Jul 29, 2019
by Houston Porter
I always laugh when Bay Area hardware stores put their BBQ’s on sale because the “season is coming to an end”, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s always BBQ season. With the Petaluma wind gap in full-effect, our evening temps in the summer are not that far off of what our winter temps are. I feel the same way about ice cream – weather is not a factor in my consideration whether it’s time to enjoy ice cream or not. Same with BBQ. For the record, it’s always a good time to BBQ and eat ice cream, but I digress.
However, for many, summer is BBQ “season” and to that end, I want to revisit last month’s shout-out to War Wagon BBQ here in Petaluma. I had tried them at a couple of events and was so impressed that I ended up using them for a catering job. We were fast approaching the Independence Day weekend and the Petaluma Yacht Club was slated to have our monthly meeting and dinner. Instead of just throwing burgers and dogs on the grill and doing potluck sides, I thought a real celebration was in order and so dialed up War Wagon BBQ.
Vanessa Maselli was totally on top of it and not only made all the arrangements, but even brought salads and went the extra mile and grilled up some veggies for the couple of vegetarians in our group. We feasted on smoked brisket, ribs and chicken, along with cowboy beans, mac n’ cheese and grilled veggies. Having the War Wagon’s smoker/grill trailer in front of our clubhouse pushed the coolness factor way up there but the food and service were what really made this a phenomenal dinner.
As a professionally trained chef, Vanessa is constantly posting photos of dishes you would never guess could be cooked in a smoker or on a grill. The diversity of dishes available is truly spectacular. I’ve even seen photos of them making paella and smoked apple hand pies. You can reach them through their Facebook page to cater your next party. In fact, one of our older members, who is a little concerned that her kids may not have as big enough party for her funeral swore that after tasting War Wagon BBQ, she is putting it in her will that they will be hired to cater her final party.
So long as we are talking about warm summer nights, the Petaluma Speedway is also known as Candlestick North because it can get bone-chilling cold once the sun goes down and so can no longer offset the evening winds. We have our regular winter gear, including gloves, skullcaps and blankets but it sure is nice to attend the races on a warm Saturday summer evening, of which we may only have a few more left. For this reason, and because you just never know how much longer we will have this unique historic family entertainment available to us, I encourage everyone to either hit the races again before the season is over, or give the races a first try. I promise that it is much more entertaining in person than it is to just hear the engines roaring from your backyard. Plus, the kids will love it and will think back fondly on the memories of mom and dad taking them to the Petaluma races. Visit www.petaluma-speedway.com for more info and the rest of the season’s dates.
The 12th Annual Petaluma Music Festival is Saturday, August 3, at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. and music running through 9:30 p.m. The four stages will feature everyone from the Mother Hips to the Grain to Royal Jelly Jive to Sebastian Saint James. VIP tickets are already sold out but general admission is still available for $55, with kids 12 and under getting free admission with a paid adult. Students 13 to 17 years old can purchase $20 tickets at the door. Along with a wonderful kids area, there will be a variety of specialty food and merchandise vendors, Lagunitas beer for purchase, free drinking water and a “fantastic silent auction and celebrity autographed guitar raffle” as well as an area for artist meet-and-greets, autographs and artist merchandise.
The Petaluma Music Festival is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to keeping music in our schools and has done a bang-up job of doing so over the past 11 years. Last year alone, the Petaluma Music Festival donated over $60,000 to Petaluma area public school music programs and over the past 11 years has donated over $325,000, thanks in large part to the many sponsors that help them fund this event. For tickets and info on line-ups, what you can and can’t bring in, etc., visitwww.petalumamusicfestival.org.
The City of Petaluma will host a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Presentation on Monday, August 12 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Hotel Petaluma Ballroom at 205 Kentucky Street. “In order to reduce the risk of wild fires, PG&E will turn off power in certain areas during times of extreme fire danger. This type of power outage is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff, or PSPS.” The presentation is meant to help business learn more about PG&E’s power shutoff strategy. “Following the presentation, the city will facilitate a discussion about how businesses can (and should) prepare for power shutoffs. For planning purposes, please RSVP by email to Petaluma Economic Development Specialist Nancy Sands at email@example.com .” More info: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-power-shutoff-faq.page
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