For decades, the Mill Valley Historical’s Society‘s Walk Into History annually has explored the people, places and things that serve as the foundation of our community.
For the 44th edition of this event, organizers are encouraging attendees to take a trip to the heady days of 1960s-1980s Mill Valley as “a Rock and Roll mecca” in a walking tour of locations connected to this music history. See the music halls and music stores frequented by both homegrown and world-famous musicians and bands. Get to know some of the musicians that lived in Mill Valley. Events and performance schedules are available online.
The 44th annual MVHS Walk Into History will be on Sunday, May 28. This year’s event celebrates the “Rock ’n Roll mecca” that was Mill Valley in the 1960s-1980s, with music halls and stores frequented by both homegrown and world-famous musicians and bands.
The format of this year’s Walk is a departure from past years.
Self-guided tours start at the Mill Valley Chamber office at 87 Throckmorton Avenue and include stops further from downtown for future trips. Tickets also include live and recorded events at Sweetwater Music Hall and the downtown plaza. Children welcome. Well-behaved dogs on leash allowed in outdoor venues.
It will feature self-guided walks using maps showing the locations around town where docents will stand by to help share stories about the people and places that contributed to Mill Valley’s outsized influence on music and culture. This year’s event will also include live and recorded performances and interviews with musicians at Sweetwater Music Hall and the downtown plaza.
Whether you are reliving those heady days of folk music, early rock, “hippie music,” the “San Francisco Sound” and psychedelic rock, or wanting to learn more about them, you’ll enjoy this unique part of Mill Valley’s history. You’ll experience hometown groups like Sons of Champlin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Clover, and Huey Lewis and the News, along with Bay Area bands Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, all prominent in Mill Valley. Appearances from members of these bands, along with music store stories from John Goddard, Gary Schuenstuhl, Charlie Kelly, Larry Cragg and Bill Steele, will be supplemented with live performances by old and new generations of musicians playing and re-interpreting music of the era.
The self-guided walk and performances happen Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm, all for a single ticket price of $20 for MVHS members, $25 for non-members, and FREE for youth 18 and under. Children are welcome and much of the music will suit them. Well-behaved dogs on leash are allowed in outdoor venues.
“We appreciate the support and contributions of the City of Mill Valley, Sweetwater Music Hall and all the volunteer musicians, docents and staff that make this event possible,” organizers said.
The 44th Annual Walk Into History serves as one of the major parts of the community’s blockbuster Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off with the return of the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters’ Association’s Pancake Breakfast from 7-11am, followed by a Memorial Day ceremony at 9:30am at Lytton Square, the return of the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade and the incredible, the four-day Kiddo! Carnival.