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September 25, 2007 > Fall Festival an expanding tradition

Fall Festival an expanding tradition

By Julie Grabowski

Hues of red and gold tinge leaves, daylight hours are dwindling and a hint of coolness is in the air. These signs indicate fall and the return of Union City's Annual Fall Festival of the Arts, this year on Sunday, September 30. Now in its fourth year, the Festival's growth has necessitated its very own day after previous years of co-habitation with the Saturday Farmers Market in Old Alvarado Park. "The Festival booth space was maxed out last year and everyone involved voted to graduate to our own day," says Diane La Mountaine, President of the Art Association of the East Bay (AAEB). "Feedback from community art advocates and music and wine lovers suggested that the Festival could grow if the larger park area that the market takes on Saturdays was dedicated to the participating art and craft booths, with music, food and wine in the Pavilion area."

This has proven to be true as increased interest and participation are evident this year. Festivities have expanded to offer unique art including photography, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, hand-poured candles, recycled redwood planters, glass pendants, and colored pencil and acrylic works. AAEB will have its own booth as well featuring the works of member artists.

In addition to artworks, commercial and nonprofit participation includes Century 21 Realty, Discover Chiropractic, and a kiosk where SAVE (Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments) will distribute information about domestic violence and what to do about it. American Golf/Bay Area Golf Learning Centers, new to the Festival, will feature instructor Kim Stevens who will provide information about lessons available throughout the East Bay and invite attendees to enjoy fun pitch and putt games. Drawings will also be held for the chance to win lessons or golf games.

"This is a great pre-holiday shopping opportunity I look forward to each year," says Linda Fernandes, AAEB member and enthusiastic art advocate in Union City. "Last year there were great bargains on wonderful art work, custom jewelry, and one-of-a-kind pieces of hand-made dishes, bowls, and garden pots."

On the gastronomic side of things, Pasta Pomodoro will partner with the wine booth; Angel De La Cruz and Manager Sonya Munoz will offer bruschetta and a wonderful pasta dish. A choice of one of two great wines from a local boutique winery will available for tasting in an exclusive souvenir glass for $5. "Each year, the goal is to find a great white and red wine that is not available at retail," says Festival Committee Member Bob Swartz. "We want to keep people coming back to see what winery we've found to help us reach our goal each year." An assortment of drinks, sandwiches, and pastries can also be obtained at Paddy's Coffee House directly across the street from the park.

The day's entertainment kicks off in a big way at 10 a.m. with 25 members of Kawailehua performing Hawaiian music, dance, and song. The Pavilion stage is booked throughout the day welcoming the jazz groove of Pep Sounds, the exotic moves of the Tehani Studio dancers, the R&B/soul vocals of Jumoke Hill, and Josh Hollister with original folk music. Festival attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs and relax on the grass around the Pavilion to enjoy the music, food, and festive atmosphere. The young and young at heart can let loose in the Fun House, get their faces painted, and try a new hairstyle courtesy of Braids by Darlene. Kids can also make bracelets at the Fits Your Fancy booth.

The Fall Festival is an opportunity to mingle with neighbors, make new friends and support the talent and passions of local artists. Festival proceeds are used to support additional local art and cultural events. And for all the creative people out there, booth space is still available!

Parking is plentiful at Alvarado Elementary School, side streets around the park, and the lot behind Paddy's. So come and enjoy all the delights of a vibrant Festival day.

The Fall Festival of the Arts is proudly sponsored and supported by the Art Association of the East Bay, Tri-Ced Community Recycle, Paddy's Coffee House, Leisure Services, Tri-City Voice, Kinko's, the Argus, Pasta Pomodoro, Penny Saver, Alhambra Water, Union City Chamber of Commerce, and Union City Police and Fire Departments. The AAEB also appreciates the volunteers from Logan High's Interact Club helping with setup and breakdown of the event.

For more information on the Festival or to apply for booth space contact Diane La Mountaine at (510) 477-9459.

Fourth Annual Fall Festival of the Arts
Sunday, September 30
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Old Alvarado Park, Union City
(Across from Paddy's, 3900 Smith St.)
(510) 477-9459

Performance Schedule:
10 a.m.-11 a.m. Kawailehua
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Pep Sounds
12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. Tehani Studio dancers
1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Jumoke Hill
1:45 p.m.-2:05 p.m. Josh Hollister
2:20 p.m.-3:20 p.m. Pep Sounds

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