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Mar 28, 2012 08:31 AM

Bay Area Food Festivals and Events - April, 2012

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  1. April 14 & 15, Lao New Year
    Wat Lao Saysettha, 3625 Moorland Ave (north of Todd Rd), Santa Rosa

    This morning I stopped by the temple in south Santa Rosa to find out what the plan for celebrating the New Year might be. I found a crew busy hammering and drilling getting ready for the weekend's festival. And they directed me to the Wat's facebook page for more info.

    The celebration starts "officially" at noon on Saturday. But I was advised to get there earlier, like 11am, to get a parking spot and the start of food service. The grounds has a large, grassy (and currently muddy) area set back from the street where cars can park. There's no street parking in the area.

    No info on what the food offerings might be. It is a fundraiser for the temple, so bring cash to make a donation. There may also be some outside food vendors. I found the menu from last year's festivities still posted (see photo), we can hope for the same!

    The main day for eating is Saturday. There will be some food on Sunday, but the impression I was given is that it won't be as extensive.

    Video of last year's celebration at the temple (food scenes start at about 8:30 mark)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      uh oh. didn't realize it's the eve of Lao New Year.
      a few of us were planning to go to Vientien in Oakland tonite for dinner...
      any thoughts?

      1. re: escargot3

        Well, Songkran is a water festival (washing away the cares of last year) and one should be prepared to get wet. :) But I doubt they'll be splashing water inside a restaurant.

        Me, I'd skip the restaurant tonight and go to the festival at the Richmond temple, Wat Lao Rattanaram. Don't know much about it other than it's supposed to be happening tomorrow as well, someone else needs to do that digging. I'll be in Santa Rosa.

      2. re: Melanie Wong

        I reported rather obscurely at

        there is a Lao New Year Festival near the Civic Center, SF on Saturday April 28

        1. re: Thomas Nash

          Here's the report from this morning in Santa Rosa. The street food continues through tonight, and a little different format tomorrow. This was like a vacation in Southeast Asia!

      3. 4/19 6-8 p.m. . Taste of Italy. Wine Thieves, 2926 Domingo Ave., Berkeley. $20 per person. 510-666-0565,

        4/21 11am - 4 pm Urban farmers Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal will demonstrate honey harvesting and discuss their new book, "The Essential Urban Farmer," with Margo True, Sunset magazine food editor.Rockridge Market Hall, 5655 College Ave., Oakland. 510-250-6011,

        4/21 noon - 4 pm Martinez Bay Area Craft Beer Festival

        4/26 6-9 pm Oakland Chinatown "Dumpling Wars," a competition that pits seven teams of amateur chefs in an all-out battle of the dumplings. Participants can sample dumplings and other food, and vote for their favorite


        2 Replies
        1. re: zippo

          hard to picture Novella Carpenter at Rockridge Market hall.
          What an incongruous pairing of divergent values: the Queen of DIY at the most over-priced store in town.

          1. re: zippo

            A report on the Oakland Chinatown "Dumpling Wars" by Jesse Schiewe of


          2. 4/25 - Chefs of Tomorrow Benefit, Santa Rosa

            4/28 - Butter and Egg Days, Petaluma

            4/28 - Carnaval 2012, Windsor

            4/28 - Matsuri Japanese Arts Festival, Santa Rosa

            4/28 & 29 - Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival and blessing of the fleet

            1 Reply
            1. 4/25 - Fork + Cork, Summerfield Waldorf School, Santa Rosa (free)

              1. 4/27 - Pantry Exchange, The Cheese Shop, Healdsburg
                Bring your pantry/fridge items you're tired of and exchange for something new.

                4/28 - Meet Your State Legislators to Talk About Sustainable Food
                Community Forum on Sustainable Agriculture & Food in the North Bay, Santa Rosa

                4/28 - Slow Beer, San Francisco

                4/28 - San Jose Beer Walk

                4/28 & 29 - Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival

                4/29 - Nikkei Matsuri, San Jose Japantown

                4/29 - Yankee Pier New Orleans Crawfish Boil, Santana Row, Larkspur, Lafayette