In case you don't know, Farmhouse Inn sits right in the middle of the Russian River Valley and the wine country, almost smack in the middle of the large and very diverse Sonoma County (the size of Rhode Island, actually). You would think we are all about the vineyards and wineries- BUT the Independence Day holiday brings out the patriotism in all of us. What is it about the Fourth that brings out the old-fashioned, family-style celebrations that Sonoma County excels in?
Catherine goes all out and decorates
the lobby at Farmhouse for the
holiday and the concierges are making sure every
guest knows where to partake of BBQ and fireworks...
starting on Saturday, June 30th this year.
With the Fourth being in the middle of the week
the holiday is getting spread out from this weekend
all the way through next weekend
and Fireworks all over the county through the Fourth
(except Monday which for some reason is dark).
Monte Rio kicks off the holiday on Saturday
with a bit of the funkiness the Russian River is known for.
Starts off with BBQ, the Big Rocky Games,
then at dusk the water parade and water curtain
followed by fireworks off the Monte Rio bridge right over the river.
Sunday brings more fun to Western Sonoma County...
Bodega Bay is having a "Block Party" involving
the local businesses all weekend and ending
their celebration with fireworks on Sunday night.
(Pray for no fog for that one.)
And Guerneville has their own take on the holiday with a crafts fair, BBQ,
live music, and sidewalk sale downtown on Sunday,
followed with fireworks over the River.
That's where I was last year and I was
really impressed with their show...didn't feel small town at all.
Tuesday night our choices are Sebastopol or Windsor. Sebastopol with the old
fashioned games and relay races, live music,
and fireworks at dusk.
And Windsor with their KABOOM! Independence Day Celebration commemorating their 20th anniversay over at Keiser Park. There'll be a traveling fair for kids, jumpy houses, clowns and live music...then of course, the fireworks.
Really every event seems focused on the
old-fashioned sort of Independence Day Celebration.
Music, Good Food, Fun and Games,
and of course, the big Fireworks
Where to go on the Fourth...so many choices.
(The Farmhouse Restaurant is closed so no excuses
not to get out and celebrate!)
Cloverdale with their Pyrospectacular put on by the Lion's Club.
Healdsburg with their own celebration of small town
Petaluma has a grand show put on by the city and the Kiwanis Club. More games and live music, and food (BBQ, I am sure) and fireworks, of course.
And then two of the biggest events in the county...Sonoma with their Parade and Old Fashioned Fourth in the Sonoma Plaza. Food, games, music, and you guessed it- Fireworks. True Americana...marching bands and all.
And Santa Rosa and RED, WHITE, & BOOM! at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds...
3 bands to play including a local favorite, Wonderbread 5.
Watermelon eating contest (can you get any more American?), jumpy houses, clowns, face painting and fireworks simulcast live to music (patriotic, of course)
on the local station KZST so if you don't make it into the event,
find a hill to park on above the fairgrounds and listen on the radio.
Lest you think I would miss this opportunity to share a video...here's one from the grand finale of last year's Fireworks in Guerneville...enjoy!
So there you have the Americana of Sonoma County...
wherever you are, I see BBQ, potato salad,
corn on the cob, watermelon, and Apple Pie in your future.
(By the way, if you haven't yet had your fill of fireworks- Lakeport, Fort Bragg, and Point Arena are all next Saturday.)
Happy Independence Day!