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Sonoma County Gazette
Healdsburg Highlights by Barbara Barrielle - August 2017

Tourism, Music and early Grape Harvest in Our Home Town

Aug 1, 2017
by Barbara Bariellle


Sometimes it takes being away to make you appreciate home more. After five days in LA working on an upcoming film and another four at Comic-con in San Diego, Healdsburg and her serenity was a welcome beacon.

History of Tourism in Healdsburg

There is a lot of opinion-making about tourism right now. Whatever your thoughts, head to the  Healdsburg Museum for the latest exhibit on the history of tourism in our small town. Tourism is nothing new whether it be city folks to the cooling Russian River in the early 20th century or wine lovers to the area in the early 21st century.

While it can be frustrating not to find parking, this is not always an issue of out of town visitors. It can make you crazy and weekends are definitely a but painful, but tourists are only part of the problem. Visitors bring money and jobs to the area and we have to learn to grow with demand and, in many ways, embrace it.

Businesses that have been here for decades still struggle in the off season and tourism helps small businesses to thrive. Attracting visitors year round is probably the best solution but there will always be times when we feel the discomfort of too many people. Opinions are a great communication tool but we should all try to use them as a tool and not a weapon. You may cringe at the sight of a tourist but your neighbor may welcome the same tourist with open arms.

And there is no lack of activities for us natives! The  Tuesday night Music on the Plaza is thriving and a quick look around will show these concert goers are locals and they are loving it. A new Sunday program expands the fun but you are sure to see a few out-of-towners, which is a great time to get to know someone new!

As I write this, I am looking forward to the first  Art After Dark on the fourth Friday of the next three months. Local artists in all media will be showcased as well as local food and wine. Cloverdale is giving Healdsburg a run for its Friday night fun with their wildly popularFriday Music Nights so Healdsburg is fighting back. Hope to see you at the next two fourth Friday Art After Dark events.

Early Grape harvest?

These hot days have been tough on many people but grapes are thriving and harvest is sure to be early and invigorating. Whites and reds will be fighting for tank space and this is a time when I, for one, am continually impressed with the hard work in the vineyards, the skills of the winemakers, the nerves of the growers and the project management in the winery. These are days with little sleep and lots of camaraderie. I find the way everyone, from the grape pickers to the winery owners, comes together as a cohesive and hard-working unit is the most impressive facet of crush. Always amazing.

ENJOY the Glory of Our Home. Please follow the Healdsburg Chamber, the  Alexander Valley Film Society, the different AVAs and your favorite wineries for all of the late summer and early fall activities. And enjoy Healdsburg for all of her facets and be happy such a place exists. As I tell me friends in LA, you don’t have to live in this city of traffic and stress. I have seen the other side and I am staying!


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