Screen, sip, stroll this Saturday |

Screen, sip, stroll this Saturday

Brett Bentley
Staff Writer

Caught up in the euphoria of fun family time at the fair, I happily said yes to allowing my 5-year-old to vie for a goldfish in a carnival game.

"Don't worry, the odds of her getting a ring around the bowl are slim," I told my husband. "Besides, it's just a goldfish."

Turns out, the kid has aim.

Fast forward six months and $101. When it became apparent that Gup Gup had become a part of our family indefinitely, he needed a better home ($50 tank with filter).

Then the home looked rather bare, so plants, rocks and a new friend were purchased ($50). Unfortunately that friend wasn't bred for the fair circuit and didn't last. A visit to a different pet store produced a healthier Friend No. 2 ($1).

Now we are a two-kid, two-dog and two-fish family. We, like millions of other people, like animals. I like the lessons my children learn being raised around them.

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This weekend's inaugural Animal Film Festival in Grass Valley is designed for, well, animal people of all ages. Organized by the Center for Animal Protection & Education, a nonprofit animal sanctuary in Grass Valley, it will have a morning of films for children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an afternoon/evening of entertainment for adults, from 2 to 9 p.m. all at the Center for the Arts.

The festival will feature independent films, documentaries and works by emerging artists from around the globe, all telling stories about animals and the issues they face in the world today.

Tickets for the festival are $5 per person for the morning session, $20 per person for the afternoon/evening session, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Tickets are available at the Book Seller and BriarPatch. To learn more, go to

Ambitious families can catch the morning session, then head down the street to enjoy Foothills Celebration in Grass Valley. The Sierra Vintners and the Downtown Grass Valley associations are co-hosting the event, designed to get people in town to "Stroll. Sip. Sample. Shop," according to their promotions.

Tickets are $45 per person and include unlimited wine tasting, five food tastings and a wine glass. When you get tired of strolling around, or just want to get out of the rain, there's always the second half of the Animal Film Festival.

Although watching animal films and sipping local wine sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday, I'll be busy cleaning out the fish tank. It's just a goldfish after all.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at or by calling 530-477-4219.

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