Aug 31, 2019
by Houston Porter
The Petaluma Museum and Sky Hill Cultural Alliance present a benefit piano concert titled “Classical Musings at the Museum”, on Sunday, September 22. Starting at 4 p.m., Elizabeth Walter will start tickling the ivories of the legendary 1899 Henry F. Miller concert grand piano which currently makes its home at the museum. I have written about it before, but this former Carnegie Library is the perfect Carnegie Hall “West” with its superior acoustics and classic styling. The museum is a truly magical place to experience a concert, especially when it is none other than Elizabeth Walter on her favorite piano playing works by Beethoven, Mozart, Ravel and the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. As the Museum’s Music and Cultural Outreach Director, Elizabeth has spent the last decade bringing high-caliber performers, including a regular New Year’s Eve performance by members of the San Francisco Symphony. She is donating her performance to benefit the museum and the Sky Hill Cultural Alliance, which is an organization “devoted to fostering the joy of music to young people.” Admission is $40 in advance, $50 at the door and includes complimentary wine and cheese, with balcony seating for $10 more both for the better view from above and the elite beverage service. Visit www.petalumamuseum.com for tickets and info on all the museums upcoming events.
Stepping back one weekend, the Petaluma Museum continues to offer their series “Family Movie Nights at the Museum” with a special screening of the Wizard of Oz on Saturday, September 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. This event is free, with concession for purchase of food and drink, which I highly encourage in order help support such free local events. October’s showing will be Pixar’s Coco.
And rewinding back to the beginning of the month, the Petaluma Education Foundation (PEF) holds their annual “PEF Bash” gala, Saturday, September 7, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the Petaluma Vets Hall. This is a fundraiser to support grants to all 38 local school and will include dinner, dancing and a live and silent auction. Over the past three decades PEF has awarded over $7 million through their grant and scholarship program, which was made possible by the generous donations of event attendees.
The weekend of September 14 & 15, Petaluma offers a bunch of great events, starting with the Lagunitas Beer Circus on Saturday, from 4:20 to 10 p.m. at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. A mix of music, circus style performances and great food and drink, this event became so popular over the past few years that Lagunitas now puts on similar shows around the country. But Petaluma is home of the original.
For those looking to get in a bit of outdoor exercise before the weather chills off too much, the Clow Cow Half Marathon, 10K and 5K is Sunday, September 15, with all races starting at or shortly after 7 a.m. The 5K runs out and back Western Ave, with the 10K scooting a bit farther out Chapman and Eastman Lanes and the Half Marathon continuing out and back Middle Two Rock Road. All courses start and end on Kentucky Street, between B Street and Western Ave. Participants are treated to a free “sweat check” for their pre-race clothing, an accurate course with fast and reliable results and various after-race goodies, like a custom cowbell finisher medal, performance t-shirt, photo package, post-race food, including Clover Sonoma chocolate milk. www.clocowhalf.com
Once finished with the race, there are two less strenuous events available on Sunday, including the 24th Annual Poetry Walk, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at various locations around downtown, starting on the hour, with 11 a.m.’s kickoff at the Hotel Petaluma, then at the old bank at Petaluma Blvd and Washington, River Front Café, North Bay Café, Copperfield’s Books, Phoenix Theater, Petaluma Historic Library and then culminating at Aqus Café from 6 to 8 p.m. www.petalumapoetrywalk.org
'The second great downtown event on Sunday, September 15 is the 2nd Annual Petaluma Honky-Tonk Piano Competition, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Brewsters Beer Garden. This event is free, however a minimum donation of $10 is highly encouraged through www.EventBrite.com . Additionally, 15% of all your food and drink purchases will be donated back by Brewsters. This event is a fundraiser for the river. “Our downtown river, the crowning jewel, is becoming Petaluma's biggest eyesore. This event will help create awareness with the goal of cleaning, dredging, trestle restoration, small craft float house funding, and the installation of a 360° River Walk.”
Petaluma Adobe Fandango has been a local fall tradition for close to two centuries and will be held Saturday, September 21 from noon to 4 p.m. tradition each fall, celebrating the dance and music of California in the 1840’s. “Holding a fandango during autumn was a tradition at General Mariano Vallejo’s Rancho de Petaluma, now Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park,” explains Jennifer Hanson, State Park Guide l. “It was held to honor the toil of the end of the harvest and the matanza, the slaughtering season. The cattle of the rancho were used to produce the mainstays of early California’s economy, cattle hides and tallow. The fandango also celebrated the work of Native Americans, Mexicans, and Californians who operated Vallejo’s successful enterprise.”
An Evening on the River: Fundraser for Petaluma River Park is Saturday, September 21 from 5 to 9 p.m., kicking off with cocktail hour hosted by Griffo Distillery and Leghorn Wine Company, followed by dinner by my favorite local BBQ’ers – War Wagon BBQ, with vegetarian options. This is an adult evening, however, childcare is available through Martial Arts USA. Visit www.eventbrite.com for more info and purchase tickets.
Saturday, September 28 offers two distinctly different events starting with the Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival, held on Water Street in downtown, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Petaluma Valley, the even promises sips from 23 breweries, bites from local food booths and live music.
On that same day, running from 1 to 9 p.m. at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, those looking to skip the alcohol can enjoy RockSoberFest 2019. “Bring your spirit and love for music, good vibes, and fellowship! …dancing the night away to the amazing musical talents of The Happys, Stefanie Keys, Paul Hayward and Friends, John and Camellia Ford, plus special guest artists.” There will be an open meeting at 1:00pm with an AA speaker, and doors open for music and dance at 2 p.m. www.cleanandsobermusicfest.org.
Here’s for hoping we still have a couple more warm Saturday nights left in order enjoy the races at our very unique Petaluma Speedway. Gates open and practice starts at 4 p.m. with races starting at 6 p.m. This Monday, September 2 offers a special Labor Day race (same times), with following races coming on the Saturdays of September 7 and 21, and continuing into October on the 5th, 12th and 19th. Depending on the race, prices are between $16 and $22 for adults, $12 for kids and seniors, and are free for those under 6 years old. These really are great fun to attend, just remember to bring your ear plugs.
The Fall Antique Faire spreads across the downtown on Sunday, September 29, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “From campaign buttons and postcards to heirloom artwork and armoires, there is truly something for everyone. And while exploring the intriguing array of antiques, refresh and refuel at a downtown café or restaurant before setting off for more treasure hunting. It’s a shopper’s paradise!”
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