The Petaluma Art & Garden Festival Grows Up
The number 13 doesn’t have to be unlucky at all. The Petaluma Art & Garden Festival enters adolescence at a time when the event continues to grow — not only in attendance — but also in every other way imaginable.
Presented by the Petaluma Downtown Association, it’s a free party that is not only located outdoors, but focuses on the outdoors. The fun-filled family event is set for Sunday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. People from all over the Bay Area enjoy a summer day on Kentucky, Fourth and “B” streets, strolling past charming booths, dancing to live music, and savoring the tastes of food and beverages only Petaluma has to offer.
Vendors clamor to be part of the festival, with a talented group of mostly local artisans who create exclusive handcrafted items, filling the streets. With 145 booths, the event has more than tripled in size since its inception, expanding to a larger footprint.
New this year is Sonoma Gnome Lip Balm, with flavors like Sebastopol Apple, Santa Rosa Plum, Sonoma Sangria, Healdsburg Cappuccino and to be unveiled at the festival — Petaluma Chai. According to the local company’s literature: “gnomes protect the earth and your lips too.”
Artist Jan M. Reddick’s unique nature cubes combine artistry with the outdoors. “My painterly impulses pull me toward botanical portraits of flowers, seeds, pods, leaves… in all their stages of life and decay,” says Reddick. Her objet’s d’art are made from foraged elements of tree moss, eucalyptus pods, tiny pinecones, fallen tree bark and other discarded pieces of nature.
Graffiti Glass Lamps showcase nature in the base of the lamp. Fairy Shadow uses recycled fabrics to make whimsical fairy dolls and floral hair accessories. The Bus Shoppe, a high-end boutique featuring bohemian chic, will be located near the stage. Other booths will highlight fine art and photography, skincare, repurposed treasures, garden and home décor, sun catchers, birdhouses, plants and succulents and more.
Experts will be on hand from The Petaluma Garden Club and Sonoma County Master Gardeners to answer gardening questions. Figure out how to grow vegetables in tricky Petaluma adobe soil and what makes a garden organic. Friedman’s is this year’s new premiere garden sponsor, offering a wide selection of plants for sale.
Although gardeners and shoppers will have a lot to keep themselves busy, they will also be swirling fine wines from Adobe Road Winery, Enriquez Estate Wines, Fogline Vineyards and Heidrun Meadery; sampling brews from Lagunitas and Petaluma Market beer; and tasting tidbits of food from a wide variety of local restaurants such as Brixx Pizza, Preferred Sonoma Caterers, Petaluma Market cheeses, Bert’s Desserts, Pongo’s Kitchen & Tap and Nick’s Coves. The selection of tastes for the palate changes with each year, but what doesn’t change is the allure of the live music that pairs well with food and drink.
See a stellar line-up at the main stage, located at the corner of Fourth and “B” streets. The 2014 music schedule includes Danny Click and the Hell Yeahs!, whose Austin-bred sound moved to the Bay Area and pleases with a sassy blues-inflected country rock. Click, who now resides in the Bay Area, has a huge fan base including Carlos Santana and Elvin Bishop, both who have joined him on stage. The band performs from 3 to 5 p.m.
Also new to the festival is Reckless in Vegas, an energetic act performing songs from the 1960s Golden Era of Las Vegas with tunes by Dean Marin, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Think the “Rat Pack meets Green Day.” The line up includes: Mario Cipollina, bass and vocals, Michael Shapiro, vocals and guitar, and Dr. Fu on drums. They hit the stage from noon to 1:15 p.m.
Returning to the festival and performing from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. is the Santana tribute band Zebop! Veteran performers of the festival, the band’s fans clamor for their return every year. Local favorites Luvplanet have also played the festival many times and are returning with their acoustic rendition of “Luvplanet Exposed with Mark McGee and Nicole Sutton,” kicking off the celebration from 11 to 11:50 a.m.
The music selection has also expanded with a second stage sponsored by Ray’s Deli & Tavern. Located on Kentucky Street in front of the “A” Street parking lot, an acoustic line-up will feature: sparrow’s 1-man groove, 11 a.m.; Nate Lopez, noon; Judy Radiloff, 1 p.m.; Ariel Garcia, 2 p.m.; Saffell, 3 p.m. and Lisa Stano with members of The Grain at 4 p.m.
Kids can enjoy the children’s corner, with hands-on arts and crafts, a climbing wall, face painting, super-slide, bounce house and more. Barefoot Books will provide story telling during the day and also have books for sale.
Adults and children of all ages will want to compete in the Chalk Art Competition, presented by the Petaluma Arts Center. An application to participate is available on the center’s website or at the Petaluma Downtown Association site. This is the third year for this fun activity. Those who aren’t artistically inclined to create a masterpiece will enjoy seeing works of art created by budding chalk artists.
The Petaluma Art & Garden Festival offers a treat for all of the senses — from the high caliber of food and wines from local restaurants and vineyards —to the unbeatable entertainment and premiere selection of arts and crafts as well as home and garden decor.
Food, beer and wine tasting packets are available for $25, including a commemorative wine or beer glass designed by local artist Lisa Krieshok, and 15 tasting tickets. Individual wine and beer glasses are $5 with individual tickets $1.50 each. Each year the festival’s artwork spotlights a different flower or plant, making them a fun historic collectible. Admission to the festival is free. For more information, call 707-762-9348. Find the festival on Facebook and go to www.petalumadowntown.com for a full list of participating vendors.