Nothing says "block party" like neighbors and friends mingling with a glass of wine in hand as the aroma of delicious food floats in the air, mixed with awesome music.

The folks in Alamo Rotary have the concept down to perfection, and they can't wait to get the party started on Sept. 6 for the 32nd annual Alamo Music and Wine Festival.

So mark your calendars for this Rotary-sponsored event and mosey on down to the village for Alamo's most popular tradition, in which revelers say goodbye to summer with a grand finale and at the same time help raise money for the music programs at Alamo and Rancho Romero Elementary Schools, Stove Valley Middle School, Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley High Schools and the Lucille Mauzy School.

I spoke with Alamo resident and Rotary member Mark Kahn, as I've done over the years, to get the scoop on this year's festival. He is excited about the music lineup of the local school jazz bands and choirs, The Dublin Celts, and, rounding out the evening with their dance tunes, the Groove Doctors. Mark has been involved for 31 years and never tires of the festive day, even though the members work long hours to make it memorable.

"It has always been great each year, with the live music and seeing families have fun. I enjoy the experience and have a wonderful time each year," he said. Mark also shared with me that this year they will acknowledge Pat Wickersham, who was instrumental in getting the first Alamo Music Festival off the ground.


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And as Mark explained to me, Pat called him the night before the very first one and said, "We need your help!" Rotary has since stepped in and nurtured the event into something the entire community looks forward to each September.

Come hungry to the event, as there will be scrumptious dinner items to choose, from places such as Faz Restaurant, Izzy's Place and the Rotary Burger Barn with hamburgers and gourmet sausages. The dinner tickets are $15.

Each year a raffle with truly fabulous prizes always offers up a bounty of fun treasures. Some of the raffle highlights include a VIP tour for up to six people of ABC-7 News (KGO) hosted by Spencer Christian and including a live broadcast sitting and pictures at the anchor desk with the news team, a scenic two-hour flight for up to three people with spectacular views from San Francisco, the Delta or a tour of Lake Tahoe region, a tour for four on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, a mountain bike, sailing for a day on the bay, wine tours and tastings, a $100 gift certificate to Faz and another prize of the same amount to Izzy's Place and much more.

Tickets are $5 each, or five tickets for $20, and can be purchased from any Rotary member, members of the Interact Club (Rotary's youth group) or the Rotary Ticket Booth at the festival that day.

Speaking of the Interact Club, I had a chance to also chat with Rotary member Beth Burlingame-Randall, who told me the Interact Club will collect backpacks that day, along with school supplies for needy children in the county heading back to school.

"Without our help, these young people will be starting school without even the basic necessities like pencils, pens and notebooks," said Beth, who encourages the community to bring these items to the Rotary Booth. If you forget your supplies, there's always Rite-Aid and CVS in the village, steps away from the festival. For more information and for a schedule of live music, which begins at 4 p.m., visit the Rotary website at www.AlamoMusicFestival.com. Rotary President Bill Randall invites everyone to come on out that day.

"Please join Alamo Rotarians for our 32nd Annual Music and Wine Festival, where there will be great food, beverages, treats and entertainment for the entire family. This is Alamo's biggest and best block party, so don't miss it," he told me.

And I say cheers to that!

Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- alamo@hotmail.com.