This week, check out fine arts and crafts, food and drink vendors, live music and more at the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival. Enjoy moon cakes and traditional lion dances at Ming's of Palo Alto in celebration of the Autumn Moon Festival, and welcome the Pacific Art League back to its newly-renovated Ramona Street home at its Grand Opening Exhibition.
Mountain View Art & Wine Festival
Celebrating its 43rd year, the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival returns to Castro Street this weekend, bringing live music, arts and crafts, dance lessons, food and drink vendors and tons of kid-friendly activities. More than 600 artists and craftspeople will be peddling their wares, which range from leather goods and hand-blown glass to fine sculpture, wearable silks and handcrafted jewelry.
Among the festival highlights this year is the musical lineup, with no less than 13 Bay Area bands playing everything from soul, rock and reggae to classical guitar. On Salsa Sunday, check out the free dance class on the main stage at 1 p.m., followed by four hours of live salsa music from Orquesta Borinquen and Ruckatan Latin Tribe.
Lovers of wine won't want to miss a festival within the festival: Taste of the Mountains Passport Days brings vintners from five artisanal wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains to share their best varietals, suggest cheese pairings and answer questions (tickets are $45). Those not yet of age may want to head to the Kids' Park, where high-adrenaline activities include a bungee trampoline jump and a climbing wall.
Don't forget your smartphone; you'll want to be snapping picks and posting them to Facebook using the hashtag #MVAW2014. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7; admission is free. For more information, go to mountainview.miramarevents.com or call 650-968-8378.
Autumn Moon Festival
In Chinese tradition, the moon symbolizes harmony, unity and rejuvenation. Every autumn, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, worshipers and revelers come together to gaze at the full moon, eat moon cakes and watch traditional lion dances.
There's a chance for the public to participate in these ancient traditions this weekend at Ming's of Palo Alto, where dancers from San Jose's Orchard School Asian Cultural Dance Troupe will give free lion dance performances on Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7, at noon and 1:30 p.m. Viewers can sit back and enjoy the bright colors and kinetic thrill of the lion dance, though the bravest spectators may want to venture forward to make a monetary offering to the lion, as is customary. As part of the festival, Ming's will be serving traditional Chinese moon cakes filled with black bean or lotus paste; eat them there or order them for take-out. Reservations are recommended for dim sum or lunch. To learn more, go to mings.com or call 650-856-7700.
Pacific Art League grand reopening
The Pacific Art League is a treasure of the Palo Alto arts community, offering exhibitions and public events, scholarships for adults and children and workshops in everything from watercolor and landscape painting to architectural drawing. After eight months of renovations on their historic building, the organization is moving back home to 668 Ramona St. in downtown Palo Alto. Come celebrate their return at a Grand Opening Exhibition and reception this Friday, Sept. 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Enjoy live music and refreshments, as well as works by regional artists who helped make the renovation possible.
The following weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 13, the League will hold an afternoon open house from 1 to 4 p.m., beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It's the perfect time to check out their calendar of course offerings for the fall. For more on the Pacific Art League, go to pacificartleague.org or call 650-321-3891.