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Tyler Volz views Kathleen Pearson's pink car, "Love 23," which is covered with small toys

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Solano Avenue Stroll
A Local Legacy

Solano Avenue is a bustling neighborhood of shops and restaurants. The town holds an annual celebration hosting the largest and oldest free street fair in the San Francisco East Bay area. The Solano Avenue Stroll takes place on the second Sunday in September every year on the tree-lined boulevard spanning two cities -- Albany and Berkeley.

Before Solano was a busy shopping district, it was a place that provided passenger service for the railway trains. In 1893, the Southern Pacific Railway brought trains in to connect Thousand Oaks in Berkeley with Oakland and the ferry depots. In 1903, the Key System ran trolley tracks the length of Solano Avenue.

The Solano Avenue Stroll starts with a pancake breakfast outdoors in Veteran's Memorial Park in Albany hosted by the Lion's Club. Then a parade, which has become a highlight of the year for the community, consisting of floats, horses, scouts, samba bands, art cars and more, marches from the top to the bottom of Solano Avenue. Later, with the street closed to traffic, a block party consisting of game and information booths hosted by more than 150 organizations and nearly 100 kinds of cross-cultural restaurants and food booths, provides neighbors, old friends, and families with a fun way to enjoy an afternoon in the sun.

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