West Alameda Kicks Off Winter Island


West Alameda’s series of holiday events — Winter Island — began Thursday, December 16, and continues through the end of the month.

The two-week festival for families features holiday movie classics, a holiday pet parade and market, children’s activities and performances, seasonal culinary demonstrations and wine tasting, as well as concerts and musical performances.

Events take place in a heated tent at Webster Street and Pacific Avenue sponsored by the West Alameda Business Association and the City of Alameda.

Events include:
– Friday, December 17: Evening of Appreciation, hosted by Alameda PTA Council, 5 to 9 p.m.
– Saturday, December 18: Pet Market 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Pet Parade 10:30 a.m. to noon.
– Sunday, December 19: Kids activities from 1 to 4 p.m; Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys at 7 p.m.
– Monday, December 20: Culinary Night from 6 to 9 p.m.
– Tuesday, December 21: Music Night at 6 p.m.
– Wednesday, December 22: Children’s Music Performance from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

For a full schedule, go to the event’s website.

Most events are free or half price if you can show a receipt from a local business on the day of the event.

“This is the first time we’re helping to stage this, and we’re thrilled to do it,” said Kathy Moehring, executive director of WABA. “The city wanted to do some events in different part of the Island, including some that would bring folks to Webster Street.”

An extra evening event has been added and is set to take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on December 17, organizers say. “The PTAs are asking families to come out and support local businesses, while enjoying shopping and eating on the West End. They want to thank the community for its support that night with refreshments and socializing,” said Leslie Little, the city’s economic-development director.

On December 18, kids and enjoy a pet market and visit by Santa Paws, starting at 9 a.m. And at 10:30 a.m., there will be a pet parade and holiday-costume contest during the Farmer’s Market. Categories for the contest are: best pet costume, pet and owner look-a-like, silly pet trick, and best tail wagging. Pet owners with a same-day receipt from an Alameda store or restaurant get a special doggy bag.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on December 19, there will be kids’ activities featuring holiday storytellers, arts and crafts, while from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on December 22, Winter Island showcases local children’s groups, such as choirs, orchestras and bands and more. At the same time on the evening of December 28, children’s dance groups will perform.

Adults are invited to see Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys perform at 7:30 p.m. on December 19, when tickets are $10 each (or $5 with a same-day receipt). And another swing band – Stompy Jones – is set to take the stage on December 27 for $5 (or free with a same-day Alameda receipt). A jazz group will perform at the same time on December 21, with a rock group scheduled for December 26.

Winter Island features a special culinary night with local chefs from 6 to 9 p.m. on December 20 for $5 (or free with a same-day Alameda receipt), and a wine-tasting extravaganza on December 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. for $20 (or $10 with a same-day receipt).

Major sponsors for Winter Island are NRC Environmental and Gallagher and Lindsay.

Janet Levaux