Feature: Hot Summer Guide

All you need for a summer of fun in Marin--and beyond

Compiled by Lily O’ Brien, Janelle Moncada and Molly Oleson

Summer is just around the corner. So grab a towel, some sunscreen, some friends and this handy guide. You’ll never be lost when it comes to finding the best happenings.

May:

A trip to Mount Tam is always an adventure, but when you add live theater to the mix, all the world’s a stage. For more than 100 years, the Mountain Play Association has been wowing audiences with outdoor plays at the mountain’s 4,000-seat Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre. This summer, Peter Pan, a musical based on the play by Sir J.M. Barrie, will have you wishing that you could escape to Neverland. Performances are on May 24 and 31, and on June 7, 13, 14 and 21; 2pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy. For more info., visit mountainplay.org.

Cultivate your inner Zorba at the Marin Greek Festival. This annual festival kicks off on Friday, May 22  with a special Greek lunch from 11:30 to 2:30, and free admission to the groundsthat night  from 5pm to 10pm with a “Food of the Gods, Fruit of the Vine” wine-tasting and dinner from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. The fun continues on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24 from 11am to 10pm at the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Christian Church, 1110 Highland Drive, Novato. Choose from a wide variety of yummy Greek delicacies, enjoy Greek music and dancing, learn something new at Greek cooking demonstrations and much more at this all-things-Greek celebration. For more info., call 415/883-1998 or visit nativityofchrist.org.

Come and support some real heroes over Memorial Day at the 43rd Annual Muir Beach Volunteer Firemen’s Barbecue on Sunday, May 24 from noon to 5pm. This fun family event is a fundraiser for the Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department : Members will be tending those smoky grills while live bands rock the stage. There will be activities for kids, a raffle and lots of choices for eating and drinking. What a fun way to spend the day. Santos Meadows on Muir Woods Road. Free, but donations encouraged. Parking is $20. For more info., call 415/383-8793 or visit muirbeachfire.com.

Climb out of your shell on Memorial Day and get ready to shuck your booty at Oysterpalooza 2015! This awesome celebration of the bivalve in Valley Ford includes five band on two stages, BBQ oysters, fried oyster po boys, red beans and rice, BBQ Brisket, Lagunitas beers on draught, local wines, hurricanes and much more! Monday, May 24, Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen & Saloon, Valley Ford. Doors open at 12:30pm. For more info.,visit oysterpalooza2015.brownpapertickets.com.

Bring the whole family to the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade. The theme for this year’s largest community event is “saluting” (as in hand gestures, cannon and rifle shots and hoisting flags), and of course celebrating mom, apple pie, freedom and democracy. This year they will be honoring (and saluting) the Police and Fire Departments for all their heroic service to the community. Monday, May 25, 10:30am. For more info., visit mviloveaparade.com.

“Take a little trip” out to Bolinas and experience the mellow mood of West Marin at the Bolinas Memorial Day BBQ in the Plaza. Dance the day away to the lively sounds of Bobo Tempo while you chow down on gourmet hot dogs and sausages, Drake’s Bay oysters, Strauss Ice Cream and more. What could be more fun than that?  Monday, May 25, 12pm to 6pm. Victory Garden, Bolinas Community Center, Bolinas. For more info, visit bocenter.org.

Steppin’ out on Friday nights in the summer can’t be beat at Friday Nights on Main in Tiburon. They close off Main Street for this beloved event so you can stroll along, listen to some great music, and dine al fresco at one of the outdoor tables set up by local restaurants. It’s the perfect way to mingle with family and friends and start your summer weekend. It happens on the last Friday of every month from May through September, 6pm to 9pm, Main Street, Tiburon.  For more info., visit tiburonchamber.wildapricot.org.

For 25 years, the San Rafael Farmers’ Market has offered a variety of food booths and live entertainment on Thursday nights, from 6pm to 9pm in downtown San Rafael on Fourth Street between B and Cijos streets. You’ll have the opportunity until the end of September, to taste an abundance of fresh edibles and savory bites provided by local farmers and vendors. Local favorites provide music that keeps the vibe of downtown San Rafael alive as the sun begins to set. For more info., visit sanrafaelmarket.org.

Come and get your local produce and more at the year-round Farmers’ Market at the Town Center Shopping Center in Corte Madera every Wednesday day from 12pm to 5pm. Sample delicious snacks and choose from a large selection of fruits, vegetables and flowers from local vendors. For more info., call 415/924-2961 or visit shoptowncenter.com.

Marin Country Mart really has it going on this summer. Grab some grub and enjoy the beats at the Friday Night Jazz series from 6m to 9pm throughout the summer. You can sit outside in the lovely courtyard at a picnic table, choose from a wide variety of venues for your evening repast (or bring your own) and get yourself into a really nice, totally free TGIF groove.

On Saturdays, there’s a Farmers’ Market, where you can choose from local organic produce, flowers, cheeses, pastured meats, breads, jams and more. This year-round event runs from 9am to 2pm, and also includes live music, children’s entertainment and arts and crafts. On Sundays, they feature what they call “Off the Grid,” the largest gathering of mobile food trucks in Marin. Enjoy views of the bay and get some great eats. And, from 12:30pm to 2:30pm they feature live music at their Folkish Festival, with different acts every week. What a way to spend a weekend! Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Cir., Larkspur. For more info., call 415/461-5700 or visit marincountrymart.com.

If you’re looking for another way to see how beautiful downtown San Rafael is, the Second Friday Art Walk is your answer. Sponsored by Art Works Downtown, the event features gallery openings, open studios and a look into the personal crafts of creative local artists on Friday nights, 5pm to 8pm, May through December, at venues along Fourth Street. For more info., visit artworksdowntown.org.

Great music and great food is what you get at Rancho Nicasio’s Summer Barbecues on the Lawn at 4pm on Sundays from May 26 through September 22. This year’s performers include Blues Broads, Elvin Bishop, the Zydeco Flames, Asleep at the Wheel and the Sons of Champlin. Prices vary. For more info., visit ranchonicasio.com.

Bottle Rock, The biggest concert festival to hit Napa since, well, last year, returns. This year includes headliners Imagine Dragons, No Doubt, Robert Plant, Foster the People, Passion Pit, Snoop Dogg and others. Too many groups to list here. May 29–31 at the Napa Valley Expo Center. 575 Third St., Napa. $129–$3,000. For more info., visit bottlerocknapavalley.com.

Sound the trumpets and walk that bass right on up to Healdsburg for the 16th annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival. There are over a dozen concerts scheduled, and this year features the Ed Reed Quartet: Tribute to John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, the Cookers: An All-Star Group, Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet with Jackie Ryan and others. The festival ends on Sunday with the St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band, the Dixie Giants, the Russian River Ramblers at Dry Creek Vineyard, and the George Cables Trio with guest Craig Handy at the Raven Theater. Concerts take place May 29–June 7 at various locations in and around Healdsburg. Prices vary. For more info., call 707/433-4633, or visit healdsburgjazzfestival.org.

Gourmet foodies and wine lovers won’t want to miss the 34th Annual Mill Valley Wine, Beer & Gourmet Food Tasting, featuring wine from 60 premium wineries, a huge assortment of gourmet food, and beer from 15 breweries on Sunday, May 31, from 1pm to 4pm. Tickets on sale now: $50 until May 30th (Group packet of 4 tickets for $175) $60 day of event (Group packet of 4 tickets for $200). For more info., call 415/ 388-9700 or visit millvalley.org.

June:

Everyone’s favorite Sonoma County brewery–Lagunitas–has lots of music on tap this summer. Starting out the Live at Lagunitas season on June 1 is Trampled by Turtles. Other performers include James McMurtry, Delta Spirit, Shovels & Rope, Pokey Lafarge and an extra-special secret show on Aug. 10.  Tickets on sale three weeks before each show on the bands’ websites. For more info., call 707/769-4495, or visit lagunitas.com/live.

More than 160 artists in dozens of studios throughout western Sonoma County are open to the public during two weekends, June 6 to 7 and June 13 to 14. Celebrating its 21st anniversary, Art at the Source invites artists to open their studios for the public to see their creative processes. Maps can be found at artatthesource.org or at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol. Free. For more info., call 707/829-4797.

Now in its third year, County Summer is the biggest country music event in the North Bay and it runs June 5 through 7 this year. The event will be held at the five-acre carnival field at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, and features musicians like Jake Owen, the Band Perry, Cassadee Pope and Trace Adkins. One-day passes start at $69. Call 707/543-0100 for more info., or visit countrysummer.com.

Celebrate the art of legendary musicians at the Preview Party for The Art of Rock Legends on Friday, June 12, 5pm to 8pm, as part of Art Works Downtown 2nd Friday Art Walk. This benefit exhibit, the first project in the U.S. of the Jerry Garcia Foundation, will feature more than 20 original pieces of art (some for sale) done by Garcia, and art donated by many iconic ‘60s musicians, including Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez and Marty Balin. The show also includes photos donated by famous photographers of that era, including Graham Nash and Baron Wolan, who was the first Chief of Photography for Rolling Stone magazine, and some really cool rock posters. Exhibit runs from June 12 through July 24 at Art Works Downtown, 1337 Fourth St., San Rafael. For more info., visit sanrafaelrocks.com

Get your eats and your beats at HopMonk Tavern Novato’s Cookout Concert Series, making its comeback in June. Shows are for all ages and you can come just for the show or add on a meal. The lineup includes Heather Combs & Stevie Coyle, Matt Jaffe & the Distractions and New Monsoon. Various Sundays starting June 7. For more info., call 415/892-6200 or visit hopmonk.com/Novato.

Summer is definitely the time to take the family out Film Night in the Park. Get together with friends and neighbors and bond while watching really cool flicks. This year’s season runs on Friday nights from June 12 through September 11 with shows at Creek Park in San Anselmo and Contrati Ball Field in Fairfax.  For more info. and film schedule, visit familyworks.org/filmnight.

Get mellow at the Town Center Music Series in Corte Madera. You can bring a blanket or your own lawn chair to Old Corte Madera Square at the Piccolo Pavilion and lay back and zone out to an amazing variety of music, from soul to classical to big band to indie rock—all for free. The series begins on Sunday, June 14 and runs through August 30 from 5pm to 6:30pm. For more info., visit  cortemaderacommunity foundation.org.

Eat, drink, be merry and shop at the 32nd Annual Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music on Saturday, June 13 from 10am to 7pm, and Sunday, June 14, from 10am to 6pm on Grant Avenue in downtown Novato. With more than 200 crafts booths, rockin’ bands on two stages, a children’s area with a train and ball pit, plus great food, wine and microbrew booths, you can’t go wrong. Headliners this year include the Tubes and Luvplanet. Free. For more info., call 415/897-1164 or visit novatoartwinemusic.com.

Come experience the Fairfax vibe at the 38th Annual Fairfax Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14 from 11am to 6pm. The “pre” festival kicks off on Friday night at 8pm with a traditional family film night at the Contratti Park ball-field, this year featuring The Lego Movie. Saturday’s festivities start at 10am with a good ol’ fashioned parade full of fanciful floats and more. Enjoy great music at three stages, with acts including Mojo Rising, Jerry Hannan and Big Brother and the Holding Company, and all the usual wonderful festival stuff, including arts and crafts, flea marketers, organic wine-tasting, breweries, food galore and a special area for the kiddies. And of course in Fairfax, expect to spot lots of colorful characters—great eye candy everywhere you look. Free. Downtown Fairfax. For more info., visit fairfaxfestival.com.

Give dad a treat on Father’s Day this year and take him out to Rancho Nicasio on Sunday, June 21 for the their Father’s Day Special “girls, girls, girls” show featuring the Blues Broads and the Coverlettes plus a barbeque on the lawn. 4pm, $25/ $30. On the town square in Nicascio. For more info., call 415/662-2219 or visit ranchonicasio.com.

If you’re looking for advice or inspiration on a home-improvement project, the Marin Home and Garden Show is the place to visit on May 30-31 at the Marin Center Fairgrounds & Exhibit Hall at the Civic Center in San Rafael. The event will feature how-to seminars, demos, workshops  and exhibits offering great ideas and products, including “green” building technologies. Catch celebrity lectures, expert demos and live music at multiple stages. For more info., visit festivalnet.com.

Get a good buzz goin’ with some really great beers at the California Beer Festival on June 20, 1pm to 4:30pm at Stafford Lake Park, 3549 Novato Blvd. in Novato. Enjoy more than 70 craft brews on tap and lots of tempting morsels—and cool your heels to the melodious sounds of local favorites such as Wonderbread 5, the Grain and IrieFuse. All this in a beautiful lakeside park setting. VIP tickets $70; general admission $50; designated driver tickets $25. For more info., visit californiabeerfestival.com.

Take a (virtual) trip to Italy on Saturday, June 27 from 10am to 8pm and Sunday June 28, from 10am to 6pm at the Italian Street Painting Marin Festival in downtown San Rafael.  An abundance of beautiful Italian paintings will be created in chalk on the streets right before your eyes by a multitude of talented artists.  The opening ceremony will feature the Flight of the Chalk Angel, the Parade of Costumes and more. And of course there will be great music, food and sips from Italy. Entry fee: Saturday $5, Sunday $10, kids 12 and under, free. Tickets available at the event entrances and online at ispm.brownpapertickets.com. For more info., visit italianstreetpaintingmarin.org.

Get on out and strut your stuff in the sunshine at the 32nd Annual San Anselmo Art and Wine Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28 from 10am to 6pm in downtown San Anselmo. This always fun and free event will feature more than 200 artists, 10 gourmet food booths and plenty of live entertainment. And new for 2015, the festival will feature a wine and craft beer tasting pavilion and a fashion show, including a “pet” fashion show! For more info., visit sresproductions.com.

Need something to do on Thursday nights to get an early start to the weekend? Then the place to be and be seen is at the Summer Concert Series in Ross Valley, at the Marin Art & Garden Center on Thursday nights from 5pm to 7pm, June 25 to August 13. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and plop down on the Gazebo lawn to hear some great music, including Mojo Rising, the Lorin Rowan Band and Ring of Fire. There will be a great selection of food and drinks available for purchase, such as Lagunitas and Mendocino Brew, Trecini Wines, Krumbs Cakes and catered boxed meals. 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross.  For more info., visit magc.org.

Novato is where it’s happening this summer at Pacheco Plaza’s Annual Summer Music Series, featuring top musicians playing jazz, blues, rock, soul and R&B. Grab a table outside and enjoy your own picnic or choose from great take-out choices. Once a month starting June 26. For lineup and more info., visit pachecoplaza.com.

Shop and rock till you drop at the 6th Annual Concerts Under the Oaks at Northgate Mall in San Rafael on Friday nights, from 6-8pm, June 5 through August 14. Food and beverages are available for purchase or bring your own. Lineup includes Foreverland (a Michael Jackson tribute band), The Blues Burners and the Boys of Summer (an Eagles tribute band). For more info., visit shopatnorthgate.com.

Want to have fun Latin style? Don’t miss the Latino Arts Festival on Saturday, June 6, from 12pm to 4pm at the San Geronimo Community Center in San Geronimo. This free event will focus on Latino arts and culture and feature local talent, including Aztec dancers, crafts, affordable food and artwork. For more info., call Nicole Ramirez at 415/488-8888, ext. 254, or visit sgvcc.org.

Get ready to party on Friday nights at the Creekside Fridays series at the Cabin in Mill Valley, 60 Tennessee Valley Road, from 6:30pm to 8pm, June 15 through August 10. This event is free for the whole family! Bring a blanket, the kids and pets, and enjoy an evening with performances by local musicians. There is even a kids’ area with face painting, cotton candy and more. An ever-changing and always tempting menu of goodies including burgers and hot dogs, veggie burgers and barbeque specials, and beer and wine will be available for purchase. For more info., visit tcsd.us.

Grab your running shoes! The 105th annual scenic and beloved 7.4-mile Dipsea Race takes off on Sunday, June 14 at 8:30am sharp. Get excited at dipsea.org.

This year’s music lineup at the Sonoma-Marin Fair features Tower of Power (June 24), The Beach Boys (June 25), Rodney Atkins (June 26), and wraps up with country music star Tanya Tucker (June 27). Don’t forget the classics, too: The world’s ugliest dog contest, destruction derby, carnival rides, fair food and livestock. Petaluma Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. June 18 to 22. Noon to midnight. $15, adults; $10, kids and seniors (under three, free). Tickets include rides. sonoma-marinfair.org.

Take a trip back in time and treat yourself to the beauty and elegance of yesteryear at the Tiburon Classic Car Show on Saturday, June 20, 11am to 4pm at Shoreline Park in downtown Tiburon. This 12th Annual Father’s Day weekend event is free and celebrates the beauty of pre-1971 classic cars, including rare 1950s Jaguar XK race cars, all against the backdrop of spectacular Tiburon Waterfront Park. The celebration continues into the evening with cocktails after the show. For more info., visit tiburonclassiccarshow.org.

Concerts-in-the-Park, a free summer music series that began two years after the city of Belvedere built a gazebo in the center of the park adjacent to City Hall, is bustling in the summer. The gazebo-turned-stage will host free music from Sunday, June 21 to Sunday, September 6. For more info., visit belvedereconcerts.org.

Summer is a dream at Marin Summer Theater. The award-winning nonprofit theater company guides students between the ages of 13 and 23 in fully-staged productions in June and July that include Into the Woods, Defying Gravity and In the Heights. Learn more at marinsummertheater.org.

Members of the Corinthian Yacht Club are proud to show off their sailboats to the public on Sunday, June 28, for the annual Wooden Boat Show. The sole fundraising event for the Master Mariners Benevolent Foundation—which provides funds for sail training scholarships and traditional sailing craft restoration skills—the display will also feature live music. For more info., visit mastermariners.org.

If you are looking for a place to wind down after yet another busy week, then start your TGIF celebration at Marinwood Park in Marinwood at its Music in the Park Series happening every other Friday night in late June from 6pm to 8pm. Bring a blanket, kick back and enjoy some great music—and choose from a variety of tasty bites, including BBQ from the Marinwood Market. For more info., visit Marinwood.org.

July:

Don’t miss the 51st annual Corte Madera-Larkspur Fourth of July celebration. Starting with a colorful and festive parade, the fair runs from 9am to 5pm and features lots of arts and crafts, food and drink and live entertainment—perfect for dancing your blues away. For more info., contact the Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce at 415/924-0441, or visit cortemadera.org.

Everyone in Marin knows that the summer would just not be complete without a trip to the Marin County Fair for a fix of great food, drinks, exhibits, entertainment and really great rides!  The music lineup this year includes Kansas, Judy Collins, Tribal Seed and the Marshal Tucker Band. This year’s theme is “On with the Show,” and shows include the Peking Acrobats, the Two Bit Circus, and the 45th Anniversary Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video, featuring 150 entries from around the globe. And don’t forget the amazing display of fireworks—every night! July 1-5, 11am to 11pm, San Rafael Civic Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.  For more info., visit marinfair.org.

The summer would not be complete without Ross Valley’s Annual Fourth of July Parade Celebration. Be sure to grab a spot along Ross Common Park to get a perfect view of all the intricate floats and entertainment that will parade through and show everyone’s American pride starting at 11am. For more info., visit townofross.org.

Farm fun, rides, clowns, an ice cream churn-a-ment, crazy cupcake decorating—the Napa County Fair has it all, in one svelte day of blistering excitement. Culminating in fireworks and a ’60s Summer of Love spectacular in the evening, the fun starts with a parade at 11am through downtown Calistoga. July 4 at the Napa County Fair. 1435 North Oak St., Calistoga. Noon to 9:30pm. $5–$25. napacountyfair.org.

Ten days, 100 wineries and more than 60 events make up the Festival del Sole celebration of fine arts in liquid, food and music in the Napa Valley. This year features singers Deborah Voigt and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, jazz by Herb Alpert and Lani Hall and many other world-famous artists. July 17 to 26 at various venues in the Napa Valley. $39–$249. For more info., visit festivaldelsole.com.

If you’re interested in learning more about the culture and traditions of the Coast Miwok, don’t miss the 35th Annual Big Time Festival at Kule Loklo on Saturday, July 18 from 10am to 4pm. This all-day event will feature traditional Indian craft demonstrations and informational booths about Miwok and other American Indian traditions, traditional dance performances and arts and crafts for sale. Bear Valley Visitor Center, 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station. Free. For more info., contact Loretta Farley at 415-464-5140 or visit nps.gov.

Get the cure for your summertime blues at the 5th Annual Great American Blues & Barbeque Festival in San Rafael on Sunday, July 19. This events features bands that celebrate American roots and blues music with performances by local and national blues artists on multiple stages. Be a munchkin for a day as you sample smoky treats from a variety of food concessions, and enjoy a “King of the Q” competition, arts and crafts, and sauces and spices. For more info., visit teamproevent.com.

Get into the West Marin groove on Saturday, July 25 for the 10th Annual Far West Fest at Love Field in Point Reyes Station. This is a big all-day party from 10am to 7pm that will keep you rockin’ with four stages of live music, marching bands, sunrise acoustic sessions, circus acts and more. There are even camping packages available-adjacent to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Voted Best Music Festival in Marin, this charity event has raised more than $300,000 for the Good Times for Greater Good. What are you waiting for? Love Field, 11191 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Pt. Reyes Station. For more info., visit farwestfest.org.

Don’t be surprised to see bikers sweeping down the streets of downtown San Rafael on Saturday, July 25, at  the 16th Annual San Rafael Twilight Criterium. This great event will attract many of the county’s most active bikers who will race down a course in hopes of winning a cash or merchandise prize. Onlookers will be able to enjoy watching the fast-paced competition while also feeling a cool breeze as the racers speed by. Don’t forget to visit the Strike Beer Garden or the cool exhibit booths like JL Velo, Muscle Milk, Honest Tea, Trips for Kids, Rip Van Wafels and more. For more info., visit srt.projectsport.com.

The theme of Novato’s popular Fourth of July Parade this year is “Novato Celebrates the Arts.” So grab your artist friends and head on down to the festivities on Grant Ave. between Reichert and 7th Ave. Free, 10am. Learn more at novatoparade.com.

Hop on a ferry and get away from it all at Angel Island LIVE, afternoon and weekend music at Angel Island Cantina—”the most happening place in the Bay Area this summer.” Sit on the deck from June to August and listen to everything from bluegrass to reggae from 2pm to 4:30pm. Angelisland.com.

Reminiscent of an old-fashioned country fair, Blackie’s Hay Day—held at Blackie’s Pasture —is a great way to kiss summer goodbye. An annual tradition that the kids will soon be asking about, this fun-filled day includes pony and train rides, a rock-climbing wall, face-painting, games and live music. For more info., blackieshayday.com.

Celebrating 79 years, the Sonoma County Fair opens this summer with the theme “Down on the Farm,” offering the largest themed flower show in the country and horse racing, rodeo, destruction derby and agriculture. Separate admission is required for some events. Concerts include Montgomery Gentry & Thompson Square (Aug. 4) and Bridgit Mendler (Aug. 5). Destruction derby Aug. 1; monster truck show Aug. 8–9; rodeo July 25; flower show preview, July 23, 5:30pm. Fair runs July 24 through Aug. 9. Horse racing: July 30–Aug. 2, Aug. 6–Aug. 9, Aug. 14–16. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1375 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $5–$11; children under six are free. Event tickets, $10–$60. sonomacountyfair.com.

The eighth annual Petaluma Music Festival features a healthy mix of national and local artists on three stages: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Nahko & Medicine for the People, the Wood Brothers, Rainbow Girls and others. July 31 to Aug. 1 at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. Noon. $35–$85. petalumamusicfestival.org.

August:

Now kicking off its 21st season, the Music in the Vineyards chamber-music festival brings together nearly 40 renowned classical musicians from around the world. This year features violinist Francesca Anderegg, cellists Nick Canellakis, pianist Jon Kimura Parker and many others. Aug. 1 to 24. Various locations in the Napa Valley. $50–$534. For more info., visit musicinthevineyards.org.

The Napa Valley Art Festival, a celebration of fine visual art, continues for a seventh year in the heart of downtown Yountville. Works by over 25 artists will be on display. Sip Napa Valley wines and taste other delicacies while listening to live music. Aug. 15 in downtown Yountville. 10am to 4pm. Free. napavalleyartfestival.com.

Keep your calendar open for the Lagunitas Beer Circus happening this year on Sunday, August 16 with “freaktacular” entertainment and beer tasting from lots of local breweries. Tickets on sale July 9. Lagunitas Brewing Company, 1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. For more info., visit lagunitas.com.

Put on your dancin’ shoes and hoof it on down to the central plaza in Mill Valley for the 30th Annual Concerts in the Plaza for Summer 2015. Bring your own lawn chairs and be prepared for some fabulous FREE music, including Lorin Rowan & Caribbean Bleu, Swing Fever and Olivia Davis. Each concert on Sundays in August features two bands, from 2pm-2:45pm and 3pm-3:45pm.  For more info., call 415/383-1370 or visit cityofmillvalley.org.

Have some fun and so some good at the same time, by attending the Dinner Under the Stars Fundraiser for Imagination Park on Saturday, August 22, from 6pm to 10pm in San Anselmo. The annual fundraiser, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, will raise money in support of keeping Imagination Park fun and lively for the community. Local restaurants will offer their most delectable dishes while live musical acts will keep the night alive. The evening will include the State of the Town address and the Business Citizen of the Year award. $100/Individual, $1,500/reserved table for 8. Imagination Park, 535 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info., call 415/454-2510 or visit sananselmochamber.org.

September:

If the beach is your thing, then call up your inner artist and get on down to the 34th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at Drake’s Beach on Sunday, September 6 from 9am to 3:30pm. What could be more fun than making art—from sand! Prizes are awarded in each of several age categories and it’s free to participate.  What have you got to lose? Drake’s Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore. For more info., call 415/464-5140 or visit ptreyes.org.

Don’t miss the 59th annual  Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, among majestic redwoods in historic Old Mill Park September 19 and 20. $10 General Admission, $5 Students and Seniors. Free for kids under 12 years old. Learn more at mvfaf.org.

Tie on your tap shoes and tiptoe down to the Tiburon Taps Beer Festival on Saturday, September 19 from 1pm to 5pm. Play by the bayside and sample 60 craft brews and local culinary treats. You get to vote for your favorite beer, and listen to local favorite cover band Mustache Harbor. Point Tiburon Plaza, 1701 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon. For more info. or to purchase tickets, visit tiburontaps.org.

Winemaker meals take place all weekend long at the Sonoma County Wine Weekend, but there are three highlights of this annual bacchanalia. The Sonoma Starlight event includes dining, drinks and dancing on Sept. 4 at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville. 6:30pm to 10pm.Taste of Sonoma offers samples from more than 200 wineries and chefs on Sept. 5 at MacMurray Ranch. 3387 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. 11am to 4pm. The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction offers a chance to bid on exclusive items and mingle with Sonoma’s first families on Sept. 6 at Chateau St. Jean. 8555 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood. 12:30pm to 7pm. sonomawinecountryweekend.com.

With artists like Buddy Guy and Dave Koz, the stage will be cookin’ on both days of the annual Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival. And if the music gets too hot, just take a dip in the river. Sept. 12 to 13 at Johnson’s Beach. Guerneville. $50–$180. For more info., visit russianriverfestivals.com.

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