This weekend (June 6 and 7) is one of my favorite community events: Sunset Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park, CA. Sunset’s absolutely beautiful seven-acre campus is being transformed into an “interactive showcase for the regions most exiting lifestyle inspiration and freshest flavors“. Details on the Sunset Celebration can be found on their website including Sunset Celebration Weekend speakers, Sunset Celebration Weekend maps and more.
This week they invited press to tour Sunset Headquarters to get a preview of the events planned. Some of the exhibits, seminars and experiences include:
Backyard Cottage and Garden, which is only 400 square feet but has the appeal of a house with a modern design and beautiful drought tolerant gardens.
If you are hungry, there are lots of different food trucks including An the Go Asian Fusion, Mayo and Mustard Sandwiches, Bacon Bacon (my sons would love that!),Hula Truck, El Porteno and even Fairytale Brownies (yum…).
The Travel stage will have experts to share tips and information the first-ever Sunset Travel Awards as well as exhibits and demos that highlight exploring the “best in the west”. The travel section is one of my favorite areas because local resorts and destinations set up tables to share information. I enjoy collecting brochures to inspire my next family trip!
Camp Sunset will be “gathering the West’s foremost outdoor experts at this first-ever interactive exhibit dedicated to sharing tips to make camping trips tastier, comfier and more fun”. Top culinary stars will present cooking seminars (including Celebrity Chefs such as Martin Yan, Chris Cosentino and Joanne Weir). There are Wine and Beer Seminars, Wine Competitions and more. At our press tour we had stopped by the fabulous wine cellar where one of the Sunset Wine Editor shared some wine tips. We also heard from another Sunset Editor who shared tips on making cocktails to take with you on camping trips including what gear to use. One example shown was Plastic cups, OXO Stainless-Steel Double-Sided Jigger and a wine tote.
Families even have their own activities with designated kid zones located throughout the venue. The Dryer’s Kid’s Zone has fun for young kids including rock wall climbing and stiltwalking. The Music stage has live music playing throughout the weekend, Camp Sunset also has a make-your-own trail mix and the paint-a-pot is a hands-on activity for kids to decorate their own terracotta garden pot.
The Home and Design Stage area includes topics such as decorating, DIY printmaking and remodeling. The Garden and Outdoor Living stage has a Q & A table – so bring your gardening questions and let the experts help you! Some of the speakers will be Sunset garden gurus Kathleen and Johanna Silver plus experts in drought-tolerant landscaping, edible gardening and garden design. Two full days of seminars will include how to and practical tips on gardening – especially during the drought..
Best of all you can tour the amazing Sunset test garden. We had a short tour where I was excited to see examples of low water plants to get ideas for my own garden. California is in the midst of a serious drought so learning about low water plants will help us redesign our lawn to save water. The Sunset website has a whole section on low water plants and a book called “Sunset Western Garden Easy-Care Planting” that offers great resources. During the garden tour when showed examples of how colorful and beautiful low water plants can be (see photo below).
Our tour guide also showed us a fig plant that has been at the Sunset Headquarters since the 1950’s (and still going strong – see below)! It is just another confirmation on what a green thumb Sunset gardeners have. But on that topic, during the press tour Sunset explained how they test everything they cover in their magazine and try to include a selection of plants for big gardens to plants that can grown in a pot (to save space). Their authentic and helpful approach to gardening, travel and lifestyle is something that inspired me to always have the latest monthly Sunset Magazine, various Sunset books and regularly reading articles on the website.
SUNSET HEADQUARTERS UPDATE
Sunset Headquarters is moving to Jack London Square in Oakland in December 2015. Their move feels personal to me because Sunset Magazine’s Headquarters in Menlo Park has been such a wonderful inspiration for those of us living in Silicon Valley. Just like that favorite neighbor that adds so much beauty, style and inspiration to the neighborhood.. Luckily their new headquarters is not too far of a drive, and well worth it especially after reading the exciting details from the press release:
“The New (Sunset) Headquarters will be located at 55 Harrison Street in the same building that will house the Water Street Market, an artisan food marketplace being developed by Carlin Company, the team behind San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Sunset will occupy approximately 20,000 square feet on the second floor of a mixed-use building, and its offices will include a test kitchen and a wine cellar.
In addition to its new flagship location in Oakland, Sunset will have a continuous presence in California wine country at Cornerstone, a public garden, event and retail space in Sonoma. Cornerstone and Sunset have formed a strategic partnership that will entail hosting Sunset’s main test garden, an outdoor kitchen and on-site programming“.