The 38th annual Solano Avenue Stroll will be held Sunday with the theme, Step Into the Future. The stroll along Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley, produced by the Solano Avenue Association, will begin with a parade at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.
About 100 groups will participate in the parade. Booths will be set up with food, arts and crafts, nonprofit organizations as well as mechanical rides. Entertainment will be plenty, with 50 groups scheduled to perform. An area dedicated for tweens continues the tradition of the stroll as a family-friendly event.
SAA executive director and events manager Allen Cain said the district has been doing well, with more businesses opening than closing. However, the economic difficulties of the past four years have led to a "housecleaning."
"In terms of the district, we are definitely moving into the future," Cain said. "People's perceptions of the future is always subjective. My perspective is 'Hunger Games' and 'Mad Max.' For a commercial district, the future is an interesting thing. We see businesses openings that are Internet-proof."
Cain said "Internet-proof" means businesses that can't be replicated online, such as health-related businesses like exercise studios.
"Solano in the late '90s was known for its restaurants," he said. "Right now, health-related businesses outnumber restaurants, 5-1."
Local merchant Tom Taylor has been named grandmarshal. Taylor is a merchant on Solano
The headline entertainment will be Back Pages, a local Beatles cover band. They will play at 1451 Solano Ave. at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. No. 2 on the bill is Cheating Daylight, a boy band consisting of two sets of brothers. Cheating Daylight is scheduled to perform at 1412 Solano Ave. at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Additionally, the Addison Street Band, a 50-piece jazz band, will perform at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at 1219 Solano Ave.
A Green Zone will be set up on the east end of Solano with tips about simple changes people can make at home or at work to help reduce climate change. Displays of green technology will be set up, and experts will be available to answer questions.
The tween area (please don't call it the kids zone!) will have giant slides, carnival rides, clowns, jugglers, magicians and stilt walkers as well as a face-painting booth.
Cain noted this is an election year and many local candidates are expected to have booths set up.
"We do have a plethora of political candidates that range from AC Transit board of directors, BART, Albany and Berkeley city councils," he said. "Congress as well as local level council seats. This is a great opportunity for the public to come out and talk to a candidate."
Guests are encouraged to walk or take public transportation to the stroll. Vehicles with accessible (blue) license plates can park at Solano Avenue at The Alameda. Valet parking for bicycles will be set up on each end of the stroll.
A shuttle bus will run from the North Berkeley BART station to the stroll and back.
What: 38th annual Solano
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley
More info: www.solanoavenueassn.org
Stroll fun facts