THANK YOU, FRIENDS: The organizations that gather to lend a hand to our state parks -- either through clean-up days or fundraisers or restorations or general celebrations -- are truly some of the most dedicated and hardest-working-est groups in all the land. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is one such committed community, and we don't toss either word around lightly. The Friends' schedule is a bustling one: History-focused outings, trash pick-up efforts, and events dedicated to raising money dot the schedule, and advocacy projects are always in the swirl. A number of fall-sweet to-dos are just ahead on the Friends' packed calendar, including the Mole & Mariachi Festival, a first-time money-raiser for the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.
DATE & DETAILS: Is mole just about a perfect early autumn food? We know, it is a staple of many cold-weather favorites, but its texture, piquancy, and sweetness just say October. So it fits that Saturday, Oct. 5 is the date of the free festival, a party which will take place at the very state historic park it will support. Nice. Do have cash handy for "(l)ocal food, wine, and beer," as well as crafts and other buyables.
MORE "FRIEND"LY EFFORTS: If you can't make the day, you can always donate. And be sure to keep an eye on the calendar ahead: A Lobster Feed at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, a Twilight Hike in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and Coastal Clean-Up Day are all ahead in the coming weeks. And is there a tasty to-do called "Sausagefest"? Indeed. And, like mole, we will call sausage one of the true foods of October, something that somehow becomes extra savory when enjoyed during the early days of autumn.