Out & About in Petaluma


As an encore to last weekend’s virtual Petaluma Music Festival, this Saturday, August 8, beginning at noon, the annual fundraiser for local school music programs will once again feature an astonishing lineup of performances. The 10-hour-long extravaganza will include classic archival performances from past festivals interspersed with backyard performances recorded in the homes of festival favorites - Highway Poets, Stella Heath and Banjango, The Rainbow Girls, Jackie Greene, Poor Man’s Whiskey, Royal Jelly Jive and more.

“In fulfilling our mission of ’Keeping Music in the Schools,’ the Petaluma Music Festival has donated in excess of $385,000 to Petaluma public school music programs over the past 12 years. We will need more donations if we are going to be able to donate to our school music programs again this year.”

Watch it all unfold at


The Petaluma Arts Association has been presenting its annual Art in the Park celebration since 1957, but (obviously) a massive gathering of artists gazing at art close together is not a smart idea right now. So the local nonprofit is taking the show online and then some, expanding the event from a single weekend to a full month. Featured from Saturday, Aug. 1 to Tuesday, Sept. 1, will be virtual studio tours, image galleries and live performances. To catch the action, visit


On Sunday, Aug. 9, Ted Moreno will read “I Write My Life Every Day” and will lead participants in a relaxing hypnotherapy activity, as part of Petaluma writing coach Marlene Cullen’s Writer’s Forum. Cullen will lead a writing exercise as part of the virtual event. The following Sunday, Aug. 16, Kathy Guthormsen will read “Phoenix,” Susan Bono will present “Solace of Cherries” along with a brief “craft talk” and writing exercise. For information on participating, visit and click on “Writers Forum.”


Yes, Alexandra Roxo’s just-released book “F--k Like Goddess” sounds like the world’s most ambitious sex manual, but in fact, it’s that and so much more. “What if your deepest fears and wounds were the KEY to living a turned on, passionate life?” asks Roxo, a writer, artist, and prominent voice in the field of transformational healing and the divine feminine, and the co-founder of the online community Radical Awakenings. On Thursday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m., Copperfield’s Books presents a live online conversation with Roxo, who will be interviewed by writer Sah D’Simone, author of “5-Minute meditations.” Reserve a virtual seat at


On August 13, the Village Network of Petaluma presents a zoom-based informational meeting at 11 a.m. Participants can join in by Zoom or by phone. The Village has been responding to the pandemic by creating all kinds of new ways for members and volunteers to stay connected in this time of social distancing. Village memberships now offer online wellness programs, interest groups, educational and social events, in addition to volunteer services such as grocery shopping, prescription pickups, phone friends and more. Find out what you can gain from the Village at this monthly meeting. To receive the Zoom-link or pone in number, plese RSVP to the Village office at 776-5066 or email


Continuing its summer-long “Best Night Ever Online” series, featuring all-virtual, all-streaming shows from Transcendence Theatre Company, "I Hope You Dance“ is the third “Broadway Under the Stars” entertainment this summer. Streaming two weekends, for a total of 10 performances, the show runs August 14-16 and 21-23. “Choreographers, dancers, musicians, singers and YOU,” is how the Transcendence folks describe this show, cleverly built from moments taped live over the last eight years, and featuring 70 performers presenting spectacular dance numbers from some of Broadway’s greatest musicals. Traditionally taking place at Jack London State Historic Park, the online series features professional Broadway artists performing songs from popular musicals, re-envisioned in innovative ways, with an emphasis on children and families. The show streams Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Each show is free (donations welcome by hitting donate after your confirmation is made on line), and includes a live pre-show event designed to replicate some of the wine-and-song electricity that so many associate with a Transcendence show. Once you reserve your “ticket,” you’ll receive log-on information by email or text. Go to


Reduced to a mere 1% of their original population and now hovering on the brink of extinction, Tule Elk are the subject of an eye-opening webinar and discussion on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. This summer, the National Park Service will release its final plan on Tule Elk management, appearing at a time when ranchers who lease land in the Pt. Reyes National Park - where Tule Elk thrive again after decades of careful work - are calling for thinning of the population to make room for livestock grazing. A team of conservationists, biologists, land-use planners, filmmakers and local leaders will discuss how the survival of the Tule Elk and other species are being threatened by pollution, habitat loss and private industry. An RSVP for the virtual event is required. Learn more and register at


Petaluma realtor Barton Smith invites “the young and young at heart” to join him nightly, at 7 p.m. on his personal Facebook page for a live living room reading of a different picture book. He generally posts an announcement early in the day letting fans know which book he'll be reading.


The Sonoma County Library system, with participation from Petaluma Regional Library librarians, is hosting regular online reading events during this stay-at-home shelter period. On Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 to 11:15 a.m., Storytime at Home is a story and a song shared by a local librarian via For teenagers, Sundays from 2-2:30 p.m., it’s the weekly Read Aloud Bookclub for Teens, in which participants are invited to get comfortable and listen to a chapter from a novel being read aloud, live. Intended for teens in grade 7-12, also viewable at


Rivertown Poets is a weekly virtual event via Zoom. Every Monday at 6:15 p.m., log onto Aqus’ Zoom system to hear local poets reading from their own work, from the safety of their homes. This is an open mic event, so participants will be able to “sign up” to read. As ever, Sande Anfang hosts.


John Crowley, of Aqus Café, hosts a daily Zoom-supported “coffee chat,” with participants engaging is community check-ins and information sharing. 10 a.m. every day but Sunday. It’s fun, informal and a great way to find out what’s going in in Petaluma. Connect through


Farmer’s Markets (aka FMs), especially in the COVID-era – where social distancing is the norm and masks are generally agreed to be a good and helpful thing – are a great way to shop, wave at people we know, eat a bag of kettle corn served with a pair of very long picker-uppers, get to be outdoors and still, you know, take care of one another. Plus … there’s usually music. Three times a week, on Tuesday mornings, Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons, it all happens, at various locations around town. For those who prefer to shop for their tomatoes in the morning, Lucchesi Park on Tuesdays is the place to be, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Thursdays (formerly known as Wednesdays), downtown Petaluma’s Theater District hosts a popular FM (walk to it, if you possibly can, because it’s just easier, trust us) from 4:30-8 p.m.. And then on Saturday afternoons from 2-5 p.m., in Walnut Park, the magic of FMs (in a slightly smaller version that once was the norm) continues under the trees in one of Petaluma’s most gorgeously restored historic parks. Don’t forget the kettle corn.


Getting tired of doing yoga in front of your television? Looking for a way to hang out in a park and still stay socially distanced? In association with Petaluma Parks and Recreation Department, Lacey Calvert Shelton of Petaluma Park Yoga is offering live in-person yoga classes three times a week in Wickersham Park. Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., it’s Yoga Strength & Flow, described as “a yoga class mashed with strength training.” On Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., Slow Flow focuses on mental clarity with an hour of unwinding and restorative work. On Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., join with your neighbors for an hour of Community Yoga, a family friendly class designed for all ages and experience levels. Classes are free, though a $10 donation is welcome (but “not expected”), with funds raised going to support city parks. To maintain a safe and healthy environment, please register in advance so the number of participants can remain manageable and properly distant. Register at


The Petaluma Arts Center might be closed to visitors, but that hasn’t stopped the nonprofit from continuing in its mission to present innovative contemporary art for the benefit of the entire Petaluma community, both artists (student and professional) and art lovers. The “Art Apart” program encourages locals to create their own pieces of public art for a kind of citywide “drive by art show.” The PAC has established an interactive map showing the various fences, yards and garage doors in town where participating artists have placed some kind of art piece. Find the map at


Live music is not easy to come by these days, and for the most part, let’s face it, it’s safer to stay home and take advantage of the myriad live online music programs being offered by ingenious local musicians and innovative venues. But if you are one of those who enjoys eating outside to the accompaniment of a live band, Brewster’s Beer Garden has been testing the waters with actual bands performing on actual stages with actual instruments being amplified with actual speakers and microphones, all accomplished out-of-doors on weekends. On Saturday, August 8, for example, you can hear Fog Swamp from 1-4 p.m. and The Stick Shifts from 5-8 p.m. Reservations suggested, as social distancing is being observed in placing diners at appropriately separated tables, and yes, masks are required for all visitors entering, exiting and walking through the facility among other patrons.

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