The 5th Anniversary Celebration of Alviso Adobe Community Park in Pleasanton is slated for Saturday, October 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The public is invited to this free event, located at 3465 Old Foothill Road.
The day’s schedule includes showings of a locally student-produced documentary about the Alviso Adobe, a presentation by Meadowlark Dairy, a visit with Fiona— the park’s life sized, fiberglass cow-in-residence, free seedlings from Western Garden Nursery, authentic Californios music and dance by Los Arribenos, and games and crafts for children.
The event will feature 17 hands-on activities and presentations from the Adobe’s three time periods: Ohlone, Californio, and the Meadowlark Dairy. Of special interest are cultural presentations by four generations of Ohlone descendants, including acorn processing, cordage making, jewelry making, and soap root brush making. Other activities include adobe brick making, soap carving and cider making. Guests will also be treated to complimentary food and refreshments. The event will also feature presentations by Pleasanton’s nationally recognized teen improv group, Creatures of Impulse.
Of the more than 700 adobe structures originally constructed in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Spanish and Mexican periods, just a few exist today, including Pleasanton’s Alviso Adobe. It serves as the centerpiece of a seven-acre park that tells the story of how one piece of California land has been inhabited and used in different ways since the time of the pyramids in Egypt. From its earliest recorded human habitation as a settlement of the native Ohlone Indians, to the days of the Spanish ranchos managing herds of cattle on the original 12,000-acre Rancho Santa Rita, to the turn of the century when it was home to California’s first certified dairy, original portions of each historical period have been left intact.
A $4.5 million restoration transformed the site into an interpretive park where school children and visitors learn about the history of the Amador Valley and get a rare glimpse of times past. A re-creation of the historic Meadowlark Dairy Milking Barn and Bunk House/Interpretive and Activity Space serve as classrooms and indoor interpretive displays. Since its opening in October 2008, more than 200 third and fourth grade classes have visited the park to learn about local history. Additionally, the Environmental Education staff based at the park provided programming for more than 1,800 students last year with off-site visits to Pleasanton pre-schools and elementary schools to educate 4 to 7 year-olds about regional natural history.
The site also features a dramatic overlook of the valley, with images of Pleasanton at different time periods. A small amphitheater seats 20-30 people for lectures and storytelling. Nearby are demonstration areas that involve visitors in the activities of the past, such as making adobe bricks, churning butter, and weaving baskets. The park grounds have been carefully landscaped with native plants, ancient Heritage oak trees, and a seasonal creek.
The event is also made possible with assistance from Friends of the Adobe and the Museum on Main, and sponsors KKIQ Radio, Western Garden Nursery, Walmart Neighborhood Grocery, Bay Area News Group, and the Meadowlark Dairy.
Some parking for the anniversary celebration is available on-site and overflow parking will be available at nearby Foothill High School, with a free courtesy shuttle to the event and back. For more information about the event, please call (925) 931-5357.