Mira Dorrance-Bird | Sonoma Valley Sun
Summertime in the Sonoma Valley may have officially ended, but the fun continues! Once again, the 115th annual Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival is ready to usher in the fall season with guaranteed good times for the whole family.
The festivities will begin with the Opening Night Gala on Friday night (9/28) at 6 p.m. at the Sonoma Barracks, where guests will wine, dine, and dance the night away to Wonder Bread 5’s renditions of rock and roll favorites.
The Blessing of the Grapes will kick things off on Saturday morning in front of the Mission at 10 a.m., followed by the Annual Firefighter Water Fight, Grape Stomp, and the Vintage “Get Your Glow On” Parade at 8 p.m., which will take place at night for the first time. Why nightime, you might ask? “We thought a night parade would be fun, so we’re switching it up. We can do some fun things with glow sticks,” offered festival committee member Robert Friedman. “It’s cooler in the evening too which is nice, especially for kids.”
Free live music will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the Sonoma Plaza. Festival attendees can settle down on the grass in front of the Main Stage, or enjoy the music from the Wine Stage while simultaneously sampling local wines in the tasting area. Beer enthusiasts can also visit the newly added beer-tasting tent, featuring brews from Carneros Brewing Company, Olde Sonoma Public House, and more. Don’t forget to pass through the nearly 70 arts and crafts booths, featuring diverse, locally-made art such as jewelry, paintings, pottery, photography, fused glass, and even hand-painted umbrellas!
Finally, at 8 a.m. on Sunday run or walk off all that wine and delectable Sonoma fare at the Vintage 5k Walk-Run, starting out at Sebastiani Winery. Then, if you’re not too exhausted, head back to the Plaza for another Grape Stomp at 2 p.m.
“We’re ready to go, and we’re excited for the community to come out and have a good time,” said Friedman.
Proceeds from the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival will go to local beneficiaries such as the Sonoma Valley Garden Project, Jack London State Historic Park, and Native Sons of the Golden West, Sonoma Parlor #111.
For tickets, registration forms and additional information visit www.sonomavinfest.org
Vintage 5k Run-Walk and Tiny Tracks Race This year’s 5K will begin at 8 a.m. at Sebastiani Winery (389 Fourth St. East) in Sonoma and continue through the scenic vineyard views of Bartholomew Park Winery and the aptly named Buena Vista Winery. Pre-register, or sign up the morning of the event for an extra $5 fee. The Tiny Tracks Race, an easy-paced half-mile race for small children and their families, will take place directly after the 5k. Visit www.sonomavinfest.org for registration and further information.
Grape Stomp Adult heats and youth heats make the joys of grape stomping accessible to every member of the family, whether you’re old enough to be a wine aficionado, or still drinking grape juice. A new corporate category has also been added this year for corporate groups of two to compete for a championship plaque and a cash prize, which will be donated to a Sonoma Valley non-profit of the winner’s choice. The Grape Stomp will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th at the Plaza Amphitheater.
Annual Firefighters Water Fight Watch the next Grand Water Fight Champs earn their title! In this competition, teams attempt to overpower their opponents by blasting water at a suspended barrel until it moves into the opposing team’s territory. Stand back if you don’t want to get soaked! This year’s competing teams are Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley, and Schell Vista Fire Departments. This event will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 29th in front of the Sonoma Barracks.