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September 24, 2008 > A bountiful harvest of arts

A bountiful harvest of arts

By Julie Grabowski

As the coolness of autumn descends, thoughts turn festive - anticipating coming holidays, activities, and togetherness. Union City provides the perfect kickoff to the season with its 5th Annual Fall Festival of the Arts held in Old Alvarado Park Sunday, September 28. The festival continues to improve each year, offering arts, crafts, food, and local wine from returning favorites and great new additions in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

"I appreciate the support the City of Union City gives this great community event," says Diane La Mountaine, founder and president of the Art Association of the East Bay, Inc., and leader of the charge "to keep the arts alive and moving forward in this community." The festival opens a window to the diverse and numerous local artists among us whose talents add richness to life and community.

Liz Chavoor has been involved in the arts most of her life from childhood art lessons to a college major, membership on the Hayward Arts Council, Fremont Art Association and participation in art shows throughout the years. She brings her beautiful pastel and collage work to the Fall Festival for the third year, saying, "It's nice to be able to show my work locally." But Chavoor claims participating in the festival isn't so much about getting her name spread around: "It's really just for fun." She believes the size of the event is a positive factor, where one can stroll and enjoy without being overwhelmed by sheer quantity. "It's a little taste of everything," says Chavoor.

An estimated 25 booths will fill the park offering photography, fine art, pottery, silk scarves and glass pendants, custom embroidery, facial/spa products, hand-poured candles, rock water fountains and sculptures, jewelry, photo frames, angel figurines and artificial plants. The soundtrack to this year's festival is provided by smooth jazz and R&B band Chocolate Rice, whose vibrant and soulful sounds spring from the traditions of funk, jazz, blues and R&B. Of course where there is music, there is dance. Members of Decoto Aztec dancers Ollin Anahuac (meaning movement and hand of the North or eagle) will perform traditional dances with handmade headdresses, drums, and rattles. Julie Bugarin's students from the Tehani Dance Studio bring the happy isles of Oceania to the city with help from the Tamali'i Polynesian Dancers. This diverse multi-award winning group specializes in the dances of Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and New Zealand under the direction of Yolanda Ku'uipo Taufa'asau Vincent.

Delights from the vine will be plentiful as local vintner Chuck Harvey pours donated Zinfandel from his own label created with friends the Machados, Fords, and Blakesleys, while discussing the art of wine making. Chateau Amis Cellars started life in Harvey's garage, producing the aptly named Chateau Garage. The team has gone on to create premium Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cabernet, and Zinfandel Port, winning numerous awards in amateur winemaking competitions. They use grapes from Stan and Gertie Planchon's family vineyard in the environs of Oakley, where 86-year-old Stan still cares for the vines that date back to the turn of the century. Though the majority of his crop is sold to high-end producers of Zinfandel, a generous friendship allows this special fruit to be sampled by festival-goers. A white wine from the Livermore Valley will also be available; and tasters can take home a special edition, limited edition, 5th Annual 2008 Fall Festival wine glass. Pasta Pomodoro returns with delectable Italian temptations and a prize wheel, while Custom Black Tie Ice Cream takes care of dessert. Paddy's Coffee House across the street is always a great place for a variety of treats and beverages.

The health conscious can consult with Dr. Nejads of Chiro Sports U.S.A. based in Union City or have a free dental exam and low cost oral cancer exam from Dr. Virk. Kim Stevens of American Golf will be on hand to provide tips and instruction to golf lovers or those interested in learning about the game.

For car enthusiasts and those who simply enjoy peeking through a window into the past, a 1967 Dodge Dart reproduction police car will be on display, thanks to the generosity of owner Reiner Glausch. Serving with his wife Sheryl as the California state representatives for the Emergency Vehicle Owners and Operators Association, Glausch has restored cars for 17 years. The Dart is his second police car and very popular in car shows, safety fairs, National Night Out, and numerous local parades. True to the 1960's era, the car will also contain vintage police equipment, along with the Zodiac Killer's wanted poster, Charles Manson's mug shot and other crime-related items of the time.

The fifth time around promises to be the best of the Fall Fests; one not to be missed! This event is made possible by the following generous sponsors and supporters: Art Association of the East Bay, Leisure Services, Tri-Ced Community Recycle, Paddy's Coffee House, Tri-City Voice, Chiro Sports U.S.A./Dr. Nejad, Dr. Virk's dental office, Argus, Bob Swartz, Pasta Pomodoro, Carol J. Vernaci E.A., Fely Kwan, Jim Navarro, Dan and Linda Fernandes, Union City Chamber of Commerce, Kim Stevens/American Golf, and Union City Police and Fire Departments.

Fall Festival of the Arts
Sunday, September 28
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. Chocolate Rice
11 a.m. - Noon Tehani Dance Studio
Noon - 12:30 p.m. Chocolate Rice
12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. Aztec dancers Ollin Anahuac
1 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Chocolate Rice
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. Tamali'i Polynesian Dancers
3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Chocolate Rice

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