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Use an Accordion, Go to Cotati: The 24th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival takes place this weekend in La Plaza Park.

Dozens of performers take the stage during this two-day fete; a full schedule is available at cotatifest.com.

Don’t miss the Polka/Zydeco tent, where you’ll find a polka dance party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

New this year is a stage for students.

You’ve got to leave your pups at home and cannot bring in outside food or beverages, except for one bottle of water per person. There is plenty to eat and drink in the park.

Tickets are $15 in advance for a single day and $25 for both days. They are available at all Oliver’s Market locations, at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa and at People’s Music in Sebastopol. You may also purchase tickets by calling (888) 559-2576 and by visiting the website.

Parking has always been a challenge at this popular event but organizers are trying something new this year, with parking available at the CalTrans lot at the corner of Old Redwood Highway and St. Joseph’s Way. A free shuttle will be available throughout the festival.


Wine & Swine: On Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square hosts a street fete, Sonoma County Wine and Swine, with live music, art and artisans and plenty of good things to drink and eat, including spicy barbecued pork.

Musicians include the Easy Leaves, the Sam Chase and Misisipi Mike,with Misisipi Mike Wolf and the Midnight Gamblers playing their outlaw honky tonk tunes.

The fete takes place during Railroad Square’s sidewalk sale, which continues on Sunday but without the pork or vino.

Admission is free but the eating and drinking are not, so don’t forget to bring cash.


Harvest of the Heart: As of press time, tickets were still available for Harvest of the Heart, a benefit for Ceres Community Project, which takes place on Saturday, August 16.

Chefs John Ash and Barbara Hom will be at the helm, with Ceres teen chefs and gardeners doing most of the heavy lifting.

The fete takes place in the Ceres Community Garden, located behind O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. in the garden, with nibbles paired with both wine and cider. There will also be a smoothie bar.

Dinner takes place in a nearby outdoor pavilion and will be followed by a live auction and stories from both Ceres clients and teens.

Following the auction, there will be a dessert buffet.

Auction items include a party for eight at Vintners Inn, an all-access ticket to the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, four lower-box seat tickets to a Giants game, dinners at a huge array of local restaurants, outings, wine adventures, photo portraits and much more.

Admission is $150 per person. This is the organization’s major annual fundraiser.

For tickets, visit ceresproject.org.


Block Party! On Sunday, August 17, from 4 to 8 p.m., The Sonoma County Museum (425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa) hosts a Block Party Beer Bash Fundraiser, with live music by Soul Mechanix and Tocayo Son.

Participating breweries include BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Carneros Brewing Company, Henhouse Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, North Coast Brewing Company, St. Lorian’s Brewing, Strike Brewing Co., 21st Amendment Brewing and Tedeschi Family Winery.


Some of the best places in Sonoma County to view light displays can be seen on our online map.


1803 Hartman Lane

5 Wallenberg Way

1633 San Marino Drive

2029 Cross Creek St.

390 Albert Way

1724 Clairmont Court

1725 Clairmont Court


1190 Cielo Circle

7333 Circle Drive

954 Emma Court

957 Emma Court

1128 Emily Drive


309 Michael Drive

3254 Hartley Drive

5421 Evonne Ave.

1632 Jenna Place

1673 Hopper Ave.

200 Arboleda Drive

2045 Filamina Place

2440 Valley West Drive

252 Brittain Lane

4481 Montecito Ave.

2235 Vallejo St.


726 Ed Court

18847 Nikki Drive


9511 Lazy Creek Drive

363 Blazingstar Court

530 Quince St.

You must be at least 21 years old to attend this fete.

Admission is $35 in advance for members and $50 in advance for the general public. For tickets, call 579-1500 ext. 16.


Library Party: Woodenhead Wine (5700 River Rd., Santa Rosa) hosts a library wine party this Sunday, August 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

The fete features wines from 2004 through 2010, with 50 percent off library zinfandels and special discounts on other wines, too.

The supply is not unlimited so if you want something specific, it’s a good idea to arrive earlier rather than later.

The wines, from the private collection of founders Zina Bower and Nik Stez have been aged with loving care and should be at their peak of drinkability. Some are one-of-a-kind, so come eager to explore.

If you’d like, you can bring a picnic to enjoy on the deck, where you’ll also enjoy an extraordinary view.


Movie Night at Gundlach Bundschu: On Saturday, Gundlach Bundschu Winery (2000 Denmark St., Sonoma) hosts a movie night, with a screen of “Best in Show,” the classic Christopher Guest film.

Things get started at 7 p.m., with DJ Golden Gram. Q Craft will have good things to eat available for purchase and you can enjoy Milk & Honey Ice Cream, should you want dessert.

The film starts at sundown.

Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the door; tickets are available by phone at 939-3015 and on line at ticketyfly.com.

As with any local outdoor event, remember to dress in layers in case the fog rolls in.


Farmers Market Wine Tasting: This Saturday, August 16, Santa Rosa Original Farmers Market is hosting its first wine tasting, with Navarro Vineyards and Winery offering 1-ounce tastes of sauvignon blanc, gewurztraminer and pinot noir at no charge. Wine will be available for sale by the bottle.

A change in state regulations makes such tastings possible.

Some farmers market supporters have expressed concern that this change will turn markets into wine-tasting arenas but only a single winery is allowed at a market.

The market is located at 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa, adjacent to Highway 101. It is open on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday hours are 8:30 a.m. to noon.


Fall Classes at The Fork: The Fork, the lovely teaching and event kitchen at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company (147000 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station), has announced its fall schedule, which features Chef John Ash in a demonstration class and a book signing for “Culinary Birds” on September 27.

Ash’s class will include a walking tour of the farm, a guided cheese taste and a four-course lunch of the dishes demonstrated. Cost is $120 per person.

Public events here sell out quickly--all farm dinners through December are full--so if you want to attend a class or take a tour, visit pointreyescheese.com right away.

As of press time, reservations for Friday Farm Tours were still available for August 15, August 22 and August 29.

Farm tours last about 45 minutes and conclude with a tasting of farmstead cheeses.

For information by phone, call (800) 591-6878.

Michele Anna Jordan has written 17 books to date, including “Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings.” You’ll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. Email Jordan at michele@saladdresser.com.

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