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Posted on April 27, 2014 | 4:18 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara Invites You to Celebrate May Day on 1st Thursday

Source: Kate Schwab for Downtown Santa Barbara

Visit Downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with free art, culture and music! The May 1 event will include more than three dozen cultural art venues, ensuring a fabulous evening for welcoming the month of May.

Join the Santa Barbara Revels for the Sixth Annual May Day Celebration, kicking off the afternoon early (3:30 p.m.) on Marshalls Patio (900 State St.). All ages are welcome to join in spring songs and dances, make nosegays and garlands, and weave ribbons ‘round the May Pole. Stick around for ArtBark at 5 p.m. for a variety of performances, including Marilyn Romeo’s Got Country? country line group, harpist Marsha Sherman, the Nicole McKenzie Improv Group and much more.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for Mother’s Day, Downtown Santa Barbara is the place to shop! Celebrate Mom with free mini facials and natural mineral makeup makeovers at The Grapeseed Company (21 W. Ortega St.). Next door at 19 blue salon & spa (19 W. Ortega St.), trigger your artsy self while viewing the artwork of Robert Waxman and handmade jewelry by Amy Brooke Blair. You’ll be Mom’s favorite for sure after a stop at ENCANTO (1114 State St., Suite 22) for the Mother’s Day Trunk Show, showcasing Bella Notte Due, one-of-a-kind camisoles and blouses. For a trunk show of a different sort, swing by Industry Home (740 State St.) for jewelry by four local jewelers.

Clay has been the medium of choice for more than 40 years for Genie Thompsen, who was inspired by her own mother: at an early age, she embellished the clay projects her mom brought home and a passion for clay was born. Meet her at Santa Barbara Arts (1114 State St., Suite 24, in the courtyard of La Arcada).

Portrait of A. Kutsenko' by Sergey Fedotov, on display at Oliver & Espig, 1108 State St.
“Portrait of A. Kutsenko” by Sergey Fedotov, on display at Oliver & Espig, 1108 State St.

For the simply sublime, venture down to JadeNow Gallery (14 Parker Way) for painting, sculpture and more. Inspired by natural landscapes, Julie Young’s abstract mixed media paintings are on exhibit at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara (229 E. Victoria St.). Channing Peake Gallery (105 E. Anapamu St.) hosts the Santa Barbara Art Association, showcasing the work of Loree Gold, Karen Luckett and Larry Iwerks.

If it’s May, it must be CycleMAYnia! The Velo Vogue Bicycle Fashion Show (6:15 p.m., Paseo Nuevo Center Court) showcases cutting-edge bicycles and fashion, live music by Sidewalk Affair and beer from Haufman Brat Haus and Telegraph Brewing Company. The fashion show is followed by a Bike Moves costume ride (7:30 p.m.); this year’s theme is “Bike Prom.” Costumes are optional but, hey, it’s Prom!

If you’re in a more introspective mood, join Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) at the corner of State and Anapamu streets to try your hand at haiku poetry for “My Haiku on the Bus.” Your poem just may end up posted inside a bus!

The evening continues with 1st Thursday: After Hours (7:30-9:30 p.m.). Join The Granada Theatre (1214 State St.) for local renowned flamenco guitarist Chris Fossek, some nibbles and a no-host bar provided by Marquee Events.

All of these attractions and many more are FREE during 1st Thursday on May 1. With more than three dozen stops on this month’s 1st Thursday Passport, there is something for everyone. Click here for more information and a complete listing of the specific programming offered at each gallery, as well as all public performances and interactive exhibits.

— Kate Schwab is the marketing and communications director for Downtown Santa Barbara.

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