Attention Chili, Salsa and Beer Challengers It’s Time To Enter The Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off!


Do you………

Cook a mean chili?

                                         Make a killer salsa?

                                                                               Brew a gnarly grog?

This could be you! Poco Borracho 2014 Individual Award Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff
This could be you on the winners podium! Poco Borracho 2014 Grand Champions Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff

This may be your last chance to enter this great annual event.  Sign up now because spots are ‘first come – first served’ and filling fast.

Click here for Chili and Salsa Great Entry Form. These forms are due by March 15th or until spaces fill.

Click here for the Beer Entry Form.  These forms are due by March 31 or until spaces fill.

Are you a vendor or business that wants a lot of exposure. They have beer, soda’s and waters all squared away, but if you have art, service, food, or non-profit that is a good fit for this venue this is a great event to get exposure while supporting the Cinnabar Theater Children’s Program. Click here for the Vendor Entry Form.

Any questions send your emails to Laura Sunday at [email protected]. A lot of great information can be found on their website

Here is a video of last years event.  It was such a great time.

We look forward to seeing you there.


#Petaluma Musician/Composer Chooses Chicken Farm Over Big City

William Ryan Fritch Standing Outside His Rustic Farmhouse, Photo By Nathaniel Wood
William Ryan Fritch Standing Outside His Rustic Farmhouse, Photo By Nathaniel Wood

In a recent article by Chris Martins on January 19, 2015 in the Modern Farmer Country Roads: City Musicians Are Going Rural, he writes about musician and artist William Ryan Fritch who composes and creates his music in a century old Petaluma chicken farm.  He and his wife have a master bedroom in a rustic converted water tower.

His talent for creating music is incredible and his collection of music making instruments and toys are impressive. He records his music in a converted tractor garage insulated for heat and soundproofing.

William Ryan FritchAccording to his website, he said that in his more recent recordings (Revisionist) you might even hear farm sounds like roosters from the next farm which is quit alright with him.  He states that he finds those sounds more enjoyable than the ones he creates. While he is not making sound he and his wife garden and grow veggies.


Second Look Sunday: A Positively Petaluma Weeks In Review

Over the last few weeks many of the stories below were created by us, or scattered over several different media and social media sources.  The Petaluma Magazine was created to collect them all in one place with easy navigation either by a click of a mouse or swipe of your finger on your smart devices.  The Second Look will be a reflection of some of the posts from the previous weeks.

1000’s are enjoying their free subscription with thousands of positive articles including these highlights from the last few weeks:

Other posts can be found on our home page.  Also check out the sidebar Categories, Archives and Tag Cloud. Thanks also for “Like”ing us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Thank you for following, recommending and sharing this post and website.

VIDEO: LumaCON’s First Comic Convention a Success

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Photo By Ashley Collingwood

Petaluma held the first LumaCON on Saturday, January 17th at Herzog Hall on the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Turnout was high and some sources reported over 1500 attended.

The event showcased local artists ranging from professionals, including “Pearls Before Swine” author Stephan Pastis, to blooming artists from the local schools. LumaCON was brought about with collaboration between Petaluma High School, Casa Grande High School, and the Sonoma County Library along with help from numerous sponsors and volunteer artists.


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Photo By Ashley Collingwood

Connie Williams, LumaCON Co-Organizer and Teacher Librarian at Petaluma High School recalls, “I saw an article about a Comic-Con and I thought, ‘Why don’t we do that?’ and I broached the subject … and everybody we asked said ‘Yes!’ So once we knew we had a base of folks to do it, then it all developed from there … You know, one little idea sparked it but everybody jumped in and it was totally the group [who made it happen].”


#Petaluma Celebrates “The Birth of an AVA – Petaluma Gap”

Recently the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library had a fantastic display of our city’s viticulture history.  Kaye Chandler did a great job in capturing the display on video (which can be found on the next page of this article).  Over the years our town’s rolling hills have evolved into what now is starting to look like the Sonoma or Napa Valley.  After reviewing Kaye’s film you realize that Petaluma families have been making wine since the mid 1900s (some sources say for over 150 years).

Keller Estate & Petaluma River, Photo by Wayne Dunbar

While we have a rich history in viticulture, 2015 marks the birth of a new American Viticulture Area (AVA), The Petaluma GAP. An AVA is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau and United States Department of Treasury. The geographic features that distinguish the Petaluma GAP is the wind and the fog. The “GAP” refers to the wind gap named after a coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific through the town of Petaluma and then roars south to San Pablo Bay which makes this AVA ideal for growing certain grapes (Pinot, Chardonnay & Syrah).  The AVA designation allows the wine makers to label their bottles indicating the grapes in the wine came from this region.

On Friday, January 30 from 6-8PM located at the Healdsburg Public Library the “The Birth of an AVA – Petaluma GAP” event will be hosted by the Wine Library Associates of Sonoma County and the Petaluma GAP Winegrowers Alliance.  This is a great opportunity to have some wine and learn about the region.  Tickets are $35 per person but only $25 for Wine Library and Alliance members.  You can reserve tickets by calling (707) 433-1660 or purchasing tickets on Eventbrite.


#Petaluma’s Tara Firma Farms Connects With The Community

Tara Firma Farms opened in 2009, with a philosophy that focused on rotational grazing, stress-free animal life, and sustainable farming practices. Six years later, the farm is still going strong and giving weekend tours to anyone who wants to see how the farm works.

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Photo By Ashley K. Collingwood

The tour begins at the farm’s small store, which is filled with produce from local organic farms and meat from Tara Firma, before proceeding to walk visitors across the farmland, stopping to see the baby chicks and pigs, while giving the public the opportunity to ask questions about the farm. The baby chicks and pigs are a great draw for children and the information on the tour gives both kids and adults a chance to learn about the process of food and sustainable farming. Visitors also learn that the farm has a membership program, which people can join in order to sign up for various food delivery packages all over the bay area and become more connected to the farm.

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Photo By Ashley K. Collingwood

After the tour Tara Firma member Jim Bloom tells me, “It’s amazing how much we’ve destroyed our food culture through over-processing and it’s horrible, so finding folks like this is amazing. The tour’s been fantastic. It’s really great property, it’s great seeing how they produce, and getting out here.”


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Photo By Ashley K. Collingwood

As an environmentally focused farm, Tara Firma concentrates on creating a stress-free environment for the livestock in addition to rotational grazing. Besides appealing to animal lovers, when there is no stress on animals, there is no need to use chemicals and medications on them. When talking about the farm’s open-door policy Tara explains, “We’re open seven days a week. People can come and sneak around and look in the closets and the drawers, or whatever, ‘cause we don’t use antibiotics, we don’t use any kind of sprays on the land or the animals. Probably the closest spray we have is tea tree oil and water on the baby pigs in the winter … and they love it and it smells like a spa in the pig pen.”


Positively Petaluma Welcomes Visual Journalist Ashley K. Collingwood

Ashley Collingwood ResizeWe would like to introduce Ashley K. Collingwood an aspiring Petaluma journalist to our team of contributors. She earned a Bachelors in Arts Degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon. In 2014 she was in the top 10% of her class and recognized by the National Honor Society for Journalism.

Ashley Collingwood Resize Sunflower


Ashley is a visual journalist, photographer, videographer and graphic designer. This makes her a great fit for what we are trying to accomplish and that is to capture and share great things going on in Petaluma.  When she was a Petaluma High School student she is noted to have contributed to Teen Life blog in The Press Democrat.

Please join me in welcoming Ashley to our team of contributors and look for her articles in the very near future.

For more information about Ashley click here to go to her website.

VIDEO: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone Appears On Good Day Sacramento

Our very own Dessert World Champ Laurie Figone appeared on Good Day Sacramento sharing secrets on how to make her Mojito Marvel Money Bars that give all the flavors of a Mojito in a creamy dessert.

The video will appear below and may take some machines a few seconds to populate.

Also check out her website that has a ‘Recipes’ tab where she shares many of her great recipes. Click here to see her dessert recipes.  She will be releasing her cookbook in the near future.

For more on Laurie Figone see our previous post VIDEO UPDATE: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone gets her shot on the big screen on TNT’s “On The Menu”.

Nominate A ‘Good Egg’ & Get Butter & Egg Days Applications In

The 2015 Butter & Egg Days Parade will be here before you know it so mark your calendar for April 25. The Petaluma Downtown Association has updated their site for this year’s event.


The downtown association is working hard to get things tied up for the Good Egg nomination and ceremony but provided us with a copy of the form that will be used for this year.

The Good Egg Award is presented annually to a Petaluma citizen whose ‘egg-ceptional’ effort over time has helped preserve and contribute to the positive promotion of the city of Petaluma, its history and its people.

To nominate a “Good Egg”, send a nomination form or letter to: The Good Egg Award Committee, c/o Petaluma Downtown Association, 210 Lakeville Street, Petaluma, CA, 94952. All applications must be received by Wednesday, February 25 at 5 p.m.

Your letter should identify how your prospective Good Egg has helped to promote Petaluma and its history within the community and beyond. They may have done this by working to preserve Petaluma history, promoting Petaluma’s distinctive resources, or helping others to remember and honor historic Petalumans or Petaluma achievements. This needs to be someone who has contributed to the preservation or promotion of Petaluma’s history.

Click this link to download a 2015 Good Egg Nomination Form and print it out.

Here is the video of 2014 Good Egg John Crowley, owner of Aqus Cafe Foundry Wharf.