Hundreds turned out Friday night for "It's a Spring Fling," a downtown Pleasanton evening of appetizers, drinks, live entertainment, festive decorations and special sales.
Balloons positioned out front showed off participating locations, which included most retailers. Downtown banks, as usual, were closed.
Up and down Main Street and most side streets, downtown merchants saw their stores filled with festive shoppers, many with children alongside, which business owners said bodes well for a more vibrant spring and summer as new shops come to Pleasanton to fill vacant buildings.
Little Valley Winery's owner Sandi Bohner rushed Friday afternoon to put the final touches on her new store at 739 Main St., just in time for evening strollers to sample her wines and listen to acoustic guitarist Roger Kardinal.
Also adding to sales opportunities was the start of Mother's Day weekend, which saw shops like Passionate Athlete, Thriving Ink, Clover Creek and Pans on Fire jammed with customers during much of the three-hour event.
Restaurants were also filled by diners who shopped first and ate later or began their downtown strolls at sidewalk restaurant tables first.
American Harvest at 438 Main Street was crowded with customers buying gifts for Mother's Day and also talking to artist Debbee Thibault, who came to Pleasanton to do a signing in the store.
At times, there were lines at the counter at Gourmet Works with customers placing special orders for chocolates, jams and gift items for Mother's Day.
Even Murphy's Paw next door was crowded, which could mean mothers tomorrow will receive special gifts that they can pass along to Fido.
Downtown businesses that participated, in addition to those mentioned above, included:
Towne Center Books, 555 Main Street, where representatives from the Holmes Family served food made from recipes in their cookbook, "Food Tastings."
Apparel & Co., 645 Main Street, which had homemade desserts.
Savvy Seconds, 560 Main Street, which featured a large chocolate fountain with fruit for the public to sample.
Jewelers Gallery, 614 Main St., which had a trunk show in the store with award winning jewelry designer Alwand Vahan.
Alexander's Fine Art, 608 Main Street, which featured desserts and a drawing for a piece of jewelry by local artist Susan Helmer.
The Berry Patch Craft Gallery, 963 West Angela St., which served iced mojito flavored (mint & lime) green tea and drawing for a gift basket.
Clover Creek, 670 Main Street, with many trays of appetizers from its next door neighbor Amarone restaurant.
Sincerely Yours Cards & Gifts, 711 Main Street, which offered a drawing for a gift basket.
Resurrection, 125 West Neal, Suite A, which served appetizers and beverages and a drawing for jewelry and gift certificates.
Studio 7 Fine Arts, 400 Main Street, where live Jazz was featured along with cheese, desserts and wine.
J'Aime Bridal, 111 West Neal Street, which offered shoppers bottles of water as well as a drawing for a pair of shoes.
All About Me and My Girls, 550 Main Street, which served coffee, soda, water and cookies, plus a drawing for a $50 gift certificate and a travel bag with bath products.
Stork's Nest, 55 W. Angela St. #100, which served desserts and a drawing for a gift certificate.
Cazinha Portrait Design, 551 Main Street, which offered desserts and a drawing for a complementary portrait session.
Baci Bistro and Bar, 500 Main Street, which served complimentary eggplant Bruschetta and held a drawing for a $50 gift card.
Cafe Main, 401 Main Street, which gave out pizza and also had a drawing for a $30 gift card.
Divine Skin & Body Care, 87 W. Neal Street, where wine was served along with a drawing for spa services and discounts for booking services that evening.
Merchants also gave out a special fresh flower to customers who made a purchase.
"It's a Spring Fling" was sponsored by the Pleasanton Downtown Association and participating merchants.