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Best Bets: Five picks for this weekend

Oregon Honey and Mead Festival

Taste honey and mead from Oregon and honeys from all over the world at the sixth annual Oregon Honey Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Ashland Elks Lodge, 255 E. Main St. Taste varieties of honeys, meads, cheeses and chocolates. Watch how honey bees work together to raise their families and learn how honey and mead are made. Kids can make seed bombs and get hands-on experience with putting together hive components. There also will be live music and a silent auction. The festival is part of the Cascade Girl Organization’s Bee Weekend in Ashland. Admission to the festival is $10. Kids 8 and younger get into the festival free. See oregonhoneyfestival.com for tickets and information.

North Valley Soroptimist Garden Tour

Take a self-guided tour through six beautiful and diverse gardens in Medford and Phoenix from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Admission is $20, or $70 for carpool groups of four. For ticket information, see soroptimistinnorthvalley.com/garden-tour. Picnic tables will be available at two locations for those who wish to bring a lunch. The garden tour is the organization’s major fundraiser for the year, and proceeds go directly to benefit women and girls in the region. Call 541-890-7490.

Medieval Music

Musica Matrix will bring history to life through music in “Songs of the Sephardim,” featuring Judaic music of Medieval Spain, at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 18, in the Crystal Room of the Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main St., Ashland. The concert presents a broad range of instruments, such as the vielle, Arabic dulcimer, shawm and riq, and draws on two singers, both skilled interpreters in this genre, Lauren Pomerantz and Pat O’Scannell. Refreshments will be served, and wine by the glass will be available for purchase. Admission is $25 at the door. Children under age 12 get in free. Doors open 6:30 p.m. See musicamatrix.org or call 541-482-9757.


The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University Theatre program presents “Silkworms,” by Isabel Nelson and Anne Bertram. Set in 17th-century Italy, the play follows Dominican nuns as they resist the oppression of their distant male superiors, leading to a potentially fatal standoff that sparks a daring rebellion. The play was developed by Theatre Unbound of Minneapolis, which specializes in new work by and about women. Veteran Oregon Shakespeare Festival actress Terri McMahon directs. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, May 16-18, and May 23-25, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26, in the SOU Black Box Theatre, in the Theatre Arts Building, 491 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and free for students from any school. Tickets are available at oca.sou.edu/box-office or by calling 541-552-6348.

Rogue Valley Symphony

The symphony will present a free family concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. The concert features Lemony Snicket’s story “The Composer is Dead,” with music by Nathaniel Stookey. The orchestra, conductor Martin Majkut, narrator Robin Downward and the audience will work their way together through the mystery of what happened to the composer. Portions of the concert will be enhanced with Spanish translation. An instrument petting zoo will precede the concert at 1 p.m., where children can have a hands-on experience with the instruments of the orchestra. Admission is free. The concert is appropriate for children 7 and older. See rvsymphony.org or call 541-708-6400.

Martin Majkut. (Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell photo)
North Valley Soroptimist Garden Tour