Edible Monterey Bay

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November’s Indy Marketplace Celebrates Día de los Muertos with Fire Dancers and Hula Hoops

521677_511585095518267_369565077_nSand City’s “Indy,” as it’s come to be known, will celebrate the Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead on November 1st with fire-dancing, classical guitar music and a Hula Hoop Yogini.  You read that correctly. Jocelyn Gordon, whose website says she is an Ecstatic Embodiment Expert, has created a workout combining the classic plastic hoop with yoga, with an eye toward promoting healthy digestion and burning calories. 


That’s probably a good idea for those attending the food-centric monthly festival. One item on the menu this time is Wine and Brine, a flight of oysters and iced wines hosted by Local Catch Monterey, Santa Cruz Mountain Winery, and Le P’tit Paysan. According to Indy Manager Todd Champagne, Stone Creek Kitchen will be bringing “amazing pies” and Michael Jones’ Moveable Feast Catering will also be in attendance. Champagne calls the marketplace “refined and cutting edge with food at its heart,” inviting locals down to enjoy dinner at the food truck court from 4-9pm.  The Monterey Museum of Art will be hosting the kids’ corner and the non-profit partner for this month’s event is the Big Sur Land Trust.

Additional entertainment includes screenings of what Champagne called “The six freakiest films of the Big Sur International Film Festival,” and the opportunity to decorate a giant dream catcher. Fire dancing by returning artists Big SuRCuS should heat up the evening as well, making the Indy a night of family-friendly revelry, community, and sharing good food and drink.


Also new this month will be a $5 cover charge, which replaces the $5 suggested donation to one of the Indy’s nonprofit partners. According Patrick Orosco of the Orosco Group—owners of The Independent building in Sand City that gave the Marketplace its name—donations have been steadily declining from a high of $2,200 in the first month to a disappointing $124 in October.

According to Champagne, it costs about $10,000 to put on each month’s celebration; only part of that is recouped from vendor fees. Stating in a press release that the Indy was never intended to be free entertainment, Orosco announced the $5 charge. Kids under 15 will be admitted at no charge and a reduced rate of $3 will be charged for those with student ID. The food truck court will remain free to the public. Orosco wants people to think of the charge as a “monthly membership fee to the Independent community.”

458166_351815528231660_1335411274_o“They can think of it as 17 cents a day, or 75 cents a month for the last 7 months,” adds Champagne, emphasizing the low cost of helping to fund the event. “We hope they fixate more on what the event gives, than on the $5.00.”

And what of the Indy’s future? Orosco says the cover charge is a short-term fix, noting that: “The Orosco Group is now coordinating a fundraising drive, writing grants, seeking sponsorships, and engaging other community groups.”


“We are green, we are hand-made, we are socially conscious, we are local, we are sincere, we are optimistic, and guests’ support will move us toward our goal of being self-reliant,” he said.

About the author

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Elaine Hesser grew up in rural Pennsylvania and started cooking at age 6. By age 9, she'd made her first dinner and at midlife, is amazed when high school graduates can't scramble eggs. After the U.S. Army paid for her B.A., it also moved her to Monterey County, where she served on active duty at Ft. Ord and Ft. Hunter Liggett. She has a wide variety of interests, but is most passionate about faith, writing, and food - and encourages everyone never to stop learning and looking for truth.