By: Maria Dontas
The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival is celebrating 120 years of festivities! While world-class wine has been an obvious driver of success, the Festival owes its longevity to the philanthropic mission unifying the community and greater Sonoma area. A plentiful harvest after a parasite outbreak sparked the launch of the first celebration in 1897. The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival takes place every year during the last weekend in September, and up to 100% of the proceeds are donated to charity, which is a fantastic reason to celebrate! Today, locals and tourists alike celebrate the Valley’s deep roots, raising a glass to the grape bounty and supporting local nonprofit organizations.
The Vintage Festival takes place right in the heart of town at the historic Sonoma Plaza. There’s a ton of free parking available, and the plaza is within walking distance of several great bed and breakfasts including the Inn at Sonoma and the Hidden Oak Inn. Other lodging options include:
Historically, the Festival has opened with a gala wine-tasting. This year, too, Friday launches with the much-anticipated gala featuring a silent auction, live music, over 50 wineries pouring, and food tastings by local restaurants, specialty shops and caterers. The theme this year is ‘Honoring our Heritage” so gala-goers are encouraged to dress in the style of their favorite decade. Prizes for best costume will be awarded.
Live music and art continues into Saturday and Sunday with the event’s Main Stage located behind Sonoma City Hall. Grab a blanket, a glass of wine or a beer from the Beer Garden, set up for a picnic and enjoy performances all day. Saturday evening features the family favorite “Get Your Glow On” night parade and whether you’re entering a float or watching from the sidelines, you’re in for a treat. Saturday and Sunday also feature family and corporate grape stomps that benefit charities of your choice! Back by popular demand, and the support of Destination Races, the 12k, 5k and Tiny Tots races kick off the final day of the festival.
Whether your traveling with friends, family or you’re on your own, you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s tastes at the Vintage Festival. For more information, to buy tickets or to get involved, visit valleyofthemoonvintagefestival.com.