Pleasanton's Library and Recreation Department will be hosting a series of cultural celebration events starting this weekend with the goal of bringing community members together to partake in various cultural activities.
"The city values the importance of honoring, embracing and celebrating the many cultural heritages and traditions of our community," Nick Binzoni, community and public relations coordinator for the department, told the Weekly. "With inclusiveness as one of its core values, the Library and Recreation Department believes that offering meaningful cultural events is an important part of its service to the community."
Each event will offer family activities and performances to honor Pleasanton's cultural diversity, according to a press release from the city.
"As part of its commitment to the value of inclusion, the city of Pleasanton is excited to offer a series of events throughout the year, inviting individuals of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate our cultural communities through arts, music and learning," according to the release.
The series will kick off on Saturday (Oct. 7) with a Hispanic Heritage Celebration at the Alviso Adobe Community Park in observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
"While planning the upcoming Hispanic Heritage Celebration, city staff collaborated closely with the Pleasanton-Tulancingo Sister City Association, the Hispanic Heritage Center, the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council and members of the Pleasanton Unified School District, among others," Binzoni said. "The planning of this event was also supported by the involvement of many individual community members with Hispanic heritage."
Residents will be invited to a free morning bilingual hike at the Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail before attending a bilingual music story time performed by retro acoustic band Cascada de Flores at 11:15 a.m.
"Individuals of all ages will enjoy original stories told in Spanish and English, using song, a variety of musical instruments, dance, theater and characters from traditional Mexican and Latin American cultures," city officials said.
The Pleasanton Unified School District's Estrella del Pueblo Mariachi Program will also be performing at the event and members of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council, Pleasanton-Tulancingo Sister City Association and Hispanic Heritage Center will all be present with information and activities.
Following this Saturday's festivities, there will be three separate cultural celebration events happening in November.
The first will be on Nov. 4 to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, which is a holiday meant to honor the memory of those who have died.
Followed by that, there will be a Diwali Celebration -- also known as the Festival of Lights -- that will take place on Nov. 5 and feature music and dance performances from Vaishnavi Misra Dance and Music, a dance school based in Pleasanton.
Then on Nov. 18, the city will celebrate Native American Heritage Month at the Alviso Adobe Community Park.
"As we begin planning the following celebrations in the series, we will continue to collaborate with local cultural groups and seek the invaluable knowledge and guidance they provide," Binzoni said. "We are committed to ensuring that representatives from these organizations have an opportunity to play a central role in every stage of program planning."
Other programs planned for next year include: Lunar New Year, Black History Month, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month and Juneteenth. According to the press release, these future events will take place in various locations such as the Pleasanton Library, Senior Center, Alviso Adobe, Firehouse Arts Center and the Amador Theater.
Those will all also feature family friendly activities and performances that "embrace the beauty of the community's cultural diversity."
"We strive to create experiences that foster a greater understanding and appreciation for different cultures among all members of the community," Binzoni said. "By coming together at these celebrations, we will collectively strengthen our cultural awareness, which will lead to tighter social bonds, deeper empathy, and a greater sense of belonging and unity for all individuals. Diversity is the backbone of any vibrant community and enhances the social fabric of our city."