Despite this eternal rain, plenty of people descended on the Sunset Magazine’s Menlo Park headquarters for the annual event “Sunset Weekend Celebration.” The event draws thousands of visitors each year from near and far. Exhibitors from all over the U.S., cooking demonstrations from well-known chefs, artisnal food, crafts, Sunset’s lovely gardens, wine tasting and more kept a steady flow of visitors throughout the day. And  If you haven’t yet heard, in a strange twist of timing, Sunset ran a feature article about Benicia in this month’s issue.

The article came as a result of the City’s tourism program. Tourism consultant Jack Wolf, of Wolf Communications, worked his PR magic and convinced Sunset we deserved the ink. The article’s impact was immediate—many out-of-towners who had read the article were downtown last weekend, giving merchants a much-needed boost after dismal sales in May.

Mario Giuliani, the City’s Economic Development Manager, reserved a booth for the weekend-long event. The tented space had 3 tables, decorated by Christina Strawbridge in a nautical theme. Pamphlets from the Historical Museum and Arts Benicia and the City’s Great Day by the Bay brochure were on hand for visitors, as well as posters of Benicia, the Great Day by the Bay banner and a slide show photo gallery of Benicia’s history, waterfront, parks and downtown. Lindsay Art Glass and Nourot Glass each donated a beautiful hand-blown vase for a prize drawing to be held each day. Tourism Committee members worked the booth: Claire McFadden, Mario Giuliani, Belinda Smith, Stephanie Christianson and myself, with Duane Oliveira and his wife Shirley lined up for Sunday. Susan Street, Jack Wolf and City Manager Brad Kilger were also on hand to entice potential visitors to our fair town.