Talk of the Town Blog

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Festival of Lights a Coast Family Tradition

Posted on: November 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm by Sharon Davis No Comments

Festival of LightsCelebrate the season of lights . . .

Festival of Lights is better than ever this year, with new displays, dinner options, wine, beer, hot cocoa and spiced cider, home-baked goodies in our Holiday Treats Café, a heated tent to sit in and listen to one of our many musical guests, and so much more!

The event will run, rain or shine!

The lights make their triumphant return the weekend after Thanksgiving beginning Friday through Sunday, November 27, 28, and 29. This community event continues each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5:00pm to 7:30pm through December 20. Adult tickets are $10 and children age 16 and under are free thanks to the funds raised by our spectacular annual benefit, the Festival of Lights Gala.

Join us at the Gardens for live music, food, drinks, and fun in the big tent each evening of the Festival. Have an affinity for calories? Our Holiday Sweets Café is filled with all kinds of goodies baked by Friends of the Gardens members. You can also warm up with hot cocoa or cider. This year we have added a special surprise… Santa Claus is coming to town! He will be taking wish-lists on November 27, December 12, and 18. Candy canes are free as usual. jellyfish

Outside the tent, an unbelievable show of glittering color draws you into the Gardens. Stroll the twinkling pathways through
underwater ocean fantasies, shooting stars, and a fire-breathing dragon. This year’s new additions are sure to turn heads! Children of all ages can warm up by the campfire and roast a marshmallow or two.

LIVE MUSIC NIGHTLY at Festival of Lights

11/27   Calvary Chapel Choir – Holiday Carols and Choral Music
11/28   Nancy Joy and the Whole Hearted – American
11/29   Sergei Bassehes – Classical Guitar

12/4    The Smokey Jalapeños – Blues, Regge, Americana, Celtic
12/5    The Dorian May Trio – Jazz
12/6    Fort Bragg High School Choir – Holiday Carols and Choral Music

12/11   The Groovinators – Blues, Jazz, Swing
12/12   The Groovinators – Blues, Jazz, Swing
12/13   Gabriel Yañez Trio – Jazz

12/18   Shug-A-Pea – Eclectic Contemporary
12/19   Pura Vida – Afro-Caribbean Salsa
12/20  Nancy Joy and the Whole Hearted – American

Santa Claus will be visiting Nov 27, Dec 12, and Dec 18!

Tickets are now available at The Gardens Store: $10.00 for adults, children age 16 and under are FREE. Visit the website for info on musical acts, sponsorships, and more –


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On Shop Small Saturday, everyone is showing their love for small businesses!

Posted on: November 13, 2015 at 2:08 pm by Sharon Davis No Comments



This year, we’re bringing the power of social media to our neighborhood with a #ShopSmall Selfie event, and we want YOU to be a part of it.


    • As a consumer, you are a key part in helping small businesses thrive. By shopping or dining at small businesses throughout the year, you’re showing your support for the small businesses in your neighborhood in the community you call home.
      #SmallBizSat is Nov 28, and the businesses in Fort Bragg are going to celebrate with a #ShopSmall Selfie event. Show your support by taking selfies at your favorite local businesses. Tag the businesses in each photo and share them with #ShopSmall.


  • Think of a unique selfie for people to take at your business on Small Business Saturday. Have some fun with your ideas — try anything from getting your entire staff in a picture to showcasing an item your business is known for. You can also write the name of your business on the “I #ShopSmall at…” sign you receive and ask people to include it in their photos.
  • Fill in the poster you receive with your social media information (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Hang the poster to remind people to tag your business in their selfies on Small Business Saturday.  We’ll also provide you with a table tent card. Place it next to your register as another way to remind shoppers about the event.



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Santa Claus is coming to town!

Posted on: November 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm by Sharon Davis No Comments

1377331_987063687976418_8608681615827296525_nThe Holiday Lights Parade is right around the corner, Saturday-December 5th. Download your entry form here.  If you need more information please stop by or call the Fire Department 961-2831 or the Chamber of Commerce at 217 S. Main St., Fort Bragg.

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All that the rain promises… The Mushroom, Wine & Beer Fest is coming!

Posted on: October 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm by Sharon Davis




Mushroom, Wine & Beer FestWith the rain comes the (fun)gi!  Don’t miss the Mushroom, Wine & Beer Fest November 6th thru 15th.  The Mendocino Coast is home to over 3,000 varieties of mushrooms, including the rare candy cap mushroom, an orange-colored mushroom smacking of maple syrup, which grows only along the northern coast of California.

Events include mushroom, winemaker, and brewmaster dinners, mushroom exhibits, guided mushroom forays, wine and mushroom pairings, and much more!

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The Great Reveal at the Noyo Center for Marine Science!

Posted on: August 4, 2015 at 6:05 pm by Sharon Davis

It was a fascinating and informative afternoon at the Noyo Center for Marine Science this past Saturday.   Executive Director Sheila Semans opened the presentation by thanking the community.  “The last two weeks have been so fun!” said Semans.  “It was an incredible community event.”  She said, “I want everyone to feel ownership of these two beautiful skeletons because it was such a fun, group effort.”

Michael de Roos and Michi MainSemans then introduced Michael de Roos and Michi Main of British Columbia.  Their company, Cetacea is a small, family-run company specializing in skeleton restoration and articulation and will be leading the preparation of the Noyo Center’s 73-foot blue whale skeleton.

Female Sea LionMichi talked about the positioning of the sea lions.  Of the female Main asked, “What does her life mean? She focuses a lot on getting big enough and strong enough to have babies.  So, we put her in a posture where she is swimming through the ocean in a dive, possibly foraging for fish for her young.”

Sea Lion skeletonMain said that the males have a really tough life.  “They work super hard to get big and burly so that they can defend their territory and actually mate and have young.  The way they do that is by being super aggressive, so we mounted him in an aggressive stance with him barking or roaring at another male.”

Semans said that the skeletons will be displayed temporarily at Town Hall, City Hall or both.  Eventually they will be moved to the chalet on the former mill site just north of the Cypress St. entrance.

Adding a personal note, Main said that she has been, “absolutely blown away by the community of Fort Bragg.”  She said that she hopes that this has generated enthusiasm for what the Noyo Center is going to be.

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Are you ready for a Lumber-Jack Rowdy Good Time?

Posted on: July 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm by Sharon Davis

Paul Bunyan Days Logging ShowLabor Day in Fort Bragg means that Paul Bunyan Days are coming!  September 4th-7th will be filled with more than 20 family-friendly activities including the action-packed Logging Show where men and women loggers compete for over $7,000 in prize money!

Other fun activities include the Ugly Dog Contest, Fish Fry, Pie Sale, Labor Day Parade, Old Fashion Dress Review, Craft Show, Classic Car Show and so much more!  For the kids, there will be a Tricycle Race, Kiddie Parade and Kiddie Games.  There is something for everyone during Paul Bunyan Days!

Paul Bunyan himself will be hosting all of the exciting events.  Pose for a picture with Paul or just say hello.Paul Bunyan Days

The theme this year is “Happy Trails with Paul and Babe” to celebrate completion of the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail and the public’s access along the City’s coast for the first time in over a century.  See the Paul Bunyan Days website for more information on the festivities!

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Celebrate a Hometown Independence Day in Fort Bragg

Posted on: June 20, 2015 at 9:12 am by Julia Conway
Salmon BBQ

World’s Largest Salmon BBQ in Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor

Don’t wait to make your plans to celebrate Independence Day 2015 in Fort Bragg!  Due to the popularity of the weekend’s events, available rooms, rental homes and campsites fill up quickly.  Don’t miss out on all the fun activities here on the beautiful Mendocino Coast at the height of our summer season.  In addition to the parade down in Mendocino, the entire family can enjoy a host of other activities right here in Fort Bragg.

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Mountain biking in the woods of Fort Bragg

Posted on: June 4, 2015 at 3:31 pm by Julia Conway
Wild Wood Enduro

Wild Wood Enduro

Did you know Fort Bragg is a hot spot for off-road cyclists?  The myriad of old logging roads and trails that dissect the old timber parcels in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest are perfect for the sport.  Check out our pages on cycling in Fort Bragg and on the Mendocino Coast for more details and trail information.

Coming up in the middle of June, the California Enduro Series will make a stop in Fort Bragg for the Wild Wood Enduro.

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The Tenth Anniversary of the Mendocino Film Festival comes to Fort Bragg

Posted on: May 28, 2015 at 10:34 am by Julia Conway
Will Durst in "3 Still Standing"

Will Durst in “3 Still Standing”


Ten years ago, a group of visionary film lovers founded the festival, and it has grown to include venues in Willits, the Anderson Valley, Point Arena and our own Coast Cinemas in Fort Bragg.

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It’s a Whale of a Project!

Posted on: April 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm by Julia Conway
Discovery Center

Noyo Center Community Learning Center rendering

In conjunction with Phase II of the Coastal Trail construction, plans are starting to move forward for the permanent home of the Noyo Center for Marine Science at the south end of the Georgia Pacific mill site.  The map linked here provides the site plan for both the recently constructed and opened Phase I at the north end of the property, and the areas currently under construction in Phase II.

The planned campus will include a 5600 square foot Community Learning Center, The Whale House, which will be the new home of the Blue Whale skeleton, currently under restoration, and a proposed marine science research facility.

The Discovery Center is envisioned as the main public exhibit space accommodating up to an estimated 150,000 visitors per year. The main features will include:

  • Aquaria, interactive exhibits, and touch pools
  • Interpretation of sustainable design features
  • Discovery Cafe
  • Auditorium and small outdoor amphitheater
  • Gift Shop
  • Interactive courtyard and restored gardens
  • Living Roof

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