Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s 24th annual Great Sonoma Crab & Wine Fest will be held Feb. 2 in the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
The Crab & Wine Fest, which has become the winter social event for the county’s farmers and ranchers and their friends and supporters, raises money for agriculture education. The goal of Farm Bureau’s extensive agricultural education program is to create an awareness of the county’s annual $3 billion agricultural industry so that farms and ranches remain part of the rural landscape for generations to come. Many of the people who come together to orchestrate the crab feed or donate wine, food and auction items are dedicated to preserving Sonoma County’s rich agricultural heritage for future generations.
“It’s so gratifying to be part of a community that comes together to support the farming industry and Farm Bureau’s agricultural education programs,” said Tito Sasaki, a Sonoma Valley grape grower and president of Sonoma County Farm Bureau. The Crab Fest is an event that the agricultural community looks forward to each year. It’s a time to renew friendships and support a good cause while enjoying fresh crab and fine wine from Sonoma County.”
Last year’s Crab Fest attracted more than 1,200 people who enjoyed a grand night of feasting, lively conversation and spirited bidding. Guests will again enjoy fresh Dungeness crab, clam chowder, pasta, salad and dessert, all polished off with fine wines from Sonoma County.
Lex McCorvey, executive director of Sonoma County Farm Bureau, said the goal is to make this year’s Crab Fest the biggest and best yet, with a fun and lively crowd, terrific food, a relaxed ambiance and exciting auction items.
The evening starts with Galley reception featuring top wineries and food vendors offering a taste of Sonoma County.
There will be a live auction featuring fabulous “only in Sonoma County” dinners, Wine Country adventures, trips and sports memorabilia. There will be more than 100 silent auction items, which include wine, food items, jewelry, arts and crafts and many farm items from feed and tack stores.
At the end of the evening there will be a raffle drawing for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The lucky winner of can choose between three trips offered by Marilyn Can Travel of Petaluma. The trips are: 11 days in Italy, 10 days in Ireland and 8 days in Fiji. All trips include round trip airfare, accommodations and rental car. Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Need not be present to win.
Farm Bureau is excited to announce that E.R. Sawyer Jewelers of Santa Rosa has donated a beautiful 1ct round brilliant loose diamond valued at $6,500 retail to be raffled off as a fundraiser for agricultural education and scholarships. Only 200 tickets sold will be sold for an opportunity to win this beautiful diamond.
The Crab and Wine Fest is a totally home-grown event staged by Farm Bureau members and staff with the assistance of an army of volunteers. Many of the groups benefiting from Farm Bureau’s agriculture education program pitch in to help set up tables, decorate and serve the meal. Joining the work crew will be volunteers from the Santa Rosa Junior College Ag Ambassadors, FFA Chapters, 4-H Clubs and the Santa Rosa High School Ag Boosters.
McCorvey said Farm Bureau is committed to providing agricultural education to youth, adults and community leaders so they can better understand the unique aspects of farming, no matter if it’s dairy cows, horses or vineyards. He said the proceeds from the crab fest fund Farm Bureau activities that bring agriculture to those who would otherwise not benefit from a farm experience.
One of Farm Bureau’s major educational efforts is Ag Days, which will be held March 26 and 27 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The event provides a farm experience for more than 5,000 city kids.
Farm Bureau also uses the proceeds from the crab fest to support farm youth organizations like the FFA and 4-H and to fund scholarships for students continuing their agricultural education. Last year, the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County awarded 32 agricultural scholarships valued at $52,000.
“We take great pride in preparing individuals for careers in agriculture through our scholarship programs,” said McCorvey.
Farm Bureau’s crab feed has grown from a few hundred people to more than 1,200. When it started 24 years ago, the Great Sonoma Crab & Wine Fest was held at the Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Building and then as it grew to the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building. Seven years ago, the Crab Fest moved to the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to accommodate the ever-growing numbers of people who now consider it a traditional event on their social calendar.
A “Captain’s Table,” for 10 offer full-service with china and silverware, preferred seating, medal-winning wines and elegant Wine Country chocolates. Captain’s Tables are $950 for 10 people.
A “Reserved Table,” for 10 is $800.
“Individual tickets” are $75 each.
Reservations are required and must be made by Jan. 23. A reservation form for the Crab Fest can be downloaded here if you would like to pay with a check.
For further information please call the Farm Bureau office at 544-5575.