Crisis leaves major Los Altos events in flux

Town Crier File Photo
A scene from last year’s Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival, above, captures happier, more carefree times in the days before social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic. Such events in 2020 face postponement or even cancellation, as there is no clear timeline for when the shelter-in-place directive will end.

The expanding coronavirus crisis will likely mean continued cancellations or postponements of Los Altos events.

Three of the biggest of the year, the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ Fine Art in the Park, the Kiwanis Club of Los Altos’ Pet Parade and the Los Altos Village Association’s summer Arts & Wine Festival, all could be impacted.

Rotarians have already moved the date of their popular event. Originally scheduled May 16 and 17, the club has postponed Fine Art in the Park to Aug. 29 and 30.

Harry Price, event committee director, noted that Rotarians have selected a one-time postponement date and would reassess in July.

“The decision was made for the obvious COVID-19 shelter-in-place reasons causing so many things to be closed or canceled,” he said. “We were reluctant to completely cancel, as this is our annual fundraiser – and the funds that we raise are for the purpose of distributing funds to many local charitable organizations.”

Price, like many others, is dealing with a situation in flux.

“If, shockingly, the public is not allowed to congregate by July (we do not expect that), then at that time, we will actually cancel the event for 2020,” he added. “In 2021, we will go back to our traditional date – the weekend after Mother’s Day in May 2021.”

The 45th annual event, set to be held in Lincoln Park, features the work of more than 160 artists, a variety of food and beverages, and live entertainment.

Local Kiwanis members plan to decide soon on the status of the annual Pet Parade in downtown Los Altos. It’s currently set for May 16, but some health officials have speculated that the coronavirus danger may still be a problem at that time. The largely informal parade for pets and pet owners along Main and State streets is in its 73rd year.

Meanwhile, the 41st annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival is still scheduled July 11 and 12 in downtown Los Altos. It is the primary fundraiser for the Los Altos Village Association, the advocacy organization for downtown businesses.

“Right now, we’re still good to go,” said Scott Hunter, LAVA executive director. “We’ve talked about it (postponement) – it’s certainly on our minds. … We’re still a little too far out.”

Hunter indicated the LAVA board has until mid-May to decide on postponement.

“Then the question would be, what’s a good rescheduled date?” he said.

LAVA already has had to cancel several spring events due to the health crisis, including the annual downtown Easter egg hunt and its St. Paddy’s Beer Stroll.



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