Earning its reputation as an arts community, Benicia opens September with three annual art events, suitable for everyone from the casual observer to the serious collector. The first in the lineup is the 10th annual Expanding Experiences art and wine event in the lower Arsenal, September 11, benefitting Liberty High School. Artist live/work studios will be open for perusal while catered hors d’oeuvres are sampled, fine wines are sipped and live music is enjoyed.

Next up is the 40th annual Benicia Art and Crafts Fair, sponsored by the Benicia Chamber of Commerce. First Street closes to vehicle traffic as thousands of attendees stroll through the fair, visiting over 150 vendors from G street to B street.

Arts Benicia’s annual Benefit Art Auction kicks off September 21. The evening begins with a silent auction, where fine art pieces, often at bargain prices, can be considered—while sipping specialty cocktails, wine, or beer, and indulging in catered small bites—in the dramatic background of Benicia’s Clock Tower. Excitement crests with the intense bidding during the live auction.

Last, but not least, the fifth annual Benicia Fashion Weekend showcases the latest fashions on September 27, with a professional runway show as the highlight. Designer and Project Runway contestant Richard Hallmarq will be on hand with his latest designs. His friend and America’s Next Top Model contestant, Naima Mora, is featured as the runway star for this year’s event. For more information on these events, see the Calendar in this issue.