The California Mermaid Convention is expected to make a big splash this weekend, so we reached out to its co-founder Ashley Rastad — aka Mermaid Ashley — to learn more about the Sac-based event + her beloved River City.
Keep reading to find out why our city is a great place for mermaids, and where Ashley thinks Sacramento will be in 25 years.
Ashley owns Pixie Tribe + is the co-founder of Sac’s Mermaid Convention. | Photo provided by Pixie Tribe
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the California Mermaid Convention + how the idea for it came to be?
A: The California Mermaid Convention started as the Promenade of Mermaids in 2011 when a small group of friends and costume enthusiasts got together in their fanciest nautical attire and pranced along the streets of Old Sac. Several years later we teamed up with more local makers and mers for “Mermaid Weekend in Sacramento.” By 2019, it was clear that the community wanted more, so we launched the California Mermaid Convention.
Q:Thanks to you + the convention’s other founder Rachel Smith, Sacramento seems like a great place for the mermaid community. What makes the area appealing to you?
A: I am a third generation Sacramentan, and I think our city is beautiful and unique. I grew up with access to gorgeous natural waterways, trees everywhere, farm-fresh food, a rich history, lots of art, and artistic outlets. Dive Bar is also world famous and really special. There aren’t many other places in the world where you can see live mermaid performers in film quality costuming under professional lighting.
Mermaid Ashley seen swimming for her son. | Photo provided by Pixie Tribe
Q: What do you think Sacramento will be known for in 10 years? In 25?
A: I hope Sacramento will be known for its bustling art scene and ample public transportation in 10, 25, 50 years. I think it will be known for mermaids after this article gets released. There are more mermaids in this city than you might think.
Vintage & Vinyl | Thurs., May 19 | 6-9 p.m. | Solomon’s | Free | This monthly night market will feature records, clothes + hand-made jewelry — there will even be an open mic.
Queer Crush | Fri., May 20 | 6:30 p.m. | Sacramento Pipeworks | Prices vary | Connect + send routes with members of Sac’s LGBTQ+ community.
Smashed | Fri., May 20 | 6-8:30 p.m. | Uptown Studios | $10 | Catch the Sacramento premiere of this locally-made short film about a woman who only has 20 minutes to change her life + speak with the crew about the challenges and secrets of film production. 🎥
Concerts in the Park: Arden Park Roots | Fri., May 20 | 5-9 p.m. | Cesar Chavez Plaza | Free | The popular reggae group is rocking steady for the third week of Downtown Sac’s music festival, with the funky Gold Souls + Amy Winehouse-inspired popsmith Matteo Briscoe also performing. 🎸
Cocktail Competition | Sat., May 21 | 2 p.m. | The Roost, 1409 R St. | $50 | Feel the sizzle at this Sac Bacon Fest feat of boozy concoctions, with the best one to be voted by the audience. 🍸
Lipstick | Sat., May 21 | 5 p.m. | Old Ironsides | $5 | The indie dance party institution grooves its way back to the Grid. 🎶
Impressionistic Painting | Sun., May 22 | 1-2:30 p.m. | Virtual | $90+ | Brush up on your acrylic painting with this virtual course hosted by the Crocker + taught by an artist who has her own gallery in Oak Park. 🎨
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
The city has openedtwo new futsalcourtsin Natomas’ Tanzanite Park, bringing our total up to 10. Not sure what futsal is? It’s a variation of soccer that’s played on a smaller + hard-surfaced court. There are currently two more planned: one for River District Park, and another for Blackbird Park. ⚽ (Sac City Express)
A European-inspired eatery called Franquette — the kind of place where you can grab coffee in the morning, wine at midday, and dinner in the evening — has landed in West Sac at 925 Bridge St. The restaurant serves dishes like Boeuf bourguignon and poached pear + is helmed by the owners of Canon. (Sac Mag)
Fourk Kitchen — a Lincoln-based restaurant that offers monthly rotating four-course, prix fixe dining as its primary culinary drawer — will open Friday at 1177 Riley St. in Folsom.This will be the company’s third location, where it will charge $54 per person. 🍽️ (Sac Biz Journal)
It’s fork to the farm. The 11th Winters Farm to School Summer Feast, which celebrates the agriculture of Yolo County + is catered by Buckhorn Steak and Roadhouse, will be heldSat., June 25 at Wolfskill Ranch. Attendance is limitedto just 200 guests, and tickets start at $150. 🚜 (Davis Enterprise)
The Sacramento Kings will have the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery determined the order for the upcoming draft, which is scheduled for June 23. 🏀 (FOX40)
The 84th Placer County Fair is currently seeking applications from community members who produce craft goods to compete in awards for things like brewing beer. The fair will run Thurs., June 23-Sun., June 26 at 700 Event Center Dr. Learn more. 🎡 (Roseville Today)
With help from donors, community members in Paradise are currently buildingHope Plaza — a memorial to the 85 peoplewho lost their lives in the 2018 Camp Fire. The $1.5 million project will be located at Sky Way and Foster Rd., and will open in Nov. 2023. (FOX40)
Following its drummer’s second positive test result for COVID-19, PNW grunge legends Pearl Jamcanceled last night’s show at the Golden 1 Center. If you were a ticket holder, no action is needed — refunds will be automatically processed. (KCRA3)
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DYK: That a pack of sea lions on land are called a colony, and that these dog-like marine mammals are frequently spotted in the Sacramento River — particularly near Tower Bridge — once the weather starts to warm? Just look at this fella who can’t be bothered by the passing boat.
Experts suggest that these animals — which are often male, as females tend to stay close to home for winter — are here to munch on salmon before their breeding season begins, which usually runs June-Aug. Be sure to keep a safe distance if you encounter one, as they’re known to be aggressive.
#DYK that your photos and quotes could be featured in our newsletter?
Editor’s Pick: I still remember the first time I ever saw a sea lion in Sac — I thought to myself, “Am I dreaming?” Even after gawking at the giant, glistening critter on a pier near the Tower Bridge for a good 10 minutes, I still wasn’t sure of my reality.
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