The 1st Wednesday street parties kick off their summer run starting at 6 p.m. tonight in downtown Pleasanton, celebrating the start of the popular event with a Cinco de Mayo theme.
The Beer Garden is gone, replaced by a new alcohol-free, family-focused "Entertainment Garden" with the same large sitting area and music for dancing and listening. PDA Director Laura Olson said the street party is expected to bring renewed interest from parents who stopped attending the event because of the drinking crowd.
A cordoned-off area for families had been provided at the Beer Garden, but that space was far from the bandstand, adding more criticism from those objecting to the sometimes rowdy crowds in the area reserved for alcoholic beverages.
Besides the new Entertainment Garden, the PDA also is expanding its Farmers Market this year, moving it closer to the heart of the event and giving shoppers an additional summer day to buy fresh produce in downtown Pleasanton. The same certified Farmers Market that is on Angela Street on Saturdays will be open from 6-9 p.m. on 1st Wednesdays on St. Mary Street.
Also this year, 1st Wednesdays will continue to host artists and artisans at "ArtBlock," located on Angela Street. The block allows strollers to visit with painters, sculptors, jewelers and more.
Plus, there will be live music each month in addition to the featured band in the Entertainment Garden. Musicians including local bands, youth groups and others will be featured in various locations during the 1st Wednesday season.
In addition to the start of the 1st Wednesday street parties, the PDA's Concerts in the Park will start Friday evening, June 6, with classic soul music by the West Grand Boulevard band. The concerts, which start at 7 p.m. in Lions Wayside Park at the corner of First and Neal streets in Pleasanton, will feature:
The James Nagel Band on June 13;
Ruckatan Latin Tribe, June 20;
The Crisis, June 27;
Cooltones, July 11;
OTR, July 18;
Plastic Paddy , July 25;
Finding Stella, Aug. 1;
Tommy and the 4 Speeds, Aug. 8;
Burton & Co, Aug. 15;
Magic Moments, Aug. 22;
and Public Eye, Aug. 29, which will be the final concert of the season on Labor Day weekend.
For more information about the PDA and its events, sign on to the organization's website at http:www.pleasantondowntown.net/