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July 02, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, July 02, 2004

Beer festival back on tap Beer festival back on tap (July 02, 2004)

Art & Wine, Obon festivals coming this summer

By David Herbert

This summer is shaping up to be an exciting one in downtown Mountain View as residents gear up for the annual Art & Wine and Obon festivals and the return of the Small Brewers Festival after a one-year hiatus.

After taking a break last summer, organizer Pat Figueroa is bringing the Small Brewer's Festival back to Mountain View. The two-day beer tasting celebration features more than 40 brewers from throughout California and more hops than the Easter Bunny, but Figueroa stresses the emphasis is not on getting drunk.

"People coming are to taste different beers," she said. "It's expensive if you come to drink."

The event, she added, has had "very, very few problems" in the past, thanks in part because the festival takes place at the Mountain View Tied House Cafe and Brewery, located one block away from the police department. The event organizers also keep close tabs on underage drinking and encourage the close to 12,000 revelers that are expected to attend to take public transportation so they don't drive drunk.

The money raised through the festival, usually around $50,000, is donated to local causes including local Boy Scout Troop 80 and the Mountain View Historical Society.

"Being a good neighbor is a strong policy for us," Figueroa said.

The Art and Wine Festival will make its 33rd annual appearance in downtown Mountain View this summer. Taking up an eight-block expanse of Castro Street, the event will feature the arts and crafts handiwork of over 650 artists, live music and plenty of exotic food from around the globe.

Because the festival is scheduled for the weekend including Sept. 11, organizers are also working on a public ceremony to take place at noon on that day, according to Mountain View Chamber of Commerce President Carol Olson. Crowds of up to 200,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which runs from Sept. 11-12.

Also featured this summer will be the 52nd annual Obon Festival, an event organized by the Mountain View Buddhist Temple. The two-day affair will bring Japanese food, music and dancing to the city during the season of "Obon," meaning "season of gathering joy," during which Buddhists remember deceased loved ones.

All of these festivals, Olson explained, are a boon to the local economy.

"Any event that brings people to our community and in particular our downtown ... is a great marketing opportunity for local businesses," she said.

E-mail David Herbert at dherbert@mv-voice.com


Information

Small Brewer's Festival
Aug. 14-15
Mountain View Tied House Cafe & Brewery, 954 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041


Mountain View Art & Wine Festival
Sept. 11-12
Castro Street


Obon Festival
July 17-18


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