The Sierra Art Trails annual tour is going on this weekend. For the 10th year, art enthusiasts are welcomed inside galleries, studios and homes of foothills artists to learn more about their artistry and to watch demonstrations. More information is available at www.sierraarttrails.org or by calling the Mariposa County Visitors Center at (209) 966-7081.
The Contractor's Association Home and Garden Show takes place today at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. See the latest in the world of construction and home improvement, and get your questions answered by the professionals. Games and activities are planned for the young folks. A flea market will be held in conjunction with the home and garden show. It is being conducted by the Mariposa Friends of the Fairgrounds in the parking lot.
This evening in La Grange, the Odd Fellows will host a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for the refurbishing of the IOOF historic hall. Dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12. A 32-inch flat-screen television and more prizes are offered in the raffle. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The hall is on Main Street, aka Highway 132, just east of State Route J-59.
In old books written about official ghost towns of the western United Sates, photos of Hornitos show more buildings than the few still standing today. Hmmm ... A few times a year, though, this town looks lively. On the first Sunday of October, the Hornitos Patrons Club holds a flea market at the park. It's quite an event with 100 or more vendors. The event tomorrow begins at 7 a.m. The Masons are cooking breakfast, which may be purchased and enjoyed in the Stag Hall. Booths remain open until mid- to late afternoon.
Next weekend, Columbia's Historic State Park will hold a Harvest Festival. This old-fashioned arts and crafts fair will offer something for every member of the family to enjoy. Vendors' booths will display pottery, jewelry, handmade clothing, wood furniture and home décor. Demonstrations will be given by the Mother Lode Weavers and Spinners Guild. Games, face painting, a scarecrow-making booth and pumpkin picking will delight the children. Live music, a barbecue tri-tip dinner and the showing of an outdoor movie (filmed in Columbia) round out Saturday's schedule. Bring your own seating for the movie. A pumpkin will be dropped from the roof of the Columbia Merchantile at 9 a.m. Saturday to begin the event. Booths will close at 5 p.m. On Sunday the fair runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details visit, www.columbiacalifornia.com or call (209) 536-1672.
October is the time for choosing pumpkins and getting lost in a corn maze at Vista Ranch. Youngsters will also enjoy the critter crater and small farm plots. It's a great place for educational field trips. Located at 7326 Highway 140, about 7 miles east of Merced, the pumpkin patch is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call (209) 722-0200 for more or visit the Web site at www.vistacellars.com.
Later this month is the Hot Rod and Custom Car Show. It's goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. For details or to register your custom car, call (209) 966-2456 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the temperatures start dipping, the trees get dressed in their autumn colors. If none of these events can lure you, perhaps a leisurely drive through the colorful countryside might.
Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at email@example.com.