<strong>Celebrating our apple:</strong> The Gravenstein Apple Fair, long known as "the sweetest little fair in Sonoma County," takes place this weekend at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol.
Although the heart of the fair is the apple itself, there are many attractions for the entire family. You can enjoy a horse-drawn buggy ride; learn about beekeeping, sheep shearing and cow milking; relax with a glass of local wine, beer or hard cider; play games and enter such contests as apple juggling and pie eating, and listen to Scott Gerber tell cowboy stories. The Children's Museum will be on hand and there's a children's activity area, too.
More than two dozen food vendors attend the fair, offering treats ranging from apple pie and barbecue to Thai and Indian foods, fruit popsicles and Hawaiian shave ice.
The Oliver's Market Chef's Tent features cooking demonstrations and interviews on Saturday and cooking demonstrations on Sunday.
There is nearly nonstop music on two stages.
The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65 and over and for anyone who bikes to the fair, $5 for kids under 12 and free for kids under 3. For advance tickets, stop by any Oliver's Market.
<strong>Zucchini Festival!</strong> This Saturday, the Healdsburg Farmers Market hosts its annual Zucchini Festival. Here's how it works. From 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., you may register your giant zucchini or zucchini racing car. The biggest zucchini will be announced at 9:40 a.m. and the award for most creative zucchini car will be presented at 9:50 a.m. The races begin at 10.
This isn't an anything-goes competition. For the giant zucchini, you must have grown it yourself. Cars must be made with the zucchini as the vehicle, with axles inserted directly into the squash. You cannot simply attach a zucchini to a skateboard or roller skate. Wheels can be made of almost any material, including vegetables, wood, metal or plastic. The track is just 11 inches wide and to be eligible for competition the zucchini cars must fit.
The market is open from 9 a.m. to noon and takes place at North and Vine streets. Details: <a href="http://healdsburgfarmersmarket.com" target="_blank">healdsburgfarmersmarket.com</a>.
<strong>Third Thursday at Worth Our Weight:</strong> This year's series of visiting chef dinners at Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program (1021 Hahman Drive, Santa Rosa) continues next week, when chef Mark Dierkhising of Dierk's Parkside Cafe and Dierk's Midtown Cafe takes the helm, along with a few friends and colleagues.
On Sept. 19, Josh Silvers is the featured chef. On Oct. 17 it's Justin Wangler and the year of dinners wrap up on Nov. 21 with John Toulze and Todd Thompson.
Third Thursdays feature a single seating at 6 p.m. and a $55 prix fixe menu. Guests may bring their own wine.
Marcy Smothers and Clark Wolf host the dinners. WOW founder and executive director Evelyn Cheatham is always on hand, too. All proceeds benefit the program.
For reservations, call 544-1200 or email email@example.com.
<strong>Dancing under the stars and more at Coppola:</strong> On Friday nights today through Sept. 20, Francis Ford Coppola Winery features salsa lessons from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by dancing to live music from 7 to 10 p.m. in the outdoor performance pavilion.
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