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Wine, firefighters, and A-Town

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Howdy, neighbor! I’ll just come out and say it. Growing up as Los Angeles-Atascadero transplant was at times wonderful (the discovery of acorn wars, wild turkeys, swimming holes, and the Atascadero News’ infinitely entertaining Red Light Roundup) as well as a little, well, boring. No offense to A-Town, which has its own unique charm, rural attractions, wicked cool zoo, and awesome people. What I’m getting at here is how proud I am of “the colony”—and especially its downtown area, which has grown leaps and bounds in the past two decades (thanks, in large part, to renegade small business owners brewing their own beer, hosting their own entertainment, and serving up their own brand of food and drink).

Local wine is, of course, a major attraction for the North County region as a whole, but Atascadero is still working its way toward being “known” as a place to sip and swirl. That’s why I’m happy to announce the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce’s first Art and Wine Tour of the season this Friday, March 24. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., grab your sweetheart or a pal and stop by more than 15 participating merchants, including local galleries, all situated in the heart of downtown Atascadero (I promise: There’s way more to see by foot than by car). While you’re wandering the streets and enjoying that distinct spring-in-Atascadero warm breeze, be sure to take note of the important people who work so hard to make this little town so special. Stop by the historic City Hall for a free docent led tour presented by the Atascadero Historical Society, as well as the fire station, where firefighters are ready to meet, greet, and perhaps even share their thoughts on the sauvignon blanc. I mean, how many towns can you name sponsoring events that include art, wine, and friendly firefighters? I’m proud. You go, Atascadero. Keep on doing you!

Find tickets at atascaderochamber.org. Day-of tickets can be picked up at two check-in locations starting at 5:15 p.m. on March 24: Grape Encounters’ courtyard at 5816 Traffic Way and City Hall at 6500 Palma Ave.

Hayley Thomas Cain is proud to be orange and grey, all the way. She can be reached at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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