This Sonoma Weekend, July 20-22

Farmers markets, the recreation of European villages and movie marathons among Sonoma's weekend entertainments


This weekend the sun transits from Cancer into Leo, the Mercury Retrograde continues, and the Dark Knight Rises.

Sonoma and environs are not immune from these cosmic events, but there's more to do than just seek shelter in the coming few days.

In fact if you like loud noises, fast cars and rowdy crowds, the NHRA Division 7 Drag Races fires up at Sonoma ("raceway" in parenthesis), July 20-22. In all, more than 400 drag racing machines will compete throughout the weekend on the quarter-mile drag strip in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event.  You know you care.

comes back for its second weekend at Jack London State Park, turning the outdoor winery ruins into an arena of singing, dancing and stagecraft. This is the first of four presentations here this summer, from Transcendence Theater. Shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 - 10:00 p.m.

Farmers Markets give you a chance to shop local, buy local, cook local. On Friday the long-standing is at Depot Park, 9 a.m. to noon. On Saturday it's the Harvest Market at Sonoma Garden Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., sponsored by the Sonoma Ecology Center. Sunday find the Glen Ellen Community Farmers Market from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Jack London Village.

Friday night music aton Fourth Street East, from 5 - 9. This week it's blues, R&B and rock by Brewnel. Wines by-the-glass or by-the-bottle available for purchase along with a selection of dinner items. You are welcome to bring a picnic dinner or snacks to enjoy inside or out in the courtyard. This is a family-friendly event. Well-behaved children and pets are welcome.

Meanwhile out at the wineries, a couple this weekend are celebrating their ethnic heritage. is going native for their 20th Annual , from 11 to  4 both Saturday and Sunday. Not free, not even cheap, but there will be music, dance, processions in a recreated Barcelonian neighborhood, and the sumptuous aromas and flavors of Spanish food and wine. Tickets purchased at the door will be $55. Info at http://www.gloriaferrer.com/catalan-festival or at (707) 933-1999.

Not to be outdone, Viansa Winery at 25200 Arnold Drive turns itself into a "quaint and buzzing Italian village, complete with all the magnificent sights, sounds, flavors and activities synonymous with Italy." Why? It's their 3rd Annual Festival Italiano, of course. Event is Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free, with food, wine and other affordables available. Phone: (800) 995-4740 for more info.

So, how about a movie? If you seek comfort and reassurance in the cinema, look no farther than the . The two-week run of Brave (Pixanimation) ends Thursday night with final screenings at 4:45 and 7:00 p.m., followed on Friday and for at least a week following with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (usually at 6 and 8:30 p.m.). A Social-Security eligible cast (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith) seek uplift and adventure in retirement by going to India. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be embarrassed for yourself.

Out in the hinterlands (aka The Springs), indulges in a Dark Knight Marathon, starting tonight Thursday at 6:30 with Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and, at midnight, the area premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. This is the latest Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movie starring Christian Bale, and advanced reviews are... mixed. But with a cast that includes Gary Oldman, Liam Neesen, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, and Anne Hathaway (yes indeed she does!) I dare you to miss it. Other films at the cinema are on this web site.

What do you think, Sonomans? Any events you're attending that you'd like others to know about? Tell us in the comments!


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