Don’t you feel like things are getting back to normal? Here in North County, we got our live concerts back, and they will continue through the month of August. We had successful wine festivals in Paso Robles and Atascadero. Tuesday dinners at the Atascadero Lake Park were revived by the Atascadero Chamber, including the opportunity to hear the Atascadero Community Band play on the lakeside bandstand.

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Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

A new event was created by the Printery Foundation, titled “North County has Talent Contest and Show and will take place this Friday, Aug. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Printery, 6351 Olmeda Avenue in Atascadero. 

For tickets, go to


Also, this Saturday, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Charles Paddock Zoo, join the animals for a day of fun arts and crafts, face painting, workshops, local art for purchase, and more. For more information, visit You and the animals are sure to be “Wild About Art.”

In Paso Robles on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Barrelhouse Brewing will present Barrel House Motorama, located at 3055 Limestone Way in Paso Robles.

At this 4th annual car show, which is free to the public, car-lovers will be able to show off their vintage and modern vehicles.

For more information, visit

On Cruisin’ Weekend, Aug. 19 through 20 classic cars will cruise El Camino Real in Atascadero on Friday night starting at 6:30 p.m. Then on Saturday the Mid State Cruisers will present their 31st Annual Car Show at the Atascadero Lake Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

That’s not all the fun because there will be lots of dancing at Dancing in the Streets in Downtown Atascadero, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Don’t forget to visit one of our North County Farmer’s Markets for some beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables!

By now, most of you know that I keep an eye out for potato salad recipes. I love to try out a new one on family and friends. Often we will go back to a certain one as our favorite. This week’s recipe is not one I have

tried yet, but it sounds great. I plan to make it, and grab a rotisserie chicken at the market, along with a loaf of sourdough, when we head for Cruise Night.

BLT Potato Salad


2 pounds small red and/or yellow new potatoes, quartered

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

6 slices bacon

1 clove garlic, minced

11⁄4 cups mayonnaise (I like Best Foods)

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1⁄2 cup sliced green onions

1⁄2 cup chopped dill pickles

6 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped seeded roma tomatoes

Boston lettuce leaves or shredded lettuce (optional)


In large saucepan combine potatoes, the 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well; cool slightly. In large skillet cook bacon over medium until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Reserve 1

tablespoon in skillet. Crumble or chop bacon; set aside. Cook garlic in drippings for 30 seconds. For dressing, in large bowl stir together next four ingredients (through pepper). Stir in celery,green onions, pickles, and cooked garlic. Add potatoes, chopped eggs, crumbled bacon and tomatoes; toss lightly to coat. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Serve on lettuce leaves. Serves 12

Note: Reserve some of the crumbled bacon to sprinkle on each serving.