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All's Fair in Festival Season: Molly's Revenge unleashes a torrent of Celtic soul this Sunday on the stage in front of the Civic.

Block Party

The Cabrillo Music Art & Wine Festival takes the party to the streets

By Jessica Lussenhop

This weekend, the Cabrillo Music Art & Wine Festival turns 18 years old--legal and ready to party with 14,000 of her best friends (by last year's count). "Festival within a festival"-goers will have an opportunity to take a family vacation around the globe in just a city block, with musical performances from Ireland to Japan, coupled with food from the farthest reaches of the globe, paired with wines from local vines.

KUSP's Brett Taylor will lord over the proceedings on Saturday, when African, Chinese and Irish harpists set the tone before Watsonville trumpet player Eleazar CortÚs' Mexican mariachi kicks off at high noon, followed by Kuzanga Marimba and Xochipilli Compa˝ia de Danze Mexicana, a festive flurry of skirts and guitars. Havana Jazz--Bosco El Gitano's new outfit--soothes the festival into late afternoon, followed by Koumbemba, a West African group led by Karamo, a Senegalese master of the 21-string kora. The Desert Dream Company with Orient'al were selected as a closing act to whet the audience's appetite for the main event Saturday night inside the Civic--Spice, Perfumes, Toxins!

Local firecracker Kim Luke emcees Sunday's lineup, which starts off with tried and true Santa Cruz favorite, the Great Morgani and his Lycra-loving accordion. In late afternoon it's Aza, a western-infused Amazigh and Arabic musical outfit, followed by the boisterous Celtic soul of Molly's Revenge. The mini-festival closes out with the China Cats, a local Dead cover band, a warm-up to that night's Sugar Magnolia tribute to the Dead inside the Civic.

And one musn't forget "art and wine" are this festival's middle name. Whilst parents plug away at the latest offerings from Bargetto Winery, Beauregard Vineyards and others, the wee tots are free, literally, to run amok in the Creativity Tent for Kids. Saturday's workshops include a very brave soul in charge of teaching rhythm percussion. Day two highlights kites, prints, flowers, drawing and digeridoo-making. Creative Reuse Project will unveil its latest and greatest community sculpture, built, as always, from the rediscovered, repurposed and recycled.

And of course, there will be plenty to chew on as attendees eat their way from Chestnut to Center streets. This year, tortilla casserole and Peking chicken wraps headline a spirited lineup of favorites, from shawarma to pizza and everything in between.

CABRILLO MUSIC ART & WINE FESTIVAL is Sat-Sun, Aug. 8-9, from 11am to 8pm outside Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St, Santa Cruz. Free.

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