Cambrian: Opinion

Spring is the season for fun and fancy in Cambria

You might be able to tell it’s spring by the calendar or the wildflowers. But if you have any doubt the seasons have changed, all you have to do is look at everything that’s going on in Cambria. If you’re worried about staying home and twiddling your thumbs, take a quick look around at everything that’s going on.

And if you’re one of those folks who laments that newspapers are all about dreary, negative news, read on! There’s plenty of positivity going on these days.

There’s enough to keep you busy in the arts scene alone.

Coast Union High School has just wrapped up its spring musical, “Back to the ’80s,” with an upbeat soundtrack and storyline to put a spring in your step.

Then there are three theatrical hubs within less than a half-hour: The Pewter Plough Playhouse and Cambria Center for the Arts Theatre (CCAT) here in Cambria, and By the Sea Productions — the former Pewter Plough Players — down in Morro Bay.

CCAT’s new artistic director, Jill Turnbow, says the theater is installing $8,000 worth of new sound panels to boost the acoustics at the Old Cambria Grammar School, where the production of “Fuddy Meers” just concluded. Next up: a pair of Cabaresque performances by Jude Johnstone set for May 6 and 7.

The Pewter Plough, meanwhile, has announced the addition of Sarah Mosby as stage manager. Mosby studied theater and performance at UC Berkeley and recently moved to Cambria from the Bay Area. Theater owner Rebecca Buckley also announced the addition of Kelly East to the staff in the set construction department.

The Plough plans auditions for its next performance, “Suds,” for Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22 at the theater, 828 Main St. Four men and three women are needed for the cast. Details: 805-680-1293.

If you’re looking for pure music, you can drive up the coast April 29 for a jazz concert at San Simeon Cove featuring Ray Barbee and the Mattson 2. Tickets are $50, with proceeds going to benefit the Cambria Education Foundation.

And the Cambria Chorale is planning its annual spring performances for two Sundays: April 30 and Mothers’s Day, May 14. This year’s concert is titled “Bouquet of Melodies.” Tickets, priced at $16 each, will be available at the Joslyn Center from chorale members or the Cambria Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking of the chamber, it will be putting on the 23rd annual Chili Cook-off and Car Show on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s celebrity chili judges are Citizen of the Year Jay Burbank, Clif Coimbra, Claudia Franco of KTEA and BOB FM radio, sheriff’s Cmdr. Jim Voge and community volunteer Ramona Voge. They won’t have the only say in the results, though: Members of the public will once again be invited to do their own tasting for $10 and determine the People’s Choice Award winner.

The chamber is also sponsoring a new event this year, the Cambria Olallieberry Festival, a free event set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6 at the Cambria Historical Museum. The festival will feature live music, cooking demonstrations, a dessert contest and kids activities. For information, go to

Spellbound Herbs is sponsoring its annual Faerie Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26. It’s free and open to the public; dressing up is encouraged.

The second annual Cambria Bee Faire will also be at the museum, which is partnering with Beautify Cambria to stage the activity, set for May 7.

If you like sculpture, head out to Camp Ocean Pines for the California Sculptors’ Symposium’s 15th annual Sculpture Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The event includes an opportunity to meet the sculptors and a barbecue lunch for $15 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

And photographers can sign ujp for the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve’s Cambria Wildflower Photo Contest, to be held in conjunction with the 12th annual Cambria Wildflower Show at the Veterans Memorial Building during the last week of April. For information, call 805-927-2856 or email

For sheer good news, Coast Union is still celebrating its boys basketball team’s No. 1 ranking and trip to the CIF Division 5 semifinals, and 15-year-old Cambria filmmaker Carlos Plummer walked away from the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival with the Best Student Film Award for “Nine Lives of Harald Bauer.”

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I neglected to mention, but that just means there’s a lot of good stuff going on in and around Cambria. Who says there’s no good news in the newspaper?