Bigger isn’t always better, at least when it comes to trees. Bonsai trees have been around for more than 1,000 years, and are part of an ancient Japanese tradition which holds that miniature things harbor potent magical properties. Bonsais are the ideal gift for tree huggers, particularly those who live in small spaces. To thrive, these sweet little containerized trees require pruning, maintenance and love, and Bonsai specialist Michael Nelson will be demonstrating and answering questions for new and experienced bonsai enthusiasts.
INFO: 1 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Alladin Nursery. 2905 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville. [email protected] Free.
In 2015, more than half a million refugees, most fleeing the war in Syria, passed through a small fishing village on the island of Lesvos, Greece. A year later, the villagers gathered for a festival, and stories of the crisis begin to unfold. This performance is a dynamic and poetic representation based on true stories, with text and characters in the play drawn from interviews with Greeks and Syrians who were caught up in these events.
INFO: 8 p.m. Thursday June 28-Saturday, June 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1. Center Stage Theater. 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. mermaidmadonna.com. $15 student/child $17 general.
This annual multicultural festival is a celebratory opportunity on the sacred Santa Cruz hillside for Tibetan Buddhists and anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism. Each year, the festival takes place under the thangka (tan-kah), a 24-foot painting of the eight medicine buddhas. The procession with the thangka will be led by Gamelan Anak Swarasanti Orchestra. There will be dancers, food stands, healing booths, and activities for all ages. Everyone is welcome.
INFO: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., procession at 11 a.m. Land of the Medicine Buddha. 5800 Prescott Road, Soquel. landofmedicinebuddha.org. Use of free parking and shuttle buses located at Congregational Church, Soquel Drive and Main St. in Soquel is recommended. $20 parking onsite without shuttle. Free event.
Who are the best and baddest babes in the Bay? Our bets are on the Santa Cruz Derby Girls. The league is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a doubleheader against the Monterey Bay Derby Dames and Bay Area Derby’s Oakland Outlaws. The Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ Seabright Sirens, one of the league’s development teams, will start off the battle against the Monterey Bay Derby Dames. The all star Boardwalk Bombshells will finish it off in a face-off against the Oakland Outlaws.
INFO: 4 p.m. Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. 307 Church St., Santa Cruz. santacruzderbygirls.org. $10.50-$32.50
Whether you buy them by the pound or by the kilo, nothing says summertime quite like soft and juicy mangos. Eat them straight up, in sorbet, or Thai-style with sweet coconut sticky rice—mangos are a lavish way to end a meal. Master the basics of this sweet exotic fruit with Chef Nissa Pierson, mango pro. From selection and storage to effective cutting techniques Pierson will be dishing out recipes and boxes of mangoes to take home.
INFO: 6-8:30 p.m. New Leaf Community Markets. 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz. 426-1306. newleaf.com. $35.