Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - April 28, 2006

First Wednesday street parties are back

Meet downtown for music, food and fun

Summer is just around the corner and that means Pleasanton residents can look forward to spending warm evenings downtown during the Pleasanton Downtown Association's popular First Wednesday street parties. As the name says, the parties are held on the first Wednesday of every month from May to September. The PDA has been throwing the parties for years and it has become a favorite summer activity of many Pleasanton residents.

Next Wednesday marks the first street party of the year and, in honor of the upcoming holiday, the party has a Cinco de Mayo theme. In keeping with this theme, La Ventana, a locally based eight-piece band that performs Latin, rock, reggae and hip hop music, will put on a live show and get everyone dancing downtown.

Downtown and Tri-Valley businesses will have booths selling their wares and many charities, nonprofits, school groups and other organizations will also be present to meet with community members and pass out information. Even more fun for residents is running into neighbors and friends and catching up with people you may not have seen in a while. Every street party draws 4,000-8,000 people.

This summer the PDA has many fun themes and great bands lined up for each party. The June First Wednesday, which is June 7, will have a Mardi Gras theme, so there are sure to be tons of beads downtown that night. On July 5, the theme is "Red White and Blues" in honor of the Fourth of July holiday which will have just past and the band Deja Blues will provide music. August's party is a favorite every year. Titled the "Dog Days of Summer," one of the party highlights is the "Pooch Parade" where pet guardians dress up their dogs and march downtown. After the parade, dogs can win prizes in a variety of categories. This year the date is August 2. The last street party will be September 1 and is aptly named "It's Septemberfest." During the party, the four-piece band Public Eye will perform classic hits and will be back that same week during the Friday Concerts in the Park series.

Parties last from 6-9 p.m. E-mail events@pleasantondowntown.net or visit www.pleasantondowntown.net for more information.

--Rebecca Guyon

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