Though summer is quietly slipping out the back door as you read this, be assured that there’s no shortage of fall fun on the horizon. What follows are some standout selections sure to amplify your autumnal experience.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair Grand Tasting Event
It’s no secret that Sonoma County is home to some of the best wines and wineries in the world. The Sonoma County Harvest Fair will showcase unparalleled palate-pleasers from over 100 wineries. Come find a new favorite blend or single grape wine, and sample till the heart is full and the buzz is perfect. Saturday, Oct.15 from 1-4pm at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. www.harvestfair.org
An annual musical gathering on Mt. Tamalpais, Sound Summit is a unique festival in a breathtaking location that San Francisco Chronicle has called “a day of restorative celebration.” Produced as an annual celebration of and fundraiser for Mount Tamalpais State Park by Roots & Branches Conservancy, Sound Summit is held at the historic Mountain Theater, with stunning views of San Francisco Bay. This year’s festival includes The War On Drugs, Fruit Bats and Faye Webster. The festival is Saturday, Oct. 22 at 11am at the Mountain Theater, Easy Grade Trail, Mill Valley. www.soundsummit.net
Sonoma Harvest Music Festival
Held at gorgeous B.R. Cohn Winery, nestled between the Mayacamas Mountain range and Sonoma Mountain, the Sonoma Harvest Music Festival brings big acts to a smaller stage, for those who don’t love a major crowd but do love a majorly good time. This year, the lineup includes acts like Phantogram, Portugal. The Man and K.Flay, plus an inimitable offering of wines, craft beers and artisanal California food. Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9, 11am-7pm at B.R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen. www.sonomaharvestmusicfestival.com
Petaluma River Craft Beer Fest
The art of beer and the Petaluma slough—I can’t think of a nicer combination. Neither can the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce and the Petaluma Rotary Club, and that’s why they’re hosting the Petaluma River Craft Beer Fest. Come sample Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Crooked Goat, Fogbelt and more. Live music by Randy & the Special Agents and Petaluma Pete will keep the energy rocking. Bring sunscreen and water; it’s going to be a hot, sudsy, fun fest. Saturday, Sept. 10 from 1-5pm on Water Street by the river in historic Petaluma. www.petalumarivercraftbeerfest.org
The revue is not a usual show. Think vaudeville, circus and storytelling combined, with a fair amount of clowning around. Hilarious and cutting satire, stunning musical numbers and heartfelt tales are all woven together to connect audience and performers alike. Led by Mistress of Ceremonies Wysteria McBrylcreem, with stage band Big B and his Cityslickers, and the irreverent interludes of Clowns On A Stick, plus guest performers both local and visiting. Shows are September 8, 9 and 10 at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, 15290 Coleman Valley Rd. www.oaec.org
One Mind Music Festival for Brain Health
Not only is Napa a number one destination for wine and food, it’s also a hot spot for brain science. Yep, that’s right. This fall is the 28th One Mind Music Festival for Brain Health, including music from Jewel and Hunter Hayes. Also on tap is an interactive scientific symposium on brain health from leading experts such as Dr. Regina E. Dugan, PhD, president & CEO of Wellcome Leap, and Dr. Christopher M. Palmer, MD, of the Harvard Medical School. Saturday, Sept. 10 from 12-8:30pm. For tickets and information, visit www.music-festival.org.
Napa Valley Film Festival, the legendary festival that blends the art of film, food and wine together in one delicious event, presents Cinema Calistoga, hosted at Mount View Hotel and Spa in Calistoga. The event includes three separate film screenings, each paired with three course meals inspired by the films, from local chefs including Rebecca White-Keefe, Nicholas Montanez and Doctor Dread. The series begins Wednesday, Sept. 7 and runs through Friday, Sept. 9. Dinner at 6pm, film at 7:30pm. For tickets and information, visit www.napavalleyfilmfest.org.
Clubs & Venues
A classic music venue delivering lively performances, HopMonk welcomes Bay-Area based singer songwriter Megan Slankard as she debuts her new song, “California,” the breakup song written as a “gentle reminder of why it might not be the best idea to date a songwriter,” according to Slankard. This is the first release from her forthcoming album, California & Other Stories, coming Oct. 28. Slankard performs Saturday, Oct. 8 at HopMonk Tavern, 224 Vintage Way, Novato. Show starts at 6pm. www.hopmonk.com
Oxbow Public Market
A keystone of downtown Napa, Oxbow Public Market is brimming with Napa’s best in food and wine, and boasts an outdoor deck with seating along the Napa River. It’s 40,000 square feet of good, local Epicureanism. And this fall Oxbow is hosting live music, on the last Wednesday of every month, starting at the end of August with blues rock trio Riverfront District Aug. 31. 6:30-8:30pm. For information, visit www.oxbowpublicmarket.com.
The Big Easy
A little hip hop—or a lot of hip hop—is just what the doctor ordered this fall. The Petaluma bar is hosting “Manifest Your Destiny,” a North Bay hip hop showcase series presented by Decolonized Mindz Entertainment. The brainchild of hip hop artist and promoter Damion Square in collaboration with Josh Windmiller of The Crux, “Manifest Your Destiny” showcases and brings together a diverse range of artists from the North Bay. Check out Tru Lyric, Simoné Mosely, D. square, KingLung and Eki’Shola. Friday, Sept. 9 at The Big Easy, 128 American Alley, Petaluma. 7pm. www.bigeasypetaluma.com
An awesome new addition to the Sonoma County culinary and nightlife scene, Little Saint has an incredible lineup this fall season, including musical performances, book-signings and conversations with local thought leaders, and a rotating exhibition of art shows. Langhorne Slim, Lucy Dacus, a Sonoma Land Trust Dinner and a Saint Joseph’s Holiday Bazaar are all on the menu. Check out www.littlesainthealdsburg.com for tickets and more information.
Green Music Center
The performing arts center for Sonoma State University, the Green Music Center is committed to providing artistic inspiration through year-round programming, and serves as home to the Sonoma State University music department, the Santa Rosa Symphony and Sonoma Bach. Music lovers, look no further. This fall, catch such acts as Aida Cuevas, Sacre, Cantus Song of the Universal and more. For tickets and information, visit www.gmc.sonoma.edu.
Sweetwater Music Hall
From 1972, when Sweetwater opened in a rustic Mill Valley storefront, to today, this music hall provided stellar shows and great times to the Marin County community. In 2007, the original Sweetwater closed its doors, but five years later it reopened in Corte Madera. There, it continues to keep the old vibes alive, providing great music, food and vibes. This fall, catch such acts as Antibalas and Bill and the Belles. For tickets and information, visit www.sweetwatermusichall.com.
The Blue Note Napa
A live jazz club, music venue and gourmet restaurant on the first floor of the Napa Valley Opera House, The Blue Note Napa “seamlessly blends the quintessential Greenwich Village jazz club experience—an intimate atmosphere where the stage is so close to you that you feel as if the performers are playing in your very own living room—mixed with the Northern California wine country ambiance and the historic architecture of the nineteenth century Napa Valley Opera House.” (bluenotnapa.com) This fall, Brendan James, The California Honeydrops and more are scheduled to play. For tickets and information, visit www.bluenotenapa.com.
Arts & Exhibitions
Sonoma Plein Air Art Show
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Sonoma Plein Air Festival, where art lovers and artists can wander through an outdoor art show and sale, celebrating the practice of outdoor painting and benefiting arts and creativity in the Sonoma Valley. Held on the beautiful Sonoma Plaza, this event includes artists’ demonstrations, live music and art activities for all ages. All artists’ paintings “en plein air” are on display and available for purchase. The show is Sept. 10 in the Sonoma Plaza, 453 First Street East, Sonoma. 5-7pm. See www.sonomavalley.com for more information.
Hilos Visibles/Visible Threads, A Latino/x Community Project & Exhibit
The Napa Valley Latino Heritage Committee, Napa County Historical Society and St. Helena Historical Society have partnered to showcase the rich Hispanic heritage of the Napa Valley through quilt squares, banners, papel picado and quilts, in the show “Hilos Visables/Visible Threads.” The exhibition opens Oct. 7 at the Napa Historical Society and Oct. 14 at the St. Helena Historical Society. For information, visit www.napacountyhispanicnetwork.org.
Sonoma County Arts Trails
One hundred sixteen professional artists open their studios for two weekends this fall, inviting the public to explore the beauty of Sonoma County and the incredible artistic talent housed within it. Come meet the myriad painters, sculptors, ceramicists and photographers, and collect their exceptional art works. Studios open from Sept. 24 to 25, and Oct. 1 to 2, 10am-5pm. Visit www.sonomacountytrails.org.
Marin Arts and Crafts Show
Hosted at the newly renovated Marin Center, this show brings together 200 artists, artisans and purveyors in celebration of handcrafts. The three-day show encompasses all handcrafted media—jewelry, clothing, woodwork, ceramics, artwork, paper arts, specialty foods, antiquities and more. Come explore products made with exceptional detail by hand, and marvel at the human ability! And perhaps, for the early planner, pick up some holiday gifts? Friday through Sunday, Nov. 4-6, at the Marin Exhibit Center, 10 Ave of the Flags, San Rafael. 10am to 6pm Fri-Sat and 10am-5pm Sun. www.artsandcraftsshow.com
Bringing arts programming to Marin County year-round, Bolinas Museum is hosting its 30th Annual Benefit Art Auction Last Call Cocktail Party this fall. Held at the Peace Barn in Bolinas, the event features fine wines, great food, live music and excellent company while bidding on art to support the ongoing efforts of Bolinas Museum. Find work from Yaz Krehbiel, Kathleen Lipinski, Dharma Strasser MacColl, Tom Marioni, Alicia McCarthy and more. Saturday, Sept. 10 from 4-6:30pm. See www.bolinasmuseum.org for tickets and information.