One of the best parts about hanging out in downtown San Jose in the 1990s was the SoFA Street Fair. The annual event, filled with music and art, celebrated the counterculture spirit emerging in the clubs, art galleries and coffeehouses of the nascent South of First Area. And, yes, there were actual sofas on the street.
The festival, much like the '90s, ran its course and bowed out in September 2001. But with downtown's SoFA District back on the upswing thanks to an influx of new high-rise residents, restaurants, bars and galleries, the SoFA Street Fair is returning.
The "reupholstered" event, as co-creator Fil Maresca says, will close this year's Creative Convergence Silicon Valley Festival on Sept. 14. The free, all-ages event will run from noon to 8 p.m. with Fishbone -- another favorite that rose to fame in the 1990s -- as the headlining artist.
There will be three outdoor stages -- among the dozens of other performers is a reunion show for Gilroy band Salmon -- plus venues all along South First Street showcasing art and music.
The FIRST SUPPER: Speaking of SoFA, there was a great turnout last Thursday for the first SoFA Supper Club, a food-truck event where you could reserve a table for six or more people at a specific time -- just like a restaurant -- and nosh with friends in Parque de Los Pobladores on South First and William streets.
The Supper Club returns Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. Reserve a spot at http://sofasupper.eventbrite.com.
SWINGING GOOD TIME: The annual "Spirit of '45" celebration at San Jose's History Park this weekend turns back the clock an extra year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Paris in 1944.
And since that's a great reason to boogie-woogie, the weekend kicks off with a dance party Friday night beneath History Park's beautiful light tower. The Big Band musicians of Swing Solution will be providing the soundtrack for the 7:30 p.m. dance, and Dance Boulevard will be providing lessons for the uninitiated. Tickets are $10, and period attire is encouraged.
There'll be more dancing and music Saturday during the Living History Day, which begins at noon. The four-hour event at History Park includes a fashion show, a display of historic military and civilian vehicles and hands-on exhibits. Admission is $5, and you can get more information on both events at www.historysanjose.org.