Author: Max Whittaker

Troubled Waters

On Feb. 7, following heavy storms, a massive crater was discovered in the main spillway at Oroville Dam, the tallest in the United States, which led to the use of a second, emergency spillway. Days later, over 180,000 people in the region were forced to evacuate amid threats of the emergency spillway’s collapse. Photojournalist Max Whittaker chronicled the crisis as residents fled to seek safety and shelter.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Sacramento, class is in session. Whether you want to learn how to surf or sail, fly-fish or fly a plane, craft a cocktail or a cocktail table, we’ve found teachable moments all over town. Got skills? Here are 50 fun ways to add more arrows to your quiver (literally--our how-to list includes archery lessons). Let us edutain you!

Tiny Dancers

With visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads, hundreds of nimble little children flock to the Sacramento Ballet studios every fall and audition for choice roles in the Ballet’s most popular production, The Nutcracker. This year was no exception, as 719 hopefuls as young as 6 went toe to toe with each other to score 470 parts, including those as Mother Ginger Children, Teeny Tiny Mice and Baby Bunnies. “We have beautiful professional dancers, but what makes our Nutcracker special is the number of children we use. I believe we have the largest cast of children of any company in America,” says the Ballet’s longtime co-artistic director Ron Cunningham. We were there during the tutu tryouts in September, and we offer you an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes—both at the thrill of victory and, the agony of the feet. Here, more than ever you’ll see that there are no small roles, just small dancers.

Crowning Glory

Thousands descend on Cesar Chavez Plaza to celebrate the city’s come-from-behind victory to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Born to Run

Once a year, Cal Expo features thoroughbred races that coincide with the California State Fair. Horse racing—with centuries of tradition and pageantry behind it—boasts some of the strongest, fastest and most beautiful creatures on earth. We visited the scene on its opening weekend in July to take a closer look at life on and off the track.

The Music Man

In the ’80s, Charlie Peacock was jamming with Randy Jackson in midtown Sacramento and being asked to open for a then-fledgling U2 in Davis. These days, he’s collaborating with the American Idol judge on TV projects and having Bono over to his house for breakfast. This is the unlikely tale of a kid from Yuba City who moved to Nashville to become a Grammy-nominated producer and multiplatinum songwriter, and his journey back home to where he once belonged.

Some Enchanted Evening

The Mondavi Center celebrates its 10th anniversary with a magical night featuring the U.S. premiere of the French ballet Blanche Neige (Snow White).

Game Boy

Without stepping foot in Silicon Valley, a local kid who grew up loving games and computers started with a frozen yogurt shop and ended up building a video game company that brought a Silicon Valley giant to Sacramento. Here’s how rolling some very funny-shaped dice paid off in a very big way. And how it almost didn’t.

Starry Starry Night

The California Museum welcomes a bevy of bold-faced names, like Rob Lowe, Buzz Aldrin and Magic Johnson, to Sacramento for its sixth annual CA Hall of Fame gala