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Return of the Taste
by Petaluma Downtown on 

Taste of Petaluma returns Saturday August 22 from 11:30am to 4pm, and this year marks a decade of delighting taste buds to benefit Cinnabar Theater! Taste has grown every year, and its 10th anniversary event is no exception with over 50 locations to taste culinary tid-bits, wine, craft beer and 11 locations to listen to live music. Almost as exciting as the main event, is the precursory “Mini-Taste” that some lucky folks such as myself are invited to partake in with the Queen of Taste herself, Laura Sunday.

We began our culinary journey at a fairly new addition to downtown Petaluma, Bistro 100. Owner and head chef, Garrett Adair, sources everything that is served within a 100 miles of Petaluma, hence the name.  Garrett is a veteran of the culinary arts, having started in the restaurant industry at 15. For Taste, Chef Adair will be showcasing a wild mushroom truffle bruschetta. This is a not-to-be-missed item if you’re a mycophile; it combined the meaty maitake (also known as hen of the wood), black trumpet, crimini and black truffle with Sonoma Vella Dry Jack, herb aioli on grilled sourdough. It was pure mushroom heaven. We also enjoyed a Canvas Ranch strawberry salad on organic greens, with Pt. Reyes blue cheese, walnuts and Sonoma Port Works gewürztraminer vinegar. You’ll have to stop by their restaurant another day to taste that gem of summer bounty as it is not being served at Taste. 

Next stop on our journey was another new addition to downtown Petaluma, Sauced. Sauced is a Southern style BBQ joint, and when I say BBQ, I mean REAL BBQ. Like 18 hours in a smoker BBQ. Sauced was started by two cousins, Brenden and Barrett. Brendan grew up in the South and had an affinity for cooking BBQ and it wasn’t long before the cousins decided NorCal needed a good Southern BBQ joint. Our host Tony served us up an array of BBQ goodness; burnt ends, pulled pork sliders, ribs, sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese, baked beans, and four kinds of BBQ sauce cluttered the table around us. The mac was creamy, the sweet potato casserole was sweet, buttery and speckled with candied pecans, and the ribs were smoky and fall off the bone tender. Burnt ends are the flavorful meat from the point half of a smoked brisket, and they were drenched in their tin roof BBQ sauce, which is their mild Kansas style sauce. I enjoyed their Carolina style mustard & vinegar based BBQ sauce on my slider, which they call Georgia Gold. If you stop by during Taste, you’ll be served up a pulled pork slider, with your choice of their four BBQ sauces to dress it up.

After all that rich BBQ, we pretty much rolled off our chairs to head to our final destination, Sonoma Spice Queen (SSQ). Now, SSQ is not a restaurant, but they have a beautiful array of organic spices, rubs, salts, seasonings, teas and a few other local products (like a mouth watering lavender caramel with SSQ smoked salt!). The Queen herself, Wind McAllister, greeted us and led us into her shop where spiced iced coffee was waiting for us. It was warmly spiced with her Pumpkin Pie blend and cardamom. We were then regaled with Moroccan lentils & rice with fried onion, yogurt sauce and Zatar cucumber salad. Just the smell it wafting through the air was intoxicating. The dish utilized her Moroccan seasoning blend and her Zatar blend, it was exotic, rich and the seasoning was perfection.  Wind started blending spices as a home cooking enthusiast, she had trouble finding spice blends that were organic, authentic, and that were not laden with salt, sugar, or other fillers. During Taste, you’ll get a sample of the Moroccan Lentil dish & Zatar Cucumber salad, a Java spice pulled beef slider with pickled slaw, and spiced iced coffee.

If these three menu items didn’t already convince you that the Taste of Petaluma is THE place to be on August 22nd, then visit them online at to read through the other 47 menu items! You can purchase tickets in advance for $40, either on or at various locations in town, including the Visitor Center at 210 Lakeville St. Tickets include 10 tasting tickets, a map with sampling locations, and a menu with all the food and special events listed.  Then it’s up to you to map your course and choose which locations to sample, not an easy task with so many alluring options. It’s going to be a fabulous feast for the senses and I hope to see you there!

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Dig into summer at the Petaluma Art & Garden Festival
by Petaluma Downtown on 

The food wouldn't be as good if it wasn't paired up with from a local winery a craft beer or a cocktail from: Lagunitas, Fogline Vineyards, Sonoma Portworks, Heidrun Meatery, Henhouse Brewing, Petaluma Hills or Sonoma Coast Spirits. Golden State Cider will pour its Devoto Orchard Cider and Golden State Cider.

Presented by the Petaluma Downtown Association, the festival is known for focusing on the beauty of nature. The free popular family event draws people from all over the Bay Area to enjoy summer, stroll past charming booths, and dance to live music, while tasting the food and beverages only Petaluma has to offer.

Not the typical street fair. only the highest quality vendors with creative home and garden décor, jewelry, arts and more are highlighted. With 150 booths, the event has offers a wide variety of unique items some that could become family heirlooms.

Experts will be on hand from the Petaluma Garden Club and Sonoma County Master Gardeners to answer gardening questions. Figure out how to frown vegetables in tricky Petaluma adobe soil and about organic gardening.

Neufeld Farms will have a fresh array of fruit in its own farmers market and premiere sponsor Friedman's will display its quality plants available this year for purchase. See Wild Garden Farm's outdoor kitchen with edible flowers, herbs, and other plants.

The Petaluma Art & Garden Festival has long been known for its high quality of musical performers. Check out our site to see more info.

Petaluma is well known as a destination for its fine restaurants, breweries and wine tasting, drawing tourists and foodies from all over the world. The Petaluma Art & Garden Festival ignores traditional fair food. You won't find funnel cakes and corn dogs here. Instead savor some of the finest foods and beverages the town has to offer.

Food, beer, and wine tasting packages are $25, including a commemorative wine or beer glass, adorned with a blue trumpet flower. Individual glasses are $5, with tickets selling for $1.50 each. Each year the festival's artwork spotlights a different botanical element, making them a fun historic collectible.

The selection of tastes for the palate changes every year, adding to the experience Premiere sponsors Rocky and Rosie Chicken will be serving samples of their chicken from a food truck. Relish in grilled chicken breast sliders with porcini slather, garlic and olive oil, Little Sumpin' chili, poblano wings and devilish honey mustard wings.

Also new this year is Petaluma Creamery, with a sampling of recipes, using many of their locally made cheeses. Harvest (formally Fourchette) will share its fresh seasonal menus with seared yellow tail and watermelon salad; curry chicken on flatbread; and Asian pulled pork sliders with smoked Gouda and Asian pears.

Preferred Sonoma Caterers will be serving pesto chicken salad wrap with bruschetta, chocolate chip cookies and mango iced tea. Don't miss Sally Tomatoes scrumptious pulled pork sliders or the award-winning handmade chocolates and other delights from Bert's Desserts. Pongos will be providing their chicken satay with cucumber salad, Thai curry and iced tea. Taste artisan pizzas from Brixx. Brothers BBQ will serve paella and ribs. King Catering will shine with its grilled chicken arugula salad adorned toasted pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, sliced grapes in apricot vinaigrette, brownies and King's iced tea.

The food wouldn't be as good if it wasn't paired up with a fine wine from a local winery a craft beer or a cocktail from: Lagunitas, Fogline Vineyards, Sonoma Portworks, Heidrun Meadey, Henhouse Brewing, Petaluma Hills or Sonoma Coast Spirits. Golden State Cider will pour its Devoto Orchard Cider and Golden State Cider.

While Parents are eating and dancing, the kids can enjoy the children's corner, with hands-on arts and crafts, face painting, scavenger hunt, bounce houses and a corn-hole toss. The Petaluma Panthers Cheer Team will teach kids a cheer to preform on stage! The children can also make a paper airplane and fly them though our hula-hoop to win a prize. The Petaluma Wildlife Museum will bring some of their reptiles friends to meet the kids including a ball python, California Desert Tortoise, a bearded dragon and more.

Adults and children of all ages will want to compete in the chalk art competition sponsored by Aqus Community. The competition takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check in at 10:45 a.m. at the Aqus booth on the corner of "B" and Fourth Street. The chalk artwork occurs from 11 a.m., with voting at 3 p.m. and the winner announced at 4 p.m. Enter at


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Down Home Day – a Centennial Celebration
by Ty on 

Artful Arrangements is hosting “Down Home Day,” a free event for fun-loving pet owners and country people on May 31, 2015, from 10am-5:30pm, on the grounds of a 1915 Sonoma County homestead at 205 Orchard Lane, Penngrove. Featured attractions are:  1) Live music in Homestead Gardens: HotGrubb from 11am-2pm, and The Spyralites from 2:30-5:30pm, with a drop in by country singer Scott Gerber;   2) Children’s entertainment in Homestead Gardens: James K from 11am-1pm, and Los Guachis from 1:30pm-3:30pm;  3) Fun games at $1 each, such as the Egg Toss, Hugs & Kisses Booth, Best Hat Photo Contest, Homestead Coloring, The Quest, A Self-Guided Tour Map, Amazing Pet Photo, Cutest Baby Photo, How Many Are “In” There?, and How Much Do These Weigh?;   4) Fair Fare by Preferred Sonoma Caterers – a hardy Homesteader’s hot lunch ($10 adults, $7 kids);   5) Dedication of The Portal of Time, an Art Installation you can walk through.  Visit for more information.

     The “Portal of Time” is an Art Installation that will be unveiled at 10:30am. It’s a 12’ diameter wreath made of redwood branches from the property, standing tall on the Homestead Tour route, just after the History Kiosk, and it represents the passage of time – from the past, into the future. It is being dedicated as a reminder that “history” matters, because, when people remember the role homesteading played in the settlement of Sonoma County, it is easy to recognize that today’s decisions shape the future – so, when visitors walk through The Portal of Time, they emerge with a renewed understanding of the importance of making good decisions today for a better tomorrow.

     Artful Arrangements founder Diane H. Davis says the nonprofit organization is rooted in agriculture. She propagates the plants on site and has been a member of Sonoma County Farm Trials since 2007, and Sonoma County Farm Bureau since 2013. The Mission is to reach peoples’ hearts through living plant arrangements (verses cut flowers) that need ongoing care – a reminder that accepting respon-sibility has rewards. She also advocates for the future through affordable child-centered programs, as well as gifting to aligned nonprofits. “The children are our future, and the good, long-range decisions people make today determine how things will be,” says Diane. “Young families are struggling to find time to simply be with their children – before cell phones and other distractions grab their attention.”

     Down Home Day is a Centennial Celebration as the Homestead turns 100 years old, and the day is geared toward wholesome, old-fashioned fun. Eleven local merchants have donated wonderful prizes for the games. “There’s something for everyone in the family,” says Diane, “from coloring, to music, to food, mixed in with an appreciation of history, and an eye to the future. So gather the children and their grandparents, and the family dog, and come on down to Down Home Day, and be sure to wear a hat!”

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Hey Beer Lovers!
by Petaluma Downtown on 

1st Annual Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition is coming May 23rd! Come and taste home brews and vote for your favorites!

Home brewers from across the land will come to regale you with their brews, learn about home brewing, peruse beer merchandise, and vote for your favorite home brews. The 10 most popular brews will be submitted to our panel of guest judges who will crown a winner and that lucky winner will have the chance to brew their winning recipe at 101 North Brewing Company with brewmaster Joel Johnson and have it distributed across Sonoma County!

Only the best food trucks will be on hand offering their delectable bites. Partake in the beer games, grab a glass of your favorite beer, and groove to the music of the Dixie Giants. It's going to be a lot of fun and we hope to see you all there!

Visit us online for more information or call us at (707) 780-2939

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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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