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Thursday, 19 May 2016 10:11

Shades of American Graffiti in Petaluma

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red and black 57 Buick Century in Petaluma PicmonkeyRare '57 Buick Century captured in Giuseppe Lipari photo as it rolls through Petaluma                             

TASTE News Service, May 19, 2016 - May and June are perfect months to plan a weekend getaway to Petaluma. You can go for classic cars, craft beer or just to relax and enjoy the beauty at the gateway to Sonoma County Wine Country.

In historic downtown, brew pubs, artisan bakeries and bistros rub shoulders with art galleries amid lovingly-restored buildings. The result is an eclectic, energetic vibe unique in the Bay Area.

Petaluma is among the most picturesque towns in all of California. Iron-front buildings from the late 1800s, immaculate Victorian mansions and small town charm make it the perfect filming location to represent “Hometown America.”

It’s no wonder that director George Lucas chose Petaluma as the setting for his iconic movie American Graffiti. Filmed during the summer of 1972, Petaluma Boulevard and Western Street in downtown Petaluma are just a couple of the locations that Lucas used for some of the movie’s most memorable scenes.

Rev your engines for Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti on May 21Cruisin in PetalumaIs it 1962?

In celebration of its place in cinematic history, Petaluma hosts “Salute to American Graffiti.” Now in its 11th year, the free, family-friendly event draws fans of the movie and classic car enthusiasts from across the country and the world.

More than 400 classic American cars and trucks will be in place by 10 am with hoods open and polished chrome gleaming in the sunlight. Enjoy chatting with the owners until 4 pm; that’s when engines roar as the cars take to the streets for cruisin’ the boulevard.

Throughout the day, visitors can get photos and autographs with American Graffiti stars Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins and Lynne Stewart, shop for commemorative souvenirs, and enjoy classic drive-in fare at Mel’s Burger City. It’s a return to those happy days.

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