There is a vast list of summer happenings throughout Northern California, but there is one event in this area which marks the peak of summer excitement and family fun when it comes to festivals. I am talking about the Palo Alto Arts Festival, being held Saturday August 22nd through Sunday August 23rd. Located about a half hour north of San Jose, Palo Alto has held an Arts Festival for the past 33 years. The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce hosts the festival and the entire community comes together to celebrate, admire, and purchase incredible arts and crafts. There are over 300 artists expected this year with a wide variety of style and media types to browse through. The artists come from Northern California and out of state, many of which take pride in this festival being an exclusive west coast showing for them. All of the artists will be lined up in booths back to back along University Avenue, forming the main arena for the festival.
There are more than arts and crafts at the Festival. You will be serenaded all weekend long by musicians playing a wide range of genres. There are two stages set to have live performances throughout the weekend. The Waverly Stage will showcase bands such as Blue House, 7th Wave and The Ones. The Webster Stage will have performers Nancy Cassidy, Sweetgrass and Peter Connolly, and more. There are a lot of musicians worth checking out, with performances starting 10:00 am and going well past 5:00 each day. There are also street performers set to entertain all up and down University Avenue. As you walk along the festival booths, you can stop for a snack or refreshment at food courts located along Bryant, Emerson or Waverly Streets and get a beer or glass of wine at Bryant, Cowper, Emerson, Ramona, Waverly and Webster Streets.
The Palo Alto Arts Festival has become known as a premier event with exciting special features not to be missed. Perhaps one of the most popular aspects of the festival is the Italian Street Painting Expo. This fundraiser will go on throughout the weekend and involves artists creating temporary art on the sidewalk. Artists can paint up to a 12 foot by 12 foot space, and the pieces are as varied as the booth art. There have been classic recreations, abstract modern art, portraits and three d images done.
The kids can get involved first hand with this part of the Arts Festival with the Kids Art Studio, where they can paint their own 4 foot by 4 foot square. The studio is run by local families and the Palo Alto Parents & Professionals for Art organization, providing hands on art experiences, from chalk to paint, ceramics and more.
If the Arts Festival becomes a bit chaotic, you can take a break at a unique feature, stop by the Sculpture Plaza at the corner of Cowper and University. This area will be a garden of fountains created by local artist Damien Jones. Take a stroll and enjoy the soothing sounds of these ceramic fountains, each a piece of art and beauty.
There is one thing to note before you go to the Palo Alto Arts Festival, the town has a new ordinance in place banning the use of plastic and paper bags for shopping purchases. You should plan to bring your own tote for the artistic treasures you are sure to find, though you can also purchase cloth bags at the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce booth, priced at $5 each. The Palo Alto Arts Festival is an ideal way to spend one of the last weekends of summer. Bring the family, come with friends, and see one of the best aspects of our region, our art, for yourself. When you are ready to buy or sell a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.