SUMMER SEBASTOPOL PARTY

The Barlow will kick off its Thursday night street fair series next week, coinciding with the Sebastopol Kiwanis 3rd of July celebration. The fair wll be on McKinley Avenue and feature music, food and plenty of entertainment for people of all ages. Pictured is a scene from last November’s grand opening party, which brought thousands of people to The Barlow.

Home to Taylor Maid Farms Coffee Bar and Roastery, Zazu Kitchen and Farm, Woodfour Brewing Company, Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt and many other businesses, The Barlow is Sebastopol’s newest hub of activity, and it’s about to get a little busier when the complex begins hosting a weekly street fair starting July 3.

The event is designed to be a community celebration attracting people all ages and will run weekly on Thursday evenings through Oct. 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. In addition to the dozens of businesses that call the 12.5-acre complex home, the street Fair will feature a variety of local food and artisan vendors, live music and entertainment.

“After an overwhelmingly positive response from our Grand Opening street fair event in November, it was clear that this is what the community wants; a place to come, spend time together and have fun, and this is what the Barlow and the street fair are all about,” said Barney Aldrige, founder of The Barlow. “So we made some calls and invited some of the best food and artisan vendors from the North Bay to join us for a fun, weekly celebration.”

Located on the corner of Highway 12 and Morris Streets, The Barlow street fair will take place on McKinley Street in the heart of The Barlow complex. The event will kick off on July 3 with a live performance by Onye and The Messengers, an international Afro jazz band, playing an electrifying blend of influences ranging from Afro beat, reggae, funk, jazz and world music.

Other local musicians will also be playing acoustically on the street weekly and the event is designed for people of all ages to enjoy. There will be bounce houses for the kids and about 35 vendors plan to participate. Twelve of those will be mobile food vendors featuring everything from Indian and Southern Barbeque to snow cones.

“I love to eat and I’m excited about all the good food, but I’m most excited to see something happening on Thursday night,” said Ava Warren, The Barlow assistant property manager. “People all in one place enjoying each other.”

Organizers are hoping for a good crowd to turn out, but at this point have no idea what to expect.

Taylor Maid plans to have a big presence at the street fair.

“I think we’ve been an anchor business in The Barlow, and it is important to us to have that reflected,” said Louie Poore, marketing director for Taylor Maid Farms Organic Coffee.

The coffee bar and roastery located on McKinley Street is known to draw a crowd at all hours of the day. Handcrafted espresso-based beverages, free Wi-Fi, and indoor and outdoor community seating, as well as the sale of bulk coffee in recyclable and reusable packaging, keeps people coming back for more.

Although The Barlow is already home to Taylor Maid, the business will participate in “the marketplace” that night, with not only a booth, but also a cold-brew tricycle, making its rounds. The new wheels were acquired with the street fair in mind.

“We are always looking for new and exciting ways to present our coffee,” said Poore. Equipped with a box built in front that holds a keg, the cold coffee will be served “on tap,” a first for Taylor Maid, who has yet to put the tricycle to work.

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