Top 13 Sacramento Moments … in 2013
By everyone at GOTG with help from our readers!
It’s that time of year again – a time when we try to condense the good, the bad and the downright ugly from the year before. You’ve got Time’s best photography or Mandatory’s best tweets (#LOL) … and now GOTG’s list of the best 13 things that happened in Sacramento in 2013.
Because inflection point. #JFDISac
1. Get Your (Local) Nom On – Part 1
2013 marked the first annual Farm to Fork Festival, and it was amazing. From the Tower Bridge dinner to (practically) every restaurant and bar getting involved, Sacramento is well on its way to becoming a tourist destination for foodies.
And speaking of local produce, a huge shout out to the year-round Midtown Farmer’s Market and the potential Sacramento Public Market. The MFM is consistently top-notch with flowers, artisans, produce and some of the best salsa ever. (Crazy Gringo, we’re looking at you.) The Public Market is still a concept, but we’re super hopeful this project will move forward. Hmmmm, maybe it could be built in the railyards, conveniently located to the new arena?
2. Get Your (Local) Nom On – Part 2
We said good-bye to a few friends (and then hello again to Blackbird), but some new kids have moved onto the block that are sure to become the next generation of Sacramento institutions. If you haven’t been to Tank House BBQ (best tater tots and brisket sando, ever), The Rind, LowBrau (ugh, their patio!) or Cultured and Cured … run, don’t walk.
3. Enough Sports-tastic News to Make Us Fans
This year was HUGE for local sports. The most obvious milestone was getting the Maloofs the hell out of town and keeping the Kings right where they belong. Crown Downtown has an insanely detailed wrap-up so check out the full story here. The fight isn’t over yet – it remains to be seen if an anti-arena ballot measure (intended to delay the construction of a new arena downtown) will qualify. Most of us at GOTG aren’t diehard Kings fans, but the planned downtown arena (and subsequent ripple impact throughout the community with new shops, restaurants, apartments, etc) and impressive new ownership are making us shout #ForeverPurple. Here we stay, here we ride, here we build.
And for the soccer fans, Sacramento now has the Republic FC expansion team, which will kick off its first USL PRO season in March 2014. Yes, they technically launched in 2012, but we were too lazy to produce this list last year. And let’s not forget the hilarious/snarky sports podcast at SacAnnex.com and the Skeeball League at Elixir.
4. Helping Sacramento Find Love
Yep, two seconds for self-promotion … GOTG hosted our 4th Annual Sacramento’s Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette (SMEBB) contest in February. Co-hosted with PWeekly.com – and in support of WEAVE – we packed 350+ young professionals into Marilyn’s on K for one helluva event. MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Our 5th Annual SMEBB is going to be bigger/better and is scheduled for Thursday, February 13, 2014 (timed to VDay, per the usual). We’ll have more details ASAP.
5. Art Takes Center Stage
Sacramento has always been home to a plethora of art galleries, but 2013 marked the arrival of several new projects. There’s now murals on K Street; blue trees were installed by the Convention Center; Verge utilized social media and online fundraising to renovate; and Exhibit S launched a space that hosts more events than we can keep up with. Sure there was that scrap over the artist portraits in the R Street Corridor (#HatersToTheLeft) and a silly controversy over Maren Conrad‘s awesome “Political Vulnerability” exhibit, but all in all, Sacramento re-committed itself to the arts community this year.
6. The Weather
Minus the insane “cold snap” we just had, this year’s weather was bananas. The average rainfall typically is 21.17 inches … and we’re currently at 5.13. Not good if you’re a farmer or skier, but excellent news for those who like to day drink on the Grid.
7. Zoom, Zoom – Vroom, Vroom
2013 said hello to Uber, Lyft and a Zipcar expansion (they even opened an office downtown). Sac is a heavy biking/walking town, but having more options beyond cabs has been hella convenient – and puts us closer on par with San Francisco and Los Angeles (not that we care).
8. Pitch Perfect
Concerts in the Park at Cesar Chavez has been a Sacramento mainstay for years, but This is a fantastic addition to Midtown. The free concert series ran during Second Saturday from June-September, and it featured acts like Featuring Yacht, Classixx, Midi Matilda, Sonny & the Sunsets, Deastro and South of France. The vibe was always super chill, and they expanded the series to include experiential art exhibits and vendors.
9. Pop-Ups Everywhere!
First there were food trucks – now there are pop-ups. Everywhere. Mostly in the retail sector, it’s a creative and innovative way for our small business owners to collaborate and sell their wares. And if you didn’t make it to midtownPOP in 2013, you definitely missed out.
10. Sacramento Gives Back
Giving back isn’t anything new for Sacramento, but we wanted to welcome our favorite new project that further helps those less fortunate in our community: Plates Cafe – a new Midtown restaurant staffed entirely with women from the St. John’s Shelter. It’s an innovative job-training program, and the food is super delicious (perfect lunch spot!). Bonus? We set a participation record for the 20th annual Run to Feed the Hungry. #SlowClap
11. #Awesome #Local #Collaboration and #Innovation
The Sacramento Hashtag Project was just announced (video), but we’re highly confident that this could be a game-changer for our community. Those of us addicted to social media know how hard it can be to find hyper-local and specific information. The Project aims to better explore/connect our community and promote small businesses by developing neighborhood-specific hashtags (#EastSac, #MidtownSac, #MansionFlats, etc) and corresponding map. The initiative uses “hashtags to solve hyper local civic problems, incubate culture, champion good ideas, support small business, and position the region.” We encourage everyone to start using these because really, it only works if they’re widely accepted. If you like the project, donate to their Kickstarter.
12. Cruising the Grid
2013 was a great year for cyclists. Sacramento was once again declared a kick-ass bike town, and we had green bike lanes installed downtown. The Handle District/MBA launched a successful bike bait program, and Councilmember Steve Hansen/SPD/City of Sacramento announced an online bike registry to help recover stolen bikes faster.
13. Calling All Dreamers
Zero job security, long hours and high risk for failure all make being an entrepreneur one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Downtown Sacramento Partnership did their part to help by hosting a “Calling All Dreamers” contest. Small business owners submitted videos to win a cash prize of $10,000, as well as free rent for a year and business support services including advertising, contractor build out assistance, graphic design, strategic marketing support, legal and accounting services, and more. Andy’s Candy Apothecary and Dailey Method (WOO HOO!) won, and downtown Sacramento is better for it.
BONUS SECTION – Not Sacramento Specific
The Red Wedding … xBox One … Random Access Memories … you can (legally) use electronics on planes … Snap Chat and Tinder … Pope Frank … Google Glass … Prop 8 was overturned #YayForGays!
What’d we miss? What would you add to this list?