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Gracias! Fourth annual Mole & Mariachi Festival was a success!   
About 5,000 people joined us Saturday, Sept. 10 for the fourth annual Mole & Mariachi Festival, a bicultural event and fundraiser for programs and improvements at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. 

We'd like to thank the many vendors, performers and competitors who participated, making this year's event the best yet. Sunny's Catering won the mole cook-off competition, taking both the People's Choice and Judges' Choice awards. El Chipotle of Soquel was runner up in both categories.

The event was very "green." Sandbar Solar's mobile solar trailer provided power, there was a free bike valet by Bike Santa Cruz County and festival attendees could park downtown and take the free trolley to the festival. Through a grant from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, the Offset Project led the effort to compost and recycle waste, and we were able to divert 93% of waste generated from the landfill.

Dozens of sponsors also supported this event. Thank you, sponsors!! 

Mark your calendars for the fifth annual Mole & Mariachi Festival on Sept. 9, 2017!
Welcome Back, Monarchs! 
Join in the annual celebration as the monarchs return to Natural Bridges State Beach. The 36th annual Welcome Back Monarchs Day will be Saturday, Oct. 9. This year’s festivities feature our connection to the monarch butterflies’ life and their migration through our own yards on their way to the overwintering site at Natural Bridges State Beach.

Open Streets Santa Cruz will be happening on West Cliff Drive — keep walking to Natural Bridges! — and local artist Tim Ward will debut his latest Santa Cruz sticker featuring Natural Bridge State Beach at the event. Welcome Back Monarchs Day is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more on our website.
Watch fireworks from the Mission! 
Watch the city's 150th birthday fireworks show from Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park on Saturday, Oct. 1. We'll be gathering at 7 p.m. for a campfire, storytelling, giant bubbles and hot chocolate. The fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. 
Schedule a field trip to the Castro Adobe
A visit to the Castro Adobe in Watsovnille immerses students in our community’s story from the heyday of the vaquero to the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Hands-on, sensory experiences bring more than a century of history to life, while guided investigations of students’ own inquiries make learning personally relevant. You don’t need to leave the Pájaro Valley to touch a real adobe and connect with California’s colorful past.

The free tours are 2.5 hours long and offer curriculum that supplements teaching of third grade (local history) and fourth grade (California history) content standards. Email Interpreter Joseph Carr Ritchie or call 831-226-9669 to schedule a visit.
First of three Mission Anniversary Lectures draws a crowd   
We had a great turnout to hear Martin Rizzo and Valentine Lopez speak at the first of three Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park Anniversary Lectures this fall. The talk, "Indigenous Experience, Then and Now," was held Sept. 15 at the park and is one of several events marking the 25th anniversary of the park.

Dr. Rizzo, who recently earned his PhD at UC-Santa Cruz, spoke about indigenous survival and perseverance. Lopez, chairperson of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, talked about Amah Mutsun stewardship of the land and their recent collaborations with California State Parks to help native people reclaim their heritage. Volume 8 of the Santa Crus History Journal, available in the Mission ParkStore and online, features an article written by Dr. Rizzo. You can also pick up a copy of Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson, which was referenced by Chairperson Lopez.

There are two additional Mission Lecture Series events this fall: Finding the Story in the Archaeology, Then and Now on Oct. 20 and Saving our Oldest Building, Then and Now, on Nov. 17. At the final lecture, we will be honoring the Park Founders. If you were active in the Adobe Coalition or worked to create the State Historic Park, please contact Nina Rose by email or by calling 831-429-1840
Friends joins Santa Cruz County History Fair
For the first time, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks will participate in the Santa Cruz County History Fair, hosted by Friends of Cowell Lime Works. The event will be Saturday, Oct. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. at Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Local museums, historians, historical societies and other groups will have displays and activities, and this year’s fair will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Santa Cruz as an incorporated city. Learn more.
Get tickets for the Lobster Feed Fundraiser!

The 22nd annual event put on by Mountain Parks Foundation benefits educational programs at Big Basin and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks.

The Lobster Feed is 4:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Henry Cowell. Cost is $75 and includes a complete dinner served buffet-style, non-alcoholic drinks and live music. Beer, wine and raffle tickets also will be available for purchase. 

Get tickets online or by calling 831-335-3174.
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, All rights reserved.

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