Summer is starting and there is plenty to do! Kings Canyon National Park is offering FREE admission on Saturday June, 20th for the re-dedication of the General Grant tree in honor of our Armed Forces. All Summer long Visalia Parks and Recreation are hosting FREE “Dive in Movies” at the Mt.Whitney pool on Saturdays. If you would rather picnic with the family at dusk, then try their “Movies in the Park” series on Friday nights at Riverway Sports Park (this is also a FREE event.)
It’s May in Visalia and we’re celebrating!The Cinco de Mayo parade in downtown Visalia will start the month off, followed by the 85th Birthday of our beautiful historic Fox Theater. The Downtown Expo on May 15th will feature live music and food demonstrations by some of Visalia’s best restaurants followed by a downtown car show Saturday May 16th on Main St. Don’t forget to get out and enjoy the beautiful May weather in Visalia! The Sequoia Shuttle starts on Thursday, May 21st with a special one-day rate of $5.00 for a round trip. May 2015 BUZZ
So what do all 3 of these have in common? They are all great places to explore in the Springtime in the Central Valley. Although we didn’t have much of a winter, spring has definitely sprung (in fact, we might be charging into Summer!) This warm weather makes us want to be outdoors, whether it is at a Visalia Rawhide game at Rec Park munching on popcorn and peanuts, or taking advantage of a “Fee Free” day at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, or simply hanging out with friends on Main Street having a coffee at an outdoor cafe. We are living the California Dream! Looking for more ideas to kick-start your springtime? Check out the Buzz, with lots of great suggestions.
Here in the Valley, we are desperate for rain and snow to recharge our water supply. But, there is an upside to this lack of “winter weather.” Many parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are now accessible due to lack of snow. The National Park Service has made winter travel to the parks even better by offering “Fee Free” days! The next one is February 14-16. So take advantage of this or one of the many other activities throughout Visalia. Take a look at our most recent “Visalia Buzz” for more suggestions.
So the holidays are here! Seems just like yesterday, we complained about the Christmas decorations in Costco and yet here we are! Where did the time go?! Take time to savor the season, whether its running in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, taking the family to see the Christmas Tree Lighting in the Oval Park, getting decked out for the Christmas Tree Auction or trekking to the Nation’s Christmas Tree. There are lots of things to do in and around Visalia to get you in the holiday mood.
The days are getting shorter and there is definitely a nip in the air! At last! It is a great time to be outdoors whether it is for a hike in the mountains or for a walk downtown. We hope you took advantage of the Free Entrance day to Sequoia National Park on Veterans Day. More importantly, we hope you took the time to thank a Veteran.
Summer is coming to a close but we aren’t ready to curl up on the sofa yet! There is a lot to do around Visalia this month: Downtown Visalia Sidewalk Sale – 3 days of shopping and family fun – the Visalia Home Expo, the South Valley’s largest Fall Home Expo, and the annual Visalia Waiters Race.
Also, in concert, is Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars. She has “gone Country” and is performing at Visalia Adventure Park.
Check out this month’s Visalia Buzz for more information.
With Movies in the Park, National Model Aviation Day and the Museums at Mooney’s Grove park, there are plenty of fun and FREE things to do this month!
Plus don’t miss Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy and special guest Randy Bachman performing at the Oval Park.
Check out this month’s Visalia Buzz for more details!
Throughout the centuries our civilization has been fascinated with the dark, from observing the Universe through telescopes, telling stories based on patterns in the night sky or building myths surrounding this last frontier. During the last weekend of July, the first ever Dark Sky Festival in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will be celebrating the darkness that blankets its Giant Sequoia forest, high Sierra peaks, rivers, lakes and wildlife.
You too can join in the fun by attending some of the over 50 astronomy-themed events scheduled throughout the weekend. However, there are a few events that you don’t want to miss! Continue reading to get an insider’s peek at which events are really worth the trip to the National Parks this weekend. For specific times and dates for these free programs, check out the Sequoia Natural History Association website at www.sequoiahistory.org .
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL AT NIGHT
Have you ever seen the NASA website, National Geographic or Time Magazine’s Picture of the Year and seen a brilliant photograph of the night sky in one of America’s National Parks? That photograph may have been taken from award winning photographer Wally Pacholka. Specializing in the national parks of the West, one look at Pacholka’s work will leave you inspired to spend more time under the stars!
DESIGNING A LIFE FOR YOURSELF: ONE LITTLE STEP AT A TIME
From farm kid to airplane mechanic to pilot to trauma surgeon to rocket man to lead mechanic on the Hubble Telescope, Dr. Story Musgrave has an incredible story to tell. With 20 honorary degrees, 6 space flights and 30 years as a NASA astronaut, Dr. Musgrave will give you a glimpse into his life and will leave you feeling ready to pursue your dreams, one little step at a time.
SATURDAY NIGHT STAR PARTY with Kern County Astronomers
Join respected geologists and amateur astronomers from the Kern County Astronomical Society as they showcase the wonders of the night sky using powerful laser pointers and telescopes. View the rings of Saturn, galaxies millions of light years away or gaze into an ancient cluster of stars. With the help of these passionate star gazers, learn about backyard astronomy and get your Universe questions answered under the starry nights of Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park.
HITTING THE ROAD ON MARS
Since the beginning of time, people have been entranced by the night sky and by our nearest planetary neighbor-Mars. From the early missions to Viking, Pathfinder and the more recent missions- Mars has been (and is) a challenging destination. The Mars Exploration Rovers landed on Mars in January 2004 and have been successfully exploring ever since. Come hear the story of their legacy and our newest rover on Mars- the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover by esteemed NASA engineer and mission operations team member, Nagin Cox.
MEET NASA ASTRONAUTS
Have you ever wanted to hear what life is like in outer space? If you could ask just one question to a NASA astronaut, what would it be? This opportunity awaits you in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks during the Dark Sky Festival. Both selected as Mission Specialists by NASA in July 2000, both Colonel Robert L. Behnken and Megan McArthur will be speaking throughout the weekend.
BLAST OFF WITH TEAM S.P.E.W.
A perfect program for families with young engineers, learn how to build and launch your own water rocket by using a recycled carbonated beverage bottles. Watch them fly high into the air using only water and compressed air for fuel. Robert Leonard, a father and Den Leader for the Boy Scouts of America, will be the presenter. He has performed over 600 rocket launches in a single day and has launched simple rockets over 250 feet into the air!
On these glorious summer days when the heat is soaring, feel free to use these top 5 ways to stay cool in Visalia.
5. Splash Around
From the Splash Pad on located our historic Main Street to the new Splash Pad at Riverway Sports Park, these gems invite young and old to play in the water and cool off! Not sure? Try it once and we promise you’ll be giggling, splashing and a feeling whole lot cooler! Insider tip…..Riverway Sports Park has a great playground and outdoor movies most Friday nights!
4. Water Fight
Adventure Park helps you stay cool and enjoy some healthy competition! Climb into a bumper boat, speed around the moat and use your water pistol to prove you’re the head of this castle. Since admission to Adventure Park is free, you could just watch others compete but we doubt you’ll be able to stay away for long. Insider tip…Check here for deals and coupons!
3. TIKI SNOW
This local favorite has a dedicated and loyal fan base and we completely understand why! Serving shaved ice for over 25 years, Tiki Snow knows a thing or two about cool summer treats. Can’t decide which flavor to get? Have a tasting party with friends to decide your favorite flavor. Find Tiki Snow on Mooney Blvd behind Wendy’s and A&W. Insider Tip: Get different flavors and share!
2. Dive In Movies!
Lights, Camera, …..Swim Suit? Now you can enjoy the latest family blockbuster movie while floating in an Olympic Sized Pool! Visalia Parks and Recreation is sponsoring movies at Mt. Whitney High School’s Pool every Saturday evening in July. While the movie begins at dusk, the pool opens at 6pm! Insider Tip: Bring your own snacks and blanket to enjoy on the lawn.
1. Take a Hike
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are typically 10 – 30 degrees cooler than the valley floor. Hiking along streams and beneath the canopy of the Giant Sequoias, summer has never felt so marvelous. Insider Tip: Take the Sequoia Shuttle and avoid driving!