25th. Annual Big Sur Jade Festival

When I'm not playing with sharp objects or madly dashing across the country to rescue a relative, I help operate a small non profit called the South Coast Community Land Trust based in Big Sur, CA. I'm a Board Director and Secretary of the SCCLT, and Entertainment/Volunteer Director of our one big fund raising event each year, the Big Sur Jade Festival. We raise money for several community organizations, but our main focus is helping the students of the local K-12 public school on the southern Big Sur coast called Pacific Valley School. This year we had 22 students total from kindergarten to high school, and graduated three seniors, (first graduates in a few years). The SCCLT offers summer educational grants to all of those students for summer camp & other educational activities, and we gave out nearly $3,000.00 in scholarships to the graduating seniors alone this year, (approx $8,000.00 including scholarships this year total). I must admit, reading hand written grant requests from eight year olds never gets old, and is one of the highlights of my life each spring.  We have also donated to the school district, (Big Sur Unified), with grants to help them maintain residential units for teachers on the campus, as the school itself is so isolated. In fact, it is so isolated there is no electrical service there, so the school depends on a large solar system and a propane generator for power. The school serves a small community of several hundred who live in the area, mostly completely off grid, with many students being children of local US Forest Service personnel & employees of the state dept of transportation, which maintains a repair yard for Hwy 1 nearby. The SCCLT also maintains a small community center at the school, which is used by them as a classroom when not in use as a community center. The festival has become the largest single event of the year in Big Sur, and is 100% volunteer run. It is held on the campus of the school each Columbus Day weekend, this year happening on October 7, 8 & 9. As well as being a community celebration, the festival is the largest lapidary show in the US specializing in jade, and we have an international corps of vendors/artists who show their craft at our festival each year. Some of the finest carved jade in the world can be found at Big Sur Jade Festival. Admission is free to the public, our funds are raised via vendor fees, a raffle, and direct donations. Last year we estimated our three day attendance at well over 5,000, and I wish each and every one of you could be one of those attendees.

I'm posting a pdf of our entertainment flyer, and I am happy to welcome an old friend of mine, Grammy winner Louie Ortega of the Texas Tornados to our stage for our silver anniversary.

Here are a few pertinent links: Big Sur Jade Festival website, Big Sur Jade Festival Facebook group, Pacific Valley School website.

If I'm not hanging around here on our porch, (IKC), in the next few weeks please excuse me, you know what I'll be doing. This is my fifteenth year doing this, and I hope I can do it for another fifteen.


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Tags: Community, Event, Festival, Music

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