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Cultural Festivals
Mountain View's A La Carte & Art Kicks-Off

It's time to spring into festival season! The Bay Area's popular festival circuit officially kicks-off on May 5-6 in Mountain View where cool, vibrant Castro Street morphs into a moveable feast of people and colorful tents for the 16th Annual A La Carte & Art. Throngs of visitors are expected to gather in Silicon Valley's epicenter for this beloved springtime festival of the arts which this year celebrates Cinco de Mayo.

Presented by the Mountain View Central Business Association, the open-air festival will feature two days of stellar live music, a fine arts and crafts show with 200 of the west coast's top artists showing their latest handcrafted wares, artisan specialty food purveyors, health and wellness displays, an organic and green products showcase, home and garden exhibits, festive food and drink with premium wine, microbrews, margaritas and mojitos, a farmers' market with fresh seasonal produce, a multitude of kids' amusements in the Tons of Fun Zone, and "A La Car & Art" –– a classic car show. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Admission is free.

Festivalgoers will find thousands of beautiful, handcrafted items by the west coast's top artists and craftmakers showing original work in glass, ceramics, metals, fiber, leather, wood, jewelry, and fine art. "We have many new artists this year joining longtime event favorites," said Dana Hale-Mounier, director of Pacific Fine Arts. "Festivalgoers will find unique, original art and fine crafts with a variety of price points for personal purchases, gifts or additions to private collections. It's a great opportunity to meet the artists showing their work," she said.

Exquisite vases, flatware, clocks, dishes, wall and table decorations, paperweights, stained and beveled glass, etchings, sculptures, photography, oil and watercolor paintings, beadwork, gold and silver jewelry, vests, handbags, hats, wallets, footwear, windchimes, and waterfalls will be among the one-of-a-kind items available.

A smashing lineup of twelve big name bands play two lively, fun-filled days of Latin, classic rock 'n roll, rhythm and blues, jazz, dance and party music on stage and street. The lineup includes The Mystic Pilots, The Megatones, Drive!, The Ones, The Cocktail Monkeys, The Groove Kings, Bob Culbertson, RhythmShakerz, Ancient Winds, Emerson & The Growiser Band and HeartStrings Music.

Festival eateries will be dishing up a world of flavorful foods, perfect for strolling –– gourmet sausages, teriyaki chicken and pork kabobs, veggie wraps, tamales, tacos, made-to-order crepes, souvlakis, meatballs, dolmas, smoked bratwurst with sauerkraut, crab cakes, fish 'n chips, corn-on-the-cob, spiced chicken, beef and pork satays, jumbo hot dogs, burgers, corn dogs, kettle corn, funnel cake, shaved ice, smoothies. Complementing the food will be premium wines, microbrewed beers, refreshing margaritas and mojitos.

Several gourmet specialty food purveyors will be on-hand to sample and sell their incredible edibles. The world's finest olive oil, barrel-aged vinegars, salad dressings, flavored almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, Kona coffee will be among the mouth-watering offerings to sample and buy. Growers from the Mountain View Certified Farmers' Market will be on hand with California's finest farm-fresh strawberries, cherries, apricots, organic produce, asparagus, flavored almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and honey.

The action-packed Kids' Tons of Fun Zone will captivate kids with a multitude of amusements. A massive 24' climbing wall, inflatible slides and bounces, remote controlled NASCAR race track, face painting, temporary henna tattoos, bubble art, balloon twisters, police and fire department displays are among the exciting attractions.

Back by popular demand is A La Car & Art, a classic and custom car show featuring the world's coolest hot rods, macho muscle cars, sleek sports cars and tricked out low riders –– just a sampling of the dazzling cars expected to be on display. The festival will be held on Castro Street between Church Street and Evelyn Avenue in Mountain View, California. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Admission and parking are free. For festival information, call (650) 964-3395 or visit
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