Posts Tagged ‘Flora Springs Lu’au’

This is the  latest entry in our YouTube Commercial contest, entered by (you may have guessed it) Ukulele Bartt. Is it going to be the last?  There are still a few days left.  So get your entry in, get folks to watch, and make yourself eligible to win the new Kala from MusicGuyMic.

Important Festival Updates

The workshop schedule has now been posted.  If you haven’t registered already, surely there’s something there that strikes your fancy, and you will send in your registration, soon. Speaking of registration, the latest winner in our “early bird” drawing is Sharon Paltin, who will be receiving a gift certificate for a tour and tasting for four to Vine Cliff Winery in Napa. Congratulations, Sharon.  Next week’s prize is dinner for two at Market in St. Helena, so get your registration in now to be included. After that, there will only be one more!

Liko Puha If you’re coming to the festival, there are a few changes you need to be aware of.  Liko Puha will, indeed, be opening the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival at Beringer Vineyards on Saturday, October 10,  at 10:00 am with a Hawaiian chant. We hope you will plan on joining us for this lovely tradition that will set the stage for all that the day has to offer.  Workshops will commence at 10:15.  A little later in the morning, Liko will be teaching one or two Hawaiian songs on the ‘ukulele, focussing on correct pronunciation–very important if don’t want to sound like a complete dodo.  However, he will not be available to teach ‘Auana Hula. Fortunately, with the addition of  Debbie Haumea Aynaga we are still able to offer traditional hula for beginners. Please see the Workshop listings for more information.

Flora Springs Luau

Da Island Way

Steven EspaniolaFaith AkoMichelle


Registration for the Flora Springs Lu’au is now available online. The cost is $55 for Wine Club Members and Workshop Pass holders and $65 for all other adults.  What a great way to end the day!  David Bustamante and the dancers of Da Island Way will be there to greet you at the entrance to the caves and you will emerge to a beautiful view of the Napa Valley at sunset. There will be food and wine a plenty while you are serenaded by Steven Espaniola and Faith Ako. Then it will be time to put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party with  Michelle Kiba and the Tiki Tones.  And, just in case you didn’t pick up the perfect ‘ukulele while you were at the festival, our gracious ‘ukulele sponsor for this event, MusicGuyMic, will be there to help you find just what you’re looking for. And there’s even more, but we wouldn’t want to tell  you EVERYTHING.

Sunday School

James_Hill_Photo_5pageKimo_amp_DeVineWe have a few spaces left in “Sunday School” at Miner Family Vineyards and a new guest ‘ukulele-ist for the venue. Kimo Hussey will be joining James Hill in the caves for this unique event pairing food, wine, and ‘ukulele.  

We’re not quite sure what the two of them are going to come up with, but we do know it will be stellar.  Meanwhile,  Natalie Niksa of La Saison is busy coming up with the menu and  it is a great time to acknowledge the generous contribution that Miner Family Vineyards is making to the festival. Even if you’re not going to make it to the Sunday School, you should stop by, taste a little wine, and let them know how much you appreciate their participation.  They are located on the Silverado Trail in Oakville, right on your way to or from the festival. As I said, we do have a few spots left, so you should act fast if you’d like to join us there.

 Sponsor Update

KoAloha_Film_SMLWe are very fortunate to have two, new sponsors joining us.  KoAloha Ukulele has taken on the role of sponsoring the Friday night Judd’s Hill Hula Party, so  those attending will have an opportunity to win one of their lovely ‘ukuleles and see a sneak preview of  “The KoAloha ‘Ukulele Story,” in addition to all the other wonderful things we have planned: music by the Maika’i Gents, party hula with Michelle Kiba, shoes for Soles4Souls, “The Hukilau” parody contest, and more.  Thank you, KoAloha.

Girl in HatAnd Hawaiian Airlines has just donated two round-trip tickets to Hawai’i, which we will be giving away at the festival. Remember, if you book your ticket through the link on our website, you will not only save 5% on their lowest internet fare, but you will also be helping us continue to bring you wonderful musical talent from Hawai’i.


Just a reminder, the International Marketplace will be in full swing at Beringer Vineyards,  Saturday, October 10, from 10 am – 5 pm. It could be a very long time before you ever see that many ukuleles in one place, at one time again.


We have built it.  Now we just need everyone to come.  Please help us spread the word.  And while you’re at it, please be sure to check out KAPU 104.7.

Subscribe, please 

As we get closer and closer to the date, its more important than ever that you please take a moment to subscribe to this web log.  It really is the most efficient way for us to get important information to you in a timely fashion….especially if you’re planning on attending.

See you soon.


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Workshop Descriptions Now Posted!

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Workshop Descriptions have now been posted. The list is still a work in progress, but at least you’ll have an idea of what will be available. We’ll post the actual schedule as soon as we can.  In the meantime, here’s a little preview featuring one of our instructors, Victoria Vox, playing her ‘ukulele and “mouth trumpet”:



Reserve-(2)-15-44-03spotligCongratulations to Karen Wagner, winner of our first “early bird” drawing. Karen wins a Tour & Tasting at Raymond Vineyards with a bottle of wine on arrival. We’ll hold another drawing next Saturday and pick another lucky winner from all the people who have submitted their workshop registrations by then. We still have a few pairs of the ScullCandy Ink’d earphones available, so, get your registration in now.



Flora Springs Lu’au

If you would like to attend the Flora Springs Lu’au, but are not attending the rest of the festival, you simply need to fill out and mail in the Registration Form. Remember, this is a benefit for the Playing For Change Foundation.  Among other things, we will be collecting spare change in empty wine bottles at the Flora Springs tasting room on Highway 29 in St. Helena, and at the lu’au. Your donations will help support and bring PEACE THROUGH MUSIC to the Tintale Village Teaching Center in Nepal; the Mehlo Arts Center in Johannesburg, South Africa; Tibetan Refugee Centers in Dharamsala, India and Kathmandu, Nepal; and the new Ntonga Music School in Gugletu, South Africa. It’s time to put that growing pile of coins to work!


Contest! Contest! Contest!

IMG_6599_edited-2I hope some of you are inspired to enter this one! We are looking for a 30- to 60-second “commercial” that would encourage people to pack up their ‘ukuleles and walk, ride, run, swim, or fly to the Napa Valley for the 2nd annual Wine Country Ukulele Festival.  Originality and humor (in good taste) rank very highly. Clever parodies of popular and well-known songs get extra points, as does the subtle (or not-so-subtle) inclusion of MusicGuyMic who is donating the prize. Entries will be judged on originality, comments from viewers (even if the viewer is your mother), and the number of views. You can enter as many times as you like. The winner will receive a Kala KA-ST tenor ‘ukulele with a hard shell case.

ka-stThe Kala KA-ST has a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, giving this ‘ukulele a rich sound, great volume and tone. It also has die cast tuners, a nice binding, high gloss finish and GHS strings (though Mike will probably trick-it-out a little more.) 

It’s up to you to upload your commercial to You-Tube, then send us the link (you can leave it as a comment here on the festival website) so we know where to look for it.  Assuming it passes the first test (meaning, essentially, that it is suitable for all ages) we will then upload it to the Wine Country Uke Fest channel on You-Tube and try to help you promote it, both here and there. The deadline for posting is September 25 and the winner will be announced October 10, at the festival. (You need not be present to win.)  But, the sooner you get it done, the more opportunites you have to get it viewed.

So give it your best shot, and good luck. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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Registration is now open for workshops and major events. Visit our Registration Page to open a .pdf file that you can print, fill-out, and send in. Don’t procrastinate or you’ll miss the opportunity to win some wonderful prizes such as:

MarketDinner for Two at Market in St. Helena

A mid-week overnight stay at The Lodge at Sonoma

Private Tour and Wine Tasting for Four at Vine Cliff Winery in Napa


For every registration we receive, we will put a ticket into a bowl and draw one of them every week.  If you don’t win that week, your “ticket” will stay  in the bowl and you’ll have another opportunity to win the following week. We will continue to add tickets to the bowl as registrations come in and will hold a prize drawing every Saturday, the last one being on October 2. So, the sooner you get your registration in, the greater your chances AND the more opportunities you will have to win.  Winners will be announced here and you will pick up your prize when you pick up your registration materials at the festival.

But wait!  There’s more!  The first 30 people to register for a workshop pass will also receive a set of  “Ink’d” earphones, courtesy of  SkullCandy (value $20). (I have a set and I love ’em!)

Here’s another important detail. All workshop pass holders will also get a $15 discount on the Flora Springs Lu’au, AND a wine tasting pass (valued at $25 – $35) to use at Beringer Vineyards on October 10. You must be 21 to taste, so please have your ID with you. The workshop pass also entitles you to attend up to three ‘ukulele workshops.  Individual workshop tickets, good for one workshop only, are also available.

Beringer Schedule

Rhine House for webThe following schedule outlines the events of the day at Beringer Vineyards. As you can see, there is plenty to keep you busy. Please note that this is subject to change. We will be posting the specific workshops and performance times as soon as possible. Letting us know your skill level (simple scale from 1-4) on your registration form will help us plan accordingly.

Wine Country Uke Fest 2009 (version 1).xls

Rhine House Concert

victoria_vox3bWith sincere gratitude to Beringer Vineyards, I am very happy to announce that the Rhine House Concert is free with festival-type, lawn seating, so please bring a blanket or something else to sit on. (No metal chairs will be allowed on the lawn.) Right now we have no workshops scheduled during the performances by Ralph Shaw,  Victoria Vox, and James Hill.  However, that can change, depending on demand. Also, be prepared to be surprised by some of the other amazing talent we have lined up.

The concert is free but the usual tasting fees apply, if you are also going to be wine tasting. There is no festival parking at the winery, but we will have shuttle buses running in both directions every 10 minutes so that you will not have to walk far or cross Highway 29 on foot. 

New Sponsors

IMG_6599_edited-2We are very happy to welcome Music Guy Mike (or MusicGuyMic), who is joining us as a sponsor of the Flora Springs Lu’au on Saturday night and our You-Tube commercial contest (more about that later); Ohana ‘Ukulele, who is sponsoring the Promenade Stage and provided the prize for our logo contest; and Hawaiian Airlines, who among other things is offering a 5% discount to their already-low web fares for anyone purchasing tickets through our website and $25 one-way inter-island fares through the end of September!  All of our sponsors are very important to the success of the festival and your enjoyment of it. Your support of them and their good work ensures that we can continue to bring you more ‘ukulele fun in the future.

Accommodations Update

If you’re coming in from out of town, please be sure to revisit our Accommodations page.  We have just added some very interesting and affordable housing options at nearby Pacific Union College and the St. Helena Hospital. (It’s not a joke, and, no, you don’t have to arrive in an ambulance.)

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