Around Town: Kings Mountain Art Fair set for Labor Day weekendDawn Niesser was cooking dinner one day in June when she looked out the window and saw smoke billowing from a neighbor's house in the Kings Mountain community. Then she saw the fire engines and firefighters, and in quick succession, felt worry, relief, and pride, according to fellow Kings Mountain resident Aeron Noe.
The incident underscored the urgency of maintaining the volunteer fire service that responds to the close-knit community's emergencies, and Ms. Niesser is an active supporter: She is director of the Kings Mountain Art Fair, slated for Saturday through Monday, Sept. 1-3 — an event that financially supports the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade.
The fair takes place in the redwoods at 13889 Skyline Blvd. in the hills above Woodside between highways 84 and 92. It was started in 1963 to help create the volunteer fire department. Today, in addition to supporting the brigade, proceeds from the fair benefit the three-room Kings Mountain Elementary School.
Kings Mountain Art Fair is different from other California fairs in that it's the only one that is 100 percent manned by volunteers from the small community. Instead of hiring food vendors, volunteers cook and serve the food themselves, starting with a pancake breakfast with the artists from 8 to 10:30 a.m. each day.
Lunch is prepared by the firefighters, and includes burgers and grilled corn. Also available are locally brewed beer and wine.
The festival showcases the work of 138 juried artists and 30 mountain folk artists offering paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. Booths are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kiddie Hollow will offer many activities for children, including a chance to romp around in a Native American teepee, face painting, crafts and balloon art.
Admission to the fair is free, and street parking is available. Visit www.kingsmountainartfair.org for more information.
Animal adoption fair
The Pet Place is hosting a Peninsula Humane Society mobile adoption fair from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. The adoption unit will be located in the parking lot behind the store at 777 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park.
Cats, dogs and other small animals will be looking for new homes, says Lynn Macy of the Pet Place.
The pet shop is also accepting donations for rabbit rescue efforts, Ms. Macy says. Twenty rabbits were recently abandoned in Portola Valley, and rescue volunteers need help with spay/neuter costs and supplies. Call 325-7387 for more information.
Menlo Park Chorus
seeks new members
With its new season beginning on Sept. 4, the Menlo Park Chorus is looking for singers to join the group. There are no auditions, and members are not required to read music.
The chorus meets from 7:15 to 9:45 p.m. on Tuesdays in the new Arrillaga Family Center in the Menlo Park Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.
Members are primarily from Menlo Park, but singers from Woodside, Portola Valley, Mountain View and other nearby towns also add their voices to the ensemble.
Those interested may contact Sally Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-615-1591. Or, just show up at the first rehearsal on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
"You are welcome to give the chorus a try without any commitment," Ms. Cooper says in an announcement. "Remember, there is medical research (proving) the physical benefits of singing."
Life stories classes
Sheila Dunec will begin the fall session of her popular Life Stories course in a Portola Valley home on Thursday, Sept. 13. The series will continue from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. each week until Nov. 13.
Participants are encouraged and coached to write about various aspects of their lives for a range of benefits — for example, to leave a history for their families, or to help themselves in developing a deeper understanding of the events of their lives.
Ms. Dunec, a Foothills College instructor, has offered the course in a number of venues, including the Menlo Park Library. One such program, focusing on the stories of people who served in the military or otherwise experienced the effects of World War II, led to a long-term project that included video recordings of participants reading their stories.
The cost of the Portola Valley session is $150 for 10 weeks. Those interested may call Ms. Dunec at 650-565-8087.