Weekend spotlight: Chorro Valley Shoot-out

August 11, 2011


You can plan to channel the wild west, listen to the beat of African drums, and sip on beers among some of nature’s finest animals because the Central Coast has it all this weekend.

The 17th Annual Chorro Valley Shoot-out, hosted by the Chorro Valley Regulators, will take over the public shooting range on Gilardi Road in San Luis Obispo starting today. The four-day event, which was previously known as the John Wayne Shoot-out, is a celebration of guns dating back to the days of the wild, wild west.

In addition to the public displays of vintage guns, there will be competitions available for everyone — especially those well skilled with pistols and shotguns.

The men and women top gun and shotgun eliminator events invite any level shooter to participate. The more exclusive main event, which takes place Friday and Saturday, only permits professional gun slingers, but it guarantees to draw international shooter competitors.

The shoot-out will hold one of its last events Saturday in the form of a four-star dinner just in time to get people ready for the good, old fashion chili cook off at Biddle Park that  follows suit with its western theme.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, the Central Coast Chili Festival will have chili chefs from around the county go face-to-face with hopes to being crowned the winner of one of the three cook-off competitions.

Tickets are $5 for admission to a day full of western themed activities, live entertainment, a car show and of course, chili tastings. Prizes for winners include first-place blue ribbons and up to $300.

If the wild west doesn’t make you want to pull out your guns and chaps, backtrack to Saturday evening and there is the choice between listening to the native sounds of Africa or drinking beer among endangered animals.

Drum Circle

The Spirits of Africa Gallery invites drum enthusiasts, both experienced and beginning, to come and indulge in the creative expression of drumming. And if you don’t have a drum, don’t worry. There are authentic, African-made drums available for rent or purchase at the gallery.

Gallery owner Abbey Onikoyi, who was raised in Lagos, Nigeria, is a descendant of Nigerian royalty and former award-winning advertiser. He now focuses on channeling the spirit of the African culture and society, and opens his gallery every Saturday to the public for a free drum circle Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Brew at the Zoo

Up the coast at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, Brew at the Zoo will allow attendees to enjoy live music, taste beers from five local micro-breweries and spend the evening among the original “party animals.”

Attending breweries include Tap It and Pismo Brewing Company. Tickets are $30, or $5 for designated drivers, and include a commemorative glass. Proceeds from the event will go toward the construction of a red panda exhibit at the zoo, which has been delayed due to lack of funding.