You can download a copy of the Star’s ‘grab-and-go’ Fremont Fest Guide here.
Beaumont Village businesses are ramping up preparations for the 30th annual Fremont Fest on Saturday, August 6, sponsored by the Beaumont Business Association.
Activities begin with a lively Kid, Bike and Pet Parade at 10:00 a.m. Local families and businesses are encouraged to join the parade. Frazier Wealth Management, Peak Mortgage, Pip’s Original Doughnuts and Whole Foods are the major sponsors for this year’s event. Supporting sponsors include Alameda Brew Pub, Amalfi’s restaurant, Bridgetown Apartments, Green Dog Pet Supply, On Point credit union, Sand’s Solutions, Silhouette boutique and Stanich’s restaurant. Northeast Fremont street will be closed to car traffic from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. between 42nd and 49th avenues.
The Grand Marshall for this year’s parade will be longtime neighborhood merchant Nancy Tilton of Dee’s Golden Door, who participated in the very first Fremont Fest 30 years ago.
“I’ve loved seeing all the little kids in the parade over the years and all the neighbors and businesses who come out to participate.” said Tilton. “It’s always been about our business community giving back to the neighborhood and that’s the part I love.”
After the parade, thousands of neighbors and dozens of vendors will take to the street for a day of merchandising, music, food, beverages and fun. For the kids, Peak Mortgage is sponsoring a bounce house and Wish Upon a Pony will be offering free pony rides. For thirsty adults, participating taverns and restaurants – Alameda Brewing, Batter, Bottles, Dean’s Scene, McPeet’s, NoHo’s and Pizzicato – will be serving beer tasters to neighbors who purchase Fremont Fest mugs for the annual Pub Crawl. Mugs will be on sale most of the day at the information tent in front of Beaumont Market.
In 1986, E. John Rumpakis, the business association’s founder and its first president, joined Bill Perry of Hamburger Patties restaurant to co-chair the very first Fremont Fest.
“Molly Strong, at the time was owner of the Appletree Cottage, suggested we have a fair and take our shops to the street to build neighborhood relationships, said Rumpakis. “The business association members agreed and that was the beginning of the Fremont Fest, held faithfully on the first Saturday in August ever since.”
“It became a celebration of community spirit and a way to thank the neighbors for their loyalty and support, said Rumpakis. “The association wanted the participation of the community, so the day always started at 10:00 a.m. with a children’s bicycle parade, starting at Beaumont School. The 1995 parade was led by Mayor Vera Katz.”
Through the years there have been a variety of events and vendors. There have been horse-driven hayrides, pony rides, beer gardens, belly dancing, the assembly of the world’s largest maple bar (which was in the Guiness Book of World Records), mime artists, bands, entertainers, food concessions, face painting, sidewalk sales and more.
The business association has been serving the neighborhood since 1979. It published its first business directory in 1987. Its first walking map came out in 1994, with updated versions in 1995 and 1998. Also in 1995, the association used a matching grant launched a “Flowers on Fremont” program to beautify the street corners with hanging flowering baskets. The program was discontinued in 2003, and the association installed permanent decorative signs and street sign caps.
“Fremont Fest has helped to make Beaumont Village a neighborhood of businesses and residences that create a small town flavor,” said Rumpakis. “A place to walk, bike, socialize and enjoy each others company. A place where there are stable businesses with dedicated and longtime shop owners. If you’re not familiar with the neighborhood, Fremont Fest is a great opportunity to discover it.”
“One of my favorite Fremont Fest memories is the pie-eating contests,” said Tilton. “We had a bakery up the street, I think it was Beaumont Bakery, and they had the pie-eating contests. They were a blast. You couldn’t use your hands. Just your face. The pies were dark berry, and they made such a mess. My daughter entered the first year, and I’ll never forget seeing her sweet, tiny, face covered in berry juice.”
- Whole Foods/Green Dog Kids Bike and Pet Parade at 10:00 a.m.
- Purchase Pub Crawl tickets from information booth at N.E. 42nd Ave.
- Kids Activity Area at N.E. 44th Ave.
- Gazelle Music Stage at N.E. 42nd Ave.
- McPeet’s Music Stage at N.E. 45th Ave.
- Amalfi’s Music Stage at N.E. 47th Ave.
- Peak Mortgage Bounce House at N.E. 49th Ave.
- Frazier Wealth Dunk Tank at N.E. 46th Ave.
- Pub Crawl ends at Bottles on N.E. 50th Ave.
Street closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.