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Celebrating Arts, Music and Science in The Schools

September 28, 2021 – This year’s annual Bonny Doon Art, Wine & Brewfest is significant on so many levels: first of all, it’s actually happening, which is a blessing, considering the events of last year. The fact the community is coming together in such a big way to put on this annual fundraiser amidst continuing recovery from the devastating impact of the CZU fire is also most notable. 

If you can’t make it to this Saturday’s intimate and amazing event, you can still bid on cool items, support local businesses and treat yourself to something nice, while helping to raise money for the little school on the mountain. Support the Bonny Doon Community School Foundation and their efforts to bring in the best Science, Arts and Music programs at Bonny Doon Elementary. 

Long time chair and organizer of this annual mountaintop celebration, Rachel Beauregard, is happy to have handed the reins to three local women, Natalia Flechsig, Angelina Hippen and Kari Steele who are doing their utmost to put on the best party the region has seen in a long time. It takes place at the Bonny Doon Equestrian Park, from 1 to 6pm.

Natalie Jessen Flechsig, a 3rd generation Dooner, whose farm survived both the 2008 Martin fire and the CZU fire, is a Bonny Doon school board member.  She certainly has critical insight on what it means for the school to hold this event. “I was here during the fires coordinating supplies with the community members so have some insight for what this means for Bonny Doon as a whole!” 

She emphasized that the event is 100% volunteer run and all proceeds are donated to the art and science programs at Bonny Doon School. 

“Bonny Doon is lucky to have so many local artists, wine makers, musicians and generous sponsors who make this the best little party in the Santa Cruz Mountains! The pandemic and CZU fire had a huge impact on fundraising for the Bonny Doon Elementary School and we are so excited to make the festival happen this year.”

Truly, this event represents the first chance for locals to gather, celebrate and remember. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster of a year for the community, with about 30% of homes destroyed or damaged. Bonny Doon needs this and locals are very excited about the event!”

This year, there is a booth called “Bonny Doon Strong: Renegade Memories from the CZU Fire.” Community members submitted photos from around Bonny Doon during and after the fire, including photos of the local “renegade firefighters” who stayed and fought the fire to save so many homes. There will definitely be a box of tissues nearby. 

Featured artist, Bridget Henry, created a beautiful woodcut print of local mountain flora. Says Flechsig, “It’s absolutely stunning and the perfect piece to represent the post-fire re-growth in Bonny Doon.”

This year’s Event Sponsors include Bonny Doon-owned businesses like Anatometal, Joby Aviation, Battle Mountain Excavation & Hauling, Moriarty’s Roofing and Shoppers Corner. Costanoa and the Jill & Nicholas Woodman Foundation have also made generous donations in support of the event this year.

Flechsig says vendors you’ll meet on Saturday include Bonny Doon artists Todd and Vanessa LeJeune (textiles and art), In Situ jewelry, Laura Beach Thoughtful Migration letterpress and woodcuts, Mountainside jewelry, Tessa Hope Hasty painting and prints, Pacific Stone Pottery (new this year), and Field Notes Farm & Studio. New vendors include Tiny House Chocolate, a husband and wife team from Brazil who make single-origin chocolate from bean to bar, and modern clay jewelry and wall hangings from Turq and Terra. Also in attendance will be Ashby Confections, Shilshol handmade bags and accessories, California Jam Queen and Lupe Santos Art, featuring watercolor landscape prints.

And there will be libations! Local favorite wineries include Beauregard Vineyards, Bottle Jack Winery, Integrity, Madson Wines, Florez Wines, Westcliff Wines, Kings Mountain Vineyards, Partage Wines and Hallcrest Vineyards. McHenry Vineyard, who lost their winery in the CZU fire, will be in attendance as well. New this year to the lineup is Inversion, a small lot winery in Happy Valley making wine with Santa Cruz Mountain fruit, as well as Ser, Santa Cruz resident Nicole Walsh’s brand that specializes in varietals sourced from some of the oldest vineyards on the Central Coast. Walsh has made wine for Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard for over 20 years and still makes wines for the brand under its new owners, The War Room. 

Those who prefer beer to wine can sate their thirst on brews from crowd favorites Humble Sea, Discretion and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery.

This year’s food trucks will include Tacos El Chuy, Uncie Ro’s Pizza and Parker Presents ‘Bill the Oyster Man.’ 

Three bands are slated to entertain the crowd and get them dancing: local duo Sandy Mountain, the Coast Ridge Ramblers and Dave Holodiloff, who plays a unique mix of bluegrass, reggae, jazz and classic rock.

Some of the Silent Auction items include a Chardonnay II sail, a Costanoa staycation package, a jewelry making workshop by Mountainside Made on the Deerhaven lavender farm, a flight over Bonny Doon by local pilot Eric Tucker and a unique Malaysian dinner for 10. There are restaurant and grocery store gift certificates, as well as those for Ward Christmas Tree Farm, DIG Gardens and Toque Blanche, a good source for quality cookware, bakeware and kitchen tools. Bid on riding lessons and online Zoom fitness classes, spa admission to Refuge in Carmel and Well Within spa in Santa Cruz. There’s also art, and some beautiful wooden jewelry boxes and a fabulous carved bar stool. 

Tickets and information here: http://www.bonnydoonartandwinefestival.com/

The Online Auction goes through October 9th


About the author

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Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.