A weekly guide to what’s happening.
45th Annual Fungus Fair
Santa Cruz might just be the fungi-est place on the Central Coast, and some wait all year for this shroomy event. The annual Santa Cruz Fungus Fair boasts speakers and specialists, cooking workshops and of course hundreds of prime fungus specimens. Don’t go eating any old side-of-the-road mushroom—the fair’s taxonomy panel will help you classify different types of fungi and pick the prime specimens. This year’s theme is “mushrooms and medicine,” and the event list includes lectures about psilocybin mushrooms, the medicinal properties of ancient and exotic fungi, and how hallucinogens can make the world a better place.
INFO: 1-5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. ffsc.us. $10 general/$5 students or seniors.
‘8 Tens @ 8’ Short Play Festival
The 24th annual “8 Tens @ 8” Festival is one of the most popular and highly anticipated theater events of the year. With a selection of 16 Actors’ Theatre award-winning scripts, the 10-minute plays spotlight some of the best local actors and directors around. The plays are separated into A and B series nights, with eight 10-minute plays at—you guessed it—8 p.m. A lot can happen in just 10 minutes. Short attention spans are welcome, in fact they are encouraged.
INFO: Runs Friday, Jan. 4-Sunday, Feb. 3. 3 and 8 p.m. shows. Actors’ Theatre. 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. sccat.org. Single night $32 general/$39 student or senior. Both nights $58 general/$54 student or senior.
Wednesday 1/2- Sunday 3/31
Elephant Seal Walks
Elephant seals are back on the beach. Keep a distance, they can be cranky—but who wouldn’t be after migrating 13,000 miles and having a nose that looks like a muppet? After a hard journey, they like to relax at the beach and make farting noises to impress the ladies. Guided walks are around 3 miles and take about 2.5 hours with frequent stops.
INFO: Walks begin daily at 8:45 a.m. Available weekends and some holidays through Saturday, March 31. Año Nuevo State Park, 1 New Years Creek Rd., Pescadero. 650-879-2025. reservecalifornia.com. $7 admission/$10 vehicle fee. Reservations also available for $3.99 fee.
Watsonville Mural Unveiling
Muralist and central coast local Augie W.K. has been working on a 62-foot-tall mural for four months. The mural, called “Sabor,” meaning flavor in Spanish, is inspired by colorful fruity candy. W.K. painted the mural on Don Rafa’s Market and says he was inspired by the rich, vibrant culture of Watsonville. Since W.K. also works a full-time job, he’s only been able to paint on his two days off each week since late August. The project hasn’t been easy, but thanks to the Arts Council and community support, it is finally finished. The event will feature food, music and a grand unveiling of the final piece.
INFO: Noon. 50 W Riverside Drive, Watsonville. Free.