Spring officially begins on March 20, 2016, and Sacramento is the perfect place to celebrate. Local festivals bring farm-to-fork food, movies, wild animals, environmental consciousness, music, dance, the healing arts, psychics, MMA fighters, tattoo artists and more to California’s capital region.
Sacramento Food Film Festival 2016
Various locations across Sacramento
(916) 476-4766
www.foodliteracycenter.org/film-festival

Date: April 7, 2016 – April 16, 2016

The film festival has become a Sacramento favorite since its inception in 2012, and includes numerous opportunities to celebrate with amazing foods and films from all over the world. Put on by the Food Literacy Center, the event aims to provide entertainment along with education about food and agriculture. The festival kicks off on April 6 at Turn Verein on J Street. The evening will feature the winners of a food-focused short film contest, along with an array of foods from some of Sacramento’s finest restaurants. Chefs include Misty Olsen Green of Hawks Public House, Thai Basil’s Suleka Lindley, Chris Barnum of Localis and Tyler Bond, chef at Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine. Events on other days during the festival include a showing of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” with dinner from Selland’s, and culinary delights from Lucca with the Bradley Cooper film “Burnt.”

Earth Fest – It’s A Party For The Planet!
Sacramento Zoo
3930 W. Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 808-5888
www.saczoo.org/earthfest

Dates: April 2, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Earth Fest is a celebration of the arts, cultures, plants, animals and people that make up planet Earth. The Fest is very family friendly; there will be plenty of activities for kids of all ages, including an interactive garden, nature trail and hands-on experiences provided by various organizations related to environmental conservation and animals. Cultural appreciation is also part of the day, with performances of Polynesian, Scottish, Mexican and African dances. Critters are the stars of Earth Fest, with wildlife stage shows and presentations on African lions, flamingos, fruit bats, reptiles, Wolf’s guenon monkeys and more.

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Healing Arts Festival
Scottish Rite Center
6151 H St.
Sacramento, CA 95819-2604
healingartsfestival.com

Dates: April 2, 2016 – April 3, 2016

Festival organizers define this as the region’s premier holistic and metaphysical expo, with displays, vendors and speakers dedicated to healing and celebrating the soul, mind and body. Exhibitors and presentations include pet communicator Stacey Ferrell, psychic medium and medical intuitive Sebastian Cooley, psychic and clairvoyant Dr. Christian Toren von Lahr, certified master herbalist Shea Darrow, Siberian shaman Myrian Galler and practitioners from The Center for Soul Healing. Vendors will be on hand, as well as experts in the fields of acupuncture, yoga, reiki, healing meditation, healing, aura photography, iridology, tarot, palmistry and numerology. The Sacramento SPCA will be adopting pets out at the event, and admission to the festival is free with a donation for the animal shelter.

NorCal Tattoo And Music Festival
Cal Expo
1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815
(541) 579-7050
www.thenorcalfest.com

Dates: April 8, 2016 – April 10, 2016

Sub-culture lifestyles, music and body art are celebrated at this three-day festival at Cal Expo. There will be live tattooing, tattoo contests, an art gallery, seminars, shopping, a beer garden and the Miss NorCal contest, among other festivities. Fifteen MMA fight bouts and 14 live bands will be part of the action on Sunday. A long list of bands will perform throughout the festival, including Andalusia, Weight of the Tide, All Hail the Yeti, Purification By Fire, Unprovoked and Graveshadow. Sacramento tattoo artists Josh Green, Shawn Mahaffey and Kyle Lent will be at the event, as well as Graydon Payne, Shotsie Gorman, Cory Norris and others from Mog & Art Tattoo, Legacy Tattoo, Get Some Ink and more.

Festival Of The Arts 2016
Various locations across Sacramento
(916) 278-4323
www.csus.edu/al/festival

Welcome spring with this exciting arts festival put on by California State University, Sacramento. Part of the festival is the U-Create! street faire, with music, art, dance, food trucks, student readings and interactive experiences held at various galleries and on side streets. Other festival events include a giant playground for adults and children, “Pickle’s” comic strip artist Brian Crane, a Japanese tea ceremony, classical pianist Misuzu Tannaka and Trinh Minh-Ha with her latest film “Forgetting Vietnam.”

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers business, employment, animal rescue, volunteerism and nonprofits. Her work can also be found at Examiner.com.