Downtown Richmond will celebrate on Sept. 29 with a pair of free admission events on Macdonald Avenue.

The fourth annual Spirit and Soul Festival hosted by Richmond Main Street Initiative is moving out of the community garden and onto Macdonald between Fourth Street and Harbour Way from 1 to 5 p.m.

Live entertainment will be headlined by Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, as well as blues acts Tia Carroll, duo Clangin' & Bangin', and hip hop group C U Next Weekend.

As it does every year, Richmond Main Street and city officials will honor downtown champions for 2012 and people in its Neighborhood Ambassador program.

The festival will feature food and drink vendors, an artisan bazaar, a wine garden and prize raffles. Raffle and wine sale proceeds will benefit Richmond Main Street and its ongoing work to revitalize the city's historic downtown.

The celebration will continue with Richmond Arts in Motion, an overlapping event from 4 to 8 p.m. hosted by the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts inside and outside its home at the Winters Building downtown.

Arts in Motion, described as "an indoor/outdoor street fair celebrating interactive art and play," will be on 11th Street and have activities for children and families, food trucks, musical performances and processions representing a variety of world cultures, and the dedication of a new installation by digital artist Scott Snibbe.


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At 6 p.m., celebrants will be invited inside the EBCPA space at 339 11th St. for onstage performances, including a reading of scenes from a center-commissioned play, "Mattie Mae's."

Co-sponsors of the day's festivities include the city and the Our Town program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Richmond Main Street is also seeking volunteers to help make the festivities go smoothly.

Shifts and duties are flexible. For details, contact Alicia Gallo at 510-236-4049 or outreach@richmondmainstreet.org.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: Making San Pablo Avenue safer and its users more mobile is the focus of a walk and design workshop from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in San Pablo.

The evening starts with a walk (or bus ride) along San Pablo, followed by a discussion on ideas to improve circulation and make the street friendlier and more inviting for all users (foot, bicycle, bus and car) at 6:30 p.m. at the Wanlass Park Community Center at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Rivers Street.

The focus will be on San Pablo and connecting streets between Rivers Street and Hilltop Drive.

The workshop is sponsored by Richmond and San Pablo, which will provide Spanish translation. Snacks and refreshments will also be provided.

For details, contact Tina Gallegos at 510-215-3002 or TinaG@sanpabloca.gov.

  • The long-awaited interchange project on Interstate 80 and San Pablo Dam Road will be the focus of a community informational meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Riverside Elementary School, 1300 Amador St. in San Pablo.

    The project is intended to alleviate the bottleneck at the busy interchange, and work will also include the McBryde Avenue and El Portal Drive interchanges, said Adele Ho, San Pablo public works director.

    Exhibits will explain the planned work, and representatives will attend to answer questions.

    The session is hosted by San Pablo, Richmond and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.

  • Judge Lise Pearlman will discuss her book "The Sky's The Limit," an account of the 1968 murder trial of Huey P. Newton, at a benefit event at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium Bermuda Room, 2533 Nevin Ave., from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

    The talk, "People vs. Newton: The Real Trial of the 21st Century," is a fundraiser for the Richmond Library book van campaign.

    Tickets are $10 general or $5 students with ID. Supporting sponsors who donate $100 will get admission and an autographed book.

    For tickets or details, visit www.rplf.org.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.