Things to Do This Week in Sonoma County

Written by Crissi Langwell & Dan Taylor for the Press Democrat.

Don’t be a fool and stay home. There’s plenty to do this week in Sonoma County. On Saturday is the annual Occidental Fool’s Day Parade, an afternoon of mischief and good-natured mayhem. Saturday evening is the Mad Hatter’s Ball, a chance to wear your craziest topper and raise funds for Mentor Me. Sunday, it’s time to get down and dirty for the Russian River Mud Run. All this and more is in our list of things to do.

Friday, April 1
Fools for the River: This Friday, contribute to making the Petaluma River more accessible to all by taking part in the 3rd annual Fools for the River fundraiser. For the price of a $41 ticket, you get to visit 4 out of a dozen or so participating restaurants in Petaluma for a delicious treat. This ticket price is also tax deductible. See website for more information and location times at

April 1-3
Arabian Horse Show: In its 58th year, watch as Arabian and Half Arabian horses compete at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. The events is presented by professional trainers and amateurs, and will be held 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days in the Lyttle Cow Palace. Free to attend. Find out more at

Friday, April 1
April Foolery: Head on over to Rossi’s 1906 in Sonoma this Friday to see some of the best bands in the county. Performing on April Fool’s Day will be Royal Jelly Jive, Lost Dog Found and Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood. Tickets are $25 in advance. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. Get your jester on, as the best costume wins! Hosted by the Sonoma County Dance Beat. Find out more at

Friday, April 1
Cannabis Comedy: Comedian Sherry Glaser will be joking about her adventures with medical and legal cannabis in “Taking the High Road.” This one-night comedy performance starts at 8 p.m. at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa. Tickets are $25. Find out more at

Through April 3
Sonoma International Film Festival: More than 90 hand-selected films will be shown at this weekend’s film festival in Sonoma, held at various venues within walking distance of the Sonoma Plaza. Tickets range from $275-$5,000. Find out all the details at

Friday, April 1
Fool for Art: This Friday, head on over to the SOFA Arts District for a late afternoon of mischief and fun. Over 20 art studios will open their doors to the public. and visitors can partake in the Jester Treasure Hunt around the neighborhood. The hijinks starts at 4 p.m. and the event is free to attend. Find out more at

Saturday, April 2
Occidental Fool’s Day Parade: Play the fool this Saturday at the annual Fool’s Day Parade in Occidental. All who wish to participate are invited to meet at the Community Center in Occidental at noon to begin setting up. The parade kicks off at 1 p.m. Dress to impress in your craziest, most foolish outfit, and bring your instruments, juggling act or other talent for the Open Mic following the parade. More information can be found at

Saturday, April 2
Local Author Showcase: This Saturday, join dozens of local authors at the Rohnert Park – Cotati Regional Library for an afternoon of books, readings, inspiration and more. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., meet Sonoma County writers of all genres, and network with other book lovers, as well. The event is free to attend. Find out more at

Saturday, April 2
Intro to Backpacking: Join Inga Aksamit, author of “Highs and Lows of the John Muir Trail,” is leading a two-hour workshop at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park on the basics of backpacking. The class will discuss backpacking gear and techniques, and prepare you for your own wilderness adventure. Fee is $10, plus an $8 parking fee. Find out all the details at

Saturday, April 2
Mad Hatter Ball: Mentor Me is throwing their annual Mad Hatter Ball, a gala to benefit the local youth the nonprofit is devoted to helping. Guests will enjoy a catered dinner, the Spirits Bar, wine and beer tasting and live music by The Grooveline. Wear a mad hat, and you could win a prize. The live auction is a definite can’t-miss this year. Tickets are $125. Doors open at 5 p.m. at the Mentor Me Cavanagh Recreation Center in Petaluma. Find out more at

Saturday, April 2
Dancing with the Stars and Stripes: In a benefit for veterans, several Sonoma County “stars” are pairing up with a professional dancer for an entertaining dance competition that probably deserves its own TV show. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Petaluma Veterans Building. Admission is $35-$50. Find out all the details at

Saturday, April 2
Annadel Half Marathon & 5K: In its 7th annual event, runners will make their way around Spring Lake in Santa Rosa to raise funds for trail maintenance at Annadel State Park, and to build new trails at Taylor Mountain Regional Park. The half marathon kicks off at 8 a.m. and the 5K starts at 8:15 a.m. Find out more at

Saturday, April 2
Spring Gift Showcase: 24 local vendors will offer unique show specials at this one-day sale held at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park this Saturday. The event is free, and will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Chardonnay Room.

Sunday, April 3
Russian River Mud Run: Get down and dirty in the Rocky & Rosie Russian River Mud Run, kicking off this Sunday at Ya Ka Ama near Forestville. Whether rain or shine, the race winds through an obstacle course with a water slide, belly crawl, walking dead zombies and more. Cost is $25-$70, plus $10 parking. Want to take part? Visit

Other upcoming events:

Friday, April 1

‘Private Lives, Private Lies’: Original play explores the struggles and joys of eight LGBTQ people, 7 p.m., Graton Community Club. $20.

‘Time Stands Still’: Moving story of relationships, midlife crisis and ties of friendship, 8 p.m., Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma. $9-$25. 763-8920,

André Watts: Classical pianist, 7:30 tonight, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park. $35-$85. 866-955-6040,

The Millards: Rock-reggae band, 8 tonight, Phoenix Theater, Petaluma. $8. 762-3565,

‘Silent Sky’: Story of American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, opening night, 8 tonight, 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa. $10-$25. 523-4185,

Saturday, April 2

Santa Rosa Symphony: ‘Rhythmic Vitality’ with cellist Zuill Bailey and mezzo-soprano Bonnie Brooks, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park. $10-$80. 866-955-6040,

Taste of Yountville: Food, wine, crafts, music and entertainment, noon-5 p.m. Saturday, downtown Yountville and various Yountville venues. $85 tasting passbook. 944-8851,

Joyce Maynard: Lit Night with ‘Under the Influence’ author, 7 p.m. Saturday, Copperfield’s Books, Petaluma. Free. 762-0563,

Sunday, April 3

Bubbles Brunch: ‘American Idol’ winner Kris Allen, soul food, sparkling mimosa bar, noon Sunday, Yountville Live. $75.

Navarro Trio & Friends: All-Russian chamber music program, 2 p.m. Sunday, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park. $8. 866-955-6040,

Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble: Springtime concert, 3 p.m. Sunday, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Sonoma. $30. 938-4626, ext. 1,

Monday, April 4

‘A Shakespeare Cabaret’: Motley collection of scenes, songs and comedy inspired by The Bard, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Monday, Newman Auditorium, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa campus. $10-$15. 527-4307,

Tuesday, April 5

John LeBaron: ‘A Lifetime of Photography’ exhibit, 7:30 a.m.-midnight Tuesday, Sonoma State University Library Gallery, Rohnert Park. Free, $5-$8 parking. 664-2397,

Wednesday, April 6

‘Westside Stories’: Personal narrative storytelling competition, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sonoma Portworks, Petaluma. $8, sold out. 477-4416,

Thursday, April 7

Local Honey Swing Band: Small-band swing, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Cloverdale Arts Alliance. $20. 894-4410,

Friday, April 8

Mean Girls: Rock hardcore she band, 9 p.m. April 8, HopMonk Tavern, Sebastopol. $10. 829-7300,

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Program of Strauss, Dvorak and Brahms, 7:30 p.m. April 8, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park. $35-$85. 866-955-6040,

‘All My Sons’: Raven Players production of Arthur Miller’s first play, opens 8 p.m. April 8, Raven Performing Arts Theater, Healdsburg. $10-$25. 433-6335,

Saturday, April 9

Ancient Future: World fusion concert, 8 p.m. April 9, Occidental Center for the Arts. $22-$25. 874-9392,

Battle of the Brews: Craft Brew Cup and Sonoma County Sandwich Showdown, 1-4 p.m.; Main Event, 4-8 p.m.; April 9, Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa. $50-$95.

The Blues Session: Local blues musicians, 7:30 p.m. April 9, Cloverdale Arts Alliance. $5. 894-4410,

Santa Rosa Symphony Woodwind Quintet: Family-friendly performances 1 p.m. Central Santa Rosa Library, 2:30 p.m. Northwest Santa Rosa Library, April 9. Free. 545-0831, 546-2265,

Michael McDonald & Friends: Rural Health Rocks fundraiser, 8 p.m. April 9, Mendocino College Center Theatre, Ukiah. Sold out, wait list full.

Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings: Slide guitarist, 8:30 p.m. April 9, Mystic Theatre, Petaluma. $26. 765-2121,

Sunday, April 10

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival: Final day, with crafts, live music, food and entertainment, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. April 10, Westside Park, Bodega Bay. $10-$12.

Sonoma County Philharmonic: ‘Spanish Gardens’ concert, 2 p.m. April 10, Santa Rosa High School Performing Arts Auditorium. $10-$15. 206-6775,

‘Story Pirates’: Comic sketches and mini-musicals for all ages, 3 p.m. April 10, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa. $12-$17. 546-3600,

Otep: Heavy metal band, 7 p.m. April 10, Phoenix Theater, Petaluma. $22-$25. 762-3565,