If you love Riverside, like Riverside, or are at least open-minded about Riverside, well, Riverside has a weekend for you.
October 1 (Saturday) brings Explore Riverside Together, a day of free tours and exclusive tours. For the bookish set, October 2 (Sunday) boasts the local History Book Fair, in which you can meet writers who chronicle the Inland Empire, including your own.
If you don’t call in sick the next day, exhausted from a weekend of learning about Riverside, you’re either retired or wrong.
Let’s take these events in order, shall we?
First, Explore Riverside Together, in which 16 sites around Riverside, many within blocks of each other downtown, will be open for your visiting pleasure, with volunteers to guide or inform you.
Among them: the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, which opened in June and will be free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Likewise with the Riverside Art Museum next door. The Mission Inn, next door to RAM, will offer tours of the elaborate exterior.
In fact, if the exteriors are enough for you, there are three other places to pop in: the Harada House, the Fox Performing Arts Center, and the Civil Rights Institute. The latter opens to the public on October 22, with this early visit a chance to whet your interest.
Lorna Jenkins, the mastermind of Explore Riverside, started the event in 2019, suspended it in 2020 during the pandemic, then resumed it in 2021, drawing 1,200 people over two days. This year she compressed the event into a single day and, due to venues clamoring to be included, increased the number of venues.
“We have over 16 locations participating,” enthuses Jenkins. “It’s awesome.”
She continues, “We now have the Harada House and the Heritage House, the Music School and the Culinary School, the District Attorney’s Office and the Social Justice Center – which has a museum that I didn’t know was there. ‘he was there.”
Speaking of museums, the firefighter museum will be open, unlike 2021.
“Last year they phoned,” says Jenkins, “and couldn’t attend at all.”
Other sites include City Hall, the New Main Library, and the historic Riverside County Courthouse. (Please leave your cans of paint at home.) Also not to be missed: the Peace March statues on the pedestrian street. I wrote about this a year ago.
“We have the largest collection of civil rights statutes in one place in the United States,” boasts Jenkins.
To participate, register online at ExploreRiversideTogether.com or in person Saturday starting at 9 a.m. in the covered walkway at City Hall (3900 Main Street). It’s free. You will receive a bracelet and a card.
“Their wristband is their admission,” Jenkins says.
What is the purpose of the event? “To let people know how really cool Riverside is,” says Jenkins. “We want people to see what Riverside looks like now, today. It’s a big city with a small town feel.
Sponsorships from various institutions and businesses in the city ensure the event is free and also support the non-profit arm of Jenkins’ tutoring business, allowing My Learning Studio to offer free or discounted assistance. to students in need.
If you want to join Explore Riverside Together, the last tours start at 1pm, and you’ll probably want to see a few sights, right? That’s why Jenkins suggests showing up at 9am, or shortly after, to give yourself at least a few hours.
But save some energy for the local History Book Fair on Sunday! (How’s that for a sequel?)
This is the second annual event organized by the Riverside Historical Society to bring together writers on local history and people who want to meet them and, not incidentally, give them money for their books.
There will be three familiar names from this newspaper: our Back in the Day history columnists, Kim Jarrell Johnson and Steve Lech, and myself. Also present are Barbara Burns, Larry Burns, Edward Chang, Glenn Freeman, Glenn Wenzel and Frank Teurlay.
The event starts at noon, takes a break at 1 p.m. for a talk by Teurlay about life at Riverside during World War II, then resumes at 2 p.m. until the end at 3 p.m. limousines.
The site is the basement of the Riverside Medical Clinic, 7117 Brockton Ave.
The first book fair took place in 2021 and was considered a great success, as it went.
“Everyone seemed happy with the response. There was a good turnout at the conference,” says Glenn Wenzel of the Historical Society. “Almost everyone from last year is coming back, plus a few new ones.”
Thanks to the alphabetical list of authors in the promotional material, my name comes first. It almost makes up for the years in elementary school where I had to sit in the front row.
Last year’s fair was my very first scheduled appearance in Riverside County. This year’s fair is only my second. (Come on, Riverside.) I have four books of chronicles to sell you, but honestly, come say hello. It was the best part of the first fair, that some EP readers stopped by just to meet me.
Now, why is this book fair taking place in a medical clinic? Wenzel says the basement is available for community meetings, including company meetings. Simply enter through the main doors and take the stairs or elevator down to the basement. Free entry.
I guess one of the good things about the location is that if your pulse starts to quicken as you get excited about the local history, the medical staff can help.
Like my colleague Monserrat Solis reported, Riverside City Council on Tuesday refused to back Councilwoman Clarissa Cervantes in her quest for an apology from Sheriff Chad Bianco for publicly slandering her. Hmm. Don’t the council members want to fight with the sheriff? Do they have reason not to believe his version? Do they want it all to go away? Fall may have officially arrived on Thursday, but for City Council, the cold came down two days early.
David Allen bundles up Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Email [email protected], call 909-483-9339, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and follow @davidallen909 on Twitter.