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July 31, 2012 > Fremont Festival of the Arts

Fremont Festival of the Arts

By Isabella Ohlmeyer
Photos By Julie Grabowski

Art can elicit and inspire a wide variety of human emotions including passion, joy and love. The Fremont Chamber of Commerce recognizes and honors the significance of art each year by hosting the annual Fremont Festival of the Arts. This year, the festival will be held August 4-5, marking its 29th appearance.

The festival began in 1983 as a small art show at the Fremont Hub shopping center. Over the years, it has migrated to its present location spanning a significant portion of Central Fremont stretching along Paseo Padre Parkway, Capitol Avenue and State Street, becoming the largest free street festival on the West Coast. Approximately 385,000 attendees turn out each year to enjoy the ambiance and browse through the offerings of around 650 artisans.

"The shopping at the festival is great. It is a good opportunity to pick up unusual pieces of art, run into friends, and support local non-profit organizations," said Fremont Chamber of Commerce CEO and Festival Director Cindy Bonior.

Nancy Graeber, owner of Graeber Creations, is one of the newer artisans participating in the festival, her first experience being last year. "We are hoping for returning customers from last year's festival as well as fresh new faces," said Graeber who, along with fellow artisans, take a tremendous pride in participation in this unique event. In keeping with the spirit of the Festival of the Arts, Graeber Creations jewelry is handmade and "each piece is unique and inspired by nature."

The festival also showcases local businesses at Business Alley on State Street. Jones Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center is a local business that has been involved with the festival for five years. Office manager Arlene Florendo said, "The festival brings in so many people each year and it is a great way to tell others what our business has to offer."

And what is a festival without food? The annual event will host a Gourmet Marketplace, filled with specialty foods from a wide range of vendors. A sampling of the mouthwatering delicacies waiting for hungry and discriminating foodies include Cajun barbeque from Crazy Charley, balsamic vinegars at the Tres Classique and sauces from Promo's Gourmet Food Company.

A classic and relaxing part of the festival is the popular Wine Garden. Admission to the festival is free, but there is a cost for admission into the Wine Garden. "We encourage guests to attend the Wine Garden because it enhances their experience overall at the event," Bonior said. The cost is $50 per day, which includes premium wines, a lunch buffet, VIP parking, and complimentary mojito and red sangrias.

"While the festival has many of the same aspects annually, we try to incorporate new ideas every year," Bonior said. New to this year's festival is the inclusion of mobile food trucks; proceeds will benefit non-profit organizations.

After satisfying hunger by grabbing a bite to eat, guests can meander over to two entertainment stages and listen to outstanding musical offerings. At the Paseo Padre Stage on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m., jazz band Crucial Conversation will entertain with smooth tunes, and from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., tribute band Petty Theft will warm the hearts of Tom Petty fans. Over on the State Street stage from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the M24 Band will soothe guests with gospel and blues. On Sunday, August 5 from 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. the Max Cruise Band from Livermore will perform classic rock songs.

At Kid City, children can have fun with arts and crafts, enjoy hula dancing, face painting, and watch a special presentation by middle school kids who applied to be Kid City Mayor and Vice Mayor. The ceremony will take place at Kid City on August 4 at 10 a.m. Winners were determined from an essay contest for K-6th graders that posed the question of how communities can work together.

Bonior said, "The heart of the festival is that we support our community. That is why we do this in the first place."

Bring your children, families, and friends to Festival of the Arts for a weekend of fun, art, music and food; a community extravaganza.

Fremont Festival of the Arts
Saturday, Aug 4 - Sunday, Aug 5
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Central Fremont
(Between Paseo Padre Pkwy. and Fremont Blvd.; Mowry Ave. and Walnut Ave.)
(510) 795-2244

Entertainment schedule (times subject to change):

Paseo Padre Stage (Paseo Padre Pkwy and Walnut Ave)

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Crucial Conversation (Jazz)
Noon - 1:30 p.m.: Contino (Blues/Zydeco)
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: The Butlers (Classic Rock)
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Petty Theft (Tom Petty Tribute)

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Jessica Caylyn (Country)
Noon - 1:30 p.m.: LunaFish ('60s - '70s Rock)
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Lara Price (Blues)
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: East Bay Mudd (R&B)

State Street Stage (State St and Beacon Ave)

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: M24 Band (Gospel/Blues)
Noon - 1 p.m.: The Snarky Cats (Variety)
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Charged Particles (Jazz)
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Midlife Vices (Classic Rock)
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Midlife Vices (Classic Rock)

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Steven Graves (Singer/Songwriter)
Noon - 1 p.m.: Green Tie Jazz Band
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: The FOG (Blues)
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Max Cruise (Classic Rock)
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Monarch Electric Jazz Band (Jazz Fusion)

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