Monday, October 13, 2014

Explore a World of Hidden Treasures at the 63rd Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition

(San Francisco, Calif., October 3, 2014) --- The 2015 Pacific Orchid Exposition, happening February 19-22 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, is focusing on "The Thrill of Discovery" for its 63rd annual show, which will feature very special varieties of orchid, little known in the United States.

The show's presenting sponsor, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, has worked with local grower Tom Perlite, the owner of Golden Gate Orchids and operations manager of the Pacific Orchid Exposition, to ship and cultivate a rare orchids, including Cymbidium goeringii and Anoectochilus formosanus, which will be on display throughout the event.

The Pacific Orchid Exposition, which is the largest orchid show in the United States, is hosted by the San Francisco Orchid Society (SFOS), a 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to foster the culture and cultivation of orchids and to promote orchid education to its members and the public. The SFOS proudly supports local horticultural conservation efforts, including research and preservation efforts at the Conservatory of Flowers, the U.C. Botanical Garden at Berkeley, and other Orchid conservation groups.

The Pacific Orchid Exposition kicks off with the wildly anticipated Gala Benefit Preview, February 19th from 6:30-10:00pm. The Gala Benefit gives attendees the first chance to view and purchase some of the best orchids in the world before the show opens to the general public. Guests can also enjoy delicious gourmet hors d’oeuvres and wine tastings from some of California’s premier wineries, including winners of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. They can bid on fabulous auction items which include gift baskets and certificates, dinners, getaways, wine, original art, and more.

The general show follows February 20-22 and boasts over 150,000 beautiful orchids from across the globe. Throughout the weekend there will be docent tours, orchid potting demonstrations and special lectures. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau will also be on hand offering special entertainment and demonstrations for attendees.

Who:               San Francisco Orchid Society
What:             63rd Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, "The Thrill of Discovery"  
When:             Gala Benefit Preview: Thursday, February 19, 2015 from 6:30pm – 10:00pm
                        General Show: February 20-22, 2015
                         Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm and Sun. 10am-5pm
Where:            Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, Calif.
Tickets:          Gala Benefit Preview: $43 online; $50 at the door
                        General Show: $14 online/$15 at the door,
                        Seniors(65+): $11 online/$12 at the Door
                        Weekend Pass with Gala: $60
                        Weekend Pass without Gala: $25


San Jose Harvest Festival Offers One of a Kind Black Friday Finds

Top Rated Craft Show Boasts Shopping, Music, Food and Prizes

(San Jose, Calif., June 13, 2014)--- Don't be fooled by empty "door buster" deals designed to lure you to the Big Box retail stores this Black Friday weekend. For a truly enjoyable shopping experience, visit the San Jose Harvest Festival®, November 28-30 at the San Jose Convention Center, and help support the independent artisan instead.

The San Jose Harvest Festival® is one of the largest indoor arts and craft shows on the West Coast and was recently rated among the top 200 craft shows in the country.  The show offers over 24,000 handmade arts and crafts, including original art, jewelry, photography, clothing, specialty foods, holiday decor, and more.

Many of the artists at the Harvest Festival offer bargains and show specials that can only be obtained at the event. Plus, attendees can meet the artists and can often get their purchases personalized. There will be a grab bag prize drawing each day, and the Grand Prize drawing, happening on Sunday of the show, features a brand new ipad mini.

Throughout the weekend, the Harvest Festival offers upbeat live music, including performances from Tom Rigney and Flambeau, a band that blends American Roots styles into a completely original sound, mixing infectious grooves with deep musicality and spectacular solos. On Saturday afternoon, there will be a special one time performance by the Sweet Adeline's.

Gingerbread on the Go will co-host the KidZone and will feature make-and-take gingerbread cookie projects. Nature of Art for Kids, an eco-friendly company offering non-toxic art supplies for children, will also be participating by offering crafts using "green" and repurposed materials. Plus, parents can stop by the New York Life booth to obtain a free Child ID kit.

The Harvest Festival will welcome back its official non-profit partner, Humane Society Silicon Valley, a charity committed to animal welfare in every facet. Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) will receive half of the proceeds from shopping bag sales and all of the proceeds from the bag and parcel check.

Loaves and Fishes, a San Jose based non-profit organization which serves free, nutritious meals to the working poor, families, homeless and seniors, will be the food donation partner for the show. Anyone who brings a monetary or non-perishable food donation to the show will receive $2 off their admission.

What:             The San Jose Harvest Festival® Original Art and Craft Show
When:             November 28-30, 2014  
Where:            San Jose Convention Center (150 W. San Carlos St, San Jose CA  95113)
Hours:            Friday: 9am – 6pm, Saturday: 10 am – 6pm, Sunday: 10 am – 5pm
Cost:       Adults: $9, Seniors (62+): $7, Youth (13-17): $4, 12 & Under:  Free
              (Re-entry valid all weekend with proof of a hand stamp)
Info:              For tickets and information, please call 800-346-1212 or visit
Press:            Contact the Larose Group at 650-548-6700 or email  

The Harvest Festivals began 42 years ago in San Francisco as a destination for artists and craftspeople to sell their handmade products. Today, the event has grown to encompass nine shows in the state of California and Nevada, continuing its tradition of only featuring arts and crafts made in the United States.  Each exhibitor is subject to a rigid jury process to be selected as an artisan, ensuring a rich diversity and high quality of all products sold. The Harvest Festivals are owned and managed by a Western Exhibitors.

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San Mateo Harvest Festival Showcases Unique Holiday Shopping and Exciting Special Features

One of the Top Rated Craft Shows in the Country Opens at the San Mateo Event Center

(San Mateo, Calif., June 3, 2014) --- The San Mateo Harvest Festival is returning to the San Mateo Event Center on November 14-16, bringing with it thousands of handmade arts and crafts, high-energy performers, a hands-on KidZone, delicious foods and much more.   

The San Mateo Harvest Festival® Original Art and Craft Show is one of the largest indoor arts and craft shows on the West Coast, offering over 24,000 American handmade items. Customers can stroll aisle upon aisle of unique gifts like original art, clothing, jewelry, specialty foods, toys, holiday decor and more. Items available range from affordable stocking stuffers to upscale jewelry and fine art.

There are over 250 artisans featured at the San Mateo Harvest Festival, and all of them must go through a rigid jury process to be accepted into the festival. The vetting process ensures that all products are made by hand by each artist and allows for a diverse array of merchandise. 

This year, the Harvest Festival has brought back fan favorites Scotty and Trink, a pair of daredevil comedians who tell jokes while juggling, balancing on unicycles and tossing knives. Also back by popular demand is Tom Rigney and Flambeau, a fiery Cajun/Zydeco band who is known to get everyone out of their seats and stomping their feet.

Brand new this year is a special fruit and vegetable carving demonstration each day by renowned carver Chef Ray Duey. Attendees can watch Chef Ray as he creates extraordinary works of art with produce as his canvas.

The Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA will return as the selected charity of the show and will receive half of the proceeds from all shopping bags sold, as well as all the donations collected from the Parcel Check.  They will also host a special mobile adoption on Saturday and Sunday.

Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen, a non-profit organization which serves free, nutritious meals to the working poor, families, homeless and seniors, will be the food donation partner for the show. Anyone who brings a monetary or non-perishable food donation to the show will receive $2 off their adult or senior admission.  

The KidZone, a specialized area for kids to participate in hands on crafting activities, will be sponsored by Gingerbread-on-the-Go and Nature of Art for Kids. The crafts will include gingerbread cookie decorating and eco friendly art projects. Plus, New York Life will be on hand to offer free Child ID services.

Attendees will have the chance to win a fabulous ipad mini by registering on site at the San Mateo Harvest Festival. The winner will be announced on Sunday November, 16th. Festival goers can also win grab bag prizes each day by printing out a form online and dropping it off at the show. 

The Harvest Festivals, which take place in nine cities throughout California and Nevada, were recently recognized as one of the top 200 craft shows in the United States by Sunshine Artist Magazine.

What:     The San Mateo Harvest Festival® Original Art and Craft Show
When:    November 14-16, 2014
Where:   San Mateo Event Center (2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA 94403)
Hours:    Friday and Saturday: 10 am – 6pm, Sunday: 10 am–5pm
Tickets:  Adults: $9, Seniors (62+): $7, Youth (13-17): $4, Kids 12 and Under: Free
    (Re-entry valid all weekend with proof of hand stamp)     
Info:      Call 800-346-1212 or visit
Press:   Contact the Larose Group at 650-548-6700 or email Liz Rosinski at   

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Local Entrepreneur Named as One of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting

Doug Sleeter, CEO of the Pleasanton Based Sleeter Group, Recognized Nationally in "Accounting Today's" Top 100 Most Influential People

(Pleasanton, Calif., October 3, 2014)  ---  Accounting expert and local Bay Area resident Doug Sleeter has received national acclaim from major industry players after being named as one of 100 most influential people in accounting by "Accounting Today", an honor which he has consecutively held for the past seven years in a row.

"I am humbled to be acknowledged in this amazing list of thought leaders and experts in the world of accounting and finance," said Sleeter. "For me, accounting has always been about more than just the numbers; it's about the business. I'm always seeking out new software, technology and strategies which will help our members really grow into valued consultants."

As an evangelist for Adobe and Apple in the 1980s, Doug drove success of desktop publishing solutions on the Macintosh. Since then, he has built his own business, the Sleeter Group, into a world leader in consulting services for small businesses and software developers. 
Doug believes that his locale has positively contributed to his success by allowing him to interact with start-up's, executives from Fortune 500 technology companies, and many others who are disrupting the traditional marketplace.

 "The Bay Area celebrates innovation more than any other area I've seen," said Sleeter. "The culture here just encourages individuals and business to take risks and be bold."

Doug, a proud alumni of UC Santa Cruz, was also recently tapped as a judge for the Small Business Influencer Awards, as a keynote speaker for the Intuit QB Connect conference, and also leads all the content and strategy for Solutions14, the Sleeter Group's annual Accounting Solutions Conference which takes place November 9-12 in Las Vegas.

Along with being the publisher of the wildly popular QuickBooks and Beyond blog, Doug has authored numerous books and pens a regular column for CPA Practice Advisor.
To learn more about the Doug and the Sleeter Group, call 888-484-5484 or check out their website at

About the Sleeter Group:

The Sleeter Group is dedicated to helping accountants and small businesses work together by using the most innovative and tested tools/systems to generate greater efficiencies and higher profits. The company represents an independent view, separate from any particular company or product, and evaluates products and solutions based solely on how they meet the demands of small business owners. In addition, the Sleeter Group runs the Sleeter Group Consultants Network, which is a community comprised of nearly 800 accounting experts who provide consulting services to small and medium sized business owners in accounting software and business process design. For more information on the Sleeter Group, please visit or follow them on twitter @sleetergroup.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Everyone is talking about the Northern California Renaissance Faire 2014 Celtic rock concert series. It is by far one of the most celebrated attractions the faire has to offer, so don't miss out.

Reporter, Jim Harrington from the San Jose Mercury touted the rock series in a recent article saying, "There's an added incentive for music fans to attend the Renaissance Faire, which continues on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 12. The Faire hosts its Celtic Rock Concert Series on Saturdays. The remaining shows on the docket are The Wicked Tinkers on Sept. 27, The BlackEyed Dempseys on Oct. 4 and Whiskey and Women on Oct. 11." 

You can read the rest of his article here: 

Pirates will invade September 27th and 28th in the "Pirates Invasion" theme weekend at the Northern California Renaissance Faire. If you're ready for an adventure,strap on your boots and grab your swords to fight the swashbuckling pirates.

Wicked Tinkers take the stage on Saturday night starting at 6:00pm. As a one-time promotion this weekend, the Faire is offering a special rate, two tickets for $35, for all those who show their Student I.D. at the box office.

For more information and tickets, visit or call 408.847.FAIR.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pleasanton Harvest Festival Brings Over 24,000 Arts and Crafts to the Alameda Fairgrounds

The Pleasanton Harvest Festival® Original Art and Craft Show is descending upon the Alameda Fairgrounds this weekend, September 19-21, boasting a wide array of unique arts and crafts, exciting entertainment, kids activities, live music, and delicious food.

The Harvest Festival features thousands of handmade arts and crafts, including jewelry, ceramics, blown glass, clothing, art and photography, specialty foods and more. Attendees can browse hundreds of booths, getting purchases personalized and meeting the artists who individually handcrafted each item.

Guests can take a break from the shopping extravaganza to enjoy fabulous live entertainment at the outdoor stage. This year, the Hot Rods Band, will take the Harvest Festival stage for the first time playing classic oldies hits of the 50's and 60's. The Hot Rods Band covers the greatest era of rock and roll and will transport the audience to a time of sock hops, beach parties and cruisin' cars. 

The Pleasanton Harvest Festival® is proud to support the Alameda County Community Food Bank by offering $2 off admission to anyone who brings a monetary donation or non-perishable food items to the show. The Alameda County Community Food Bank serves 1 in 6 residents living throughout Alameda County, including the Tri-Valley.

The Oakley Raiders have been selected once again as the official show charity, and the Harvest Festival will offer the non-profit youth sports organization half of the proceeds from every shopping bag sold. The Oakley Raiders will also host the interactive KidZone, which is an area for children to participate in hands-on arts and crafts. Plus, New York Life will be onsite offering free child ID kits.

The Harvest Festivals were recognized as one of the top 200 craft shows in the United States by Sunshine Artist Magazine and the Pleasanton show was ranked in the top 100 Fine Craft Fairs by the Art Fair Source Book. The series of festivals, which take place in nine cities across California and Nevada, are the largest indoor arts and crafts show on the West Coast.

What:                      The Pleasanton Harvest Festival®
When:                     September 19-21, 2014
Where:                    Alameda County Fairgrounds 
Hours:                     Friday and Saturday: 10 am – 6pm
                                 Sunday: 10 am – 5pm
Tickets:                   Adults: $9, Seniors (62+): $7, Youth (13-17): 
                                $4, Kids 12 & Under: Free 
                                (Tickets valid for re-entry with handstamp)
Info:                        Visit or 
                                 call 800-346-1212
Press:                     Contact the Larose Group at 650-548-6700 
                                 or email 

The Harvest Festivals began 42 years ago in San Francisco as a destination for artists and craftspeople to gather and have a forum to sell their handmade products. Today, the show has grown to encompass ten shows in the state of California and Nevada and still continues its tradition by only featuring handmade arts and crafts made in the United States.  Each exhibitor is subject to a rigid jury process to be selected as a featured artisan, ensuring a rich diversity and high quality of all products sold. Attendees are able to directly interact with the artists, watch crafting demonstrations, and can get many gifts personalized. The Harvest Festivals, owned and managed by Western Exhibitors, are the largest indoor arts and crafts show of its kind on the West Coast.  

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Northern California Renaissance Faire Returns to Casa de Fruta for Five Fun Filled Weekends

Travel back to a time where the arts flourished, people thirsted for knowledge and the awakening of the mind reigned supreme.

The Northern California Renaissance Faire, happening every weekend from September 13th through October 12th at Casa de Fruta, invites all to experience its traditional Village of Willingtown.  Attendees will be transported to the era of Queen Elizabeth I as they watch exotic performances and take part in music and dance from traditional Morris and English Country, to Celtic and Gypsy Tribal.

The Faire is filled with many delightful pleasures and artisan treasures for young and old alike. Visit the Marketplace to see all the master artisans who offer the latest designs and finest hand work in blown glass, keen blades, leather-work, woodwork, jewelry and much more. 

Activities, period-themed rides and performances are offered to entertain any and all age groups. Feast your eyes upon pleasures such as face painting, hair-braiding, comedy shows and fortune tellers.  You might even be challenged to test your accuracy with a bow and arrow or axe throwing game.

Keep an eye out for courageous knights strapped into their heavy suits of armor as they fight for the Queen’s favor during battles of skill and might. Full contact jousting tournaments are performed twice a day in the World Tournament of Champions arena.

Let your creativity run wild by immersing yourself in Renaissance society. Dress the part by renting a costume inside the gates of The Belrose and throw out as many Huzzahs and Aye’s as you can. The Belrose offers authentic Renaissance garments to complement all taste styles and spanning the social status. You can become anyone you want from prim and proper princesses to swashbuckling pirates to colorful gypsies or royalty.

Jovial peasants, men in tights, and gleeful maidens roam the streets while you sip an ale or cider. Not thirsty? Have no fear for you can sink your teeth in a gigantic turkey leg or other delectable foods in this enchanted wonderland.

Advance tickets will be available in August, and anyone who purchases online tickets before September 13th will receive $5 off admission. Children 12 and under will be admitted FREE entrance for all five weekends, and during opening weekend, general ticket pricing is “Two-For-One.”

WHAT:  Northern California Renaissance Faire, A Play Faire Production
WHEN:    Every Saturday and Sunday September 13th- October 12th; Celtic Rock Concert Series every Saturday night - FREE with admission
TIME:    10 am- 6 pm (Celtic Rock Series starts at 6pm on Sat.)
WHERE: Casa de Fruta, 10031 Pacheco Pass Highway, Hollister, CA
COST:      $25 at the gate; children 12 and under will be admitted FREE the entire run of the Faire. A weekend pass, which covers the admission for one weekend, is $35; A ‘Fairever’ pass, which allows unlimited access all 10 days, is $150. Save $5 off adult tickets for groups of fifteen or more with the promotional code “group”.
INFO:        For more information and tickets, visit or call 408.847.FAIR.
About the Northern California Renaissance Faire:

The Northern California Renaissance Faire is run by Play Faire Productions, a group of self-appointed actors and artisans who took ownership as a collective in 2004.  Many Faire participants have been exciting crowds with their performances for over 35 years, never failing to entertain the masses with their pranks and mischievous behavior.  They are proud to be the only Faire of its kind that is managed by their own performers, presenting an incomparable way to experience the magic of the time period.  Whether you attend for an all encompassing history lesson, or wish to play in the original adult playground, there is no doubt that everyone will have the chance to stretch their imagination…and Find Your Fantasy!