Neptune Beach Brought Back to Life

Maurice Ramirez Photography - Among the activities over the years at Alameda’s long-lost amusement park, Neptune Beach, were beauty contests.

Performance, presentation celebrate Island City history

Last year’s Island City Waterways (ICW) presented by Rhythmix Cultural Works celebrated Alameda’s north shore with a site specific roving art experience that left many a local resident spellbound. The artful presentation of local history expressed through dance, poetry and visual art broke new ground in the city. This year, a new version of ICW is centered around Alameda’s south shore history centered at Crab Cove.

The main effect of ICW this year is to animate the history of Neptune Beach through music, dance, theater and storytelling. ICW is the brainchild of Janet Koike, founder of Rhythmix. Epiphany Dance Theater and Maze Daiko help to create this interactive, site-specific work that engages the audience by reactivating a lost piece of Alameda history. 

With more than 40 musicians, dancers and actors performing, including the Balinese group Gamelan Sekar Jaya and storytellers Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu, audiences will be led on an easy stroll around Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach. The unique 75-minute performance celebrates the sea and will bring the Cove’s rich history to life with evocative carnies and bathing beauties from Alameda’s Neptune Beach amusement park, also known the “Coney Island of the West.” 

ICW is supported in part by the City of Alameda’s Public Art Fund, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation and the MacPherson Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation. 

This production is made possible with support from: OMM Inc., Alameda Municipal Power, Alameda Landing, Catellus, Pacific Union International, Star Harbor, Tim Lewis Communities, Dragonfly Property Services, Eyewise Optometry, Alameda Natural Grocery, Alameda Marketplace, AEC Living, Alameda Marina, Yankwich & Associates, Bay Ship & Yacht and the Fireside Lounge.

ICW is free and open to the public. It is set for Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20. Four performances will be held each day at 10 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. A limited number of advanced reservations are available online on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit islandcitywaterways.org or rhythmix.org for more information and reservations.

View a gallery of the event at https://alamedasun.com/galleries/9214.