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Kathleen Hill: County Fair youth, cornhole tourny and more

Sonoma FFA and 4-H display at County Fair

Sonoma Valley High School school garden, Future Farmers of America and 4-H have worked together to create a “Day of the Dead” garden display for Sonoma County Fair’s “Holidaze” fair theme with the help of teacher Eileen Pharo and High School Ag department teacher and Garden Coordinator Karling Skoglund.

Sonoma Materials, Wine Country Garden Center, Sonoma Mission Gardens, Blooms, and Sonoma Wholesale Nursery all contributed plants and materials. You can see this student-created food and agriculture display from Aug. 3 through 14 at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa.

Watch for the high school’s Agriculture Boosters’ Annual Dinner & Auction Sept. 9 to support students for the country’s ever-important food farming.

Carneros wine tasting and Cornhole tournament

The Carneros Wine Alliance will host its first Wine Tasting & Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 12 at Liana Estates in Napa. Sonoma’s Schug and Hyde wineries will participate along with Bouchaine, Cuvaison, Etude and Truchard Vineyards.

The late afternoon wine tasting will be followed by the Cornhole Tournament. What is it? It’s an old game where participants toss bags of corn or beans through holes in boards – which is over simplifying it. All proceeds will be donated to the Schell-Vista and Carneros fire department. $40. 4 to 6 p.m. 2750 Las Amigas, Napa. Tickets at Carneros.com/events.

Film Festival paella dinner and a movie Aug. 17

Sonoma International Film Festival and Carneros Bistro will offer a three-course dinner featuring paella, with a vegetarian option available, and includes wine by Adam Webb of Cochon Wines. Feast on Gravenstein and fennel salad with Cowgirl Creamery’s Midnight Moon cheese, seafood paella with scallops, mussels, Manila lams, and lobster, followed by mango and coconut sorbet. ($42).

Following dinner (wherever you have it) the film “The Trip to Spain” will be screened on the Lodge at Sonoma’s lawn, with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon starring and sampling food in what SIFF calls a “deliciously deadpan culinary road trip.” $15 general, $5 film club members, $20 at door.

Pets Lifeline Paws for A Cause

The biggest fundraiser of the year for Sonoma’s no-kill animal shelter and forever home finder for cats and dogs, Pets Lifeline, takes place Saturday, Aug. 19 at the fabulous Vintage Kennel Club & Spa. You will mingle with pigs, camels, and horses, and dine in the elegant barn with lots of two-legged people. Always fun and a great auction. Ari Weiswasser and Bruce Riezenman of Stellar Catering will prepare passed hors d’oeuvres with eggplant “caviar” on tables with Full Circle Penngrove demi loaves; salad of Bibb lettuce, pickled green tomatoes and English peas, wood-grilled flat iron steak with artichoke panzanella, marble potatoes and succotash, followed by peaches in pinot gris, lady finger and vanilla bourbon ice cream. $150 or $200 VIP (extra course) 5:30 to 10 p.m. 22071 Bonness Road, Sonoma. Tickets at 996-4577, Ext. 110 or petslifeline.org.

Red & White Ball for education

Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s Red & White Ball comes around again with dinner, a high energy band and a new late night nibbles bar in Sonoma Plaza, Saturday, Aug. 26.

“All 4,600 local students in all schools will benefit from the ball, which attracts 700 guests giving to Sonoma’s schools in improving childhood literacy to college and career readiness,” according to Sonoma Valley Education Foundation Director Debra Garber.

Guests will start the evening off with a pop of bubbles sponsored by Invino while strolling through the transformed and interestingly decorated Plaza

Sonoma Valley High School culinary department and school sistrict food manager Cody Williams will make the appetizer, shot of cold gazpacho with vegetables from the Altimira School Garden, to be followed by “family style salad” and a buffet of Argentine-style chili rubbed chicken, slow cooked beef, vegetables from the school gardens, and vegetable empañadas by chefs Ari Weisswasser and Bruce Riezenman of Stellar Catering.

Lots of wine will be poured thanks to donations by Benziger, Cline, Donum Estate, Eco Terreno, Head High, Highway 12, Hughes Family Winery, Invino, La Chertosa, Larson, MacRostie, Miracle Hill, and Walt wineries.

Other local food and beverage producers who will serve include Sonoma Syrup Co., Gus the Bus IPA, Aqua Kola, Sonoma Harvest, U Gottabee Nutz, and Sonoma Market.

Dance to the slightly raucous retro Pop Rocks, enjoy a performance by Transcendence Theater Company, check out Crush Beauty Bar’s touch-up station to freshen makeup and hair, and the Late Night Nibbles Bar sponsored by SmashMallow, Savory Spice Shop flavoring popcorn, and Dutch Bros. to keep you grooving. $200 includes dinner and dancing, $40 for dance only tickets with one drink ticket included. 5 to 10 p.m. Sonoma Plaza. Tickets at 935-9566 or svgreatschools.org.

Check out Springs Farmers Market

Last Sunday it was finally cool enough for me to check out the Springs Community Farmers Market at Larson Park, where so many parents have posted photos on Facebook of their kids swimming in “the swimming hole.”

This small and cozy market has fabulous vegetables all grown in Sonoma County, including plump squashes and tomatoes, a Hawaiian novelties booth, Andrea’s Quarter Acre Farm vegetable plants and voluptuous tomatoes; Jacob Talbert’s fresh Sushinoma sushi; Harvest Moon’s Jen Demarest’s fabulous pastries and buns, as well as her daughter Annabelle’s lickable PopZGirl popsicles handmade with seasonal blueberries, horchata, butterscotch and chocolate and more; Elizabeth Hamon’s Big Table Baking baked at Vintage House; KassyKate Foods with outstanding olives; Jolly Pig BBQ with brisket and pork, and a fun crafts booth for all ages courtesy of ArtEscape. 4 to 7 p.m. Sundays at Larson Park. Good signage from Highway 12.