Taste of Solvang
The annual celebration kicks off with a new event: Restaurant Week. Nine Solvang restaurants offer three-course fixed-price menus. Cuisine includes French, Japanese, Danish and American. Old favorites also return, such as the Dessert Reception and live music at the Royal Scandinavian Inn (400 Alisal Road); the Walking Smorgasbord, with 50 taste stops and live entertainment downtown; the Wine Tasting Room Walk, with more than a dozen vintners.
When, where: Restaurant Week March 9 to 13, other events March 14 and 15 at various locations.
Cost: Restaurant Week meals are $20.08 per person, excluding tax, tip and beverage; other events range from $25 to $35, $70 for a Taste of Solvang weekend pass.
Info: (805) 688-6144, www.solvangusa.com.
San Francisco Easter Parade and Spring Celebration
It's billed as the Biggest Little Parade in the Bay Area city, and it's a little wacky too, with entries such as roller-blading "cows" and self-propelled mini-floats, plus an Easter bonnet contest that inspires creativity. There are plenty of activities for children, including rides, games and a petting zoo. Classic cars will be among parade entries and will be on view before and after the parade. In addition, outdoor dining will feature fare cooked up by local restaurants.
When, where: March 23 along Union Street from Gough to Fillmore streets.
Info: (800) 310-6563, www.unionstreetsf.com.
Paso Robles Wine Country vintners hold their annual Zin fling, giving visitors many opportunities to swirl, smell, sip and spit. More than 90 wineries host individual activities, welcoming oenophiles to their tasting rooms and tossing in hors d'oeuvres, a barbecue, a pancake breakfast, chocolates, live music, art exhibits, vineyard tours, Cajun brunch and more. The marquee event is the combo Zinfandel Grand Tasting and live and silent auctions, which include lifestyle, art and wine packages.
When, where: March 14 to 16 at various locations in the Paso Robles area; Grand Tasting and auctions at the Paso Robles Event Center, 2198 Riverside Ave.
Cost: Varies for individual winery events; $85 for the live auction and Grand Tasting, $60 for Grand Tasting and silent auction.
Info: (800) 549-9463, www.pasowine.com.
Progressive Bonfire Dinner
There are four fires and four courses on this annual culinary crawl along a luminaria-lighted Nordic trail in Crested Butte. It begins at the Town Ranch trail head with hot wine or cocoa, then progresses to appetizer, soup, entree and dessert. Participants usually travel on snowshoes or Nordic skis between the quartet of stops on the route, which is about 2 1/2 miles long.
When, where: Starting at 5 p.m. March 22 at the trail head, which is southeast of Crested Butte Community School (505 Whiterock Ave.).
Cost: $35, $15 children 11 and younger.
Info: (970) 349-1707.
Kona Earth Day Festival
The community event is intended to put Hawaii in a greener state of mind. More than a month of activities includes the Coral Reef Awareness & Earth Day Fair, with eco info and Hawaiian crafts, lei making, music and entertainment; the Trash Bash Fashion Show; the Planet Earth Film Festival; and the Ocean Fair, with talks on marine life and info about scuba diving.
When, where: April 19 to May 24 at locations around the Big Island.
Cost: Varies, but most activities are free.
Info: (808) 345-6587, www.konaearthfestival.org.
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