Downtown Alameda’s Spring Festival Brings Weekend Fun To Mother’s Day

Downtown Alameda Spring FestivalPlan to attend Downtown Alameda’s 17th Annual Spring Festival. The free two-day street fair will be bringing arts, crafts, music, and a whole lot of excitement to the downtown district. The event takes place on May 13 and May 14 from 10:00am to 6:00pm each day.

Downtown Alameda’s Spring Festival is a Mother’s Day weekend tradition in Alameda and the San Francisco Bay Area. The popular street fair offers something for everyone… over 150 quality arts and crafts booths, continuous live music that will get festival-goers dancing in the street, interactive activities for all ages, mouth-watering festival foods, and local craft beer and wine sales.

Children will have fun in a special kids’ zone on Alameda Avenue. Adults can quench their thirst at one of the beverage booths serving local craft beer from Alameda Island Brewing Company and outstanding wines from Rock Wall Wine Company.

With over 150 art and craft booths and more than 50 retail shops open for shopping, Downtown Alameda will be the perfect place to find a gift for Mom… or maybe you would like to bring Mom to the celebration for a mimosa and lunch at one of the downtown district’s many restaurants.

Enjoy a level of festivity that is beyond what you have seen before with more room to stroll among the displays and more room to dance in the street!

Event Highlights:
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Downtown Alameda’s Art & Wine Faire… In Pictures

Beer and Wine at Downtown Alameda Art & Wine Faire

The Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA) is proud to bring the annual annual Art & Wine Faire to Downtown Alameda each year. We hope you, your family, and your friends were able to join us for a terrific weekend in Alameda’s downtown district.

We keep saying that each year is “bigger and better” and it’s true… each year does get bigger and better! This year saw the biggest turnout and the biggest smiles during the event’s span of 32 years. Even with the large crowds, people were calling it “mellow.” We think this is a testament to the smooth operations that makes it fun for everyone. And we’re happy you could be part of it.

We saw plenty of activity and fun throughout the weekend…

  • True Covers Tribute Band at Downtown Alameda Art & Wine FaireThousands of people were enjoying the huge selection of arts, crafts, and food vendors. 
  • The four beverage stations were pouring beer and wine almost nonstop. (Thanks to Alameda Island Brewing Company and Rock Wall Wine Company, we think we have the best beer and wine selection in the Bay Area!) 
  • People of all ages were kicking back and dancing to the lively music on our two stages. (Who can resist the music made famous by The Beach Boys, The Cars, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, and Santana?) 
  • Parents and kids were having a blast in the two kids’ areas while spectators had fun watching the kids roll around in those wacky waterballs.
  • Kid activities at Downtown Alameda Art & Wine FaireFolks were enjoying all of interactive activities scattered around the downtown district, including Alameda’s own The Dilly Dallies and Alameda String Academy
  • Lots of festival-goers were also taking the time to visit our local shops and restaurants.

To see what we are talking about, view more photos in our photo album on Facebook.

Our annual events mean a great deal to Downtown Alameda and the Downtown Alameda Business Association. Not only are we able to offer family fun and an opportunity for friends to reconnect in Downtown Alameda, but proceeds from the our street fairs are used to maintain and enhance the downtown district. Without your support of the annual Art & Wine Faire we couldn’t promote and maintain Downtown Alameda and the historic Park Street District as the vibrant downtown we all love. Read the rest of this entry »

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Find the Best Views of Alameda’s Fourth of July Parade on Park Street

Alameda July 4 ParadeOn July 4, be sure to find your way to Downtown Alameda to view one of the longest Independence Day parades in the nation. The Alameda Mayor’s 4th of July Parade is one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in the Bay Area and it starts right here on Park Street.

The Alameda parade boasts over 170 floats and 2,500 participants that traverse a 3.3 mile route across Alameda — from Park Street on the east end of the island to Webster Street on the west end. Beginning at 10:00am on the corner of Park Street & Lincoln Avenue, the parade first meanders down Park Street and then continues around the corner along Otis Drive.

Spectators enjoy a huge variety of hand-decorated flatbeds, antique cars, marching bands, dance troupes, cheerleading squads, dancing horses, bicyclists, musicians, clowns, and costumed characters. Performers come from Alameda and all around the Bay Area. 

July4Parade-MotorizedWagon-IMG_4414

2015 Parade Photo Gallery

There’s also a 5K run and walk that follows the route of the Mayor’s 4th of July Parade. The R.A.C.E. starts at 9:00am — an hour before the parade — in front of the Bank of Marin (1416 Park Street).

The Alameda Mayor’s 4th of July Parade and race attract over 20,000 people and many of the spectators search out the best viewing spots along Park Street where parade entrants start off with lots of energy. The performances, cheering, and flag waving tend to be particularly exciting in front of the Judging Stand located at the intersection of Park Street & Alameda Avenue.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Launch Party: Downtown Alameda To Get New Look

Downtown Alameda Street Banner preview

Downtown Alameda will be getting a slightly new look when the Downtown Alameda Business Association installs new street banners this week.

Designed by local artist Felicia Ann, the banner images blend the nostalgic style of posters from the early 1900s with contemporary figures and fresh colors.

The banner project was created to help define Downtown Alameda beyond Park Street and to celebrate the wealth of unique services available throughout the entire district. Residents and visitors alike will be beckoned to Shop, Play, Learn, Wine & Dine, and Catch-Up in Downtown Alameda.

Downtown Alameda Is “Historic, Hip, and Worth the Trip”

The Park Street District has been evolving into a modern and lively downtown area that is “Historic, Hip, and Worth the Trip.”  Not only are popular destination businesses locating along the side streets in Downtown Alameda, but new growth is also happening along the stretch of Park Street north of Lincoln Avenue.  Read the rest of this entry »

McGee’s Bar and Grill Announces New Kitchen: Park Street Grill

McGee’s Bar and GrillMcGee's Bar and Grill, Alameda (1645 Park Street, Alameda) was established in 1977 by John Costello on the ground floor of the old Leona Hotel. It soon became one of Alameda’s favorite local hangouts. As the years passed, McGee’s evolved into a family-friendly sports bar and grill. In August 2014, long-time manager Tim Goodman and his wife Tracy purchased the business from the Costellos. Tim and Tracy are proud to carry on the Alameda legacy that is “McGee’s.”

The Bar

Beer at McGee's, AlamedaMcGee’s is one of the best places in Downtown Alameda to stop in for a drink with friends or to watch your favorite sports teams. The bar has 13 flat screen TV’s showing all major sporting events with DirecTV’s MLB package and NFL ticket. The shuffleboard table and internet juke box are also fun, entertaining, and favorites with customers.

The bar at McGee’s features 13 beers on tap, along with a full selection of wine and spirits. McGee’s supports local breweries like Faction Brewing and Alameda Island Brewing Company by having their beers on tap, along with St. George Distillery vodka (original, citrus and chili flavors). Daily drink specials are also offered.

The Grill

Cardel Catering, AlamedaThe owners of McGee’s are very excited to announce that, as of November 3, Chef Scott Cardel and Chef Michele Cavaleri have taken over the kitchen and are cooking up new and innovative pub-style cuisine along with a kid-friendly menu. The new restaurant inside the bar has been dubbed Park Street Grill.

Scott and Michelle have been working side-by-side for the last 12 years at nearby Cardel Catering in Alameda. With Scott’s 40 years chef experience and Michele’s 25 years experience (including the opening of Speisekammer), they promise to offer fresh, seasonal items for lunch and dinner that everyone can enjoy. On weekends, they will also be offering brunch for football fans.

Putting It All Together 

McGee’s Bar and Grill is the perfect place to bring the whole family — booster seats and high chairs are available for the little ones.

Looking to have a small private or team party? The outdoor patio is perfect for outdoor dining. It’s wind-protected with heater lamps and a flat screen TV. Read the rest of this entry »

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Historic Downtown Alameda – Respect Your Elders

Park Street, Alameda historic buildingsSometimes, “what’s new” is not as interesting as “what’s old.” That’s the case with our great old buildings in Downtown Alameda.

Prior to 1864, Alameda was home to a few small farmhouses scattered around the peninsula. However, things changed that year when a rail and ferry system was introduced to the city.

With improved transportation, hubs of commerce sprang up along the train routes. The primary local stop for the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad was Alameda Station, located near what is now the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Park Street. From that point, businesses spread out mostly in a linear fashion along a road that divided two large tracts of land. That road ultimately became “Park Street.”

Between 1877 and 1880, more than thirty large ornate commercial buildings were erected — ones that were grander than their wooden predecessors. In 1896, Alameda’s City Hall building was completed and by 1905 over 150 structures lined Park Street and the surrounding roads.

There were a few building booms following The Great Earthquake (1906) and between the two World Wars. But the old Victorian landmark buildings didn’t seem that cool any more, so they were either torn down or converted into something else. Thankfully, thirty of the historic structures were left standing, including one that still retains its original architecture.

It was in 1981 that a group of merchants in their wisdom applied to have Alameda’s downtown area designated a national historic business district. Since then, from an architectural standpoint, Park Street has pretty much remained as we see it today.

We invite you to stroll through Downtown Alameda and look for the buildings that are contributors to the Park Street Historic Commercial District (National Register, 1982):  Read the rest of this entry »

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Downtown Alameda’s Classic Car Show Revs Up Park Street

2015 Downtown Alameda Classic Car ShowGet Ready! Get set! Downtown Alameda’s 22nd Annual Classic Car Show takes place on Saturday, October 10. The free one-day event runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm and is fun for everyone.

Cars of every description will line up along Park Street, from Encinal Ave to Buena Vista Ave — antique roadsters, coupes, hot rods, muscle cars, and much more. Entertainment and prizes will be available and DJs will be spinning oldies from the ’50s and the ’60s.

Enjoy over 400 classic vehicles on display as you meander through Alameda’s historic downtown district. Most of the cars come from the magical decades of the ’50s and the ’60s. You can also expect to see plenty of muscle cars from the ’70s, along with vintage beauties from the ’30s and ’40s.

The Wounded Warrior Project will have a booth to sell raffle tickets for a drawing being held on January 1, 2016. The grand prize is a 50th anniversary Shelby Cobra. You’ll find the Wounded Warrior booth and car located in front of Capone’s Speakeasy.

Downtown Alameda’s Annual Classic Car Show is one of the best car shows in the Bay Area. A national representative of the Mustang Club of America has described the Downtown Alameda Classic Car Show as “the best that he has ever seen.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Alameda’s 2013 Fourth of July Parade – Celebrating Our “Independents”

Update: View photos of this year’s 2013 Alameda Parade

Alameda July 4 ParadeIn Alameda, July 4th is the day to head downtown with family and friends to view one of the longest Independence Day parades in the nation.

Alameda Mayor's Fourth of July ParadeThe Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade boasts over 170 “floats” and 2,500 participants that travel a 3.3 mile route — travelling all the way from Park Street to Webster Street. In addition to performers that come from the around the Bay Area, many local businesses, schools, and organizations participate in the Alameda parade. Entries include hand-decorated flatbeds, antique cars, marching bands, dance troupes, cheerleading squads, horses, bicyclists, musicians, and clowns… to name a few favorites.

With so much to see, where’s the best place to view the parade? Our answer every year is… Park Street, between Lincoln and San Jose.

Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July ParadeThe parade begins at 10:00am on the corner of Park Street & Lincoln Avenue, extending down the length of Park Street to Otis Drive. Parade entrants start off with tons of energy along that first stretch of the route. But performances tend to be best in front of the Judging Stand located at the intersection of Park Street & Alameda Avenue. View more photos from last year’s parade.

(Take note: With the parade drawing over 20,000 people from Alameda and throughout the Bay Area, many of the spectators search out spots along the coveted stretches of Park Street. For that optimal viewing experience, you’ll want to arrive well before 10:00am to nab your spot on the sidewalk.)

As we get ready for the Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade and the annual celebration of our nation’s independence, we have another reason to celebrate… our local, independent businesses embody the spirit of individuality and economic prosperity. In addition, Alameda’s businesses help support our community’s well-being while contributing to the uniqueness of our island oasis. Read the rest of this entry »