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Loving Our Gravenstein: This weekend, August 8 and 9, Sebastopol’s Ragle Ranch Park hosts the 42nd annual Gravenstein Apple Fair. It all takes place under the enormous oak trees on the north end of the park.

The fair opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. both days and offers a huge array of down-home activities for people of all ages. There’s musical entertainment on two stages throughout the day, with Sarah Baker and her new band, The Cake, appearing on the Gravenstein Stage at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The fabulous Hubbub Club closes things out at 5:30 on Sunday from the Farm Trails Stage.

A Do-It-Yourself Arena features felting, rainwater harvest, home brewing, fermenting and more. Life on the Farm offers an opportunity to get up close with llamas and other animals and to explore such activities as beekeeping, backyard chickens and sheep shearing. At 1:30 p.m. both days, restaurant consultant Clark Wolf will lead a panel of farmers discussing “Heirlooms and Heritage” on Saturday and “The Dirt on Soil” on Sunday.

There are always great things to eat and drink at this fair, including apple pie, fresh apple juice, sandwiches, pizza and more, along with local beer and wine and cider, in its own tasting tent.

A Chef’s Tent features three cooking demonstrations, with tastings, on both days.

Admission at the door is $15 for those 13 and over; $12 for seniors and veterans; $10 for adults who bike to the fair and $10 for kids aged 6 to 12. You can get discounted advance tickets at Oliver’s Markets, Copperfield’s Books and Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery and at the Farm Trails office.

Access to everyone is included in the price of admission except for the Artisan Cheese Lounge, where guided cheese pairings are offered for $25 per session.

The fair also sells Gravensteins, by the bag or box, located conveniently near a loading zone.

For a full schedule of pairings, chef demos, vendors, musicians and more, visit gravensteinapplefair.com.

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First Friday Art Walk: Friday night, August 7, galleries throughout downtown Santa Rosa remain open from 5 to 8 p.m. (a few close at 7 p.m.) for First Friday Art Walk.

Participating locations include The Art Trails Gallery at Corrick’s; Calibi Gallery and Annex Gallery, all in the heart of downtown. South A Street will also participate, with Christie Marks Galley, the studios at 312 South A, Backstreet Studios and Chroma Gallery, where there will be live music.

Admission is free.

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Ping Pong Palooza! Every Tuesday, Palooza Gastropub and Wine Bar (8910 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood) sets up four ping pong tables in the courtyard. Diners play for free, players who don’t eat pony up five bucks and the evening’s winners take home $20 gift cards to the restaurant. Things get started at 6:30 and continue every Tuesday evening throughout the year.

If you are not familiar with Palooza, you can check out their menu, food trucks and other services at paloozafresh.com.

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Bea’s Culinary Adventures: Chef Bea Beasley, who operates a cooking school in the St. Rose district of Santa Rosa, is offering three classes this month. All classes have a special focus on healthy eating.

The first in the series takes place next Friday, August 14, and you must sign up by this Saturday, August 8, if you want to be part of it. “Healthier Street Eats” features black bean arepas with mango; organic chicken tacos with corn salsa and summer slaw; grilled wild salmon with tapenade and greens; California Club on a stick; “Uptown Funk” deviled eggs and salted caramel bites.

A second class is scheduled for Friday, August 21. “Eat Your Greens and Eat Your Colors” features stone fruit salad with arugula, figs and almonds; sweet potato hash with baby spinach; heirloom tomato and watermelon salad; raw and pickled garden vegetable platter; smashed avocado toast with radishes and mint and peaches with “cream.”

The third class of the month, on August 28, is a Greek alfresco dinner, with eggplant puree with walnuts; Santorini favas; traditional tzatziki; beet tzatziki; flatbread; grilled chicken with Haloumi souvlaki ; summer vegetable souvlaki; Villager’s salad and honey-walnut balls.

These hands-on classes are $75 each; each starts at 6:30 and wraps up at 9:30 p.m. Classes include printed recipes; organic foods; appetizers upon arrival; a tasting of all foods prepared and complete instructions for each dish. Attendance is between six and 20 students.

To sign up, email beabea@sonic.net or call 595-5301. Directions and other details will be provided at the time of registration.

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Happy Anniversary, John Ash & Co: Thirty-five years ago, John Ash & Co., a restaurant and retail wine shop, opened in Montgomery Village, with John Ash at the helm in the kitchen and winemaker and pinot noir wizard Don Baumhefner in the store. It was, for several years, the best restaurant in Sonoma County.

The restaurant relocated to Vintners Inn in about 1987, a move that launched its national reputation and helped put Sonoma County on the country’s culinary map.

John Ash left daily duties at the restaurant in the 1990s. In 2000, Don and Rhonda Carano of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery purchased the inn and restaurant. Currently, executive chef Tom Schmidt heads up the culinary team.

In honor of the anniversary, there will be a special three-course prix fixe tasting menu offered from August 10 through 15 for $35. Highlights of the menu include lobster, corn and mushroom risotto and venison loin with blackberry sage sauce.

For reservations, call 527-7687 or visit vintnersinn.com.

John Ash & Co. is at 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa.

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Wine Emporium for Sale: Tom West’s wine shop in downtown Sebastopol is for sale.

“After 23 years in the wine business,” West wrote recently in an email, “I decided to start a new chapter . . . I am going to devote the rest of my life to environmental restoration, replanting and reforestation.”

While he searches for a buyer, he’s also putting his inventory on sale, with everything from gift bags and glassware to all of his drinkables, offered at 30 to 50 percent off. He’ll also continue with new releases and special case orders through October.

Come Halloween, West will close the doors, with or without a new owner for the business.

In the meantime, you’ll find him at 125 North Main St., 823-5200. The store is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and on Monday and Tuesday when customers knock on the door. It is closed on Sunday.

For more information, visit the-wine-emporium.com.

Michele Anna Jordan has written 24 books to date, including the new “Good Cook’s” series. Email Jordan at michele@saladdresser.com. You’ll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.

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