Everyone loves a parade, and especially in Sebastopol, the town that made the Gravenstein apple world-famous.
The 67th annual Apple Blossom Festival kicks off on Saturday, April 20, with a parade that begins at 10am at Analy High School and ends downtown around noon. The theme for this year's festivities is "Hometown Reunion," with food, music and down-home hospitality as bands blare, floats drift by, school kids march and vintage autos cruise. Where else can one see floats from vineyards side by side with floats from marijuana dispensaries?
On Sunday, April 21, inimitable bluesman Bill Bowker hosts an outdoor festival of music in Ives Park with Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, Volker Strifler and San Francisco's Tia Carroll and Cathy Lemons—but don't miss warmup act the Red Hot Mamas, this weekend comprising Nancy Wenstrom, Jackie Enx, Diane McFee, Diva Ladee Chico and the Queen of North Bay blues, Sarah Baker.
"We're definitely red hot, and we're definitely mamas who deliver rhythm and blues," Baker says. "When we play together we connect with our musical roots. I think we'll do much the same for you, so come on down and listen." Festival runs 10am–6pm on Saturday and 11am–5pm on Sunday in Ives Park, Sebastopol. $10 general admission. For more info, visit www.sebastopol.org.