5 Perks of Planning a Summer Event in Fresno County
By MEGAN EILEEN McDONOUGH
1. Take in the sunset by kayak.Take advantage of Fresno County's idyllic landscape with a Sunset Kayak Tour. Beginning in late May and running through early September, you'll paddle downstream on the San Joaquin River, spotting wildlife as you go. Sunset Tours start at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays and conclude around 8 p.m., but you'll be on the water for about 2.5 hours. After a jam-packed week of work meetings, this is the perfect way to de-stress before the weekend. Alternatively, sign up for the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust's other tours, like their morning paddle from Owl Hollow to Fort Washington Beach.
2. See Shakespeare live.Calling all theater buffs! Get ready for an afternoon of Shakespeare and sunshine, because the Woodward Shakespeare Festival is back in town. Performances kick off in mid-June and run through early September. First up is a brand-new live performance of Hamlet, Shakespeare's greatest drama. Then, the second half of the summer season brings you Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. For premier seating, which is limited to 40 seats in the first two rows, and pavilion seating, make sure to reserve tickets in advance. Otherwise, roll in with the general public.
3. Gallery hop at Fresno’s art museums.
Fresno is no stranger to the arts, and with an abundance of galleries and museums, the city is crawling with creativity. Opening May 20 at Fresno Art Museum,“Rendering Homage: Portraits of a Patron” will feature artwork depicting Los Angeles art patron Joan Agajanian Quinn. For an even hipper scene, head downtown to 1821 Gallery & Studios. Showcasing vibrant, original work, pieces range from sculptures and paintings to photography. If your trip falls on the first or third Thursday of the month, join in the fun at ArtHop, where more than 50 studios, galleries and museums get in on the action.
Come July, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents “Circus Xtreme” in Fresno. If traveling with kids or feeling a bit like a kid yourself, this is a must-see. From colorful costumes and daring feats to big cats and cute dogs, it’s a sensory overload you won’t want to miss. With magical mermaids and hilariously dressed clowns, it’s easy to suspend your disbelief. The circus is only in town for a few days (July 2 to 6), so make sure to buy your tickets well in advance. For those traveling with young children who might be overwhelmed by all the circus excitement, opt for a trip to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo instead.
5. Star gaze at the Dark Sky Festival.As fascinating as Fresno is by day, the city truly shines come nightfall.Discover a one-of-a-kind experience dedicated to the famous Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park night sky at the Dark SkyFestival held Aug. 5-7. Visitors can partake in a number of activities: constellation tours, telescope viewings, nature walks, musical performances and special Crystal Cave tours, among others. There are even special activities geared toward children, so bring the whole crew! We guarantee that you’ll never look at the night sky the same again.