Thousands expected to attend Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto to be closed to traffic for annual festival

Upwards of 150,000 people are expected to attend this weekend's Palo Alto Festival of the Arts along University Avenue, which means there will be transportation issues both for festival-goers and passersby. However, numerous public-transportation outfits will service the festival and the entire Peninsula. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday (Aug. 27) and Sunday (Aug. 28).

University will be closed from High Street to Middlefield Road. Each street that crosses University along that stretch will also be closed from a point halfway between University and Lytton Avenue on one side to a point halfway between University and Hamilton Avenue on the other side. All closures will take effect Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and continue until Sunday night around midnight.

In lieu of fighting for parking downtown, visitors to the festival may take Caltrain to the Palo Alto station, which is located at 95 University Avenue only two blocks from the festivities.

SamTrans bus routes 280, 281, 390 and KX will also run alongside the festival area. The routes service locations in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and all the way up to San Francisco, connecting with both BART and Caltrain at several points.

VTA bus routes 22 and 35 will run both days, and route 522 will run on Saturday only, as usual. Each route includes a stop at the Palo Alto Caltrain station adjacent to the festival. VTA routes connect Palo Alto with Mountain View and points south to San Jose.

This year's festival features live music, street-painting exhibitions, a sculpture garden, art classes, food vendors and approximately 300 artists displaying and selling their work. For detailed transit routes and schedules, visit, and

Related stories:

Festival of the Arts hits Palo Alto this weekend

Palo Alto Festival of the Arts official program guide

— Jeff Carr

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Like this comment
Posted by channel 5
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

@ channel5...

Wow -- why are you so angry with the police? If you have beef against them, take it to the courts. They are just as accountable to the law as you are.

Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I sispect that he is the same poster that is placing similar inane messages in other topic on this board. I suspect anger issues or run-ins with the police or something. Possibly he didn't like getting caught at something and blames the police for catching him.

It takes all types to make the world go around, he is just another type.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

While I can't stand these festivals, I hope that vendors make a lot of money & that attendees end their summers on a high note - that might make the traffic inconvenience worthwhile.

Like this comment
Posted by watching
a resident of Monroe Park
on Aug 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

we will be watching police at the festival. we have uniforms too!

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm

The event should be in a park with 2 or three access points.

Then PAPD can scan for weapons and use facial recognition software to filter out thugs, gangsters and drug dealers.

Like this comment
Posted by Matt
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

@Sharon I've gone to this every year for the past half decade and haven't noticed any objectionable participants. What's wrong with everyone in society enjoying the arts festival peacefully? Do you think it would get that many people if it were held in a place with a line to get in?

@watching What's wrong with the police at these events? They've been unobtrusive years past.

Like this comment
Posted by What a sharon
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Sharon and her facial recognition software again! Hey sharon, did stanford ever find who flattened the Phelps gang car at stanford when they came at your behest to protest against gay people at gunn high? You said then that stanford would use facial recognition software to catch the culprits.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I love the idea of having the festival at a park, but not for the reasons Sharon has mentioned.

I find that the biggest problem in the past has been the heat. A park would be more shady and the grass would keep temps cooler.

The biggest difficulty with a park of course is that the local restaurants would not get the business they get from festivalgoers. So, not sure if moving it would be the best idea even if I like the idea.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Should be a great weekend. But 150,000 people? Just curious how this estimate is done. Sounds kind of high to me. I'll do some counting on Saturday afternoon. Maybe they'll sell out the Hitchcock films at the Stanford.

Like this comment
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 27, 2011 at 5:09 am

Matt, yes you may have gone to this event for years and not noticed any of the nefarious types Sharon is concernec about. But what do you know? Are you outfitted with any facial recognition software? Have you ever gone to this event with a concealed metal detector capable of ascertainng who cruising the tables potentially armed with AK-47's? I think not! And what of the other sorts we need to be concerned about! Perverts, child molesters, tap dancers, mimes, mother rapers and father stabbers!

Thank you Sharon for once again elevating a discussion here to a whole new level.

Like this comment
Posted by Neil
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2011 at 5:44 am

150,000? That would more than the San Diego Comic Con, which is a huge, 4-day event with international coverage. It's totally ridiculous.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 27, 2011 at 6:20 am

Yeah, I did the math and 150,000 is like the entire student body of Paly marching across University Avenue every 10 minutes throughout the entire event. But let's not rain on the parade. I'm sure it will be very pleasant, and a well bahaved crowd.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

150k people?! Sounds like Sharon & her Brown Shirts will be very busy using their facial recog sw & metal detectors.

My contacts have reported that this festival is all the rage amongst nefarious types, especially the mimes, but at least they're the most quiet of criminals.

Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Aug 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I walked over to Prolific Oven in the morning, got some coffee and sat outside and listened to the music.

It was very pleasant.

I've lived next to the event for six years and gone for years before that. I probably don't see well enough to catch sight of all of nefarious types alluded to above. Of course maybe there aren't any!!

It seems like an event that people enjoy and brings a benefit to most residents and visitors.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Went to the festival this morning. It was great -- gets better every year. Lots of new creative vendors, good weather, not too crowded. Cops patrolling were friendly but watchful.

The summer fairs are part of what makes life on the Peninsula special. King's Mtn. Fair is coming up!


Like this comment
Posted by Jarred
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I went today for a couple of hours and it was fantastic. Lots of and interesting beautiful art, good music and many food choices. I didn't see anyone misbehaving. I've been going to this event for many years, and this was the best one yet IHMO.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm

48,000 is my attendance estimate. Been awhile since I've seen that many people with so little litter. And if the number of infants is representative, we'd better rebuild that third high school.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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