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Stories written by Susan Laird
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David Vs. Goliath: Relax and imagine the fun at the Stanislaus County Fair

Enjoy traditional rides, shade trees, and food on a stick at the Stanislaus County Fair.
Photo by Susan Laird

 The California State Fair opens just 33 minutes down the hill from us on Friday, July 8. There will be big fun at the fair — lots to see and do. Our county fair, held just a few weeks ago, is now a memory. But did you know there are more county fairs out there? […]

Comments Off / July 05, 2016 | Posted in Spotlight Columns | Read More »

New rides, competitions and exhibits at 2016 California State Fair

Hot summer nights are a staple at the California State Fair. This year, four new rides will give fairgoers thrills and chills. Susan Laird Arts & Entertainment columnist The hot days of summer are now upon us, and that can mean only one thing: the California State Fair must be right around the corner. This […]

Comments Off / June 23, 2016 | Posted in Entertainment,Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Warhol: Portraits speaks to the creative mind in Crocker exhibit

Andy Warhol, "Self-Portrait," 1986. 
Photo courtesy of the Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

It seems like only yesterday that I was walking through the “bones” of the new expansion to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Wearing a hard hat and with a photographer in tow, we heard promises of amazing exhibits to come. There would be expansive galleries and appropriate archival lighting. Six years later, the promise […]

Comments Off / May 26, 2016 | Posted in Entertainment,Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Folsom Lake Symphony to close season with Hollywood Hits

Maestro Peter Jaffe polled patrons of Folsom Lake Symphony to help him select the theme for this season’s final concert.  Village Life file photo by Jackie Penn

Many of us grew up listening to famous conductor Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. As a kid, I always wondered why it was called a “Pops” orchestra. Did it have something to do with popcorn? I never heard any popping sounds. What was the deal? Well, to put it simply, the “pops” stands […]

Comments Off / May 22, 2016 | Posted in Entertainment,Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Experience California’s connection to the Run for the Roses

California’s champion racehorse, California Chrome, is celebrated in a special exhibit at The California Museum. His trophies and other memorabilia are on display through Sept. 25. Photo courtesy Forestbird Photography/Kathleen Waldvogel Palma

The first weekend in May in America is reserved for the Sport of Kings — thoroughbred horse racing. For 142 years, aficionados of this pastime have turned their eyes to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky for the annual running of the Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses is the first jewel in the Triple […]

1 Comment / May 01, 2016 | Posted in Entertainment,Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Kit Carson Mountain Men step back into California’s past 

This pioneer family from the 1800s faced many challenges as they headed west in hope of a better life. The Kit Carson Mountain Men will host a living history wagon train re-enactment for four days in Amador County, April 28 through May 1. Courtesy photo

California is rich with history, and the pioneer days of the mid-1800s are no exception. As the springtime weather continues to improve, the Kit Carson Mountain Men will host their living history Days of ’49 Wagon Train re-enactment in Amador County, just to the south of El Dorado Hills. For four days, April 28 to […]

Comments Off / April 17, 2016 | Posted in Entertainment,Spotlight Columns | Read More »

Pushing the envelope: Auto design drives the future

The Lincoln Navigator concept SUV features dramatic gull-wing doors, a staircase and a large closet in the back. Photo by Susan Laird

The famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.” This is especially true when it comes to the vehicles Americans drive. Auto design is iconic in our history. Think of it: the early horseless carriages in the rolling […]

Comments Off / April 10, 2016 | Posted in Entertainment,Spotlight Columns | Read More »