Grab Your Paintbrushes! Let's Paint the Town Red

Paint the Town Red is the biggest party of the year in Novato.
Paint the Town Red is the biggest party of the year in Novato.
One of the most anticipated annual events in town, the Paint the Town Red affair, marks Novato’s official birthday and celebrates those who contribute to local history. Might as well toss some confetti in the air and blow a horn once in a while to give kudos to our achievements, right?

The 2014 Paint the Town Red gala, which comes as Novato celebrates 54 years as an incorporated city, is coming up on Jan. 24 at the Margaret Todd Senior Center, and tickets are on sale now.

Let’s break down the reasons why this is a must-attend event: Great fun, great food, great drink, great music, great camaraderie and a great purely local reason to high-five back slap and hug each other. The driving force behind the celebration is a dedicated group of volunteers and sponsors that truly love Novato, so add great local spirit to that list as well.

“Paint the Town Red isn’t just a birthday party for a city, it is a celebration for the birth of an entire community,” Mayor Eric Lucan said. “Whether you are a third-generation Novato citizen or a new resident of just a few months, you won’t want to miss this year’s event.”  

The Citizen of the Year Committee anoints its coveted annual award at Paint the Town Red, and it’s an epic secret until Committee Chair Dietrich Stroeh makes the announcement. Last year, super volunteer Patty Bennett was crowned in an extra-emotional surprise; her late husband Chuck had been bestowed the same award in 2001. Who will it be this time?

In addition, the Novato Chamber of Commerce rolls out the red carpet for the city’s large and small businesses of the year to hearty standing ovations. The reining champs are Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant (large business) and Continental Jewelers (small business).

Taste of Novato, the delicious part of the event menu, is a bevy of hors d’ oeuvres, wines and craft beers from local businesses. The participants include: Catermarin, Forks and Fingers, Wildfox, Hiltop 1892, Tavola, Toast, Whole Foods Novato, Red Boy Pizza, Hopmonk Tavern Novato, Chianti Cucina Atria Senior Living, The Key Room at Homeward Bound of Marin, Rickey's, Cline, Jacuzzi, Trek, Larson Family Winery, Paradise View, Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant, Muscio's and Left Coast Bistro.

“We really believe having tastes from all these amazing local restaurants, wineries and microbreweries in one location makes Paint the Town Red worth the price of admission on its own,” said Taste of Novato coordinator Irene O’Brien. “Every year we get more compliments about how much fun people had, and we know the food and drink are a big part of that experience.”

Local favorites Swing Set will jazz it up for your dancing and listening pleasure. Rob Sundberg (upright bass, vocals), Mike Zalkaske (vocals, guitar), Bob McBain (keyboards), Alex Peters (saxophone, clarinet, flute) and Roland Tolosa (percussion) play tunes from a long list of best-loved and timeliness standards.

The volunteer-run Paint the Town Red Committee makes a donation to a Novato nonprofit chosen by the Citizen of the Year. Other proceeds are used to subsidize the following year's event.

The event goes from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Margaret Todd Senior Center on Hill Road. Tickets are $50. Learn more and purchase tickets at paintthetownred.org.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Al Dugan January 04, 2014 at 11:38 PM
Brett, you have gotten very active in Novato since joining the Marin Supervisors. Look forward to seeing you the event. Interesting things happening in the county.
Sam January 05, 2014 at 06:52 AM
Al, See you are back with your trash talking garbage once again . Brent has been active in Novato for many years and is a gentleman. What happened with you and your friends group that was going to save the value of our property's ? I see they don't like your postings in other towns also.
Bob Ratto January 05, 2014 at 11:25 AM
This is somewhat strange-just clicked on the link listed, bought two tickets, total was only $80...stated it was for 1/18/13, looks like I bought tickets for last year's party...anyone else experience this?
Craig Belfor January 05, 2014 at 12:20 PM
Julia- Thanks for the origin of this phrase, but actually, upon reflection, this description fits Novato to a T. In either case, it's a tongue in cheek attempt describing a really good time. Come and see for yourself. If you hate crowds, like flat beer, and cold food, just do what Bob did and go to last year's party.
Hopkin January 05, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Bob, you've stumbled upon the City's secret project - a time machine! They weren't planning on unveiling it until asking for the tax increase to pay for its development, though.
Roger January 05, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Sam: I assume you are attacking Al Nymous, not Al Dugan. I think Dugan makes great points often.
Hopkin January 05, 2014 at 01:09 PM
"Al Nymous January 04, 2014 at 04:23 PM Did anyone hear about the City of Novato shaking down home business for more money?" Is that because of this? http://novato.patch.com/groups/newscruncher/p/map-what-part-of-town-have-the-people-working-from-home-increased-novato
Hopkin January 05, 2014 at 01:23 PM
Julia, I think you would have enjoyed Marlene's special holiday events at the Bit-O-Honey!
Sylvia Barry January 05, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Bob - Just checked my receipt and it said the same. No big deal, I figured they just forgot to change that part of the site which prints out the receipts. The whole event is volunteer-based. Since I am not helping in this event, I am not going to complaint. You will be able to get in.
Sylvia Barry January 05, 2014 at 01:31 PM
By the way, the net proceeds from the event will benefit a non-profit of this year's Citizen of the Year's choice.
Bob Ratto January 05, 2014 at 01:34 PM
Sylvia Thanks! see you there...glad I don't have to travel back in time!
Michelle D January 05, 2014 at 01:36 PM
For anybody who may be concerned about being shaken down for a home business permit along with the home occupancy permit fees I suggest using the same 'exception' rule that the city of novato uses : It's an 'ancillary' business. If your home buisness does not exceed the usage of your home as a residence then it would be classified as an ancillary buisness and based on precedent already set by the city of Novato enforcement should not be made. If more info is required feel free to contact me.
Al Nymous January 05, 2014 at 01:47 PM
Good find hopkin. @Roger, it's not trash talking if its a fact. If you do have a problem with how the city runs things then I would suggest forming an organization to have a larger voice when we see unethical behavior. There will be nothing done by complaining online. I suggest forming a group to support a worthy candidate during election, attending city hall meetings, any anything else to slow this inevitable train wreck of our local government.
Sylvia Barry January 05, 2014 at 02:03 PM
Going back to the spirit of the event - I am not a party goer, but I went there because the event used to benefit Novato School Fuel. I then found out about honoring of the Volunteers and Businesses. A few Citizens of the Year I know of shy away from spotlights and I am thrilled they were honored (I found out after the fact and am amazed by what they do and I continue to find people who do wonderful things but are in the background). I am not part of the event, but I do sincerely hope that we can keep this event as what it is, celebrate the citizens and businesses of Novato and keep politics out of this. Do that for the people who deserve the recognition!
Al Nymous January 05, 2014 at 02:56 PM
Michelle, the shake down already happened. Good info. Thank you. I brought it up because it happened to my friend and it's extortion on a small scale. It's small potatoes but it shows that Novato is not interested in helping the little people trying to get started.
Bubba six pack January 05, 2014 at 05:25 PM
Hey you party poppers! If you want to just fight, do it in the parking lot. Just stay away from Bob Rattos car. He will have been there since 1/14, and will not be in a good mood, even if he did save $20. This is a party for those who do, not just post, so don't bother the players and just stay in your seats. I'm going to see the real movers and shakers, although I'm willing to see a good cat fight between two hot chicks, as long as they don't tip over the shrimp tray.
Al Nymous January 05, 2014 at 06:26 PM
..And what do you "do" Bubba gump.
Bob Ratto January 05, 2014 at 09:53 PM
Bubba Since the 49ers won...I will promise to be fresh and on my reasonably best behavior, shrimp platter be damned. But if I catch you spit swapping in the parking lot, well......
Brent Ainsworth January 06, 2014 at 12:00 PM
A paragraph has been added to this story: The volunteer-run Paint the Town Red Committee makes a donation to a Novato nonprofit chosen by the Citizen of the Year. Other proceeds are used to subsidize the following year's event.
Roger January 06, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Ratto: I understand that at the City Council meeting tomorrow that the issue of Friedman's Hardware replacing the GGT bus lot off north Redwood may come up. You are OK with that move since it will bring more tax revenue to Novato, correct? I know you are on Novato's economic advisory committee. I support allowing Friedman's to open a store in Novato. Free markets are as American as apple pie
Sylvia Barry January 06, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Thanks for the correction, Brent! Roger - I believe Bob is on the Measure F Oversight Committee.
Bob Ratto January 06, 2014 at 01:02 PM
Roger/Sylvia Yes, Sylvia I am, it is very interesting and gives one quite a lot of insight into how things work. Roger-Not on economic oversight, but know that one major issue for GGT is that they want to have another lot in Novato with super easy freeway access and good proximity to major routes like the 54 and 56. The sites are not good at all for housing, and I hope it all ends up commercial because we simply do not have enough land zoned for commercial compared to our neighboring cities, and we have a lot of sales tax dollars that could be captured locally if we could keep it commercial. Friedman's is an interesting case to me, a company that has been relatively stable and quiet, now building in Petaluma and desiring Novato..sudden $$$? As to free markets, you betcha!!! ..but I will still average at least one trip a week to Pini, which is the greatest hardware store in the world, and now features price matching, shopping local is good
Craig Belfor January 06, 2014 at 01:54 PM
Repeal the sales tax hike and Friedman's will come running.
Roger January 06, 2014 at 06:21 PM
Belfor: The Measure F extra sales tax will automatically sunset in 2015 unless the voters vote to extend it. All 4 Council candidates that ran in the last election in November took the position of opposing extending the F tax. Of course, in the next election the Council position could be different. The City Manager has floated the idea of extending the F tax.
Bubba six pack January 07, 2014 at 01:04 AM
Lap traffic. It’s a term used to describe the stuff you have to get past on your way to your goal. In auto racing, where it was coined, it described the other cars over a lap down that blocked your ability to pass your opponent before the checkered flag came up. All of the cars on the road are lap traffic to me, as I am to them, but I’m thinking this applies to life in general. Are we Eric’s lap traffic? Were we Karina’s? As I wade through the idiots, cement heads, and trolls here, I have to remember that we are only 4 DNA strands separated from chimpanzees. I can’t believe that in the 8 million years that came after our tree branched out that this is the farthest we could distance ourselves. Then I go to DMV and stand behind a moron trying to register a stolen car and wonder if it’s the chimpanzees who should be pissed. By the time I get home, fight with my printer, and reset my router again, I feel victorious just for getting past today’s lap traffic. Then it hits me. I didn’t accomplish crap. My good feeling was only for surviving lap traffic. It not only challenged me, but gave me insight, memories, and experience. Oh yeah, I didn’t get the checkered flag. I’m still not rich. I’ve always thought that geniuses walk a lonely road, which explains why everyone hates me, and I’m cool with that, but the village idiot also walks alone. I’m confused which applies to me, but I’m sure of one thing. You guys are all lap traffic to me. This party will accomplish nothing. This whole town is a couple of laps down to the developers, who will fight for the checkered flag of out financial future, so lets just enjoy the race, even if none of us will be the winner. Each of us should find his own checkered flag, and then wade through the bozos to get it. Mine will be the shrimp platter.
novato 3per January 07, 2014 at 08:05 AM
Lap traffic? Sounds like a term from the stripper business. You know you're the biggest troll of all Bubba, now there's a checkered flag for you. You call yourself a genius for that? What will you do after the shrimp platter has been cleared away, and the stiffs are all talking amongst themselves? What if Karina doesn't get drunk, as you'd hoped for? What if there is no "good cat fight between two hot chicks"? What will you do then you big shrimp eatin' somebi@#h ?
Bubba six pack January 07, 2014 at 11:21 AM
You honor me, nov3per, by making me your checkered flag, when I assumed I was just lap traffic in your porn box. I'm not really going for the shrimp, shrimp. I'm going just to watch the lap traffic.
Sylvia Barry January 25, 2014 at 01:34 AM
And the Citizen of the Year is Susan Stompe! So well deserved!!!
Al Nymous January 25, 2014 at 01:57 AM
Paint the town red like a communist flag
Trailbikerbilly January 25, 2014 at 02:12 AM
Or like your panties. Sounds like you're having that time of your month. Let them party just one night a year, Al.


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