Bidding farewell to arts festival season

It's time to say farewell to the art festival season, which I might

add was my favorite to date. The festivals became my home away from


I managed to make it to the Sawdust on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

to soak in as much of the art, artists and entertainment as possible

before the lights went out for the summer. It was packed all three

days and nights with visitors and artists dancing to Lisa Haley & The

Zydekatz, World Anthem and Missiles of October. The atmosphere and

mood were festive and celebratory.

There are too many highlights to mention. The pageant was magical,

perhaps my favorite to date, and the Festival of Arts Gala was a

memorable evening too. Sharbie Higuchi should be lauded for a great

festival summer, as should Rebecca Meekma at the Sawdust Art

Festival. Sian Poeschl made Art Walk and other art events a lot of

fun, as did the artists. I want to thank the arts community creating

a five-star summer.

Don't fret even though the festivals are over -- there's still a

lot of art and entertainment happenings to be experienced.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center benefit cruise

To help the 143 marine mammal patients the Pacific Marine Mammal

Center has treated so far this year, the center is having its Fourth

Annual Sunset Sea Lion Cruise from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 15 aboard the

Phoenix, docked at the Balboa Fun Zone, just east of Balboa Pier on

Balboa Island.

The Sunset Sea Lion Cruise is a great way to enjoy sea life,

socialize, dance under the stars and make a difference by helping the

marine mammal center; it's an incredible cause. Take one visit to the

facility and you'll be hooked.

The marine mammal center rescues, medically treats and

rehabilitates sea lions, seals, dolphins and whales that strand from

Seal Beach down to San Onofre due to illness or injury.

The center's director of operations, Michele Hunter, said the

patient load has doubled over the past two years. There's a high

demand to meet the costs for patient care.

Proceeds from the event will help fund the lifesaving efforts of

the facility, including medicine, food, supplies, day-to-day

operations, animal care and education.

The fundraiser includes hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and

opportunity drawings. Tickets are $20 and space is limited. Contact

Emily Wing at (949) 494-3050. Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m. Pacific

Marine Mammal Center is at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road.

Pet Parade and Chili Cook Off

Pet lovers unite and show off your companions at the 9th annual

Pet Parade and Chili Cook Off at Tivoli Too from noon to 3 p.m. Sept.


Though canines are the pet of choice for the parade and contest,

any pet is invited.

Besides the parade and chili cook-off, pets will be vying to win

the title of most talented, most handsome male, prettiest female,

cutest baby pet and best costume.

Unusual past winners include a duck that sucked on a baby bottle

and a rat dressed as a bride.

The chili component of the festivities asks Lagunans to submit

their best recipe to be judged by a panel of town dignitaries.

Tickets are $3, with children 12 and under free. All proceeds go

toward causes that help animals -- Pacific Marine Mammal Center,

Bluebell Cat Foundation and the Laguna Animal Clinic. Tivoli Too is

at 777 Laguna Canyon Road. To enter the contests, call (949)


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