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August 19, 2009 > Newark's SummerFest a unique brew

Newark's SummerFest a unique brew

By Julie Grabowski

The Newark Chamber of Commerce reaches their long sought festival goal when the inaugural SummerFest hits Newpark Mall Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23. Unlike the typical street fair, SummerFest has a distinct theme and aim: microbrews and music. "We wanted a festival unlike any others currently being done in the area and realized that no one else was doing a microbrew fest between Oakland and San Jose. This would be a unique way to achieve our goal of bringing the most people out from all the wonderful cultures in our town," says Event Coordinator Colleen Ganaye.

Offerings from over 20 breweries will set up outside the old Mervyn's building, ready to make new friends and confirm old favorites. A festival beer mug or wine glass can be purchased for $10 and comes with three drink tokens. Additional tokens cost $4 each or three for $10. Sample the flagship amber ale of San Leandro's Drake's Brewing Co., the wheat beer of Napa Smith Brewery, or a stout shot of aloha from Maui Brewing Co.

Idaho's Grand Teton Brewing Co. will be present, along with Firestone Walker Brewing Company, one of the United State's most awarded breweries. And adding a touch of international flavor is Japan's Asahi. ID's will be checked regularly, and the Newark Police will be on hand to help keep things safe. For those interested in concocting their own beer, two major home brew supply stores will have booths providing education and connections, as well as demonstrations on how to brew beer.

Partnering the brews is a diverse musical menu from a dozen Bay Area groups including classic rock from The Die Hards, the country sounds of Highway 4, Tierra Del Sol's Latin rhythms, and the jazz saxophone of Rick Hendricks. Newark native and Blues Hall of Famer Ron Thompson with also be taking the stage with his band the Resistors.

But SummerFest doesn't forgo traditional festival staples; approximately 40 arts and crafts vendors will be on site, along with a Kids Zone, motorcycle and car show, and of course, great food. Non-profit groups and professional vendors will be serving up cheese steak sandwiches, BBQ chicken skewers, linguica, gourmet nachos, hot pastrami sandwiches, Filipino and Indian dishes, kettle korn, shaved ice, and deep fried Twinkies.

The motorcycle and car show begins Saturday morning with motorcycles on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., cars and trucks showing 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Vehicles are selected via an entry process; participants can win a People's Choice Award of $500 cash each day. Emergency Vehicles Club will be showing a few cars from their collection, as well as providing a display of vintage police equipment.

Local businesses and non-profits will also have booths from which to distribute information about their services and causes. "The Newark Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to providing our local businesses with a platform on which to display and market their businesses, as well as giving local non-profits some visibility in the community," says Ganaye. Viola Blythe Community Service Center and Tri-City League of Volunteers will be selling tickets for a Silent Auction Raffle with several gift baskets as prizes. "In this way we are supporting our local charities and giving them a platform to raise some much needed money."

Festival goers can get a deluxe experience by purchasing a ticket to the Beer Garden for $50. Price includes preferred parking and shaded seating in the VIP tent with clear stage viewing, lunch from the food vendor of your choice, and unlimited beer or wine throughout the day. Beer will not be poured in the tent, but ticket holders are welcome to bring it in as well as enjoy complimentary water and sodas in the tent all day. Pre-purchasing tickets is recommended due to limited space, and can be bought online at

"It has taken input and work from the entire Board of Directors of the Newark Chamber of Commerce as well as over 200 volunteers to pull this off," says Ganaye. "Special thanks go out to Linda Ashley, CEO/President of the Newark Chamber of Commerce; Greg Magee, past Chairman of the Board and manager of the Newark Hilton Hotel; Debbie Derham of Derham Logan EAs; Carol Palinkas of EmbroidMe; Alex Butkus of Butkus Design; and Margo LeDuc of Voices by Margo. They were all on the steering committee and put much extra time into the development of all aspects of the event."

Don't miss the chance to check out what's brewing at Newark's new SummerFest.

For more information contact Colleen Ganaye at (510) 557-7025 or visit

Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Newpark Mall
2086 Newpark Mall, Newark
(510) 557-7025


Concert schedule:

10:30 a.m. - Portuguese Entertainment Dancing
11:30 a.m. - The Die Hards (Classic Rock)
12:30 p.m. - Johnny Reason (guitarist and singer)
1:30 p.m. - Highway 4 (Country)
3:00 p.m. - Rick Hendricks (Jazz saxophone)
4:00 p.m. - Clifford Coulter and Margo LeDuc (Pop, Classic, Jazz, Blues)

10:30 a.m. - Kumukamakani (Hawaiian dance)
11:30 - Tierra Del Sol (Latino)
12:30 p.m. - The Margo LeDuc Singers
1:30 p.m. - California Dreamin' (tribute band)
3:00 p.m. - Clockwork (harmony singers)
4:00 p.m. - Ron Thompson and the Resistors (Blues)

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