Things to do in Petaluma this weekend.

(Please feel free to contact me with any events you would like to see highlighted on upcoming editions of Petaluma Weekend.)

Happy Birthday to US.  It is the Fourth of July weekend, which brings back three of my favorite events of the year.  Since they are big ones I will list them here as well as in their appropriate categories below.  The Penngrove firemen’s breakfast is on Saturday and their “Biggest Little Parade” is on Sunday, followed immediately by the BBQ in the park.  As a Penngrove native, I have been attending this parade since its inception and they don’t call it the “Biggest Little Parade” for nothing.  This parade is a North Bay classic.

Penngrove Social Firemen’s Breakfast – Saturday – 7-11am

Penngrove’s “Biggest Little Parade” – Sunday – 11am

Penngrove Social Firemen’s BBQ – Sunday – after the parade

Petaluma Fireworks – Sunday – starts at dusk

Sadly, we have lost an old favorite; the World Champion Pillow Fights, which are normally held on July 4th weekend, are cancelled indefinitely.  It created too much traffic, noise, and trash for the tiny haven of Kenwood so they have called it off.

Although Monday, July 5 is a holiday for most, there are not a lot of happenings in town.  This is a day for driving home from afar or maybe just relaxing in the backyard with the family.  Enjoy your weekend of holiday celebrations but please drink responsibly and designate a sober driver.  Every year this weekend is filled with DUI arrests, but worse, it is also filled with tragedies that could easily be avoided if we all take greater responsibility for our actions.


Sat – 7-11am – Penngrove Social Firemen’s Breakfast – Penngrove Firehouse.  This is one of my favorite “feeds” of the year because it is hearty, affordable and you get to eat at big tables set up right there next to the trucks, inside the fire station.  For some real fun, sit with some folks you don’t already know and strike up a conversation.  Penngrove is filled with friendly and interesting people and I always enjoy meeting new friends every year at this event.

Sat – 11am – Elk’s Lodge – Lodge Picnic and Celebration of Independence Day – Flag ceremony at 11am, Games and Appetizers at Noon, Buffet line starts at 2pm.  Menu: BBQ Chicken & Ribs, and dogs for the kids.  Family friendly prices of $10 for Adults and $5 for children ages 5-12.  BBQ oysters on the back patio for $1 each.

Sun – 11am – Pit Beef…that’s right, this ain’t your standard BBQ’in.  Following the Penngrove’s “Biggest Little Parade” the Penngrove Social Firemen put on a huge BBQ, which includes pit beef.  If you don’t know what this is, pit beef is cooked in the ground, in a pit of coals, usually all night long.  It might not sound appetizing if you haven’t had it before but nothing tastes better than meat cooked in the ground.  If you have had it before, you know what I am talking about and probably already have this market on your calendar. 

Sun – 10am – Strange Pie Challenge – Penngrove’s Humble Pie will be launching their first annual Fourth of July “Strange Pie Challenge”.  If you want to enter a pie you need to drop it by between 10am-1pm.  For all the entry information click on the above link.  Judging is open to the public starting at 1:30pm and continuing until all the pies are gone.  I am going to bring my own fork!


Fri – 6:30pm – Get some exercise before the weekend starts with Athletic Soles’ Dame’s Dash and Drink.  It’s free and you don’t have to be an avid runner to enjoy these runs.  Distances ranging from 3 to 6 miles, with discount refreshments to follow at Tres Hombres.  For info on all their events visit  Holly of Athletic Soles just posted a great blog about warm weather running at Pacing Petaluma.

Fri/Sat/Sun 11:30am –La Dolce Vita is open early for World Cup action. I am going to assume that someone will notify me when all the football stuff is over.

Fri – 6:30pm – The Wine Country Baseball League – Our ‘kinda’ hometown Piratas will be facing off against the Knights in Napa.  I say ‘kinda’ because the league has no home field games planned in Petaluma this season…which ‘kinda’ makes me question why they carry our town’s name.  Wine Country Baseball in Napa –

Sat – All Day – The Wine Country Baseball League – Nothing says “Happy 4th” like a day at the ball park.  This will be a triple header at Napa Valley College’s field.  For more info about this new league read my article in the Argus at and my blog at

Sat – 4:30pm – All that noise you hear on Saturday night might seem like a nuisance, but that is only because you haven’t taken the fam to the best show in town…dirt track racing right here in our own back yard.  Bring earplugs and a couple of warm blankets because “Candlestick North” gets chilly even on these summer evenings.  And bring your appetite because the burgers, dogs and tri-tip sandwiches are just what the doctor ordered.  If you haven’t been before, this is some of the best excitement money can buy.


Fri – 6:30pm – Movies in the Park – This week’s film is “Cats & Dogs.”  I was expecting something more patriotic but maybe “The Patriot” and “Independence Day” are too violent for the kiddies.  There will also be live entertainment prior to the movie so get there early in order to grab a good spot.  For more info:

Sat – 12am – Phoenix Theater – Rocky Horror Picture Show


Sat/Sun – 12-4pm – This is the final weekend for The Petaluma Arts Council’s exhibit “A World Defined: Drawings and Sculptures by Chester Arnold and Edwin Hamilton” as well as the very popular “Art and Infrastructure: Patricia Johanson and the Petaluma Wetlands Park.”  After having attended these exhibit I can highly recommend both.

Sat/Sun – 12-3pm – Petaluma Museum – Elvis has left the building…well, not quite yet, but shortly.  The Elvis exhibit wraps up this weekend with the museum staying open to 4pm on Sunday for you stragglers.

Sat/Sun – Pelican Art Gallery continues its “Masters of Today” exhibit, featuring Christopher Schink & Camille Przewodek through August 7th.  I am particularly drawn to Ms. Przewodek’s work and am not surprised that she is one of California’s most respected Plein Air artists.  I like to read through Pelican’s website prior to viewing their exhibits since it gives me a greater appreciation for the artists and for what I am looking at in their paintings.  Heck, I didn’t even know what a Plein Art artist was but am glad I did some research before viewing Ms. Przewodek’s paintings because it gave me a more informed perspective.  (Plein Art artist paint in the “open air” as opposed to painting indoors from a picture or from memory.)

Sat –Gallery One’s “Artful Garden” exhibit is on display through July 31 with an Open juried reception on July 10 from 4-7:30pm


MUSIC: (type of music)

Fri – 6:30pm – Midnight Sun will be performing at Lucchesi Park prior to the Friday night outdoor movie.  For more info:

Fri – 6pm – The Theater District Summer Music Festival kicks off this weekend with the Peter Weller Sextet Jazz group performing in Theater Square.  They will be performing every Friday night through Sept 3rd.  This is not to be confused with the world renowned Cinnabar Theater Summer Music Festival, which begins August 19th and continues through September 12th.  See Cinnabar’s website for more info.

Fri/Sat – 8pm-midnight – Karaoke with Kat Kat at The Willowbrook Alehouse.  Willowbrook’s kitchen stays open until 1am.  Saturday night offers free pool.

Sat – 6pm – The Theater District Summer Music Festival continues with the P.o.8’s Original playing rock and blues in Theater Square.

Sat – 6pm – Blue Ambiance playing at the Apple Box – (Gypsy jazz, swing, Boss nova)

Sat – 9pm  – Howling Coyote Tour – Brixx

Mystic Theater

Fri – 9pm – Tommy Castro Band w/ Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue feat. Ron Thompson, Janiva Magness, Sista Monica – (rock/rhythm/blues)

Phoenix Theater

Fri – 8pm – Larry and His FlaskWaters – Easy Leaves – See How It Goes

Sat – 12am – Rocky Horror Picture Show


Fri – 5:30pm –   “Cruisin’ on the River” tours are back for the summer.  The tours run roughly two hours and include wine and cheese, as well as a docent to teach you things you never knew about our river.  Friends of the Petaluma River hosts these tours most Friday nights, and reservations are highly recommended.  You can find more info about tours and private charters at:  

Sat – 10:30am – Downtown docent tour (free) –

Sat – 2-5pm – The Petaluma Farmers Market (free) –

Ring that bell!!!

Sun – 10:30am – Bell Ringing – Petaluma Museum – Start your Independence Day right with some good old fashioned bell ringing.  The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. with musical entertainment, a flag ceremony and then at 11am, the tolling of the historic Liberty Bell.   Since the mid-sixties, bells have tolled in unison throughout the nation in celebration of our country’s independence.  Children of all ages are welcome to ring Petaluma’s Liberty Bell; this is a memory they will carry with them forever.  Afterward, cookies and lemonade will be served.  Then stick around for the final day of the Elvis exhibit. 

Biggest Little Parade

Sun – 11am – Penngrove – “Biggest Little Parade” immediately followed by a huge BBQ in the park, including the ever popular pie eating contest.  This is a fundraising event put on by the Penngrove Social Firemen and allows them to keep the Penngrove park open and well maintained.  Whether you are new to the area or have lived here your whole life, this is a “must attend” event. 

Sun – 4pm – Petaluma Fireworks – Petaluma Fairgrounds.  With food, wine, beer, and craft vendors along with music and kids activities, this is the place to be.  Fireworks start at dusk, not dark, so don’t wait until it is pitch black to head out for the show. 

NOTE: Fit-n-Furry is offering free daycare for your pooch.  For details check their website. 


Hobbytown –

Fri – 6-9pm – “Magic the Gathering” gaming as well as dNano Micro Racing.

Sat – 7pm – Strategy Game Day



6am – Track Workouts with Dame or Holly from Athletic Soles.

7-10pm – La Dolce Vita game night  


4:30-8pm – Petaluma Evening Farmer’s Market –

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