Hot Summer Guide

Summer lovin' is happening so fast

Well, that went quick. Winter is gone and spring’s days are numbered. Here comes summer. Are you ready? We are. We even made this guide for you so you won’t miss any of the good times. Have fun out there.


Oysterpalooza Celebrate the bivalve by eating everything oyster, with a heavy bent on the cuisine of New Orleans. Live music by the T Sisters, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Arann Harris & the Farm Band and others make this an event to remember. May 24 at Rocker Oysterfeller’s. 14415 Hwy. 1, Valley Ford. Noon. $20 (does not include food). 707.876.1983.

BottleRock The biggest concert festival to hit Napa since, well, last year, returns. This year includes headliners Imagine Dragons, No Doubt, Robert Plant, Foster the People, Passion Pit, Snoop Dogg and others. Too many groups to
list here. May 29–31 at the Napa Valley Expo Center. 575 Third St.,
Napa. $129–$3,000.

Free Concerts at Montgomery Village Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Village Shopping Center offers a free, three-month-long music series that kicks off May 23 with Santana tribute band Caravanserai. Look for afternoon and evening shows with bands like Sh-Boom, Paperback Writer, Lavay Smith and Wonderbread 5. Go to for a full list or call 707.545.3844.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival Sound the trumpets and walk that bass right on up to Healdsburg for the 16th annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival. There are over a dozen concerts scheduled, and this year features the Ed Reed Quartet: Tribute to John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, the Cookers: An All-Star Group, Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet with Jackie Ryan and others. The festival ends on Sunday with the St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band, the Dixie Giants, the Russian River Ramblers at Dry Creek Vineyard, and the George Cables Trio with guest Craig Handy at the Raven Theater. Concerts take place May 29–June 7 at various locations in and around Healdsburg. Prices vary. 707.433.4633.

Long Meadow Ranch Concert Series This music series leans toward folk and Americana, with a lineup that includes Brett Dennen (May 30), an Independence Day concert and fireworks with Cabinet (July 4), Hot Buttered Rum (Aug. 16) and the Infamous Stringdusters (Aug. 20). June 15–Aug. 24 at Long Meadow Ranch Winery. 738 Main St., St. Helena. 3:30pm each day.
$25–$45. 877.963.4555.

Sonoma Arts Live Community musicals and plays produced by local companies take center stage at this series of performances. Noises Off! runs through May 31 and Little Murders follows will shows running June 11–28. Then it’s Jake’s Women by Neil Simon, July 9–26, and Proof from Aug. 20–Sept. 6. Performances at the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall at the Sonoma Community Center,
276 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

Mill Valley Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting Organizers predict the 34th year of this festival will break attendance records, with over a thousand people expected to peruse the latest food trends and fine wines Mill Valley has to offer. Live music, too! Proceeds benefit local nonprofits. May 31 at Depot Plaza. Downtown Mill Valley. 1–4pm. $50–$60. Age 21 and over only. 415.388.9700.


Sonoma County Pride Celebration What’s not to love about a party whose theme is “Equality Everywhere”? Festivities start on Friday, June 5, with a First Friday Art Walk through downtown Guerneville and continue on Saturday with canoe, barbecue, music, games and flicks at the Rio Beach Party and Rio Theater. The Equality Everywhere Celebration parade and pride festival take place on Sunday 11am–6pm. $5.

Live at Lagunitas Everyone’s favorite Sonoma County brewery has lots of music on tap this summer. Starting out the season June 1 is Trampled by Turtles. Other performers include James McMurtry, Delta Spirit, Shovels & Rope, Pokey Lafarge and an extra-special secret show Aug. 10. Tickets on sale three weeks before each show on the bands’ websites. 707.769.4495. for more info.

Country Summer Now in its third year, County Summer is
the biggest country music event
in the North Bay and it runs
June 5–7 this year. The event will be held at the five-acre carnival field at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, and features musicians like Jake Owen, the Band Perry, Cassadee Pope and Trace Adkins. One-day passes start at $69. 707.543.0100.

Railroad Square Music Festival North Bay Hootenanny brings back the Railroad Square Music Festival for its fifth year on June 7. The Brothers Comatose headline the show with support from the T Sisters, Frankie Boots & the County Line, John Courage, Rainbow Girls and many more. Free entry. Food, beer, stuff to buy and a circus tent too. Come on down. 707.326.5274.

Art at the Source More than 160 artists in dozens of studios throughout western Sonoma County are open to the public during two weekends, June 6–7 and June 13–14. Celebrating its 21st anniversary, Art at the Source invites artists to open their studios for the public to see their creative processes. Maps can be found at or at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol. Free. 707.829.4797.

Peggy Sue’s All-American Cruise Four days of classic Ameri–car–na in Santa Rosa begins Thursday with a cruise-in at 4pm followed by a chili and pasta cook-off Friday at 6pm, with entertainment that includes the Hot Rods Band and Peggy Sue’s Pin–Up Contest. Saturday starts with a pancake breakfast and continues with classic cars on display. Saturday and Sunday feature hundreds of classic cars, ’50s music, Elvis and Wolfman Jack impersonators and more. Many festival goers dress in ’50s attire. June 11–14. at A Place to
Play Park. 2375 W. Third St., Santa Rosa. Times vary each day. $6–$30.

Huichica Festival Two days of music, food and wine with a folk lineup that includes Allah-Las, Amen Dunes, Jessica Pratt, Sonny & the Sunsets, the Fresh and Onlys, the Donkeys, DJ Andy Cabic and others. KronnerBurger, Q Craft, Bicycle Banh Mi and Happy Moose Juice highlight the culinary options. June 12–13 at Gundlach Bundschu Winery. 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. June 13, 6pm; June 14, noon. $30–$120. 707.938.5277.


Novato Festival of Art, Wine & Music Two-day live music fest features area crafters, good things to eat and drink, a wine garden and live music on two stages. Musical acts include the James Harman Band, HowellDevine, Moustache Harbor, Ridgeway Space Station, Kelly McFarling, Arann Harris & the Farm Band on Saturday; and Levi Lloyd and friends, Mojo Rising, Jeff Campbell, the Brothers Comatose on Sunday. A children’s area, delicious food, boutique wines and art line the streets of Novato June 13–14. Old Town Novato, on Grant between Redwood Avenue and Seventh Street. Free. 415.472.1553.

Cotati Jazz Festival The town with bumper stickers reading “Keep Cotati Weird” celebrates the 34th anniversary of the Cotati Jazz Fest with music, food, beer and dancing. This event encompasses musical and nonmusical venues in downtown Cotati with the main acts slated for La Plaza Park. Main stage this year includes Dave Haskell, Charged Particles and Swing Fever. Check individual venues for other bookings. La Plaza Park, downtown Cotati. June 15. Noon–5pm. Free.

Sonoma-Marin Fair This year’s music lineup features Tower of Power (June 24), The Beach Boys (June 25), Rodney Atkins (June 26), and wraps up with country music star Tanya Tucker (June 27). Don’t forget the classics too: the world’s ugliest dog contest, destruction derby, carnival rides, fair food and livestock. Petaluma Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. June 18–22. Noon to midnight. $15, adults; $10, kids and seniors (under three, free). Tickets include rides.

Broadway Under the Stars Presented each year by Transcendence Theatre Company, some of the brightest stars in Hollywood and on Broadway come to perform in the affable night air in Jack London State Park. On the schedule this year are Oh What
a Night! (June19–21, 26–28;
July 2–3), Fantastical Family Night (July 17–18), Rhythm of Life (Aug. 7–8, 14–16, 21–23) and the Gala Celebration (Sept. 11–13) in the outdoor winery ruins at Jack London State Park. 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. Pre-show picnic at 5pm; concerts begin at 7:30pm. $29–$125. 877.424.1414.

Sierra Nevada World Music Fest The world is a big place, so a world-music festival, by default, must also be big. This festival doesn’t disappoint, with dozens of musical acts and a summer solstice celebration. Artists at this year’s festival include Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Third World, Common Kings, Yellowman, Taj Weekes,
No-Maddz and others. June 20–22 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville. All three days, $60–$170; limited camping available. 916.777.5550.

Rodney Strong Concert Series The 24th annual Summer Concert Series in the sunny grasslands behind vineyard features adult contemporary favorites and music legends. This year’s lineup includes Rick Braun (June 20), Kenny G (June 28), Kenny Loggins (July 25) Randy Newman (Aug. 15), George Benson (Sept. 5) and others. Rodney Strong Vineyards,
11455 Old Redwood Hwy., Healdsburg. $50–$115. 707.869.1595.

Days of Wine & Lavender Sip whites and reds among the blooming fields of lavender at a hillside winery. Food pairings and live music too. June 27 at Matanzas Creek Winery. 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Noon–4pm. $75–$95.

San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival More than 40,000 folks converge on downtown San Anselmo each year—hungry, thirsty, craft-starved folks. As usual, a section of the fest will include over 200 artists and their various works. There will also be food booths, wine, a merchant marketplace, an emphasis on live music and a kids’ area. June 27–28. San Anselmo Avenue between Bolinas and Tamalpais streets. 10am–6pm. 415.454.2510.

Kate Wolf Music Festival This festival always draws excellent musical acts to honor the work of late singer-songwriter Kate Wolf. This year includes performances by Smokey Robinson, Angelique Kidjo, Steve Earle and the Dukes, Judy Collins, Iron and Wine, Playing for Change and many others. Camping is the best way to experience this festival. June 25–28 at Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. $40–$230. Children under nine admitted free.

California Beer Festival This traveling festival pits brewmasters against each other for the benefit of the beer-loving public. The best brewers in the Golden State bring their finest ales, stouts, porters, pilsners, saisons, lagers and more in hopes of taking home a medal or two. June 20 at Stafford Lake. Novato Boulevard, Novato. 12:30–5pm. $25–$70.

Russian River Valley Passport The Russian River Valley is know for its world-class wines, and this wine weekend celebrates that legacy with library tastings, food pairings and more. Over 30 wineries in the region open their doors for unlimited tasting on June 27–28. 11am to 4pm. $65.

Mondavi Winery Summer Music Fest After 46 years, you’d think this concert series would slow down, but there’s no sign of that happening. The series kicks off this year with the Wallflowers plus special guest Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (July 4), Phillip Phillips (July 11), Lyle Lovett & His Large Band (July 18), Melissa Etheridge (July 25) and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Aug. 1) at Robert Mondavi Winery. 7801 St. Helena Hwy., Oakville. Dinner available. $55–$225. 888.769.5299.


Marin County Fair This year’s fair vies to fulfill its theme of “On With the Show!” In addition to traditional fair exhibits and events, concerts this year include rock legends Kansas (July 1), San Diego–based reggae group Tribal Seeds (July 2), La Misa Negra
(July 3), The Marshall Tucker Band (July 3), Queen Nation (July 4), Pablo Cruise (July 4), Judy Collins (July 5) and R&B singer Aaron Neville (July 5). July 1–5 at the Marin County Fairgrounds, adjacent to the Marin Center. Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $13–$15; under four, free. 415.499.6400.

Fourth of July with Santa Rosa Symphony Broadway and TV star Megan Hilty and the Santa Rosa Symphony bring America’s spirit to life with this program of patriotic mainstays. The indoor-outdoor concert concludes with fireworks and offers a kids’ zone with games and carnival attractions. July 4 at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. The lawn opens at 4:30pm. 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 7:30pm. $25–$50. 866.955.6040.

Napa County Fair Farm fun, ride, clowns, an ice cream churn-a-ment, crazy cupcake decorating—this fair’s got it all, in one svelte day of blistering excitement. Culminating in fireworks and a ’60s Summer of Love spectacular in the evening, the fun starts with a parade at 11am through downtown Calistoga. July 4 at the Napa County Fair. 1435 North Oak St., Calistoga. Noon–9:30pm. $5–$25.

Petaluma Art & Garden Festival The festival celebrates its 14th year of downtown art, music, food and fun on Kentucky and Fourth streets. Presented by the Petaluma Downtown Association, Look for local eats, beer and wine and plenty of music. This year’s music line-up includes Zebop! Tribute to Santana and Bobby Jo Valentine with more to be announced closer to the event. The vendor booths offer unique items including: rusty signs, potting tables, gardening accessories, and other charming items for the home and garden, plus animal mobiles and fun fairy clothing for the wee ones. The event includes the annual chalk art competition. July 12. 11am–5pm. 707.762.9348.


Festival del Sole Ten days,
100 wineries and over 60 events make up this celebration of fine arts in liquid, food and music
in the Napa Valley. This year features singers Deborah Voigt and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, jazz by Herb Alpert and Lani Hall and many other world-famous artists. July 17–26 at various venues in the Napa Valley. $39–$249.

Sonoma County Fair Celebrating 79 years, this year’s theme is
“Down on the Farm,” offering the largest themed flower show in the country and horse racing, rodeo, destruction derby and agriculture. Separate admission is required for some events. Concerts include Montgomery Gentry & Thompson Square (Aug. 4) and Bridgit Mendler (Aug. 5). Destruction derby Aug. 1; monster truck show Aug. 8–9; rodeo July 25; flower show preview,
July 23, 5:30pm. Fair runs July 24 through Aug. 9. Horse racing: July 30–Aug. 2, Aug. 6–Aug. 9, Aug. 14–16. Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
1375 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $5–$11; children under six
are free. Event tickets, $10–$60.

KWMR Ninth Annual Far West Fest Voted best music festival in Marin County, this annual green festival boasts three stages with several genres including funk, blues, country, rock and experimental. July 25 at Love Field. 11191 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Point Reyes Station. 10am–7pm. $25–$75.

Sixteenth Annual San Rafael Twilight Criterium Downtown San Rafael is transformed into a bike racetrack as pros take over the main downtown streets. No waiting for hours to see cyclists pass in seconds, here—this 1km loop brings the action back around right away while a DJ pumps fat beats and your beer disappears faster than you thought it would. Several races with different age groups. Register to ride by July 25, or just show up and watch. Fourth and C streets, San Rafael. July 25, 1–10pm.

Reggae on the River Presented by the Mateel Community Center, the 31st annual incarnation of this laid–back festival features Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Cham, Collie Buddz, Emmanuel Jah, Empress Unification with the Fyah Squad Band and many others. July 31–Aug. 2 at French’s Camp. Highway 101, Piercy. $200 (three–day) to
$250 (four–day) 707.923.3368.

Petaluma Music Festival The eighth annual festival features a healthy mix of national and local artists on three stages: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Nahko & Medicine for the People, the Wood Brothers, Rainbow Girls and others. July 31–Aug. 1 at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. Noon. $35–$85.

West of West Wine Festival Celebrating the wines of the Sonoma Coast, this fourth annual festival takes place this year at the Barlow in Sebastopol. Winery-hosted dinners, seminars and, of course, tastings highlight this three-day festival. July 31–Aug. 2 at various wineries and locations around Sebastopol. $100–$475. 888.878.9645.


Music in the Vineyards Now kicking off its 21st season, this chamber-music festival brings together nearly 40 renowned classical musicians from around the world. This year features violinist Francesca Anderegg, cellists Nick Canellakis, pianist Jon Kimura Parker and many others. Aug. 1–24. Various locations in the Napa Valley. $50–$534.

Gravenstein Apple Fair
Billed as the “sweetest little
fair in Sonoma County” the fair
will feature local food (like Gravenstein apples, of course),
live music and crafts. Look for
the cider-brew-wine tent, chef
tent and the new cheesemakers’ tent. Aug. 8–9. 10am–5pm at
Ragle Ranch Park.

Napa Valley Art Festival A celebration of fine visual art continues for a seventh year in the heart of downtown Yountville. Works by over 25 artists will be on display. Sip Napa Valley wines and taste other delicacies while listening to live music. Aug. 15 in downtown Yountville. 10am–4pm. Free.

Cotati Accordion Festival An international cavalcade of stars takes the stage at the 24th annual Cotati Accordion Festival, including acts from Ginny Mac, Jessica Fichot, Sourdough Slim and Robert Armstrong and many others. Aug. 21–23 in La Plaza Park. Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. 9:30am–8pm. $15–$25; under 15, free.

Blues, Brews & BBQ Three stages, over 30 microbrews and enough barbecue to fill a pickup truck. There’s a rib-eating contest, kids’ area and live music. Aug. 22 at First and Main streets, Napa. Noon–6pm. Free, beer tasting tickets available for purchase.

Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival More than a dozen culinary companies come together to offer delicious seafood specialties at the 21th incarnation of this annual event. Four stages of entertainment. The Main Stage features rockin’ blues, jazz, swing, bluegrass and more, and has a large dance floor. The Wine Stage offers more eclectic musical entertainment. The Entertainment Stage showcases jugglers, magicians and other non-musical acts. And this year there is a new stage with chef demos and fruit and vegetable carving. Aug. 29–30. 16855 Bodega Hwy. Saturday, 10am–6pm; Sunday, 10am–5pm. $8–$15; under 12, free.


Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Winemaker meals
take place all weekend long, but there are three highlights of this annual bacchanalia. The Sonoma Starlight event includes dining, drinks and dancing on Sept. 4 at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville. 6:30–10pm. Taste of Sonoma
offers samples from over 200 wineries and chefs on Sept. 5 at MacMurray Ranch. 3387 Dry
Creek Road, Healdsburg. 11am–4pm. The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction offers a chance to bid
on exclusive items and mingle
with Sonoma’s first families on Sept. 6 at Chateau St. Jean.
8555 Sonoma Hwy.,
Kenwood. 12:30–7pm.

Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival With artists like Buddy Guy and Dave Koz, the stage will be cookin’ on both days of this annual festival. And if the music gets too hot, just take a dip in the river. Sept. 12–13 at Johnson’s Beach. Guerneville. $50–$180.

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival This historical event features music, sculpture and plenty of children’s activities every year. This year marks the 58th annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, which has featured everything from straight-up jazz to marionettes in the serene setting of the redwoods. Sept. 19-20 at Old Mill Park. 320 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 10am–5pm. $5–$10; free for kids under 13. 415.381.8090.

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