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October 17, 2006 > Bright future for Fall Festival

Bright future for Fall Festival

by Julie Grabowski

The success of Union City's Third Annual Fall Festival of the Arts has organizers happily launching ideas and improvements for next year's event. The biggest change is the day. The festival will separate from Farmers Market and be held on Sunday, where it can offer more space for vendors, as well as provide areas for attendees to put out a blanket or chair to enjoy the music and atmosphere. Wine and food will be set up in the Pavilion area, while artist's booths are free to spread throughout Old Alvarado Park.

Event coordinator and president of the Art Association of the East Bay Diane LaMountaine says there has been a steady growth pattern to the festival, and believes this year's press coverage was key. Between 500 and 1,000 people attended, some going to see a specific artist they read about in the media. One group went to find help for a mural project for a large Union City based company. "It is my hope that our local artists get more exposure so that the builders and developers looking for artists to create the required public art pieces are aware of who they are and what their expertise is," says LaMountaine. "There is so much going on in the art community, and it has always been a challenge for artists to market themselves. Most just don't get how talented they are, and if public art opportunities were open to them, they would have a chance to make some money doing what they love."

Several artists in Union City have expressed interest in participating next year, along with some local restaurants. American Golf, Bay Area Golf Centers will expand festival interest with their presence, offering short game practice and raffle prizes, golf rounds and lessons. The event will continue with its designs to offer a unique mix of moderately priced arts and crafts, and will encourage early applications from artists to ensure their space before popular areas, such as jewelry, close.

They say the third time's a charm, and the Fall Festival of the Arts can certainly claim that due to the raised quality and visibility of their event. Great strides have been made since its inception, and the festival will continue its efforts to provide an enjoyable day in support of art and the community. So flip those 16-month calendars ahead and circle Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007 for the return of an anticipated Union City tradition.

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