CASTRO VALLEY -- Thousands of people turned out for the first day of the 40th annual Castro Valley Fall Festival at the parking lot of the Castro Valley Library.
The event had something for everyone: Food, wine, beer, and vendor booths, jumpy houses and face painting for youngsters, a rock-climbing wall and three stages of entertainment, which featured young and veteran rock, Latin and blues acts, acoustic combos, and dance and karate troupes.
Many people in Castro Valley depend on the fair for meeting their friends and neighbors, said Roberta Ribet, the executive director of the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It's a grand community event," said Ribet, who has lived in Castro Valley for 30 years. The event is the biggest in Castro Valley and expected to draw some 60,000 people. Residents enjoy living in the unincorporated town because of its rural, small-town feel, while still maintaining close proximity to East Bay city life.
"Don't tell anybody," Ribet said with a smile, "or people would want to move here."
Though autumn doesn't begin until Sept. 22, she said it's been a tradition to hold the two-day event the second weekend of September.
The two-day event included the Classic Car Show on Saturday with scores of vintage and contemporary vehicles, including hot rods, muscle cars and race cars, across Redwood Road at the parking lot of the Castro Valley BART station.
Proceeds from the car show are
Among the vehicles was a Mustang GT being restored by students in the auto tech program.
"All the cars are very well preserved or restored," said Jose Sanchez, a car buff who teaches the auto tech program. "There's lots of time and effort put into them."
New this year to the festival was no fewer than a dozen gourmet food trucks selling everything from pizza to Korean barbecue.
Ribet said the food trucks were brought in because they have a strong following and brought some variety to the event.
"It's been a big draw for us this year," she said.
However, Frank Polizzi, who was selling hot dogs and other barbecued meats out of a vendor booth, said the trucks, which sometimes had queues of hungry attendees, were eating into his sales.
In response, Ribet said the vendors would be spoken to after the event to see how the food trucks worked out. However, she maintained that the trucks brought in a different crowd that benefited all of the food vendors.
The Castro Valley Fall Festival will continue 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Norbridge Avenue in front of the Castro Valley Library.