Archive for the ‘Festival’ Category

Mountain View Oktoberfest

oktoberfestThe 4th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest will feature authentic German Beer, Cuisine, and Entertainment (Alpiners USA, SF German Band and Big Lou’s Accordion Princess).

The Mountain View Oktoberfest is open free to the public and is an all ages event but you must be 21 or older to drink. Proper Identification verifying legal age will be required.

You must purchase a stein and tickets if you would like to drink:

$8
per beer ticket

$30
4 beer tickets

$10
0.5L size Stein
(Requires 1 tickets to fill.)

$15
1.0L size Stein
(Requires 2 tickets to fill.)

The free kids area will include jumpy houses, face painting, games and prizes.

Mountain View Oktoberfest
Bryant St. at Dana St., Mountain View, CA 94041

Parking – parking lot behind Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – 1 block West of Castro Street

October 1st and 2nd from 11:00am to 7:00pm

Chalk Art Festival in Luna Park

lunapark-chalk-art-festivalOn Saturday, September 20 Backesto Park comes alive with the 7th annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.  The festival is an all-volunteer run event created to provide a family-friendly, accessible venue to showcase the talents of local artists and students, foster awareness of the critical need for arts in schools and organizations serving youth, and to raise funds for providing grants and scholarships to meet that need.

No longer a tiny neighborhood event, the festival has grown, bringing in talented performers and musicians, vendors and food trucks, including some of my favorites, Hill Country BBQ and Waffle Amore! The dancers from  Movimiento Cosmico Indigenous Dance will be there too with their stunning ceremonial dances.

Check out the Flickr feed for the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival for more photos and follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter too.

If you’d like to participate as an artist or support the festival as a volunteer or sponsor , registration for all artists, artist/vendors, schools, and nonprofits is located here.

Did Somebody Say #Bacon Festival AND Fireworks?

Bacon Festival

What’s not to love about a bacon festival with fireworks too? July 4th and 5th is the second annual Movable Feast Bacon Festival on the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. They’ve expanded to two full days of food, entertainment, music and SJStreet Mart vendors with everything from henna tattoos and organic indigo to jewelry, clothing and more.

The food
Throughout the day there will be a load of food trucks including the famous Bacon Bacon and Baconbot trucks. Even if bacon isn’t your favorite thing there are plenty of other options from Grilled Cheese bandits, Madd Mex Cantina, Tastee Bytes, Chromatic Coffee, Treatbot and Fairycakes. Here’s the list of food vendors.

Entertainment
Kick up your heels to Yeshua and the Hi-Tones, Anya and the Getdown, The People and The Honey Wilders and watch the Pro Wrestling Revolution at several times both days. Silly Ricky the stilt juggler will be there as well as Brian the Bubble guy to entertain the kids. This is definitely a family friendly event.

Fireworks will start at 9:30 on July 4th courtesy of the San Jose Rotary Club

Here’s the full schedule and be sure to get tickets in advance at a discounted price. (Kids tickets are free online)

Zero1 [e]merges

Silicon Valley’s premier art event, the Zero1 biennial, kicked off last night with a street festival dubbed [e]merge.

The festival featured live music and numerous art exhibits including performances and interactive displays.

The biennial’s theme this year is “Seeking Silicon Valley”, and the art on show at the festival last night did show a return to the art/technology blend of the first Zero1 event, in contrast to the 2008 and 2010 biennials where the focus seemed to have broadened into more traditional art media.

The Zero1 biennial continues through October 3 December 8. There will be continuing exhibitions at the Zero1 Garage in South Hall (439 S First St). There will also be ongoing public art displays around town. The Urban Screen will continue to show interactive projection projects tonight (Saturday, Sept 15, at 300 S First St).

KraftBrew: Successful suds on Post Street

Yesterday’s KraftBrew Beer Fest at Post Street was a fantastic way to taste some new beers and hear some local bands. The event featured 9 booths serving beers from what seemed like dozens of breweries. The beers included American craft brews and traditional beers from Belgium and Germany. The American offerings were mostly from California, but included a few choices from Oregon, Utah, and points farther afield.

The venue on Post Street and Lightston Alley was perfectly sized for the crowd, mostly eliminating the long lines that were a problem at the prior location at the San Jose Woman’s Club, but still keeping the servers busy pouring out their brews. And the event was a bargain, with entry priced at only $5, which included a take-home commemorative tasting glass.

The standout beers for me started with the Rhinoceros Rye Wine from Telegraph Brewing Company in Santa Barbara. It’s a unique creation using rye malt in a barleywine-strength concoction with a clean flavor that’s not a dry as most rye brews. Another discovery for me was Liefmans’ Godenband, a Flanders oud bruin, meaning another high-strength, malty brew, but in this case with very little hops and a strong carmel sweetness.

The music was also great, but somewhat under-appreciated by the crowd. Local ska band Monkey played to a modest crowd, but created enough energy of their own to get their fans jumping. Ben Henderson and Good Hustle did pull in a sizable crowd, and performed a fine set to justify it. The most disappointing reaction was for Will Sprott (of the Mumlers), who lead a simple 3-piece group through a set of country-angst-tinged tunes (somewhat in the mode of Wilco) that deserved a larger audience than they got.

Congratulations to the Naglee Park Garage for organizing the event, and to the other local bars and restaurants and the brewers who supported it. I’ll definitely look forward to this event again next year.

One more act to book at SJ Jazz Summer Fest — Maybe it’s you?

San Jose Jazz still has one more act to book for the upcoming Summer Fest. They need an opener for Monophonics and Morris Day and the Time, playing on the main stage on Friday night, August 10, and they’re holding a contest on Facebook to find that band.

They’re looking for a “Neo Soul, Soul (not hip hop), Rhythm & Blues, Funk, and/or New Orleans Rhythm & Blues” act, with six or fewer members, and able to provide their own transportation to the event. The winning band will be chosen by public votes on the San Jose Jazz Facebook page. The winners will play a 45 minute set, and be paid $500 for their trouble. Applicants should submit an audition video (either YouTube or Vimeo) to the San Jose Jazz Facebook page by July 23.

To vote on your favorite band, you need to “Like” San Jose Jazz on Facebook, then visit their page to see the entries. Voting will be open from July 23 to 27.

SubZERO lets it all hang out

I had a fantastic time at the annual SubZERO art festival last night. The festival has been getting a lot of press in the Mercury, Metro, etc., calling it the best thing going in San Jose, the highlight of the year, San Jose’s best street festival, and so on, and it did not disappoint.

What seemed to attract the most attention were artists who made art of themselves:


Lots more photos after the break!
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Coming Up: Cinequest 22

Cinequest 22, the San Jose international film festival, opens next week and continues through March 11.

Tuesday, February 28, is opening night. The opening night film is The Lady, featuring Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as Burmese political opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The screening, at the California Theater, will be attended by director Luc Besson, and there will be a post-screening party at the recently opened Hyatt Place San Jose.

For the next 11 days, the festival will present full programs of film at the Camera 12, the San Jose Rep, and the California Theater. Other special events interspersed with the regular program include silent film presentations, four Maverick Spirit awards to enterprising film-makers, a special presentation of youth-produced films from around the world, and more. Sixty of the films will be making their world, North American, or U.S. premiers at Cinequest.

I’m looking forward to seeing Let the Bullets Fly, a new comedy/action film featuring one of Hong Kong’s great actors, Chow Yun Fat. This “homage to Sergio Leone and Akira Kurosawa” looks to be a lot of fun. The film will be shown as a special event at the California Theater on March 6.

The festival closes on March 10 with a screening of Terence Davies’ film The Deep Blue Sea. It’s a World War II-era drama about a women who must choose between a dashing but self-centered RAF pilot and the secure, but less exciting, man she’s already married to. Finally, March 11 will be Encore Day, giving a second chance to see some of the films that lead the balloting for the festival’s viewer’s choice award.

Photo: The Good Son, playing Feb. 29, March 1, and March 4.

The chalk will fly this Saturday

Julio Jimenez at the 2010 festival

The Luna Park (North 13th Street) Business Association’s annual Chalk Art Festival is coming up this Saturday, and rumor has it the event will be much expanded compared to past years. In addition to art on pavement, the event will feature food and art vendors. Aztec dance troupe Movimiento Cosmico will give their rhythmic and spiritual performance. Live music will be provided by Cuatro con Tres, a band that was very impressive at the Northside’s National Night Out event this year.

The chalk art itself will feature some returning chalk specialists like Wayne & Carol Renshaw and Julio Jimenez; as well as local art scene leader Lacey Bryant, recently featured in Content magazine. Well-known local muralists Paul J. Gonzalez and Katrina Loera are also expected to show their stuff.

I’ve seen my neighbor Katrina Loera and her husband Steve, along with other volunteers, putting in endless effort in the past year to bring this event together. From what I’ve heard from some of the volunteers it looks like it will pay off with a really strong roster of artists and an exciting array of other entertainment at this fun local event.

  • What: Luna Park Chalk Art Festival
  • When: Saturday, Sept 24, 2011. 10-4pm.
  • Where: Backesto Park, 13th and Jackson Streets, San Jose
  • How much: Free

San Jose Mariachi Festival is underway

The annual San Jose Mariachi Festival, branded this year as VivaFest, is an event that can fly under the radar. It rarely causes blocked roads, and the events are spread across multiple venues and two weeks of the calendar. But it is actually a major production and a great opportunity to see some brilliant music and thought-provoking films.

Starting last night, six films, held at the Tech’s Imax dome, present food for thought about Mexican music and Latino culture in the USA. Wednesday night’s film, “Danza Folklorica Escenica” (Mexican Folkloric Dance) looks to be the most directly informative about Mariachi music, and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Saturday’s film, “The Harvest” explores the hard world of immigrant child labor in the United States, and will be preceded by a keynote address by White House official Jose Rico.

The musical highlights are a Friday night concert and Saturday Sunday’s outdoor festival. On Friday night, Spanish Harlem Orchestra will play at the SJSU Events Center with opener Tito Puente, Jr. and a possible special appearance by Los Lobos. Tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster. As an extra tip, visit the website of downtown dinner/dance/margarita club Azucar for a special price deal that just about covers the Ticketmaster convenience fee.

On Saturday Sunday, the outdoor Feria del Mariachi features over a dozen mariachis and folkloric dance groups on two stages. Many of these groups are local, but others will be traveling here from as far away as Texas and Harvard University. Just a few of the groups have preview videos on the VivaFest site. Entrance to the outdoor festival is free.

  • What: San Jose Mexican Heritage and Mariachi Festival
  • When: Sept. 18 – 29, 2011
  • Where: Various sites, including the SJSU Event Center, HP Pavilion, and the Tech
  • How Much: Saturday’s Feria del Mariachi is gratis. Other events priced per event.

Edit: The Outdoor Feria is Sunday, Sept 25, from noon – 7 pm, on Autumn Street near the Pavilion.

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