Animatronic dinosaurs flank an SUV
(Via Jurassic Empire)
City Life

BOLO Best Bets: Uke it up, take the plunge and journey to the Jurassic

So, let’s see ... roller derby, ukuleles, animatronic dinosaurs, Irish stand-ups, a plunge in the ocean. Yep, just another weekend in Santa Cruz County. Sure, our latest menu of diversions might be a tad unusual. But it’s a nice indication that Santa Cruz’s offbeat personality is finally beginning to emerge again. Just imagine the delights in store for the rest of 2022.

— Wallace Baine

Lookout Santa Cruz’s BOLO (Be On the Lookout) calendar is “your place to go for things to do” in Santa Cruz County.

See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year with Down The Line, a listing assembled by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.

Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:

(Click category headers for full BOLO listings in that category.)


Santa Cruz jammer Splenda.
(Via Mark Nockleby)

Santa Cruz Roller Derby: After two solid years of down time — thanks to a certain worldwide pandemic — Santa Cruz’s once hugely popular roller derby team is back. What was once called Santa Cruz Derby Girls has been rechristened Santa Cruz Roller Derby. With a lot of new skaters just emerged from derby “boot camp,” SCRD will bring out two teams at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, to go up against the Undead Roller Derby from the East Bay, and the Carquinez Quad Squad from Solano County. The first bout gets started at 4:45 p.m., with the second match set to begin at 6:45 p.m.

West Cliff Outdoor Market: Come once again to the all-day market on West Cliff Drive overlooking Steamer Lane – this time with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Popular among both locals and tourists, the market features hand-crafted gifts and a variety of food trucks, all with a front-row seat to the beautiful ocean and surfers taking advantage of the waves.

— Wallace Baine & Max Chun


A minivan drives past an animatronic saber-tooth tiger
(Via Jurassic Empire)

Jurassic Empire: Hot on the heels of last weekend’s comic-con, the Capitola Mall goes back in time with a visit from more than 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs that we can say from experience will thrill (and/or throw a bit of a scare into) dino lovers of all ages. The drive-thru event is on now in the mall parking lot, and runs through next Sunday, March 20, with extended hours on weekends.

Santa Cruz Polar Plunge: Get out in the brisk morning air at Rio Del Mar State Beach and join the Santa Cruz Polar Plunge, a three-hour event to raise money for people with intellectual disabilities and to support Special Olympics athletes. There will be food, drinks, music and games, not to mention a run into the ocean. Bring the whole family for a fun day at the beach for a good cause.

— Will McCahill and Max Chun


Corb Lund: Hailing from the same landscape that gave the world the great KD Lang (the plains of Alberta, Canada), singer-songwriter Corb Lund comes from the long lineage of cowboy/rodeo folk. Lund’s country-western sound emerges directly from that background. Lund’s music is powered by a country openness, but it’s spiced with roadhouse blues and gritty rock guitar as well (check out “I Think You Oughta Try Whiskey”). He comes to Felton Music Hall in the wake of his 2021 album “Agricultural Tragic.” Showtime is 8 p.m.

Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra: If you’ve never heard of Marty O’Reilly and his Old Soul Orchestra, you haven’t been paying attention to the musical scene for the past decade. O’Reilly has been a familiar figure on local stages and has remained popular with his acoustic-flavored roots music, as American as ice cream on the Fourth of July. The OSO comes to Moe’s Alley on Saturday night with a new energy born of its new album, “Signal Fires.” Opening is promising San Francisco artist Zelma Stone. The fun starts at 9 p.m.

Geographer: Singer-songwriter Mike Deni is the mind and artistic spirit behind the intriguing San Francisco-based musical project Geographer, which combines supple indie-pop melodies with everything from synth to cellos. The result is keenly crafted songs of introspection and reflection often on love and mortality, as on the band’s most recent recording, 2021’s stirring “Down and Out in the Garden of Earthly Delights.” Geographer performs Wednesday at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. Opening is Chong the Nomad.

Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz: There aren’t many shows out there that are (1) free of charge, and (2) encouraging you to bring your own axe. In this case, that axe is the ukulele, the star of the show in this 20th-anniversary celebration of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, a community built around a versatile, often ridiculed string instrument. The Uke Club has attracted a battalion of independent-minded free spirits all intent on creating community through music. All uke lovers, from beginners to experts, are welcome to swing by the Rio Theatre on March 17 to celebrate with the Ukers. It’s free. Hawaiian attire optional.

— Wallace Baine


Fresh Monterey Bay crab will have to wait for most people this winter.
(Via John Teeple)

Surf City Kiwanis 41st Annual Sit-Down Crab Feed: Get cracking for this annual crab feed, with three options available: the popular sit-down crab and pasta feed with silent auction and no-host bar at the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge; the grab-and-go option for those wanting to enjoy the crab dinner at home; or pasta only, featuring Louie’s “world-famous” sauce. All three options include salad, garlic bread and a cookie. Sit-down tickets are limited to 50, and proceeds support local youth and community programs, as well as college scholarships.

Second Sundays wine tasting at Persephone: Wine tasting party on the patio! As spring nears, Sunday will mark the inauguration of Persephone’s casual tasting event highlighting international wines, with small bites from its kitchen and live music. This month’s tasting will be Greek-themed, with wines including Thymiopoulos Atma Assyrtiko 2019, Oenops Rawditis 2018 and Oenops Limniona 2018. All this to the voice and piano of Alexandra The Author.

— Lucille Tepperman


A poster for the Real Irish Comedy Fest

The Real Irish Comedy Fest: You didn’t think you were going to get through this month without some reference to St. Patrick’s Day, did you? On Friday, the Kuumbwa Jazz Center goes full-on Irish with a comedy show featuring a trio of stand-up comics, all from Ireland. Sean Finnerty is currently ranked as the “No. 1 roast comic” in New York City (who does these rankings?). Martin Angolo is a regular scene-stealer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And Dave Nihill is the first Irish comic to win the San Francisco International Comedy Festival. Here’s betting there won’t be a single joke about leprechauns. It all happens Friday at Kuumbwa. The laughs get started at 7:30 p.m.

Greater Purpose Comedy — Emily Catalano: Big-name comics like this week’s guest out of Los Angeles, Emily Catalano, grace the small stage at this Live Oak brewery, which also has a pair of pingpong tables to get your game on and Funk’s Franks food truck providing the eats. Catalano was selected by Time Out Los Angeles as one of 10 comics to watch in 2020, and has opened for the likes of Pete Holmes, Michelle Wolf and Sarah Silverman with an act that tackles breakups, failed relationships and ex-lovers.

— Wallace Baine and Lucille Tepperman


Donna Thompson's "Year of the Plague Crows."
(Via Visual Arts Network)

“This Is Now”: Talk about ambitious: Three local art galleries are combining forces for one group show. More than 150 artists from the Visual Arts Network are represented at the Radius Gallery at the Tannery, the R. Blitzer Gallery on the Westside, and Curated by the Sea downtown. Here’s how it works: The galleries are dividing the works based on the last name of the artists. The Radius features the works of artists from A to F. The Blitzer goes from G to O, and Curated takes on P to Z. “This Is Now” will be focused on new art, created in the past two years. Each of the participating galleries will show through April 10. Go see them in alphabetical order, or be a rebel and see them in some other order.

“Who We Are: Portraying Identity”: Cabrillo College presents its first in-person art show of the year at the Cabrillo Gallery on campus. The new show gathers together a collection of artists of different disciplines to meditate on the question of identity, on the basis of ethnicity, culture, spirituality, politics, geography and several other categories. The show features 30 artworks that approach the question in different ways. The show’s juror, Pauli Ochi will be on hand Saturday for a juror’s talk to discuss the show and its concept. “Who We Are” runs through April 8.

SCAL Members A-Z Exhibition: The Santa Cruz Art League is celebrating its members with a big show featuring more than 100 artworks in a wide variety of mediums. The show at the SCAL Gallery — 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz — runs through April 3.

Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship: The legacy of the late Santa Cruz artists and philanthropists Roy and Frances Rydell is a biannual fellowship providing grants to four local visual artists with national reputations. Over the years, the Rydell fund has contributed more than $600,000 to local artists, and the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz is showcasing the 2020-21 winners: printmaker and illustrator Ann Altstatt, designer and artist Marc D’Estout, dancer and choreographer Cid Pearlman and photographer and printmaker Edward Ramirez. The Rydell fellows are the focus of a broad new display at the MAH’s second-floor Solari Gallery. The show runs through March 20.

“Atmosphere”: Monterey Bay artist Enid Baxter Ryce taps into the familiar winter weather patterns for anyone who lives in Northern California in her interactive, multimedia exhibit, “Atmosphere,” at the Museum of Art & History in downtown Santa Cruz. Using paintings, photographs, film and even an interactive soundscape sculpture, Ryce brings together collaborators musician Lanier Sammons, historian William Cowan, sculptor Natalie Jenkins and scientist Dan Fernandez to example phenomena such as “atmospheric rivers” and winter fog. (There is a “fog collector” on hand as well.) The exhibit runs through the winter/early spring months, until May.

Art with Heart: The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center in Ben Lomond is throwing the focus on love in its latest exhibit, themed on all the different expressions that love often takes. On through March 26 at the SCMAC, 9341 Mill St., Ben Lomond.

— Wallace Baine


Author Marissa Meyer and her book "Cider"

Marissa Meyer: Celebrated young-adult author Marissa Meyer will participate in a virtual event on Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary of her breakout novel, 2012’s futuristic “Cinder,” which reimagines the “Cinderella” story through the experience of a cyborg. “Cinder” spawned a series of similar tales known as “The Lunar Chronicles.” Meyer will be on hand to reflect on the book’s influence and how it resonates with readers today. The event is sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. Things get started at 5 p.m.

— Wallace Baine



“The Room” with Tommy Wiseau: The poster child and possibly the most famous iteration of “so bad it’s good” cinema, “The Room” hits the screen at the Del Mar Theatre downtown for two nights this weekend, complete with a pre-screening Q&A with Tommy Wiseau, who wrote, directed, starred in and produced the film. This one’s worth it no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

10th Annual Watsonville Film Festival in-person celebration: For its 10th anniversary, the Watsonville Film Festival will honor the coming-of-age film “Real Women Have Curves.” Considered an important piece of 21st-century independent filmmaking, the movie follows a Mexican American family and the mother-daughter conflict that unfolds as the daughter dreams of going to college. Noted for its nuanced portrayal of the immigrant experience in America as well as the layered view of Los Angeles, the film still resonates. And it’s free (though donations are appreciated).

— Max Chun


Sign up for our weekly Best Bets newsletter, sent every Thursday afternoon.

You can also get our weekly Best Bets text alert by signing up here or texting the word BOLO to 831-387-7662.

Send arts, entertainment and culture events you think should be listed (for free) to us at

If you’re planning or producing your own event, click on the Promote Your Event button on the calendar.

Questions, comments, concerns? Email