Posted Friday, June 2, 2017 by MCVB Staff
By Whitney Butler
If there’s one way to tell summer has arrived in Marin County, it’s at a number of events dedicated to the season. More than a dozen summer festivals, fairs, parades and markets will take over your calendar if you’re headed to Marin.
Summer events in Marin deliver opportunities to explore what the county is known for: farm-fresh ingredients, beautiful backdrops, and skillful artists. This year, everyone can enjoy her favorite foods at Marin’s most popular summer events. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
Western Weekend at Point Reyes Station
Point Reyes is the coastal gem of Marin County. The history of this nationally protected seashore spans from the early settlements of the Miwok Indians to its current emphasis on progressive animal husbandry, renowned dairy products, and family-run farms and businesses.
To commemorate its roots in ranching, Point Reyes sponsors a Western Weekend every year in June. The two-day event includes all your favorite fixings, including a livestock show, homecoming queens, local art and, of course, West Marin’s most delicious farm fare.
Point Reyes is a hot spot for many of Marin’s favorite bites; this is where much of Marin’s fresh dairy and meat come from. Enjoy fine cheeses, fresh cider and locally grown produce from a variety of purveyors and Point Reyes business owners. Don’t miss Cowgirl Creamery, the Marin French Cheese Company or more of Marin’s most beloved food traditions that thrive on the coast.
Novato Art, Wine and Music Festival
Novato is a charming city east of Point Reyes and just north of the San Francisco Bay. The city is known for promoting a healthy and athletic lifestyle, showcased in the city’s 2,600 acres of open space.
On June 10 and 11, Novato hosts the 34th Annual Novato Festival of Art, Wine & Music: a family-friendly street fair celebrating the area’s unique art, wine and popular music. Join the Chamber of Commerce for this free event in downtown Novato along Grant Avenue.
Kids will enjoy carnival-style games and attractions, craft stations, and a chance to greet members of the Novato police and fire departments. The event also features two stages for live music, beer and wine tastings, and some of Novato’s best bites. Definitely don’t miss the microbrews from Hopmonk Tavern or a vintage from Trek Winery; they’re both popular local spots in Novato.
Mill Valley Wine, Beer and Gourmet Food Tasting
Mill Valley continually tops lists for top cities to live in America. This picture-perfect place is nestled in the middle of Marin County and is home to many prominent musicians, Hollywood moguls, and artists.
Every year, Mill Valley hosts the popular Mill Valley Wine, Beer, and Gourmet Food Tasting. On June 4, the event returns to the Downtown Plaza and will feature tastings from more than 65 wineries, 11 breweries and nearly 30 food purveyors, restaurants, and chefs. Former vendors include local names such as Marin Brewing Co., Sweetwater Music Hall, and Nicasio Valley Cheese Company. Enjoy your day of tasting with beautiful views of Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley.
During the summer, the farmer’s market in Fairfax Park attracts hundreds of weekly visitors. Fairfax is a small city in the middle of Marin County, and it hosts dozens of cultural events throughout the year, including the annual Fairfax Festival.
On June 10 and 11, head to Fairfax for a morning parade, live music, outdoor vendors and flea market treasures. You’ll come for the great shopping, but you’ll stay for the great food.
Fairfax is home to some of Marin’s favorite food destinations, including popular Taste Kitchen & Table, known for its baked goods and farm-fresh ingredients.
Marin County Fair
The Civic Center Fairgrounds in San Rafael is home to Marin’s most beloved summer tradition: the Marin County Fair. If there’s one place to pig out on all your favorite foods, it’s here, June 30 through July 4.
Feeling groovy? This year the fair celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with Zen gardens, flower-power horticulture, a ’60s fashion parade and more. Headlining the entertainment are Ann Wilson, The 5th Dimension, UB40, The Liberators, and Sons of Champlin, to name a few. Don’t miss the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that only a county fair can deliver.
While fairgoers enjoy live music, carnival rides and games, dozens of outdoor grills will be cooking crowd favorites like grilled corn on the cob, turkey legs, fried artichokes, churros and other goodies it’s best to only eat once a year.
Corte Madera/Larkspur Fourth of July Festival
The Corte Madera/Larkspur Fourth of July Festival is a hometown parade along Magnolia Avenue to Town Center. Last year was the parade’s 100th anniversary and featured a marching band, classic cars, high school athletic teams, elaborate floats and more; it’s a hometown event, and everyone’s invited this Fourth of July.
Before catching the parade and fireworks, head over to Larkspur Landing for a farm-raised steak dinner at Belcampo Meat Company. For dessert, don’t miss Rustic Bakery, a farm-to-table restaurant also located at Larkspur Landing.
Indian Big Time Celebration
This year marks the 37th annual Big Time Festival at Kule Loklo, a Miwok cultural exhibit, on July 15 at Point Reyes National Seashore. This free cultural event honors the life and legacy of the Miwok Indians.
The festival showcases Native American art, music, dance and food traditions. Live demonstrations showcase Miwok dancing, basketry and bead making. Vendors will be selling a variety of crafts. Guests are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch and spend the day learning about these native peoples. Free parking will be available at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
San Rafael Food and Wine Festival
San Rafael, the heart of Marin, hosts the San Rafael Food and Wine Festival at the Falkirk Cultural Center in August.
Put on your dress shoes and make it a special occasion! This Marin event is hosted at a Victorian-style mansion surrounded by manicured lawns and flowerbeds. Enjoy live jazz music in a beautiful setting while sampling wine from more than 25 regional wineries, bites from dozens of local restaurants, and live demonstrations by local chefs.
This is the 11th year San Rafael will host this event, which has quickly become a local favorite. In other words, don’t wait to get your tickets!