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The dog days of summer bring big fun, culture and free events

By July 13, 2010

Arts and entertainment columnist

Summer is in full swing, and there are lots of activities out there this week, for just about every interest.

Big Fun at Cal Expo

The California State Fair opens today. The ÒBig FunÓ starts earlier this year, with adventures waiting inside Cal Expo. Check out all that is offered at A new feature of the fairÕs website this year allows visitors to plan their itineraries for the fair. Simply click on ÒFair InfoÓ and scroll down to ÒPlan Your Day.Ó Then, select the day you plan to attend the fair, select the events you are interested in, and Ñ presto Ñ print out a personalized itinerary. Similar to the online feature for Disneyland, you will love this for planning an experience at the State Fair that you will never forget.

Dachshund Derby

The 11th annual Dachshund Derby will be run at the California State Fair this Saturday, July 17, starting just before 2 p.m. This event is always a crowd pleaser, as visitors cheer on their favorite wiener dogs. Maxwell von Crumpmeister, my Òracing dachshund,Ó wonÕt be running this year Ñ a first after running in every state fair derby for the past six years. Max is fine, but he likes to sleep in a bit more these days. And I missed the deadline for entering him (the fair was early É I forgot). Max sends his greetings to all his El Dorado Hills canine buddies who will be at the fair.

New exhibit in Folsom

ÒWay of the Brush: Chinese Brush PaintingÓ opens at the Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom on Friday, July 16 and runs through Sept. 2. The exhibit features the work of local artist Betty Liu. As a traditional Chinese art form, brush painting can incorporate traditional Chinese images and poetry. Sometimes, this art can be a blending of both: the painting is in the poem, and vice versa. The exhibit will feature selections from LiuÕs body of work from the past three decades.

The public is invited to attend a fabulous opening reception for the exhibit on Friday, July 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 the Gallery at 48 Natoma, located on Natoma Street in Folsom. The reception will include wine, refreshments and feature live Chinese instrumental ÒGu-ZhengÓ music.

During this same time in the Community Gallery at 48 Natoma, the annual 48 Natoma Student Show will feature studentÕs work from classes taught by Liu, as well as other adult art classes taught at the center. This exhibit will be on display through Aug. 26.

The artistsÕ reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public and art is available for purchase. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with additional hours on some weeknights and Saturdays. To request additional gallery information, or to schedule a tour, contact the gallery coordinator, Cindy Abraham, at (916) 351-3506 or [email protected]

Arts & Wonder

Finally, the California Museum in Sacramento is offering free admission and free parking on Saturday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for their ÒArts & WonderÓ free family event. Families will enjoy demonstrations by local artists, music, face painting, arts and crafts and more. Plan ahead and take the train. It is easy to use the park and ride system from Folsom. Light Rail Regional Transit goes right by the museum, which is located at 10th and O streets in Sacramento. Check out the numerous exhibits at the museum, including ÒUnder the Dragon: CaliforniaÕs New Culture,Ó which runs through Aug. 1., and ÒThe Purse and the Person: A Century of WomenÕs Purses,Ó through Sept. 26. For more information, call (916) 653-7524 or visit

Share your arts and entertainment event with Susan at [email protected]

Susan Laird

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