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April 27, 2010 > Niles opens its Town Plaza

Niles opens its Town Plaza

Submitted By Judy Corrie

Fremont's Historic Niles District is celebrating another new addition, which means there's one more good reason for visitors to discover this special emerging destination spot. As part of Fremont's redevelopment efforts, the Niles Town Plaza is now open and ready for use. This area is comprised of two original historic railroad buildings, each over 100 years old and newly restored. Adding to the railroad theme are functional RR crossing signals and a bright red caboose. Special care was taken to provide a comfortable amphitheater that's perfect for enjoyment of small music events; attendees can relax while taking in the unobstructed view of the foothills. Businesses and residents alike are looking forward to many casual visits and planned events that are in the plaza's future.

It only seems fitting that the first event will be a two-day celebration of the completion of the plaza itself. The festivities are May 1st and 2nd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Niles Boulevard in Fremont between "I" Street and "H" Street.

On Saturday, there will be entertainment by a large variety of musicians, featuring folk and Americana music that local Michael McNevin has brought together. To add to the family atmosphere there will be several old fashion games for children such as tic-tac-toe beanbag toss and mini-golf. Additional fun can be found in face painting and creative photo ops with wooden cut out props, one featuring Charlie Chaplin. The wooden cut out is not to be mistaken for the real Charlie Chaplin look-alike who will be roaming among the activities.

Also on hand to entertain will be the Gunfighters of the Old West who will perform two shows on both Saturday and Sunday; in between shows, these Western garbed characters will be mingling with visitors to add to the flavor of the day. To continue with the western feeling, the Niles Canyon Railroad will be bringing in a steam engine providing photo opportunities. Please note that the train will not be available to ride Saturday, but will be on a regular schedule the following day, May 2nd.

For those visitors who can't get enough of trains, at 4 p.m. the Essanay Silent Film Museum will be presenting the movie "The Great Train Robbery". The museum is located at 37417 Niles Boulevard and their web site is

It will also be the first day of The Niles Depot Museum's grand reopening since being moved from Mission Boulevard and resettled back in its original 1901 location. Although most of the event is free, there is a suggested donation for a tour of the museum: adults $3, children $1, and families $8 (2 adults with up to 4 children). In addition to historic memorabilia, the museum offers a railroading display and operating model railroads.

On Sunday the festivities will continue with additional music on the plaza and there will be a return of the western gunfighters. Also, The Niles Canyon Railway will be running the wildflower train between Niles and Sunol. This non-profit suggests donations of $5 for children age 3 through 12 (infants through age 2 ride free) $8 for seniors age 62 and older, and $10 for everyone else. Schedules are available at

Niles Town Plaza celebration
Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Niles Blvd., between "I" and "H" Streets, Fremont
(510) 742-9868

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