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Arts and Olive Festival Returns to Cañada College

The largest annual fundraiser for Cañada College scholarships, the Arts and Olive Festival offers food, music, art and entertainment for the whole family.

The 14th annual Arts and Olive Festival returns to Redwood City this weekend, bringing with it food, music, art and fun, all for a good cause.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 2, a variety of arts, music and food will be offered to the public on the Cañada campus.

Though there is no admission charge, a $5 donation is suggested at the gates of the outdoor event. All proceeds will benefit a fund that helps pay for prospective students to attend classes at the community college. Last year, money raised at the event went to pay for 10 separate $1,000 scholarships for students at Cañada College, said Linda Hayes, Dean of Business, Workforce and Athletics.

"We do it for the sake of the students to get scholarships in May," said Hayes, who is coordinating the event.

And, as if the attraction of benefiting a good cause is not enough, the event will offer a variety of family-oriented entertainment that is certain to please all who attend, said Hayes.

The day's lineup of music performances will be kicked off by Orquesta Pacheco, beginning at 11:30 a.m., playing their unique brand of salsa music.

Afterward, beginning at 12:50, will be past fan favorites the Zambalita Middle Eastern Dance Company.

"Everyone loves seeing the belly dancers," said Hayes.

Then, modern blues band Cold Feat will take the stage at 1:40, followed by another dance performance by the Samba Mundial Brazillian Dance Troupe at 3:30.

Closing out the event will be the soulful funk and jazz band, Swoop Unit, beginning at 3:50.

Along with music throughout the day, there will be cooking demonstrations, as well as a variety of delectable offerings for purchase.

Chef Steve Cortez will be presenting three separate shows on how to home-cure olives at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Free samples will gladly be offered upon request.

And, the folks from CreoLa Bistro in San Carlos will be serving up cajun-inspired dishes such as jambalaya, beer-battered onion rings, corn hush puppies and their famous New Orleans bread pudding, for only $5.

The college's food vendor, Pacific Dining, will also be serving barbecued kielbasa sausages and a grilled chicken dish topped with an olive tapenade.

Hayes said the food offerings usually sell out before the event is over, so those who want to eat should show up early.

While those who attend munch on the available food options, they may also peruse the variety of art that will be featured at the event.

Hayes said she expects there to be jewelry, glass-blown ornaments, wood carving art and a variety of other pieces of home decor to be offered.

And for the younger crowd, there will be a chaperoned kids' corner where there will be face painting, story telling and marionette shows.

"There will literally be something for every age group," said Hayes.

So, for the family that is looking to do something that is fun and cheap this weekend, they should hop in the car Sunday and drive to the former olive-ranch-turned-community college, located at 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., and attend the 14th annual Arts and Olive Festival.

For more information, visit http://olivefest.org/.

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