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Established in 1988, the Oakland Chinatown StreetFest was created by the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to encourage a sense of community in a place where diversity in people and businesses thrive.

Going into its 31st year, the Chinatown StreetFest has firmly established itself as one of the most impressive and dynamic events the Bay Area. The annual event held every year on the fourth weekend of August attracting crowds of tens of thousands of attendees over a two day period. The event showcases the vitality of this historically significant, commercial and cultural region of Oakland.

Diversity is one of Oakland's greatest strengths and many corporations partner with the Oakland Chinatown Chamber Of Commerce each year to tap into ethnic markets, using the StreetFest as its vehicle. Being that the Chamber is a non-profit organization, it depends on grants and corporate contributions to fund events such as the StreetFest.

StreetFest has done much to open up ethnic markets to large corporations, and as a result many have signed up as festival sponsors. The acknowledgement of this market in this region of Oakland signals that the area is ripe for even more commercial success.

Nine core blocks of Chinatown make up the festival site, which features over 200 vendor booths. Browsing the 8 city blocks one will find a little bit of almost everything the Bay Area has to offer. Small businesses and community organizations from all over California come to showcase a myriad of delicious foods, unique Asian products, arts & crafts and special services. Of course there will be a big slice of Chinatown, offering everything from jade bracelets to BBQ lamb, and hand crafted ceramics. Live entertainment runs non-stop on two stages - Cultural Stage and Popular (music) Stage.

The festival's cultural stage has been a showcase for not only Chinese culture, but also for Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Laotian, Filipino, Japanese, and Polynesian per-
formances. Chinese lion dances, Japanese taiko drumming, Tahitian dance, and cultural musical performances have been among some of the more popular attractions.

The festival abounds with activities for families and especially for kids. There is a full fledged carnival, featuring rides and games, and there have been attractions such as pony rides, inflatable jump houses, giant slides, rock climbing, and dunking booths.

The Cultural Village, which is organized in conjunction with Oakland Asian Cultural Center, features hands-on activities, such as Chinese calligraphy, Japanese origami, Chinese opera face makeovers, and other arts and crafts which both children and adults can explore.

If you love music and are in a partying mood, the Popular Stage is the place to be. This stage features some fine local rock, pop and jazz acts, but also in the vicinity of this stage is the food and beverage court. The formula creates for a real festive atmosphere and lots of fun for everyone. It is not uncommon to see people dancing in the streets next to the stage. When the joint gets rockin', especially later in the day, the area around the Popular Stage usually resembles a large block party.

This is an exciting event not to be missed! There is something for everyone at StreetFest. For more information on StreetFest, please visit the festival website at http://www.oaklandchinatownstreetfest.com/ to check out the lineup of entertainment and other activities for the current year..