|Back for more next year: Organizers say Stride & Ride Festival will return in 2013|
|Written by Andy Drukarev - Town Crier Editorial Intern|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2012|
Parking Plaza 4 behind Peet’s Coffee & Tea in downtown Los Altos morphed into a physical fitness mecca for a day last month during the inaugural Stride & Ride Festival.
Residents can expect to see it again next year, according to Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, who deemed the event a success. She said next year’s festival is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in June.
“It would have been nice to have larger attendance, but for a first-time event we were pretty happy with the outcome,” Kleinbaum said, noting that approximately 300 residents attended the festival.
Kleinbaum credited the event’s success to numerous factors, including the participation of local businesses like On Your Mark, Skate Works, Snap Fitness and 359 State Street.
Event organizers also partnered with several charities and the city of Los Altos to host the Stride & Ride Festival June 30.
On Your Mark owner Adam Kemist said his goal was to raise awareness of the city’s health-oriented businesses while also promoting a fit lifestyle. With this in mind, sponsors organized the event so that attendees had access to a variety of fitness-related activities and demonstrations, in addition to booths representing the various establishments that helped put the festival together, he said.
“We all just wanted to be out in the public eye and have people notice the downtown businesses that are right here that they might not be aware of, and to promote a physical fitness lifestyle,” Kemist said.
Staging the festival was a concerted undertaking, Kleinbaum noted, costing an estimated $6,000 – subsidized primarily by the event sponsors as well as some city funds. The event required three months of planning and countless meetings with participating merchants.
Organizers didn’t skimp on attractions either, Kemist said.
Skate Works partnered with local charity Grind Out Hunger to bring in half pipes and professional skaters. The Peninsula Roller Girls provided roller derby demonstrations. The sport is under consideration for the 2020 Olympics.
For those interested in activities without wheels, instructors offered classes in Jazzercise, Zumba, Pilates, yoga and skating. Festival attendees were also invited to try treadmills, stationary bikes and wobble boards.
Passerelle Investment Co. temporarily installed 5,000 square feet of sod to build a makeshift “parklet” that enabled attendees to relax between activities behind Peet’s.
“My feeling was that the people involved in it, the core businesses and other sponsors, really brought their A-game to the table and just made a really nice event,” Kemist said.
A somewhat disjointed marketing effort, resulting in part from the festival’s relatively short planning phase, was one of the few disappointments, Kemist conceded. Organizers are planning a more singular message for the festival next year, he added.
“I think we will look for a common marketing story to be told so that people understand what the event is about,” Kemist said.
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