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Tickets still available for Chinese New Year event

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:26 p.m.

Celebrating the Year of the Snake: For what may be the first time, there will be tickets available at the door at Saturday night's Lunar New Year Celebration, put on by the Redwood Empire Chinese Association at the Veterans Memorial Building (1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa).

Since the annual celebration began 25 years ago, it has sold out in advance. This year, the committee decided to hold back a number of tickets to accommodate those who can't commit until the last minute. If you're among them, you should try to show up at 5 p.m., when the doors open, lest you miss out.

From 5 to 6, as people are arriving, there are several stations that ring the auditorium, one with origami, two with children's book authors, one with beer and wine that is open throughout the event and several others.

A buffet dinner is served at 6 p.m. and features fried rice, fried noodles, sweet and sour pork, beef and broccoli and a vegetarian option. There are oranges and wonton skins on the tables and at some point in the evening Clo the Cow shows up with ice cream.

The real fun begins as dinner winds down and the program gets started. There's singing, dancing, martial arts and more, including a fabulous Lion Dance and a 250-foot dragon.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children aged 3 to 10. You can snag them at G & G Market (1211 West College Ave., Santa Rosa) or Asia Mart (2481 Guerneville Rd., Santa Rosa) or simply try your luck at the door.

Mardi Gras Fete: There's still time to join in Mardi Gras fun. The Alliance Française de Santa Rosa hosts its celebration this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Vista del Lago Clubhouse (3150 Lakeview Dr., Santa Rosa).

The fete features lots of delicious things to eat and drink, including crepes, cheeses, desserts, hard ciders and wines. There will be music, a silent auction, raffle and lots of people in masks and costumes, maybe even you, as everyone is encouraged to dress up for the party. And why wouldn't you?

It is too late to get an advance ticket but tickets will be available at the door for $45 each for adults. SSU and SRJC students and children under 16 pay reduced prices. All ages are welcome but anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

All proceeds benefit the cultural programs and activities of the Alliance.

Clash of the Sommeliers at Farmhouse Inn: This year, the Farmhouse Inn has changed the format for its dinner series featuring competition among top Bay Area sommeliers.

The first dinner, taking place next Thursday, February 28, features two of the Bay Area's top young talent, Josiah Baldivino of Michael Mina Restaurant and Bobby Conroy of Benu. The sommeliers will present a flight of wines paired with chef Steve Litke's special menu and the winner will compete in the final dinner of the challenge on May 28.

On May 7, two legendary old-school sommeliers will battle it out.

These dinners are enormously popular and have typically sold out well in advance. If you want to join in the fun, make your reservations right away by calling 887-3300.

Cost is $165 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

For more information and a video about last year's Clash of the Sommeliers, visit farmhouseinn.com.

Friday Night Fiddlng: This Friday night, Youngblood & Co. returns to the bar of the French Garden Restaurant and Bistro (8050 Bodega Highway, Sebastopol). The band will play from 7 to 10 p.m. and there is no cover charge.

With John Youngblood at the helm, Alan Cohen on harmonica and Sue Walters on bass, expect an evening of blues until Paul Shelasky shows up, when swing and fiddle tunes will be added to the mix.

Food is available in the bar and don't forget to tip both your bartender and the musicians.

Hula, Ukulele and Masters of Hawaiian Music: On Saturday evening, the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts (50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa) welcomes George Kahumoku Jr. and the Masters of Hawaiian Music.

Kahumoku has won many awards for his slack-key guitar magic and he'll be joined by Uncle Richard Ho'opi'i, a National Heritage Fellow who is best known for his extraordinary falsetto and ukulele skills. If you don't know Hawaiian falsetto singing, this is a great opportunity to discover it — it is one of the most beautiful things you will ever hear. Kahumoku's son Keoki will also perform.

A unique aspect of this performance is a series of master classes offered earlier in the day at no charge for ticket holders.

There will be three classes. The first, taught by George Kahumoku, is “Slack-Key Ukulele for All Levels.” Keoki Kahumoku will teach “Beginning and Intermediate Slack-Key Guitar.

If you'd rather dance, Richard Ho'opi'i, Ululani Ho'opi'i and Nancy Kahumoku will teach “Beginning Hula.” No experience is necessary and students will be taught a complete dance.

Classes take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and registration is required.

The evening show begins at 8 p.m., with a pre-show discussion at 7 p.m. Admission is $30 and $45.

Liko Puha, who teaches hula locally, will perform with some of his students. Puha, who also works at Santa Rosa Junior College, is a colorful and beloved character, as full of aloha as it is possible to be.

For tickets, visit wellsfargoarts.org or stop by the box office between noon and 6 p.m.

Della Fattoria in the Afternoon: Della Fattoria Downtown, one of Petaluma's loveliest cafes and bakeries, is now open until 7 p.m. every evening. Breakfast is offered starting at 7 a.m., lunch is available from noon to 3 p.m. and there will now be an afternoon interlude menu featuring small plates and some take-home entrees.

We've always loved their egg salad on toast, poached eggs on toast and creamy polenta; actually, we love everything but these are longtime favorites. The family-operated cafe takes seasonal and local very seriously (a lot of ingredients come from the Weber family's nearby ranch) and there's a sweet lightness to all that they do. Plus, if you prefer your coffee iced, they have some of the best around.

Della Fattoria Downtown is located at 141 Petaluma Boulevard North. For more information, visit dellafattoria.com or call 763-0161.

It's Prime Rib Sunday! K and L Bistro, which closed on Superbowl Sunday, will be open for Sunday Supper this week. Service begins at 4 p.m. so there's plenty of time to eat before the Academy Awards.

The last Sunday of the month always features prime rib and Yorkshire pudding, by popular demand. This month, it will be served with horseradish cream and creamed spinach. The first course is hearts of romaine with dates, red onion and gorgonzola dolce.

Cost is $27.50. The evening's wine is $10 a glass and $40 a bottle.

Sunday Supper is served from 4 to 8 p.m. Reservations are recommended but not essential. For yours, call 823-6614 or visit klbistro.com.

K and L Bistro is located at 119 South Main St. in downtown Sebastopol.

Michele Anna Jordan hosts “Mouthful” each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.

E-mail Jordan at michele@ micheleannajordan.com.

You'll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com

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