Fun Things To Do

Events to look forward to in May and June, 2014.

Healdsburg’s Twilight Parade is on May 22. (photo by Crista Jeremiason)

MAY 4: Day Under the Oaks
This Santa Rosa Junior College open house and education fair is fun for the whole family. It offers more than 140 booths, Native American dancers, magic shows in the Chemistry Lab, planetarium shows, Shone Farm petting zoo, plant sale, jazz and contemporary music presentations, food and more. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Santa Rosa Junior College, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-527-4424,

MAY 11: Mother’s Day Bubbles and BBQ
Take Mom out for the day, for sparkling wine and slow-cooked beef brisket, pork spareribs and chicken. While you’re at it, let her enjoy live blues music by the Ragtag Sullivan Duo. Noon to 2 p.m.
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, 23555 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-996-7256,

Montgomery High School band performs during the 2013 Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival. (photo by Crista Jeremiason)
Montgomery High School band performs during the 2013 Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival. (photo by Crista Jeremiason)

MAY 17: Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival
One of the biggest and oldest of the region’s traditional parades, this perennial favorite is named for the world-famous horticulturist, who lived in Santa Rosa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The 120th annual event starts downtown at 10 a.m. It drew more than 150 entries and some 4,000 participants last year.

MAY 17-18: Taste Alexander Valley
More than 25 wineries will host wine and food parties, offering pairings, live entertainment and special wine discounts. The weekend event is presented by the Alexander Valley Winegrowers Association. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $65 advance, $75 at the door; Sunday only $45/$55.

MAY 22: Healdsburg Twilight Parade
Load up on hometown charm, from homemade floats to kids riding tricycles and wearing overalls, when the Healdsburg Future Farmers of America stage this 65th annual procession through downtown. The parade starts at 6 p.m; arrive early to stake out your place on the sidewalk.

Healdbsurg Jazz Festival. (phtoo by Beth Schlanker)
Healdbsurg Jazz Festival. (phtoo by Beth Schlanker)

MAY 30-JUNE 8: Healdsburg Jazz Festival
The lineup for this tribute to jazz will include “Celebration of the Blues,” a two-day mini-festival at Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater, starring harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. The overall festival will also feature jazz bassist Ron Carter, the Marcus Shelby Orchestra, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival Freedom Jazz Choir and others.

MAY 31-JUNE 1, JUNE 7-8: Art at the Source
Thanks to the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, art lovers can roam western Sonoma County on these two weekends, visiting artists of all kinds in their studios to watch them work — and perhaps take home a one-of-a-kind creation. The self-guided tour features more than 150 artists each year, including painters, sculptors, woodworkers, jewelers, ceramic and fabric artists, and more. Free., 707-829-4797

JUNE 13-14: Country Summer
A three-time Grammy nominee at age 22, country singer Hunter Hayes stars at this music festival that also features Darius Rucker, former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish. Gates open at 2 p.m. on June 13, 11 a.m. on June 14. $49-$79.
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, 800-514-3849,

Hot Air Balloon Classic. (photo by Kent Porter)
Hot Air Balloon Classic. (photo by Kent Porter)

JUNE 14-15: Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic
Bundle up, bring blankets and be at Windsor’s Keiser Park at 5:30 a.m. both days to see the glowing balloons of “The Dawn Patrol” go up, followed by the main launch of some 30 other balloons at 6:30 a.m. Public balloon rides are reserved and sell out in advance, so check the website for availability.
Keiser Park, 700 Windsor River Road, Windsor,

JUNE 14: Huichica Music Festival
The ever-hip and lively Gundlach Bundschu winery’s one-day, indie-folk music festival, also known for its good food and music, returns for its fifth year. Musical acts include The Blank Tapes, Kelley Stoltz and Mount Eerie.
2000 Denmark St., Sonoma, 707-938-5277,

JUNE 14: Oysters and Whites Experience
Tune up your palate for summer’s pleasures at a pairing of white wines with oysters in Sebastopol. Taste Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer and determine which brings out the best in raw oysters. $20 (complimentary with $100 wine purchase).
Dutton-Goldfield, 100 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol, 707-823-3887,


Ugly Dogs

JUNE 18-22: Sonoma-Marin Fair
Petaluma’s down-home event is probably best-known for its annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, but it also boasts a strong country and rock concert lineup. This year’s stars include the Marshall Tucker Band, Kellie Pickler, Kix Brooks and Loverboy.
Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma, 707-283-3247,

JUNE 21: “Wet Paint”
In keeping with its customary lively style, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art plans to make its 14th annual fundraiser, to be held at Ramekins Culinary School and Inn (450 W. Spain St., Sonoma), fun for everyone. The museum invited artists to create new works with a summer solstice theme, and there will be live performances by colorfully clad dancers.
SVMA, 551 Broadway, Sonoma, 707-939-7862,

JUNE 21-SEPT. 1: Summer Concert Series
Rodney Strong Vineyards’ 24th outdoor music series opens June 21 with Jazz Attack, featuring Peter White, Rick Braun and Euge Groove; includes Chris Isaak on July 13; Mindi Abair with Elliot Yamin and Spencer Day on July 26; Chris Botti on Aug. 16; and closes with Tower of Power with Jonathan Butler on Aug. 31. $50-$1155.
11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 707-433-0998,