ALAMEDA -- Alameda's Neptune Beach thrived as an amusement park from 1917 to 1939. This weekend, the area should be packed again, when the second annual Neptune Beach Community Celebration will be held.
"We will provide a great venue, activities and entertainment, so the community members can come out and enjoy themselves," said event organizer Jeff Cambra, who's worked with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce and other groups to stage the Island gathering.
An inflatable obstacle course, long slide, pony rides and a rock-climbing wall will be open on Saturday and Sunday near Webster Street and Lincoln Avenue. The Ferris wheel, which takes visitors up 50 feet in the air, will be available for rides only on Saturday. Solar panels funded by Alameda Municipal Power will provide energy for the obstacle course.
"We wanted to call attention to the need to use renewable energy sources, and this event gave us an opportunity to point fairgoers toward AMP's Alameda Green program," Cambra said.
Trans Pacific National Bank will let community members spin a prize wheel for the chance to win free rides, and Alameda Municipal Power will have a booth where residents can sign up for the Alameda Green program and receive some free ride tickets.
Plus, there will be plenty of free music, including performers with Alameda roots, on the stage at Central Avenue. "We've got a full schedule of bands, including two award-winners," said Cambra. The Bob Claire Orchestra (playing Saturday) and Soulstice (appearing on Sunday) won the Concerts at the Cove's Battle of the Bands contest in the summers of 2012 and 2013, respectively.
At 10:45 a.m. Sunday, the Wahine U'l Hawaiian Dancers from Alameda's Mastick Senior Center will take the stage. A bit later, history buffs will want to join the hourlong history walk, which begins at 11 a.m. at Webster and Taylor Avenue. The Crab Cove Visitor Center, where Neptune Beach was located, plans to have a mobile visitors' center at the street fair both days.
"We'll probably have some live animals for people to meet, like a snake or turtle ... and a craft activity for the kids as well," said Sharol Nelson-Embry, the center's supervising naturalist.
"This event will have lots of great entertainment, and it's a very family friendly street fair," Cambra said.
Alameda's Rotary Interact Club will be handling secure bike parking at US Bank, he added. Key event sponsors include Alameda Landing, Alameda Municipal Power and Tim Lewis Communities. For more information, see http://neptunebeachcc.com.