Fertile Ground, the city-wide arts festival of new works, blasts off this weekend! ARE YOU READY?? You can check out my article about the festival in this week's Arts section, and here are a few choice events happening this weekend.

Festival Kick-off Party (with Baby Ketten Karaoke!): Mingle with the festival organizers and artists, belt out some rock ballads, grab a bite and enjoy special Fertile Ground-themed drink specials from Curious Comedy's full bar.

I Was a Fat Kid... I Was a Really Fat Kid: local musician and storyteller Nathaniel Boggess is going to tell you all about growing up overweight in Appalachia... which is something I've never done, have you? His promo videos make me hungry. I'd suggest eating a slice of pizza before the show.

My Mind is Like an Open Meadow: Hand2Mouth member Erin Leddy's show incorporates recordings of her grandmother talking about her life, songs performed live, and you. Check out the video trailer here.

#smarter_than_phones: Fuse Theatre Ensemble brings social media to the stage with an interactive performance (leave your phones on! bring your laptop!) that aims to "explore the drama (and melodrama) that is the status update.

The Shadow Testament: Playwright Susan Mach's play tells the fascinating story of one woman's involvement with the nudist "Holy Rollers" cult and how "things got weird," landing her in a mental institution. It hits close to home, based on true incidents in spooky Oregon history.

The Whole Entire Package: So there's this show... I don't know if you'll like it, supposedly it's some double feature of "funny" plays or whatever, and I'm in it, but who cares? So yeah, be sure to miss that.

Tickets for each event are available at the door or through the Fertile Ground website, but a $50 festival pass gets you in to every event of the festival (that's less than a dollar a show if you can somehow make it to all 68). You can also pick up free "Dig It" buttons around town which, when flashed at the door, get you a discount (usually at least $2 off) at most festival events.

That should keep you busy for the next few days. Look for more picks here next week!