Saturday, August 23, 2008


Photos by Len and Amanda Ramirez

The first ever San Jose Salsa Festival in Alum Rock Village was a smashing success! The sounds of Latin Affect and Orchesta America got the crowd moving. The salsa and the moves on the dance floor/Quick Stop parking lot kept it hot. And the dozens of vendors and food booths made the afternoon fun. Hundreds of Alum Rock neighbors and families turned out for this first ever Salsa Festival in The Village. There was also salsa tasting, a dance demonstration, dance lessons, a dance contest, a raffle and much more. Check out all the photos and give us your comments on the festival in the space below!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


By Judy Thompson

Our own charming Alum Rock Village will be the site of some terrific “firsts” on Saturday, August 23rd. The Village Business Association (ARVBA) is hosting The First Annual San Jose Salsa Festival which will be held on the street and sidewalks of our historic little business district. This is the first time in anyone’s memory that Alum Rock Avenue will be closed to traffic for nearly 24 hours to accommodate an honest-to-goodness Family Street Fair. And, this will be the first time ever that such an ambitious event will take place at our community’s crossroads hub, Alum Rock Avenue and White Road.

Countless hours of planning and organizing are going into preparations to make this community-building festival an event to remember. Midblock between White Road and Millar/Manning there will be a very large stage. On this stage there will be non-stop musical programming featuring two professional bands, our neighbor Len Ramirez (of Channel 5 fame) emceeing and Village business owner “Salito” Cortes doing vocal impersonations. Local dignitaries will be on hand to greet festival-goers from the stage. DJ’s will round out the program.

An amateur Salsa Dancing contest will be held - but not until guests have had a chance to avail themselves of some free lessons given at the stage. Prizes will be awarded!

Salsa of the edible kind will be featured at a special tasting booth where guests can vote for their favorites from among local restaurant’s offerings.

Food and retail vendor booths will line the median strip offering delicious comestibles and outstanding shopping opportunities. The festival will be the perfect place for family lunch or dinner amid the happy throng.

Along the sidewalks, local non-profits will set up shop offering information and literature - and freebies for kids. There will also be a special kids’ area with a wide array of activities. A free betta fish will be available for every child! Smokey Bear will be there.

Many Village shops and restaurants will be open for business – and most will welcome visitors inside. It will truly be a community event celebrating the people of the Alum Rock neighborhood.

Entrance is free. Parking is free (at James Lick High School, Cruz/Alum Rock Library, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Logos Christian Fellowship Church). However walking is encouraged! Alcohol will not be served assuring children a safe and welcoming environment. A portion of event proceeds will be donated to Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley and James Lick High School.

Hours: Noon to 7:00 PM. Street closure will begin around midnight the night before (to allow installation of the temporary “village within a village”).

And, of course, It Will Be HOT!!!

To learn more about ARVBA, visit our new Web Site at or go to