July 20, 2004 > Fremont Festival of the Arts Returns for 21st Year
Fremont Festival of the Arts Returns for 21st Year
by Tatyana Hamady
When the Fremont Chamber of Commerce first presented a summer art and wine festival in the parking lot of the Fremont Hub in 1983, no one expected it to become California's best and most popular music, art, and technology festival. The event, formerly known as the Fremont Art and Wine Festival soon became too popular- attracting crowds averaging 400,000- for its location. In 1990, the festival was re-located to Paseo Padre Parkway between Mowry Avenue and Walnut Avenue, where it has remained. The name was subsequently changed to "Festival of the Arts."
This year, Fremont's Festival of the Arts will occupy four miles of city streets, with 35 food booths of all varieties; beer and wine booths; a gourmet marketplace of vinegars, dips, salsas, mixes, and more and an art contest of Scrapbook Design, Hardware Art, Carpart Art, and Flower Arranging. Six hundred and fifty artists will attend this year's event to show their work.
The "Kid Zone" will return featuring a giant slide, rock climbing, carnival rides, a puppet show and Barnum and Bailey circus acts performing on the street stage at 2 p.m. Look for the kid's cafˇ with food and snacks for their namesake as well as a mainstream cafˇ with baked goods and coffee for the older generation.
The newest attractions - a "Wine Garden" and "Business Alley"- have proved popular additions to this venerable fair. At the 'Wine Garden', visitors can sip wine, nibble on elegant cuisine and vote for their favorites in a cool and secluded atmosphere. Business Alley is a trade show where Fremont Chamber of Commerce members are given the opportunity to display their products and services.
A highlight of this year's festival is the Firefighter Combat Challenge in which hundreds of firefighters representing the best of the bravest will compete head to head. The Firefighter Combat Challenge is a spirited competition that encourages firefighter fitness and demonstrates the profession's rigors. Presented by Albertson's and scheduled to be covered by ESPN, the Challenge will be held on both event days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday features "Streamlight Relays" and Sunday's competition continues with individual and team events. For more information visit www.firefighterchallenge.com
"The festival is entirely organized by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and many volunteers," says Cindy Bonior, member of the Chamber of Commerce, "and it is really fun for the festival-goers and all of the people involved."
The Fremont Festival of the Arts takes place Saturday July 31st and Sunday August 1st from 10am to 6pm between Paseo Padre Parkway and Liberty Street bounded by Mowry Avenue and Walnut Avenue. For more information, visit www.fremontfestival.com.