One way to look at this weekend in Healdsburg is that it's the last one before Wine Tasting Season begins. Of course on the one hand there's no such thing as Wine Tasting Season, on the other hand it never ends. Since the popular Barrel Tasting Weekend comes around March 2-3, you are forewarned.
Friday evening at the Hotel Healdsburg, the Fireside Lounge is the scene for a jazz trio led by Len Lyons, the instructor for the SSU livelong learning class on jazz history currently underway at the Villa. The Boston pianist-professor plays with bassist Chris Amberger and Francis Vanek on saxophone, a rare Friday-night trio for the regular Lobby series. Most Fridays you'll find a duo here, and trios on Saturdays, but good jazz every night, year round, from 7:30 - 11 p.m., no cover. You can keep abreast of the bookings on the Healdsburg Jazz calendar.
Speaking of Healdsburg Jazz - they've downplayed the Festival part of their name since they focus on jazz all year around, instead of just 10 days in June - their Freedom Jazz Choir holds the first rehearsal on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Community Baptist Church in Santa Rosa. The all-volunteer community choir celebrating diversity has proven to be a popular idea; show up an hour early, it's your last chance to sign up. See this page for more details.
All weekend, Friday through Sunday, the Family Wineries on Dry Creek Rd. will have a Wild Mushroom Weekend. They'll provide complimentary Wild Mushroom Bisque (chantrelle, black trumpet, yellow foot and hedgehog) paired with a variety of wines including Pinot Noir, Grenache, Vino Rosso and Zinfandels from 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The cooperative tasting room features boutique wineries Collier Falls, Dashe Cellars, Forth Vineyards, Lago di Merlo, Mietz Cellars and Philip Staley Vineyards.
Also starting this weekend is not in Healdsburg but close enough for community theater. It's up at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees this weekend and next, $18 a ticket.
Saturday, the Mercantile Shop, aka the Merc Shop, at 333 Center Street is holding their first-ever art installation, and kicking it off with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Featured artist is Hilary Williams, a Sonoma and San Francisco artist whose mixed media works stay the imaginative side of whimsy. You can visit her website for more, or show up at the Merc Shop in person. As their invitation says, "There will be wine."
Of course you know about Mr. Healdsburg Pageant, the high point of many a social calendar this time of year. It's at the Raven Performing Arts Center and is a benefit for such, and for the first time in several years tickets are still available this close to the Saturday night event. Doors open at 7:00, the fun begins at once.
If you survive, you might want check out the located on Magnolia Drive just off Kinley on the west side of the Westside Rd. freeway on/off ramps. They do this every Sunday this time of year, hosted by Adam Lieb. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket or your lawn chair, enjoy one of our picnic tables overlooking the vineyard and of course the Alderbrook wines, sold by the glass or bottle. It's free - call Ben in the Tasting Room for more information, 433-5987.
Sunday night is Oscar® Night, the 85th annual awards ceremony from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Make sure you see all the Best Picture nominees before then - time's running out! - and vote in our online poll. Keep an eye on Healdsburg Patch for an upcoming article on places to go watch the show with your fellow film fans.
Did we miss anything? Probably. Leave a comment so others know, and be sure to list your upcoming event in Patch Events so everyone can find it.