Summer Guide



Mill Valley has a bounty of incredible artists. With that in mind, as we designed the 2018 Enjoy Mill Valley Summer/Fall Guide, our all things-Mill-Valley mini-magazine going out to 38,000 households within the June issue of Marin Magazine, we turned over the cover to them. We were quickly reminded of the artistic talent that exists here in Marin. Among the plethora of great designs we received was from local resident native Janet Rumsey, a graphic designer and nature lover born in Mill Valley.

Our jury of artists loved Rumsey’s quirky, nature-loving, summer-centric design (at left) of her peering out at the world. We hope you do as well. Rumsey says she often takes photos from that vantage point “because you see what’s behind you and where you are but it’s not just the whole selfie thing. I enjoy creating images of people with growing minds – lots of flowers coming out of their heads. Grow your mind and go into nature.”

Rumsey’s no newbie to winning art contests. She was one of five artists chosen for San Francisco Beautiful and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)’s Muni Art 2018, whereby 100 Muni buses were transformed into art galleries featuring poetry-laden art panels. One of Rumsey’s Muni designs is below. Connect with her at her website or @obtusewoman on Instagram.


This Summer Guide is all about the thrills that lie ahead in Mill Valley. On page 6 and linked below, we look at the incredible new dawn at the revitalized Mill Valley Lumber Yard. On page 14 and linked below, we tracked down some Summer Must Haves, whether you’re staying in town or traveling, and our blockbuster Events Calendar, which kicks off on page 20 in the Summer Guide and lives in its entirety below, looks at the incredible lineup of great events to come, from concerts and festivals to the bigger and better-than-ever free Movies in the Park series. Thanks to the amazing Susan Lopes and all of the sponsors and advertisers who helped us make this Summer Guide happen. Lastly, we want to hear from you – send your thoughts, ideas and pithy asides to  –Jim Welte

“There are few people who could have accomplished what Matt and Jan have done here,” says Restoration Hardware and Guideboat Co. founder Stephen Gordon about the revitalization of the history Mill Valley Lumber Yard. GO HERE to learn more about one of the most exciting places in town. FULL STORY.
Whether you’re headed overseas or basking in the natural beauty around you with a staycation, we’ve got you covered this summer. GO HERE for the full list of Must Haves, from beachwear and get-around guidance to some of the unbelievably good food in Mill Valley. FULL STORY.

Events Calendar


Mtn. Play’s “Mamma Mia!” – 5/20-6/17
Mountain Play turns 105 with a production of the insanely popular jukebox musical based on the songs of ABBA, featuring a bride who hatches a plan to have her real father escort her down the aisle. Cushing Amphitheatre, Mt. Tam. All shows on Sundays at 2pm. Tix $20-$45, children under 4 free. MORE INFO.
Kiddo! Carnival & Concert – 5/25-28
The four-day Kiddo! Family Carnival features more than 15 exciting rides and loads of carnival games, with a community celebration on Friends Field featuring live music on May 28. MV Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave. Tix for unlimited, one-day rides are $35 once the carnival begins. MORE INFO.
MVHS Walk Into History – May 27
Did you know the area around Scout Hall on East Blithedale Ave. was once so full of bars that it was known as “Jagtown” (“jag” = intoxication)? The MV Historical Society’s annual walk takes you back to that time. Tours head out from the Mill Valley Lumber Yard every 30 minutes from 9:30am-3pm. Tix $10-$20. MORE INFO.
Pancake Breakfast – 5/28
Decades ago, a group of Mill Valley Volunteer
Firefighters cobbled together grills, coolers and propane tanks to make a Memorial Day breakfast for a few people. Hundreds showed up. They’ve been doing it ever since outside City Hall. 7–11am, 26 Corte Madera Ave. Adults $10, kids under 13 $5MORE INFO.
Memorial Day Parade – 5/28
Mill Valley’s biggest event of the year honors those who served our country – with a good ol’ fashioned parade. Starting at Old Mill School and winding down Miller Ave., the parade regularly draws 6,000+ spectators and dozens of entries. Preceded by a Lytton Square memorial service. Starts at 10:30am. MORE INFO.
The Motet – 5/28
Formed in Denver, Colo., in 1998, this septet fuses “fiery funk, simmering soul, and improvisational inventiveness,” continually providing an escape for listeners. They bring “Totem,” their inventive 2016 release, and tracks from an upcoming project, to the Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave. 8pm. Tix $32-$37. MORE INFO.


Naked Truth: real. stories. live. – 6/1
Whether stories are hilarious, poignant, suspenseful, or heartwarming, the one thing you can count on is that MV Library’s next edition of its Naked Truth storytelling series will be a fantastic night of true, live storytelling. Josh Healey emcees. MV Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. 7pm. Free – registration recommended. MORE INFO.
First Tuesday Artwalk – 6/5
​Arts Commission’s monthly celebration of local art spans venues around town like the Community Center, O’Hanlon Center, Seager Gray Gallery, Julie Zener Gallery and City Hall, including Shane Kennedy’s mixed media work (above) at MV Chamber. Tue., 5:30-7:30pm. Also July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 2. Free. MORE INFO.
“Grease” – 6/8
The free Movies in the Park series kicks off with a 40th anniversary screening of the most successful movie musical of all time. Starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, this tale of clique-crossing summer romance takes you back. Bring a blanket/low beach chair. Old Mill Park (NOTE LOCATION CHANGE!). Film begins at dusk. Free. MORE INFO.

“Straight White Men” – 6/14-7/8
What is the value of being a straight white male when identity matters, and privilege is problematic? That’s what this happy, trash-talking family can’t solve when they gather for Christmas in this play from Young Jean Lee (above). Marin Theatre Co., 397 Miller Ave., Tix $25-$60. MORE INFO.
Dipsea Race – 6/10
The inimitable Dipsea Race – America’s oldest cross-country foot race – holds its 108th running from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. Defending champ Chris Lundy of Sausalito seeks to repeat this year despite a handicapped system that has made winners of men and women of all ages. 8:30am, Depot Plaza. Free. MORE INFO.
Comedy in the Plaza – 6/20
The MV Arts Commission’s annual night of hilarity on the plaza draws some of the best standup comedians in the business. This year’s  edition features Alicia Dattner, Jake Johannsen & Carlos Alazraqui in what promises to be an evening of laughter. Brian Copeland emcees. Bring a chair.
Depot Plaza. 6:30pm. Free. MORE INFO.
Jeff Goodell – 6/22
“The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World” author Jeff Goodell has spoken to leaders and scientists about climate change across 12 countries. He reports his findings. 7pm. Free – registration recommended. MV Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. MORE INFO.
Italian Street Painting Marin – 6/23-24
Founded by MV residents Sue & Joe Carlomagno, this festival explores the wonders of space and time, showcasing 100 street painters, who turn the streets in an amazing gallery. 5th Ave. & A St, San Rafael. Sat. 10am-8pm, Sun. 10am-6pm. Tix $10-$15. MORE INFO.
Trashcan Sinatras – 6/24
Formed in 1987 in the coastal town of Irvine, Scotland, this sophisticated guitar pop group is hitting the road for an acoustic “One Night, Two Albums” tour, playing their classics “Cake” and “I’ve Seen Everything” in their entirety. Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., 8pm. Tix $28-$31. MORE INFO.
Red Baraat – 6/25
NPR has described this Brooklyn-based ensemble as “the best party band in years.” Headed by Sunny Jain, this band’s raucous songs span horn-soaked jazz, hip-hop beats, funky go-go, and scalding hot bhangra. Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., 8pm. Tix $22-$25. MORE INFO.


“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – 7/6
The free Movies in the Park series continues with a screening of yet another hugely successful film in the continuing Star Wars saga, this time with Rey receiving Jedi training from Luke Skywalker, among other plotlines. Bring a blanket/low beach chair. Old Mill Park. Film begins at dusk. Free.
The Wood Brothers – 7/7
This group’s  2017 “Live at the Barn” album “careens from soul to folk to funk to blues to rock, mixing acoustic and electric instruments, effortlessly blending eras and music regions.” Ashleigh Flynn & the Riveters open. Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave., 8pm. Tix $48-$58. MORE INFO.
Mill Valley Campout – 7/21
The 5th Annual Mill Valley Campout promises a fun family overnight under the stars, with camping, magic, live entertainment, arts & crafts, s’mores, emergency preparedness activities, campfire songs, relay races & much more. Friends Field, 180 Camino Alto. $25 per person, children under 4 free. MORE INFO.


“Hairspray” – 8/3-5, 8/10-12
Throckmorton Youth Performers’ 2018 summer show dives into the 2002 classic musical based on the 1988 John Waters film, as plump, dance-loving teenager Tracy Turnblad rises to stardom on a 1960s Baltimore TV show. Can she help integrate the show? 142 Throckmorton Ave. MORE INFO.​
“The Incredibles” – 8/3
The free Movies in the Park series continues with Pixar’s 2004 Oscar-winning film about a suburban family of undercover superheroes hiding their superpowers. The screening follows on the much-anticipated sequel in June. Bring low beach chairs and/or a blanket. Old Mill Park. Film begins at dusk. Free. MORE INFO.
Concerts in the Plaza – 8/5
A pair of divas open the 2018 edition of this beloved series. Jazz singer Sony Holland’s covers, originals and classics from the Great American Songbook open at 3pm, while Chloe Jean, a former track star & model, performs her “raw, authentic, strong, fierce” and soulful songs at 4pm. Depot Plaza. Free. MORE INFO.
Record Listening Night – 8/10
Where were you when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon? What were you listening to? Bring your vinyl records from 1969 and share your memories. MV Music owner Gary Scheuenstuhl serves up his favorites and guides the journey. MV Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. 7pm. Free. ​MORE INFO.
Concerts in the Plaza – 8/12 & 8/19
The series’ middle pair of concerts spans an array of genres, from North Bay reggae band Iriefuse (3pm) and Hoodoo Rhythm Devils’ co-founder Glenn Walters (4pm) on 8/12 to country rockers Shelby, Texas (3pm) and Solid Air’s jug band and rock songs (4pm) on 8/19. Depot Plaza. Free. ​MORE INFO.
“Henry IV – Part One” – 8/18-9/9
The Curtain Theatre has been producing free theater in Old Mill Park since 2000. Its 2018 edition tackles the first of Shakespeare’s two plays on the reign of Henry IV, this one building to the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury. Directed by Steve Beecroft. Old Mill Park. Saturdays, Sundays & Labor Day. 2pm. Free. MORE INFO.​
Concerts in the Plaza – 8/26
The series closes out with performances by a pair of talented Marin teens. Mill Valley singer Meels kicks things off at 3pm, followed by Redwood High singer Sarah Herzog and the Machiavelvets at 3:30pm. Acclaimed local guitarist Michael LaMacchia’s Kauai Project. headlines at 4pm. Depot Plaza. Free. ​​MORE INFO.


“The Lion King” – 9/7
With a live action version on the way in 2019 starring Beyonce and a host of stars, this screening revisits the 1994 classic tale of Simba, a young lion set to succeed his father, Mufasa, but not before he returns from exile to confront a ruthless uncle. Bring a blanket and/or low beach chairs. Old Mill Park. Film begins at dusk. Free.
MV Fall Arts Fest – 9/15-16
This landmark event in Old Mill Park draws throngs to see the work of 140+ artists, live music & children’s entertainers. The MV Chamber’s Art Lovers Save program gives attendees discounts at local stops and eateries. Old Mill Park. 10am-5pm. Tix $12, $8 students/seniors, free for children under 12. MORE INFO.
Margaret Glaspy – 9/18
NYC singer-songwriter Glaspy toured relentlessly in support of her lauded 2016 debut “Emotions and Math,” and that season on the road birthed her new EP released on ATO Records, “Born Yesterday. She brings that material to the Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave. 8pm. Tix $20-$25. MORE INFO.
Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer – 9/22
This family-friendly, six-mile hike supports the nonprofit Zero Breast Cancer’s efforts aimed at breast cancer prevention in the next generation. It also encourages physical activity, which plays a key role in risk reduction, recovery after breast cancer and recurrence prevention. Old Mill Park. 9am. MORE INFO.
MTC’s “Oslo” – 9/27-10/21
The Bay Area premiere of the “darkly comic and fast-paced” Tony-winning play from J.T. Rogers (above) tells the true and widely unknown story of how a couple of young Norwegian academics orchestrated top-secret meetings that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords. Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave. Tix $25-$60. MORE INFO.
Community Block Party – 9/30
One of the best parties of the year, this event benefits Kiddo, which funds music, art, PE and support services at our public schools. Enjoy live music, kids games, jumpees, great food & a fashion show of clothing from local boutiques in town. Throckmorton Ave. 1:30-5pm. Free – donations encouraged. MORE INFO.


Mill Valley Film Festival – 10/4-14
The Mill Valley Film Festival earned its stellar reputation with a consistent slate of Oscar contenders, a slate of star-studded events featuring Hollywood icons and emerging talents, live music at the Sweetwater and a laser-like focus on great indie films. It returns  Oct. 4-14. Mill Valley & venues across Marin. MORE INFO.
“Zootopia” – 10/5
​The free outdoor Movies in the Park series screens Disney’s 2016 film about police officer and rabbit Judy Hopps trying to solve a mysterious case in the mammal metropolis where various animals thrive. She does so despite the efforts of wily fox Nick Wilde. Bring a blanket or low beach chair. Old Mill Park. Film begins at dusk. Free. MORE INFO.
Zemlinsky Quartet – 10/14
The Mill Valley Chamber Music Society presents a group that has become a much-lauded example of the Czech string quartet tradition. They’ve garnered awards all over the world, from Banff to Prague to London. Mt. Tam United Methodist Church, 410 Sycamore Ave. 5pm. Tix $35. Free for 18 & under. MORE INFO.


The MV Chamber’s annual series of Sidewalk Sales give shops & boutiques all over town the opportunity to spread their wings onto the sidewalk and offer discounts to shoppers on some of the busiest days of the year. The sales run at least monthly:
May 25–28 (Memorial Day)
June 3 (Wine, Beer & Food Tasting)
June 15-17
July 13-15
August 17-19
Sept. 14-16 (MV Fall Arts Festival)
October 4-7 (MV Film Festival
November 23-25
November 30 & Dec. 1-2 (Winterfest)
A number of Mill Valley arts and culture organizations host events throughout the summer, including concerts, exhibits, workshops and classes. Here are a few (click logos for more info):

Here’s the digital version of the
2018 Enjoy Mill Valley Summer/Fall Guide: