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Labor (Day Weekend) of Love

Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery. –Mother Teresa

Labor Day is among one of the best holiday weekends in Sacramento.  A day set aside to honor the American labor movement and appreciate the social and economic achievements of workers, Labor Day also marks the end of summer and welcomes fall: a beautiful season in the Capital City region.  

Tamales Elote

“Tamales, Elote!” at the Tejano/Conjunto Festival made me miss street food in México

As mentioned in Sacramento is Go, it seems there is always something to do, from music shows and art festivals to pub crawls and gallery openings. Labor Day weekend brings out some of the best, so it makes sense to be choosy with your time and ticket purchases, and note that many of the events are also everyone’s favorite price: FREE.

towerbridgekd

Tower Bridge and gray skies: Bring it on, Sacramento!

Mess (But Don’t Miss): Chalk It Up!

Since 1991, Chalk It Up! has been an annual event, mixing dusty chalk, hot sidewalks, creative artists, indie music, mobile food, unique vendors and absolute fun for a free celebration in Fremont Park.

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. –St. Francis of Assisi

This year the Governor’s dog, Sutter Brown, was in attendance at the 22nd Chalk It Up, among talented Sacramento artists including Danny Scheible from Tapigami, Rob-O from Sugar Skull Art and John S. Huerta. Sadly, California’s First Dog appeared bored with the event, and sprawled his Corgi self out among chalky feet and ceramic cups used to hold “chalk water.”  

Sutter Brown

The Governor’s Corgi, Sutter Brown, down for the count at Chalk It Up!

The Tex-Mex Ticket: Tejano/Conjunto Festival

On Saturday, the 7th annual Tejano/Conjunto Festival, blending Mexican-Spanish vocal traditions with Czech and German dance tunes and instruments, heated up the grass and concrete in Cesar Chavez Plaza.  

Gracias a Dios, por la música Tejuano

“Gracias a Dios, por la música Tejuano”

The sassy, melodic mix of Tejano (“Texan”) and Conjunto (“Group”) music got its rusty roots in the Lone Star State many years ago, but still draws people by the dozens to the dance floor.  

Ah said, "por favor, amigo, kick up YER heels!"

Ah SED, “Por favor, amigo, kick up YER heels!”

The 2013 event featured Little Joe and his band La Familia, food stands with traditional street snacks including tamales, elote, and BBQ oysters, and vendors like Trent Harger from Artworks 21 selling Méxican art, jewelry, photography and accessories. 

Papel Picado PLACEMATS! One set left at Artworks21 ¡Compra ahora!

Papel Picado PLACEMATS! One set left at Artworks 21 ¡Compra ahora!

More Bang for Your Buck(aroo): Crocker Art Museum

On Sunday, families (and even us child-free folk) enjoyed yee-hawing at the Crocker Art Museum’s contribution to the 3rd annual Gold Rush Days: Little Buckaroos Day. The museum wagonload included live performances, craft demos, hands-on art projects and a free photo booth (complete with Western-themed props) courtesy of Giggle & Riot.

Bigote Booth

Bigote on a stick! In the photo booth

Trick ropers and fiddlers roamed the Crocker floors among touchy-feely mustached kids and bleary-eyed security guards, all working hard to keep the museum art collection cowpoke-finger-free.

crockerkd

Amazing origami cranes and my Coketa shirt from the Tejano-Conjuno Festival!

Take Your Time: Gold Rush Days

Winding down the weekend with a brief visit to Gold Rush Days, the Sacramento waterfront (a.k.a. “Old Sac”) was time-warped back to the days of work horses, dirt roads, saloon brawls and bugle blowers. Families and hipsters alike filled the crowded sidewalks as mounted patrols in traditional military clothing trotted past bustling businesses and hay bales. 

City Better

Represent! I love this sign on J Street near 10th.

Gold Rush Days or not, a visit to Old Sac would be incomplete without a visit to Candy Heaven. The store, which was mobbed with happy, sugar-craving customers, flowed well with a fast check out line and sweet samples from the blue-sign barrels.

Sweet Treats

Sweet nothings! Favorites from Candy Heaven

I fell (once again) for the antics of the wacky owner, Darrin Kreb, showing him my California ID in order to purchase my beloved C. Howard’s Violet Mints, but it was worth it. I laughed all the way home, a little buzzed from the cocktail of my Chick O Stick, Gold Rush dust and another great weekend in Sacramento.

Author: Kate Dana

Teacher, traveler and writer living on the Caribbean coast of South America.

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