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San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum grand opening

originally posted by the San Francisco Chronicle
October 4, 2013

The grand opening of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum – after 20 years of planning, fundraising and construction – will anchor the fifth annual Central Coast Railroad Festival. Prior to the pomp and circumstance at the converted 1894 Southern Pacific freight house, the festival offers walking tours through the historic railroad district, model railroad displays, an Amtrak rail excursion and a railroad-themed concert. After the ceremony, the museum will host children’s railroad stories and other activities; presentations by a filmmaker, an author, a historian and local railroads; model railroads in action; a Union Pacific engine display; and rides on railroad motor cars. Related activities continue all weekend throughout the county.

Vitals: Festival runs Thursday-Oct. 13; museum opening 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Free admission; see website for activity times, fees and locations. 1940 Santa Barbara St., San Luis Obispo. (805) 548-1894,

Glass pumpkin patch: Love pumpkins, hate Pumpkin Festival ( traffic and crowds? Here’s an alternative: Head for Half Moon Bay a week early and visit La Nebbia Winery, where 1,000 hand-blown glass gourds, each one unique, transform the grounds into a sparkling pumpkin patch. Artist Douglass C. Brown will demonstrate hot glass techniques, bocce ball courts will be open, and the tasting room will be pouring. Saturday-Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. (650) 283-5626,

Pony up in Tahoe: Pony and wagon rides, caramel apples and crochet demonstrations lend an old-timey air to this South Lake Tahoe fall festival. Kids can also build scarecrows and jump around in a bounce house, while adults can ogle classic cars and relax in the beer garden. Nature walks, cowboy poetry and a Halloween contest are also on the agenda. Saturday-next Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free admission; see website for activities charges. (210) 570-7669,

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