HAYWARD -- Downtown Hayward is ready to party.
The city will throw a free street party Thursday on B Street from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The party is the first of three this summer, down from four in previous years because of a cutback in city funding. "We're going to make the most of the three parties we have," said Kim Huggett of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce.
The fair will have about 75 booths along B Street. Huggett said the event allows local businesses and agencies to market themselves to the community, which is more important than ever as many struggle to survive.
B Street will be closed from Foothill Boulevard to City Hall on Watkins Street, except at Mission Boulevard to allow traffic on that street. Many businesses along B Street plan to extend their hours.
Bands will perform on four stages as part of the Hot Salsa and Cool Nights celebration, which kicks off the 13th season of the city's summer street parties.
Salsa band Lava will play at the B Street Stage in the beer-soda garden between the Bijou and Bank of the West. Mazacote will headline the Buffalo Bill's Stage in front of the brewpub. Blues and soul group Third Sol will set up at Newman Park in the Blues Garden, which also will serve beer and sodas.
The Royal Deuces, which play rockabilly and rock 'n' roll, will be at the Bistro Patio Stage at Main and B streets.
The family-friendly event will have street entertainers, face-painters and
About 30 to 50 volunteers will help coordinate the event, and the city will have police officers and firefighters on hand.
"This is the 13th year we've been doing this, so our friends at the city have this down to a science," Huggett said.
"We rely on the volunteers. The whole thing doesn't work without the volunteers and all the groups working together," he added.
The street parties are a coordinated effort of the Chamber of Commerce, the city of Hayward and the Downtown Business Improvement Area. The improvement area is made up of local businesses working to make downtown clean and safe and a destination for dining, shopping, the arts and entertainment.
"Hayward street parties have been bringing families to our city center to celebrate the summer for 12 years," Huggett said. "These free events are part of a great Hayward tradition of community celebrations that appeal to all ages."
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.
Where: B Street from Foothill Boulevard to Watkins Street, Hayward
When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday
Vendor reservations are still being accepted. For information, call 510-537-2424 or check the Chamber of Commerce website at www.hayward.org.
Hayward's street parties are held the third Thursday of the month.
The next one, Wild West Days, will be July 19. The final one, California Dreamin', will be Aug. 16.