Noe Valley Voice June 2012

A Hayride, a Petting Zoo, and a Bouncy House?!

June SummerFest Will Be a Three-Ring Circus

By Tim Innes

A menagerie of creatures filled last year’s petting zoo, held within the Noe Valley Ministry parking lot. This year, the petting and picture-taking will take place on Noe Street north of 24th Street.    Photo by Sylvia Buettner


Ready for some fun? Then mark your calendar for Saturday, June 16, when the third annual Noe Valley SummerFest will bring hayrides, a petting zoo, a bouncy house, clowns, and more to 24th Street.

While many of the activities will be geared toward kids, organizers are making sure no grown-up is left behind. Adults can display their chalk-drawing skills, sway to Hawaiian music, marvel at the skills of Circus Finelli, groove to the a cappella sounds of the Clef Divers, or enjoy cooking demonstrations and food tastings outside Whole Foods Market. What’s more, aside from a modest charge for feed for the petting zoo animals, it’ll all be free.

The festival, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is being co-produced by the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association and the Noe Valley Association—the community benefit group responsible for, among other things, the hanging flower baskets, street benches, and spiffy sidewalks along 24th and Castro streets.

Hayrides will get the festivities rolling, with the horse-drawn wagon departing from Walgreens, at Castro and Jersey streets, every 20 minutes between 11 and 3. Riders can also get on or off at 24th and Sanchez streets, where the horses will turn back toward Walgreens. The rides are sponsored by Zephyr Real Estate.

Also starting at 11 will be the petting zoo and bouncy house, located on Noe Street just north of 24th. (The section of Noe Street between the Pomodoro cafe and Chase Bank will be closed to traffic during the event.) Like last year, a menagerie of friendly llamas, goats, and sheep will be visiting from All About Animals mobile zoo. Youngsters petting and feeding the animals or playing in the bouncy house, which is sponsored by First Republic Bank, must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Both attractions will be open until 5.

If those aren’t enough to keep the kids entertained, Funnybone the Clown will perform magic tricks and make balloon animals at 24th and Noe from 11:30 to 1:30.

Just west of the parklet in front of Just for Fun will be an old-fashioned photo booth, where festival goers can mug for the camera between 11 and 3. Subjects will have a choice of black-and-white or color photo strips.

Circus Finelli will send in the clowns from 2 to 4. The merriment will begin in the Noe Valley Ministry parking lot between Sanchez and Vicksburg and then move west along 24th Street.

Meanwhile, hula dancers will perform two 30-minute shows, at 1 and 3, in the parklet in front of Just for Fun. Hawaiian shaved-ice drinks may be purchased for $3 between 11 and 4, with proceeds helping to defray festival expenses. Smitten Ice Cream will also be churning out treats from 1 to 3 outside the Hill & Co. Real Estate office at 24th and Vicksburg. Each creamy scoop is made to order.

Also stepping out from the Ministry parking lot, at 3:30, will be the Clef Divers. With an eclectic repertoire of rock, pop, jazz, and country songs, you never know what they might sing as they make their way along 24th Street.

The day’s events will culminate in a chalk-drawing contest on the sidewalk in front of the old Real Food store. There will be two categories: kids under 12 and everyone else, with first-, second-, and third-place winners each receiving prizes provided by Just for Fun and Whole Foods. Judging will commence at 4:30. Because participation is limited to 50 squares, would-be competitors are encouraged to register early. They may do so at Just for Fun, starting at 10 a.m.

Also underwriting the event, which will cost an estimated $25,000 to produce, are Alain Pinel Real Estate, Cliché Noe, Edward Jones Investments, and One Medical Group.

Kids can look forward to nuzzling goats, sheep, and other animals at the June 16 SummerFest and petting zoo on 24th Street.    Photo courtesy Sylvia Buettner