Autumn Roundup: Fall, the ‘mellower season’ officially begins

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Okay, by almost every technical statistic, it is now officially fall.

Or “Autumn,” of you prefer more formal terminology.

Yes, we could sit here at our desk writing a bunch of flowery prose about the changing of the seasons and the place that fall/autumn holds in the hearts and minds of living breathing humans. We probably should. But the weather looks really nice through the office window, and we’d really rather finish early and go outside to play.

So, here then are some juicy quotes that OTHER people have said about the wonderful, weird, happy, sad, beautiful time of year between summer and winter.

“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower,” Albert Camus, novelist. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall,” F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer. “It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it,” Diana Gabaldon, author. “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons,” Jim Bishop, journalist. “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer and oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all,” Stanley Horowitz, poet. “A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye,” Unknown. “Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits,” Samuel Butler, writer.

And with those glittering words bouncing about in your brain, consider this list of upcoming events, festivals, fairs and activities that both celebrate the fall and take full advantage of it in every way.

PETALUMA POETRY WALK (Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.) – One of Petaluma’s most distinctive and unique annual event, the Poetry Walk steps up for its 24th consecutive year. Here’s what’s going to happen. Beginning at 11 a.m. in the ballroom of Hotel Petaluma (205 Kentucky St.), where host Terry Ehret will introduce readings by three local poets (Barbara Swift Brauer, Camille Norton, and Sonoma County Poet Laureate Maya Khosla), the movable feast will then move to The Bank, 199 N. Petaluma Blvd. There, at noon, you can hear readings by Terri Glass, Martin Hickel and Erin Rodoni, hosted by Kevin Pryne. At 1 p.m., at the River Front Café (224 B St.), hosted by David Magdalene, there will be readings by Diane Frank, William Greenwood and Jeanne Powell. At 2 p.m., at North Bay Café (25 N. Petaluma Blvd.), host Daniel McKenzie (that’s technically still tentative) will introduce attendees to poets Arnoldo Garcia and Nina Serrano. Copperfield’s Books is the location of the 3 p.m. session, hosted by Gwenn O’Gara, and featuring poets Maxine Chernoff and Petaluma’s own 2019 Pulitzer winner Forrest Gander. Iris Dunkle hosts the 4 p.m. session at The Phoenix Theater (201 Washington St.), where poets Lucille Lang Day, Ruth Nolan, Susan Cohen, Barbara Quick and Jack Foley will read poems from the recent collection “Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.” At 5 p.m., the whole shebang moves to the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library (20 Fourth St.), where host John Johnson will introduce Phyllis Meshulam and student poets from Cal Poets and Poetry Out Loud. And it all comes to a close with a two-hour block of poetry at Aqus Café (189 H St.), hosted by David Magdalene and featuring Raphael Block, Albert Flynn DeSIlver, Maureen Hurley, Michael Koch and Gail Mitchell. You can follow along all day, or pick-and-choose, but do enjoy some live poetry in this unique literary celebration.

MOVIES IN THE PARK (Next film screens Friday, Sept. 20) – One of Petaluma’s most popular summertime events returns this year with more family favorite movies, screened under the stars in Lucchesi Park, with even more pre-show activities and fun stuff to do while waiting the it to get dark enough. The next film in the series, which runs until almost Halloween, is Pisney-Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2” (Sept. 20), followed by “Hocus Pocus” (Oct. 25). Admission is free, activities begin around 6 p.m.

FANDANGO AT THE ADOBE! (Saturday, Sept. 21, Noon-4 p.m.) - Travel back in time to the days of harvest ranchero celebrations, as the performers of Baile de California and the Yesteryear Dancers demonstrate and teach dances of the 1840s. Attendees will have a chance to learn historic folk dance techniques, and join in the fun on the historic site of countless such celebration in Petaluma’s past. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for kids 6-17, and free for kids under 5 years of age. 3325 Adobe Rd. Call 762-4871 or visit

PETALUMA PUMPKIN PATCH AND AMAZING CORN MAZE OPENS (Friday, Sept. 27 – Halloween) - Sure, some drop by the famous Petaluma destination merely planning to peruse its vast five-acre array of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. And yes, there are kids who can’t get enough of the straw mountain and the corn-kernel sandbox. But let’s face it, what makes people slam on their brakes and swing by for a visit is the Amazing Corn Maze itself. The four-acre maze has only one exit, and can take people 45 minutes or more to find their way out. And that’s in the daylight. With a map. To help, two-story viewing platforms have been added inside the maze, so lost souls can grab a quick view of the terrain before heading back down into the twisty labyrinth. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the maze stays open for bold-and-daring flashlight wielders willing to enter the maze in near complete darkness. Daytime maze entry $7, $10 for nighttime excursions. 450 Stony Point Road. The Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze closes its 2017 season at 6 p.m. on Halloween.

ALL HALLOWS ART FEST (Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) - Halloween fans come to Petaluma literally from all over the country for the annual, one-of-a-kind All Hallows Art Fest, an eye-popping, delightfully macabre showcase of hand-crafted Halloween-themed art, decorations and collectibles by some of the most renowned artists in the field. Everything from whimsical skeletons to gorgeous gothic jewelry will be on display and for sale. The line begins forming before sunrise, and some participating artists see their entire supply sell out in the first hour. Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue. Admission is $5 at the door. Visit the website at, or read Stephanie Sherratt’s blog at

ROCKSOBERFEST (Saturday, Sept. 28 from 1-9 p.m.) - Combining the energy of a rock music festival with the sobriety-friendly camaraderie of a 12-step meeting, the next RockSoberFest will take place right here at the fairgrounds in Petaluma. The massive musical event is drug and alcohol free, and includes the surf-punk band The Happys, Venus in Scorpio, No Account, Angel Amodor, and John and Camellia Ford, plus food, meetings and other buzz-free fun. Tickets will be $18 in advance and $22 at the door, with kids 16-and-under $10. Tickets available on

PETALUMA RIVER CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL (Saturday, Sept. 28, 1 - 5 p.m.) - With the catchy slogan “Brews from our backyard, right by the River,” local craft beer fanatics are invited to celebrate the 6th annual Petaluma River Craft Beer festival, sipping on 23 local breweries including Lagunitas, Henhouse, Fogbelt, 2 Tread, Bear Republic and more. Food and drink will be accompanied by live music by the riverfront. You must be 21+ to attend this event. Tickets are $50, includes souvenir beer-tasting glass. Visit

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