Festivals and Events
One of the biggest annual events in this agricultural region is the Sonoma County Fair (1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa, 707/545-4200, www.sonomacountyfair.com), held over two weeks at the end of July. Even the biggest Sonoma wineries prize the awards they win at their local county fair, and you’ll see fair ribbons displayed proudly in many a Russian River tasting room.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to attend, you’ll find far more than just wine—live entertainment acts, family shows, and an amazing array of contests and exhibitions featuring the work of folks from all over the Sonoma region. Live horse racing and an adjacent golf course round out the many attractions.
On the other hand, the Harvest Fair (1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa, www.sonomacountyfair.com, Oct.), also held on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, focuses almost exclusively on competition between wineries and farmers in Sonoma County. All the growers and vintners gather their finest produce and pit it against their local competitors’ items.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition