Celebrate The City At Saturday’s Santa Monica Festival

Friday, 18 May 2012, 1:32:00 AM

Brenton Garen

There will be plenty of opportunity to dance at 21st annual Santa Monica Festival this Saturday, May 19.
Photo courtesy of C.A.R.S.
There will be plenty of opportunity to dance at 21st annual Santa Monica Festival this Saturday, May 19.

The 21st annual Santa Monica Festival returns to Clover Park this Saturday with a free day of music, dance, art, food, workshops, and more.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. thousands are expected to attend the community event that highlights the City’s businesses, arts and environment, and provides ideas and solutions for a greener, healthier, and more sustainable lifestyle.

Festival highlights include performances by Dustbowl Revival and La Santa Cecilia, fitness classes, eco-friendly workshops, and a Santa Monica Farmers Market “Chef Challenge” cooking competition.

Attendees can also learn about recreational classes offered by the City and how to incorporate fitness into everyday life as well as discover local resources offered by a variety of organizations.

Allison Ostrovsky, Cultural Affairs Supervisor for the City of Santa Monica, said the City proudly presented this festival to celebrate and showcase the unique and progressive programs, businesses, culture, and environmental initiatives of Santa Monica.

“It’s really important because it showcases initiatives and programs that the city itself is working on,” Ostrovsky said. “It also showcases what is happening in the City and all the great organizations.”

Ostrovsky said the festival was divided into seven areas with many highlights, including the Ocean Stage, Food Salon, Town Square, Marketplace, and Eco Zone.

“The biggest piece is the new initiative called Active Santa Monica,” she said. “It’s a program to pull of the active options in the city together so people can find out about city classes whether it’s swimming or Zumba. It’s really to encourage residents to get active.”

The Active Santa Monica area will also highlight belly dancing, martial arts, gymnastic, and yoga demos throughout the day.

The Ocean Stage will feature a diverse music and dance performances including Venice-based jazz collective Dustbowl Revival, merging old school bluegrass, gospel, jug band, and swing. The South American rhythms of La Santa Cecilia will combine cumbia and bossa nova with Afro-Cuban percussion, rock, and jazz.

The Food Salon will feature a culinary stage with a chef challenge, cooking demos, and cookbook workshop focusing on how to cook sustainable and affordable meals using Farmers Market produce, as well as ways to incorporate Santa Monica’s adoption of the “Meatless Monday” movement.

The culinary stage includes a new addition this year, the Santa Monica Farmers Market “Chef Challenge” cooking competition featuring Nyesha Arrington, executive chef at The Wilshire and contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 9 and John-Carlos Kuramoto, executive chef at Michael’s.

More than a dozen food trucks and carts will serve a variety of healthy fare and tasty treats, including Border Grill, Coolhaus, India Jones, The Bun Truck, Go Chew Truck and Gastrobus.

The Marketplace will feature guilt-free shopping featuring earth-friendly, artistic wares, jewelry and crafts from top independent, local artists, and vendors.

The Eco Zone will feature fun, interactive booths and activities promoting environmentally smart solutions for your home, garden, and daily living. Sustainable Works will be offering Vermicomposting, Solar Cooking, and Non-Toxic Cleaning workshops.

The Town Square area will feature people committed to making Santa Monica shine from organizations such as the American Red Cross, Santa Monica Fire Department, The Broad Stage, Santa Monica Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Santa Monica Conservancy and many more.

Be inspired and get crafty at one of the many creative workshops. Create spoke cards for your bicycle with the Santa Monica Museum of Art, contribute to an interactive installation with 18th Street Arts Center and make a rocket ship or planet with orbiting objects with the Santa Monica Public Library as part of their Summer Reading theme “Dream Big.”

The festival is presented by the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, Community and Cultural Services Department, and Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE), and is produced by Community Arts Resources (CARS).

Clover Park is located at 2600 Ocean Park Blvd., between Cloverfield Boulevard and 28th Street. Parking and bike valet are free.

For more information and a complete list of events, please visit www.smgov.net/festival.

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