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Eighty-four hours. That’s the allotted time given to win a chicken coop. It’s not just any ol’ chicken coop. It’s a chicken coop designed by famed architect Howard Backen, and bidders have 84 hours to try to scoop up the coop.

The chicken coop package that includes two prized Sebright chickens is part of the auction items in UpValley Family Centers’ 4th annual online auction, Viva! Napa Valley, that goes live Friday, Feb. 23 at 8 a.m. and runs through Monday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m.

UpValley Family Centers (UVFC) with locations in Calistoga and St. Helena partners with other organizations to provide low-cost or free services to more than 3,000 individuals each year. The funds from the auction help UVFC to provide such services as access to health services for seniors, class materials for English as Second Language (ESL) students, field trips for high school mentoring programs, tutoring and immigration support for those seeking a path to citizenship, and the Raising a Reader program that helps children and parents form a love of reading.

Dubbed “Cluckingham Palace,” the royal hen house was designed by Howard Backen and will be built by Centric General Contractors for the two champion Sebright bantams that come with the auction lot. Opening bid is $4,000, and the “Buy Now Price” is $10,000.

There’s one chicken coop, but dozens of other items up for bid such as two VIP tickets to BottleRock Napa Valley 2018, which has been sold out for weeks. The opening bid for the package, which includes an Uber gift certificate, starts at $750 with a Buy Now Price of $4,000.

If culinary packages get your juices flowing consider “Let’s Get Sauced,” a hands-on interactive cooking class with Calistoga local chef Josh Mitchell who will teach a group of eight how to prepare the “Mother Sauces” — béchamel, velouté, espagnole, tomato and Hollandaise. After all that hard work, the group will sit down with Mitchell and enjoy the fruits of their labor with local wines. Opening bid is $1,500, and the Buy Now Price is $8,000.

Beat the thousands of Lighted Tractor Parade goers to the best seats in the house. The winner of the 2018 Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade package will get reserved parking for one vehicle, courtesy of the Calistoga Police Department, reserved seating for eight people under a tent on the parade route – sitting so close to the judges you’ll be able to hear them whisper about the winner – and a dinner for eight at All Seasons Bistro following the parade. Opening bid is $600, and the Buy Now Price is $5,000.

Make everyone pea-green with envy by riding alongside local heroes – the Calistoga Fire Department. The Independence Day Parade package is a ride for one adult and four children on the Calistoga Fire Department’s leading fire truck in Calistoga’s annual Fourth of July Parade. Engine 19 will sound the siren and lead the way with the lucky winners riding along. The package includes a $200 gift certificate to Cal Mart for the winners to pick up lunch after the parade and enjoy a picnic in Pioneer Park. Opening bid is $500, and the Buy Now Price is $4,000.

Don your best white linen garb and take a sophisticated swing in Napa Valley with a croquet lesson for six people at Meadowood followed by lunch at The Grill at Meadowood. Instruction starts with mallet grips and swings, rules explanation and winning strategies. Lessons are about an hour and play time is another hour. Opening bid is $500, and the Buy Now Price is $3,000.

Screen the movie of your choice with your 99 besties during a private screening at Cameo Cinema. The package for up to 100 people comes complete with freshly popped buttered popcorn. Opening bid is $2,000, and the Buy Now Price is $5,000.

Get wild and bid on the Safari West package that includes a ride through the “Sonoma Serengeti” for two adults and two children. The three-hour excursion gives guests the chance to see animals such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and rhinos. Opening bid is $200, and the Buy Now Price is $1,000.

Go really big and bid on the Tiny House built by Calistoga High School students. Wood shop teacher Erik Parry worked with students and a team of local volunteers to build the Tiny House from the ground up. Local businesses and craftsmen donated time and materials to build the 117-square-foot structure. The students not only learned skills such as woodworking, plumbing and electrical, they also gained experience in teamwork and project management.

Together they spent more than 400 hours over more than two years to construct the house that has a front porch made with wine barrel staves, running water with a sink, shower and RV-style toilet, on-demand hot water tap, a small two-burner propane stove, two heaters and a ceiling fan.

The kitchen has a custom walnut counter top, and the front door and sleeping loft feature custom stained glass windows. The interior walls are covered in knotty pine tongue and groove boards. Opening bid is $43,000, and the Buy Now Price is $70,000.

No Napa Valley auction would be complete without wine, and this auction offers more than a dozen large-format bottles from wineries such as Kongsgaard, Quintessa, Seaver Family Vineyards, Meteor, Jones Family Vineyards, Charles Krug, and more.

The auction committee did not leave out the practical-minded. A four-hour tax consultation with senior tax specialist Rangy Gnagy – nicknamed “The Pain Reliever” by peers – with Brotemarkle, Davis and Co. Gnagy is a UVFC board member and can help individuals and businesses understand new tax codes and best accounting practices. Opening bid is $500, and the Buy Now Price is $3,000.

Check the sneak peek previews through UVFC’s website VIVA! Napa Valley tab at


The Weekly Calistogan Editor