OAKLAND -- Rockridge takes a new approach to getting people on the streets this year, with a new spring stroll from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Called "Sounds in Rockridge" and stretching from Broadway to Alcatraz Avenue, the afternoon festival replaces the previous years' Jazz and Wine event. Moving the stroll to a weekend day will make it easier for stores to participate, according to Chris Jackson, manager of the local the merchants' association. Previously, the event was held on a weekday evening.
"This meant they had to stay open," Jackson said.
A number of merchants, both established and new to the avenue, are planning specials for the day. New business Spruce Salon and Spa (5327 College Ave.) is offering wine and a free chair massage in their garden, while clothing boutique Stella Carakasi (5410 College Ave.) is offering 10 percent off during the stroll. Powell's Sweet Shoppe (3206 College Ave., in Berkeley) is offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on gelato.
As usual for Rockridge festivals, the veteran Market Hall (5655 College Ave.) will be turning out to provide a range of street food, from oysters on the half shell to goat cheese ice cream sandwiches, with the Mary D'Orazi Trio singing jazz and pop from 2 to 4 p.m. Other businesses hosting music include Jim Stanke, the Mandolin Man, at Maison d'Etre (5640 College Ave.) and local acoustic band Smooth Toad at Diesel Books (5433 College Ave.) from 2 to 5 p.m.
Stages will also be set up along the avenue, sponsored by the merchants' group, the Rockridge District Association.
"Sounds in Rockridge" will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, College Avenue from Broadway to Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley.