New play opening at Contra Costa Civic

The three-time Tony Award-winning play "La Cage Aux Folles" is the next production at Contra Costa Civic Theatre, 951 Pomona Ave. in El Cerrito, opening on June 21 and continuing through July 21.

The hit, "the tale of one family's struggle to stay together, stay fabulous, and, above all else, stay true to themselves," was honored with a Tony for Best Musical three times.

Christina Lazo directs and choreographs the CCCT production, with music direction by Evan Alparone.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

For tickets or details visit www.ccct.org or call 510-524-9132.

Evening hike takes in hillside sites

Take in the moonrise at a free hike of Motorcycle Hill and the Hillside Natural Area being hosted by El Cerrito Trail Trekkersand led by Tom Gehling at 7 p.m. June 22. Meet at the corner of Navellier and Blake streets.

"This being El Cerrito in summer, be prepared for cool weather," the group says. "Also, Motorcycle Hill Trail is steep so wear good hiking shoes. The hike should last about two hours."

Details: 510-524-1737 or davidsweinstein@yahoo.com.

Holy Ghost Festa returns in El Cerrito


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The annual Holy Ghost Festa in El Cerrito is set for June 23. The traditional parade begins at St. John Church, 11150 San Pablo Ave., at 1 p.m. and goes to St. John Hall at 6712 Portola Drive for the festival and feast.

Lions Club hosting pancake breakfast

The annual Independence Day pancake breakfast hosted by the Albany Lions Club is set for 8 to 11 a.m. July 4 in the Memorial Park Veterans Building, 1352 Portland Ave. in Albany. Breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, orange slices, coffee, tea, chocolate, and orange juice is $7 adults, $3.50 children 10 and under.

The popular breakfast is the kickoff to the city's July 4 celebration in the park, where the Lions will host the watermelon eating contest and the dunk tank.

Cooking demonstration in Albany on June 26

Learn to make sweet and savory meatballs with stone fruit over pasta at a free cooking demonstration by Chef HuNia Bradley during the Albany Farmers' Market from 3 to 6 p.m. June 26 in the 1000 block of Solano Avenue west of San Pablo Avenue.

Bradley manages the Farm Fresh Choice program for market sponsor the Ecology Center in Berkeley and is chef and CEO of her own catering company. The demonstration, part of a series being presented at the market, will include free recipes and samples.

Details: 510-548-3333.

El Cerrito conducting survey on greening

El Cerrito residents can give input on the city's Urban Greening Plan via an online survey at www.ElCerritoUrbanGreening.org.

The brief survey asks about priorities for the plan "focused on ways to improve the quality of life in El Cerrito by creating greener, more environmentally sustainable and enjoyable public places and open spaces."

For more details contact Emily Alter at ealter@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us or 510-559-7686.

Free concert Saturday at Down Home Music

Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito, is hosting a free in-store concert with Deux K "30" at 1 p.m. June 22.

The musical duo of Keith Jordan and Kevin Radley play a variety of instruments and their music is influenced by blues, country and soul.

Improvements for cyclists, pedestrians

New, narrower medians are already being installed on lower Moeser Lane and markings are in place on Ashbury Avenue near El Cerrito High School as the city continues work on its Pedestrian and Bicycle Corridor Improvements project.

The project, which started last month, will install pedestrian safety, bicycle facilities and traffic calming measures on portions of Ashbury Avenue and Moeser Lane. Work is expected to be completed by September.

Barbecue to benefit Relay for Life effort

Teams participating in the fourth annual Relay for Life fundraiser in El Cerrito are holding dining fundraisers on June 23.

The Crazy Daisies team is hosting a barbecue dinner at 2 p.m. at the Blue Moon Saloon, 9937 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito.

Along with barbecue chicken dinner for $10, the afternoon will feature bra pong, sports theme prizes and a 50/50 raffle, and attendees can learn about how they can make a difference in the fight against cancer. For tickets, call Mary at 510-275-9333 or Dawn at 510-599-4585.

That same day, Team Step by Step is hosting a meatloaf dinner and raffle from 5 to 7 p.m. in Rohan Hall at St. Jerome Church, 308 Carmel St.

Cost is $10 per person for meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, side, and dessert

The 24-hour El Cerrito Relay for Life itself will be at 10 a.m. July 20 and 21 at Cerrito Vista Park. Proceeds benefit research and support programs of the American Cancer Society.

-- Chris Treadway