Last year, Yucaipa celebrated its newly finished $6 million Uptown district renovation project with weekend street festivities that drew some 20,000 people over three days.
Organizers hope to do as well or better this year with an extensive lineup of music on three stages anchored by 1980s hard rockers Great White and a two-day Youth Band Slam, plus Artists' Row on First Street, which will feature more than 40 painters, photographers, potters, jewelers and rockhounds.
But there is more completion ahead at this year's second annual Yucaipa Music & Arts Festival, May 3 through 5 in the Historic Uptown area at Yucaipa Boulevard and California Street. The final sculptural element of the California Street roundabout island feature will be unveiled during opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. on May 4.
"What's there on the island already is a 9-foot human figure - an apple orchard worker - and what's being installed is a really big metal tree," said Tina Leuer of VisionQuest Art Gallery and Studio in Yucaipa, which is managing the festival's art offerings. "We weren't quite ready with everything in time for last year's festival. "
For the past year, Leuer said, a live sycamore has stood in for the steel tree in the historic orchard installation, which also includes a ladder and fruit crates. The sycamore tree will have been replanted in Wildwood Creek Basin by the time of the unveiling, organizers said.
Offerings on Artists' Row include paintings in oil, acrylics and watercolors, framed and unframed photography, hand-thrown pottery, and gemstones, rocks and minerals.
Music and the city's now weekly Market Night are the focus on Friday, with the country rock of The Silverados and the jazz and rhythm and blues of Delaney & Jaymes on the Main Stage at 6 and 8 p.m. respectively.
The festival opens at 11 a.m. on May 4 with activities that include the Kids' Fun Zone, the Gem and Mineral Show and historical walking tours. Saturday's entertainment features the Youth Band Slam on the Youth Stage at noon, with "Yucaipa's Got Talent" at 1 p.m. on the Main Stage, followed at 3:30 and 6 p.m. by country artists Brent Payne and James Wesley. Great White goes on at 8 p.m.
On May 5 the festival opens at noon. The Competition Zone, open until 6 p.m., offers opportunities to try sumo wrestling, boxing, and riding a mechanical bull. Sunday's entertainment begins at noon with mariachi musicians and folklorico dancers on the Main Stage and Praise Music on the Praise Stage. First- and second-place winners of the Youth Band Slam go head-to-head on the Main Stage at 2, and classic rockers The Answer perform at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage.
More information about the Yucaipa Music & Arts Festival is available at yucaipamusicandarts.org, or by calling Yucaipa City Hall at 909-797-2489.
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