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Behold the mythic summer festival, that great American pastime fueled by warm weather, long days and our passion for music or food or race cars or poetry by the Bard.

In this age of niche attraction, if you can’t find a festival to match your taste then maybe you’re better suited for winter hibernation.

Before you lather up with sunscreen and load up the picnic blankets and carefully measured lawn chairs (no higher than 18 inches), here’s a top 10 summer festival list with an eye on the North Coast and beyond:

NORTH COAST

Country Summer

The Band Perry, Jake Owen and Brantley Gilbert headline this Santa Rosa twang fest, which once again attempts to fill the void of country summers at defunct Konocti Harbor in Clearlake. Look for up-and-coming local musicians on the secondary Santa Rosa Stage between big acts. Wondering what to wear? The festival website sells “Ride a Cowboy — Ladies Booty Shorts.” June 5-7. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $69 day pass. countrysummer.com.

Kate Wolf Festival

By far the best destination fest for families, this annual tribute to sorely missed folkie Kate Wolf tops the bill with Smokey Robinson, Steve Earle and Angelique Kidjo. Don’t forget to bring your guitar for the late-night fire circle jams and your radio so you can listen to the occasional show from your campsite. Kids always love the hay-bale slide, and Mom and Dad can’t get enough of those hot morning showers. June 25-28. Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. $200 two days, $275 four days. katewolfmusicfestival.com.

NASCAR

Drawing more than 100,000 fans over the three-day weekend, the Toyota/Savemart 350 is more than just a race — it’s the best people-watching spectacle of the year. Just a survey of the tattoos on display is worthy of the ticket price. Not to mention it’s local hero Jeff Gordon’s last chance to trade paint at the always unpredictable pretzel known as the Sonoma Raceway road course. June 26-28. 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. $49-$140 for Sunday race, $95-$180 weekend pass. racesonoma.com.

Sonoma County Fair

In an era of ultra-lounges and oxygen bars, if you ever need a reminder of Sonoma County’s agrarian roots come drop a few dollars on Hogzilla, horse racing and deep-fried Oreos. This year’s musical lineup boasts Montgomery Gentry, Thompson Square and Bridgit Mendler. And not to worry — the vomit-inducing 35-mph swinging Dance Party ride is back. July 24-Aug. 9. 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $11 ages 13 and older, $5 ages 7-12, free for 6 and younger. sonomacountyfair.com.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Billed as Sonoma County’s largest charity event, this pairing of elite chefs and winemakers is a decadent Labor Day Weekend feast. Friday kicks off with Sonoma Starlight dancing at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Saturday’s Taste of Sonoma raises the art of grazing to a new level at MacMurray Estate Vineyards and Sunday’s Harvest Wine Auction tries to top last year’s $4 million haul. Sept. 4-6. $85-$500. sonomawinecountryweekend.com.

Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival

Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy and jazz smoothie Dave Koz anchor this perennial end-of-summer blowout by the river. Come by car or bike or boat — either way it’s always a great escape for families, with plenty of options for cooling off. And make sure to say hi to former owner Claire Harris, who has promised he’ll still be working behind the boathouse counter this summer. Sept. 12-13. Johnson’s Beach, Guerneville. $55 day, $90 weekend. russianriverfestivals.com.

BEYOND

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Widely regarded as one of the most innovative regional repertories in the country, Ashland’s theatrical theme park offers 11 plays to choose from this summer, reaching as far back as the Bard’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and bringing it up to date with the world premiere of “Sweat,” the timely tale of a company town besieged by layoffs. Through Nov. 1 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, Ore. $30-$110. osfashland.org.

Reno Rodeo

They don’t call it “The Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West” for nothing. From the opening cattle drive to the last day of barrel racing, this 10-day hoedown across the border kicks up mud for roping and wrangling, music by Little Big Town and the crowning of a new rodeo queen. June 18-27. 1350 N. Wells Ave., Reno, Nev. $12-$25 per day. renorodeo.com.

Outside Lands

Gone are the years when the power cut out during Radiohead and Tom Petty sets. This sprawling epic festival is a huge, streamlined success now, drawing music fans from around the country. Top acts: Mumford and Sons, Black Keys, Elton John, Wilco, D’Angelo and Kendrick Lamar. Tip: It’s almost sold out, but tons of tickets are available on Craigslist and StubHub. Aug. 7-9. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. $135 day, $325 three-day pass. outsidelands.com.

Monterey Jazz Festival

From Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea to Snarky Puppy and Trombone Shorty, the “longest running jazz festival in the world” spans the ages. Throw in Bela Fleck and Sheila E to mix things up. And Sunday’s family day serves up plenty for budding jazz stars with an instrument petting zoo and percussion play shop. Sept. 18-20. $45-$360. Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgound Road, Monterey. montereyjazzfestival.org.