Atascadero United Methodist Church performing Christmas concert Dec. 16

Atascadero United Methodist Church will host a free Christmas concert featuring the church’s Carnegie-singing choir. The concert will take place will present a Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary at the church.

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Benefits for TFS on tap

Two concerts are being held on TFS’ behalf, the first by the SLO Wind Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Cuesta College from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Make a Joyful Noise is the Orchestra’s holiday concert with tickets available for adults at $20 and students half off through the Cuesta College Performing Art Center at 805-546-3198. The second, closer to home and more of an all-out fundraiser bash for the charity is the Bow Ties Blue Grass Band, coming to the Pavilion at the Lake in Atascadero, 9315 Pismo Ave., on Dec. 8 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., which promises: “Live Foot Stomping Blue Grass Country Dancing Music, Excellent Fine Wine Available for Purchase, Scrumptious Desserts, Silent Auction and Raffles — while helping raise money needed for the Atascadero Warming Center.”

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Calwise: Offering liqueurs and a peek behind the scenes

Readers last got a look inside SLO County’s newest distillery in June, as Calwise Spirits opened their doors on Ramada Drive, in the newest development in the corridor just inside Paso Robles north of Templeton. Ahead of their opening, company founder and Ventura-native Aaron Bergh had already been selling craft California-themed rum and gin in local stores for some time, specializing in mixing herbs from Big Sur into the gin basket for a unique flavor. But the new space gave Calwise a central production facility on the Central Coast to house their new equipment, and a restaurant kitchen to go along with their stylish tasting room and cocktail lounge — centered around a hand-finished redwood bar.

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LaDonna's: Manhattan design in small-town California

In what locals who’ve stopped in since a packed Aug. 17 opening weekend have dubbed, “a beautiful addition to Atascadero,” LaDonna’s has brought modern design and a unique menu to 6195 El Camino Real. A short walk from City Hall frequent guests include both the City’s sitting mayor and the mayor-elect, and City Manager Rachel Rickard gave the establishment some love in a report to Council celebrating new development in town.

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1122: Prohibition-era speakeasy with a mod-steampunk twist in Paso Robles

The blind pig, juice joints, and speakeasies of the prohibition era, popularized by today’s mod and steampunk trends, are making a comeback and 1122 Cocktail Lounge in Paso Robles is setting the stage on Railroad Street. Founders and co-owners, Troy Larkin and Donovan Schmit opened 1122 in June of 2018 and as owners of both Pappy McGregor’s and Fish Gaucho had the drive and vision to start their third venture in Downtown Paso Robles.

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Stanley returns to Música Del Rio on Nov. 3

James Lee Stanley returns to Música Del Río at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, in Atascadero. For information and reservations, call 805-466-6941 or visit our website at www.musicadelrio.org. Reservations are required. Donation of $20 at the door.

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Virtuoso pianist almost became a dentist

Renowned pianist Torsten Juul-Borre is amused by his so-called accent, “A waitress the other day wanted to know where I was from because of my accent. I was born in Minnesota and I’ve lived in Templeton most of my life. It’s a bit puzzling to me.” What is more easily understood is that Torsten Juul-Borre is a piano virtuoso who travels extensively in the United States and Europe, often in Denmark, performing popular solo concerts. Symphony of the Vines presents his annual piano recital at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, at Cass Winery in Paso Robles.

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Open To Interpretation Exhibition at Castoro

Featuring new works of contemporary abstract art by two award winning Paso Robles artists, Page Graeber and Janice Pluma. Opening Reception is Friday, Nov. 2 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The exhibit continues through Nov. 30. Castoro Cellars Winery, 1315 North Bethel Rd, Templeton. Call 888-DAM-FINE, for information.

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Cuesta College celebrates 20 years of the Cuesta Vocal Jazz Festival

COUNTY — What started in 1998 as the Cuesta Vocal Jazz Workshop, a one-day event that brought together eight high school ensembles, who performed for each other, followed by a clinic with one of several well-known clinicians from across the country who are experts at vocal jazz performance grew gradually over the years to two days, and now two days with two stages. This year, Cuesta College is hosting 40 schools on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3. The headliner for the evening concerts is Groove For Thought, winners of the NBC hit series “The Sing-off.”

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SLOMA launches art projects in county schools

SAN LUIS OBISPO — When the AWAKEN project goes into effect this year throughout the San Luis Obispo County school system, every student will have his or her chance to exhibit artwork in a real art museum, thanks to a new partnership between the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education called AWAKEN — three thematic exhibitions based on grade levels that will challenge students to think critically and broadly while exploring their artistic expression about how community, or nature, or discovery inspires and changes lives. To commemorate the launch of AWAKEN, SLOMA is challenging school officials, local government leaders, teaching artists, and local families, and every interested student to participate in this initiative.

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Paderewski Festival schedule features Gala Concert, modern musical and youth program

The 2018 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will again celebrate renowned Polish musician and statesman with a slate of concerts, events and educational opportunities with performers from near and far. Singapore-born pianist Kate Liu is the featured performer of this year’s Gala Concert, while Paso Robles native Corey Jordan opens the festival at Cass Winery on Thursday, Nov. 1. The festival is proud to serve as the world premiere of a Paderewski-themed musical, “Three Paderewskis,” with music by Jenni Brandon and libretto by Oliver Mayer.

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Art collaborative incorporates student artists

SAN LUIS OBISPO — In a unique art collaborative at College’s Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery, sculpture, two-dimensional artwork, and performances will be the mediums on display for the month of October during Industry of the Ordinary’s (IOTO) Demo(cra)tic exhibit. IOTO is a two-person conceptual art collaborative, made up of Chicago-based artists and educators Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson. Their work is usually performative or sculptural, often incorporating audience participation and interaction with the artists.

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Blues, Rock, Bluegrass, & Jewish Soul at Atascadero Lake Park: Free Family Concert featuring Dirty Cello

On Sunday, Oct. 14, the popular blues and bluegrass band, Dirty Cello, will return to North County, performing at Atascadero Lake Park, for an afternoon of Blues, Rock, Bluegrass & Jewish Soul music. From China to Italy, and all over the U.S., Dirty Cello brings a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Led by vivacious cross-over cellist, Rebecca Roudman, Dirty Cello is cello like you’ve never heard before. From down home blues with a wailing cello to stompin’ bluegrass, Dirty Cello is a band that gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping!

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Halloween Harvest Costume Ball is Oct. 26 and 27 at Event Center

The Halloween Harvest Costume Ball is a professional, upscale production with an electrifying dance party, food, beverages, and a Grand Costume Competition, all beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27 at Adelaide Hall at the Paso Robles Event Center.

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Up in the Air coming to Castoro Cellars

Up in the Air is performing a benefit concert for Yes on Measure G from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, at Castoro Cellars. Castoro Cellars is located 1315 North Bethel Road, Templeton. Artists for YES on G will be on display and over 50 pieces of fine art available for sale — all to Support Measure G. Tickets are $50 per person.

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West Hollywood’s ‘WeHo in Paso’ Exhibition will Debut in Paso Robles on Oct. 4

West Hollywood is partnering with Studios on the Park in Paso Robles to debut WeHo in Paso, a set of art works exploring life in the City of West Hollywood. The exhibition will feature animations, archival digital prints, original paintings, pen and ink drawings, and photographs representing the unique and personal lenses of 12 artists who live in West Hollywood. WeHo in Paso will be exhibited from Thursday, Oct. 4, to Sunday, Oct. 28, at Studios on the Park, located at 1130 Pine St. in Paso Robles. An opening reception will take place during Art After Dark in in Paso Robles on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. After its October run, the exhibition will move to the City of West Hollywood in November.

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Templeton FFA Tractor Pull is Oct. 6

Tractors of all shapes and sizes will rev their engines and roar down the track Oct. 6 at the second annual Templeton FFA Tractor Pull at Chesebrough Farm. After the success of their first tractor pull, Templeton FFA knew they had to bring it back this year. It turned out to be the largest fundraiser of the year for the chapter.

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Garagiste Festival returning to Paso Robles for its 8th anniversary

When Stewart McLennan and Doug Minnick met in 2011 and started kicking around the idea of showcasing Paso Robles’ underground, small production winemakers, neither could guess that, seven years later, the Garagiste Festival would be celebrating its 8th anniversary and 21st event at its Paso Robles home base on Nov. 9-11 — having achieved international renown as one of the most popular wine events in the country. In fact, just this month, the festival was named the country’s “Best Wine Festival’ in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest.

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'Moonlight and Magnolias' — Screwball comedy opens Sept. 21 at Wine Country Theatre

“Moonlight and Magnolias,” Ron Hutchinson’s Off-Broadway comic celebration of one of the greatest movies of all time, opens Friday, Sept. 21 and runs through Sept. 30 at the Park Ballroom, 1232 Park St. in downtown Paso Robles.

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Avocado and Margarita Festival is Sept. 7-8

The 12th Annual Avocado and Margarita Festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. with the third annual Taste of the Grove. Taste is an exclusive homage to the Central Coast avocado held outdoors at a beautiful, rustic avocado grove turned wedding venue on Highway 41. Just 250 lovers of the green fruit will enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and hand-crafted wine and spirits plus complimentary access to the weekend’s main event, The Avocado and Margarita Street Festival the next day, Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Tent City After Dark announces performers

Nashville recording artist Carolina Story and San Luis Obispo-based Hilary & Kate will be the featured bands at the annual Tent City After Dark on Friday, Oct. 5 from 4:30 to 10 p.m. The fundraiser for Colony Days will be bigger and better than ever with more bands, food trucks, local wine and beer and a five-pound burger eating contest sponsored by Sylvester’s Burgers. The event will happen inside historic Tent City, which will be set up in Sunken Gardens along El Camino Real.

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3rd Annual Showdown Cornhole Tournament set for Sept. 22

The 3rd Annual Atascadero Kiwanis and Knights of Columbus Showdown Cornhole Tournament will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Sunken Gardens in Atascadero. With 64 teams in last year’s tournament, it was the biggest tournament on the Central Coast, according to organizers. This year’s tournament is expected to have over 100 teams playing in the grass at Sunken Gardens.

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Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss at Vina Robles

I’m not a country boy. Yet, I was raised, at least partially, on a farm. And some of my fondest memories involve riding in the pickup truck with my stepfather across the ranch. His mustache permanently stained by coffee, I’d look up at him from the passenger side of the bench seat in the worn work truck. As a man he was an icon to me. He got up before the sun rose, worked until he ached all over and always smiled, always joked, always was helpful and strong, and always had Willie Nelson playing in the 8-track. So when Willie Nelson came to Vina Robles Amphitheater I jumped at the chance to see the man that meant so much to the man that meant so much to me.

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Converted to country

I am admittedly not a country music fan. I don’t hide it, I’ll tell anyone to their face, but every once in a while an act comes to the California Mid-State Fair that makes me, in the deepest regions of my mind, almost, maybe, sort of, begin to question my decision and Thursday was one of those nights.

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Girls' night

There is only one concert at the fair this year that featured a solo female headliner and there is also only one concert at the fair this year that only featured female performers and it was the pair of Iggy Azalea and Demi Lovato.

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North County Theatre Works presents “Anything Goes”

“I wanted to produce something light and fun this summer,” said Director Catherine Kingsbury, “and something that provides an opportunity for a wide range of ages and talents.”

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Smedley, Hensley present #IMOMSOHARD

They said they usually like to touch on some “Nebraska-isms” during their act. If anyone comes to the show from Nebraska, Jen Smedley said, “you can rest assured we’ll find them.” Kristin Hensley added, “The way we know is they’ll bring a crock-pot with something like Corn Flakes on top.”

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REVIEW: Bennett holds Paso in hug

PASO ROBLES – I’m not worthy of writing about this great man, but I’m sticking with the assignment! Everyone knows of Tony Bennett at this point — just as we know of Elvis and Sinatra. He’s the boy from Queens, New York, one of three kids, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto and raised by his mom after his dad died when he was only 10. He went to an arts high school where he bloomed his two passions of singing and painting, sang while waiting tables, enlisted in the Army during WWII, singing in military bands. Started singing nightclubs in Astoria in 1946… until he was discovered by Bob Hope. Apparently, Bob Hope had him change his stage name from Joe Bari to Tony Bennett and his career went on to be one of the most successful of all time: He is a major player in the Great American Songbook, with enough Grammys to be centerpieces at each table at Michael Buble’s wedding, enough chart-toppers to fill to the rims of every martini glass in Manhattan, and performing duets with more stars than the Milky Way. And he’s one of only a handful of artists who have new albums charting in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and still today. Everyone was talking about how Tony Bennett was still singing with near-perfect pitch. 91-years-old and still holding on to the side of the grand piano in his white jacket. Doing the shimmy. Singing those lyrics that remind us that love is all there is. To make it count. One thing Tony Bennett does when the audience roars and claps after his songs is he hugs himself. He probably did that five times during his show. I took it as a hug to me and a hug for all of us. Music and hugs, that’s Tony Bennett.

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Rabbi Janice and Her Friends perform benefit concert in A-Town

Rabbi Janice Mehring and her friends will be performing “An Elegant Evening of Song” in Atascadero on Sunday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m.

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Edgar Winter Band coming to Morro Bay this weekend

MORRO BAY — Legendary multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter will perform with his band at The Siren, 900 Main St, Morro Bay, on Sunday, June 10. Doors open at 7 p.m. This event is open to patrons 21 and over. Tickets are $35-$40. For more information call 805-225-1312 or visit thesirenmorrobay.com. Winter’s band includes: Edgar Winter on saxophone, keyboards, percussion and vocals; Doug Rappoport on guitar; Koko Powell, bass; and Jason Carpenter on drums. Edgar is best known for his No. 1 charting hit single “Frankenstein” and the ever-popular “Free Ride” from his 1973 release They Only Come Out at Night, which stayed on the Billboard Hot 200 chart for an impressive 80 weeks peaking at No. 3. It was certified double platinum in November 1986.

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YouTuber spreads positive vibes

Christian Garcia is an Atascaderan — He went to Monterey Road Elementary, Atascadero Junior High, graduated early from AHS and Del Rio. “All of the teachers at school follow me on Instagram,” he said with a laugh. He said all their support has been “mind-blowing.”

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AMS invites public to be their guest

“Beauty and the Beast Jr.” cast invites the community to “be their guest” to see Belle and the Beast, Gaston and LeFou, Mrs. Poss and Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth and all the enchanted castle characters perform on Friday June 1 through Sunday, June 3 at the Atascadero Middle School Baro Gym.

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“Deadpool 2” places local rap in movie

“We couldn’t be more excited to be back for the sequel, and are honored to be part of the most outrageous franchise in superhero history,” said Teamheadkick vocalist and songwriter Mason Storm.

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A Mediterranean Escape

“I love to enjoy the moment, so I’ll be playing, I’ll be dancing, they’ll be dancing — whatever comes our way,” said Pavlo, who explained his music is all about enjoying the night, enjoying the music and enjoying each other.

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North County talent stars in 'Oklahoma!'

Gabriel Manro shared that he really wanted to title this article “SLOklahoma!” because that was the ranching, horseback riding, cowboy culture he grew up in. He said, “I’ve been all over the world and I don’t know of a place more beautiful than San Luis Obispo.”

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UPDATE: CANCELLED/Travelling circus pops a tent in Paso

Circo Osorio Owner Frank Osorio said, “We have whole generations of families that actually come to the circus. They came when they were little kids. And then they grow up and have their kids come to the circus too. Every year or every other year we play their town, they always come back and bring their kids.”

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Class Act Dance receives accreditation

“It’s the first year in eight years that we’ve exceeded standards for technique,” Class Act Artistic Director Cheryle Armstrong said, adding that her company also met standards for choreography. “To have someone [Sutton] of his caliber come in and be very complimentary of the class — he’s taught all over the world, coached at the Bolshoi, taught at Juilliard – so for him to come into our little town, he was very complimentary.”

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'Peter Pan, Jr.' x2

Applause Children’s Theater will take on the Disney Classic “Peter Pan,” with the Musical Theater International version: “Peter Pan Jr.” coming up on April 27 and 28 and May 4 and 5 at the George Flamson Middle School auditorium in Paso Robles. Two casts of student actors, ages 7 to 16 (and even one 5-year-old girl), will take turns on the different evenings and matinees, playing the popular characters. “We double-casted the show this time to give more kids the opportunity to have leads,” said Applause Children Theatre (ACT) Director Vikky Mullin. “My goal is to have them on stage as much as possible.” Mullin added,“We have two wonderful casts of kids. So what that means is the chorus stays the same but the leads are doubles, so we have two Wendys, two Peters — two of every lead.” During the shows when the children are not playing the leads, they perform in the chorus. When Mullin is often asked if the performance quality is elementary school-level, she always says with a laugh, “It’s really not. What we do is put on a Broadway production with miniature actors.” “Our choreography is amazing,” she said. Mullin will often pull in local talent for guest choreography, as she did for “Peter Pan Jr.”

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A Grand Palette

“Little did I know that the teacher had told the band, ‘Whatever Brian does, you play something else,’” Opera SLO Conductor Brian Asher Alhadeff recalled.

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REVIEW: “Other Desert Cities” strikes a nerve

Elaine Fournier, who directed the Park Ballroom performance, quoted the words of playwright Lin-Manual Miranda in the playbill, “who lives, who dies, who tells your story” to describe the heart of the play, exploring the question of truth in the unearthing of one’s memories.

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ZZ Top, George Thorogood to perform at Mid-State Fair

PASO ROBLES — The California Mid-State Fair is pleased to announce that rock legends ZZ Top has been confirmed to perform in concert on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Special Guest will be George Thorogood, who will open the show. ZZ TOP’s concert is part of the annual Bud Light Concert Series and will take place in the Chumash Grandstand Arena at the Paso Robles Event Center. Ticket prices for the show are $31, $41, $61 and $81 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. online at www.MidStateFair.com or by calling 1-800-909-FAIR (3247), and at 1 p.m. at the California Mid-State Fair box office located at 2198 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles.

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Atascadero native makes surf doc with heart

“This is a story of four souls whose past will not define who they will become...”

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‘My Fair Lady’ coming to TPAC

Templeton High School Drama will present Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” at the Templeton Performing Arts Center for eight showings this month. Show times will be March 15 -17, 22-24 at 7 p.m. with Saturday matinees March 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. This production will be directed by award-winning Catherine Kingsbury, manager of Templeton Performing Arts Center, and assistant director and vocal coach Lauren Josephs. The show will also feature a live orchestra (including 15 Templeton High School students) conducted by David Landers, with choreography by Suzy Miller. In all, 50 students will help bring the production to life. Kingsbury said it is very exciting to have a live orchestra, something that only happens every few years due to the difficulty in working around the schedules of all those involved.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Early Man' falls a little flat

I had every intention of writing a nice, positive review about a movie I was 99.9 percent sure I was going to love. “Early Man,” produced by Aardman Animation and the British Film Institute, is a claymation movie about a caveman named Dug, his sidekick Hognob (a wild boar), who tries to keep a bad guy named Lord Nooth from taking his primordial land and turning it into a giant mine. Dug and his buddies had ancient relatives who were futball (soccer) players according to some cave paintings. One oddball thing leads to another and pretty soon Lord Nooth and his professional futballers are battling Dug’s caveman tribe in a match to save their little patch of land. If they lose the cavemen have to become miners.

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to perform at California Mid-State Fair

PASO ROBLES — The California Mid-State Fair announced Friday that country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will be performing at the Chumash Grandstand Arena Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is part of the annual Bud Light Concert Series. Ticket prices for the show range from $51 to $156 and will go on sale Friday, Feb. 16. Tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. online at www.MidStateFair.com or by calling 1-800-909-FAIR (3247), and at 1 p.m. at the California Mid-State Fair box office, located at 2198 Riverside Ave. in Paso Robles.

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Prestigious dancer visits Paso's Class Act

"My line that I always say is: ‘You will have butterflies, but you just learn to get your butterflies in formation.’” –New York City Ballet Master James Sutton

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Ortega’s hosts grand opening

Locals know David and Ana Elias from their wildly popular former restaurant, Margaritas. The parents of four have been owning and operating restaurants in Atascadero for 20 years. David Elias is a Greyhound — he attended Atascadero High School back in the 90s — and Ana Elias grew up in San Luis Obispo. David Elias took a small hiatus from the restaurant business to spend more time with his family, but he couldn’t turn down the tempting location of the former Ocean Harvest spot. For the grand opening of Ortega’s Mexican Cuisine, the Elias’ are offering $1.99 tacos and $1.99 domestic beer all day on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The public is invited to join them for some complimentary nachos and taquito platters during a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

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Paso native animates Pixar blockbusters

When Mike Venturini attended Paso Robles High School back in the early 90s, he was considered the “art kid” and was asked to paint the Bearcats logo on the gym floor. Now he’s heading hundreds of animators at one of the most prestigious animation studios in the world.

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Low cost-dance classes begin with free East Coast Swing session

“The first dance of the year is always free, to have people come and by and check it out,” said Wayne Lyons, President of the Atascadero Agricultural Hall. His entertainment committee sponsors the dances for the communities. The dances take place at the more than 100-year-old Atascadero Grange Hall, one of the original “Colony” homes of the city, which used to serve at a USO dance hall for Camp Roberts during WWII.

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Season’s ‘Nutcracker’ delights

The sets were beautifully painted and classic. The costumes were brilliant and the cast was delightful: young ballerinas smiling and nailing their parts and lead dancers putting on a first-class performance, fit for any big-city stage.

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T’was time for the Nutcracker

“It’s always been my dream to be Clara,” said Emaly Bousman, 13, of Trinity Lutheran School, who sees her dream come true as she stars as Clara in this year’s performance.

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Fifth-graders listen to Winds

"Music never lets you down.” – Atascadero resident and SLO Winds Conductor, Jennifer Martin

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Earth Wind & Fire: Funk legends bring message of peace and love to Vina Robles

Earth, Wind & Fire played at Vina Robles on the Tuesday, on the nineteenth of September. It was surreal, to me, since arguably their most popular song is titled “September” and begins with the lyrics “Do you remember, the 21st night of September?” They may have missed the marquee night by two, but it was still incredible that they chose the small city of Paso Robles to play so close to the famous night, even if it is 46 years after the debut of the hit song.

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