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May 13, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, May 13, 2005

Spring into festival season Spring into festival season (May 13, 2005)

Mountain View's A La Carte & Art kicks off outdoor festival circuit

The big weekend is coming. The one you've been looking forward to for months. Festival season in the Bay Area officially kicks off on May 21-22 when downtown Mountain View will be transformed into a moveable feast of curious shoppers, music lovers, wine sippers, strolling samplers and frolicking families for the ninth annual A La Carte & Art.

Thousands of visitors are expected to pour onto Castro Street for a vibrant street scene with two days of great music, unique arts and crafts, gourmet food and wine, and the best family entertainment value around.

Presented by Synopsys, the open-air festival will feature two full days of attractions including a juried art show, live music, savory stroll-around food, premium wines and microbrews, a farmers' market with fresh seasonal produce, chefs' demonstrations and a variety of amusements for kids. How It All Began

A La Carte & Art was launched in 1997 to raise funds for the Central Business Association (CBA). A nonprofit 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. "If you're a new visitor to Mountain View or a local resident, we hope you enjoy the rich diversity of our downtown and all it has to offer," said Karen Cabello, executive director of the CBA. Arts & Crafts

Festivalgoers will find thousands of handcrafted items by the West Coast's top artists and craftmakers on display at this juried show. Exhibitors will be showing original work in ceramics, fiber, glass, fine art, jewelry, leather, metal, paper, sculpture and wood. "It's a rare opportunity to meet and buy from the artists on hand to show their latest work," said Nancie Allie of California Artists. "Everything you see is handcrafted from beginning to end by each exhibiting artist."

Shimmering 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. Live Music

A smashing lineup of nine bands will perform, including the acoustic folk/rock of Blue House, the '60s rock and roll cover music of The Invasion, legendary rock/soul/blues group NiteCry, drivin' boogie-woogie band Woogiemen, the high-energy sound of the Tuxedo Park Dance Band, and the classic rock and roll of the Silicon Valley Houserockers. Performing on the street will be the soft jazz and classical music of flute/keyboard duo Dreamroad, original rhythm and blues, soft jazz and funk from the Growiser Band featuring Emerson, and the traditional Ecuadorian folk music of Ancient Winds. Food and Drink

Festival eateries will be dishing up flavorful stroll-around foods like barbecue chicken, lamb and pork kabobs, grilled flank steak sandwiches, spicy gourmet sausages, Philly cheesesteaks, jumbo hot dogs, veggie wraps, crispy fish and chips, grilled salmon with rice, garlic fries, fried calamari and prawns, tri-tip sandwiches, fresh roasted corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes, crepes, fresh fruit smoothies, a variety of fresh salads, strawberry shortcake and kettle corn. Complementing the food will be premium wines, microbrewed beers and non-alcoholic beverages. Farmers' Market/Cooking Demos

Mountain View Certified Farmers' Market growers will be on hand with farm-fresh strawberries, apricots, cherries, organic produce, roasted almonds, pistachios and walnuts, while chefs from local restaurants will conduct cooking demonstrations with tips on ways to prepare and enjoy the fresh produce. Kids' Tons of Fun Zone

The Tons of Fun Zone, located at Mercy and Castro, will captivate kids with endless amusements. The stomach-tickling Froghopper, a 24-foot climbing wall, colorful wax hands art, whimsical sand sculptures, a thrilling virtual reality motion theater, Boomer's Magic Circus obstacle course, face painting, balloon artists, clowns and train rides are among the exciting attractions. Spectacular Sponsors

Stop by for a visit, win great prizes, enjoy tasty samples, meet the personalities, and check out the latest products from the proud 2005 festival sponsors: Bud Light, Kitchen Works, Renewal By Anderson, Armstrong Painting, SBC, Haagen-Dazs, Stonyfield Farm Yogurt, Trendwest Resorts, Citibank MasterCard, Monarch Grand Vacations, Spinal Health & Rehab, El Dorado Ranch, Marriott Vacations, Foothill Disposal, Wizard Screens, Eclipse Mints, Whitney Farms, John Robert Powers, All-Star Medical Group, Gutter Shutter, Hampton Inn, Fiji Natural Artesian Water, VTA, San Jose Mercury News, Mountain View Voice, CBS 5 TV, The PennySaver, KOIT 96.5 FM, Alice 97.3 FM, KDFC 102.1 FM, Star 101.3 FM, KFRC 99.7 FM, KBAY 94.5 FM, KEZR 106.5 FM, KFOX 98.5 FM, KCNL Channel 104.9 FM, KKSF 103.7 FM. KBRG 100.3 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 Mountain View. The festival is served by VTA Light Rail and Bus Lines 22, 34, 35 and 51. For VTA schedule information, call (800) 894-9908 or check out Caltrain will be running its normal weekend service both days. For Caltrain schedule information, call (800) 660-4287. The Mountain View Transit Center is one short block from the festival. No Pets, Please

Pets are not allowed at the festival. For the safety, comfort, and courtesy of your pets and festivalgoers, please leave your pets at home. Other Festival Info

The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 21-22. It is held on Castro Street from Church Street to Evelyn Avenue. Admission is free. For festival information, call (650) 964-3395 or check out

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