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Sonoma County Gazette

Something for Everyone at the
Petaluma Art & Garden Festival

Jun 28, 2017
by Houston Porter


The Petaluma Art & Garden Festival returns for its 16th year, onSun, July 9, from 11am – 5pm, and as always, it’s free! If you haven’t been to one of Petaluma’s downtown closed-street festivals, this is one of the best.The HOTS, Soul Section, andJ Kevin Durkin will play on the two main stages, while visitors browse through wares from local crafters, artisans, and gardeners. There is also a free sidewalk chalk art competition. ( to register.)

An extensive list of Petaluma food purveyors will be on hand, including but not limited to, Quinua Cocina Peruana, Preferred Sonoma Caterers, Brixx, Rocky & Rosie Chicken, Fit For a King Caterers, Plaza Tequila, BBQBros, Dickey’s, and Trader Joe’s, with dessert by Wine by the Slice and Cold Stone Creamery. Adult beverages are available from Barber Cellars, Heidrun Meadery, 101 North Brewing, Lagunitas, Dempsey’s, Adobe Road Winery, Gowan Heirloom Ciders, and thePetaluma Grocery Outlet’s wine department. Sonoma Portworks will also be on hand, and if they are sampling their Norton Port, I highly recommend giving it a try. As an avid port drinker, I have tasted all kinds, but this one, made from America’s recently rediscovered historic Norton grape, is one of the most unique I’ve ever had. Unlike it’s sweet cousins, this one has a tantalizing tartness to it.

Following the Art & Garden Festival, head out Western Ave to Hermann Sons Hall for Purple Fiesta, which is this year’s theme for the Elim Lites Relay for Life annual fundraiser. The Elim Relay for Life teams include the Elim Lites, Elim Lites Too, and Elim Youth, who combined to raise over $40,000 in 2016 for theAmerican Cancer Society. Help them break that record in 2017 by attending Purple Fiesta at Hermann Sons Hall on Sun, July 9, from 4-7pm. I Emceed last year’s event, so I can attest to the fact that the silent auction items, Boozer Schooner raffle (winner receives a starter cellars worth of wine), great food (taco bar, cerveza and vino, and Que Rico desserts), live music, and purple costume contest all make for a great time, and are in support of a wonderful cause. For tickets call 707.762.4081 ($20 in advance/$25 at the door.).

Rivertown Revival is an unforgettable eco-friendly event, decorated with re-used, re-cycled and re-purposed materials. Hosted by Friends of the Petaluma River at Steamer Landing Park and the David Yearsley River Heritage Center on Sat, July 22, Rivertown Revival is an eclectic festival celebrating Petaluma and it’s River. Enjoy great music, art boat races, delicious local food, beer, creative vendors, a large interactive area for kids, and costumes galore, so come dressed as yourself or any odd, beautiful, ugly or avant-garde character you want. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Petaluma River and its mission to conserve and celebrate The Greatest Slough on Earth! Tickets are $15 ($5 for kids) at

Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers will run through Sept 25 at the Petaluma Historic Library and Museum, (20 4th St, Petaluma). Curated by Petaluma maven Paula Freund, this exhibit is a must-see. From the past, into the present, the Petaluma Arts Center is running their Face of Petaluma exhibit through Aug 5, in conjunction with the Petaluma Museum. This project is a collection of recently photographed Petalumans, many of which you are sure to know, taken by a plethora of Petaluma photographers.(

The North Bay Rowing Club held the first of its three summer Adult-Learn-to-Row classes in June and the July class is already sold out, but there are still seats available for the August class. Held on Sat, Aug 5 and Sun, Aug 6, from 9am – 12:30pm, this is a great way learn about rowing, while enjoying a great weekend floating along Petaluma’s biggest park. If you find that rowing is your thing, graduates of this “Learn to Row” class can get further instruction in sculling through individual or group lessons, including NBRC’s “Novice Practices”, which meets 3 times a week. The cost is $150, with more info at

Windrush Farm offers a true farm experience for kid campers. Children learn how to take care of chickens, goats, sheep, alpacas and dogs, by collecting eggs, learning to milk, and harvesting veggies in order to strengthen their understanding of where our food comes from. Favorite activities also include searching for tadpoles in the pond, herding the sheep, writing stories, felting with wool, and singing goofy songs. Camp sessions are Mon-Thur, from 9am – 3pm, with a pizza party around the wood-fired outdoor oven on Thursday to celebrate all the great work the kids have done. to sign up for the summer’s remaining session.


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