Italian Street Fair and John Muir House Event - A Busy Saturday

Tomorrow you can't say there is nothing to do in Martinez - it would be difficult to do nothing unless you just want to stay home.

Saturday is a pretty busy day in Martinez, so I thought I’d highlight at least a couple of things going on you should probably know about.

First of all, there’s the This event is truly remarkable, in that it features a variety of professional and amateur artists armed with chalk and a sidewalk – they create their creation right there on the Main Street Plaza sidewalk, where it can be viewed for the entire weekend. The works can be breathtaking in their depth and scope. And the event is free for viewers. This year the entrants are:

Mario Alfaro & Yvette Tipton

Chris Pasadis

Tyler Boomer

Foo Ray

Nicole Ginocchio

Troy Riggs

Chris Kapsalis

Shawn Reese & Selena Welz

If you want to create your own chalk sidewalk masterpiece, for $10 you can “rent” at 2’X2’ square and the admission price also gets you various colored chalks. You can literally paint the town, or at least a small part of it.

During the festival, if you’re so inclined, you can purchase a $25 ticket ($15 in advance) and sample a variety of wines from various Main Street merchants. It’s a wine stroll with chalk art.

On Saturday, the 500 Block of Main Street will feature Little Italy – tables will be set up for diners who want to sample a variety of fares from (homemade Italian food), the (pasta, garlic bread, Caesar Salad), (pizza by the slice), (sausage and pepper sandwiches), and (a three course Italian prix fixe). Everyone will be open until 8 p.m. on Saturday for this first time event.

And the entertainment lineup is also new this year: on Saturday, two time world pizza tossing champion Jay Schuurman will demonstrate his remarkable skills at noon and 12:45 p.m. If you haven’t seen this guy, you need to.

Then it’s Dean Martin impersonator Matt Helm from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., after which (6:30 to 8 p.m.) the Dave Baioni Trio performs a variety of standard Italian classics.

On Sunday, John DeMers sings the songs of Frank Sinatra from 122:30 to 1:30 p.m., followed by selections from the Martinez Opera from 2 to 2:45 p.m., after which it’s Italian favorites with the band Bella Ciao from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

During the day, strolling accordionist Tom Torriglia will keep you in the spirit of the badda-boom.

Tomorrow also features the grand opening of the newly-renovated John Muir Visitor’s Center, the building you enter before touring the John Muir House and grounds. The newly-enlarged building features a retail store, historic information, and a life-sized statue of John Muir. The grand opening begins at 10 a.m. After that, you can go to the Shell Clubhouse and see a screening of “John Muir in the New World,” a PBS documentary which was partly filmed at the John Muir National Historic Site. The $35 entry fee also gets you a pasta dinner.


1932 - The Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd is renamed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

1952 - Richard Nixon makes his "Checkers speech".

1969 - The Chicago Eight trial opens in Chicago.

1986 - Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros sets the major-league record by striking out the first eight batters of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers

1988 - José Canseco of the Oakland Athletics becomes the first member of the 40-40 club.

2002 - The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox ("Phoenix 0.1") is released.



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