This year, Celebrate Davis! 2014 was held in Community Park on F Street on May 15. Celebrate Davis! is an annual, free, community-wide festival organized by the Davis Chamber of Commerce. It is a family-oriented conglomeration of picnicking, a music festival, food booths and a Davis business expo.
“Celebrate Davis! is truly a community celebration of all things Davis,” said Alison Rodegerdts, the deputy director of the Davis Chamber of Commerce and planner of the event. “This annual event would not be possible without the commitment of our event committee, the on-site volunteers.”
Consistent with the Davis stereotype of encouraging alternative transportation, parking near Celebrate Davis! is very hard to find. Most bike, walk or take public transportation to the event in downtown Davis. Free valet bike parking was available to people who attended the event.
This was an opportunity for the Davis community to come together and visit community businesses and organizations at their booths, buy dinner, enjoy live music and watch fireworks at 9 p.m.
“Davis ACE was one of the original Celebrate Davis! contributors,” said Mike Gunter, Davis ACE representative. “We have a raffle giveaway; this is my first year personally, but I will definitely come back next year.”
The most eye-catching part of Celebrate Davis!, visible from the streets were the inflatable bounce houses standing several stories tall, which attracted people of all ages.
“The kids go on every bounce house; we ate at some of the booths, we really enjoy everything. Goes to show that Davis is family-oriented,” said Jessica Cato, a Davis resident.
The attractions for kids were considered a highlight of the event.
“It was a great set up at the park for lots of people to get together and have fun,” said Caroline Golden, a fourth-year anthropology major. “Lots of fun things going on for kids. I would have absolutely loved it as a child — all the bounce houses and the petting zoo! The llamas were adorably shaven and fun to interact with.”
The petting zoo had goats, llamas, puppies and kittens, and some of them could be purchased at the event.
“I’ve been a part of Celebrate Davis! for five or six years now,” said Elsie Greenich, owner of Greenich Acres’ petting zoo. “I love the kids, everyone has a different favorite animal, but usually it is the kitties and puppies.”
The fireworks at 9 p.m. were, for many guests, the reason that Celebrate Davis! was such an exciting event. Unfortunately, the fireworks have been a bit controversial in relation to this event.
According to Davis Wiki, the fireworks catch some people and their dogs by surprise. Many people don’t know about Celebrate Davis! or know that there will be fireworks. Dogs have been known to panic and bolt, and some are never found. So some Davisites have suggested that the fireworks be eliminated from the event.
However, there are still some Davis residents who think the fireworks are a valuable addition.
“The fireworks were a great way to end the night, unifying people and letting them appreciate what a great place Davis truly is,” said Kaye Marquez, a second-year communications and sociology double major.
SHANNON SMITH can be reached at email@example.com.