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Do you know a Good Egg?
by Petaluma Downtown on 

With Butter & Egg Days nearing, its the time of year to start thinking about all those Good Eggs in town.  Every year we honor one especially Petaluma-minded Petaluman that works hard at keeping our traditions, heritage and history alive for future generations. If you know someone that fits that bill, we encourage you to complete a Good Egg Nomination Form and return it to us for consideration.

Just make sure you get the nomination in by the February 27th deadline!

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2015 Butter & Egg Days on April 25 Celebrates "Petaluma: Fertile Ground"
by Petaluma Downtown on 

The 2015 Butter & Egg Days Parade Theme is: “Petaluma: Fertile Ground” celebrating the wealth of resources -- nature, culture, talent, and community -- that make our hometown a rich, caring, and productive place to raise families, grow businesses and develop new ideas and programs.


The parade steps off at noon Saturday, April 25, and will march through the historic downtown, surrounded by a festival of fun and activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Petaluma’s Butter & Egg Days Parade celebrates all things Petaluma, the history and the stories we love to tell. This year the Parade will celebrate Petaluma's remarkable fertile ground, sharing success stories of our culture, businesses, schools, legends and non profits past & present, that have helped us create a very special fertile environment and beautiful hometown.


The 2015 theme, "Petaluma: Fertile Ground" recognizes the importance of the amazing fertile environment in which we live.  A Fertile Ground where businesses to grow and prosper from the dairy and poultry industries, food and beverage processing, manufacturing, innovative products, information technology, schools, health & wellness, growing arts and entertainment all contributor to our high quality of life and to our community’s history.  “We are very excited about the opportunity to acknowledge the many special people, cultures, businesses, and organizations that have contributed to Petaluma’s growth and reputation as a city from the past continuing to the present day,” said McCusker.


This 34th annual parade will ask entrants to incorporate their idea of who or what represents the theme "Petaluma: Fertile Ground"  into their float design. “The Fertile Ground" theme gives businesses, organizations and individuals a lot of options for showing off their creativity in their design,” says McCusker.


Suggestions for interpreting and representing the theme "Fertile Ground" could include celebrating our: creative environment, culture, art, talent, music, festivals, remarkable local character/s businesses, inventions, products that are processed, produced or native to this area and organizations whose  good works you feel represents this year's theme. You could also depict a time in Petaluma's history that was particularly important to creating a Fertile environment for Petaluma to flourish and become the home town image today.  The city’s world-renowned dairy industry, poultry, agriculture, sports teams and our river/slough industry are just a few examples.


This year’s Butter & Egg Days event will again be presented by Petaluma Poultry’s Rocky & Rosie, the event’s premier sponsor. Bank of Marin is the presenting sponsor of the main Parade. Clover Stornetta Farms will return to lead the Clover Kids’ Parade, which precedes the main parade with a procession of preschoolers and primary grade youngsters and their families. Other sponsors are being signed up now, with a deadline of March 1 for major recognitions.


According to Marie McCusker, Executive Director of the Petaluma Downtown Association which produces the parade, the cost of putting on the parade is over $100,000. “We don’t receive any funding from the city so generating sponsorships is essential if this precious community event is to continue.” She asks that anyone interested in sponsorship and donation opportunities contact the PDA at 762-9348.


Parade applications with all deadlines will be available soon at, or by emailing to request an application be emailed to you as soon as they are available.


The early bird entry deadline for the lowest possible entry fees will be Monday, February 27th at 5 p.m.


Please note that the date of application does not guarantee entrance into the line-up. All entries received as of March 9 at 5 p.m. will be reviewed for entertainment value, variety of entrants, and creativity. The first 100 qualified entrants will be accepted.


The regular deadline is Monday, March 9 at 8 a.m. Entries will be accepted after that on a space-available basis only and will require a late fee. No applications will be accepted after 8 a.m. on Monday, March 16.


 [Editors Note: Fee structure is included at bottom of news release.]






Fee Structure


For all commercial businesses, financial institutions and advertising companies fees are

$300 if application is received complete by 5 p.m. Friday, February 27

$500 if application is received complete by 8 a.m. March 9

$650 if application is received after 8 a.m. on March 10


For non-commercial organizations and individuals fees are

$42 if application is received complete by February 27

$65 if application is received complete by 8 a.m. March 9

$100 if application is received after 8 a.m. on March 9
Non-commercial organizations and individuals, which promote commercial businesses, need to pay commercial fees.


School bands do not pay a fee if their application is received by February 27.

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by Petaluma Downtown on 

Petaluma merchants open their doors to Christmas merriment, entertainment and great shopping during this holiday extravaganza!


On Saturday, December 6th from 11am to 5pm, downtown merchants will host their Annual Holiday Open House. Businesses open their doors to Christmas merriment, entertainment, & great shopping. Don't miss Santa who will be making a special appearance in the Lan Mart building for photos and Holiday wishes.


The Holiday Open House is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy great shopping deals and cross a few more people off your list. Enjoy Horse & Wagon rides through Scenic Downtown, find Morris Dancers, roaming carolers, face painting, balloon art, treats and more. .  It’s great fun for the whole family and absolutely free to attend.Each participating store will offer Holiday festivities, and each will vary, so make sure to visit the list of events page for full details.

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by Petaluma Downtown on 

Petaluma, known for its community spirit, will once again glow brightly with holiday cheer this season, beginning with Santa’s Riverboat Arrival on Saturday, November 29th. This traditional kick-off event for Petaluma’s holiday season begins at 11:30am when a variety of performers will be on hand at River Plaza shopping center to entertain the crowd as they await Santa and Mrs. Claus’ arrival at about noon. After they make their way from the boat dock to the shopping center, Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet the children and hand out candy canes assisted by costumed dancers from the Petaluma School of Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available at River Plaza for hearing holiday wishes and taking pictures after their arrival.

Santa and Mrs. Claus have come to Petaluma by tugboat for decades.  Long ago, Petaluma’s thick winter fog grounded Santa’s reindeer, so much so, not even Roudolph could light the way.  Santa was forced to take the Petaluma River into town. Trading in his sleigh for a tugboat, Santa and Mrs. Claus made their way into the Petaluma Turning Basin. Word got out that Santa was coming to town, so the citizens of Petaluma gathered round to welcome good old St. Nick to their prideful city. Santa and Mrs. Claus were greeted with such cheer and delight that they never forgot this little community with such a big spirit.  Now, deeply rooted within Petaluma tradition, Santa and Mrs. Claus make the trip by tugboat anually, remembering that such a special town deserves a special arrival. And so it has gone for over 30 years; Join Santa and Mrs. Claus as they arrive this November 29th to be part of this magical event.

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Trick or Treat Downtown Halloween 2014
by Petaluma Downtown on 

This Friday October 31st is the annual Trick or Treat Downtown event, held from 3:00PM to 5:30 PM in the heart of Downtown Petaluma . All your little monsters at home are invited to trick or treat their local merchants in the downtown area. This is a great opportunity for kids and parents alike to cruise the downtown circuit for sweets, fun, and maybe even a few tricks as well as treats! 
Find a map of all participating merchants here or grab a copy  at the Petaluma Visitors Center located at 210 Lakeville St. Come downtown dressed up in your best Halloween costumes and follow the black and orange balloons to each vender location.
Have a safe and happy Halloween and hope to see you there!

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by Petaluma Downtown on 

The Original Petaluma Train Depot Circa 1915Petaluma’s original hub of commerce, the Petaluma Train Depot, will be celebrating its 100th year on October 25th, 2014. Join Mayor David Glass, the Petaluma Visitor’s Center, and the Petaluma community from 11 AM-1 PM in a champagne toast to one of Petaluma’s iconic historical landmarks, located at 210 Lakeville Street, in the heart of Downtown Petaluma.The Petaluma Depot Post-Restoration

The event is free to the public and will include a Proclamation from Mayor Glass. Come rub elbows with some of Petaluma’s finest; we will be popping off champagne to commemorate the event, with sparkling cider for the kids. There will a cake-cutting ceremony, made possible by Petaluma’s own Lucky Supermarket. There will be historic photos, a musical accompaniment by the rag-time band piano playings of Petaluma Pete, as well as a photographer taking free photos, and of course, the famous Petalumans of Yesteryear to remind us of those who established the great city of Petaluma we know today. This event will precede the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Golden Spike Centennial Celebration, held just across the way at East Washington and Baylis Streets from 12 PM- 4:00 PM. For more info about the Golden Spike Celebration, please visit

Built by local contractor H.P. Vogensen, the Historic Petaluma Train Depot has served the community by acting as a center for travel and interstate commerce since its construction in 1914. At the original dedication to the railroad station, an Argus Courier reporter described the event, featuring over 600 patrons, as one where the people of Petaluma, “convinced the officials of the Northwestern Pacific railroad company that they are fully appreciative of the efforts of the company to give this city a model railroad and model depot.” Now, 100 years later as the SMART Train approaches, Petalumans are offered another opportunity to show our appreciation for Petaluma and the historical roots that have helped to establish our wonderful community.

The Petaluma Visitors Center is a not for profit dedicated to marketing Petaluma worldwide and helping visitors find all that Petaluma has to offer. For more information, please visit online at, find the Petaluma Visitor’s Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest, or give them a call at (707) 769-0429.

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Petaluma's Harvest Days Are Here!
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Petaluma’s downtown merchants are inviting you to come to Petaluma’s Harvest Days and “Scarecrows on the Town,” held October 24th-26th. Events will be happening in local merchant locations at various times all three days, as we gear up the community in a Fall celebration.

There will be pie tasting, pumpkin carving, delectable Harvest menus, a cupcake cook off & bake sale and SO much more.  And for the 3rd year Scarecrows will be donning their best attire and taking up residence in Downtown.  Many merchants will create unique and inspired Scarecrows to showcase during October for "Scarecrows on the Town". Download a map of all participating merchant locations at under the festivals and events tab.

We encourage you to participate in a plethora of events including I Leoni’s “Hocus Pocus Cupcake Bakeoff” and sale from 10AM to 3PM. Show off your ghoulishly great baking skills or simply stop by for some pre-Halloween treats. All proceeds will be donated to COTS. For more information or questions, call I Leoni at (707) 762-9611. Petaluma Market will be hosting a FREE pumpkin carving and decorating contest. All supplies will be provided. Just bring yourself and a little creativity for a frightfully good time. Also, the Petaluma Pie Company is holding their annual “Guess the Weight of the Pie” contest as well as hosting a blind tasting of sweet potato vs. pumpkin pie; will you be able to tell the difference? Free Range Provisions and Eats is having an Heirloom Apple Tasting; come and enjoy rare apples with heritage beginnings. Gallery One Petaluma is holding a fall show, featuring  a wide selection of hand-blown glass pumpkins, hand carved gourds, and sculptures by Steven McGovney based on The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. Come and enjoy a bit of fall for dinner as well, at Graffiti restaurant, where they will be featuring a harvest menu.    

In addition to Harvest Days, Petaluma is host to many fall destinations. Come visit the Petaluma Farmers Market from 2PM-5:30PM in Walnut Park. Also, check out the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and A-Maze-Ing Corn Maze, The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch of the Spring Hill Cheese Company, and McClelland’s Organic Dairy for all of your pumpkin and corn maze needs. Don’t forget about The Petaluma Art Center’s “El Dia de Los Muertos Exhibition and Celebration all month long.

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Fall into Antiques this September
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Nothing marks the beginning of Fall in Downtown Petaluma better than the annual Fall Antique Faire! One of our favorite features of the fall faire are the antique dealers that display their wares with a tip of their hat to the upcoming Halloween season. Caldrons, witchy hats, orange & black and other Halloween-y vintage finds will delight those looking for some new-to-them spook-tacular decor.

Aside from the ghoulish wares, we have an incredible assortment of dealers, carrying everything from very fine European antiques, to fossils, to vintage shabby chic and everything in between!

And if 180 dealers lining the street isn't enough, our downtown offers over a dozen antique shops within walking distance of the event! Take a peek here to get a list of all of them. A perusing through our Antique Faire and shops wouldn't be complete without the Mason's traditional pancake breakfast at the Masonic Hall at 9 Western Ave. Enjoy pancakes, sausage and eggs in their Grand Ballroom for a mere $8 donation anytime between 7am and 11:30pm the day of the event.

Whatever you're interested in, you're likely to find it at our Fall Antique Faire on September 28th from 8-4pm. We've ordered good weather and are looking forward to another beautiful day in Downtown Petaluma!

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Ode to Taste of Petaluma, Part 2
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Last week I detailed some of the participants of the 9th Annual Taste of Petaluma (coming up August 23rd!) that I was privileged to be wined and dined at during the Mini-Taste of Petaluma.  As I explained in my last blog, these Mini-Tastes are a small scale preview of the deliciousness that is Taste of Petaluma. Well, it appears the Goddess of Taste (Ms. Laura Sunday) favors me, because I got invited to the next round of Mini-Taste, and this time around I just went ahead and squealed with delight.

The first stop on our schedule was Zodiacs, at 256 Petaluma Blvd N., owned by Kristin McMaster and fiancé John “Jonesy” Jones. Kristin served us their Slow Roasted Baby Back Ribs with Cool Mango Slaw. Even with my limited exposure to ribs I could tell these were GOOD. While I usually consider coleslaw a rather blah compulsory condiment to BBQ, their mango slaw was inventive, crisp, refreshing and highlighted the smoky and vinegary notes of the ribs. Perusing their menu; which features locally sourced meats, grassfed beef, and Mary’s chicken; I was excited to note a Southern theme, nothing rivals the comfort of a good Southern meal for me. Judging by the warm smile Kristin entertained us with, and the way she talked about what they do, Zodiacs is a labor of love and everything there seemed to exude that.  Aside from lunch & dinner, they also host brunch on the weekends, music seven nights a week and even some lunch performances, live painting, and a changing exhibit of local art. They'll be serving their Ribs at Taste of Petaluma, but they’ll also be hosting a slew of local craft brewers, AND they’ll be hosting the first ever After Taste Party. Your Taste wristband is entrance in, the fun starts at 4pm and will continue until the last person admits defeat and heads home.

I carefully wiped every crevice of my face and hands to hide the huge BBQ mess I’d made of myself and we tottered on to our next stop, Seared, located at 170 Petaluma Blvd N. Seared is an interesting place, the food is beautifully plated, inventive and vibrant in flavor, but the atmosphere is casual and unpretentious. Owned by a trio of locals, it’s headed by Chef Joe O’Donnell, a young and promising chef that has obvious culinary talent. Particularly intriguing was his “Aquachili”, a new term for me. Basically lime and chili cooked fish, it is very similar to the more commonly known ceviche. Consisting of Chili Pepper Cod atop a Crisp Tortilla square with Avocado, Micro Cilantro & Pickled Onion, I adored the freshness of the ingredients, each contributing to a well balanced bite of sweet, salty, tartness. Their other offering for Taste of Petaluma is a Wagu New York Tataki with frizzled ginger, Scallions, Micro Shisho & Shoyu. The Wagu was cooked to medium rare perfection and melted in my mouth in a happy mingling of ginger, shoyu & tangy vinegar.

Our next stop was Speakeasy, a cozy tapas bar located at 139 Petaluma Blvd N., in Putnam Plaza. It’s owned by Roger Schann and Amber Driscoll, yet another restaurateur couple, and they have done a beautiful job with their very limited space. Indeed, they are taking over the space formerly occupied by Off Limits, to serve as an overflow dining room, events area, and performance space, to be dubbed the Big Easy. Upon arrival, there were some house cured olives and pickled veggies awaiting us, an enjoyable cleanse of palate.  Empanadas with Niman Ranch Steak & Potatoes topped with a Lime Cilantro Crema & crumbled Queso Fresco, served piping hot, soon followed. It was a beautifully plated and rather adorable little hand pie, but the best part of the empanada was the ethereal pastry dough. It was impossibly light, buttery and decadent. The filling and crema were delicious as well, but honestly I could have just eaten the pastry plain it was so good. I quickly mashed any remaining pastry bits, crema and filling onto my fork and savored the last bits before heading to our next stop.

Sax’s Joint was our fourth and final stop. Located at 317 Petaluma Blvd S., you’ll probably recall that Marvin’s occupied this cute little space just south of D St. for many years. Owned by sisters Tiffany and Kimberly Saxleby, and their mother affectionately referred to as Mee-Maw, this breakfast and lunch spot is a heartfelt tribute to their father, who encouraged this dream and passed away before they were able to realize it. The interior is 50’s diner chic, with classic rock playing jubilantly in the background. During Taste, Sax’s will be hosted by Marisa’s Fantasia (29 Petaluma Blvd N.) and will serve Chicken Fried Chicken Strips in house made Country Gravy. The chicken strips came out in a mug, resting atop a dollop of gravy. They were freshly fried and still moist inside, the batter was incredibly flavorful, a stark contrast to the often dull seasoning that accompanies fried chicken. Their cupcakes had been staring at me since walking in, and to my utter joy turned out to be for us. The cake was light, moist and flavorful and the butter cream frosting was in excellent proportion to the cake. Mee-Maw is the house baker, making from scratch all their desserts, cupcakes and even cinnamon rolls the size of your head.

The official Taste of Petaluma will take place on Saturday August 23rd from 11:30pm to 4pm, and I encourage everyone to come out and support Cinnabar’s wonderful theatre programs and Taste your way around town. Aside from all the scrumptious things to eat and drink, there will be food for the soul too with over 23 musicians performing around town. It’s a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Tickets are currently on sale and cost $40 for 10 tasting coupons. You can purchase tickets and peruse menus online at You can also visit Gallery One, Velvet Ice Collections, or Blush Collections to get your tickets in person or you can wait and purchase tickets the day of in Putnam Plaza.

Written by Jennifer Hawks, Petaluma Downtown Association
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An Ode to the Mini-Taste of Petaluma
by Petaluma Downtown on 

When I found out I’d been invited to Cinnabar Theater’s “Mini-Taste”, I nearly squealed with delight. I’ve seen the blogs and articles that surface after one of these coveted Mini-Tastes, which of course is the purpose behind treating local writers and bloggers to this culinary sprint of deliciousness. Taste of Petaluma might be my favorite event in town, simply because it’s all about the amazing food that is produced in our little hamlet. In its 9th year, The Taste of Petaluma is a full day (the day of August 23rd to be exact) of unbridled enjoyment of culinary creation, local wine and craft brews, that benefits Cinnabar’s programs. Tickets are $40 and include 10 tastes, and with over 54 participants this year, it will be a difficult endeavor to decide which 10 you’ll try.

The marathon began at Paradise Sushi; a sushi place that had somehow escaped my ravenous appetite for all things Japanese since opening in 2012 in the River Plaza, 20 E. Washington St. During the official Taste of Petaluma you’ll get a generous portion of 2 pieces of Ocean Roll (Calamari Tempura & Cream Cheese, topped w/Salmon, Lemon slices, Crab, Scallions & Eel Sauce) and 2 pieces of Ninja Roll (Shrimp Tempura & Crab, topped w/Tuna, Avocado, Red Snapper, Tobiko, Eel Sauce & Spicy Mayo). I’ve had ninja rolls many times before and Paradise’s did not disappoint. The Ocean roll had a hint of lemon zest that made the creaminess of the calamari and cream cheese pop. We tasted a few other items including various Nigiri and their signature Paradise roll, but the show stopper for me was the Ceviche roll, a fusion of Serrano pepper, avocado, salmon, red onion and cilantro. It captured the spicy, citrusy and salty sweetness of fish you’d expect from any number of coastal towns in Central America.

I’ve alluded to the quickness of this tasting tour, and sure enough before I had managed to devour the sushi and take a few notes, we were being directed to our next stop, Twisted 2, located in the Lan Mart Building at 29 Petaluma Blvd N. Owned by husband and wife team, Dick and Julie Warner, Twisted 2 is the second coming of their popular restaurant/wine shop Twisted Vines. Julie’s role is that of head chef, she carefully sources the food and creates a special prix fixe menu every Thursday through Saturday based on the freshest ingredients to be found, many coming from her own garden. We were served sashimi fresh from Hawaii with sushi rice & seaweed slaw, and a splash of crisp Sauvignon Blanc that was carefully selected by Dick to pair unobtrusively with the delicate flavors of the dish. The dining experience is intimate, with a maximum seating of 20 patrons per night, making reservations for their happy hour and dinner a necessity. We were also introduced to Couture Farms Pistachio Nuts that act as an Amuse Bouche before your meal begins. I already love pistachios, but these glorious little green gems were far from your average pistachio.

With pistachio shells still in hand, we raced down Petaluma Blvd to Thistle Meats at 160 Petaluma Blvd N. Business partners Molly Best and Lisa Mickley Modica opened their whole animal butchery shop and charcuterie earlier this year. They specialize in locally sourced and ethically raised lamb, beef, pork, chicken, duck & rabbit; among their other specialties; sausages, pates, terrines, charcuterie, salumi and even some local provisions like Wild West Ferments’ Sauerkraut, Green String Farm’s produce and duck eggs. During Taste of Petaluma, you’ll sample a variety of their salumi, charcuterie & sausages, including one of the tastiest Sopresseta Calabreses that I’ve ever encountered. To help wash down the savory tastes, McEvoy Ranch was on hand pouring their 2013 Rosebud Rose. Dry, with hints of cranberry and pink grapefruit, it had a crisp tartness and acidity that paired quite well with the rich fattiness of the meats. I’m unsure if that was a planned pairing, or just a happy coincidence.

Wishbone was next on our list and required a brief car ride down Petaluma Blvd. Housed in the Petaluma mainstay that was Three Cooks Café at 841 Petaluma Blvd N., Wishbone is operated by another husband and wife team, Miriam Donaldson and Josh Norwitt. Miriam greeted us and told us the story behind their Taste offering, bacon jam BLTs on house made Sourdough with duck egg mayo and heirloom tomatoes. Not only is their sourdough (and every other bread, pastry and pasta they serve) house made, but it was created from a wild sourdough starter that began on their family ranch. Miriam explained the process of making bacon jam; the best tidbits of bacon from a local farm are combined with caramelized onions and cooked for over 12 hours, then finished off with a bit of strong coffee and maple syrup. I particularly appreciated that the heirloom tomatoes that topped the BLT were sweeter than the jam itself, which was well balanced in flavor. Oohs and awws erupted from the table, and one tastee said it best, “This is too good to leave anything on the plate” as she furtively removed the last piece from its platter.

And so, with bellies full and eyes agog, we headed back to our respective lives. That is, until this Friday, when we’ll embark on the next chapter of Cinnabar Theatre’s Mini-Taste marathon.

By Jennifer Hawks, Petaluma Downtown Association
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