The four-day Carnival, which begins Friday at noon and wraps up at 5 p.m. Monday. More than 15 rides, from the Berry-Go-Round and Tune Train for little ones to the Sizzler, Zipper, Tilt-A-Whirl and Texas Tornado, are being provided by Sacramento-based California Carnival Company. After an eight-year hiatus, the Carnival was revived in 2012 as part of the 30th anniversary party for Kiddo. The event has become the centerpiece of Memorial Day weekend on the property around the Community Center and Mill Valley Middle School.
After an eight-year hiatus, the Carnival was revived in 2012 as part of the 30th anniversary party for Kiddo. The event has become the centerpiece of Memorial Day weekend on the property around the Community Center and Mill Valley Middle School.
Advance $20 ticket books are available in the Kiddo! office at the Mill Valley School District from May 19 May 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on May 23 from 9 a.m. to noon. Ticket books are $30 once the carnival begins. Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games are extra.
Memorial Day events kicks off with the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association’s annual Pancake Breakfast, with volunteers serving up some 1,500 to 2,000 plates of pancakes, eggs and sausage, and lines forming around the block outside the Mill Valley Fire Department’s downtown station. The massive event is set for 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on traffic-free Corte Madera Ave. in front of City Hall and outside the fire station.
Memorial Day Parade
The Memorial Day Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m., with the Mill Valley Community Church selling fresh coffee and donuts, bottled water and chocolate milk at the corner of Throckmorton & Olive from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. In response to calls from veterans to make the event more traditional, the I Love a Parade Committee is building this year’s parade around the theme of “Honoring Those Who Gave Their Lives for Freedom.”
Organizers have scheduled a ceremony prior to the parade to honor soldiers from Mill Valley who died during war. The ceremony will be held at Lytton Square, the tree-laden island that splits Throckmorton Ave. between Miller and Corte Madera avenues into two. The island is named for Lytton Barber, Mill Valley’s first WWI casualty.
I Love a Parade Committee Chair Larry “the Hat” Lautzker said that while the parade will be much more inclusive of Mill Valley’s original Memorial Day Parade, it won’t lose the community party spirit that has been so evident over the past decade. The parade, which runs down Miller Avenue to Tam High, regularly draws more than 6,000 spectators each year, and includes more than 60 participants.
Kiddo! Memorial Day Community Celebration
When the float riders, school bands, dignitaries and a bevy of youth groups head to the Mill Valley Community Center after the parade, they’ll have a plenty of fun in front of them.
In addition to the Carnival, tasty treats will be served up by the likes of:
- Zen Grill
- Piazza D’Angelo
- Beth’s Community Kitchen
- Good Foods Catering
- Tru Gourmet
- Kernel Steve’s Kettle Corn
- Nothing Bundt Cakes
- Laughing Glass Cocktails
- Lagunitas Brewing Company
- Whole Foods Market, East Blithedale Store
Concert on the Green
If food, floats and furious Carnival rides don’t quite satiate you, the annual post-parade musical celebration produced by the Sweetwater Music Hall should do the trick.
Local prodigies Matt Jaffe & the Distractions get things started at noon. The band – Mill Valley singer-songwriter Matt Jaffe is a local prodigy and a music industry veteran at just 19 years old, with Terra Linda resident Alex Coltharp on drums and Novato musician Sammie Fischer on bass – plays a sharp brand of smart indie rock, drawing on a range of influences from the Talking Heads and Ted Leo & The Pharmacists to the Decemberists and Django Reinhardt.
Dan Lebowitz, a founding member of jam band ALO, makes frequent appearances at the Sweetwater Music Hall, including a pair of upcoming performances with the likes of Jason Crosby, Stu Allen, Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green and Lukas Nelson, many of whom will be joining Lebo for a set that promises to be a foot-stomper.
Nearly 20 years after his death, the legend of Jerry Garcia continues to reverberates around the world, perhaps nowhere more than in Marin and Mill Valley, where the Grateful Dead god lived for years and where he regularly held court at the old Sweetwater.
Garcia’s musical interests were famously varied, and he had a slew of side projects, including his eponymous band, which played rock music that was influenced by blues, folks, country and jazz and also performed rock versions of R&B, roots and reggae songs. Other than bassist John Kahn, Melvin Seals had the longest-serving tenure in the band before Garcia’s death, and he has carried the torch almost ever since.
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