Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Oakland, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway, Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Other major employers include Kaiser Permanente, Oracle, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices are located in Pleasanton. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town
Pleasanton continues to maintain a small town flavor with regular events for the community. Every Saturday morning a farmers’ market sets up on Angela, off Main Street. In 2009, Pleasanton appeared on Newsmax magazine’s list of the “Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns”, which cited the popular farmers’ market among the reasons for the city’s charm. There are several parades during the year, commemorating Christmas, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day, as well as kicking off the beginning of the Alameda County Fair and soccer season.
Beginning in the late 1990s, the Pleasanton Downtown Association organized the popular First Wednesday celebrations from May through September of each year. On the first Wednesday of summer months, Main Street was blocked to traffic and adopted a street fair atmosphere. Each First Wednesday celebration was given a theme and planned with related activities. At this local event, businesses and organizations from downtown and around the Tri-Valley set up booths in the center of the street. A local band performed in the Inklings coffee house parking lot, which was closed off for dancing. The parking lot was also set up as a beergarden, with beer and wine available for consumption. In 2017, the association announced it was discontinuing the events, and was considering other types of events in future years.
Another Pleasanton Downtown Association tradition is the Friday Concerts in the Park series. Every Friday from June until September the PDA schedules different local bands to perform in the evenings at the Lions’ Wayside Park off of First Street. The events are free of charge and draw a crowd. Additional seating for ‘Concerts in the Park’ is available at Delucchi Park, at the intersection of First Street and Neal Street.
The Alameda County Fairgrounds is a 270-acre (110 ha) facility located in Pleasanton. It is home to the annual Alameda County Fair, held since 1912, as well as numerous trade shows and community events. Located on its grounds, the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack was built in 1858, making it the oldest 1-mile (1.6 km) horse racing track in the United States. There is a 3,000 seat amphitheater, as well as a nine-hole golf course located within the track’s infield.
The Firehouse Arts Center, opened in 2010, is a center of culture and art for Pleasanton. It features a 221-seat theater, the Harrington art gallery, and classrooms for art and drama.
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