Happy Friday! Hopefully you haven’t caught this winter plague that seems to be going around and can get out and enjoy the weekend! There’s still time to see this year’s Oscar nominees in advance of the awards ceremony, but there’s also a number of fun-sounding local events going on to. Of course, the big news locally is that the Mavericks Invitational surf contest starts today, but you probably won’t be able to watch it live. Fortunately, Hotel Paradox and Solaire Restaurant will be showing the broadcast in case you want to check it out (and sip a lovely cocktail while you’re at it.)
- Winterpalooza – We may not have real snow, but the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History will host an all-out tribute to the white stuff Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Take the kids over for music, arts and crafts, games and more.
- All Good Funk Alliance: The 418 Project is hosting a benefit for the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center Saturday featuring turntable sets by Little John and Noah Noetik. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. The fun starts at 7 p.m. at 418 Front St. in downtown Santa Cruz.
- Bridal Expo: Weddings aren’t my thing, personally, but if you’re going to be planning one soon, you might want to check out the Bridal Expo at Cocoanut Grove Ballroom Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $7.
- Water Concert: The Catalyst on Saturday hosts a concert to benefit the Surfrider Foundation, featuring Eliquate, Otto’s Monkey and more. The show starts at 8 p.m. and also includes a quiz and a raffle.
- FreeFall: This local improv group performs Saturday at the Broadway Playhouse at 8 p.m. Sounds like a side-splittingly good time!
- Bear Lincoln - This Berkeley-based band is described as having influences that “range from James Brown to Talking Heads to Vicente Hernandez and back again.” I’m sold. They play the Crepe Place tonight.
- 8 10s at 8: The Santa Cruz County Actors Theater presents its 19th annual short play festival this weekend. The plays opened Jan. 3 and continue through Jan. 26, with evening performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and matinee performances at 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 and all shows take place at Center Stage Theater, 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Tickets available here.
- Are We There Yet?: Planet Cruz will present this one-man, multimedia comedy show every Friday starting tonight through Feb. 28 at the Broadway Playhouse in Santa Cruz at 8 p.m.