If more evidence is needed to prove how full Healdsburg’s community events and celebration calendar is, just look back at how many postponed gatherings and special events had to be cancelled or rescheduled in the days after the Oct. 23, 2019 Kincade Fire.
Even Halloween trick-or- treating had to be postponed into November. Also postponed was Corazòn Healdsburg’s Dìa de los Muertos street festival and alter, Healdsburg’s Future Farmers Country Fair Barn Dance, the annual pet-friendly Howl-O-Ween parade, a Latinx Impact Forum and more than a week’s worth of local school sports games. The annual downtown trick-or-treat evening was moved to the first Friday in November and besides costumed children with parents in tow, the streets surrounding the Plaza were filled with fire trucks and local First Responders.
The Dìa de los Muertos celebration was moved to the city hall parking lot and Grove Street and finally held on Saturday, Nov. 23. The HFFCF Barn Dance is being held Feb. 29, 2020 at the SRJC Shone Farm.
A few events also had to be moved on the calendar last February when the Russian River flooded. But when the weather permitted, Healdsburg residents and visitors paraded in May in the Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair Twilight Parade and in the pre-dawn St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Healdsburg Farmers Market held several special events including the annual Zucchini Races and Pumpkin Carving contest. The 20th annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival drew music lovers to 10 days of performances, workshops and a film showing in June. Another class of seniors marched across the Rec Park field for the 2019 Healdsburg High School Graduation in June and the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce hosted several business gatherings including the annual Best Business Awards at the Villa Chanticleer in August.
Skip Brand of the Healdsburg Running Club and the Drew Esquivel Scholarship Fund held a series of fund raising foot races, including the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot that drew almost 2,000 runners. Dotted everywhere else on Healdsburg’s calendar were weekend winery events, civic club and American Legion pancake breakfasts and feeds, Tuesday in the Plaza concerts in the summer and the arrival of Santa Claus on the day after Thanksgiving.
While most of these events have counterparts in thousands of other small towns across America, the actual mix of these local gatherings, held for many years in a row, is a big part of Healdsburg’s character and popularity.
If the largest wildfire in history can only delay a few events by a week or two, there must be lots of reassuring evidence that even as Healdsburg becomes more and more expensive, people will continue to celebrate Healdsburg all year long.