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Petaluma Hosts Hollywood Weekend for Memorial Day

Better late than never? Petaluma Yacht Club turned on the charm and the fun for last month’s Memorial Day weekend. Rich Brazil was among the weekend revelers and sent us the following account.

The cat may already be out of the bag regarding the Memorial Weekend festivities held each year at the Petaluma Yacht Club (PYC) on the shore of the Turning Basin in beautiful downtown Petaluma. Thirty-five boats from over 10 visiting yacht clubs made the pilgrimage across San Pablo Bay and up the now-dredged Petaluma River for this year’s themed “Hooray for Hollywood” festivities. Some arrived as early as Thursday. Yachts were welcomed on the docks by helpful PYC volunteers who assisted with stern-tie duties. Guests received welcome packets outlining the upcoming events and highlighting Petaluma’s restaurants and attractions.

Boats tie up in Petaluma for the Memorial Day weekend.
© 2024 Scott Hess

Friday night’s festivities kicked off with the ever-popular Classic Cocktail Contest, judged by several brave and hollow-legged PYC volunteers who stumbled from boat to boat. The judging criteria included presentation, taste, beauty, ease of recipe, special effects, and hosting yacht’s decoration. Appetizers, fun-filled laughter, and lively conversation spilled from the dock into the quaint yacht club for the remainder of the evening.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s welcomed the Saturday morning group, hosted by PYC Chef Reny Madrid and his fantastic team. Guests then descended into the heart of Petaluma for a Charlie Chaplin poker walk. Sponsoring retailers assisted with the fun as visiting sailors enjoyed the ambience of our wonderful city. PYC then rolled out the red carpet for Saturday evening’s Stars of Hollywood Walk of Fame.

PYC members Marilyn (Monroe) Stender, current Commodore Carol Anderson, Rich Brazil and Linda Corbett hamming it up.
© 2024 Rich Brazil

Arriving celebrities were greeted by the PYC emcee for introductions and Hollywood gossip questions. PYC judges lurked in the background, tallying their votes for Best Leading Lady, Best Leading Man, Best Ensemble, and Best Couple as the stars sauntered down the 50-foot-long red carpet. After serious deliberation, the PYC judges presented the winners with an Oscar and a bottle of wine. A fabulous sit-down dinner followed, with laughter spilling from the yacht club’s seams. The laughter rolled into the night with a local comedian who then hosted karaoke. The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur.

Gilligan and Ginger stop for photos on the red carpet.
© 2024 Rich Brazil

Breakfast at Tiffany’s jump-started the day’s events for the groggy Sunday morning group as they tumbled from their yachts and trudged up the gangway, following the scent of morning coffee, a Bloody Mary bar, and breakfast. Noon cast a somber moment of reflection over Petaluma’s Turning Basin and yacht club. On the yacht club’s deck, a flag-raising and cannon-firing ceremony honoring our nation’s fallen soldiers unfolded. A silent tribute followed.

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Sunday afternoon’s Hunger Games lightened the mood as visiting yachtsperson teams competed in myriad parking lot games: bean bag toss, ping-pong bouncing, and designing a handmade floating paper boat made to outlast your opponent’s. The winning team received one member’s weight in beer!

Hunger Games in the PYC parking lot. Are those fish they’re throwing???
© 2024 Rich Brazil

Marilyn (Monroe) and Bruce (Springsteen) Stender, the Petaluma Yacht Club Memorial Weekend Committee chairs, deserve an exceptional thank you. All 143 of us give you a standing ovation and the Oscar for Best Production!

Participating yacht clubs included Alameda, Berkeley, Coyote Point, Elkhorn, Loch Lomond, Metropolitan, Oakland, Oyster Point, PYC, Islander 26 Club, San Rafael, Sausalito Cruising Club, Sierra Point, and Vallejo.


1 Comment

  1. Francesca Smith 1 week ago

    It was an epic weekend! Petaluma YC definitely rolled out the red carpet for its guests! Can’t wait for next year!

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