The 29th Annual Cotati Accordion Festival at La Plaza Park takes place Sat., Aug. 17 and Sun., Aug. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. More than forty bands perform each day and there will be zydeco dance parties.
The Cotati Accordion Festival began in 1991 when two members of the Sonoma Arts Council, Jim Boggio, accordion player extraordinaire, and Clifton Buck-Kaufman, a recording studio entrepreneur combined their talents for music and business to set the first festival on its way.
There is free parking and shuttle service to and from Cal Trans parking lot at the north end of Cotati at the corner of Old Redwood Highway and St. Joseph’s Way. The shuttle will include the Cotati Depot for the Smart Train on its loop.
La Plaza Park has lots of shade and sunny places where spectators can sit and enjoy the festival. The main stage has a number of hay bales in front of it and distributed throughout the park. Most people feel more comfortable bringing their own chairs. Low-backed chairs are best so people sitting behind can see the stage.
There will be plenty of food vendors to cater to anyone’s appetite. There is also a beer and wine tent and fifty plus vendors selling their miscellaneous goods. Outside food and drink are not allowed although each person may bring in one bottle of water.
This year the festival honors first responders, past and present and future. And, as usual, the festival raises money to benefit local youth groups such as Thomas Page Academy’s music program, the Education Foundation, the Cotati-Rohnert Park Nursery School Co-op, the Penngrove Elementary School Outdoor Education program and Boy Scout Troop 4 of Cotati.
Entertainers come from everywhere to participate in Cotati’s world famous Accordion Festival. Anais Bessieres of France and Pietro Adragna of Italy join other well-known performers such as Cory Pesaturo, often called the festival’s best public relations person and Andre Thierry. Look for Sourdough Slim, Motordude Zydeco, The Wild Catahoulas, Duckmandu and Big Lou’s Dance Party and many more acts and performers. Zydeco dance parties happen each day.
The festival offers a variety of ticket packages with savings incentives for advance purchases. More information appears at cotatifest.com. Tickets may also be purchased at The Last Record Store in Santa Rosa, People’s Music in Sebastopol, Tall Toad in Petaluma and at all four Oliver’s Markets.