“Yet, I pray you …” exhorts brilliant and beautiful Helena (the infatuated but heroic healer-and-deviser-of-plots in William Shakespeare’s off-the-wall, pre-feminist rom-com “All’s Well That Ends Well”), “But with the word the time will bring on summer, When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns, And be as sweet as sharp. We must away. Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us. All’s well that ends well. Still the fine’s the crown. Whate’er the course, the end is the renown.”
In slightly less lofty language, what Helen is saying is that regardless of what the winter season brings, summer will always return eventually, and stuff that was unpleasant then will become attractive and nice to look at and, you know, full of fruit, because time being time, what matters most is how things end and what will soon be, not so much what used to be, or how crappy things sometimes got along the way from then to now, or from now to … whatever comes next.
In even plainer words: forget the past, because we’ve still got some summer left, so let’s keep the party going!
Here, to make that easier, are several upcoming events, activities, festivals and fairs in and around Petaluma. These include (behold!) an actual, fully staged production of “All’s Well That Ends Well,” courtesy of Petaluma Shakespeare Company, which will perform the little-seen show along the river in late August.
To paraphrase yet another of Shakespeare’s lines, when it comes to activities to fill the summer months will fun, Sonoma County is as boundless as the sea.
SONOMA COUNTY FAIR
Thursday, August 2 – Sunday, August 12, gates open 11 a.m.
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa
The theme this year is ‘A Salute to Heroes,’ a celebration of the real-life heroes who risked everything during last October’s fires, as well as a fun-filled chance to salute the kind of heroes who wear capes and fight supervillains. Daily activities will include special programs for all. The Hall of Flowers this time out will feature the theme “Seasons of Sonoma,” with floral representations of the county’s rugged coastal bluffs, towering redwoods, color-changing vineyards and more. Special musical events for 2018 include appearances by rock legends Blood, Sweat and Tears, plus country crooner John Michael Montgomery, the inaugural Sonoma County Fair Blues Festival, with Grammy winner Grady Champion and others. The fair will feature the Norcal Brewfest, horse racing, a vast carnival and midway, all the usual fair foods (Fried Candy, anyone?), and lots more besides.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? SonomaCountyFair.com.
GREEN MUSIC CENTER FIRE BENEFIT: BRAD PAISLEY & BONNIE HUNT
Friday Aug. 3 - Saturday Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Weill Hall, Green Music Center
The Green Music Center will host a two-day benefit event titled “Thicker Than Smoke” as part of the ongoing recovery process following the North Bay October fires. The event will welcome country artist Brad Paisley as well as actress Bonnie Hunt (“Cars,” “Return to Me”) who will host an acoustic concert on the outdoor lawn of Weill Hall. Local author Brandon Spars will begin the event with some live storytelling, and local speakers will have an opportunity to share their own stories. The event is designed specifically to benefit first responders who suffered losses during the fires. First responders are eligible for free tickets to the event. Tickets start at $45.