DANVILLE -- The annual Danville Fall Crafts Festival represents tradition and civic pride. To attract more than 50,000 people to the downtown's Hartz Avenue, all it takes are 1,000 glass pumpkins and children dressed as superheroes.

Of course, there's far more to this year's 22nd annual event, to be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. After the children's costume parade at 10 a.m. Oct. 26 -- in front of Faz restaurant at 600 Hartz Ave. -- visitors can make a beeline for their favorite artist booths.

Many of the contemporary and fine art craftspeople return year after year, but fresh faces also add novelty. The thriving Bay Area arts community extends deep into the Tri-Valley and an "artist's tour circuit" brings exhibitors from outer regions, meaning the work on display includes something for everyone.

A small sampling proves the point: Storyteller Keys brings "collage" jewelry made with antique keys and watch parts from a studio near San Luis Obispo in Atascadero. Clayton's McCracken Ceramics draws on the Asian art of raku, from the 16th century, to fashion its large-scale vessels. Dirk Yuricich Photography is based in Nevada, but his dramatic use of color in photos of people, places and animals all over the world offer international travel in 2D.

While the kids are getting their faces painted or trick-or-treating at participating businesses, adults don't have to go hungry. Among the good eats will be cinnamon almonds from Oliver's Almonds for snacking, chicken (on sticks, in bowls and fried with rice) from Sonoma Teriyaki and microbrews and wines at the Beverage Garden sponsored by the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce.


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For acoustic entertainment, Santa Cruz's Singing Wood ensemble returns, bringing marimba music from Zimbabwe. And Heartstrings, the world music duo of Al Fabrizio and Hugo Wainzinger, make a repeat performance -- serenading visitors with sweet sounds from Italy. There will be a Next Step Dance Studio performance Oct. 26 and a Classic Cars and BMX Bikes Show on Oct. 27.

There will be free, unlimited vehicle parking in town-owned lots and curbside spaces (the two-hour parking limit will not be enforced) and free bicycle parking at Prospect and Hartz avenues.

And, as always, the star of the show will be the glass pumpkin harvest, with prolific pumpkin glass artists, creating their orbs in every size, shape, color and texture imaginable. Artist Gigi Erickson organizes the pumpkins, arranging them with room to wander amid their glossy glow behind the white picket fence on Prospect at Hartz Avenue.

If You Go:
What: Danville Fall Crafts Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
Where: Downtown Danville
Cost: Free
Details: Visit www.mlaproductions.com or call 925-837-4400.