Published March 17, 2015
Volume 23, Number 3
We Are Downtown Pleasanton
By Laura Olson
Executive Director, Pleasanton Downtown Association
We are the very heart of a vibrant and dynamic city with a rich history and a commitment to an unparalleled quality of life. Our downtown is the treasured center of this special place.
We are tree lined streets, manicured gardens, and wide sidewalks that beckon for a leisurely stroll. We are dinner under twinkling lights on a perfect California night with the sound of live music in the air. We are lunch at a casual café, a hearty country breakfast, coffee, or a walk up ice cream cone.
We are one of a kind shops with independent owners. We are unique gifts, that perfect outfit, a bottle of local wine, a treat for the kids or even your pet. We are a place where personal service not only exists but thrives. We are Downtown Pleasanton and we invite you to experience all we have to offer.
Whether you're interested in fresh, locally-grown vegetables, live music, tasty brews, activities, or a host of interesting activities, downtown has a special event for you. You can find a complete schedule on the Pleasanton Downtown Association web site at pleasantondowntown.net. Here are some highlights for the coming year:
The Downtown Farmer's Market
Saturdays, year round.
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Every Saturday, rain or shine, you can find the season's freshest fruits and vegetables at Pleasanton's Farmers' Market, all sold to you by the very farmers that raised and harvested the crop. Vendors line W. Angela Street with produce, fresh-cut flowers, herbs, and specialty foods.
Downtown Doggy Day
Saturday, March 28
Bring your pup to downtown for a day of fun. Dog friendly shops and restaurants with patios will be offering special deals and giveaways all day long.
Bunny Hop Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Children 10 years and younger are invited to Towne Center Books at 555 Main Street to start the scavenger egg hunt. They will receive a goody bag and their first clue to other eggs stuffed with treats hidden inside participating downtown businesses.
1st Wednesday Street Parties
Presenting Sponsor: Hacienda
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Main Street closes to traffic from St. John Street to Bernal Avenue on the first Wednesday of each month from May through September as thousands of visitors flock downtown to shop, dine, and enjoy a broad assortment of local shops and booths staffed by vendors and community organizations. Live music will entertain crowds at the family friendly Entertainment Garden between W. Neal and Division streets along with a wine garden featuring tasty offerings from Livermore Valley Wine Country. Live music is also offered at the south end of Main Street and at St. Mary Street. Here is the schedule of main stage bands for 2015:
May 6 - Cinco de Mayo Celebration with Ruckatan Latin Tribe
June 3 - Jump into Summer Celebration with Steel Rose
July 1 - Red, White and Blue Celebration with Stereo Bounce
August 5 - Dog Days of Summer Celebration with Fast Times and the popular Pooch Parade
September 2 - the theme is "Celebrate Green," with music from Public Eye and Green Scene
Spring and Fall Antique & Collectible Fairs
Sunday, May 24 and Sunday, October 11
Both 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
This Main Street fair brings up to 400 dealers to downtown, selling items at least 20 years old. Choose from furniture, jewelry, home décor, ceramics, toys, clothing, and more. An added attraction is free appraisals from Steve Yvaska, a dealer with 40 years of experience, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the corner of Main and Division. See pleasantonantiquefair.com for all the details.
Friday Concerts in the Park
Fridays, June 5 - August 28
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Pleasanton's downtown summer Concerts in the Park series began over 30 years ago and is still going strong. The live music covers a broad spectrum of musical styles, from big band and swing to Latin to R&B to rock in its various manifestations, including folk, celtic, and modern. Wayside Park - at the corner of First and Neal streets - is the perfect place to kick off your summer weekends. This year's concerts include:
June 5 - OTR, Classic Rock
June 12 - Burton & Co., Jazzy Rhythm and Blues
June 19 - Crawdad Republic, Folk / Bluegrass
June 26 - Georgi and the Rough Week, Rockin' Blues
July 3 - Ruckatan Latin Tribe, Latin / Reggae World Music
July 10 - West Grand Boulevard, Classic Soul & Motown Hits
July 17 - Cooltones, Big Band and Swing
July 24 - The Banned, 80s Hits
July 31 - The Apes, Contemporary Rock
August 7 - Tommy and the 4 Speeds, 1960s
August 14 - Max Cruise, Rock, Pop and R&B
August 21 - Magic Moments, Hits of the 50s - 80s
August 28 - Public Eye, High Energy Rock & Roll
Summer Wine Stroll
Saturday, July 18
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The PDA's Annual Downtown Summer Wine Stroll has been going on for more than a decade now, and its longevity is an indication of its popularity. This year's event will allow patrons to taste a variety of wines and sample small bites at a number of participating downtown locations, and take home their own commemorative wine glass.
Every Saturday in August and September
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Taking advantage of the season's lovely evenings and long daylight hours, a variety of downtown shops and eateries will be offering specials. Live music will be played in several locations on Main Street and special entertainers for children will also be on hand.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, October 24
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Children 10 years old and younger are invited to come in costume and participate in our annual free Halloween Scavenger Hunt.
Halloween Brew Crawl
Saturday, October 24
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The PDA's popular beer crawls - one is held every year around St. Patrick's Day as well - continue in 2015. Downtown merchants, restaurants and local breweries come together for a night of beer tasting. Participants receive a commemorative glass to sample a variety of craft beer and tasty bites at over 25 locations around Main Street, where live music fills the air. To add to the festive, holiday spirit of this event, guests are encouraged to wear costumes.
Holiday Spirit Stroll
Saturday, November 21
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
After a stellar debut in 2014, Holiday Spirit Stroll is back! This festive event kicks off the holiday season with a bang. Downtown merchants will be paired with local breweries, wineries and bars for a festive night sampling beer, wine and cocktails.
Magical Holiday Evening
Sunday, November 22
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Start your holiday shopping and celebrate the season with an evening of holiday festivities. Downtown shops, restaurants and businesses usher in the holidays with twinkling lights, beautiful window displays, holiday treats and, of course, SALES! Santa and his helpers will be at the Museum on Main for FREE photos. Live entertainment and children's activities will add to the festive holiday atmosphere.
Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 28
We all know how important it is to shop local, so during the holiday season we challenge Tri-Valley residents to spend ( at least) $100 in Downtown Pleasanton on this special day. Start shopping for the holiday season. Dine at our delicious restaurants. Get pampered at a variety of salons and day spas on and around Main Street. Shops and restaurants will have special promotions, giveaways and more.
Hometown Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 5
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Another traditional holiday event, the annual parade features local marching bands and community groups as well as a visitor who lives at the North Pole. The tree lighting ceremony wraps up the evening at the Museum on Main. See www.hometownholiday.com for all the details.
History on Display
Along with the downtown's packed event calendar, another overarching theme of the area is the history that is on display every day. It is no coincidence that one of its mainstays is the Museum on Main and the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society (ALVHS). Its 603 Main Street facility, built in 1914 with funds donated by the Pleasanton's Women's Improvement Club, once housed the old Town Hall, the Police Department and the first free library in the city of Pleasanton. Despite those many prior uses, the mission is now "linking the past to the future by preserving, clarifying, and disseminating information about history specific to the Tri-Valley region." Permanent displays tell Pleasanton's story through artifacts and images while temporary galleries provide opportunities to display exhibits of regional and national interest, including Imagination Expressed 2015 featured March 11 - May3, 50 Years of Rotary featured May 6 - August 2 and Women & Spirit featured August 5 - October 11.
Another great and fun way to learn about Pleasanton history is to take the Guide by Cell tour. Click on www.museumonmain.org/guide-by-cell to download and print your guide. Take a leisurely walk in beautiful downtown as you use your cell phone to access this complimentary tour. The Historic Downtown Pleasanton Audio Tour is funded in part by the L.J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation.
Alarms are no longer heard in downtown's 1929 fire station since its renovation and opening in 2010 as the Firehouse Arts Center, another hive of activity in downtown Pleasanton. The historic building, owned and operated by the City of Pleasanton, now houses a 227-seat studio theater, 2,000 square fee of versatile gallery space, two large art classrooms, and a grand lobby for receptions and events. Upcoming performances include concert by a Boston and Styx tribute band BOSTYX on March 27-28 and a Pacific Coast Repertory Theater production of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" from April 7 - May 3. See www.firehousearts.org/events/ for more details.
Considering how special and wonderful the area is, it should not be a surprise that it has its own overseer. In 1984, the Pleasanton City Council created the Pleasanton Downtown Association (PDA), an assessment district that operates as a non-profit organization with the aim of developing and sustaining a vibrant downtown community. That goal was enhanced in 2000 with the downtown's participation in the California Main Street system, a program which is aimed at revitalizing neighborhood business districts via a comprehensive approach that entails elements of public/private partnership, promotions, design improvements, and keen economic strategies.
The combined effort has been a great success. The synergy created by the two intertwined programs has helped downtown grow in stature as the heart of the community.
The PDA's most recent achievement is the creation of a Hospitality District, capping a three-year effort in conjunction with the City of Plesanton, downtown residents, and other key stakeholders. We are pleased that the Pleasanton City Council recently adopted the new Downtown Hospitality Guidelines, which will help businesses to be more vibrant and for the rules and regulations surrounding hospitality to be mroe clear and consistent in the Downtown area. Downtown Pleasanton is unique with a very special charm and character, and these new guidelines will help increase vitality responsibly while not taking away any of the charm that is Downtown Pleasanton.
Another example of the PDA's innovative approach is the group's strong social media presence. Our organization is often acknowledged as one of the leaders in social media within our industry. We strongly believe that communicating with our downtown patrons through social media allows us to have timely, personalized dialogue with as many people as possible and share the downtown message in the most effective way. Our Facebook page boasts 20,370 'likes' and is a wonderful resource for up-to-the-minute information on what is happening throughout downtown."
The PDA has a firm foothold on all big social media sites: 2,342 followers on Twitter, 749 followers on Instagram and 108 on Pinterest, all @PleasantonDT.
Today, downtown Pleasanton is home to over 575 businesses, all of whom contribute to the betterment of the area through their membership in the PDA. In recent years, businesses outside the downtown have also been able to join the organization, thanks to the creation of a new Associate Member category. Associate Members are entitled to a number of benefits, including the opportunity to promote their businesses at certain PDA events.
For additional information on downtown events or how to become an Associate Member of the PDA, call (925) 484-2199, visit www.pleasantondowntown.net, or stop by the office at 4725 First Street, Suite 200.
Also in this issue...
- TriNet Manages HR to Benefit Small and Mid-Sized Businesses
- AST-POS Technology Improves Restaurants & Businesses
- Business Bits
- Engineer Tackles Entrepreneurship & Rock Climbing with Equal Vigor
- Associa Keeps Neighborhoods Running Smoothly
- Cameo CloudBlu Improves Business Communications
- We Are Downtown Pleasanton
- County Agency Helps Companies Improve Bottom Line
- PPIE Partners with Real Estate & Other Businesses to Promote Education
- Philanthropy & Friendship with Daughters of the British Empire
- March Index