To celebrate community resilience over the course of the pandemic, Palo Alto will kick off this Friday a week of more than 20 events — including sports, arts, musical performances and a run through the Baylands under the full moon.
Known as Together Again Palo Alto, the week of activities will kick off with a movie night on Sept. 10, when the city screens "Zootopia" at 7:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Park athletic field, a screening that will be preceded by a special tribute to Palo Alto's first responders. The series will conclude on Sept. 18, when Palo Alto Players kick off their latest production, "Working," at the Lucie Stern Community Theatre.
Sports fans are invited to attend the Sept. 11 men's soccer match between Stanford University and San Jose State University and the Sept. 12 women's soccer match between Stanford and Loyola Marymount. Palo Alto residents will be able to purchase tickets to either game online for $5 in advance of game day using the code PALOALTOREOPEN. The same deal will apply to the women's volleyball clash between Stanford and University of Nebraska on Sept. 14.
Those who are interested in partaking in athletic competition — or who enjoy a stroll under the full moon — are invited to sign up for Moonlight Run, the annual run that is cosponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly and that raises money for local nonprofits. After switching to virtual mode last year because of the pandemic, the event will return to an in-person format on Sept. 17 and offer participants a chance to run a 5K, a 10K or a half marathon — or to partake in a 5K walk — for a good cause.
Residents who prefer to take in nature under a more leisurely pace will also have plenty of options, including at Gamble Garden, which will host free tours on Sept. 11 (advance registration required) and a pop-up sale of handmade arts and crafts on Sept. 15. The nonprofit Environmental Volunteers, meanwhile, plans to hold a naturalist tour of the Baylands on Sept. 17, between 2-4 p.m.
The series of events is part of the city's effort to revitalize the city's economic climate and restore morale after 18 months of pandemic-related restrictions. In announcing the series on Aug. 23, City Manager Ed Shikada touted the broad range of events that will be on display throughout the week, which will include both in-person and virtual activities.
"A variety of community organizations have stepped forward to use this week as an opportunity to put together a series of events that really celebrate Palo Alto and our community spirit," Shikada said at the City Council's Aug. 30 meeting.
The nonprofit Youth Community Service will lead the way with a Mid-Peninsula National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11, a day of service in which community members are invited to partake in what it calls the "largest day of service." This will include activities such as a food drive, making cards, creating a mural, fence painting, gardening and cleanups, according to the event listing. The full list of activities is available at youthcommunityservice.org/national-day-of-service.
Art and music will play a central role in Palo Alto's weeklong celebration. The ACGA Clay and Glass Festival will take center stage at the Palo Alto Art Center on Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to view and purchase clay and glass works and meet the artists behind them. The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University plans to hold a special welcome for Palo Alto residents on Sept. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. (admission is free, but reservations are required for entry).
Music lovers will also have plenty of options, with numerous outdoor concerts planned in downtown and California Avenue. The first of these will take place on Sept. 11, when singer-songwriter Steve Poltz performs on California Avenue at 5 p.m. in a "salute to merchants, workers, caregivers and consumers," according to the event listing. Dayna Stephens Group will play jazz at Lytton Plaza on Sept. 13, between noon and 1:30 p.m.
Inspector Gadje Sextet, a world music ensemble, will bring music to California Avenue on Sept. 13, between 5 and 7 p.m., while the Mads Tolling Quartet will play jazz at Lytton Plaza on Sept. 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Jazz lovers are also invited to hear Ben Goldberg and Scott Amendola, who will play the music of Thelonious Monk at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 15, and the Zach Moses Ostroff Trio, who will perform a free noon concert from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. Eden Edell will perform original songs and covers at 7:30 p.m. on Sept 16. All three of these performances will be at Lytton Plaza.
For a full list of events, visit cityofpaloalto.org.