Mountain View Voice

- May 13, 2011

Spring blossoms into festival season

Mountain View's A La Carte & Art Kicks Off the Bay Area's Festival Season May 21-22

It's time to spring into festival season! The Bay Area's popular summer festival circuit officially kicks-off on May 21-22 in Mountain View where cool, vibrant Castro Street morphs into a moveable feast of people and colorful tents for the 15th Annual A La Carte & Art.

Throngs of visitors are expected to gather in Silicon Valley's epicenter for this springtime celebration of the arts.

Presented by the Mountain View Central Business Association, the festival will feature two days of stellar live music, a fine arts and crafts show with 200 of the West Coast's top artists showing their latest handcrafted wares, artisan specialty food purveyors, health and wellness displays, an organic and green products showcase, home and garden exhibits, festive food and drink with premium wine, microbrews, margaritas and mojitos, a farmers' market with fresh seasonal produce, a multitude of kids' amusements in the Tons of Fun Zone, and "A La Car & Art" — a classic and custom car show. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Admission is free.

How It All Began

A La Carte & Art is the largest annual fund-raiser for the Mountain View Central Business Association (CBA). A non-profit organization made up of local merchants and businesses, the CBA is dedicated to promoting business growth through participation and sponsorship of numerous community activities and events.

Stellar Live Music

Rock your world! Two full days of live music on stage and street turn downtown Mountain View into the Bay Area's entertainment hotspot for the weekend. A smashing lineup of eleven big name bands play two lively, fun-filled days of classic rock 'n roll, rhythm and blues, steel drum, jazz, dance and party music. The lineup includes The Mystic Pilots, The Megatones, Drive!, The Ones, The Cocktail Monkeys, The Groove Kings, Bob Culbertson, RhythmShakerz, Ancient Winds, Emerson & The Growiser Band and HeartStrings Music. In a new twist, the Bay Area's legendary classic rock station, KFOX 98.5 FM/102.1 FM, hosts the Classic Rock Stage on Sunday.

Fine Art, Cool Crafts

Pacific Fine Arts brings their world-class stable of exceptional artists and craftmakers to the festival.

"Festival-goers will find original art and fine crafts with a variety of price points. Every item is handcrafted from beginning to end — it's a prime opportunity to meet the artists that conceive and do the work," said Dana Hale-Mounier, Director of Pacific Fine Arts.

Festival-goers will find thousands of beautiful, handcrafted items by the West Coast's top artists and craftmakers while browsing among 200 well-stocked booths featuring original work in glass, ceramics, metals, fiber, leather, wood, jewelry, and fine art. Gorgeous vases, flatware, clocks, dishes, wall and table decorations, paperweights, stained and beveled glass, etchings, sculptures, photography, oil and watercolor paintings, beadwork, gold and silver jewelry, vests, handbags, hats, wallets, footwear, windchimes, and waterfalls will be among the one-of-a-kind items available.

Festive Food and Drink

Festival eateries will be dishing up a world flavorful foods, perfect for strolling — gourmet sausages, teriyaki chicken and pork kabobs, veggie wraps, tamales, tacos, made-to-order crepes, souvlakis, meatballs, dolmas, smoked bratwurst with sauerkraut, crab cakes, fish 'n chips, corn-on-the-cob, spiced chicken, beef and pork satays, crispy fried chicken, Cajun-inspired catfish, spicy jambalaya, jumbo hot dogs, burgers, corn dogs, kettle corn, funnel cake, shaved ice, smoothies. Complementing the food will be premium wines, microbrewed beers, refreshing margaritas and mojitos.

Artisan Specialty Food

Several artisan specialty food purveyors will be on-hand to sample and sell their incredible edibles. The world's finest olive oil, barrel-aged vinegars, salad dressings, flavored almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, mustard blends, curds and scone mixes, marinades and finishing sauces, exotic jams and jellies, honey products, butters and chutneys, and Kona coffee will be among the mouth-watering offerings to sample and buy.

Farmers' Market

Growers from the Mountain View Certified Farmers' Market will be on hand with California's finest farm-fresh strawberries, cherries, apricots, organic produce, asparagus, flavored almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and honey.

Kids' Tons of Fun Zone

The action-packed Kids' Tons of Fun Zone will captivate kids with a multitude of amusements. A massive 24-foot climbing wall, inflatable slides and bounces, remote controlled NASCAR race track, face painting, temporary henna tattoos, bubble art, balloon twisters, police and fire department displays are among the exciting attractions.

A La Car & Art

Back by popular demand is A La Car & Art, a classic and custom car show featuring the world's coolest hot rods, macho muscle cars, sleek sports cars and tricked out low riders — just a sampling of the world-class cars expected to be on display. Saturday's car show will be hosted by the San Francisco-based Laf A Lots car club and the Silicon Valley Corsa Club. Sunday's car show will be hosted by Hot San Jose Nights and the Nor-Cal Chevelle Camino Club.

Organic & Green Products Showcase

Check out the latest and greatest exhibits featuring Organic, Natural, Healthy and Eco-Friendly products. Festivalgoers can enjoy free product samples and demos while experiencing first-hand how these products can help you live a better, healthier and "greener" lifestyle and be a positive catalyst for change. Sponsors include SunWize Technologies, Stanford Chiropractic, Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Honest Tea, Renewal by Andersen, University Chiropractic, Sunlight Concepts, Recology Mountain View, KC Customs & Remodeling, American Laser Centers, Sunnyvale Chiropractic and Heavenly Greens.

Zero Waste

This year's festival will continue its "greening" efforts with the Central Business Association, Recology Mountain View and City of Mountain View joining forces to promote and encourage Zero Waste. Free-standing containers will be positioned throughout the festival route for recycling glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Additionally, there will be large recycling containers for cardboard and mixed paper as well as glass, plastic and aluminum in a central area for event staff, vendors and sponsors. "Every day we talk about ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle," said Julie Smiley, Executive Director of the Central Business Association. "We're on a mission to make this a Zero Waste festival — it's a big priority for us and something we diligently plan for and try to improve every year."

Spectacular Sponsors

Win great prizes, enjoy free samples, meet the personalities and experience the latest products from festival sponsors: Wells Fargo, California Teas, Stella Artois, Negra Modelo, Budweiser, Bud Light Lime, Sauza Original Margaritas, Cruzan Rum Premium Mojitos, Armstrong Installation Service, Cutco, Danmer Custom Shutters, BathFitter, The Craftsmen's Guild, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Gutter Helmet, Drawer & Shelf Solutions, Hotel Avante, VTA, The San Jose Mercury News, Mountain View Voice, CBS 5 TV, The CW Channel 44, Comcast, "Alice" 97.3 FM, KBAY 94.5 FM, KEZR 106.5 FM, KFOX 98.5 FM and KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM.

Street Closures/Vehicle Parking

Castro Street will be closed to traffic from Church Street to Evelyn Avenue for the two-day festival. There is ample free parking available on streets and in lots surrounding the downtown area.

Public Transportation

Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will be running its normal weekend schedule with Bus and Light Rail service to Downtown Mountain View. Ride VTA Light Rail (exit at the Mountain View Transit Center) or VTA Bus Lines 22, 32, 35, and 522 to the Festival. Please note Bus Lines 32 and 522 do not operate on Sundays. For your free trip plan, call (408) 321-2300, or visit http://www.vta.org/. For Caltrain

information, call 800-660-4287 or visit http://www.caltrain.com/. Caltrain, VTA Light Rail and bus service drops riders off at the Mountain View transit center, the primary festival entrance at Evelyn Avenue and Castro Street.

No Pets, Please

Pets are not allowed at the festival. For the safety, comfort, and courtesy of your pets and festival-goers, please leave your pets at home.

Festival Dates/Hours/Location

The festival will be held on May 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will take place on Castro Street from Church Street to Evelyn Avenue. Admission is free.

Info-Line/Web Address

For festival information, call 650-964-3395 or check out http://www.miramarevents.com/

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