Outdoor Summer Events in Sonoma 2017

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  • on MAY 31, 2017
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From music to wine, there are many fun, outdoor events in Sonoma County this summer. Enjoy the outdoors and try out these fun events.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival

From June 2, 2017 – June 11, 2017
Various locations in Healdsburg, California
Make sure to check out an free, outdoor concert from Carlitos Medrano at the Healdsburg Plaza on June 6 from 6-8 p.m.

Jazz lovers will enjoy this 10-day festival featuring world-class musicians including the Heath Brothers, The Django All-Stars, Joe Lovano Quartet and many more at diverse locations around town. After 19 years of music, the festival is gaining recognition around the country and nearly 5,000 visitors flock to Healdsburg each summer for it. There’s a great energy so no matter which show you attend, it will be fun. The festival also does work in the community year-round such as bringing in top jazz musicians for workshops with the Healdsburg High School Jazz Band, providing jazz music education for fifth grade students every year and promotes live jazz performances every week all year.

Insider Tip: If you can make it in June, the festival hosts live jazz concerts in the Hotel Healdsburg’s Fireplace Lobby Lounge every Saturday evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m. year-round.

The Great Russian River Race at Johnson’s Beach

Saturday June 3, 2017 the races begin at 11 a.m. and the party runs from 12 – 4 p.m.
Johnson’s Beach & Resort
16241 First Street
Guerneville, CA 95446
(707) 433-1958

Kick off the summer with canoeing, kayaking and fun at the annual Great Russian River Race at Johnson’s Beach. It cost $50 to join a race and entrants can choose from an 8-mile race for professional and/or experienced paddlers or a 4-mile race for less-serious paddlers. But there’s a free party at Johnson’s Beach (the end of the race) for anyone who wants to come. It’s all for a good cause because the money raised goes to educational programs for Russian Riverkeeper and cleaning up trash.

Insider Tip: If you’re passionate about the cause and paddling, there are opportunities to volunteer at the event with everything from pouring beer to timing the race to ensuring safety to helping clean-up.

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Saturday June 11, 2017 06:30 – 11:00am
Sunday June 12, 2017 06:30 – 11:00am
Keiser Park
700 Windsor River Road
Windsor, California 95492

With the gates opening at 4:00 a.m. and the balloons launching at 6:30 a.m., the 27th annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic is the perfect event for morning people. Some of the unique hot air balloons to fly in past years include Darth Vader, Yoda and Tweety Bird. It’s a great event for kids with food booths, craft booths and a kids play area running from 4:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Insider Tip: The entire event is run by volunteers and they always need extra help. If you’re interested in setting up and taking down the event, helping launch the balloons, taking tickets and more, sign up to volunteer and you’ll get a free t-shirt, breakfast, admission and parking.

Sonoma’s Fourth of July Parade and Celebration

Tuesday July 4, 2017
Sonoma Historic Town Plaza
453 1st St E
Sonoma, CA 95476

The parade starts at 10 a.m. and the closing fireworks end around 5:45 p.m.

Celebrate Sonoma and the United States during the town’s famous annual “old-fashioned” Fourth of July parade and celebrations. Produced for years by the Sonoma Community Center and now by the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters Association, the parade (the 2017 theme is “honoring our local heroes”) through Sonoma kicks off around 10 a.m. with around 60 different floats/entries. After the parade, help Sonoma’s non-profit groups with a festival full of food, drinks and games to raise money for a good cause. Then a 45-minute firework show kicks off at 5:00 p.m. above General Vallejo’s field.

Insider Tip: Yahoo News and Travel & Leisure magazine have named the City of Sonoma’s Fourth of July celebrations amongst the best in the nation. People from all over the country travel to celebrate the patriotic holiday in Sonoma.

Gay Wine Weekend

Friday July 14 through Sunday July 16, 2017
Various locations around the Sonoma Valley

Out in the Vineyard hosts a three-day weekend of fun LGBT events including winery tours, a champagne brunch, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners in Sonoma Valley. Some of the schedule highlights include a Twilight T-Dance at the picturesque Chateau St. Jean Winery Saturday evening and a pop-up video bar from the famous San Francisco video bar Midnight Sun in Sonoma Plaza Friday night. A VIP ticket for $495 gets you admission to the VIP welcome reception, LGBT business expo and wine tasting, Twilight T-Dance, Twilight T-Dance VIP reception, Apres T after party, big gay wine auction and recovery brunch and the Sunday pool soiree. The tours and dinners are sold separately from the VIP ticket.

Insider Tip: All of the money raised at the big gay wine auction and recovery brunch will go to Face to Face Sonoma County AIDS Network. Plus Equality Wines will reveal limited edition wines to benefit Human Rights Campaign One Glass for Equality.

Sonoma County Farm Trails’ 44th Annual Gravenstein Apple Fair

Saturday August 12, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday August 13, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Ragle Ranch Park
500 Ragle Road
Sebastopol, California 95472

Enjoy the beginning of apple season with cider, wine, microbrews, food, live music, apples and more at the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair. The 44th annual fair is honoring pollinators including bees, bats and butterflies who help keep apples growing. There’s plenty to do for kids and adults including farm animals, wagon rides, cooking demonstrations, games, arts and crafts booths and vendors and darts.

Insider Tip: The wine tent has a great selection of local wines from Francis Ford Coppola, Ferrari-Carano, Toad Hollow Vineyards, Martinelli Vineyards & Winery and many more.


WineCountry Staff


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