Summer is an exciting time around Northern Sonoma County, and with the State of California lifting all major COVID-19 restrictions June 15, there suddenly are multiple options to kick it off. In and around town, events and activities abound. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the happenings we’ve got on our radar.
Mill District’s own Naomi Williams makes swimsuits in her free time, and her Athyrium Swimwear Company has been sponsoring pop-up markets all over the county. At the most recent event, held at Tamarind downtown, Athyrium had nearly 100 different suits for sale. The company, which Williams started with Mariko Leilani, is obsessed with sustainability. Athyrium’s luxurious Italian fabric not only dries quickly, lasts for ages, and resists sunscreen/lotion/oil, but it is woven with ECONYL Regenerated Nylon, which is made by recovering nylon waste such as fishing nets from the oceans and fabric scraps from mills and carpets. Designers do custom fittings for locals and promise alterations in 48 hours or less.
At the far western end of the Dry Creek Valley, the beloved Dry Creek Peach & Produce is open for business once again. The 1,000-tree farm is renowned for its juicy orbs, which it sells at local farmers’ markets and at a tiny stand in front of the farm itself. The farm’s story is just as appealing—it is the last remaining fruit farm in the valley and the only dedicated, certified organic peach farm in the county. Owners since 2000, Brian Sullivan and Gayle Okumura Sullivan recently have broadened the product line to include peach jam, Bellini mix and more. They also are huge backers of many of the things that make Healdsburg great, including our jazz festival, the local weekly newspaper, and Healdsburg Unified School District.
Cycling fans are excited about the Mendo Hopper 2, the next major local event in the ongoing Grasshopper Adventure Series. This ride, scheduled for July 31-Aug. 1, will cover more than 150 miles of gravel and over 14,000 feet of elevation gain. What makes this experience special: The course follows a series of little-known dirt roads in a remote part of Mendocino County. It also includes all meals, and an overnight at a private campground in Caspar with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Though the ride is still more than a month away, spots are filling up quickly. To book a reservation, click here.
Even Healdsburg’s youngest residents are producing works of creative genius these days: “Barnhouse Dames,” a historical film written and filmed by a group of local tweens and teens, will debut at The Raven Performing Arts Center downtown on July 31. The movie is significant because it was made almost entirely by locals. Community activist Gail Jonas told the Sawflier that a 9-year-old actor and five adults on the film crew stayed at her house for four days during Labor Day weekend 2019, and that the crew filmed for 12 hours in 105-degree heat. For tickets and information about the show, check out The Raven’s website.
After a 16-month-long hiatus due to COVID-19, one of Healdsburg’s most famous traditions will be back in 2021: the annual July 4 Duck Dash race. The race is part of a series of celebrations made possible by the Rotary Club of Healdsburg Sunrise chapter. In this one, families can “adopt” a rubber duck and watch how it fares against hundreds of other ducks that are sent splashing down a giant raceway and into the fountain at Plaza Park. Kids can decorate their ducks and run them in other and more intimate races on the Plaza throughout the day. The event runs from 1030 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 4, and it is open to the public. Anyone can come and watch.