Face painting, kettle corn, free balloons, games, and drinks; the scene was unmistakable. The roads surrounding Franklin Square were blocked off as families and friends came together for the annual Franklin Square Street Dance on Friday, August 12.
This year, the Santa Clara Cultural Advisory Commission bypassed last year’s act, The Sun Kings, and went with KFOX’s Battle of the Bands winner, The Silicon Valley Houserockers. The Houserockers are a 10-piece rock and soul band from Los Gatos that plays a variety of music; including Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, Rob Thomas featuring Santana’s Smooth, and even Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools.
The Houserockers combined a mix of fast-paced beats with slower melodies and managed to keep concertgoers dancing from the moment they took the stage until the very last song. And while most attendees were meeting up with old friends, or spending time with their families, others used the event as an opportunity to make new friends, like Ananda Dancing Heart of Santa Clara and Donna Sadler of Sunnyvale. “I came to dance; to have fun,” said Sadler. “We just met tonight,” added Dancing Heart.
It was Sadler’s first Santa Clara Street Dance and she felt that the concert was “very good,” but thought there weren’t enough people dancing. “I think they’re shy,” she said. Even though not every person was dancing, there were dancers all throughout Franklin Square. Some chose to be up front, and others chose to boogie to the beat near the back of the grassy area or behind the stage. Most didn’t care where they were, they were just trying to have a good time and enjoy the atmosphere.
“Dancing is like being in church for me,” said Dancing Heart. “It’s my prayer…dancing is my bliss.” Dancing Heart and Sadler even discussed getting together on Wednesday for the Sunnyvale Music Summer Series.
There was plenty to do for non-dancing types. Many of the businesses were open and some people chose to enjoy a dinner while listening to The Houserockers set. Others were getting their faces painted or trying their hand at a beanbag toss. There was something for everyone and, as always, South Bay Church was on hand to pass out balloons. Drinks of soda, water, beer and wine were also available for purchase.
By the end of the night, there were sleeping children being carried out by their parents, youths leaving with smiles on their faces and adults who weren’t quite ready to settle down for the evening. Regardless of how the night ended for each individual, it was clear friendship, family, and fun reigned supreme at another successful Street Dance.
The Santa Clara Street Dance is held every year at Franklin Square on the corner of Benton and Monroe Streets. The Silicon Valley Houserockers play gigs all throughout the Bay Area. For additional information on The Houserockers or to see a calendar of their upcoming shows visit, www.svhouserockers.com.