Reworked beer garden, vendor booths, live music features of tonight's First Wednesday street party

Latin group La Ventana performing at Cinco de Mayo-themed downtown street party

First Wednesday is back for the spring and summer season, with the first party kicking off at 6 p.m. tonight in Pleasanton's downtown.

Sponsored by the Pleasanton Downtown Association, the monthly street party will usher in more than 150 vendors selling products and marketing their services, a performance by popular local Latin group La Ventana and a reworked version of the beer and wine garden.

May's street party theme is Cinco de Mayo, since the Mexican holiday will be the day before.

"We have revamped the beer and wine garden," said Alisha Perdue, events coordinator for the PDA. "It is now larger and includes an area for families."

Still located in the Round Table Pizza parking lot, the garden will now take up two-thirds of the space as opposed to half.

The changes were made after some criticized how last year's beer garden was operated. After it was reported that minors were discovered in the area drinking alcohol, Pleasanton police said they would stop allowing families in the enclosed area to prevent underage drinking. That angered some who argued that First Wednesday is a family-oriented event and that families should be allowed to congregate in that area, which is located close to the live entertainment.

The family section will be located at the front of the parking lot while the drinking section will be towards the back. Wristbands will be handed out to people 21 and over.

In addition to the music and shopping opportunities, P-town Push Rods will display classic cars at the Coast Gas station at Main and Saint Mary streets and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department will have an engine on display at Division Street.

First Wednesday street parties draw 10,000 to 20,000 people and will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month through September. Main Street will be closed from St. John Street to Old Bernal Avenue from 5 to 10 p.m. Parking is available just off Main Street.

For more information, visit

School district holding art show

While First Wednesday is going on, the Pleasanton Unified School District will be holding its second annual district art show from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Veterans Hall, 301 Main St. The show will continue from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

On display will be over 500 works of visual art in both 2-D and 3-D formats with exhibits from every school in the district. Alongside the visual arts exhibitions will be an exciting program of performing arts. On Wednesday evening, performances will include Latin American dances from Valley View Elementary School's Dual Immersion Program, the Foothill High School orchestra, and the chamber choir from Amador Valley High School. Thursday night will feature the Hart Beat Singers from Hart Middle School and the Harvest Park Middle School choir with poetry readings from Pleasanton's Teen Poet Laureates Sarah York and Athena Lathos.

This year's event is being sponsored by Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) and Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation (PSEE).


Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on May 4, 2009 at 9:20 am

Good to see that families will still be able to enjoy the entertainment - along with their children.

Thanks to all for getting the additonal space!

Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 5, 2009 at 8:21 am

I just don't understand why we have to have a "corral" for all our events in P-town when it comes to serving beer and wine. Years ago we never had this, now the last few years we are sequestered into one area. Other towns have outdoor events all the time and serve alcohol on the streets (Danville, Fremont, Mountain View, San Carlos). Pleasanton is one of the only ones who has this restriction. Don't we have enough restriction in our lives without adding this? It was really nice to be able to walk around and browse the vendor booths with a glass of wine. Can we bring this tradition back somehow?

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2009 at 8:55 am

The reason that Pleasanton cannot do it is that the Pleasanton parents think their kids need to be everywhere at all events. The parents do not control their children and underage people end up drinking. The police should have an absolute zero tolerance policy and just arrest both the kids and the parents for the first offense. These no-discipline parents are risking a total enforcement of the drinking at the Friday night concerts too. Won't that be fun?
Pleasanton parents need to understand that there are some places where their kids and their dogs just do not belong. If you attend other major events (Fremont for example) there are warnings even on the website that no animals will be allowed. Animals are not allowed at the Farmer's market in Pleasanton but that does not stop people from bringing them and putting the event at risk for citations or closure from the health department. People need to stop being so selfish and abide by the rules so that the rest of us can enjoy the events.
I agree, wandering the streets at the Saratoga Art and Wine Festival was wonderful. We should be able to do that here as well.

Like this comment
Posted by janice j
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 5, 2009 at 10:17 am

I am wondering when this article sends you to you see the pleasanton hotel which is EMPTY...what a way to promote Pleasanton!

Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

Maybe we should make so many rules we can't do anything. No fireworks on the 4th only when the brains in law enforcement say we can have them and so on and so on. Lets all stay home so there is never a problem for anyone to worry about someone doing something that bothers someone else. Just keep making more rules and laws that we can't do anything but be ROBOTS doing only what certain people, politicians and other idiots say we can do.

Like this comment
Posted by downtown resident
a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Leave the dogs out of this please!!!!! I don't care for kids but I don't rule that we keep them away from events. If you don't like dogs, move around them and keep your mouth shut!!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Claudette McDermott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I think one of the reasons that our downtown events don't draw what other cities draw, is because of the no wine and beer in the streets at the events. It's a JoyKill.

Like this comment
Posted by Claudette McDermott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I rented a booth last year as a merchant and still saw some holding cups and walking around. Being forced to drink in one area also will have some guzzling their drinks so they can still have time to walk around...don't think thats a good idea. The idea of walking around with drinks you have paid for should be revisited and considered if you want our downtown events to be more successful. As it is the vendors don't make much money if any at all. I don't know where those numbers come from but as someone who has taken part of these events, they were no where near those numbers at the Wed Night Street Parties. As most events in the downtown, Vendors are there for promotional purposes and for the entertainment of those that come. The hopes are for sales but most walk away with having spent more time and money than they get back in return. I've talked to many vendors and have been a part of many shows and events, this is what is really going on.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Buzzkill
a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Hey c'mon, we're in a recession & the police need every dime they can get. Have you not noticed the marked increase in speed traps along Hopyard, Bernal, Stanley, Valley & Vineyard over the past few months? The kids on skateboards are either getting faster or smarter so there's less "available" crime to go after in this town.

There has been a terrible rise in the degree of the "Mommyocracy" in this town for some time. You wanted the noisy, mean bars out of downtown, well they're gone & so is about 75% of the supposed night life & restaurants on Main St. Is it Cinco de Mayo today too? Expect to see a few DUI checkpoints around town just waiting to grab somebody who's had...(gasp!) a beer after work! That's right all you MADD morons, .08 is about 1.5 beers for a 120lb. woman.

There used to be something called personal freedoms, liberty & most of all RESPONSIBILITY in civic life. We have legislated ourselves into a corner of which we are legally chained to & most likely unable to emerge from.

See you in the Beer Garden!

Like this comment
Posted by ya kiddin
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2009 at 8:49 pm

good lord -
I'm already bummed out
cheer up sad sacks, things are tuff enuf

Like this comment
Posted by Genius
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 6, 2009 at 11:14 am

Drawing from my college years....

Green keg cups people. Use green keg cups. The average idiot cop is used to the red keg cup, the the green keg cup goes without notice.

See you tonight, with my green keg cup, walking up and down Main Street.


Like this comment
Posted by Party time
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm

See everyone out tonight. Have fun and be safe.

Like this comment
Posted by Afterthought
a resident of Downtown
on May 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

Green cup, red cup it's all a red flag to the PDP. Our company has a tent & we exhibit for all the 1st Wed's & the ONLY sure fire way to have a portable road soda is a tall opaque, preferably with a lid, drink cup. I know it sucks to drink beer through a straw but then again, a nice tall Kettle & soda on ice (wine cooler, margarita, etc.) lasts a hell of lot longer.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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