Published March 23, 2017
Volume 1, Number 3
Pleasanton Downtown has Much to Offer
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:
- Downtown Farmer's Market
- Bunny Hop Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, April 15.10am - Noon. 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 clue list. Limited to the first 600 children.
- 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 August 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 beer and wine garden featuring tasty offerings from local wineries & breweries. And don’t miss the Kid Zone located on St. Mary Street for a wide variety of family friendly games and activities. Here is the schedule of main stage bands for 2017:
May 3 - Cinco de Mayo Celebration with Ruckatan Latin Tribe
June 7 - Jump into Summer Celebration with Crawdad Republic
July 5 – Salute to Public Safety with Four15 Unknown Disturbance Band
August 2 - Dog Days of Summer Celebration with Public Eye and the popular Pooch Parade
- Spring and Fall Antique & Collectible Fairs
Sunday, May 28 and Sunday, October 8. 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. See pleasantonantiquefair.com for all the details.
- Friday Concerts in the Park
Fridays, June 2 - August 25. 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Pleasanton's downtown summer Concerts in the Park series began over 40 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 2 – Retroactive – Pop 60’s – Today
June 9 - West Grand Boulevard - Classical Soul/ Motown
June 16 – LunaFish – 60's - 70's Rock
June 23 – Finding Stella– Modern / Alternative Rock
June 30 - The Apes – Contemporary Rock
July 7 - Johnny Mahalo & The Wild Coconuts – Rock/ R&B/ Country/Rockabilly/ Island
July 14 – Ruckatan Latin Tribe - Latin / Reggae World Music
July 21 - Audio Illusion – Rock/ Pop/ Blues 1950’s to Today
July 28 - Crawdad Republic - Folk / Bluegrass
August 4 – Tommy and the 4 Speeds – 1960’s
August 11 – Max Cruise– Rock, Pop and R&B
August 18 – Magic Moments– 1950’s – 1980’s
August 25 – Public Eye– High Energy Rock & Roll
- Summer Wine Stroll
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. Saturday, July 15 – 5-8pm
- Sizzling Saturdays
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.
- Sunday Fundays
Every Sunday in August from 1-4pm. Celebrate the weekend with special deals and offers throughout downtown on everything from clothing and home accessories to amazing weekend brunch specials!
- Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, October 21. 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. Limited to the first 600 children.
- Halloween Brew Crawl
Saturday, October 28. 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 2017. 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 18. 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Holiday Spirit Stroll is back and better than ever! This festive event kicks off the holiday season with a bang. Downtown merchants will be paired with some of the most creative and delicious cocktails you’ve ever seen. Put on your ugliest sweater and get into the holiday spirit!
- Small Business Saturday & Holiday Open House
Saturday, November 25. 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. Plus Santa will be here for free family photos & more!
- Hometown Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 2. 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.
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.
2017 Priorities for Downtown
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 have four key initiatives for 2017. We will work closely with the City of Pleasanton and all key stakeholders to see these projects to fruition.
- Expand and Improve Parking in Downtown
Continue to work closely with the City of Pleasanton to identify opportunities to add to the overall parking stock in Downtown and effectively manage the existing parking. Work with all stakeholders to execute the Downtown Parking Study & Strategy draft created in 2016. Also look at ways in which the overall traffic flow of Downtown can be improved.
- Recruiting & Retaining Retail in Downtown
Continue to work closely with the City of Pleasanton’s Economic Development Department, Economic Vitality Committee and other key stakeholders to develop and encourage more 1st floor retail in Downtown, with a primary focus on Main Street. Research and evaluate possible options to employ incentive/disincentive strategies to encourage a healthy retail mix.
- Formal Review and Update of the Downtown Specific Plan
Work closely with the City of Pleasanton to complete a full review and update of the 2002 Downtown Specific Plan to make this document more relevant and reflective of the current environment of downtown. We are pleased that the City formed the Downtown Specific Plan Update Task Force in late 2016. The committee began meeting in January and will meet monthly on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm at the Remillard Room. We strongly encourage anyone who lives, works or plays in Pleasanton to participate in this important process by signing up for updates and alerts at www.PtownDtown.org.
- Wayside & Delucchi Park Improvements
Continue to work closely with the City of Pleasanton and other key stakeholders to finalize plans, establish a timeline and begin work to improve the appearance, functionality and safety of Wayside and Delucchi Parks to further enhance Downtown, including the creation of a grand lawn area between the Firehouse Arts Center and First Street.
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 over 25,000 followers and is a wonderful resource for up-to-the-minute information on what is happening throughout downtown."
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.