Mendocino County: Inaugural ‘Almost Fringe' Fest

A goat parade is one of the highlights of the springtime lark.

A FRINGE FESTIVAL... feels right when the sky is brightening and the ground below is full of petal-gorgeous color and everything, from food to fun, feels slightly zingier than it did even a month ago. It's springtime when we start wishing we could be doing more things alfresco-style, from theater to parades to other events that alight well in the beautiful outdoors. Of course, fringe festivals aren't solely about under-the-sky fun; they celebrate artistic expression and theatrical innovation in their many unusual and outlandish forms, and that celebrating can definitely happen inside a room, too. In short? It's all about the spirit of fringe, something that Mendocino County has long and easily possessed. If you know the area, you know what we mean: The coastal region embraces the whimsical and creative, regardless of genre or form, meaning it is a place ripe for its own fringe-y event, in homage to the older fringe festivals in Edinburgh, Los Angeles, and other spots around the globe. So the county's first-ever...

ALMOST FRINGE FESTIVAL... is ready for take-off on the very last day of March. There'll be a few weekends in a row of interesting, visual, and bring-a-smile doings starting on Friday, March 31, from a free Anderson Valley Open Studios spectacular from April 21 through 23 to a a Goat Festival & Wildflower Show in Boonville on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. The goats are stars of Saturday, and not Sunday, do note, and, yes, believe it, dreams come true, there is a full-on Goat Parade in the works. (You can also take a lesson in making goat cheese.) A Dystopian Prom in Mendocino on April 8 and haiku party on the last day of April in Ukiah are other highlights, though the schedule is all highlights, as you might expect from something that wears its "fringe" banner proudly. Need details? Get 'em, because this festival looks like the perfect synthesis of a creativity-embracing area and artists, entertainers, and, yes, goats who are ready to embrace the creative-fun spirit.

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