In the latest column, read about plans for the annual May Fete Parade returning May 6, the return of the monthlong Palo Alto Puzzle Hunt and the state recognizing Stanford University as the Ballot Bowl winner.
MERRY MAY FETE! … Now in its 99th year, the Palo Alto May Fete Parade is days away.
Running under the theme of "Empowering Wellness through Community," the beloved tradition is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m. The children's parade runs downtown, beginning at University Avenue and Emerson Street, then turning right on Waverley Street before ending at Heritage Park.
Community groups are invited to register to march in the parade, which in the past has showcased local schools, nonprofits and dance and musical groups (some of whom have created floats). The city also has created a Friends, Family and Pets category for people who don't have a group but would like to participate in the parade.
Afterward, the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto plans to hold a fair until 1 p.m. at Heritage Park, where attendees can visit booths featuring over 30 community organizations; play children's games for a chance at prizes; and enjoy music performed by the bands at Greene Middle, Palo Alto High and Gunn High schools and Past Curfew.
Palo Alto police plan to close the following roads from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturady for the May Fete Parade: University Avenue from High to Waverley streets, and Waverley Street from University to Channing avenues, according to a traffic advisory. The public is advised take other routes to avoid delays.
More information on the fair can be found at cityofpaloalto.org/mayfete, where teens interested in becoming a volunteer can sign up (tasks include preparation, check-in, guiding groups to the staging area, holding a banner in the parade and clean-up). For additional details on the fair, email MayFeteFair@gmail.com.
A PUZZLING ADVENTURE … The Palo Alto Puzzle Hunt is back for a second year, giving local residents a chance to work on puzzles that take them across the city.
The hunt kicks off on May 1 with the first puzzle, which will be released online at solvingfun.com/paloalto and available as a printed copy at the Mitchell Park or Lucie Stern community centers. The puzzles for the second and third weeks will be available at noon on May 8 and May 15, respectively. Registration isn't required for the free monthlong challenge.
After solving each puzzle, participants will be clued to a place within the city where they can search for a sign with bold letters, which are clues to the final answer. "The signs will not be hidden or buried and are on public land within the city of Palo Alto," according to the event website. Once they put the letters together and send in their answer, they'll be entered into a drawing for a prize.
Anyone who completes all three weeks' puzzles can get to the last location based on the previous weeks' answers and complete a last set of puzzles. Each player can send in their answers by filling out a form at solvingfun.com/paloalto or printing a final answer sheet from the aforementioned website and dropping off the form at a city community center. Winners will be contacted after June 1.
ROCK THE VOTE … As local candidates were vying for support from voters during this past fall's election, Stanford University students found themselves campaigning not for elected office, but for getting their peers to become registered voters.
Their efforts paid off — the university was named the winner of California's Ballot Bowl, which is open to colleges and universities across the state. Stanford topped the competition with 1,046 students. California Secretary of State Shirley Weber personally congratulated the university during an April 20 event on campus.
"I'm just excited to see you folks so engaged in this whole process, being innovative about it and committed to it, because I know what happens at this point in your life, it will become your life forever," Weber said in a Stanford Report article.
Weber handed a certificate to undergraduate student Cameron Lange, who received the award on behalf of StanfordVotes, a student group that aims to ramp up the number of Stanford students who turn out to vote. "Our work championing the youth vote is not always easy, but it is always rewarding," Lange, StanfordVotes' vice-chair, said in the Stanford Report article. "With every registration, we are empowering a person to engage in the democratic process, and we are hopefully establishing a lifelong commitment to voting."