It’s been a festive couple of weekends in and around Napa, with more parties and festivals than any one person could take in.
This one tried, though, starting with at the Aug. 12.
A Polynesian-themed festival hosted by Holly and Judd Finkelstein to benefit the , it kicked off with a “ukulele flash mob” organized by the Napa Valley Flea Jumpers uke society.
The element of surprise is key to a flash mob and you’ve never seen so many people trying to smuggle ukuleles into one place, stuffing their instruments into everything from duffle bags to shopping baskets.
After a lot of milling around in the crowded market, a man in a grass skirt with a crown on his head and a uke in his arms hopped up onto a table and shouted “Aloha!”
This was “King Kukulele,” the evening’s headline performer, with the signal for all ukuleles to come out of their bags as dozens of Napans joined in, strumming, singing and strolling through the market to the tune of “Hawaiian War Chant.”
Check out our video, shot by Christy Bors and Paul Marotta and edited by yours truly, and see if you can count the ukuleles!
Aug. 13 brought us to a very different kind of fiesta: a “Perseid Viewing Party” at Meteor Vineyard, the Coombsville estate of Tracy and Barry Schuler.
As the sun set on a breathtaking view, guests sipped and sampled a vertical tasting of Meteor’s Perseid wine while enjoying imaginative and savory food by Mark Raymond of Mark’s the Spot Truck.
The full moon rose directly over the Meteor vineyard house as NASA “Solar System Ambassador” Cliff DeLacey, with the aid of a laser pointer and laptop star maps, provided a guided tour of the heavens and the Perseid meteor showers from among the vineyard rows.
It was truly a celestial night and a rare opportunity to sip Meteor in the glass while spotting meteors in the sky.
We were sorry to miss the mural unveiling at Aug. 20, but had already RSVP’d to a party in honor of member Jim Krider’s 60th birthday.
Hosted by Krider Racing with son Rob Krider acting as emcee, the birthday bash took place in Joe Ghisletta’s mid-century hay barn on Old Sonoma Road.
City council members, Napa city staff and elected officials from Upvalley communities joined the Krider family and friends for a steak buffet, libations, live music and good cheer.
Krider Racing trophies decorated the checkered-flag tabletops as guests chatted, dined, listened and laughed at the many toasts in Jim Krider’s honor.
The birthday blowout wasn’t a fund-raiser, though a battered Krider campaign banner hung in one corner of the barn.
(The sign read “Action, not words,” until fellow City Council member Peter Mott folded down the corner of the banner and wrote a “K” to replace the final two letters.)
But instead of campaign cash, the Krider camp might have something more valuable: Arriving guests were asked to choose some goofy headwear and then pose for snapshots.
Judging from ours, they’ve got some excellent blackmail material.