Click photo to enlarge
Annie Sampson performs during the Uptown Unveiled festival along Telegraph Avenue on Thursday, June 18, 2009, in Oakland, Calif. Bands, artists and street performers came together to celebrate the Uptown district. (Jane Tyska/Staff)

Hundreds of revelers Thursday filled the Telegraph Avenue corridor from 16th street to West Grand Avenue along with musicians, skaters and artists during Uptown Unveiled.

The city and merchant-sponsored events brought out residents and visitors alike to meander, dance and just gawk at the city's sights.

The event, intended to "unveil" the city's arts and entertainment district, was the culmination of years of planning, said Steven Huff, public arts coordinator for the city of Oakland.

"We finally get to show off," Huff said.

"Uptown's time has come," said developer Phil Tagami, the driving force behind the renovation of the newly restored and operating Fox Theater, which has anchored the area's revitalization. Tagami credited former Mayor Jerry Brown's efforts to spark the renaissance that he said Mayor Ron Dellums has been trying to take to the next level. Tagami's next step is renovating other buildings along the Telegraph corridor including the building that houses the Sears department store on Telegraph between 19th and 20th streets.

The street fest, which ran officially from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., slowly heated up as the night wore on. Security was out in large numbers as were people ready to take in the sights of the Fox Theater and the Cathedral Building, the spiraling 1914 building at the intersection of Broadway and Telegraph Avenue at 16th Street. Bands — from salsa to rhythm and blues — rocked the three stages set up along Telegraph.


Advertisement

"It's great to bring the community together," Oakland resident Whitney Weaver said. Even though Whitney is a frequent Uptown District visitor, she said there was more to discover.

Councilmember Larry Reid said the street festival should happen more often. "It's a great event. I wish we could do this every month to celebrate downtown and give people a sense that change is really happening in Oakland."

Reach Angela Woodall at 510-208-6413 or awoodall@bayareanewsgroup.com.

null

Annie Sampson performs during the festival along Telegraph Avenue on Thursday.

Jane Tyska/Staff photos
Revelers meet and greet during the Uptown Unveiled festival along Telegraph Avenue on Thursday in Oakland. Bands, artists and street performers came together to celebrate the Uptown district.