Oh, the glories of indulgence! The ability to bask in the sun with a brewski in one hand and a big hunk of chocolate cake in the other may be one of the greatest privileges a summer holiday can provide. With grills heating up along with the weather, foodies should find themselves in barbecue heaven this Fourth of July weekend. But a North Bay grill isn't truly complete without the addition of local wines, proving that the Fourth doesn't have to be only about tailgates and bandanas. All events below take place on Friday, July 4.
Among the many wineries serving up the food and drink this holiday is Raymond Burr Vineyards, started by former star of the '50s hit show Perry Mason. Hot dogs and Sonoma County wines at special discounts should keep spirits high all weekend long. (8339 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. 11am&–4pm. Free. 707.433.8559) . . .
Also pairing meat with fine wines is Ledson Winery and Vineyardsin Kenwood. Live music by the Mixed Nuts, winetasting and a variety of scrumptious edibles make up its Hooray for the USA festivities. (7335 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. 11am&–4pm. $20&–$25. 707.833.2300) . . .
Martini Alliance Fourth of July Celebration will be taking place at the Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena, though attendees will have to shell out the bucks—general admission reservations are $95 a pop. (Louis M. Martini Winery, 254 S. St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena. 7&–10 pm. 866.549.2582) . . .
Those looking for something a little more homey may seek out a pancake breakfast or two. Novato's pancake breakfast leads up to a parade and races. The theme, "Novato, Spirit of America," celebrates teamwork. (1010 Grant Ave., downtown Novato. Breakfast, 7&–10am. Suggested donation, $3&–$5. 415.899.8900) . . .
The Marinwood Firefighters Association hosts its 48th annual Fourth of July pancake breakfast. (775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. 8:30&–11:30am. $5&–$7. 415.479.0122) . . .
For those who like to walk while they eat, Guerneville's Independence Day Celebration on the sixth boasts a crafts fair, barbecue, beer and wine bar, and fun activities for kids. (Guerneville Plaza. Gates 10am; barbecue, 2&–8pm. Free. 707.869.9000) . . .
Others may prefer to sprawl out on the grass for a picnic. Enjoy a relaxed meal outdoors in the little well-to-do town of Ross. (The Grove Area of the Common. Noon. Free. 415.453.1453, ext. 176) . . .
Picnickers can gaze at the water while they eat at theSausalito Independence Day Celebration (Caledonia Street, Dunphy Park, Sausalito. Noon&–5pm. Free. 415.289.4100).
Feel free to venue-hop, or simply choose to stretch out on a lawn chair with an ice cold beer and slice of chocolate cake. We'll forgive you.
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