The City of San Ramon is trying its best to keep residents from going anywhere this Memorial Day weekend.
The hope is that everyone will stick around and that patrons from all over the state will attend this year’s Art and Wind Festival.
The festival is named for its 200-plus arts and crafts vendors and its focus on kites – building them, flying them and admiring them.
But that barely scratches the surface.
San Ramon has pulled out all the stops for this year’s fair, hoping to wow attendees and prove why this event has consistently been the city’s biggest draw.
The Art and Wind Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday at Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd.
Admission is free, although there is a $5 parking fee.
Here are a few things to check out at this year’s event:
Weifang Cultural Exchange
When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road
Weifang is a city in China whose people are world renowned for one thing: kites. And they should be; it is believed that ancient populations in the area invented the tethered flying instruments about 2,800 year ago.
The people of Weifang have been making intricate and extravagant kites for centuries and their city is known as the “International Kite Capital.”
Seven of these kite fliers, crafters and folk artists were kind enough to travel all the way from China to hold a workshop on kite making and other art.
According to the Art and Wind Festival website, the workshop will feature:
- A slideshow and short video introduction to Weifang's three major folk arts: kite making, woodblock printing and paper cutting
- A demonstration by artists in kite-making technique, woodblock printing and paper cutting
- An indoor kite flying demo
- A hands-on workshop
- Weifang kites available for purchase
Hot Air Balloon Launch
When: 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., depending on weather, Monday
Where: Hot air balloon launch site at Central Park
Who doesn’t want a front-row seat to the launch of giant, colorful balloons? People can get up close — even inside — these giant balloons and take pictures before they lift off. Get there about 5:30 a.m. to see the ballooners setting up their flying machines and enjoy the coffee and hot cocoa available for purchase. Word is that there will be a hang gliding demo, too.
Wind Activities and Kite-Making Workshops
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday
Where: Lucky A’s Field and in the community center's Fountain Room for the kite-making workshops
Bring a kite or buy one made by a professional kite artisan. Better yet, make your own. Professionals from the United States and Canada will help people learn how.
Other Things Not to Miss:
- Daily at 1 p.m.
- Lucky A's Field * Drop time is approximate and depends on the wind
Live Radio Broadcasts
- Radio station KKIQ will broadcast live from the festival. Maybe a chance to get on the radio?
- 12 to 2 p.m., Sunday
- Alcosta food court
Radio Disney Road Show
- World-famous Radio Disney will do a live road show. This one’s for the kids.
- Noon to 2 p.m. Monday
- Alcosta food court
Throughout the festival there will be many more activities and more than 200 vendors with arts, crafts and of course, kites to sell.
There will be three stages with live music from local talents and martial arts and belly dancing demonstrations.
There's even a Kid's Zone full of activities for the younger crowd such as coloring contests, rides and kite making.
And if you get hungry you can choose from three food courts with fair staples: corn dogs, ice cream and pulled pork sandwiches.
For more information on the San Ramon Art and Wind Festival, visit www.artandwind.com.