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Dressed to Thrill: The dapper members of Hot Town Jubilee provide a dose of musical style to this weekend's Boulder Creek Art, Wine & Music Festival.

Memorial Elements

Santa Cruz County gets into the swing of summer with a Memorial Day weekend loaded with big events and festivals

By Rob Pratt

THE PHENOMENON is easily recognized even by locals who have witnessed just one turning of the seasons in Santa Cruz. It comes on Memorial Day weekend every year: the Great Pivot, when the spirit of the city shifts from booming new economy tech town to old-school regional tourist Mecca. Arts and outdoor festivals ramp up for the season, and even the weather, pleasantly fog-free for most of the spring, literally gathers a head of steam (which frequently overcasts summer mornings). This year's summer kick-off offerings cover all four basic elements.

Air

Watsonville Fly-In and Air Show Annual festival of flight now in its 36th year takes to the tarmac of Watsonville Municipal Airport for demonstrations, plane rides and an acrobatic airshow Friday evening. Themed "Salute to Our Heroes," this year's festival looks at vintage military aircraft, including American World War II bomber the B-17G and German counterpart the HE-111. Friday, noon-10pm and Saturday and Sunday, 7am-5pm; $3/$8. Watsonville Municipal Airport, 100 Aviation Way, Watsonville. (724.3900)

Yahoo!Sports AVP Santa Cruz Open The Association of Volleyball Professionals' season-opening tournament returns to the main beach. Top tour pros Karch Kiraly, David Swatik and Lee LeGrande vie for a $75,000 purse. Qualifying matches begin Friday at 9am, and tournament play runs Saturday at 9am and Sunday at 8:30am. Swatik and LeGrande present a free youth clinic Friday at 5pm, and youth tour play begins Sunday at 9am. Main Beach, Beach Street, Santa Cruz. (http://www.avptour.com)

Earth

Boulder Creek Art, Wine & Music Festival Eleventh annual town party among the redwoods turns out all of Boulder Creek for a tasteful festival of art, wine and music all done with local seasonings. Featured are artwork and crafts from more than 200 vendors, music from Bay Area heroes like Lady Bo, Red Beans & Rice and Hot Town Jubilee as well as hometown favorites like Sharon Bousquet and Stone Groove and wines from top mountain vineyards. Saturday to Monday, 11am-6pm. Downtown Boulder Creek, Highway 9, Boulder Creek. (338.7099)

Santa Cruz Blues Festival Hugely popular showcase of the contemporary blues scene's best, with a couple of legends on the bill just to make sure youngbloods don't forget where they're coming from. The eighth edition this year features Boz Scaggs Rhythm & Blues Review heading up Saturday's bill with Nina Storey, Lucky Peterson, Li'l Ed & the Imperials and the Delgado Brothers featuring John "Juke" Logan. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown headlines Sunday with Coco Montoya, Tommy Castro, Lonnie Brooks and Bernard Allison. Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7pm. $80-$28. Aptos Village Park, Aptos Village, Aptos. (479.9814)

Water

Longboard Union/Hotline Memorial Day Invitational Surf Contest Area longboard surf clubs come together to invite top teams from the West Coast for a weekend of friendly competition at Steamer Lane. Heats begin at 6am Saturday and 7am Sunday. Lighthouse Point, West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Well, not water so much as beach--the Boardwalk opens for daily operation beginning Friday through Sept. 4. Hours and ticket prices vary. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz. (423.5590 or http://www.beachboardwalk.com)

Fire

Civil War Battles & Encampment One of the country's largest history reenactments, the annual Civil War Battles & Encampment at Felton's Roaring Camp pits Union blue against Confederate gray on the battlefield and offers a chance to glimpse living history displays. Battles flare up Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 3pm, Monday at 1:30pm. $1 admission, $5 parking, $14.50/$9.50 steam train excursions. Roaring Camp, Graham Hill Road, Felton. (335.4484)

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From the May 24-31, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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