Over the Back Fence: Late summer events in the foothills

08/02/2014 12:00 AM

08/01/2014 5:38 PM

Plenty of time is left for enjoying summertime in the Sierra communities. One of the following events or destinations may interest you:

• Mariposa Evenings brings summer visitors to the mountains for music on the green at the Art Park every Friday and Saturday.

Singer/songwriter J.J. Rymer performs tonight, at 7 p.m. His Laguna Beach friends will join him for a Bruce Springsteen-style performance.

Next weekend Steve Johnson and Those BobTones take the stage Friday. This award-winning blues band is a Mariposa favorite.

On Aug. 9 Glen Delpit and the Subterraneans bring their “bluesrootsy Americana” sound to the stage.

The park is located between Fourth and Fifth Streets in downtown Mariposa. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for outdoor seating. Shows are free, but tips are appreciated.

This concert series is sponsored by Mariposa County Arts Council (MCAC). Visit www.mariposaartscouncil.org for more information, or call (800)903-9936.

• The work of noted California artist, Joseph Jacinto “Jo” Mora from Uruguay, will be featured in a special art exhibit at the MCAC’s Treetop Gallery. Titled “Mora in Yosemite,” the display will include photographs, sketches, pictorial maps, sculptures and journal entries from his collection, dated in the early 1900s.

MCAC director Cara Goger is thrilled to show Mora’s artistry alongside contemporary, regional artwork.

“Mora was inspired by the same landscapes and characters the majority of our local artists also derive inspiration from,” she says.

His architectural sculptures can still be seen on buildings in California and Oregon cities. Mora’s artwork is also part of museum exhibits across the West and at the Smithsonian.

A public reception will be held at the gallery on Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the exhibit. Mora’s work may be viewed through Oct. 25. This exhibition is an official Yosemite Grant 150 Anniversary event. Visit MCAC’s website or call for details.

• The catfish are jumpin’ in La Grange. Tonight’s Odd Fellows benefit catfish dinner will be held at the historic lodge on Main Street, from 4 to 7 p.m. Take-out meals are available. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children, 10 and younger. Dinner and raffle tickets may be purchased at the door.

La Grange sits just east of the intersection of Yosemite Blvd. (CA Highway 132) and La Grange Road (Highway J-59). For details call (209) 853-2128.

• Enjoy nature? Like to volunteer? Yosemite National Park is looking for individuals and groups to help with preservation projects on Wednesday mornings through the end of August.

Planting seedlings and removing invasive plant species are a few activities volunteers will participate in.

All ability levels and ages are welcome, but those younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Experienced work leaders will guide the groups while also exploring the park’s valuable resources.

Information and guidelines are available at www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hapy.htm. Or call the Yosemite Volunteer Office at (209)379-1850.

• Hinds Hospice of Merced is preparing for its annual gala. To be held at Vista Ranch & Cellars, this benefit event raises funds for helping local patients and families who have lost a loved one. The nonprofit organization is still in need of sponsors and auction items.

Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse will serve as emcee. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22. The evening will include dinner, music and silent and live auctions.

Tickets may be purchased by calling Lyat Silveira at (209) 383-3123, or by email, lsylveira@hindshospice.org.

• In the eastern Sierra, Mono County provides camping and RVing opportunities at 86 public and private campgrounds. In addition, hiking and horseback-riding trails, lakes, bicycle routes and quaint villages are just waiting to be explored.

Plenty of family fun, history and cultural curiosities abound in the area towns and museums. You’ll enjoy discovering what Bodie, Bridgeport, Walker, Lee Vining, June Lake, Mammoth Lakes and Rock Creek have to offer.

Mono County is also known for the scenic U.S. Route 395. Visit www.MonoCounty.org or call (800) 845-7922 for details about this popular California destination.

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