Three-year-old Khomauri William had just discovered a giant fish tank filled with koi, turtles and one big wild goldfish and was bouncing up and down the length of the 1,500-gallon tank, pointing and calling to his grandfather, Everrett Webb.
“It’s a shark!” he said.
With the shining San Pablo Bay in the background, hundreds of visitors mingled over a free barbecue lunch and live music as a colorful train schlepped young kids up and down the wide-open picnic area.
Whitney Dotson, Richmond’s board member for the EBRPD, who helped start the festival with the North Richmond Shoreline Open Space Alliance, called the day a success, although the packed schedule of events in San Francisco led to a smaller turnout than previous years.
“This is what we envisioned,” Dotson said.
The Shoreline Festival began in 1996, when Dotson and others were working to get a center for public health established in North Richmond and promote physical activity. The group walked from Wildcat Creek to Breuner Marsh, then to Point Pinole for a barbecue.
The festival also had a strong showing of local conservation groups and community groups. City Council candidates had a chance to speak on stage. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin participated in a Caribbean-inspired rhythm workshop.
Jeberiah Moore, 12, who spent the day at the festival with members of Richmond’s Boy Scout Troop 2, could be seen hanging out up front in a fire truck.
“They let me sit in the fire truck because they thought I was cool because I was in uniform,” he said.