Caspar Gorse Festival 1999
|The Second Annual|
Over the second weekend in October, the 8th through the 10th , the village of Caspar welcomes Mendocino coastal residents and visitors to join in celebrating the Second Annual Gorse Festival.
The festival is named for the pernicious weed, gorse, which threatens to take over parts of Caspar. "It's one of the things we're known for," says Mike Dell'Ara , president of the Caspar Community, which organizes the festival. "We don't like the stuff, but it seems appropriate to name our festival for it. The proceeds from the Gorse Festival support the Caspar Community in its effort to preserve the quality of life in their village -- including our gorse eradication efforts."
Events at the three-day festival will include a crafts show, rummage sale, a SEED fair, a gorse-mapping project, many musical events, a pot-luck breakfast, and a hike along the bluffs. It will culminate in a CD Pre-release Party at William's Studio, where Grammy-winning local music producer Bill Bottrell will preview his latest CD.
During the Gorse Festival, the Community hopes that everyone in Caspar, and friends of Caspar from near and far, will come to town for some of these events:
Gorse Crafts Show
At 6 PM on Friday, October 8th, at What's Afoot Gallery in downtown Caspar there will be a preview and opening where the Caspar String Quartet, led by Joselyn Bartlett and Tony Miksak, will play. The famous 1903 Caspar Lumber Company film, including new footage obtained this year, will be shown continuously during the Opening.
The Crafts Show and Hemp Expo at What's Afoot Gallery will showcase local crafts alongside products and enterprises created from another much maligned weed. On Saturday, hemp activist L. B. Johnson will introduce her new video, "Hemp Hemp Hooray! The Growing Industrial Hemp Market". This fast paced, educational video offers insight into the potential of the world's most useful and versatile plant, cannabis hemp, and its burgeoning renewed industrial marketplace. Craftspeople are invited to participate; you can arrange to join the show by filling out a space request form at the Community Office, or by contacting show manager Sita Francia in care of email@example.com. The event will be open to the public throughout the three days of the festival.
After the Friday evening Opening, The Crafts Show and Hemp Expo will be open on Saturday from 11am until 5pm, and on Sunday from 11am until the Community Meeting begins at 3pm.
SEED Fair and Estate Sale
"Caspar's communal goal is to become sustainable, and we eagerly support local efforts like SEED, the complimentary money program already thriving on the Mendocino Coast," says Festival organizer Michael Potts. The SEED Fair and Estate Sale begins Saturday at 9:00AM in downtown Caspar. "This is a great opportunity to recycle tools and clothing you just don't use, and barter with your neighbors for their treasures." A limited number of spaces along Caspar Road are available, with preference given to Caspar residents, SEED members. For more information or to request a space at the sale, read the terms of the show and fill out at the forms from the Caspar Community office, catty-corner from the Caspar Inn.
During Saturday's Fair, from 10:30am until 3:30pm, SEED organizers will accept new members and explain the local benefits of the SEED program at their table. From 3:30 to 5 pm on Saturday in the Caspar Community Office Conference Room, Jennifer Kreger, Zo Abell, and other seasoned SEED advisors will lead a workshop. Here's where you can get expert advice about more ways to earn and spend SEED, how to set a viable acceptance policy, and learn how to simplify your SEED accounting -- all while helping to build sustainability on our Coast. For more information about the SEED and the Fair, contact Jennifer Kreger.
Saturday morning at 11am, volunteer mappers will gather at the Caspar Community office (across from the Caspar Inn) to commence the Gorse Census, a comprehensive effort to map gorse between Big River and the Noyo River. Caspar baykeeper Patty Madigan explains, "Many property owners don't know their lands are afflicted, or what treatment alternatives are available. Gorse is a serious threat to our way of life, and mapping is an important first step." This is part of the Caspar Community's effort to stop the spread of Gorse. No mapping skills will be required.
Food will be available throughout the day: pot-stickers, spring rolls, and chai from Sherpa Teahouse, and the usual delights from Oscar's Phantom Cafe. So organizers suggest it would be wise to come hungry.
Caspar Inn All-Star Boogie
Saturday Night at The Caspar Inn, starting at 9pm, a host of Caspar musicians calling themselves The Casparados. will perform. The group is led by Gene Parsons, and features Meridian Green, Lily Parsons, Phil Dunn with special guest appearances by Bill Bottrell and many more. This Caspar-style Boogie is bound to keep people celebrating until late. Suggested donation for this event is $10, and you must be 21 to attend.
Breakfast and Bluff Hike
On Sunday, October 10th at 10am, no matter what the weather, a pot-luck Beach Breakfast will take place on the beach at Caspar's Jughandle State Reserve. After breakfast, hikers led by Michael Potts will walk from Jughandle beach south to the Lighthouse at Point Cabrillo via the proposed Gorse Coast trail. Along the way important local features will be pointed out, including the gorse incursions which give the Festival and trail its name. Although this trail was used for decades before automobiles and roads reformed coastal travel, many parts of the trail now cross private property, and the Bluff Hike is an extraordinary opportunity to travel the historical route. At the Lighthouse, docents from the North Coast Interpretive Association will explain the restoration underway. Hearty walkers will return to Caspar via the proposed Mendocino Land Trust trail, which cuts across their new acquisition and past Caspar Cemetery before returning to the beach. Long sleeves and stout shoes are recommended.
At 2pm on Sunday, under the direction of Meridian Green, and accompanied by other Caspar musicians, the first annual Gorse Sing-Along will take place at the Caspar Shul, also known as the Mendocino Jewish Community Center. The first edition of the Gorse Sing-Along Book will debut at this event.
Caspar Community Meeting
The monthly meeting of the Caspar Community organization commences as usual on Sunday at 3pm at the Caspar Shul. "Toward a Sustainable Caspar" is the announced topic for the meeting, and all who feel they have a stake in keeping Caspar livable during the next century are urged to attend. Following the Community Meeting, there will be a sunset Headlands Walk.
CD Pre-release Party
After the Sunday meeting and headlands walk, sixty ticket-holders will enjoy Bill Bottrell's CD Pre-release Party starting at 6pm at William's Place, Bill's recording studio in the old Caspar Company Store building at the south end of Caspar Road. After warm-up music and hors d'oeuvres organized by Judy Tarbell and Mary Flannery Kraut, Bill and his back-up musicians will play a special selection of cuts from his newly-minted CD. Suggested donation for this event is $35, $50 for couples, and includes a special pre-release copy of Bill's CD. Since attendance at this event is limited to sixty, tickets are required, and may be secured by email ( to firstname.lastname@example.org ) or by mail (to the Caspar Community, box 84, Caspar, CA 95420.)
All benefit events contribute to the Caspar Community's continuing efforts to preserve and enhance the quality of all life in Caspar, which began in 1997. Up-to-the-minute information about the Festival and the Community's efforts may always be found on the web at CasparCommons.org .