Clank, Clank, Clank 

There's knights in them thar hills


Until someone figures out how to stage a real-life game of Quidditch (you know it's only a matter of time), Harry Potter fans may have to make due with other medieval sorts of pastimes. Fortunately enough, the International Jousting Championships are being held for the first time on the West Coast this weekend at the Sonora Celtic Faire. In a two-and-a-half-hour drive, you'll travel back 450 years to 1560s Scotland. It's the Renaissance version of the X Games: In addition to the jousting competition, hand-to-hand combat, and archery contests, swordplay and falconry demonstrations will herald Queen Mary's return from France. Those taking up lance and shield and hastening their powerful steeds into the jousting ring include Grand Champion Shane Adams from Toronto, Canada, and at least four other state champs in the Heavy Armor Division. "This will not be a choreographed event," claims Faire organizer Patrick Karnahan in the press materials. "There will be amusement, high drama, and plenty of excitement."

In moments of only slightly lower drama, professional actors in period costume will reenact dances, feasts, pageantry, and create artisan handiwork of the time. On Saturday, the Cast-Iron Chef competition -- sponsored by East Bay-based Clan Iain Abrach-MacIain -- limits participants to cooking tools only available in a period kitchen. Irish musical groups Dervish and Téada, Australian group Brother, and theater and puppet shows for the wee ones are also part of the weekend. For tickets and schedule of events: or 209-588-9497. -- Annika Dukes

THU 9/11

Stewed to the Gills

Fly-fishing. The name conjures up images of gents in brown rubber waders, Pendleton shirts, and floppy hats with lures attached, wearing wicker tackle baskets, fly-casting for trout while knee-deep in a cold mountain stream on a sunny day. Then came the grizzly bear, and all hell broke loose. That's the sort of stretcher you'll hear Thursday evening (7:30 p.m.) when the Grizzly Peak Fly-Fishers dedicate their monthly meeting to fish stories, sort of a what-did-you-do-this-summer for guys who like to fuss around with feathers and hooks and wily, scaly, cold-blooded adversaries. Come early for the fly-tying demonstration (6:30) and a light dinner. Kensington Community Center, 59 Arlington Ave., Kensington. Info: 510-547-8629 -- Kelly Vance

SAT 9/13


Run, then study

Run for fun. Run for a good cause. Run for a good cause that benefits children of people working in the California food industry. Charity sporting events don't get much more specific than the Back to School Scholarship Run , taking place Saturday at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park (2500 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton). Three races through the park on rolling-hill trails: 10K, 5K Run & Walk, and a Children's Mile -- plus the first 350 entrants get the Monster Goodie Bag full o' stuff. Entry fees are $25 on race day, $7 for the Children's Mile. Info: 209-795-7832 or -- Kelly Vance


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