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Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market kicks off 25th year

  • Susanna Kaplan of Sebastopol tries to hula hoop during the Wednesday Night Market in Santa Rosa, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Hoop Play of Santa Rosa, is located in the children's area of the market and has dozens of hula hoops for people to try out and purchase. "I haven't done this in 45 years," Kaplan said. " It was fun and I was amazed I could do it." (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

With the words "Just Dance" tattooed vertically on the back of her leg, Shelley-Diane Dutko swayed to the driving beat of the local rock band Brothers of Siren at Fourth and E streets in downtown Santa Rosa.

"It's a party place," said Dutko, a Santa Rosa resident who comes to the Wednesday Night Market with a group of friends.

"I do like to wander around," she said, "but it's mostly for the dancing."

Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market Debut

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A block away, on D Street, Krista Kemp enjoyed the relative calm of the wine garden, sipping zinfandel with a friend, Kristina Gardenal, also from Santa Rosa.

"I remember coming to it (the market) forever," Kemp said, ever since she was "a wee tot."

At 27, Kemp is just two years older than the midweek market, which opened its 25th season on a cool, 60-degree Wednesday evening.

"It'll get warmer; it's early May," said Gardenal, also a market attendee since childhood.

"It gets warmer the more wine you drink," Kemp noted.

Chris Denny, Wednesday Night Market board president, said the event marked its quarter-century anniversary with more sponsors than ever — 30-plus — and new features, including an improved wine garden and an expanded children's play area on E Street, next to the certified farm market.

Along two blocks of closed-off Fourth Street, marketgoers could pet a pair oftame lizards called Australian bearded dragons, buy charity raffle tickets for a shiny black Harley Davidson and visit a Peanuts-style "Psychiatric Help 5 Cents" booth run by the Charles M. Schulz Museum.


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