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May 13, 2009 > Wildflower, Art and Garden Show

Wildflower, Art and Garden Show

By Miriam G. Mazliach
Photos By Keith Elrod

Just as the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano each year, spring follows winter and so too, crowds gather in the picturesque district of Niles every May to celebrate its annual Wildflower, Art and Garden Show.

Sponsored by the Niles Main Street Association, this year's 16th annual event takes place on Sunday, May 17 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the wildflower lined main street of Niles Boulevard, featuring a variety of garden and plant vendors as well as artists displaying their wares. In addition, outside on the sidewalks, many of Niles' merchants will showcase items available for purchase.

According to Al Cunha of Antique Treasures, "You'll find more garden items than you could imagine in such a small and unique location: plants, roses, orchids, and even birdbaths." The street corners of Niles Boulevard will each feature a major plant vendor from Watsonville Nursery, Mt. Diablo Nursery, Lover's Roses and Friends of Heirloom Flowers. Regan Nursery is the generous main sponsor of this year's event.

Among the bounty of selections available to event-goers, artists and crafters will be displaying paintings, sculptures, wind chimes, jewelry, and even scented handmade soaps.

Other favorite attractions such as the Niles Canyon Railway will be in operation, offering wines from local vintners during their excursion between Niles and Sunol. The Essanay Silent Film Museum will be open for business, as will most of the local restaurants and antique shops that are characteristic of Niles. Meanwhile, at the historic Shinn House, a reel of silent films will be shown throughout the day, provided by Essanay.

In addition to the main street activities, tickets may be purchased for the Garden Tour of 10 area homes. The self-guided tour, priced at $12 in advance and $15 on event day, takes place between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. "Local homeowners in Niles have generously donated their homes for inclusion in the special garden tour on behalf of the community," says Carol Williamson of My Friends and I and a member of the Niles Main Street Association. The tour gives attendees the chance to admire diverse gardens, each with their own unique landscaping, flowers and plants.

Advance tickets and maps may be picked up at Keith's Collectibles located at 37573 Niles Boulevard and My Friends and I at 37521 Niles Boulevard. Tickets can also be ordered online at On event day, members of the Niles Main Street Association will have a booth situated at H Street and Niles Boulevard from which to purchase tickets and obtain the map of homes on the Garden tour.

Wildflower, Art and Garden Show
Sunday, May 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Niles Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 742-9868

Garden Tour
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tickets $12 in advance; $15 day of event
(510) 742-9868

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