CIVR Blog: Art in the spring

Crescent Avenue will be home to dozens of artists for the CAFE art show

Crescent Avenue will be home to dozens of artists for the CAFE art show

CAFE art show offers spring time art

For more than five decades, Catalina Island has been home to the Catalina Festival of the Arts. This popular art show fills Crescent Avenue with artists from around the region. Glass, oil, photography, watercolors and a palette of other media are represented and it’s a do-not-miss experience for art aficionados and fans of Catalina Island. This year’s Catalina Festival of the Arts will be held September 19 to 21 and it is nearly always a sellout weekend, so advance accommodations reservations are a necessity.

Art fans who are looking for another reason to escape to Catalina Island can thank the organizers of the art festival, the Catalina Island Art Association, for bringing back the Catalina Art Fair and Exhibition five years ago. The CAFÉ show will take over Crescent Avenue with arts and artisans over Easter weekend, April 18 to 20. The show will open with an artists’ reception and booths will be open for the show and sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Live music will frequently provide a backdrop for perusing paintings, photography, jewelry and crafts from local and regional artists.

CIVR Blog: Catalina Island Women’s Forum

CIWF 2013 logoGiving Back on Catalina Island

One of the things that intrigues visitors to Santa Catalina Island is that it’s much more than just a top Southern California vacation destination. It’s also a community. People live here, work here and create their lives here. Living here means schools, churches and service clubs, places for residents to give, give back and make a difference.

One service club that is unique to the island is the Catalina Island Women’s Forum. Founded in 1995, CIWF is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Avalon’s women. The forum has an active mentoring program that helps local high school girls face the challenges of everyday life as well as a scholarship program that assists local students  finance college on the mainland. A domestic violence program provides financial and emotional support for victims of domestic violence as well as community education.

Catalina Island Women’s Forum members support their organizations programs with two annual fundraisers. A trip raffle in the spring provides the opportunity to win a week-long getaway and in the early fall, the Catalina Island Wine Festival attracts hundreds of people to taste dozens of wines. Scheduled for Sept. 13, 2014, the wine festival is a must-do event for fans of the island who also enjoy wine.

CIVR Blog: Shipwreck Weekend at Two Harbors

Shipwrecked Two Harbors

Shipwreck weekend at Two Harbors

Countless visitors have daydreamed of being shipwrecked on Catalina Island, isolated from the pressures and stresses of everyday life, free to wander the beaches and explore the coast and coves indefinitely. Now, at least at the Isthmus of Catalina, you can pretend you are shipwrecked for the weekend.

April 11 to 13 will see the second annual Shipwreck Weekend at Two Harbors. Far from depriving you of the necessities of life, Shipwreck Weekend provides live music, dancing and a DJ as well as a treasure hunt, costume contest and the plenty of drinkables of the over-21 variety.

Located at the west end, Two Harbors on Catalina Island is home to a bar, restaurant, general store and unparalleled natural beauty. Its remote location appeals to those seeking adventure and respite from the stresses of the mainland. Lodging options in Two Harbors include camping, a bed and breakfast and two exclusive vacation rentals managed by Catalina Island Vacation Rentals. Casa Santa Cruz and Casa Santa Rosa offer all the comforts of home along with spectacular views of the two harbors that make up Two Harbors.

CIVR Blog: Easter on Catalina

Easter on Catalina

Easter on Catalina

Easter on Catalina Island

If you’re looking for a chance to turn your kids loose to hunt plastic eggs or hunting for your next great artistic treasure, Catalina Island is the place to be this Easter. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which this year schedules the holiday on Sunday, April 20.

In Avalon on Catalina Island, the Easter fun starts on April 16, with egg dying in City Park. Sponsored by the City of Avalon Recreation Department, the free event will start at 2 p.m. Bring your own eggs – hard-boiled recommended. The next day, April 17, Springfest takes over Crescent Avenue with food, fun and games for whole family. On Saturday, April 19, the city will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt for kids third grade and under just below Avalon Schools at Avalon Canyon Road. The race for eggs starts at 9 a.m. and, trust me, you won’t want to be late.

The Catalina Art Association will fill Crescent Avenue with arts, artisans and crafts on Easter weekend for the Fifth Annual Catalina Art Fair and Exhibition. CAFÉ will be three days of art and entertainment, with the art and craft show kicking off on Friday evening.

At Two Harbors, at Catalina Island’s West End, Easter weekend is also filled with activities. On Saturday, April 19, morning hat decorating will lead into an afternoon hat parade. On Easter morning, the day will start with an Easter Egg Hunt in Two Harbors Plaza and Easter Brunch at the West End Galley. All of the Easter fun at Two Harbors is sponsored by the Corsair Yacht Club.

CIVR Blog: Ride Away

Photo courtesy Mountain Bike Action.

Photo courtesy Mountain Bike Action.

Ride away to island paradise

Catalina Island’s back country has attracted generations of adventurers. Hunters, hikers and campers have long found the island’s rugged hills and dramatic vistas a source for adventure. Catalina’s remote trails and unique tracks are also an irresistible allure to mountain bikers, who find the rugged terrain a challenge to the legs and a balm to the soul.

On May 17, dozens of those bikers will come together to compete in the Catalina Island Gran Fondo, a competition that attracts both novice and expert mountain bikers. With four routes, this year’s Gran Fondo truly offers something for everyone. The Middle Island, Ridgeline, Two Harbors and Airport routes will all offer participants a challenge, while spotlighting Catalina’s unique flora and fauna and challenging terrain. Routes range from 14 to 55 miles, but all include challenging elevation changes.

Organized by US Cup, a national mountain bike support organization, the Catalina Island Gran Fondo will be held on Saturday, May 17, and registration must be made no later than Thursday, May 15. Riders can count on a range of aid and feed stations throughout the course. For more information, visit the website for US Cup.

CIVR Blog: Silent Film Benefit

City Lights © Roy Export S.A.S Music for City Lights Copyright © Roy Export Company Establishment and Bourne Co. except "La Violetera" © Jose Padila. All rights reserved

City Lights © Roy Export S.A.S
Music for City Lights Copyright © Roy Export Company Establishment and Bourne Co. except “La Violetera” © Jose Padila. All rights reserved

Silent please

For nearly three decades, the Catalina Island Museum has celebrated Avalon’s iconic theatre by bringing back the silent film era. Each year, the museum showcases a classic from the days before the talkies, showcasing the magnificent movie palace in all its glory.

For the 27th annual Silent Film Benefit, the Catalina Island Museum staff has chosen City Lights, the Charlie Chaplin masterpiece, widely considered one of the 100 best films ever. Actually created a couple of years after the advent of talkies, City Lights is still revered as one of the best of its genre.

Traditionally accompanied by the Avalon Casino’s historic Page Organ, this year the Silent Film Benefit will be accompanied by a 39-piece orchestra, led by Grammy Award-winning conductor Richard Kaufman.

Tickets are on sale now for the Silent Film Benefit, which is scheduled for May 17. Museum members can purchase tickets for $15 and the general public can purchase tickets for $18. Those who attend in period costume will be able to purchase tickets for $9. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumed couple and individual. For more information, call (310) 510-2414 or visit the museum’s website.

CIVR Blog: Junior Golf

Catalina Island Golf Course
Santa Catalina Island Company

Catalina Island Junior Golf tournament continues tradition of champions

The Catalina Island Visitors Golf Course has hosted hundreds of thousands of golfers over the years. As the oldest golf course in Southern California, the course has had several changes and is currently nine holes with an option to play 18.

Each year, hundreds of young golfers make memories on that course while competing in the Catalina Island Junior Golf Championship. Scheduled this year for April 5 and April 6, the tournament is hosted by the Catalina Island Men’s Golf Tournament.

The Catalina Island Junior Golf Championship is part of the Professional Golfers Association’s Southern California Junior Tour and is sanctioned by that organization. Junior golfers compete in several age categories, with boys and girls ages 9 to 11 completing 18 holes and those ages 12 to 18 playing 36 holes.

In its nearly 50 year history, thousands of young golfers have experienced the Catalina Island Junior Golf Tournament, including some, like Tiger Woods, who would go on to make golf a full-time career. For most of the participants, golf will become future pastime, not a future career, but hopefully their time spent on the island will help craft a lifelong love of the game.

Catalina Island Vacation Rentals is offering junior golf tournament participants and their families a discount of 10 percent during the tournament.

CIVR Blog: Rubber Ducky Derby

Photo credit: http://shire2011.blogspot.com

Photo credit: http://shire2011.blogspot.com

Rubber ducky, you’re the one

Catalina Island is home to nearly a dozen world-class races. Marathons, a 50-miler, a triathlon and the Catalina Gran Fondo attract elite athletes from around the world to compete in grueling challenges that pit endurance and drive against Santa Catalina’s challenging terrain in monumental struggles that define the limits of human stamina. And then there’s the rubber ducks.

Each spring, hundreds of rubber ducks are dumped in Avalon Harbor and compete in an exciting competition of floating, bobbing and well, gently drifting. The bright yellow competitors frequently must be encouraged with a few blasts from the fire hoses aboard Avalon Harbor Patrol boats as they wander gently toward the shore. All this excitement is part of the fundraiser that also includes a raffle, lunch and a decorated ducky competition. The Rubber Ducky Derby benefits the children’s theater troupe Kids at Play and will fill Avalon’s South Beach with eager fans on Sunday, April 6, at noon. The event is a fundraiser and you can sponsor a solo duck for five bucks; five quackers for 30 smackers and 30 racing thrills for two $50 bills. Duck registration will be available on the day of the event or call (310) 510-0288 for more information.

CIVR Blog: A Worthy Affair

YC Ball Ad - February 2014

A worthy affair

Avalon’s Casino Ballroom is one of the most elegant spots in Southern California. The magnificent art deco landmark comes alive when filled with cocktail gowns and tuxedos.  Experiencing a black tie evening in the Casino Ballroom should be on every Catalina aficionados bucket list.

One of the most elegant evenings in the Casino Ballroom has become an annual tradition. The Catalina Conservancy Ball features black tie elegance, delicious dining and the satisfaction of knowing you’re contributing to the conservation of the island we all know and love.

This year’s Catalina Conservancy Ball is scheduled for Saturday, April 5. It is co-sponsored by the Conservancy’s maritime support group, the Conservancy Marineros and the theme is Catalina’s Coves: All Ashore, Let’s Explore. Tickets, which start at $275 per person, will include dinner, dancing and live music. Each year, the Catalina Conservancy Ball includes both a live and silent auction. Those auctions feature some irresistible items, including getaways, art, wine and one-of-a-kind experiences.

For more information about the ball or to receive a formal invitation, call 310-510-2595 ext.140, visit www.CatalinaConservancy.org or email ball@CatalinaConservancy.org.

CIVR Blog: Running Catalina Island

Photo courtesy Spectrum Sports

Photo courtesy Spectrum Sports

Catalina Island’s rugged terrain and breath-taking vistas have been challenging athletes for decades. Each year, feats of speed and endurance dot the calendar, with marathons, double marathons and a triathlon attracting extreme athletes from around the country to Catalina Island.

On March 15, one of those marathons will fill Catalina’s roads and trails with dozens of runners. Starting near Cat Harbor, at Two Harbors on Catalina Island’s remote West End, the course takes runners through 26 miles of chaparral and oak woodlands, past bison and Island fox over steep inclines and through shaded valleys. A baker’s dozen of aid stations will support those runners, with volunteers providing water and high energy snacks. The race finishes in Avalon, on Sumner Avenue, within sight of Avalon Harbor. The first finishers should start showing up just before 10 a.m., less than three hours from the 7 a.m. start.

For those looking to challenge themselves but aren’t quite up to the endurance busting of a marathon, there will also be a 5K, 10K and a kids run in Avalon.

The Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon is a fundraiser for the Catalina Island Conservancy, the organization responsible for maintaining the majority of Catalina Island in its natural state in perpetuity.