The annual Santa Clara Street Dance moved to a new location on Friday, Aug. 2. Franklin Mall was still the place to be, but instead of the band stage sandwiched between the post office and Illusive Comics & Games, it was moved to Jackson Street.
With the front of the stage looking along Jackson towards Benton, the crowd arrived early and settled in for the night’s entertainment. The crosswalk on Jackson served as a limit line for those who brought chairs to enjoy the concert, giving a much larger dance floor than any of the previous Street Dance events enjoyed.
“There’s more room to breathe and dance,” commented Kimo LaiHipp from Santa Clara.
But just because the band stage was relocated doesn’t mean Franklin Mall stood idly by. Santa Clara Sister Cities sold beer and wine and a variety of food vendors were on hand so no one went hungry. The new layout also allowed the Santa Clara Library’s Bookmobile to set up and use a much larger area near Benton Street. They had chalk available for making art on the street, games and movies for children. There was also a face-painting booth located nearby.
Joel, an enthusiastic 10-year-old from San Jose, was attending his third Street Dance in a row.
“The Bookmobile and movies were cool,” said Joel. “I like the music, but really enjoyed being able to play and draw on the street with chalk too.”
Even though the venue had a different setup, The Houserockers were not new to the Street Dance. Named “Best Cover Band in the Bay Area” as winners of KFOX Radio’s Last Band Standing Contest, The Houserockers are a 10-piece Rock & Soul band from Northern California.
“I love the Street Dance, but I love The [Houserockers]. I try to go to all their shows,” said Janine Watson of Sunnyvale.
The absence of booths lining Jackson Street gave the event a much more open feeling, allowing people to use the full width of the street.
While the new layout gave more room, Russell Steiner visiting from New Jersey said, “I love the new layout, but the food vendor area is way too dark now. When the stage was there, that provided a lot of light, but now that whole area is so dark and crowded — it’s an accident waiting to happen. But I love the Street Dance. This is my fifth year attending and I’ll definitely be back next year.”
The annual Street Dance is sponsored by the Cultural Commission. For more information about the Commission, visit their webpage santaclaraca.gov/government/board-commissions/cultural-commission and for more information on The Houserockers, visit their webpage svhouserockers.com.