Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce
& Gualala Arts Center
with Point Arena Historic Lighthouse
The northern California Coast is a prime area for watching the migration of gray whales, and whale festivals abound each spring. On the northern edge of Sonoma County and the southern edge of Mendocino County lies the Redwood Coast, whose 2nd Annual Whale Festival has been "jazzed up," combining whale watching with the finest in jazz entertainment, culinary delights and more. In 2004, the three-day festival takes place on Friday, April 2, through Sunday, April 4 in Gualala and Point Arena.
Schedule of Events:
Friday, April 2nd
Point Arena, 7:30 - 10:00 PM
Kicking off the event on Friday is "Dinner & Jazz" at Arena Cove Bar & Grill featuring Jazz quartet The Pier Group with John Solow on alto and tenor sax, Bob Day on guitar, Jim Snyder on bass and John Huxsol on drums. Chef Antonio Carvajal is offering a special 4-course menu for $30 per person including the jazz. There will be a $3.00 cover charge with 2-drink minimum for bar patrons who arrive after 8:00 PM and are not dining. For reservations, please call the Arena Cove Bar & Grill at 707-882-2100 (Don't forget to select your entree.)
Saturday, April 3rd
Point Arena, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Point Arena Historic Lighthouse
for some of the best whale watching on the coast with docent-led tours. On Saturday, experts will give talks on the gray whale migration, marine mammals and lighthouse history. Climb to the top of the tower; visit the Fog Signal Museum with its 300-gallon salt water aquarium and tide pool display. $5 Adults, $1 Children (12 years and under). Lighthouse open all weekend.
Rollerville Junction's Old House Café offers Whale 'Fest specials for breakfast or lunch or take out a "Whale of a Picnic" to the lighthouse. Old House Café open hours 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM.
Gualala, 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM
At the Gualala Arts Center, the 2nd Annual Chowder Challenge will be judged by a panel of local celebrity judges at 11:00 AM. After the judging, the tasting will be opened to the public and a "people's choice" vote. There will also be a tasting of fine Mendocino & Sonoma County wines and micro-brews . . . and a FREE Jazz concert with The Eric Shifrin Trio performing during the public tastings.
Entry is $20 and includes the Seafood Chowder tasting, the Wine and Micro-brew Tasting, a commemorative beer or wine glass and voting token. Included in the Chowder tasting price are fresh baked breads from local bakeries. Chowder tasting alone $5 (4 tastes served with crackers), or $6 for a bowl of the chowder of your choice with bread. Additional beverages will also be available for sale. The complete tasting is available in advance at Gualala Arts Center 707-884-1138 (MC/VI) or at the door.
Gualala, 7:30 PM
Saturday night tops off with a very special jazz concert at Gualala Arts Center: The Larry Vuckovich World-Class Sextet. This dynamic group will perform a tribute to Count Basie and Benny Goodman along with contemporary Balkan pieces. Doors open at 7:00 PM. Non-reserved Cabaret-style seating.
Gourmet "savories and sweets" by the Culinary Arts Guild along with fine Mendocino and Sonoma county wines and micro-brews will be served before the show and during intermission. Advance sale tickets are $20, $25 at the door (if available) at the following outlets:
- Gualala Arts Center or by phone 707-884-1138 (MC/VI)
- The Dolphin, Gualala (MC/VI)
- Violet's Boutique, Gualala (MC/VI)
- Accents by the Sea, Gualala (Cash & Checks)
- Clutterbug, Gualala (MC/VI)
- The Sea Trader, Gualala (Cash & Checks)
- artsDesire, Point Arena (Cash & Checks)
Saturday, April 4th
Gualala, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The fun-filled weekend concludes with "Brunch & Jazz" at Sandpiper restaurant in Gualala. The best views in Gualala for watching whales while enjoying a Special Brunch menu with complimentary mimosas and mellow jazz sounds of The Subtones (John Solow on sax, Bob Day on guitar). Reservations highly recommended. Call 707-884-3398.
Tickets for Saturday Tastings and Concert
Gualala Arts Center: 707-884-1138
Festival Music Coordinator|
Fred Adler ~ The Tide, KTDE: 100.5 FM
The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.