Out, About & Around the County
Celebrate the 4th with a Sonoma tradition
Creativity will be on tap at the Sonoma Community Center's annual 4th of July parade, with a theme of “The Arts in Sonoma Valley.” The parade will march throughout Sonoma starting at 10 a.m., and the streets will be lined with game booths and vendors selling hot dogs, hamburgers, snow cones, local beer and wine, and more. There will be live music all day on the plaza, starting at 11:45 a.m.
Info: www.sonomacommunitycenter.org. Sonoma Downtown Plaza.
Green Music Center Fireworks Spectacular
The Green Music Center is hosting a 4th of July party with something for the whole family. Come early for live music, food, and a kids play zone (rock wall, bounce houses, carnival games, balloon artists, face painting, and more) and stay late for a spectacular fireworks display. The traditional American barbecue starts at 4:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. in Weill Hall, join famed vocalist Judy Collins as she teams up with the Santa Rosa Symphony to perform patriotic anthems. Then finish off the evening with a pyrotechnic extravaganza. Tickets are $35 for indoor seating and $25 for lawn seating.
Info: www.gmc.sonoma.edu. 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.
Painting with wax
Encaustic painting is a rarely-seen form which uses heated beeswax with colored pigments instead of traditional paint. The results are often marvelous; just ask local artist Kathy Knebel at her new exhibit at the Quercia Gallery on July 5 at 3 p.m. Knebel will present her art and answer your questions. Titled Immersions in Wax, the portfolio showcases forms seen in nature, such as the twist of a leaf, the overlap of feathers on a bird's wing, the symmetry of an unfurling flower. The show runs through Aug. 31. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Info: 865-0243, www.quercia-gallery.com. Duncans Mills.
Share your love of reading
The Sonoma Valley Library is in need of tutors for their Adult Literacy Program, in which volunteers teach adults how to read and write English. There is an orientation session for all interested volunteers at the library on July 7 from 6:30-7 p.m.
Info: email@example.com. 755 West Napa Street, Sonoma.
Hot summer nights, cool summer reads
Redwood Writers and Copperfield's Books present Hot Summer Nights, four Tuesday evenings of free author readings in July. On July 8, the theme is “Love and Poetry,” on July 15 enjoy “Short Stories,” on July 22 “Children's Books and Young Adult Fiction” night, and on July 29, the theme is “Fiction.” All readings are from 7-8 p.m.
Info: www.redwoodwriters.org. Copperfield's Books, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa.
Youth in Summer Arts Workshop
Are you eight to 18 years old and interested in the arts? Spreckels Performing Art Center's Youth in Summer Arts Workshop is a five-week intensive theater arts program for aspiring young actors that will focus on musical theater performance, singing, dance and movement, culminating in a full-length production of the musical Oliver! Train with talented, award-winning professionals. Orientation is Wednesday, July 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. and the workshop runs Monday-Friday, July 14-Aug. 1. Performances will take place Aug. 15-31. Tuition for the workshop and performance is $650.
Info: www.sprecklesonline.com. 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park.
Friday night done right
Guitar virtuoso Tommy Castro has a new band and a whole new bag of tricks. Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will be the next band to play on the Cloverdale Plaza on July 11. The Friday Night Live concert series takes place every Friday, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the Cloverdale Farmers Market. Local wine and craft beer vendors open up shop downtown before the featured musician comes on at 6:30 p.m.
Info: 894-4410, www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org. Cloverdale Downtown Plaza.
Asian thunder from the land down under
Sonoma County Taiko and Sonoma County Matsuri present “TaikOz in Concert - Asian Thunder from The Land Down Under” at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on July 11 at Sonoma State. TaikOz is the premier taiko drumming ensemble based in Sydney, Australia, with a reputation for dramatic performances that couple explosive energy and extreme dynamism with refinement and grace. Tickets are $20 ($25 at the door) for the matinee and $30 ($35 at the door) for the evening show, and are available at Brown Paper Tickets or through Sonoma County Taiko or Sonoma County Matsuri members.
Info: taikozrp.brownpapertickets.com. Evert B. Person Theater, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.
The Sebastopol Center for the Arts celebrates the love of books with Bibliophoria III, a juried exhibition of 61 artists running now through July 25. On July 12, there will also be a Bibliophoria Walk in Sebastopol for “lovers of all things book, arts, and letterpress printmaking.” Meet in the downtown Sebastopol Plaza at 9 a.m.
Info: 829-4797. 282 South High Street, Sebastopol.
Gurus of the grill
Wine Country Big BBQ, a nationally sanctioned barbecue competition, will be held at Sonoma Mountain Village on July 12, from 1-5 p.m. Over 50 pitmasters from all over the country will compete for the title of Grand Champion. Sample a pound of barbecue from the pitmasters, partake in local beer and wine, and listen to live music from a Jimi Hendrix tribute band. Admission is $45.
Info: 523-3728, www.winecountrybigq.com. 1300 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park.
Pompadours and poodle skirts
Enjoy a night of dinner and dancing in support of a great cause. To raise money for the local Wounded Warrior #223, the Santa Rosa Odd Fellows are putting on a night of swing music and dance on July 12. Dinner by Nitro BBQ & Catering begins at 6 p.m. followed by a silent auction and dancing to the musical stylings of The New Horizon Band. Cost is $40 per person.
Info: 546-1591, www.sroddfellowshall.com. 545 Pacific Ave., Santa Rosa.
A Cappella Workshop
Discover your inner diva by attending an a cappella workshop on July 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Petaluma First Presbyterian Church. The Pacific Empire Chorus will be on hand to give a crash course in a cappella technique. $20 includes workshop, luncheon and a show. Open to women and girls ages 16 to 80. Here's your chance to sing the way you've always wanted to sing! Register online.
Info: 1-877-772-0087, www.pacificempire.org. 939 B St., Petaluma.
Can't-miss event for olive lovers
When you think about beverages that are best paired with olives, surely gin tops the list. Leave it to Don Landis from donsolives.com to flip the script and present an alternative beverage: beer. On July 13 at 3 p.m., Landis will present one of his renowned olive talks at Rincon Valley Wine and Craft Beer, followed by a tasting of hand-selected beers to be paired with special olives. Advance ticket purchase or RSVP required. Tickets are $20.
Info: 595-5516. 4927 Sonoma Hwy., Santa Rosa.
Feast and festival for a Buddhist temple
Every year, the Buddhists at the Enmanji Buddhist Temple cook up a delicious traditional chicken teriyaki feast to support their temple, which, now entering its 80th year, is a veritable Sonoma County landmark. This year, in addition to the meal, the temple grounds will feature an impressive display of Bonsai trees, a raffle, games for children, martial arts demonstrations, and more. The fun begins at 10 a.m. on July 13. Meal plates are $12.
Info: 823-2252, www.enmanjibuddhisttemple.org. 1200 Gravenstein Hwy. S, Sebastopol.
Expand your writing toy box
On July 17, from 7-9 p.m., Daniel Ari will present “A Toy Box of Techniques for Improving your Writing.” Though the focus is on writing better poems, the techniques presented can apply to any kind of writing. Ari encourages discussion, improvisation, questions and answers, and the sharing of resources and ideas. Ari writes, teaches and publishes poetry, and has led writing sessions and workshops since the 1980s.
Info: www.thewritespot.us. Petaluma Community Center, 320 No. McDowell Blvd.
The art of humor
Americans from Mark Twain to Matt Groening have been using their inventive minds to make people laugh. Young adults who participate in the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art's summer workshop, “William T. Wiley & American Humor, Satire, & the Short Story,” will explore how the great American humorists use their wit to split sides, and attempt to incorporate those lessons into their writing. The workshop takes place from July 21-25, and is open to kids ages 11-16. Tuition is $290 for SVMA family members; $350 for non-members.
Info: 939-7862, www.svma.org. 551 Broadway, Sonoma.
Night at the museum
Friday, July 25, is Kids Night at the Schulz Museum. Drop off your child from 5-9 p.m. for dinner, arts and crafts, and some fun nighttime games. Children may even meet some nighttime animals. Cost is $32 (non-members), $25 (members), $5 discount for siblings. Reservations required.
Info: schulzmuseum.org. 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa.
Steve Winwood's Santa Rosa debut
Tickets are on sale now for rock 'n' roll innovator Steve Winwood's performance on Aug. 9 at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. With an extensive and diverse career, Winwood's legacy includes a string of successes with classic songs by Spencer Davis Group and Traffic, a record with Cream, and landmark solo albums. Tickets are $155, $75, and $65.
Info: 546-3600, wellsfargocenterarts.org. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa.