'Menlo Summerfest' is Menlo Park's 'new' downtown festival


Menlo Park's summer festival just got a lot more lively – at least in name.

After a 29-year run, the "Connoisseurs' Marketplace," an annual event hosted by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, will be renamed and replaced with a festival called "Menlo Summerfest."

The festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, along Santa Cruz Avenue between El Camino Real and Johnson Street. Hours both days will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an "after-hours" concert at Fremont Park running from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.

"We felt the time was right to rebrand and revitalize the festival, enliven and freshen up our offerings, and we're all excited about the improvements and changes which reverberate across all aspects of the festival," Fran Dehn, President/CEO of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release issued this morning from Miramar Events.

The Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event with Miramar Events, Team Pro Event and Pacific Fine Arts Festivals.

The change comes after a less-than-stellar event last year -- the first since 1988 that the Chamber did not work with Miramar Events, according to Miramar Events CEO Tim Beeman. The 2015 event was received with numerous complaints from local residents about diminished offerings of children's activities, little variety in the beer selection and no headlining band.

Scheduled to be offered at the festival are:


There will be two stages for music events – one in Fremont Park and the other at El Camino Real – plus four street musicians spread out at different downtown locations.

Headlining the Saturday evening concert will be Petty Theft, a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band.

Other performances in the lineup are: The House Rockers, Pacific Soul Band, Fito Reinoso, Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's, The Reefriders, Pankind Steel Drum Band, Bob Culbertson, John Clarke, Heartstrings Music, Man In White, AHAmele, Pumehana O'Hula, Kawailehua Hula Ohana, The Sunshine Coconuts and Stickdrum.


More than one-fifth of the artists and craftmakers scheduled to attend will be new. There will also be an art contest for festival artists.

Food and Drink

Food trucks and food booths, including new vendors, will be present. Additional small-batch food items will be at booths spread out at the event site.

There will also be cocktails, wine, craft beer, and fresh fruit-puree margaritas.

Other Activities

Scheduled children's activities are a bungee jump, a rock-climbing wall, caricature artists, face painting, henna tattoos, hair braiding and carnival-style rides.

A fun run organized by Fleet Feet Menlo Park is also scheduled on Sunday, July 17.

Go to the event web page for more information.

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3 people like this
Posted by John Onken
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm

Go Fran!

You party animal you. Thanks for making the summer great in Menlo Park.

2 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I hope they are opening this to all vendors. Some of the ones I usually buy from were telling me they were not invited to attend last year because Menlo wanted to limit it to "Fine Art" As a Menlo resident I want to see vendors who I might actually buy things from.

Like this comment
Posted by John butler
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm

i Hope You will find Food Vendors who will offer
Healthy, alternative Foods in contrast to the many
"fast food" style offerings.
i Hope You will offer more alternatives to the
members of the Community who do not Drink Alcohol.
Have You ever though of inviting
"The Joe Sharino Band" , from Santa Cruz?
They have played Classic Rock and Dance music since the 1980s.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 26, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Great idea about Joe Sharino. He and his band are great!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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