Amanda Williams

County residents winners at the California State Fair

Arts and entertainment columnist In spite of a down economy and potential looming cutbacks, El Dorado County is presenting a strong showing at the 2010 California State Fair. The fair runs through Aug. 1, so there is still time through the weekend to check out the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of ÒBig FunÓ […]

Take a day trip to one of El Dorado Countys outdoor wonders

Arts and entertainment columnist El Dorado Hills is uniquely situated to give its residents the best of all worlds. LetÕs face it: Elegant, sophisticated living with great amenities É and in one of the most beautiful counties in California. El Dorado County is where the Gold Rush got its start, after all. The communities that […]

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

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 […]

Big discounts mean Big Fun at the California State Fair

Arts and entertainment columnist Had a craving for food on a stick lately? Or have you wanted to take the kids to the State Fair, but just never found the time because of school activities? On a budget? The 2010 California State Fair at Cal Expo is taking all of those challenges into consideration, and […]

Ten reasons to check out the Folsom Pro Rodeo this year

Arts and entertainment columnist If you werenÕt at the El Dorado Saloon last week when the Folsom Pro Rodeo Posse arrived, you missed a great shindig. There was mechanical bull riding, music by Fortunate Few and even a clown for the kids. The Posse will make another appearance tonight to share rodeo fun and quaff […]

Cowboy Up Folsom Pro Rodeo events start this week

Arts and entertainment columnist Summer is officially here … at last! And with the warm summer weather comes neighbor FolsomÕs annual entertainment: The annual Folsom Pro Rodeo. ÒAlways July 4thÓ is the rodeoÕs motto, and this year the rodeo will be held at the cityÕs Dan Russell Rodeo Arena on July 2, 3 and 4. […]

Learn how to earn more love in your life with local author in Folsom

Arts and entertainment columnist In these tough economic times there is a renewed interest in building up the Òthings that really matter,Ó including personal relationships. Local author Bob Quinlan understands these concerns. He believes that todayÕs couples are realizing that relationships are the ultimate investments in our lives, and he is dedicated to helping others […]

Schilling Robotics focuses on the Art of Making Things

Democrat correspondent SHINGLE SPRINGS Ñ Tucked away in the Sierra foothills is an unexpected business: one that manufactures equipment for use in the deepest waters on Earth. Schilling Robotics, LLC, came into the international spotlight this spring, when the robotic arms and equipment it manufactures were seen on television footage of the BP Oil spill […]

The ultimate dog and pony show comes to Cal Expo this weekend

Arts and entertainment columnist El Dorado Hills is a place where animals are loved to the point where they become family members. Since I live in the area, I know there are many equestrian folk in the community. Even more of you are members of the Òdoggy set.Ó I have a real treat for you […]

Folsom History Museum Quilt Show celebrates 30 years

Arts and entertainment columnist This yearÕs annual Folsom History Museum Antique Quilt and Vintage Fashion Show is literally ÒFrom the Archives.Ó Celebrating over a century of sewing and quilting talent, this yearÕs show features quilts, clothing and textile items that belong to the museum itself and to the two remarkable women who founded this annual […]

Birth of Impressionism comes to de Young Museum

Arts and entertainment columnist Sometimes, events and situations coalesce to create wonderful opportunities. Museums need to upgrade and renovate. Works go Òon loanÓ during construction. This is exactly what is happening this summer: Some of the worldÕs greatest masterpieces of French art will be visiting the famous de Young Museum in San FranciscoÕs Golden Gate […]

Sac Opera closes season with spectacular Russian Affair

Arts and Entertainment columnist Because PushkinÕs work was so well known to Russian audiences, Tchaikovsky took the unusual step of writing the opera as a series of ÒepisodesÓ from the novel. There is no continuous story. Tchaikovsky felt that the audience would mentally fill in the details of any missing items. Sacramento Opera will close […]

Love the arts? ThereÕs an app for that

Arts and Entertainment columnist Smart phone, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways É In 1980, a brash young upstart named Steve Jobs made a much-ridiculed claim that Americans would have computers in their homes by the end of the decade. And not the enormous behemoths used at Mission Control by NASA. […]

California Auto Museum celebrates the hot rod

The Arts columnist America has always had a love affair with speed, from her earliest days, whether it was racing horses, carriages or horseless carriages. The view was: Speed is good. And if it is good, it can be beautiful, too. This was especially true of the American hot rod. This American passion to create […]

Spring is in the air: Why not take a day trip?

Arts and entertainment columnist Robins and goldfinches are chirping in the garden as I sit at my notebook computer. The sun is shining and all seems right with the world while IÕm away from the TV/radio/Internet. I can ignore the buzz of the iPhone as I listen to the bumbling of the bees in my […]

Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra comes bearing Great Gifts

Arts and Entertainment columnist Each person on this earth is given gifts, or talents, to share with others in this life. No matter how challenged, it is undeniable that each person is given at least one gift Ñ even if it is so simple as being able to give another human being a reason to […]

St. Francis Troubadour Theater gets its rock on with Starmites

Arts and Entertainment columnist St. Francis High School brings an outstanding, Tony Award-nominated musical to the Sacramento area this week with the debut of its production of ÒStarmites.Ó Just how outstanding is ÒStarmites?Ó Enough that the creator of the musical will fly out from New York to teach the students at a special seminar and […]

African American Treasures an inspirational exhibit for all

Arts and entertainment columnist The mission of The California Museum in Sacramento is to engage and enlighten visitors to CaliforniaÕs rich history and its unique contribution to the world through ideas, innovation, art and culture. It seeks to inspire all people to dream the California dream and to dare to make their mark on history. […]

Yearbook, paper on chopping block

Arts and Entertainment columnist This weekÕs column was to be about something else completely. But just as in life, sometimes columns take a radical turn when something important pops up in front of you. That happened to me this week as I was checking Facebook. Many Village Life readers have ÒfriendedÓ me on this social […]

Love is the heartbeat of the universe in Sac Operas La Traviata

Arts and entertainment columnist True love and tragic misunderstanding, aristocrats and commoners, noble sacrifice, betrayal and dying young É Sacramento OperaÕs production of Giuseppi VerdiÕs ÒLa TraviataÓ has it all. Verdi based his opera in three acts on a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, called ÒLa dame aux CamŽlias.Ó The novel, which was based on […]

The big one returns: Folsom Quilt & Fiber Guild show Fri-Sun

Arts and entertainment columnist ItÕs February, and thoughts turn to Valentines, community crab feeds and É quilt shows. As quilt shows go, the one hosted by the Folsom Quilt & Fiber Guild is rated as one of the best in the Western United States. Just as the swallows return to Capistrano every spring, visitors from […]

Plan a romantic Valentines evening at FLSO

Arts and entertainment columnist St. ValentineÕs Day is coming up in just a few short weeks. If you are unsure of what to get your sweetheart this year, or if you are looking for something unusual that will touch the heart, consider an evening with the Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Feb. 13. The […]

Rock, Paper, Scissors a standout art show at 48 Natoma

Arts and entertainment columnist Anyone who attended last Friday nightÕs gala opening of ÒRock, Paper, ScissorsÓ at The Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom has to admit: this gallery is featuring artists of great caliber, and is building a reputation for itself in Northern California. The exhibit, which runs through March 11, features the work […]

Young at Art spotlights young artists with skill beyond years

Arts and Entertainment columnist One of the most exciting art competitions for middle school students in the Sacramento region is calling for entries in early February. ÒYoung @ ArtÓ 2010 is an art show for students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. It is sponsored by St. Francis High School, which is known statewide […]

Local art galleries bring art to everyone

Arts and Entertainment columnist Well, here we are É in the first week of January. Amidst the broken and unresolved resolutions, I decided to go out to see whatÕs going on in a few of the local galleries. Artists, by their very nature, seem to always have an interesting outlook on the world. Best of […]

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