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Occidental Oriented - April 2015


Occidental Oriented - April 2015

It is my birthday month! I will be 16 this April, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. There really isn’t much that changes with most birthdays, but some years actual things do change. Like this year – I’ll technically be old enough to drive. I won’t, however, be able to get my license until late May, due to my former lack of competence regarding how to get ones permit. Other than that small thing, I’m pretty happy about turning 16. On the note of not being able to leave, I’ve compiled bunch of things to do in Occidental. 

Every Monday there are two classes offered at the Y downtown: Strength and Stretch at 9 am ($5), and Indoor Soccer at 8pm ($5). There are also Children’s Art Classes being taught at Prasada at 3:30 for $20. Tuesdays have a 9am Zumba class for $5, and Youth Indoor Soccer at 4:30pm, and Basketball at 7pm at the YMCA, and more Children’s Art Classes. Wednesday has another 9am Strength and Stretch class, and a 7:30 Advanced Volleyball in the gym at the YMCA. Every Wednesday there are Garden Volunteer Days at OAEC at 10am, and more Children’s Art Classes. On Thursdays  at the Y there is another 9am Zumba and Tae Kwon Do at 3:30pm, and Figure Drawing at the OCA at 7pm for $15, hosted by Bill Wheeler. You are responsible for bringing art supplies, but live models will be provided. The weekend is slow, with nothing on Friday, a 9am Zumba class on Saturday and nothing on Sunday. 

Special events this month at the OCA include Hiroya Tsukamoto, a Japanese musician, who will be preforming  Friday, April 3rd at 8pm, T Sisters: Sassy Sister Folk!, on Saturday, April 18th at 8pm, and Sol Flamenco: Live! on Saturday, April 25th at 8pm. As always, the annual Fools Day Parade is on April 4th. This year is the 19th one, so I’m sure it will be crazier than ever. At 2pm, there will be an open mike at the OCA in the auditorium. If you have an interest in performing, go to and follow the instructions. There were also be a class on fermentation complete with making your own kraut, preserved lemons, water kefir, and yogurt “cheese”. The class is $85 and all the materials and lunch are provided, it’s on May 2, 2015 from 10am to 2pm. If you’re interested email Mary Sheila at

Also on the note of things to do, the Occidental Farmers Market is going to start in a few months. However, there is an unprecedented amount of controversy about the farmers market starting back up. Several local merchants are up in arms about the loss of business they’ve seen on past Friday nights due to the farmers market. They say the lack of available parking and magnitude of available food from vendors is hurting their business. Their proposed solution is to move the market from Friday nights to Wednesday nights. Several vegetable vendors are also onboard with this idea, saying that after the first few hours the atmosphere changes, and it becomes more of a street party and less of a farmers market. This hurts their business, they say. On the other hand, vendors’ businesses are thriving, and the market has provided customers for several local businesses. The market brings people into town and gives the town a claim to fame. 

My personal opinion is that the farmers market is the only thing to do on a Friday night unless you can leave Occidental. Which I cannot. The farmers market is the only interesting thing to do. It’s the only place that kids can hang out and their parents can do things too. It was, and continues to be, the best part of living in Occidental. I sold pie for many years there and those days were some of my best memories. It would be a shame to deprive the kids of Occidental of such a great time. On a Wednesday the atmosphere just won’t be the same. I would be very sad to see the market change nights.