Staying positive
Normally, I would take this opportunity to tout the reasons why we all should encourage visitors to come to Sonoma County in March - the delicate little green buds breaking forth on the grapevines, whale calves swimming along the coast with their mothers, or the wonderful clean scent in the air when sunshine comes after a short sprinkle of rain.  

Once again, however, we find ourselves needing to deal with a natural crisis. This is not a situation any of us wanted to have happen so soon after the October 2017 wildfires, but we will get through this as we have before. 

Our partners at the Russian River Chamber of Commerce are using #BetterTogether as a rallying call. That, along with #SonomaStrong, has certainly been the mantra for Sonoma County residents over the past couple of years.

As an organization, Sonoma County Tourism is working with our partners across the county to convey the appropriate cautionary messages while still marketing the reasons to visit the areas that aren't significantly impacted by flooding. We stand ready to assist. 

While many of our neighbors are dealing with severe issues surrounding the flooding, others are preparing for major events that are economic benchmarks for the year. 

With that in mind, here are a few reasons we are encouraging travel to Sonoma County in March.

Start the month off right by trying a new eatery or a new dish during Restaurant Week 2019, March 1 to 10. Perfect for adventuresome locals as well as discerning visitors, Restaurant Week is when participating restaurants offer unique, prix-fixe menus. A two-course lunch is offered for $10 or $15, and a three-course dinner is $19, $29, or $39. Learn more at sonomacounty.com/restaurant-week.
 
To help visitors find the best of this season in Sonoma County, be sure to tell them about the annual Barrel Tasting along the Wine Road in the beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys the first two weekends in March (March 1-3 and 8-10)
 
Perhaps they'd enjoy sampling scrumptious cheeses, watching chef demonstrations, and touring farms as part of the 13th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival (March 22-24) at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
 
March in Sonoma County is also a wonderful month for film fans, with the annual Hitchcock Film Festival (March 23) in Bodega Bay, the Sonoma International Film Festival (March 27-31), and the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival (March 28-31).
 
Be sure to let your guests know about The Hopper in Windsor, a free luxury bus shuttle service that lets them explore the town without worrying about driving or parking. This is a pilot program offered through the end of March, to see how many folks use the shuttles. Get more details, including a list of shuttle stops, at townofwindsor.com/hopper.
 
More than 280 events are on our calendar in the next two months. A few highlights are listed below, and you can view the complete list at sonomacounty.com/sonoma-events. We also list all the wonderful things to do in Sonoma County at sonomacounty.com/things-to-do.
 
Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Regards,
Tina Luster
Sonoma County Tourism

Annual Barrel Tasting - Two Weekends
March 1-3, 8-10
This annual double weekend event is all about the WINE. Sample wines from the barrel, talk to winemakers and explore the beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys.
Wine Road - Northern Sonoma County, | wineroad.com/events/barrel-tasting
 
Sonoma County Restaurant Week
March 1-10
The annual Sonoma County Restaurant Week continues the tradition of celebrating the finest Sonoma County food. Participating restaurants will present fantastic food at fantastic prices.
Participating Sonoma County Restaurants, Santa Rosa | sonomacounty.com/restaurant-week

Sip Petaluma
March 2
Sip Petaluma features premiere wineries, food, live music, and beautiful artwork from local artists. Advance tickets only.
Keller Street CoWork, Petaluma |  sippetaluma.com
 
Mill District Mardi Gras
March 5
Enjoy live music and jambalaya from The Parish Cafe, The Big Fit playing funk and soul at Coyote Sonoma, and Sakoyana playing eclectic jazz-funk at The Elephant in the Room.
Coyote Sonoma & The Elephant in the Room, Healdsburg | coyotesonoma.com
 
Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival
March 9
Catch bluegrass, old time, and folk acts, and then check out the workshops and enjoy hearing some musicians just jamming.
Sebastopol Community Center, Sebastopol | socofoso.com
 
Emerald Isle, Emerald Ridge Pinot Noir
March 16
Celebrate St. Patrick's Weekend with Dutton-Goldfield's own slice of the Emerald Isle. They will be pouring a three-year vertical of this lush pinot noir, paired with mini-corned beef  Reubens .
Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Sebastopol | duttongoldfield.com
 
13th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival
March 22-24
A weekend filled with scrumptious cheeses, chef demonstrations, farm tours, educational sessions by industry experts, cheesemongers, cheese experts, authors, and cheesemakers.
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa | artisancheesefestival.com
 
Hitchcock Film Festival
March 23
The Master of Suspense is honored each year in Bodega and Bodega Bay, both featured in "The Birds," with a special film festival. Be sure and also stop by Bodega's Artisans' Co-op for a special exhibit and sale of works inspired by the film.
Bodega Bay Grange Hall, Bodega Bay | visitbodegabayca.com
Artisan's Co-op, Bodega | artisansco-op.com
 
Sonoma International Film Festival
March 27-31
Named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by Movie Maker Magazine, SIFF showcases over 100 hand-selected films screened in venues within walking distance of the historic Sonoma Plaza.
SIFF Village, Sonoma | sonomafilmfest.org
 
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
March 28-31
A four-day celebration of non-fiction film, featuring extraordinary documentaries to be shown at different venues in downtown Sebastopol.
Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol | sebastopolfilmfestival.org
 
16th Annual Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival
April-May
This highly regarded festival captures inspired jazz art work, whale education, jazz films, poetry, live music, and a Chowder Challenge in atmospheric and beautiful coastal settings.
Gualala Arts Center and Special Venues, Gualala | gualalaarts.org
 
Annual Battle of the Brews
April 6
Battle of the Brews celebrates all things craft beer at the biggest beer event in Sonoma County. Taste premier micro-brews along with foods from local chefs.
Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa | battleofthebrews.com
 
Occidental Fool's Day Parade
April 6
The parade wends its silly way through town, ending at Occidental Center for the Arts. Experience extreme frivolity, music, the King and Queen of Fools, Lunapillar rides, and more.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Family Series - The Composer is Dead
April 7
New Santa Rosa Symphony Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts the orchestra for a family concert featuring a story by Lemony Snicket. Visit the Instrument Petting Zoo.
Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park | srsymphony.org
 
Garagiste Festival, Northern Exposure
April 13
The second annual Garagiste Wine Festival features undiscovered "garagiste" micro-wineries who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot wines in the world.
Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall, Sonoma | garagistefestival.com
 
Quarryhill Earth Day Celebration
April 13
The peacefulness of the Quarryhill Botanical Garden provides the ideal setting for celebrating the many ways we can conserve and protect our planet.
Quarryhill Botanical Garden, Glen Ellen | quarryhillbg.org
 
Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival and Parade
April 13-14
Catch the parade on Saturday, followed by live music, crafts, children's games, food, and wine. The festival continues Sunday along with the Blues Music Explosion. Check out the Apple Blossom Festival Art Show next door at Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
Ives Park and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol | appleblossomfest.com
 
IPA 10K and Beer Mile Invitational
April 13-14
Set in the heart of Sonoma County's legendary craft brew scene, the IPA 10K and Beer Mile is a celebration of running and beer.
The Barlow, Sebastopol | ipa10k.com
 
Earth Day at Safari West
April 14
Have an Earth Day adventure at Safari West! Discover amazing organizations fighting to conserve species the world over. And, of course, enjoy a safari adventure all your own.
Safari West Wildlife Preserve, Santa Rosa | safariwest.com
 
Windsor Earth Day and Wellness Festival
April 14
This earth-friendly and health-friendly event features entertainment, spring produce and food at the Windsor Farmers Market, children's games, activities, and crafts, and more.
Windsor Town Green, Windsor | townofwindsor.com
 
Skating with The Easter Beagle
April 20
Celebrate spring with Snoopy The Easter Beagle. Skating, prizes, Easter Eggs, and photos.
Snoopy's Home Ice, Santa Rosa | snoopyshomeice.com
 
Hunt for the Hare
April 21
Join the animals of Safari West for the 18th annual Hunt for the Hare! This egg-straordinary celebration and brunch brings the family together for outdoor fun and adventure.
Safari West Wildlife Preserve, Santa Rosa | safariwest.com
 
Russian River Food and Wine Spring Fling
April 27
Spring Fling is a showcase of locally produced food and wine in the Heart of the Russian River Valley, featuring the best in food and wine with small bites and wine tastings.
Downtown Guerneville, Guerneville | russianriver.com
 
Butter and Egg Days Parade and Festival
April 27
Brimming with authentic small town pride, Butter and Egg Days pays tribute to Petaluma's place in history as the "World's Egg Basket" and the community's rich agricultural heritage.
Historic Downtown Petaluma, Petaluma | petalumadowntown.com
 
Santa Rosa's Earth Day On Stage
April 27
A family-friendly festival with fun activities, live performing arts, and inspiring exhibits that raise environmental awareness. Celebrate the Earth with great people, local food, beer and wine!
Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa | srcity.org
 
Spring Tour: Blossoms, Bees, and Barnyard Babies
April 27-28
Visit local farms and find activities including tours, demonstrations, animal petting, games and crafts, tastings, flower arranging, and more. Enjoy snacks and shop farm stands. RSVP required.
Various Locations, Sebastopol | farmtrails.org
 
30th Annual Passport to Dry Creek Valley
April 27-28
Sonoma Wine Country's Premier Wine and Food Festival. Mroee than 40 participating wineries throughout Dry Creek Valley present themed parties with remarkable and memorable food and wine pairings.
Various Winery Locations, Healdsburg | drycreekvalley.org
 
Petaluma Spring Antique Faire
April 28
Petaluma's charming historic downtown district is transformed into an open-air marketplace with more than 200 antique dealers selling collectibles of all types and price.
Historic Downtown Petaluma, Petaluma | petalumadowntown.com

Cloverdale Fiddle Festival
May 4
The Cloverdale Fiddle Festival features a rousing fiddle contest plus bluegrass and old-time music performances on a separate stage. It's a family friendly event with jam sessions and workshops.
Cloverdale Old Time Fiddle Festival, Cloverdale |  cloverdalefiddles.com
 
Film Fest Petaluma
May 4
An annual showcase of short films that feature a broad mix of animated, live action, and documentary topics. International filmmakers in conversation with Sonoma County students.
Mystic Theatre, Petaluma |  petalumafilmalliance.org
 
Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival
May 4-5
Bodega Bay celebrates the local fisherman and kicks off salmon season with a blessing of the fleet. Fun for all includes music, food, craft booths, and the wooden boat challenge.
Westside Park, Bodega Bay |  bbfishfest.org

Of course, these are just a few highlights of the more than 280  events scheduled in Sonoma County in the next two months. For the full list, please go to sonomacounty.com/events. Check back, as it is updated daily by the wonderful Jen. 
Bodega Bay Area Chamber
 
Bohemian Connection
707-874-9407
 
Cloverdale Chamber & Visitors Center
www.cloverdale.net
707-894-4470
126 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale
 
Cotati Chamber and Visitors Center
www.cotati.org
707-795-5508
216 E. School St., Cotati
 
Forestville Chamber
www.forestvillechamber.org
707-887-1111
6652 Front St., Forestville
 
Fort Ross State Historic Park Visitors Center and Museum
fortross.org
707-847-3437
19005 Highway 1, Jenner
 
Geyserville Chamber
www.geyservillecc.com
707-276-6067
Geyserville
 
Healdsburg Chamber
& Visitors Bureau
www.healdsburg.com
707-433-6935
217 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg
 
Hispanic Chamber
www.hcc-sc.org
707-575-3648
3033 Cleveland Ave., Ste. 306, Santa Rosa
 
Jenner Visitors Center
www.stewardscr.org
707-865-9757
10439 Highway 1, Jenner
 
Lake Sonoma Visitors Center & Fish Hatchery
www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/LakeSonoma.aspx
3333 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville
 
Mark West Area Chamber
& Visitors Center
www.markwest.org
707-578-7975
markwest@markwest.org
4787 Old Redwood Highway, Santa Rosa
 
Monte Rio Chamber
www.monterio.org
707-865-1533
20406 Church St., Monte Rio
 
North Bay Black Chamber
www.nbbcc.org
707-838-7608
Santa Rosa
 
Occidental Chamber
www.occidental.org
707-874-3279
P. O. Box 159, Occidental
 
Petaluma Area Chamber
www.petalumachamber.com
707-762-2785
6 Petaluma Blvd. North, Ste. A2, Petaluma
 
Petaluma Visitors Program
www.visitpetaluma.com
707-769-0429
210 Lakeville St./Hwy. 116, Petaluma
 
Redwood Coast Chamber & CVB
www.redwoodcoastchamber.com
707-884-1080
39150 South Highway 1, Unit 4
Gualala
 
Rohnert Park Chamber
www.rohnertparkchamber.org
707-584-1415
info@rohnertparkchamber.org
101 Golf Course Drive, Ste. C7, Rohnert Park

Russian River Chamber & Visitor Center
707-869-9000
877-644-9001
16209 1st St., Guerneville
 
Russian River Visitor Center at Korbel
707-869-4096
13250 River Road, Guerneville
 
Santa Rosa Metro Chamber
www.santarosametrochamber.com
707-545-1414
50 Old Courthouse Square, Ste. 110, Santa Rosa
 
Visit Santa Rosa & California Welcome Center
www.visitsantarosa.com
707-577-8674
9 4th St., Santa Rosa
 
Sebastopol Area Chamber & Visitors Center
www.sebastopol.org
707-823-3032
chamber@sebastopol.org
265 S. Main St., Sebastopol
 
Sonoma Coast Visitors Center
www.visitbodegabayca.com
707-377-4459
913 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay
 
Sonoma Valley Chamber
www.sonomachamber.com
707-996-1033
651 Broadway, #A, Sonoma
 
Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau
www.sonomavalley.com
707-996-1090
453 1st St. E., Sonoma
 
Windsor Chamber & Visitors Center
www.windsorchamber.com
707-838-7285
info@windsorchamber.com
9001 Windsor Road,  Windsor