Mountain View Voice

News - July 2, 2010

Victorian promenade on the 4th

by Emily Hamilton

Anyone who has ever wanted to dress up in Victorian-era clothing for the Fourth of July is in luck this year. The City of Mountain View and the Friends of Rengstorff House are hosting the first-ever Victorian Fashion Promenade on July 4. The event, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m., will feature a procession of costumed guests along with other activities for kids and families.

The festivities begin at Rengstorff House, Mountain View's oldest home, located at 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd. After the meet-and-greet at the house, those in costume will stroll through Shoreline Park. If you don't happen to have any Victorian duds in your closet, you can still join in by wearing red, white and blue.

"The event is an opportunity to raise awareness for Rengstorff House as a community historic resource, and to enjoy all that Shoreline at Mountain View has to offer on an already-busy holiday," said Kristina Rockhold, the city's senior recreation coordinator who organized the event.

Rockhold said that the promenade is part of a series of small-scale events involving Rengstorff House. An exhibition of Victorian fashion is currently on display at the house through July 29.

After the promenade, there will be storytelling for kids and a marionette show at the house. Benny Torres will perform All-American Jazz in the Rengstorff House gardens. Shoreline Aquatic Center will also have a Victorian-era skipper offering boat rides across the lake. In addition to the annual Santa Maria BBQ, Michaels at Shoreline will be offering red, white and blue pancakes.

Rockhold said she hopes the July 4 event will spark enthusiasm about the house. The programs are sponsored by the Friends of 'R' House, many of whom have been involved since the house was restored nearly 20 years ago.

"There is a need for new people to continue the work that the friends have been doing," Rockhold said.

Built by early Mountain View pioneer Henry Rengstorff, the historic home is now open three days a week for tours led by volunteer docents. They tell guests of Rengstorff's story and what life was like back in the Victorian era, Rockhold said.

For information about Rengstorff House or the July 4 event, call (650) 903-6392.

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