North Fair Oaks Festival coming soon

August 24, 2008 3:16:30 PM PDT
An estimated 40,000 people are expected to attend the seventh annual North Fair Oaks Festival hosted by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office in unincorporated Redwood City today, organizers said.

The free event, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Middlefield Road between First and Fifth avenues, will kick off with a parade featuring Mariachi bands, dancers, classic cars, fire engines, horses and beauty queens, fair director Catherine Tompkison-Graham said. Sheriff Greg Munks will serve as the grand marshal of the parade.

Warm-up bands will play beforehand and families are encouraged to come out after breakfast and get settled before the parade, Tompkison-Graham said.

A San Jose Sharks mobile street hockey clinic, San Jose Earthquakes soccer clinic, climbing wall, pony rides and a petting zoo are among a handful of activities children can participate in at the fair, Tompkison-Graham said. Two stages will play headline musicians and children's performances, she added.

The fair will also feature the crowning of the North Fair Oaks 2008 Queen of the Festival. Redwood City resident Jenine Giusto has been crowned as the 2008 winner and will receive a $4,000 scholarship as her prize, Tompkison-Graham said. Giusto, a Woodside High School graduate, will begin attending San Jose State this year.

Two semifinalists, named princesses, and two other finalists will receive $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively.

Fairgoers will also have access to booths serving various world cuisines and providing information about emergency preparedness, social services and education.

The fair is focused on the North Fair Oaks community, a part of unincorporated Redwood City on the border of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties that is about 86 percent Latino.

"The purpose of the day is for families and communities to come together," Tompkison-Graham said.

Events and activities are outside in the streets, which will close for the fair, and attendees are encouraged to wear sunscreen and are advised that the event is alcohol free.

The sheriff's office, which hosts the event, works with companies to sponsor the fair and raise money for the Sheriff's Youth Programs Fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which will benefit sheriff's youth activities.

The money will go toward programs such as STAR Camp, which sends children to summer camp, and the DARE program, which provides intervention from drug and alcohol abuse for elementary school students, Tompkison-Graham said.


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