By Alan Humason
Special to The Enterprise
If you are in Northern California the first weekend in September, don’t miss the big “Experience Woodland Weekend” of outstanding events. Friday through Sunday, Sept 5, 6 and 7, visitors will enjoy a succession of activities featuring the best the historic city has to offer, including the signature Stroll Through History, plus the local farmers market, art and culture exhibits, brewery events, and a food truck festival. So make your plans to discover and experience Woodland on this exciting weekend!
Here’s the lineup of events you will enjoy.
Friday, Sept. 5
In the evening, Experience Woodland kicks off with the First Friday Art Walk, featuring art and architecture form local artist Russ Reich. Visitors can enjoy a variety of art displays at several venues from 5:30 to 9pm. The evening includes the continuing Music on Main series, with lots of live music, including a Beatles tribute, on Main Street in historic downtown Woodland.
For the complete schedule of artists, venues, and events, visit www.yoloarts.org.
Saturday, Sept. 6
On Saturday morning, the regularly scheduled and highly popular Woodland Farmers Market will take place at the centrally-located Heritage Plaza from 9 a.m. to noon. Visitors can meet local farmers and purchase locally grown produce, fresh baked goods, and gifts.
The Big Wheels Car Show, featuring a rare vintage vehicle collection, will be parked along Main Street in downtown for public display from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The centerpiece of Experience Woodland is the 26th Annual Stroll Through History, with events throughout the day. The Stroll Through History is designed to increase awareness of the social history of Woodland and will include heritage home tours and landmark building tours throughout the city.
Events begin at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at Heritage Plaza downtown from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., after which visitors can purchase bus tour tickets at the Stroll Through History booth in Heritage Plaza.
A variety of tours are available, including 10 free docent-led walking tours. A trained guide will explain the architecture and history of the landmarks along the way; each tour lasts 45 to 60 minutes and has its own start and end location.
For those interested in cycling, there are two free 90-minute bike tours of about 1 to 2 miles each. As in the walking tours, a trained guide will lead the riders on a tour of historic Woodland sites starting at Dead Cat Alley behind the Woodland Opera House.
Or you can beat the heat with two bus tours at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., each 1.5 hours long and led by historian David Wilkinson and preservation architect Roger Klemm. The tours will stop once each for a short glance into an exceptional Woodland home. Tickets can be purchased for $15 online or at the Stroll Day Information Booth at the Heritage Plaza on Saturday.
More than a half-dozen historical houses will be hosting Open Home tours on Saturday as well, including the Colonial Watson home, Tudor Bell home, and the oldest recorded home in Woodland, the plantation-style Beamer House. Architecture aficionados can enjoy historic arched entryways, gabled bay windows, mission-tiled roofs, and deep front porches in their tours.
Additional activities on the Stroll Through History day include the Hands on History for Kids at Dingle Elementary School, during which students in Victorian period costumes will be involved in a variety of old-fashioned activities for children. Hands on History runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Next, the Woodland Elks Lodge will open its historic building to the public and host an ice cream social for Heritage Home ticket holders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And popular Mojo’s Lounge and Bar will be displaying the entries into this year’s Stroll Poster Art Contest. Enjoy delicious food and drinks while admiring Woodland residents’ artistic handiwork!
For more information on all Stroll Through History activities, tour departures, ticket prices, and other details, visit www.strollthroughhistory.com.
To cap the day, join the Luna Vista Rotary Club for the 2nd Annual Yolo Microbrew Festival at the Yolo County Fairgrounds. From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. bring friends and family for live music, food, and beer tastings from regional breweries including Sierra Nevada, Sudwerk, and Lagunitas. Tickets can be purchased online for $35 or $40 at the door, and kids 12 and under are free! Proceeds go to the Woodland Schools Foundation. For more details: www.yolomicrobrewfest.com.
Sunday, September 7
Velocity Island Park, Woodland’s brand new wakeboard and paddleboard water park, will be open for normal business hours for adrenaline-seekers on Sunday. For more information, visit www.velocityislandpark.com.
From 4-8 p.m., the popular Woodland Food Truck Mania will take place on the cordoned-off section of First and Main Streets in historic downtown. Over a dozen gourmet food trucks including Drewski’s, Krush Burger, and Green Papaya will be serving meals. Live music will accompany the event; afterward, explore local businesses and stroll Woodland’s tranquil downtown district.
The Experience Woodland weekend has something for everyone, so come make it a long weekend and enjoy the best of Yolo County in historic Woodland.
— Alan Humason is the executive director of the Yolo County Visitors Bureau