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Celebrating Memorial Day traditionally ... and less so.

Celebrating Memorial Day traditionally . . . and less so Especially this year, it's the solemn origin of Memorial Day that will be remembered. But the day also signals the start of summer, setting off some long-standing celebrations in northern California. Here are events from a few hours to an entire weekend to add to your holiday itinerary.

Cloverdale: Ram Sale and Sheep Dog Trial. For more than 60 years in this northern Sonoma County town, Border collies have herded sheep through an obstacle course and into a pen under the arching trees of the city park ball field. Owners signal dogs by gestures and whistles. This year's trials will be held on Saturday at 9; admission is free. Everyone breaks at midday for a lamb barbecue ($6.50 last year); a sheep auction follows.

From U.S. 101, take Second Street west several blocks to the park.

Columbia: Hildreth's Diggings. Today's state historic park was named for the man credited with founding the town. From 10 to 5 Thursday through Sunday, costumed docents--and a dozen tents, flimsy wood structures, and ramadas that re-create the general store, saloon, theater, laundry, and dentist's office--evoke the 1850s.

Columbia is 5 miles north of Sonora off State 49.

Felton: Civil War Memorial Battles & Encampment. At Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow-Gauge Railroad, nearly 500 costumed soldiers and their families show their camps to visitors and demonstrate firearms. They wage battle twice a day: Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 4:15, Monday at 11 and 2. It's the 10th annual encampment, the West's largest.

From State 17 north of Santa Cruz, take Mount Hermon Road northwest 4 1/2 miles to Graham Hill Road, then go left 1/2 mile. Parking costs $5.

Humboldt County: World Championship Great Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race. Lurching past Victorians, careening down sand dunes, churning across Humboldt Bay, some 50 pedal-powered works of art "race" on a 38-mile course. Here are some of the best vantage points.

Saturday: Race starts at noon in Arcata Plaza. It reaches Deadman's Drop at 1: take Samoa Boulevard west to parking area; it's a 15-minute walk to the dune site. From 1 to 3, racers parade through Old Town Eureka, winding up at Bayshore Mall between 5:30 and 8. Sunday: At 9 the race leaves the mall; between 1 and 3, craft splash out of Humboldt Bay to overnight at Camp Calistoga. From U.S. 101, take Hookton Road and continue out South Spit to the camp. Monday: At 9 the race resumes; it ends between 3 and 5 on Main Street in Ferndale.

For lodging and camping, call (800) 338-7352 in California, 346-3482 elsewhere.

Sacramento: Dixieland Jubilee. In 17 years, this Friday-through-Monday bash has mushroomed into the world's largest traditional jazz event. To get your bearings, organizers suggest heading first for Old Sacramento. It's where the event started, and it's still the focal point.

New this year are jazz versions of patriotic music from 10 to 4 at Cal Expo.

Festival hub is a trailer at Second and K streets; pick up tickets and details on free shuttles to the 46 sites--tents, a dock, hotels--and a schedule ($2) for the 119 bands. Depending on times and days, tickets cost $15 to $30; a four-day badge costs $65. For tickets and details, call (916) 372-5277 or write to STJS, 2787 Del Monte St., West Sacramento 95691.

San Francisco: Carnaval. It would be goosebumps-by-the-bay at real Mardi Gras time, so Rio-by-the-Bay is delayed to May for better bangles-and-feathers weather. The half-million celebrants expected along the Sunday parade route (24th Street from Bryant to Mission, down to 17th Street, and right to Harrison) also come for the musical groups; the parade runs 11 to 2. Buy bleacher seats ($15) as well as tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night balls through BASS/TicketMaster.

From 11 to 7 Saturday and Sunday, a food, music, and crafts fair lines Harrison between 17th and 21st. Take BART to the 16th and 24th Street stations.

Watsonville: Antique Fly-In. Five acres of winged nostalgia, 1,500 craft on the ground, and 4 hours of fly-bys and stunts on Saturday and Sunday fill both days. From World War I Jenny trainers to still-abuilding homemades, craft arrive on Friday. Saturday and Sunday, gates open at 7; Parade of Flight starts after noon.

Tickets cost $7, $3.50 ages 6 through 12 and seniors (less on Friday).

From Santa Cruz, take State 1 southeast 14 1/2 miles to the Airport Boulevard exit (just north of Watsonville).
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Title Annotation:Northern California
Date:May 1, 1991
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