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What to expect from this year’s virtual Monte Rio Variety Show

For its 109th annual celebration, the Monte Rio Variety Show is focusing on a virtual auction instead of live performances due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The auction, hosted on the variety show’s website, opens at midnight on Thursday, July 16, and closes at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 23. Proceeds will benefit St. Catherine’s Church, the Monte Rio Fire Services Foundation and the Monte Rio School Foundation.

A partial list of auction items already has been posted on the site. The highest valued items, at $700 each, are a 9-by-12 oil painting by artist Natalie Rome and a round of golf and dinner for eight at Northwood Golf Club in Monte Rio.

Other prizes include a dinner for 10 at the Union Hotel in Occidental, a tower of Jelly Belly candies and a 10-person barbecue with Monte Rio firefighters. Several wine packages are available from Korbel, Balletto Vineyards, Trecini Winery, Hawley Vineyards and other local wineries.

The variety show’s website also will feature testimonials of past performances and memories from volunteers.

The Monte Rio Variety Show began in 1911 as a fundraiser to construct a church in the area and has been held annually at the Monte Rio Amphitheater near the Russian River since then.

Past performers include Bing Crosby, Kix Brooks, Jimmy Buffett and Elvin Bishop.

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