People are still talking about the Hidden Cash frenzy from earlier this week when Fresnans came out en masse to scour two parks for hidden envelopes containing nearly $1,900. The money hidden by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur ranged from silver dollars to $175 inside Pez dispensers. Each cache carried a message asking the finders to tweet their photos and encouraged them to “pay it forward.”
Now that it’s been a few days, where are the pay-it-forward stories? My colleague Tim Sheehan, who covered the event, said he’s seen tweets from other cities of people at Starbucks buying coffee for the people in line behind them. Have you heard of any Fresno paying-it-forward stories stemming from Hidden Cash? Of course, the amounts in some of these finds were a tad small — there’s not a lot you can do with a silver dollar (not criticizing the founder’s choice, just pointing out reality). If you’ve seen any tweets or other tales, send ‘em my way. Make a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, this brings up the whole topic of Fresno and its poverty. With 10.5% unemployment and a median household income of $42,276, perhaps some of those folks searching Woodward Park needed the money. (And can you blame those folks for not paying it forward?) The man behind Hidden Cash tweeted today about how “enthusiastic” Central Valley folks are and I hope it was a sense of fun — and not desperation — that caused such a big turnout.
10 years ago, a group of Shakespeare enthusiasts banded together to form an organization that enhanced the cultural life of this city. The Woodward Shakespeare Festival has had three different homes at Woodward Park, given 276 performances and played to more than 70,000 audience members.
In my story in today’s 7 section, I write about some of the significant milestones of the festival — and give a rundown on “Macbeth,” the opening production in the 10th season. Here’s a video I made about “Macbeth”:
UPDATE: A few readers have been wondering about the Merle Haggard/Frankie Ballard show scheduled for this weekend at the Rotary Amphitheater. According to the promoter is has been cancelled due to low ticket sales. From the sound of it, ticket prices have been (or will be refunded).
The concert is 6 p.m. May 31 at the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park. Tickets are $25-$125 (front row, VIP) and on sale now.
The show crosses generations. Haggard needs little introduction. The guy is a country legend. He was actually one of the last musicians to record with Wills. To point: He’ll be honored with the Crystal Milestone Award at the Academy of Country Music Awards April 6.
Ballard is the young blood. His first single “Heluva Life” just hit No. 1 on Billboard’s country airplay chart, and was 50 on the US Hot 100. He will be performing on NBC’s “Today,” April 2.
Joining the pair will be The Stardust Cowboys, a Wills tribute from Sacramento, and locals Mehrten Drive.
At Color Me Rad racers get hit with “color bombs” throughout the course and end up looking like a package of Skittles by the end. It’s a vibrant twist on 5Ks, a twist that’s made Color Me Rad quite popular. Spots for its Fresno debut, in September at Woodward Park, sold out largely in advance and were hard to come by on race day — with some people re-selling them like they were Justin Bieber concert tickets.
Sunday’s Two Cities Marathon & Half, by most accounts, is a great event for our city. But each year, there’s always a group of people who complain about how much of a pain it is for the people who live near Woodward Park because of the road closures and detours. You’ll probably see an angry letter to the editor on the Bee’s opinion pages soon. People, of course, turn to Twitter and Facebook to voice their frustrations too. One person even made it sound like they were braving Hurricane Sandy. Totally legit, right?
Here are five of our favorites — and one tweet at the end that made us chuckle.
1. PAINT THE TOWN RAD The event dominating chatter this week is the Color Me Rad 5K, happening Saturday at Woodward Park. This ain’t any ol’ 5K. Runners get splattered with “color bombs” of paint as they run and end up looking like a life-size bag of Skittles. Color Me Rad is so popular that advanced registration sold out (and people have actually been re-selling their entries — is it a Justin Bieber concert?). But what you can do, is go watch. It’ll be colorful show, no doubt. [More]
Yep, it’s that time of the year again, when the big “Spring” parties creep onto our calendar. Springtini is a long-time favorite and each year people always ask me when it is. This year has been no exception. Guess that’s a good sign for Springtini.
This year’s Springtini is April 28 — aka next weekend, but the date was just announced last week. So head’s up, Springtini lovers. For a rundown of what’s planned, head to Facebook.
It’s a battle of the “Fall” parties on Saturday, as Falltini and Fall Fling — two annual staples of the see-and-be-seen social event scene — collide on the calendar.
Each uses the same formula: booze, food, music and fashion to (they hope) attract a few thousand people. Word is organizers realized a few weeks ago they had similar events planned on the same day not too far away from each other. Oops. But neither wanted to budge.
ANGEL LEBRON: Live salsa at Starline, from the Starline Salsa Club and New York-bred Angel Lebron. Beehive High-Five to whoever asks Lebron to see his rings.
ROCK THE MALL: It’s another installment of Sierra Vista Mall’s free Rock the Mall concert series. It oughta be a big one, too, with popular local Journey tribute band Midnight Run playing. Did we mention free? Cuz, yeah, free.
Here’s one sorta exciting moment from my weekend …
THE SCENE: Saturday afternoon at Woodward Park’s dog park, about a dozen people and their dogs are there.
WHEN THINGS GOT ICKY: A youngish bulldog stops to relieve himself, lifting his leg on a green plastic chair. Problem is: A woman was sitting in that chair. In marking his territory, he also marked a nice portion of her sweats.
THE REACTION: “Oh, sorry,” the dog’s owner muttered, earbuds in ears, before turning and walking away to follow his dog. The woman, for what it’s worth, left. I’m assuming to go home and get cleaned up.
THE QUESTION: Is it just me, or does your dog full-on peeing on someone (not just a tinkle) warrant more than an sheepish “Oh, sorry?” But then I wondered: How exactly are you supposed to react in that situation? To some degree, since you’re at the dog park, owners have to be OK with getting a little dirty. But getting peed on? Umm. Luckily, my dog has never put me in a such a situation. But I hope I’d be able to muster up something better than “oh, sorry.” Suggestions? What would you do to apologize?
TECH N9NE + WOODWARD PARK? Rapper Tech N9ne is at playing at the Woodward Park Amphitheatre tomorrow night. So far we haven’t heard any upright North Fresnans complaining about a kinda-juggalo rapper playing the park, so that’s good. E-40, Krizz Kaliko and others are there too. More info here.
THE FAIR BEGINS; QUESTIONS ABOUND: The Big Fresno Fair starts on Wednesday. Sammy Hagar kicks off the concert series, making his first appearance in Fresno since the demise of Fresno Wabo. What will he say? Anything? Will he make fun of Milt Barbis again? Will Fresno still love him? Also, comic Carlos Mencia performs Thursday. Doesn’t the fair have a rule against act swearing? How is that going to work?
THE TREASURY DEBUTS: A cool-sounding spot opening for Thursday’s ArtHop is The Treasury, a downtown art gallery, office space, by-appointment fashion boutique. It’s on Van Ness, near Divisadero, not far from Iron Bird Cafe.