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 www.pleasantondowntown.net.
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).