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5 Things to Do in Santa Cruz September 19-25

From ‘Radical Reels’ to a festival all about belly dancing

A weekly guide to what’s happening.

Green Fix

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Adventure sports’ larger-than-life stories are coming to the big screen yet again. The 42nd annual Banff Mountain Film Festival brings a selection of short films to about 400 communities around the world, including Santa Cruz. This year’s Santa Cruz list includes films about a one-armed, cupcake-loving climber, a cyclist who’s riding across 43 states and counting, and an American skier who sets out on a 2.5 million vertical foot route. Photo: Cedar Wright.

INFO: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. 423-8209. riotheatre.com. $18.

Art Seen

Third Annual Coastal Belly Festival

No this is not a festival about bellies—put the gut away unless you have mad belly dancing skills (or want to learn how to get them). Belly dancing is a great workout; it’s no wonder belly dancers have fabulous abs. Move and groove your way to the hardest and most alluring core workout ever. For those taking a pass on workshops, there will be plenty of pro belly dancers showing off their skills in a gala show.

INFO: 10 a.m. start, gala at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Vets Hall, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz. coastalbellyfest.com. $5-$20, workshop pricing separate.

Thursday 9/20

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

It’s easy to get down about the environment these days, what with the political climate and diesel spills right in our backyard. Ventana Wilderness Alliance, a conservation group working to protect public lands in the Big Sur backcountry, is bringing the Wild and Scenic Film Festival from Nevada City to Santa Cruz to uplift and inspire change. Along with some picturesque scenery and stunning footage, a few lucky filmgoers will win raffle prizes from national and local sponsors like REI, Patagonia, and Alvarado Street Brewery. Can’t make the Santa Cruz screening? There’s also one in Monterey on Sept. 22. Check online for details.

INFO: 7 p.m. Del Mar Theatre. 1124 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. ventanawild.org. $25/$30.

Sunday 9/23

19th Annual Santa Cruz Oktoberfest

It’s not October yet, but it’s never really too early for Oktoberfest. Enjoy some brews and brats at Santa Cruz’s longest-running independent Oktoberfest celebration. There will be homemade authentic german food, a live German Polka band, and, of course, all of the German beer anyone could ever drink. There will also be a non-German jump house, petting zoo and face painting, because what would a German petting zoo look like anyway?

INFO: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Messiah Lutheran Church. 801 High St., Santa Cruz. 423-8330. Free admission, $15 meal tickets.  

Sunday 9/23

Hearts for Hart Fundraiser

Local surfer Brian Hart was surfing at Steamer Lane back in July when he hit a cliff, broke his back and drowned. Though he has been paralyzed, he’s breathing on his own and starting to regain some feeling in his body. He improves more every day, and is defying the odds, according to his doctors. To support his long-term recovery, friends and family are hosting a fundraiser. There will be food and drinks, entertainment, and a raffle featuring more than $5,000 worth of items from local businesses. All money collected will go directly to helping the Hart family rebuild their lives during Brian’s recovery.

INFO: 2-7 p.m. Haut Surf Shop, 345 Swift St., Santa Cruz. heartsforhart.eventbrite.com. $15.

Friday 9/21-Sunday 9-23

Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival

Summer officially ends on Sept. 22, but there’s something about Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival—maybe the fresh mountain air or the grassy field—that feels more summer-y than ever. Oteil and Friends, Lettuce, and Nahko and Medicine for the People headline this year’s Mountain Sol Festival in Felton. Grab a chair, blanket and sunscreen and get there early for the best spots. Parking will be limited and hard to find, so carpool if possible. Photo: Alex Varsa.

INFO: 2-7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Roaring Camp Meadows, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton. santacruzmountainsol.com. $20-$135.

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