About the Festival
The idea for Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival was conceived in Florida, of all places. Escaping the winter cold in 1995, Michael Ecton and Janet Ciel, two craftspeople who’d been producing Festival of Art & Wine in Duncans Mills, besides doing art shows with their work, decided to apply to festivals in Florida. Prior to leaving they were approached by a Bodega Bay landowner asking them to produce a festival on his ranch. While in Florida they discovered that seafood festivals in the south were common, but were rare on the West Coast, so they decided a seafood festival would be a hit in this coastal town. They contacted potential vendors, sponsors, wineries, breweries and entertainers: all from Key Largo, and put together the festival from there, before returning home in April and finalizing it. The event happened for the first time that August.
The festival focuses on quality, and the on the bounty of the local area. The number of participating of artists is limited through a jury process to ensure quality. Food purveyors, wineries and micro breweries from throughout Northern California are carefully selected. Top entertainers are selected for eclectic variety and crowd pleasing popularity.
In 2004 the festival moved from its original home in Bodega Bay inland, to the quaint village of Bodega. The move provided much better weather, and an opportunity to expand the size of the show. The new site has gotten rave reviews and this is now the permanent location for this wonderful show.
Michael and Janet welcome you to come and enjoy this great event. We hope you’ll make it one of the festivals you return to time and again for many years to come!
Janet and Michael would like to say a special thank you to the following people for their tireless commitment and wonderful contributions to the festival each year:
Gary and Vicki Watts, Bill Newman, Steve Hendrickson, Gus Lopez, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Brad Kahn at KRSH radio, and our kick-ass staff who make it all possible.
About the Organizers
From a very early age Janet was fortunate to have great exposure to the arts, as her parents were artistic and musical, and they encouraged her to pursue this realm. Consequently becoming a craftsperson seemed a logical direction, and she spent over 25 years on the festival circuit working in several different mediums. She retired from doing shows in 2004, so she could focus on other pursuits, including building this festival to be its best. Her artwork can now be seen in the promotional materials produced for the festivals.
Janet is also the manager of the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market , she’s recently taken on the position of Event Coordinator for the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic, and she’s the co-owner of Sebastopol Bike Center, a bike shop in the town of Sebastopol.
Michael is a local photographer with over 35 years experience exhibiting in art festivals. He has been involved in festival productions for over 30 years. In 1985, he decided it was time to create the kind of show he, as an artist, would have liked to participate in. Sonoma County lacked a decent venue for quality artists to sell their work. So after locating a suitable venue on the coast, the Jenner Festival of the Arts was born. After 10 years the festival was moved to Duncans Mills and changed it’s name to the Festival of Art and Wine, continuing until 2007. From 1990 until 2005 he helped organize the Gualala Art in the Redwoods, helping it grow from it’s early roots. Today he travels to different parts of the country to do shows, and different parts of the world to pursue his vocation and his passion: photography.
Michael’s photography can be seen at: