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Sebastopol is leapfrogging from a 1960s holdout into the present with its Barlow development, a collection of artisanal bakery, craft brew and winery tasting room and various trendy shops. The downtown seems to have stopped time at least for the moment though it may be a losing battle. Florence Avenue with its ubiquitous and very quirky junk art in nearly every yard is a treat of a drive. The folk artists Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent sculpt and paint metal junk into the most whimsical characters you are ever likely to see on a city street. ( West of the town center the landscape quickly blends into vineyards and farms. A singular attraction is the yearly Obon festival held at the Enmanji Buddist temple. It is a traditional Japanese celebration full of music, audience participation dancing, food and colorful kimono outfits. An off the street bike path connects Sebastopol with Santa Rosa to the east.
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