March will be green for sure, and not just because of St. Patrick’s Day, but also because of the abundant rainy season we have “enjoyed.” Have we? Yes, we needed the precipitation. The result is a treat for the eyes! Take a look around. It is definitely green this month. The vibrant hue of the Napa Valley landscape following the rainy season is indicative of new growth, just about everywhere. From wildflowers, to rolling hillside meadows, to buds breaking on the vine. We are definitely moving into what feels like a “fresh start!”
This month also brings three of my very favorite days of the year: the beginning of Daylight Saving Time; St. Patrick’s Day; and the official change of the season with the first day of spring. BRING IT ON! The span of daylight is increasing, those bulbs planted in the fall are blooming, and about two-thirds of the way through the month toast life and loved ones with a fun cocktail or green beer. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you have some time to be a local supporter, participant, spectator or volunteer. Here are my top “only in Napa Valley” opportunities for March!
Napa Valley Marathon Sunday, March 5 Marathon runners are people that have gained both my admiration and respect. It simply is not easy to run 26 miles, plus 385 yards. I am all for getting out there and “doing things” but I don’t see a marathon in my future. If you are the opposite of me, the good news is that if you are physically able and considering participation, the 39th annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon course is not only stunningly gorgeous, it is perfect for beginning marathoners. It is a downhill trek, traveling from 380 feet above sea level in Calistoga to 80 feet above sea level at the finish line at Vintage High School in Napa. While this event has become known as the “biggest little marathon in the West,” it is also a fun race to check out. There are several safe spots for spectators to cheer on and support runners along the course, which essentially runs right down Silverado Trail.NapaValleyMarathon.org
Lunafest Thursday, March 9 The 8th annual Lunafest Napa Valley will again be hosted by Soroptimist St. Helena Sunrise to benefit Napa Emergency Women’s Services and Girls on the Run Napa & Solano. Established in 2000 by LUNA, makers of the Luna Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, this traveling film festival spotlights the work of a diverse array of talented women filmmakers with intelligent, funny and thought-provoking themes. Arrive early, as attendees can imbibe in wine and small bites before the nine films that are all made by, for and about women. 100 percent of all net proceeds will benefit the two charities.LincolnTheater.org
N2L Live at Silo’s Saturday, March 11 Napa Valley’s very own and seriously fun cover band, N2L, is scheduled to play two shows at Silo’s Napa. In the past, this highly-popular group sells out gigs, so ticket up! N2L, a fitting and fun acronym for “Never 2 Late,” features three women vocalists with amazing three-part harmonies and all of the band members live or work in Napa: Jim Anderson , Rhythm Guitar; Matt Chan, Bass Guitar; Shannon Johnson, Vocals; Jennifer Knight, Vocals; Latifa Reeves, Vocals; Darren Schauer, Drums; Rob Sherman, Lead Guitar.N2LBand.com or SilosNapa.com.
Daylight Saving Time Begins!
Sunday, March 12 Spring Forward! Move that clock sixty minutes into the future. You’re welcome. Your hours of daylight are now going to continue to increase!
Yountville Live Thursday, March 16 – Sunday, March 19 Yountville Live will again feature exclusive performances from some of today’s hottest recording artists (Five for Fighting, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Brendan James and more), exquisite cuisine from world-class restaurants and award-winning chefs, and a unique variety of some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wineries, along with spirits and beers. All of the elements of this super-luxe weekend take place at various venues around Yountville. The signature event, “Taste of Yountville,” this year will take place on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, and will again feature world-class food and wine that make the Town of Yountville the “Culinary Capital of Napa Valley.” YountvilleLive.com
St. Patrick’s Day Friday, March 17 Green is the color of the month, and the color of what has become a traditionally fun and festive day. Most any establishment with a bar will be serving some fun Irish-themed beverages, and throughout the valley corned beef will be bountiful. Some of my favorite St. Pat’s spots include Downtown Joe’s, Napkins and Hop Creek Gastropub in Napa; Hurley’s and Pacific Blues in Yountville; Ana’s Cantina and Farmstead in St. Helena; and Calistoga Inn Restaurant and Brewery and the Hydro Bar and Grill in Calistoga.
First Day of Spring! Monday, March 20 Like I said above, BRING IT ON! Mark your calendar and allow this first day of the next season to serve as a welcome reminder that this record-making rainy season will, one-day, eventually end.
Flavor! Napa Valley Wednesday, March 22 – Sunday, March, 26 Nothing shines a spotlight on the Napa Valley quite like Flavor! This series of events returns in support of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Now a five-day food and wine festival, it is held during Cabernet Season, so that it can be produced as a full-on celebration of chefs and winemakers, including demonstrations, workshops, tastings, dinners, a brunch and other exclusive experiences that bring out the best and most-vibrant flavors of our region. FlavorNapaValley.com
Justin-Siena Theatre Presents: Sister Act! Friday, March 24 – Sunday, April 2 The award-winning theatre department of Justin-Siena High School presents Sister Act!, a fun and amazing musical comedy that will hit the stage at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. The story follows Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva, whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime, and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look: a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship. Directed by Justin-Siena Theatre Department Chair James Bailey, this performance is part of Justin-Siena’s year-long celebration of its 50th Anniversary. This spring musical is being dedicated to the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael who founded the school with the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1966. LincolnTheater.org
Throughout the year I am constantly searching for “only in Napa Valley” opportunities in which to indulge, contribute, or become a part.