Oysters and Art in Bodega

The sweet 'n salty town bids summer adieu with an eat-drink-and-look bash.

SUMMER SEND-OFF: How do you bid the relaxed season farewell? Do you clean beach sand out of the bottom of sneakers? Or scrape sunblock from the backseat of the car? Or do you vow to eventually replace the rippy back patio umbrella, the umbrella you vowed to replace last August? There are a number of rites we all participate in as September approaches, but none of them seem to equal the grandeur and sweetness of the season that's quickly making its exit. One solution? Forget the rippy umbrella -- it still offers enough shade, right? -- and don't worry about the sand in the shoes. Just eat oysters over the course of a Saturday afternoon, and look at paintings, and soak up some Bodega-style saltiness at the town's annual Seafood, Art & Wine Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24 and Sunday, Aug. 25.

THREE AREAS: We do like a big summer-ender that covers three main festival bases, and while we can't predict which doorway of interest you'll want to walk through -- art? wine? -- we hopped over to the food list first. As expected, the chowders are well represented, as are oysters and crab cakes. Would we be wrong if we said drinking chowder straight from the cup while sitting in Bodega on a damp afternoon is a Golden State must? No, we would not be.

BUT... the art-looking opportunities and the wine-sipping chances will be as plentiful as clams in the chowder. Several dozen artists, working in various media -- jewelry, woodworking, sculpture -- will be on the festival grounds, as will local wineries and breweries like Crane Brothers and Lagunitas.

ADMISSION: Twelve bucks in advance, fifteen once you get there.

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