The annual Castro Valley Fall Festival lined up along Norbridge Avenue. Several booths that ranged from self-defense merchandise to our very own CVHS German class raising money for a trip to Germany brought the eccentric crowd to downtown Castro Valley on Sept. 14 and 15.
One of the first things visitors heard as they walked in from the end of the festival was a live band jamming out some melodious music. A couple of steps away, the chocolate-covered tacos from the taco stand drew attention with billowing smoke rising from a metal container used to harden the chocolate.
Aside from the heavy traffic and the limited parking spaces, the festival brought back fond memories of the summer. People were milling around booths of the Castro Valley Education Foundation, Relay for Life, CV Sanitary, Masks, Sweet & Sour USA, Hayward Recreational Parks and the Golden State Warriors, hoping to score some free stuff or just enjoying the fun games offered.
The Fall Festival has changed since its opening in 1972. Compared to previous years when the festival was held on Castro Valley Boulevard, this year’s festival stretched along Norbridge Avenue and part of the library’s parking lot.
“ I found that this year’s festival was not as organized and there were fewer food booths and food truck mafia which attracts a lot of people here. There were fewer people who stopped to see us compared to last year,” said Debbie Beyelia, a Castro Valley citizen who was promoting her Relay for Life booth.
Though for those who have attended the fall festival for a couple of years have noticed the difference in attendance, first-time festival attendees were enjoying the atmosphere and booths at the festival.
“I love the free bags and toys that I got today, I had a blast!” said Amanda Wong, a Castro Valley resident.