Richmond residents Lesley Riley and Pam Pruitt have visited the Solano Stroll on the Berkeley and Albany border for many years, and while they said they’d love to see a similar event in Richmond, they enjoyed seeing Richmond groups expanding their reach to the 38-year-old street fair.
Lesley Riley feels that the Solano Stroll is mostly for the residents of Albany and Berkeley, as many of the vendors are from there, however she also feels there is plenty to enjoy for Richmond residents. “They have great food,” Riley said. “Just because it’s in Albany doesn’t mean you can’t come here,” says Riley.
Among the Richmond groups with booths at the Stroll, Pam Pruitt recommends the Richmond Art Center, which allowed people to make their own art using a variety of materials and tools and learn more about programs at the center. The 76-year-old institution offers classes for adults and children.
“We support emerging artists,” Richmond artist Kato Jaworski said. “Art is for everyone.”
On the far end of the stroll, at the Richmond Rotary Club booth, visitors could make “water pasteurization indicators,” or WAPIS. A clear tube with a piece of wax in it that is sealed at both ends, WAPIs are used in developing countries to test when water is heated to a point that it is pathogen free.
The Rotary Club is an international service organization that in Richmond focuses mainly on education and youth service — such as giving gifts to local teen moms.
“We change lives in a very cheap, effective and concrete way,” said Nick Despota, the director of Rotary Club of Richmond, examining a recently made WAPI. “We are more than a check writing organization.”
On the other side of the Stroll, the House Rabbit Society had a booth encouraging responsible rabbit adoption and volunteer work at its shelter in Richmond.
The House Rabbit Society is a no-kill group that rescues rabbits, said Sandy Parshall, one of the four employees who works at the shelter. Rabbits are the third most-common animal in animal shelters, Parshall said, but don’t get adopted very often. Local shelters can’t support the ever-growing rabbit population, she said. The Rabbit Society just hired a new shelter manager and is working to increase community involvement, Parshall said. This is the organization’s first year at the Solano Stroll.
“Its nice to get out into the community to talk to people,” Parshall said. “It’s kind of fun because people give you a look like, ‘Really, rabbits?’”