What’s Going On In Petaluma Ca This Week? Through April 29th

Petaluma Butter & Egg Days Parade Button Launch35th Annual Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival – Sat, 10am-4pm: Cow Chip Toss at 10am; Cutest Lil’ Chick at 10:15am; Pre-parade entertainment at 11:15, Kids Parade at 11:30; Main Parade at Noon in historic downtown. 762-9348.

Print“Better Soil, Better Food…A Better World” – Sat., Noon: Presented at Tara Firma Farms. See website for details and ticket information.

30th Annual Spring Antique Faire – Sun., 8am-4pm: Over 160 dealers from across the US, there is something for everyone’s budget. Downtown on Fourth, Kentucky & Western Ave.

Petaluma Bounty Plant Sale – Sun., 9am-3pm: Annual plant sale fundraiser at Bounty Community Farm, 55 Shasta Ave.

Boating at the Barn – Sun., 10am-1pm: Free kayak and row boat rides at the River Heritage Center in Steamer Landing Park (end of Copeland Street). Sign up at the barn. For info call 769-0910.

wilmer_strout_psrr“The Fight over the Railroad in 1870 Petaluma” – Sun., 4pm: Talk by historian Skip Sommer at the Petaluma Museum, 20 4th St. 778-4398.

Petaluma-3-Market-Hi-ResEast-Side Farmers’ MarketTues., 10am-1:30pm: At Deer Creek Shopping Center, 501 N. McDowell Blvd. 415-999-5635.

Petaluma Cinema Series – Wed., 7pm: Lenny Abrahamson’s film, “Room” at SRJC Petaluma Campus, 680 Sonoma Mtn. Pkwy.

Classic Car Cruise-In – Thurs., 6-9pm: Show off your classic cars every Thursday evening. No judging, just enjoy the eye candy.  Fourth and Sea Fish and Chips, 101 4th St. 762-6424.

Petaluma Education Foundation POP UP PARTY: APRIL 21ST , 6-9 P.M

Mix & Mingle, Sip & Socialize with the Friends of PEF Benefiting the Petaluma Educational Foundation

la vida dolceThe Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) is hosting our next PEF Pop-Up Party!  Join us on Thursday, April 21st from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge. This casual and fun gathering invites you to Mix & Mingle, Sip & Socialize with the Friends of PEF.

No cover charge, a portion of the night’s sales will benefit the mission of the Petaluma Educational Foundation. Come join the fun!  For more information, please visit our event page on Facebook (Petaluma Educational Foundation).

The mission of the PEF since its inception in 1982 has been to support all 38 local schools serving over 13,000 students annually. We believe every child has a dream. As a non-profit foundation we create community partnerships to fulfill these dreams. The Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF), which does not receive any government funding, relies totally on the generosity of the community and business partnerships to help support our efforts to enhance the academic experience of all Petaluma’s students. Any amount donated is an investment in our students and the future of our community. Be a part of the legacy.

Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization.  Since 1982, PEF has been reaching Petaluma’s K-12 students through PEF Grants gifted to local schools and PEF Scholarships awarded to graduating seniors.  Founding members tapped into the generosity of Petaluma, with a mission to invest in the courage of our teachers determined to inspire the hearts and minds of our students.

Triple Crème Brie with Truffles Wins Best of Class at World Championship Cheese Contest

Congrats to Marin French Cheese & Sister Company Laura Chenel’s Earn Many Awards

World Cheese ContestMarin French Cheese’s Triple Crème Brie with Black Truffles took the coveted Best of Class Award for flavored soft-ripened cheese at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin, March 7-9, 2016. The World Championship Cheese Contest, established in 1957, is organized by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. This year, the organization saw a record 2,955 entries from 23 countries and 31 states.

Made with fresh cow’s milk and cream from neighboring Marin County dairies, Triple Crème Brie specked with Black Truffles lends itself to an irresistibly earthy aroma of mushrooms balanced with sweet cream, each year earning high distinctions in regional, national and international contests alike.

Other honors conferred to the Marin French team of dedicated cheesemakers during this recent competition include third place in the soft-ripened category for Petite Supreme, a high butterfat, extra-crème cheese with an aroma of sweet milk, and fourth place for Traditional Brie in the brie category.

Equally impressive, Sonoma-based sister company, Laura Chenel’s, received accolades once again this year for its creamy, fluffy-textured Original Chabis fresh goat cheese, garnering third place in the Soft Goat Milk Cheese category. The Orange Blossom Honey Log won its first award at the event, placing third in the Flavored Soft Goat Milk Cheese with Sweet Condiments category, while the Chabis Garlic took a fourth place prize in Soft Goat Milk Cheese category. Laura Chenel’s Original Buchette was recognized with a fifth place award.

Here is a short video from deli market news on the new Laura Chenel products:

“Each year we are impressed by the increasing level of competition at this highly regarded competition,” says General Manager Philippe Chevrollier. “We are very proud of our cheesemaking teams at both Marin French and Laura Chenel’s for being such strong contenders where ingenuity, skill and know-how are key,” he adds.


Marin French CheeseAbout Marin French Cheese:
Founded in 1865, Marin French Cheese Company is the longest continually operating cheese company in America, with a unique history of handcrafting traditional and original soft-ripening cheeses. Since the days of the Gold Rush, Marin French has practiced time- honored cheesemaking techniques, using only fresh milk and cream from neighboring family dairy farms. It has grown from a small family business to an expanded, state-of-the-art facility, producing cheeses that are sold nationally and regularly earn top honors in international cheese competitions. Click here for a list of Marin French Cheese awards.
Laura ChenelAbout Laura Chenel’s:
Laura Chenel’s was founded in 1976 by goat cheese pioneer Laura Chenel and upholds a long tradition of European-style artisan cheesemaking using fresh goat milk from family-raised goats in California and Nevada. A leading producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses, its products are sold nationally and regularly earn top honors. In 2013 the company was awarded LEED Gold status for energy efficiency in its state-of-the-art Sonoma creamery. Click here for a list of Laura Chenel’s Chèvre awards.

Happy 80th Birthday To Marshall West

Marshall West plays Isaac Wickersham Petalumans YesteryearYou may not know Marshall but you may have seen him downtown dress in garb of the day or driving a historic egg truck in our Butter & Egg Days parade.

Yesterday he celebrated his 80th birthday – Congrats! Marshall is involved in preserving the history of our city in many ways. He has been a huge volunteer and supporter of the Petaluma Historic Library and Museum. He plays the part of one of Petaluma’s leading citizen and banker, Isaac Wickersham, in Petalumans of Yesteryear. Don’t miss today’s History Trails Walk with The Petalumans of Yesteryear –at 1-2:30pm: Reservations required. 778-4398. See website for details: www.petalumamuseum.com.This years Butter & Egg Day slogan is All Aboard! Next Stop Petaluma and our Grand Marshall this year is Charlie Siebenthal, President of Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society. Many people are not aware that Isaac Wickersham was President of, and organized, the Sonoma-Marin Railroad in 1872.  He attempted to extend the line south of town to San Rafael.

Charlie Grand Marshal Petaluma Butter & Egg Days ParadeWe have a lot to learn from our Petaluma senior fellows.  So as we celebrate Petaluma history week be sure to thank the many who work hard to preserve it.

Thanks Marshall!

Here is the historic egg truck in last year’s parade in case  you didn’t see it.

Don’t Miss ‎Petaluma‬ Ca Butter & Egg Days Button Launch on Tuesday March 29th

Tuesday March 29th Starting at 5:30PM at Lagunitas

Butter & Egg Days Parade 2014 Photo By Positively Petaluma
Butter & Egg Days Parade 2014 Photo By Positively Petaluma

Join the Petaluma Downtown Association for a Butter & Egg Days Fundraiser & Button Launch at Lagunitas Tap Room & Beer Sanctuary. Enjoy a fun night of dinner, dessert, dancing and drinking! Lombardi’s will be catering our delicious dinner.

Buy your 2016 Friends of The Parade button while you’re there or if you already have your button, wear it and either way you’ll receive a free raffle ticket!

There will be a raffle with great prizes from local businesses, and fun trivia! The Incubators will be performing and will be sure to have you up and dancing.

2015 Butter & Egg Days Parade Cutest Little ChickAdvanced tickets can be purchased for $20 on Brown Paper Tickets and at the Petaluma Visitor Center at 210 Lakeville Street, 7 days a week from 10am-4pm. Advance ticket sales online and at the Visitor Center will end on March 28 at 9am. After that it’s $25 at the door, first come first serve. There are a limited number of tickets available, so make sure to buy yours in advance!

Petaluma Butter & Egg Day GirlsFind out more about the 2016 Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival online  or call the PDA at (707) 763-0344.

All proceeds will benefit the Butter & Egg Days Parade, a production of The Petaluma Downtown Association, a non profit organization. We need the community’s support to continue to bring the Parade to the streets of Downtown Petaluma, so please, buy a button, have a beer and help keep us Marching!

Click here to link to the Link to Facebook event invitation.


Sonoma County, California Artisan Cheese Festival March 18-20 preview

SONOMA, March 9, 2016 – What do dozens of award-winning cheesemakers, hundreds of different types of cheese, and 10,000 cheese lovers have in common? They are all in attendance at the 10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival taking place March 18-20 in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California.

CA_CheeseFEst_Endive-640x360This full cheese exposition is a collection of the best in the field when it comes to cheese. It is a three-day celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheese, food, wine and beer from around California and beyond.

The event truly celebrates the craft of artisan cheese making. Attendees learn how to taste, buy, serve and enjoy cheeses from the experts. There are education seminars and tastings that are led by experts from around the country. Festival attendees can participate in everything from touring local cheese farms, to meeting the cheesemakers, and even taking cheese making classes. One thing is certain, you will consume a lot of cheese over the three days. There is a definite focus on California cheese, but other regions are also represented.

chef-vs-chef-1-of-1-14A hot topic this year will be sustainability. It is a hot word all over California artisan practices. The festival does a good job of helping consumers understand what is meant by sustainability and what the differences are in artisan cheeses versus non-artisan. The festival also supports the artisan cheesemakers financially. Ten percent of ticket proceeds benefit non-profit organizations that work to protect and preserve the lands needed by the cheesemakers.

All this talk about cheese is likely making you hungry for cheese. There will be nearly 100 different artisan producers handing out samples of their cheese, wine, beer and more. You name it, they will have it: hard cheese, soft cheese, aged cheese, infused cheese, sheep’s milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, raw cheese and cheese you’ve never heard of.


Here are a few cheese favorites from previous years:

  • Bellwether Farms, Sonoma County CA: Carmody and Pepato cheeses
  • Clover Stornetta Farms, Sonoma County CA: Herb & Spice Havarti
  • Marin French Cheese Company, Marin CA: Schloss and Goat’s Milk Camembert cheeses
  • Redwood Hill Farm, Petaluma CA: Raw Milk Feta and Smoked Goat Cheddar cheeses.  Also check out their yogurts.
  • Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese: Willits CA: Soft Chevre in various flavors (Basil, Dill, Black Pepper)
  • Winters Cheese Co, Winters CA: Tomato & Basil Cheddar, Gouda, and Garlic & Chive cheeses


What’s Going On In Petaluma This Week? Through March 18

Women’s History Month Exhibit Reception – Fri., 6pm: Honoring Heroes of 2016 at the Petaluma Museum, 20 Fourth St. 707-778-4398.

Birds-Banner“The Birds” A Modern Adaption – Fri., 7:30pm: Cinnabar Young Repertory Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd., North. 707-763-8920.

Sonoma County Restaurant Week – thru March 13: Participating restaurants present fantastic food at fantastic prices. For participating Petaluma restaurants, visit: http://www.sonomacounty.com/restaurant-week

2016-Library-Show-poster-400x504Spring Art Show and Sale – thru Mar. 19: The Petaluma Arts Association Show & Sale at the Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr. www.petalumaarts.org

The Petaluma Food, Wine & Craft Beer Festival, Sat. 6-8:30pm: Held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. North. For details & tickets information.

Boating at the Barn – Sun., 10am-1pm: Free kayak and row boat rides at the River Heritage Center in Steamer Landing Park, at the end of Copeland Street. Sign up at the barn. For info: 769-0910 or www.petalumasmallcraftcenter.org

East-Side Farmers’ MarketTues., 10am-1:30pm: Year-round! Deer Creek Shopping Center, 501 N. McDowell Blvd.  415-999-5635

West Coast Songwriters Competition, 7-9pm: Aqus Café,  189 H St. 766-8162. aquscafe.com

ThankYouForYourServPetaluma Cinema Series – Wed., 7pm: Tom Donahue’s film, “Thank You for Your Service” at SRJC Petaluma Campus, 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway.

pano shot for home pageClassic Car Cruise-In – Thurs., 6-9pm: Show off your classic cars every Thursday evening. No judging.  Fourth & Sea Fish and Chips, 101 4th St. 762-6424.


 Out of the Box Idea Lounge – Thurs.,6:30pm: Presented by the Petaluma Arts Center at Lagunitas, 1280 North McDowell Blvd. For info & tickets.

10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival – March 18-20: Hosted by the Sheraton Petaluma, 745 Baywood Dr. For tickets.

Around the World in 80 Shots: the Journey of a #Petaluma Travel Nerd

When I stand on the deck of a ship all my problems, all my worries, all my fears simply float away. This Travel Nerd leaves them behind with wake.

I’ve always loved water and especially the sea; I learned just how deep that love runs when I studied abroad with Semester at Sea in the spring of 2012. The voyage took me to 11 countries on three continents and, despite the stress that comes with finding your way in a country where you can’t even read the alphabet, let alone speak the language, and the constant lack of sleep, it was the happiest and freest I’ve ever felt. As written by John Francis in his book, Planetwalker, “There is a certain freedom to walking and pilgrimage.”

Click On Photo To See Full Size

The four months I spent circling the globe and studying aboard the MV Explorer (Semester at Sea’s ship at the time of my voyage) certainly was a sort of pilgrimage. It taught me more then I can possibly put down here, and absolutely more than the rest of my education put together. I know it’s probably the most cliché statement one can make about study abroad, but it’s cliché for a reason. When you’re tossed into a part of the world you’ve never experienced before, and especially with people you’ve never met, you not only get the chance to see yourself clearly, you get the chance to let go of yourself. I stopped thinking about who I was and simply got to be. I was too busy to worry about anything more than catching the right bus, finding my hotel, and simply experiencing everything I possibly could.

Click On Photo To See Full Size

It was on Semester at sea that I also reinvigorated my love of photography. Armed with my then six-year-old DSLR, I did my best to capture the feel of the places I went and the people who lived there. While I saw incredibly beautiful things; the Amazon River at dusk, the sunrise hitting Table Mountain in Cape Town, and colors across the towns and cities of India; I also saw things that were terribly sad, such the shantytowns of Brazil and the results of Dioxin—still present in the youth of Vietnam. These sights strengthened my resolve to not only be a journalist, but to also spread knowledge and do good things with my career.

Click On Photo To See Full Size

As a Petaluma native who went away to college at University of Oregon, my experiences of life and people were wonderful even before Semester at Sea, with memories of hiking in the redwoods, driving out to the coast at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise, and eating some of the best food you can find at local restaurants. Those memories will never change or become any less important no matter how many places I travel to, but traveling did open me up to new ideas and new ways to think about and see the world.

After graduating from UO I’m back in my old hometown, which is as lovely as ever, working odd jobs and doing photography for local publications, but now I have two homes. Petaluma will always be home but even now, roughly four years after the start of my voyage, going to the ocean still feels like coming home—every time.

TurtlesYou can find more of my photo and video work at my website, www.travelnerdphoto.com, which I created myself using Weebly. There you can also find a bit about my travels, as well as gear I recommend for both photography and travel.

25 Years ago in a bowling alley not so far away, PPSC Rock n’ Bowl began

GET YOUR LANES if you haven’t done so yet….

bowl25 years! Wow, that is hard to believe, but when you think about how long Petaluma People Services Center has been taking care of our community (over 42 years), 25 doesn’t seem so long. PPSC provides a network of critical social services, which are likely already supporting the health of employees within your own company.  Here is merely a sample of a few ways your employees benefit from the existing service network:

  • PPSC provides case work for your employees caring for elder family members who may be in need of Alzheimer’s day care or transportation services as they negotiate living independently here in our community
  • PPSC provides subsidized services for families and individuals in need of mental health counseling including offering Human Resource referral based services for all companies in our community
  • PPSC provides fair housing services which enables tenants and landlords to resolve problems related to rental housing, which directly contributes to housing stability for your employees

Petaluma People Services Rock N Bowl Timeline PhotoIn order to effectively maintain these service programs, we are asking to get involved in our upcoming Rock N’ Bowl event on Friday, March 18th. This iconic fundraiser is well-loved by many here in our community and would be greatly enhanced by your company’s financial support. Please consider sponsoring a team for your company, or even more fun, have employees raise the money through individual sponsorship and then match what they raise.  If you are interested in donating an item for our auction just send me an email and either Caryn or I will be able to come pick up the item.

Here are the Registration Forms:

Team Registration Form 2016

Sponsor Sheet 2016

Contact Elece Hempel for any questions at 707-765-8488 and she will be happy to help you or email her at [email protected] with your questions.


Your local candy store is not new, just improved Petaluma, CA

After 9 years in downtown Petaluma as Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, this locally owned candy store is getting a major face life. The owners of the Petaluma location of Powell’s felt it was time for a change and decided not to renew their 10-year franchise agreement. They will remain at the same spot in Theatre Square and will be an independent store called The Sweet Zone.

“We loved being an old fashion candy store and being part of this community, but we are very excited about the new store we are creating and we know the community is going to love the changes. Customers will still find all their favorite sweets, the same great staff and excellent customer service, now we get to do things the franchise would not let us do.”, says Monika Bomar, Owner/Operator

The Sweet Zone PetalumaThe Sweet Zone will still carry the same selection of candy but plans on adding more lose bulk candy, expanding the chocolate section by bringing in more local chocolatiers and adding a “Chocolate Club”. Plans include a slushie machine, new delicious confectionaries, and unique gift items all wrapped in a new colorful and upbeat appearance. Under the new store, The Sweet Zone will also save money by not being part of the franchise and plans on starting a scholarship with the PEF as well as working with Mentor Me and Petaluma Animal services.

“We have always donated to every non-profit that asks by donating gift certificates, now we want to do more for the community and these are some of our favorites. We will continue to honor any gift certificates we donated in the past.” said Will Bomar, Owner

The Sweet Zone is closed March 1st through March 10th for a major facelift and will reopen Friday March 11th. There will be a Grand Reopening Saturday March 12th starting at 11a; where the first 500 people will receive a custom gourmet chocolate bar and everyone will get a free gelato. All day there will be prizes, Beanboozle challenges, and a host of other giveaways.