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Everything From Apples to Guitars

A lot of big, annual events are concentrated in the Northwestern part of Sonoma County this weekend.

For families in particular, the Gravenstein Apple Fair (video) in Sebastopol is a big draw and it is one my favorite kid-friendly festivals. The event celebrates the local Gravenstein Apple, which, incidentally, has earned a position in the Slow Food movement US Ark of Taste. (A catalog of over 200 foods which Slow Food organizers hope to promote and therefore save from extinction.) The festival takes place in Ragle Park, which is a lovely venue with lots of big oak trees and plenty of shade. There’s always good, live music, interesting vendors, games, food, etc. Plus, there are apple pie eating contests. One of the things I’ve learned in my many years of life is: When given the opportunity to stuff your face with fresh apple pie—take it.

For the 21+ crowd, one of our personal favorites is happening this weekend: The Russian River Beer Revival & BBQ Cookoff (video). We love the laid back crowd and great grub. If this is the first time you’re hearing about it—sorry, you’re too late. It’s already sold out. Keep it in mind for next year. It’s a good one.

Over at the airport, Wings Over Wine Country(video) will be going on both Saturday and Sunday. Everyone should see an air show sometime in their life. And personally, I think once is enough. I find the whole thing really loud and too sunny and hot. But, I know there are plenty of buffs out there and I’m sure this is a slice of heaven for them.

The Russian River Grape to Glass Weekend is not your ordinary wine weekend. This event is filled with all types of wine events as well as what I like to call “Wine Country lifestyle experiences.” Attend vintners’ presentations, see a film, have fun at the Hog in the Fog bbq, see the area by hot air balloon, bike or kayak, etc.

I have not attended the annual Healdsburg Guitar Festival yet (which, by the way, now takes place in Santa Rosa at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.) But my husband, who knows such things, says that people come from all over the world for this event. It’s basically a huge gathering of folks who make guitars (luthiers) and people who love to play guitars. There are seminars for the luthiers and workshops for the players, live music all day long by talented guitarists, lots of hand crafted instruments for sale, etc. This is where a musician and craftsman can meet and discuss how to create that dream guitar, and a must-see event for anyone interested in the art form.