Local Musicians Headline Spring Festival

Come see what’s new at the Spring Festival and stay to enjoy all that Downtown Alameda has to offer! The 18th annual Downtown Alameda Spring Festival has something for everyone: art, crafts, live music, festival food, refreshing beverages, an interactive kids area and now a third performance stage. All the fun happens this weekend (May 12 and 13) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival is free to attend. 

Live entertainment has been a big attraction at the Spring Festival each year. This year a third electric-acoustic stage sponsored by Habanas Cuban Cuisine is being added. The expanded area on Central Avenue called “Alameda Alley” will be bursting at the seams with local talent and an enlarged outdoor dining area to relax and enjoy all the food and drink that the festival and the district have to offer. 

The new “Alameda Stage” features Island favorites such as The Band Parodi, Michael Barrett from the Sun Kings, international recording artist Dave May, Paul Manousus (who is also the owner of East End restaurant), Greg Kaufman and Dennis Cole along with newcomer Flunch. The Alameda Alley Cats and Jammers was formed just for this event and is sure to be a lively jam session each day with talents like Hiro and Mike Cooper, Kevin Kearney, Jim and Lynn Parodi, David Reynolds, and a few surprise guests. Solo artists Ellene Holt, Carter Donovan and Amber Knezevic will also perform during the two-day festival.

Alamedan Jim Parodi has been organizing community stages on the Island for five years, starting with Concerts at the Cove and the Webster Street Jam. This year marks his first time at the Spring Festival. “I’m a performer and teach music so I’ve always seen the value in networking with other musicians and performing live. This new Alameda Stage brings together professional and amateur performers as well as dancers — people performing from the heart,” said Jim. “Doing this for the Downtown District is extra special for me and the artists.”

Another local singer will be performing on the Encinal Stage on Saturday morning. Lorenzo Wood is a talented young musician who sings, plays guitar, drums, piano, keyboards, bass and, in an emergency, the ukulele. He also beat-boxes and uses a looper for live performances. He writes many of his own original songs plus does some amazing cover renditions.

Continuous live entertainment abounds on the original two stages on Encinal and Buena Vista avenues, some of the Bay Area’s most popular tribute bands: Long Train Running (The Doobie Brothers), Life in the Fast Lane (The Eagles), The Refugees (Tom Petty), Zebop! (Santana) and everybody’s favorite, Rag Tag Allstars (1970s and ’80s Classic Rock). 

Festival-goers will also enjoy a stroll in Alameda’s historic downtown district where shops, restaurants and other businesses will be offering event specials throughout the weekend, making it the perfect place to find a gift for Mom. Or bring Mom to the festivities and treat her to a mimosa and lunch.

For the 21 and older crowd, there will be three beverage booths serving local craft beers by Alameda Island Brewing Company and premium wines by Alameda’s Rock Wall Wine Company. Plus that Mother’s Day Weekend favorite, refreshing mimosas.

For full music schedule and more information, call 523-1392 or go to the official event page: www.DowntownAlameda.com/Spring-Festival. The Downtown Alameda Spring Festival is presented by the Downtown Alameda Business Association as a fundraiser for the district. Proceeds help keep Downtown Alameda clean, green and safe.

About Downtown Alameda
Discover great food and drink establishments, charming shops, friendly services and fun things to do in Downtown Alameda! Learn more at: www.DowntownAlameda.com.