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Join the Santa Clarita Artists Association for their 30th Anniversary Art Classic and Gala Fundraiser

| Entertainment | October 11, 2019

The Santa Clarita Artists Association is inviting all Santa Clarita residents to their 30th Anniversary Gala. The Gala will take place on Friday, November 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia. During the day from 10 am – 4 pm the Art Classic is free and open to the public. This includes an art show, artist vendors, artist demonstrations, musical entertainment and a silent auction. From 5 pm – 9 pm is the Gala, a $25 ticketed event, featuring a live auction, silent auction, appetizers, no host bar, entertainment, an art show and awards.

Come and meet Santa Clarita’s local artists and support the Arts in our community.

All art is for sale.

With your patronage SCAA gives several scholarships to Santa Clarita high school seniors pursuing a major in the visual arts.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Art Classic and Gala!

Gala Tickets available on Evitebrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/santa-clarita-artists-association-30th-annual-art-classic-gala-tickets-64517961961.

Are you an artist interested in entering the Art Classic competition? Last day to enter is October 15. Go to : https://www.santaclaritaartists.org/.

Big Band Swing Concert on October 18 at College of the Canyons

| Entertainment | October 11, 2019

The College of the Canyons music department and the award-winning COC Studio Jazz Ensemble and Lab Bands will present their opening season concert “Big Band Swing” on Friday, October 18th at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The ensembles will share the stage with dynamic vocalist, Katherine Lench-Meyering and renowned jazz arranger and bandleader, Gary Urwin to fill the PAC with music from the 30s, 40s and 50s.

“One of the pleasures of making music is being able to share it with friends and family,” said KC Manji, COC music director and the jazz band’s director for the performance. “We always love playing music but it is the sharing and smiles we enjoy the most. You will enjoy the energy and musicality Katherine brings to every song and the musical arrangements by Gary Urwin. Dirk Fischer will help relive some the old standards that are sure to bring back memories from years past.”

Lench-Meyering and Urwin will bring fresh renditions to some of the biggest old-time favorites of the Swing era, such as “Moonlight Serenade,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “In the Mood,” and “Tisket -a- Tasket.”

The “Big Band Swing” concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 18th on the PAC main stage.

General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for COC students and senior citizens. Tickets will be available at the PAC box office on the evening of the concert.

Canyon Country Campus to Throw Star Party

| Entertainment | October 10, 2019

On Friday, October 25th, the fall 2019 Star Party at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus will be doubly significant as it coincides with the college’s 50th anniversary and Apollo 11’s historic moon landing.

To that effect, COC professors Dr. Erik Altenbernd and David Michaels will present the talk “It’s Rocket Science: The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing & the History of the Space Race!”

“We are very excited to welcome new and returning attendees to our 20th Star Party,” said Ryan Theule, vice president of the Canyon Country campus. “Please join us for a fascinating talk about the Apollo missions and rocket science under the stars.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a variety of interactive displays and activities presented by college clubs and organizations.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to gaze at the stars through the multiple telescopes set up by local astronomy groups throughout the evening.

The event will also feature a classroom-size planetarium, which will allow attendees to learn more about astronomy through projected images of the night sky

“Our star parties allow the local community to interact with our students, faculty and staff in a fun and educational setting, and in this case, to celebrate 50 years in space along with the college’s 50th anniversary,” said Anthony Michaelides, dean of campus services and operations at the Canyon Country campus.

The fall 2019 Star Party will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 25th, at the Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater located on the Canyon Country campus.

Food and beverages will also be available for purchase on site.

For more details, visit www.canyons.edu/canyoncountry

City to Celebrate Artober with Full Lineup of Arts Events ARTober to be Held in Honor of National Arts and Humanities Month

| Entertainment | October 10, 2019

The City of Santa Clarita will celebrate ARTober this month, in honor of National Arts and Humanities Month. Santa Clarita community members are invited to join in during the month-long arts extravaganza by participating in a variety of arts and humanities-related events.

ARTober started with enriching cultural events this past week, including the Hart of the West Native American Pow Wow and Craft Fair on October 5 and 6, at William S. Hart Park, and a Caribbean Dance JAM Session on October 10, at the Newhall Community Center.

The celebrations will continue with new art exhibits, including “Springs Prints” in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall featuring photographs by the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association, and The MAIN’s newest exhibit “Three Projects: Small, Medium, and Large” by local photographer Ted Dayton. All are invited to attend the Artist Reception for Dayton at The MAIN on October 17, at 7 p.m.

On October 19, the City will host a dedication ceremony for the City’s newest art piece titled “Inertia” at the Santa Clarita Skate Park. Later in the day, residents can experience festive fall art at the Underwater Pumpkin Carving event at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center at 6 p.m.

The month will conclude with the City’s Arts Symposium on October 26, at The Centre, where artists and art-lovers can participate in panels and sessions that cover a variety of topics from the cinematic, visual and musical arts.

The City is pleased to host an exciting lineup of arts and humanities events this ARTober for community members of all ages to enjoy. For more information about ARTober, including a full calendar of events, please visit santaclaritaarts.com.

Join Us for Ladies Night at Reyes Winery

| Entertainment | October 10, 2019

by Beth Heiserman Reyes Winery

While on a trip, I have been thinking what the meal should be for Ladies Night this month at the winery, taking place on October 19th. Today we had an appetizer that reminded me of something I thought would be delicious to share — a pumpkin ricotta tart with caramelized onions. I think this will be a perfect starter to begin the evening.

October is #MerlotMe month, so every course will pair with one of our award-winning Merlots. This tart will pair perfectly with our 2010 Merlot. It has notes of black cherries, blueberries and cinnamon. I love pairing this with roasted garlic pumpkin spice hummus, Toscana cheese dusted in cinnamon, pumpkin pie wontons or even butternut squash chili.

Fall is my favorite season and I love cooking and baking Autumn inspired creations. Pumpkin and maple can be added to many savory dishes. For the salad course, I’d love to have a pumpkin pie spiced ranch or a spiced granny smith apple cider dressing. I do enjoy a salad very much with red onions, spiced pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils with maple chili vinaigrette to accompany mixed greens. 2016 Rose of Merlot would pair perfectly with this. It’s a fruity wine that would counterbalance from the spiciness of the chili in the dressing. I always say opposites attract, therefore this would be delightful. This special wine is a skin-contact Rose Merlot and Viognier. It has light tannins and medium acidity. It’s bursting with young vibrant fruit. It has notes of blueberries, anise, peach and orange peel, which compliment a slight sweetness for the perfect balance.

For my main course, pumpkin with sage stuffed shells and turkey meatballs; and to end a perfect evening, a pumpkin caramel cheesecake.

Celebrate Merlot in the month of October, social media has a hash tag for it — #MerlotMe. Join the movement and drink lots of award-winning Reyes Winery Merlots. Take a photo of you, your wine and your wine glass and tag it with #MerlotMe and #Reyeswinery. October 19th is Ladies Night, but men are welcome to attend.

For more information visit www.reyeswinery.com.

On The Town with Jason Downs

| Entertainment | October 10, 2019

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans, and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town! We’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: Latin History for Morons with John Leguizamo, a Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Bridgeport Park and a little trip to France (via Sleepy Valley) at Le Chène French Cuisine.

Yes, it was another lovely week of adventures, folks, and Tony/Emmy Award winner John Leguizamo kicked things off with a swift proverbial slap across the face. I had no idea how much Latin history I was missing, and I had no idea how much fun it could be to learn about. Mr. Leguizamo kicks off his one man show by blustering onto stage looking every bit the professor and informing the audience that we need to “pipe down and listen up…lots of ground to cover…and lots of moronic misinformation you need to unlearn.” (And boy, was he right.) We got an earful and an education, alright!

His masterful storytelling, combined with formidable research, witty writing and relatable humor (punctuated with well-placed profanity) had us busting a gut and learning a ton at the same time. It was an amazing and important show. I highly recommend you all make the short trip to the Ahmanson Theatre downtown and catch Latin History for Morons playing until November 16th. It is well worth it!

John Leguizamo in his one man play, Latin History for Morons.

“I grew up without seeing people who looked like me on screen, on stage, or in textbooks. LatinX people have been kept outta the conversation for centuries, and it’s about time y’all hear what we got to say! No matter who you are, this is your chance to come out and finally get your degree from a ghetto scholar.” John Leguizamo

Saturday was a beautiful morning for many reasons, but especially if you were one of the hundreds of folks gathered in Bridgeport Park for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. My fourteen year-old daughter donated her time as a face-painter (she’s starting her own business for anyone interested) and there were many participants who wanted purple ribbons, purple flowers and purple hearts painted on their faces for the 5K walk around the park. Congresswoman Katie Hill was among them and she gave a heartwarming speech to the crowd about how Alzheimer’s disease has touched her family, as it has so many.

Businesses from around town were on site to hand out food, water and other services. The stunning Alex Nestor and her awesome band provided soulful music to get everyone pumped up, and even a few Laker Girls showed up for photos and autographs.

All in all, a whopping one hundred and twenty thousand dollars has been raised for further care, support and research efforts on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. That is an incredible contribution from this community.

My daughter painting a ribbon on one of many participants in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Date night found my wife and I traveling to the farthest ends of Santa Clarita…down a dark desert highway…cool wind in my hair…was playing on the radio as all the city lights faded into the wilds of Sand Canyon. We pressed on, without another car in sight, believing we would find a glimpse of France at the end of our journey — Le Chène!

A fanciful blue and pink neon sign finally emerged from the darkness to welcome us home. We pulled over and crossed Sierra Highway by foot to reach the front door. We may as well have been somewhere between Avignon and Nice in Southern France with the black of night all around us and only this lone beacon of culinary delight within miles beckoning for us to stop for a delectable bite.

We were shown to our table in a rustic and inviting dining room with views onto the back deck adorned with grape vines and glimmering lights. After much deliberation, we decided upon lobster and filet mignon (my wife was not going to entertain escargot or frog legs) for our entree. A delicious cream of tomato soup was brought as an appetizer along with fresh bread and white wine from the owner’s personal vineyard.

We delighted in every morsel and savored every drop. My wife and I both agreed the star of the evening was a toss up between the heavenly chocolate soufflé and the au poivre (pepper) sauce covering the filet. When mixed with the pureed mashed potato-like cauliflower the morsel of fine beef was to die for. We can sum up the fare at Le Chène with this highly appropriate French onomatopoeia expression: Miam-miam! (Yum-yum!)

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up. (reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appétit!

The Canyon Theatre Guild’s New Show Will Have You Howling with Laughter Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery Now Playing

| Entertainment | October 10, 2019

Santa Clarita’s own Canyon Theatre Guild (CTG) has embraced the spooky season with their new production, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, playing at the quaint and lovely theatre until November 3rd. Based off of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” the show is a hilarious murder mystery that is equal parts mayhem and merriment. This is one show you won’t want to miss, there is no mystery about that.

Written by Ken Ludwig, known for works such as Lend Me a Tenor and Crazy for You, he has won multiple Tony awards and can boast his work has been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages. Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery premiered in Washington D.C. in 1985 and has since been performed around the world. Now, the talented team at the CTG has brought the animated production to the lucky residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The show follows Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they take the case of the Baskerville family who is having its male heirs killed off by a what appears to be a horror hound that roams the swamps at night. When the newest (and last) family member arrives, the two men set out to protect him and ultimately solve the mystery of exactly what is happening in the moors of Devonshire surrounding the Baskerville estate.

With a cast of five playing over 40 parts, you can expect plenty of non-stop, boisterous entertainment. I say five actors, but really, three of them take on the bulk of the roles, as two stick strictly to Holmes and Watson. Jeremiah Luther True (Holmes) and Matthew Thomas Stallings (Watson) do a fine job playing the super sleuth and his sidekick – they make a good team and share in the hilarious antics that dominate the production.

But it is the other three, Kirsten Rast, Eduardo Arteaga and Tanner Burghardt that are the true stars of this maniacal mystery. You’ll have a great time trying to keep up with them over countless characters, dozens of costume changes, kooky accents and tiresome stage activity. One thing is for sure though, they’ll have you howling with laughter the entire time.

Each and every one of them exemplifies a level of talent that is not easy to find on smaller stages at local theatres. When I wasn’t rolling in the aisles with laughter, I was left in complete awe of their star power. I can’t say enough about this trio’s comedic, passionate and radiant performances – I highly recommend you experience it for yourself. Each and every one of their performances will have you talking (and laughing) long after the curtain closes.

O Michael Owston directs this production, with Musetta Caing Hart serving as assistant director. What a joy it must have been for them to work with such a talented cast. And of course their crew, with who all of this wouldn’t have been possible.

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery is a great way to celebrate the Halloween season with the family while taking in a local show. The arts and culture that can be found in Santa Clarita is abundant, and we are all very fortunate to have the Canyon theatre Guild at the heart of it.

For tickets and show times visit www.canyontheatre.org.

Celebrate Merlot this October!

| Entertainment | October 3, 2019

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Today, I went to a coffee farm in Kauai. I did a tasting and tour and it made me think how similar coffee can be to wine. I tried about ten different varieties of flavored coffee. I started thinking recipes and what I could prepare by combining coffee and wine. The 2015 Syrah and the 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Merlot both had notes of coffee.

Every wine has a holiday, yet Merlot has a month – October is International Merlot Month! So, for a full month, everyone should enjoy Merlot. I have started with the 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Merlot. It has won Silver medals in the 2014 San Diego County Fair Commercial Wine Competition and in the 2016 Toast of the Coast, plus 88 points. This soft medium bodied Merlot has aromas of molasses, mocha and plums with notes of anise. On the palate you get intense ripe plum, a soft balanced acidity, silky tannins and a lingering finish of spicy, toasty oak. The velvety ruby color and aromas will inspire anyone to have another glass. It pairs well with duck or with a coffee-crusted pork roast with a Merlot au jus.

The ideas started to pop into my head and haven’t stopped since. I was thinking about a spiced shoofly pie, but instead of a plain pie crust a coffee infused one. I absolutely love shoofly, it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch treat. My mother grew up in Philadelphia and I remember visiting family and trying this dessert and loving it. It’s a molasses pie that’s enjoyed with a cup of coffee. But I’m thinking, with a glass of Merlot! Now, if anyone has attended one of my vertical tastings, you will know it comes with many delectable desserts that I create. This pairing will surely be on the menu this month.

Celebrate Merlot in the month of October; social media has a hashtag for it — #MerlotMe. Join the movement and drink lots of Reyes Winery Merlot. Take a photo of you, your wine and your wine glass; #MerlotMe and #Reyeswinery. October 26th is my annual Merlot Vertical. Join me for an afternoon of education, food and wine pairings and lots of fun!

For more information, visit www.reyeswinery.com.

Live Music

| Entertainment | October 3, 2019

Oct 4, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Drop Zone band Classic rock
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Lance Allyn Acoustic CR
8–11pm The Local Pub n Grill Nick Horn Pop & orig
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11:30p Vincent Hill Station Seventh Switch on patio Classic rock
9–12m Newhall Press Room Various artists Acoustic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Jay Bolan Classic rock

Oct 5, Sat
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station Z – Band CR & ctry
7–9pm Pocock Brewery Monkey Bump Orig, CR style
7–10pm Hyatt Val – Great Pacific Lance Allyn Acoustic CR
7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall The Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
8–11pm The Local Pub n Grill Future X Husbands Classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Miles 2 Go CR w violin
8–12m VFW 6885 Big Coyote Country
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Jay Bolan Classic rock
9–12m Newhall Press Room varied artists Acoustic rock
9–12m Rock Inn Apache Rose Live music

Oct 6, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swap meet Cruise Knights Live music
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various
5–8pm Salt Creek Grille patio Jay Bolan’s all star band Classic rock
5–9pm VFW 6885 Breakfast with Barbie Classic rock
5–8:30 Vincenzo’s Newhall Four Bands Live music

Oct 8, Tues
6–9:30p Wolf Creek Brewery Community Pints night Live music
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Danny Diaz & Celso Salim Blues

Oct 9, Wed
6–9pm Route 66 Classic Grill Bike night – Various bands Live music
6–9pm Tomato Joes Cyn Ctry James Hackett Classic rock

Oct 10, Thur
5:30–7:30 Northpark Village Square Natalie Wattre Folk rock
6–9pm Tomato Joes Cyn Ctry Daphne Winters CR & folk rk
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Drop 3 band Jazz funk
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Sue Rey & Runarounds 60’s rock
7–10pm Newhall Communty Ctr Sessions – Island beats Island music
8–11pm Black and Blue Dueling pianos Piano

Oct 11, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Various bands Live music
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Various artists Live music
8–11pm The Local Pub n Grill Nick Horn Pop & orig
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11:30p Vincent Hill Station Benny Thomas on patio Country
9–12m Newhall Press Room Various artists Acoustic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Classic rock
9–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking Rock classics

The Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

| Entertainment | October 3, 2019

For the real deal in handmade handiworks, don’t miss the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show at the Ventura County Fairgrounds October 4-6, featuring more than 24,000 original creations from hundreds of trend-setting artisans and crafters.

Festivities will be in high gear for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Ventura showcase, a treasured tradition recognized as the west coast’s largest and most prestigious indoor showcase, with live entertainment, strolling performers, mouth-watering foods, a Kidzone and pumpkin patch, contests, crafter demonstrations, and more.

Patrons who bring canned goods for donation to Project Understanding will receive $2 off admission. Kids 12 and under are free, and tickets are good for the entire weekend.

“As a family-run business we take pride in creating the ultimate shopping experience that brings people together and gives back,” says Nancy Glenn, owner of the Harvest Festival. “Our showcase is engaging and participatory for all ages. And with our special discount incentive, we’re hoping to surpass last year’s food donation of 4,000 pounds.”

The Harvest Festival is a juried showcase to ensure quality and diversity. Emerging artists whose passions spark new trends provide a limitless array of perfect somethings. Stunning jewelry, clothing, photography, hand-turned wood, ceramics, eclectic art pieces, seasonal décor, Halloween accessories, ornaments, and blown glass, are among the masterpieces on display. Artists can also personalize many items. Festival foodies can sample oodles of tasty homemade sauces, spices, nuts, oils, candies, and baked goods. Local artists showcasing include Ventura residents Katie Adams with Lemon & Lei bath & body collection skin care; Connie Gunderson with Heavenly Accents vintage fabric handbags; Kevin Brown with VB Candles; Linda Fusaro of Santa Barbara: with beautifully crafted jewelry of Fusaro Design, and Hannah Hogan of Westlake Village with Shop Dog Studios handcrafted leashes, collars and festive pet attire.

Live entertainment adds to the festivities with entertainer Captain Jack Spareribs and the Hyjinx Band, joined by the Jack Kalvan Jugglers and other strolling performers.

The Festival collaborates with local non-profits to pay it forward. Anyone who brings non-perishables for donation to Project Understanding receives $2 off admission. The Ventura Boys & Girls Club hosts the parcel check, Macaroni Kid and MyGym Ventura team up for the Kidzone. Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust hosts a nature interactive in conjunction with the pumpkin patch, co-sponsored by Green Thumb Nursery. The Ventura County Star is the official newspaper. The annual Grand Prize Giveaway is a $200 Amazon gift card (register to win on site at the event).

General admission tickets are $9, Seniors (62+) and military are $7, Youths ages 13-17 are $4, and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are good for the entire weekend. Hours are Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 10am to 6pm; and Sunday 10am to 5pm.

*Ventura County Fairgrounds (10 West Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001) harvestfestival.com or call 925.392.730

Halloween Festivities and More at THE MAIN

| Entertainment | October 3, 2019

The temperatures may be cooling down, but the shows are heating up this October at The MAIN, located at 24266 Main Street in Old Town Newhall. Tickets are on sale now for a variety of film, theatre, comedy and music shows. Adult beverages will also be available for purchase at select shows, in addition to concessions.

The 10 by 10 Variety Night occurs on the first Thursday of the month and features music, film, storytelling, magic, comedy and more! Ten performers, from a variety of genres, are selected to perform a 10-minute piece of their choosing. Enjoy Halloween inspired acts this month, including the short film “All Hallows Eve,” a psychological horror about an old child killer who is visited by three trick-or-treaters on Halloween. The show is on Thursday, October 3, at 7:00 p.m. and is free to attend.

Comedy Mashup returns to The MAIN on Friday, October 4, at 8:00 p.m. This monthly show is half stand-up comedy and half improv, featuring comedians and improvisers from all over Los Angeles. Headlining this month is “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Rudnitsky, a television and film actor who most recently starred opposite George Clooney on the Hulu Series “Catch-22.” Also performing this month is a cast of up-and-coming comedians, as well as hilarious improv and games from “Your Favorite Cast.” Tickets are $10 presale and $15 on the day of the show.
The Society Comedy Troupe is bringing a hilarious and energetic team improv show to The MAIN on Saturday, October 5, at 8:00 p.m. Similar to the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” the performers ask for audience participation while creating improvised music, comedy and scenes. Grab your friends for an evening of laughs at this show that’s appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $15.

The October theatre production is “The Diary of Anne Frank,” presented by Bridgeway Theatre Company. The play begins with Otto Frank’s return to a secret hiding place where his family, the Van Daan’s and Mr. Dussel lived during the first part of the Holocaust in Amsterdam. His friend, Miep Gies, has saved a diary that his daughter Anne kept during that time. This diary records the trials and tribulations experienced by the families, as well as Anne’s own coming of age in a tiny room surrounded by frustration, selfishness and a heaping dose of fear. Performances occur on October 11, 12, 18 and 19, at 8:00 p.m. and October 13, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors and military members.

Note by Note is a free music night that delights audiences with a variety of genres. Bands, duos and soloists will perform a wide range of styles, including rock, folk, Celtic, Americana, blues, jazz, country, experimental, western and more! This month, come see The New Mexican, a one-man-band playing a blend of country blues that features the banjo, harmonica, guitar and percussion. The show is on Thursday, October 24, at 7:00 p.m. and is free to attend.

Let’s do the Time Warp again for a 1975 cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show!” The perfect kickoff to your Halloween festivities, don’t miss two screenings of this musical, science fiction, comedy horror film—this is the only opportunity to see the screening in the Santa Clarita Valley. Guests may bring props or purchase a pre-made prop bag at the door for $5. Costumes encouraged! Showings occur Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26, at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 presale and $15 on the day of the show.

Learn more about these events and purchase tickets to shows by visiting AtTheMain.org/tickets.

Have a Monster of a Time at the Final Outdoor Thursdays@Newhall Events of 2019

| Entertainment | October 3, 2019

Thursdays@Newhall Wraps Up Its Outdoor Season with Free Events in October

Now is your last chance to dance, laugh and party the night away in Old Town Newhall as the Thursdays@Newhall series closes its 2019 schedule. Featured events in October include the monthly 10 by 10 variety show, Caribbean dancing lessons, a “Halloween Haunt” SENSES Block party and more – all for free. Thursdays@Newhall is an ongoing opportunity for residents of Santa Clarita to attend shows, concerts and special events on Thursday nights from March through October.

Ten performers will take to the stage on Thursday, October 3, at The MAIN (24266 Main Street) for 10 minutes each and dazzle the audience with music, comedy, storytelling and more at the monthly 10 by 10 Variety Show from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Performers in October include magic from Raul Fernandez and Joshua Johnson; storytelling with Mary-Margaret Martinez, Brian Murphy, Betty Goldstein, Claire Partin and William Rittenberg; mentalism with Gabe Abelson; and screenings of the short films “All Hallows Eve” and “Blood Bus.”

Move your body to the island beat during JAM Sessions at the Newhall Community Center (22421 Market Street) on October 10, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Betty Rox will lead attendees on a cultural journey of the islands of Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados that will combine soca, dance hall, punta and African dance styles. Take the lessons learned at the start of the event and show off your new dance steps to high energy rhythms of live music. JAM Sessions are hosted in conjunction with the Ford Theatre Foundation, bringing dance and original live performances to Old Town Newhall.

Be ready for things to get spooky at the Halloween Haunt SENSES Block Party, one of the year’s highly anticipated events, on October 17, starting at 7:00 p.m. Come down to Main Street in your scary best, or transform yourself into a monster onsite, to help kick off the Halloween celebration. Participate in a costume contest for a chance to win ghoulish prizes and be sure to enjoy live music, gourmet food trucks and drinks from the El Trocadero on-street bar!

Also on October 17, The MAIN will host an artist reception for its newest exhibit, “Three Projects: Small, Medium and Large.” The exhibit features the work of Santa Clarita Valley resident and photographer Ted Dayton, who has clustered this exhibit into three collections titled, “The Jilted Brides of Heritage Valley,” “Rooftops” and “Old Friends.” Guests attending the free reception will enjoy light refreshments and have an opportunity to meet the photographer from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

The Note by Note music night on October 24, concludes the month’s schedule and will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The MAIN. Note by Note is a free night of music that delights audiences with a variety of genres. Bands, duos and soloists will perform a wide range of styles, including rock, folk, Celtic, Americana, blues, jazz, country, experimental, western and more! Featured performers in October include Richard Newton, Mark Christian, The New Mexican and Thelonius James, AKA TJ Sullivan. Artists interested in performing at Note by Note can learn more at ThursdaysAtNewhall.com/NotebyNote.

For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall events, visit ThursdaysAtNewhall.com or contact the City’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3787.

Haunted Halloween Round-Up – Fearful Fun at Six Flags’ “Fright Fest”

| Entertainment | October 3, 2019

by Michelle Sandoval
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the haunted holiday than to get out to Santa Clarita’s premiere theme park, Six Flags Magic Mountain, for their annual “Fright Fest.” I had the opportunity to attend the spooky happenings at the park recently, along with my brave little nephew, and we had an eerily entertaining time rubbing elbows with the ghouls and partaking in the numerous Halloween themed events scattered throughout the park. Open now through November 3rd, this Halloween Haunt boasts several mazes and designated scare zones with hundreds of monsters roaming the grounds to keep everyone cowering in fearful fun.

My nephew and I consider ourselves seasoned Halloween attraction enthusiasts (funny that he’s only 9-years-old), and “Fear Fest” is his personal favorite. Not only does the park go all out for the holiday, they also keep all of their regular attractions open throughout the evening, with the exception of Bugs Bunny World. They have also chosen to run a number of their most popular roller coasters in the dark, to keep the experience especially chilling.

Haunted mazes this year see the return of fan favorites Willoughby’s Resurrected, a Victorian mansion inhabited by evil spirits, and Red’s Revenge, where you will find yourself inside of a fairy tale that turns the tables on the bad guy. Also back are Condemned — Forever Damned, Sewer of Souls and Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. A new addition to the haunted horde for 2019 is Vault 666 Unlocked, an abandoned antique store full of sinister oddities with a life of their own. I recommend not leaving the park without checking out Willoughby’s Resurrected, Red’s Revenge and Vault 666 – these three will surely leave you shivering in the night.

There are six scare zones thrown throughout the park, so if you’re at the theme park just to enjoy the rides, note that once the sun goes down it will be hard to navigate to the rides without running into some kind of macabre mayhem. Standout scare zones are the Witches Lair, where you will be lucky to make it out without some kind of black magic cast upon you, City Under Siege, where evil clowns run the streets, and Exile Hill, where your soul will be the most sought after commodity. Exile Hill is also where you will find Sliders of the Night, as these ghoulish fiends will scrape their way across the ground towards you leaving a trail of sparks behind them – my nephew gets an absolute kick out of these guys.

Those looking for some refuge from the screaming scares can head on over to Full Throttle Plaza towards the front of the park to experience VooDoo Nights, with live music and dancing. This dark party starts at 7 pm and goes full force until the park closes. There is also the High Sierra Hypnotist who performs two shows a night on select nights. Adventure seekers can become part of the show if they choose, and fall prey to the comical hypnotist who will make them partake in some hilarious acts.

Admission to the “Fright Fest” is an additional charge from a regular park ticket and can be purchased online or on site. You can also opt to purchase an Express Maze Pass which will allow you to skip the lines – take note this will only apply to the mazes, rides are not included.

Overall, we had a ghoulishly good time. Magic Mountain is already action-packed as it is – with some of the world’s most extreme rides, so the addition of these seasonal scares just adds to the adrenaline. “Fright Fest” is not recommended for kids 13 and under, so unless you have a pint-sized avid scare seeker, I recommend enjoying the park during the safety of the sunlight, and start making your way home once darkness starts to set in. Because beware – Six Flags has issued a jestful warning reminding us all that during “Fright Fest,” “There is no place to hide and the screams never die!”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: www.sixflags.com/magicmountain

Fun and Art Come Together at the Art Classic

| Entertainment | September 27, 2019

This year the Santa Clarita Artists Association will hold its 30th anniversary at the Hyatt Regency Valencia in their Grand Ballroom on Friday, November 1. Over 60 members will be exhibiting their artwork with other art in the silent auction. This is a scholarship fundraiser to support Santa Clarita graduating seniors wishing to continue their education in fine arts. This year’s winners were from Hart, West Ranch and Canyon High Schools. These winners will show their work at the Art Classic.

The day’s free events, from 10 am – 4:30 pm, will feature an oil painting demonstration by Art Classic judge Julie Snyder. When asked to judge, she remarked, “The Santa Clarita Artists Association has great artists. I will be glad to judge.”

Snyder is a world-traveled oil painter, who was born and raised in Scotland. She was encouraged to pursue an art career by her artist mother and writer-father; then went on to study drawing and painting at the Glasgow School of Art. Her travels have taken her throughout Europe and won the gold medal at the National Museum of Sports in London. Now she lives in France part time where she has a permanent studio. She spends the winter in Los Angeles giving workshops and painting.

The next demo is by Gary Friedman, 2018 Best of Show winner and noted for his loose watercolors. Then Ted Dayton will speak about ‘Creative Photography’ followed by Micah Kritzman on ‘Creative Websites.” Lastly, Judy Corfino will demo a floral bouquet which will be given away as a door prize.

The ticketed Gala will follow from 5 pm to 9 pm featuring professional entertainment and a live auction led by Bob Kellar. Lastly, the Awards Ceremony including a City Award.

For more information, visit our SCAA website for more details and a Gala ticket for a $25 purchase: www.santaclaritaartists.org.

“Dessert First” Centennial Event for Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley

| Entertainment | September 26, 2019

This year The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is having “Dessert First,” a Centennial event on November 8, 2019, Zonta International’s birthday. Join us as the club celebrates 100 years of empowering women with this extraordinary event. We will have a celebration with music, a silent auction, and let’s not forgot lots of desserts that pair with wine, beer and spirits.

Zonta International is a worldwide organization that has empowered women and girls through service and advocacy for 100 years. It was founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York, by a group of forward-thinking women who were not satisfied with the predominantly social nature of many women’s organizations. Instead, Zonta’s founders envisioned a women’s service organization that would advocate for laws and policies that ensure gender equality and help every woman and girl realize her full potential. Through continuous engagement over almost 10 decades, Zonta International has become a respected and reliable agent of civil society. Zonta International is a non-governmental organization with general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Zonta International promotes and strives to protect the human rights of all women and girls and reduce the incidences of violence against them. Since 1923, Zonta has provided more than US $40.9 million to empower women and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions. Zonta’s nearly 1,200 clubs support local and regional initiatives in 63 countries worldwide.

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley brings these elements of service, advocacy, and awareness of our international mission to life in ways that directly serve our community. Providing hands-on service delivery while funding the work, dreams, and goals of others to improve the lives of women. Our members find the right niche to meet their interests, time commitment, and financial support. Along the way, our community and world benefit from our efforts. We offer several scholarships and community grants to women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley. Plus, we have many service projects to better the lives of women and girls; like “girl’s robotics” at the Boys and Girls Club and LifeForward, a monthly workshop to empower and provide self-sustainability to women.

Celebrate with the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, the centennial birthday of Zonta International.on November 8, 2019 starting at 6:30 PM, MERCEDES-BENZ OF VALENCIA, 23355 VALENCIA BLVD, VALENCIA, CA 91355

Tickets are $100 per person and available at scvzonta.org/dessert-

Memes

| Entertainment | September 26, 2019

Live Music

| Entertainment | September 26, 2019

Sept 27, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Fahr.West Sessions Country rock
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge various artists Live music
8–11pm The Local Pub n Grill Nick Horn Pop & orig
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11:30 Vinent Hill Station Sweetwater Gentlemen Bluegrass
9–12m Newhall Press Room Various artists Acoustic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR

Sept 28, Sat
1–10pm Pocock Brewery The Darryls Rock mix
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station Siren Valley Acoustic orig

6:30–9:30 Backyard Grub n Brews The Mod-U-Lates Classic rock
7–10pm Hyatt Val. Great Pacific Various artists Live music
7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Right Side Up Classic rock

8–11pm Wine 661 Colene & Co R&B, swing jz
8–12m VFW 6885 Debra Lee band Country
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Miles 2 Go CR w violin

9–12m Newhall Press Room Various artists Acoustic rock
9–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Overdrive band Classic rock
9–12m Eighth and Rail Snareheads Dance rock

Sep 29, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swap meet Brothers & Others Live music
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic Various
5–8pm Salt Creek Grill G – 3 band Classic rock

5–9pm VFW 6885 Robert Heft Blues band Blues mix
5:30–8:30 Vincenzo’s Newhall Drop Zone Lite Acoustic rock
6–10pm Black n’ Blue Al Pascua Project Jazz funk R&B

Oct 1, Tues
6–9:30p Wolf Creek Brewery Community Pints night Live music

7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Deep Fried Daddys CR & blues

Oct 2, Wed
6–9pm Route 66 Classic Grill Various bands Live music
6–9pm Tomato Joe’s Pizza in CC James Hackett Classic rock

Oct 3, Thur
5:30–7:30 Northpark Village Square Ray Howard Live music
6–9pm Tomato Joe’s Pizza in CC Daphne Winter CR & folk rk
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Dole – Humphries duo Folk rk Indie
7–9pm The Main, Old Town Nwhl 10 by 10 music Variety
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse SRBQ band CR & blues
8–11pm Black and Blue Dueling pianos Piano

Oct 4, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Various bands Live music

7 – 9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Val. Lounge various artists Live music
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic covers
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Live music
8–11:30p Vincent Hill Station Seventh Switch on patio Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Jay Bolan Classic rock

Fourth Annual Gran Fondo Cycling Event Returns to Santa Clarita

| Community, Entertainment | September 26, 2019

Calling all cyclists! The City of Santa Clarita is excited to host the fourth annual Gran Fondo community cycling race, presented by Santa Clarita Velo on Saturday, September 28, beginning at 7 a.m. at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, located at 20850 Centre Point Parkway.

This one-day, chip-timed event will bring together cyclists from all over California who are looking to ride on Santa Clarita’s picturesque roads while passing through lush hills and mountain ranges. Three courses are available for riders including a 20-mile “Family,” 60-mile “Medio” and 100-mile “Gran,” which makes this event perfect for riders at any skill level.

Cyclists and spectators can look forward to a post-race celebration, including lunch. The event will also include a rider expo featuring vendors that offer a variety of products. Attendees can also enter for a chance to win professional cycling gear and products by entering the raffle drawing at the event.

Riders can register online by visiting GranFondoSantaClarita.com. For any questions or sponsorship requests, please contact event lead David Smith at scvsmith@gmail.com.

Come Enjoy Paella Day at Reyes Winery

| Entertainment | September 26, 2019

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Annually we have Paella Day at Reyes Winery. This year we are celebrating Harvest with Paella. We do a mixed version with chicken, fish and vegetables. Robert started making paella in the 1980’s with his childhood friend in Miami. He has created this recipe we will feature this coming Saturday, September 28, by choosing things he likes.

Paella is a rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain around the 19th century. Many people around the world have believed that it is the national dish of Spain, yet Spaniards have said it is regional dish. There are many types of paella, such as seafood, vegetarian or mixed. The original Valencia style paella consisted of rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, green beans, white beans (maybe Lima or butter beans), rice with saffron and sometimes rosemary.

We will be featuring our 2015 Amber Chardonnay and 2011 Les Deux Rois. Our Renaissance by Reyes Winery 2011 Les Deux Rois has won many awards including a gold medal and 90 points from the 2014 San Diego County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, plus second prize for best label in the 2014 San Diego County Fair Commercial Wine Competition. In addition, it has received a bronze medal at the 2014 Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

This is a blend of California Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The label depicts our family crest, which represents an extensive ancestral history. It has a rich ruby red color with aromas of plum, dark cherries and a hint of cocoa. On the palate you get a continuity of its delectable aromas. This wine can be paired with so many dishes. Enjoy with beef bourguignon, three month Manchego cheese or berry bread pudding.

Come and enjoy Robert’s paella at Reyes Winery this Saturday from 2-5pm. It is $49 per person and includes two glasses of wine, paella, salad and dessert.

For more information, visit www.reyeswinery.com.

On the Town with Jason Downs

| Community, Entertainment | September 26, 2019

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans, and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town! We’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: A tricycle race (for big kids) at Wolf Creek Brewery, and a birthday celebration at Dodgers stadium.

A tricycle race, you say? Yes, indeed, friends, BMW of Valencia sponsored an adult “Trike Derby” at Wolf Creek Brewery to benefit Child & Family Center of Santa Clarita and it was a real hoot!

In addition to BMW of Valencia, Mercedes Benz of Valencia (their arch tricycle rivals), Allstate Insurance, Lentini Insurance and Investments, and Martin & Company Tax and Wealth Advisors (the reigning champions) were all regaled in crazy costumes to burn up the pavement for a good cause. I myself was enlisted by Nicholas Lentini, (who was also in charge of the event now in its third year running), to be on the ‘Rotary Rodeo’ team.

All teams were co-ed and comprised of four racers. At the sound of the bullhorn we had to pedal as fast as we could around an extremely sharp loop (without toppling over) and then hand the trike off to the next teammate as fast as possible (without toppling over) so they could give it a whirl. It was harder than you’d think! In a three race elimination we came in fourth, which we didn’t think was too bad considering the steep competition on the track that day.

Child & Family Center also had a couple of teams in the race completely comprised of be-goggled Minions with yellow shirts and blue overalls from the animated movie Despicable Me. Jurassic Park was also represented by the Wolf Creek team in the form of four inflatable dinosaur costumes whose riders could barely make their way around the course. (T-Rexes have such tiny hands.) Not something you see everyday, folks! Hilarious!

Martin & Company Tax and Wealth Advisors (dressed as the Ghostbusters) took home first place barely beating out Allstate Insurance. Their streamlined tricycle, impeccable dismounts, seamless hand offs and perfect barrel turns were well practiced, well executed, and as it turns out, hard to beat. So take notes for next year, folks!

Another highlight of the delightful event was the dunking booth in which Assemblymember Christy Smith allowed constituents to take turns (for a donation to Child & Family Center) tossing balls at a bullseye in hopes of dousing her…and she had a long line of hopefuls! She was a great sport as several folks were successful in dunking the Assemblywoman, including one boy who was so excited he went off leaping for joy before Christy could give him a high five.

And all of this for an organization that is truly out to make our community a better place. The Child & Family Center’s mission is to change lives and heal relationships by helping people struggling with addiction or abuse to thrive through education, treatment, prevention and advocacy. These are the kinds of people that make the world go round, friends. They bless our community with their work and it was a blast to go around their tricycle track to make some small contribution. I’ll see you all there next year!

And speaking of the passage of time, my better half had a birthday this past weekend and she wanted to spend it at Dodger Stadium. That’s right, and this is only one of many reasons why this woman is a dream girl! We were able to get amazing seats right next to Cody Bellinger on first base, and it was a thrill. My wife walked away with some new best friends (which apparently happens when you give the people sitting behind and in front of you free food), a slight belly ache, and a huge smile on her face.


So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up.
(reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Memes of the Week

| Entertainment | September 19, 2019

On the Town with Jason Downs

| Entertainment | September 19, 2019

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans, and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town! We’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: A kicking car show at Route 66, some heel-tapping’ tunes at a real Mexican cantina and a beautiful bite of Andy Warhol’s Tomato in Venice!

That’s right, folks, I really got around these past several days…and I know you’ll want to hop in your 1955 Thunderbird and do the same once you hear of my adventures. The good news is that each of the events I attended are still accessible in the coming days.

The Rotary Club does a lot of things right in this community (peach cobbler at the Cowboy Fest to name one) and they also do a lot of good. The Route 66 Car Show (at the Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country) accomplishes both for this club of local heroes. Not only do these people know how to put on a car show, but Alexx Rufus, the event coordinator from Rotary, said the proceeds will continue to help them aid victims of homelessness, drug addiction and human trafficking. I can’t think of a better way to spend your time and money, friends. (The car show was free to the public but the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita was selling raffle tickets to raise money.)
Even though it was a hot day over 70 cars showed up for the cause and boy-o-boy they were beauties. Pristine Impala’s, impeccably restored Model T’s, Mustang’s that could make you melt, and even an old ‘Henry J’ which I was informed by one of the Rotary members was sold by Sears and Roebuck beginning in 1950 for the bargain basement price of $1300. I’ll take one!

A live band kept things rockin’ all afternoon with classics from the 50’s and 60’s while The Route 66 Classic Grill served up food and drinks until I truly felt I’d gone back in time. (I am a sucker for the old days.) Catch their next car show on October 12th from 5-9pm.

One of the crowd favorites, a restored fire engine.
(Lori Murphy, Photographer)

Speaking of the old days, walking into the Viva Cantina in Burbank was like entering a time machine. Located directly next door to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and its picturesque mountains as a backdrop, riders would literally saunter up on their horses, tie off the reins to a hitching post out back and rest their boots on the bar for a drink. I loved it.

A friend of mine was playing at the Cantina, The Jude Ciccollela Band (you may recognize him from his role on the hit series 24). Their old school playlist along with Jude’s rustic baritone transported me even more delightfully into the past with songs like Wichita Lineman by Glenn Campbell and Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Margarita’s the size of my head were making their way around the room as dancers took to the floor. I highly recommend venturing out to this unique venue, the Viva Cantina, the very next chance you get! (Especially if Jude Ciccolella is playing.) 

There are many reasons to visit Venice Beach, but you may not know that a high quality, highly acclaimed theater company also calls it home. The Pacific Resident Theater has a few plays running at the moment (that’s right, it has three different venues that make up the space), one of which is All My Sons by Arthur Miller. However, I went to see a new piece by Vince Melocchi entitled Andy Warhol’s Tomato and I found it to be incredibly poignant and moving. The story was simple: a young Andy Warhol growing up in Pittsburgh is given the opportunity to paint a sign for a local, hard-working, blue collar bar owner. The two men could not be more unalike.

I really don’t want to give too much more than that away because I would encourage you all to make the trip, literally and figuratively, down to Venice to see this touching play. It’s appropriate for all ages and delivers a message of generosity and understanding in a world where we can use all we can get. Despite all our disparity, the play demonstrates that we can always learn something from each other if we look closely enough…like the simplicity, the complexity, and the life-giving deliciousness of a tomato.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol (Visit pacificresidenttheatre.com for tickets)

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up. (reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com) Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appétit!

The Gazette’s Haunted Halloween Round-Up

| Entertainment | September 19, 2019

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

Fall is right around the corner, and with it comes all the ghoulish gatherings the Halloween season has to offer. This being my absolute favorite time of year, I will be highlighting some haunted attractions in upcoming issues of the Gazette leading up to the big day on October 31. So, join me as I journey into the world of everything that goes bump in the night!

Kicking off the scares is Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, which opened up its ghoulish gates on September 12 for horror fans eager to get started on their spooky festivities. With 10 terrifying mazes, five shocking scare zones and a show by the Jabbawockeez created specifically for the event, this is one haunted happening you won’t want to miss.

The theme park boasts that Halloween Horror Nights “brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror.” The majority of the attractions are based on popular film and TV properties from the past and present that are sure to please any horror buff.

This year the park once again has an impressive list of new haunts. Leading the pack are mazes based on Jordan Peele’s horror hit “Us,” Sony Pictures’ classic “Ghostbusters” and Netflix’s hit show “Stranger Things.” These three were all incredibly well-done, full of impressive special effects, masterful sets and props that transport you into their respective worlds, as well as plenty of scares waiting around each corner. Try and keep your wits about you, and definitely don’t close those eyes, because the attention to detail found in these mazes is excellent. The mastery and dedication of the creators found in these haunts is the ultimate treat in this bag of tricks.

There are also some ghoulish food offerings based on the latter two, including Slimer’s Dirty Water Hot Dog, Zuul’s Countertop Egg Sandwich, The Upside Down Burger and the Mindflayer’s Milkshake. Universal also converted an ice cream shop into Scoop’s Ahoy from ‘Stranger Things,” for those looking to step right into the world of “Eleven” and her trusty troop.

These three attractions may be the spooky stars of this season, but there are plenty of others that offer just as many flights and will be sure to please every type of horror fan. Two of my personal favorites were the “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and “Creepshow” mazes, which touched on my ‘80s horror fandom.

Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses” was perhaps the most disturbing haunt, which will delight fans of the director who is known for pushing the boundaries of horror into the most depraved crevices of the genre.

Halloween Horror Nights just wouldn’t be the same without a throwback to the classic Universal monsters. “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man,” loosely based on the 1943 film, offers all the chilling nostalgia fans of these icons are seeking. Adding a modern twist to this maze is an original score composed by Grammy award-winning musician Slash.

Rounding out the frightening fun are “Holidayz in Hell,” “The Curse of Pandora’s Box” and “The Walking Dead.” All of them are worth a walk-through, but if you’re worried about being short on time, you might want to save these for the end.

Missing from the frightening fun this year was the Terror Tram, which was sorely missed. That being said, there was so much to do and see at this eerie event that the Tram was quickly forgotten. However, I do hope that it returns from the dead and we get to see it back next year.

For those looking for a short escape from the spooks, Universal is also keeping a handful of their everyday attractions open to the public. Make sure you check out the all new “Jurassic World — The Ride,” which just opened up this summer.

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights will be open select nights through November 3, 2019. There are various ticket options, including express passes for those who want to skip the lines (I highly recommend this),  frequent fear passes for scare seekers who want to visit more than once, special private tours with a VIP guide and day/night combo packages.

I can’t think of a better way to step into the delightful darkness of this scary season than with a terrifyingly terrific trip to Halloween Horror Nights. You won’t find another event with satisfying scares that will literally leave you screaming for more.

“Halloween Horror Nights” runs through November 3 at Universal Studios Hollywood, located at 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. For information or tickets, visit www.halloween horror nights.com.

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | September 19, 2019

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Grenache is one of the lightest red wine varietals, like Pinot Noir. It grows well in hot, dry and windy climates like Agua Dulce. Our 2015 Grenache was sourced from Alonso Family Vineyards in Agua Dulce. This year, we brought Grenache in from Lake Los Angeles, which is about 37 miles north east of Reyes Winery. The climate there is similar to ours, but they have much more water than us. This varietal tends to be harvested later than most other grapes. This year was somewhat in the middle.

The 2015 Grenache is available for tasting in the tasting room this month. It is wonderful! It is a limited-edition member only wine. It has aromas of strawberries, ruby-red grapefruits and raspberries. On the palate you will get raspberry, honey, white pepper and a bit of anise. It can be a spicier fruity wine with higher alcohol content than most red wines. This jammy wine can be enjoyed with a salad that has strawberries, raspberries and toasted almonds with a touch of crushed pink peppercorn with a champagne vinaigrette. This dish, plus a few others, will be served this Saturday for our Monthly Hike & Brunch. Tickets are still available on the website.

I sampled from the barrel, our 2017 Grenache which also comes from Lake Los Anegles. It has aromas of raspberries and strawberries. It is very fruity on the nose. I took a sip and its dry, yet I get delicious raspberries dancing on my tongue. I can’t’ wait to share this amazing wine. It will be bottled soon for everyone to enjoy!

The world celebrates the 10th Annual International #GrenacheDay Friday September 20, 2019. #grenacheday. A decade of wine glass clinking and drinking with good friends. To celebrate this day, we are featuring the Reyes 2015 Grenache and Alonso Family Vineyards 2011 Juan’s Red (Grenache blend) all month.

For more information please visit www.reyeswinery.com.

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