com for more info and to buy tickets (pro tip: buy them in person to avoid fees at Ace’s box office; check their website for hours).
Irishpalooza 2020 • Saturday, Jan. 11
From traditional, folk, rock to punk, get ready for a night of pure Irishness at this ninth annual event with local bands Stepping Stone, Whiskey and Stitches, One-Eyed Reilly, and The Pikeys. Dancers from the The McKeever School of Irish Dance will also be in attendance along with special musical guest Bob Eastwall. This event packs out every year, so getting tickets in advance ($15 through Harlows.com) is highly encouraged. Rumor has it this is Whiskey and Stitches’ last gig, so don’t miss it! Irishpalooza takes place at Harlow’s (2708 J St.).
Future of Comedy Showcase • Wednesday, Jan. 15
Catch a bunch of buzzworthy stand-up comedians on one show at the 2020 Future of Comedy Showcase at Punch Line (2100 Arden Way) with host Kabir “Kabeezy” Singh and a special “mystery headliner” who has been seen on Comedy Central and Showtime. Openers include Buddy Dean, Artie Valenzuela, Westley Hofman and more. Those 18-plus allowed in, starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $18 at the door. Look up Punchlinesac.com for more.
The Art of Beer Invitational • Friday, Jan. 24
By far my personal favorite of all the craft beer related events in or around the Sacramento area is the annual Art of Beer Invitational. The lines aren’t long, the people are friendly and the beer is world class. This year, 35 breweries will be pouring unlimited 4-ounce tastings, and as always, there will be a beer-themed art gallery area where you can bid on your favorite pieces to help organizers raise money toward their goal of adopting a wish for a Make-A-Wish child in our community. The Art of Beer takes place at McClellan Conference Center (5411 Luce Ave., McClellan Park) and tickets are $60 for general admission or $70 for VIP. Check out Artofbeerinvitational.com for more info and to purchase tickets. Pro tip: You can save 10% off ticket prices by using the discount code “SUBMERGE10” through Art of Beer’s website!
**This write-up first appeared in print on page 6 of issue #308 (Jan. 1 – 15, 2020)**