20 Fabulous Fall Festivals and Events in Sonoma County

The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival (Julie Vader/For Sonoma Index-Tribune)

The finest of Sonoma County’s art and agriculture will be on full display this autumn in a myriad of both new and recurring seasonal festivals. Sip exclusive wines, dine on seasonal cuisine, dance to live music and more with a diverse community of artists, winemakers, visitors and locals looking for some fun this fall. 

Tapas Short Play Festivalweekends from September 15 to October 8

Pegasus Theater Company’s 15th annual Tapas Short Play Festival, held at the Mount Jackson Masonic Lodge in Guerneville, will feature original short plays by Northern California playwrights on weekends from Sept. 15 through Oct. 8. Curtain time is 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. for Sunday matinees. General admission is $20. 14040 Church St., Guerneville

Real Neato Music FestivalSeptember 23

The Rio Nido Roadhouse will celebrate the region’s “Second Summer” on the first day of fall with the Real Neato Music Festival. The lineup of Bay Area indie bands and artists includes Jesse Judies, Kacie Hill, Mild Universe, ¿Qiensave? and more. From 2-10 p.m. General Admission is $50 and tickets for kids under 12 are $25. VIP admission, which includes reserved seating, drink tickets and swag, are $150. 14540 Canyon 2 Road, Rio Nido

Sonoma County VegFestSeptember 23

The Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building will host VegFest, the county’s “celebration of compassionate, healthy and environmentally responsible living.” The festival will include live music all day, vegetarian food vendors, vegan boutiques, eco-friendly products, vegan cooking demonstrations and more. VegFest is a fundraiser for nonprofit Compassionate Living. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. General admission is $10. 1351 Maple Ave. Santa Rosa

Healdsburg International Short Film FestivalSeptember 23

After a long hiatus, the Healdsburg International Short Film Festival is back with a variety of films, from drama to comedy, documentary to animation. There will be two screening blocks at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and attendees will be able to vote for their favorite films in real time on their phones. Proceeds benefit the Raven Education Program. General admission is $15. 115 North St., Healdsburg

Fall Wine Trail, September 23

Sip some wine while enjoying the splendor of fall in the Wine Country. A $50 ticket includes complimentary tasting of at least 2 wines at any of the 30+ participating wineries.

Global Roots SonomaSeptember 23-24

Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center will host Global Roots Sonoma, a two-day world music festival featuring live music, immersive workshops, food trucks and family activities. 

Artists include the Occitan polyphony group San Salvador, Grammy winning jazz singer Catherine Russell, Hawaiian singer-songwriter Paula Fuga and many more, with music stylings spanning the globe from Scotland to Nicaragua. Food vendors include Reggae Rasta Styles, Sushi Shoubu and Fruity Moto. Gates open at noon. 

General admission for one day is $29 ($58 for two-day package) and $10 for SSU students and youth under 18 ($20 for two-day package). VIP tickets — which include access to the Sonoma-Cutrer VIP Lounge in Prelude Restaurant & Bar and an exclusive Saturday night after-party — are $250 for Sept. 23 and $125 for Sept. 24 ($375 for two-day package). 

1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park

Petaluma Antique FaireSeptember 24

Petaluma’s 38th annual fall Antique Faire will welcome collectors from across the Bay Area to browse and shop in historic downtown. The antique marketplace features a quality selection of old treasures and keepsakes — such as art, estate jewelry, kitchenware and vintage décor — from over 200 dealers. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the street fair is free and antiques will be available for purchase. Located on Kentucky Street, Fourth Street, Western Avenue and the A Street parking lot, Petaluma

Valley of the Moon Vintage FestivalSeptember 29-30

The 126th Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, presented by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation, is a weekend full of wine and culture as the county celebrates its rich winemaking heritage and harvest. 

The festival includes a Legends Dinner from 6-10 p.m. on Sept. 29, featuring a four-course dinner by Glen Ellen Star’s chef Ari Weiswasser at B.R. Cohn Winery, live music by singer-songwriter Michelle Lambert, and a live auction on unique wines and experiences. 

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 30, the festival will include a 5K Fun Run through scenic Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma Valley Grand Tasting of exclusive wines and local cuisine, the traditional Grape Stomp, along with live music, artisans booths, a kids zone and the classic water fights. Sonoma Plaza, 453 First St. E., Sonoma, 

Oktoberfest at The PatchSeptember 30

The Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch will host its first Oktoberfest this year; a German-themed festival with food, beer, live bands and more. The event will include Bavarian-style cuisine and drink, a five mile run/walk course, a two-person team Beer Mile race, an Orange Obstacle Course, a Kid’s Pumpkin Run and various pumpkin patch activities. From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets from $45 to $130. 5157 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa

Pride n’ VinoOctober 7

Formerly known as Pinot On The River, Pride n’ Vino is a one-day fete of wine, food, art and music in Santa Rosa’s historic Courthouse Square. The 21+ event will include wine tastings, cuisine from artisan food vendors, art displays, a silent auction, live entertainment and a chance to mingle with local winemakers. All proceeds benefit Sonoma County Pride. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $50. Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 707-394-5063, 

Americana Music Festival, October 7

Santa Rosa’s California Theatre will present the second annual Americana Music Festival, bringing a taste of Nashville to Sonoma County. The country-tinged lineup includes jazz violinist Mads Tolling and pianist John R. Burr, Santa Rosa-based band The Familiar Strangers, and the legendary folk and blues singer Maria Muldaur and her band. From 7:30-10 p.m. General admission is $28. 528 Seventh St., Santa Rosa

Sonoma Valley Music FestivalOctober 13-15

Bay Area nonprofit Music in Place, in partnership with the Sonoma Community Center, will present the 2023 Sonoma Valley Music Festival for three days of live music. The festival will include three afternoon concerts at Sonoma Plaza’s Grinstead Amphitheater, two morning family-centered events at the Sonoma Community Center, three concerts at Sebastiani Theatre and an Oktoberfest concert at Vintage House. Concerts at the Grinstead Amphitheater and community center are free, concerts at Sebastiani Theatre are $10-$35 and Oktoberfest at Vintage House is $20. Multiple locations in Sonoma

Russian River Pride 2023October 13-15

The Russian River Alliance will present the annual Russian River Pride parade and festival for three days of colorful fun along the river in Guerneville. Local vendors will offer activities and exhibits on Oct. 13-14, and the grand festival and parade will be held Oct. 15. The parade starts at noon on Main Street, trotting down Mill Street to Armstrong Woods Road, followed by the festival on Johnson’s Beach from 1-5 p.m. 

The festival will include food, drinks and a dance to live music, featuring a DJ and special guests. While there is no entrance fee, donations are appreciated as the event benefits the Guerneville Library, Food for Thought, Watch Duty wildfire alert system, Guerneville Youth Center and Russian River Alliance. Downtown Guerneville and Johnson’s Beach

Petaluma PrideOctober 13-15

The second annual Petaluma Pride, a three-day queer fest, will include: A dance party on Oct. 13 (details to be announced); a pride festival and farmers’ market from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Walnut Park, followed by an after party featuring a drag and burlesque show at The Big Easy; and a brunch at River Front Cafe with a musical performance by Ellie James on Oct. 15. Walnut Park, Petaluma, 

Sonoma County Harvest FairOctober 14

Since its debut in 1975, Sonoma County’s Harvest Fair has highlighted the area’s vibrant culture of art, wine, food and agriculture. The coveted event includes the premier Professional Wine Competition, featuring over 900 locally-sourced wines, along with a food competition, world championship grape stomp, food and wine pairings at the tasting pavilion, a classic car show and an art show. From noon to 4 p.m. General admission is $75, VIP tickets are $150, combo tickets for the Harvest Fair and the Healdsburg Crush (the next day) are $200, and designated driver tickets (only available day of event) are $50. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa

SRJC Shone Farm Fall FestivalOctober 14

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm Fall Festival will showcase the farm’s seasonal produce and wines with a number of agricultural activities, facilitated by students and instructors of SRJC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. The festival will include fall produce u-pick opportunities, farm tours, hay bale rides, animal meet-and-greets, farm equipment displays, student enterprise projects, and a kids zone featuring rotten fruit slingshot and compost lessons. A food court will feature Black Piglet + Catering and burgers from the Sebastopol FFA. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance fee is $5 per car. 7450 Steve Olson Lane, Forestville

It’s the Great Pumpkin Crafts and Treats Happy Hour, October 14

Adults are invited to get into the Halloween spirit in this fun workshop. Enjoy adult beverages while creating a Great Pumpkin candle holder and Halloween banner and making yummy treats including a Snoopy skeleton snack and Linus leaf lollipop brownies. Advance registration is required. Tickets are $15 per registrant (museum members receive 20% off).

15th Annual Greek & Middle Eastern FestivalOctober 14-15

St. George Orthodox Church in Rohnert Park will host its 15th annual Greek & Middle Eastern Festival during a weekend celebration of Greek and Middle Eastern culture. The event will include Mediterranean cuisine (read: shawarma, gyros, falafel, baklava and more), an international marketplace, live music and entertainment, traditional dances, henna tattoos and a kids carnival corner. From noon to 7 p.m. each day. 7311 College View Drive, Rohnert Park

Weekend Along the Farm Trails Fall Tour, October 14-15

Local farmers and producers open their gates and barn doors to offer a taste of life on the farm! Meet farmers and producers. Pick pumpkins, apples, and flowers. Visit with farm animals. See how cheese, cider, and jam are made. Tour farms, lavender fields, flower fields, and orchards. Enjoy ag-related talks, activities, and demonstrations. Shop from farm stands. Taste delicious locally grown and made food and libations. And enjoy the bounty of Sonoma County! Registration for the tour is free.

Healdsburg CrushOctober 15

Experience the best of the region’s autumn crush season with tastings of limited production wines from over 60 premium local wineries during Healdsburg Crush, held in the heart of downtown on the plaza. In addition to the samplings of exquisite Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines, the event will include food vendors, an onsite raffle and a wine-centric silent auction. All proceeds of the 21+ event will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin. From noon to 4 p.m. General admission is $125 and exclusive VIP add-on events, which take place on Oct. 13-14 before the main event on Sunday, are $75 each. Healdsburg Plaza, Healdsburg

By Maci Martell

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