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Music, dance and street fair celebrate the character of Cloverdale

"Live for today, plan for tomorrow, party tonight, party tonight." ― Drake

There's a palpable sense of re-emergence in Cloverdale this summer, as we all crawl out from under our Covid-times rocks and spend time with our friends and neighbors for the first time in many months. And who knows how to party hearty better than Cloverdale?

First up: Cloverdale's Friday Night Live is back! In addition to high-caliber party and dance music delivered by a variety of bands hailing from across the United States, FNL visitors will find many other attractions. Dinner is available from a variety of food vendors and nearby restaurants, and premium Sonoma County wines and craft beers can be purchased by the glass. Arts, crafts, and other locally made items are available, along with a variety of kids' activities, ensuring there is something for everyone! The Street Fair opens at 6:00 p.m., and music begins at 6:30.

Here's the line-up for July:

July 2 – Maxx Cabello Jr, Rhythm and Blues

July 9 – Kingsborough, Rock n Roll

July 16 – B-Side Players, Latin Global Funk

July 23 – Mestizo Beat Quintet, Afro-Latin Soul

July 30 – David Luning Band, Americana

For live theater aficionados, The Cloverdale Performing Arts Center staff and board members are hoping "The God of Hell" by Sam Shepard will be the first show back in the theater! Show times are Saturdays, July 17, 24, and 31 at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays July 18, 25, and Aug. 1 at 2 p.m.

"The God of Hell," directed by Athena Gundlach, is an uproarious, brilliantly provocative farce. Frank and Emma are a quiet, respectable couple who raise cows on their Wisconsin Farm. Soon after they agree to put up Frank's old friend Haynes, who is on the lam from a secret government project involving plutonium, they're visited by Welch, an unctuous government bureaucrat. His aggressive patriotism puts Frank, Emma, and Haynes on the defensive, transforming a heartland American Household into a scene of torture and promoting a radioactive brand of conformity with a dangerously low half-life.

July also brings Independence Day. It has been a long-standing and much appreciated annual tradition for the Cloverdale Lions Club to sponsor a live fireworks show at the football field at Cloverdale High. With its new artificial turf surface, the football field is no longer suitable, and last year, Lions had planned to hold the event at the baseball field instead. Amid Covid-19 concerns, they wisely canceled the event. According to a Lions Club spokesperson, this Independence Day, "We will have a fireworks show at the High School baseball field. Unfortunately, we will NOT be providing seating or any place to watch from."

Since the early 2000s, when the Cloverdale Fire Department became an independent fire district, the authority to approve the fireworks display has been the Cloverdale Fire Protection District's alone, and their decision to approve the display is determined on their evaluation of the fire risk on the day of the event. The City does not have the authority to regulate these types of events.

During this season of extraordinary drought, it is our opinion that a fireworks display and the sale of so-called "safe and sane" fireworks by the Lions and VFW carry unnecessary fire risk. It would be prudent of the Lions to again cancel the event. Certainly, the Covid risk has decreased, but fire risk remains extremely high, and the possibility of people from neighboring communities coming to party in our residential streets could also put a burden on our Police Department and the Fire District.

Feelings run deep on this issue. Perhaps one area on which many of us can agree is that our City Council Members, who we elect to represent us, and the City Manager and Police Chief should be included in making decisions about fireworks sales and shows in Cloverdale. Please encourage your City Council Members to instruct city staff to write a resolution to take this authority back from the Fire District.

Whatever your plans for the fourth, we wish you all a safe and celebrative Independence Day, full of friends, family, and fantastic food. Let's get this party started!

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