Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Super Fright Night showcases Bay Area championship teams, local artistry

(Originally published in the 10/20/15 edition)

   Ever wanted to see a Vince Lombardi trophy in person? Solano County football fans can now rejoice.
   In honor of Super Bowl 50 being held at Levi’s Stadium on Feb. 7, Chevron is currently touring the Bay Area with its mobile exhibition “The 50 Tour: Champions of the Bay,” which will present the history of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders alongside the combined eight Lombardi trophies won by both teams- five by the 49ers and three by the Raiders, including one from when the team played in Los Angeles. 
   The exhibit has had stops at Mountain View’s Art and Wine Festival, San Jose State University and Sonoma’s Harvest Fair. The tour will stop in Vallejo on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.
   Given those dates, don’t expect just an exhibit.
   To coincide with the exhibit, the city of Vallejo will be hosting Super Fright Night on the Waterfront. In addition to displaying the trophies, Vallejo will be celebrating its multicultural and artistic community with a six-hour gala featuring rides, music, dancing, arts and crafts and a whole lot more. 
   The event will be produced by Frank Malifrando, the producer of the city’s Mad Hatter Holiday Festival and annual tree lighting. According to him, the city was approached by Chevron to showcase the Super 50 exhibit in Vallejo.
   “The dates available that they selected were Oct. 30 and 31,” Malifrando said. “At that time, we had a plan to have the exhibit on the Waterfront on those two dates.”
   After meeting with committee officials, it was determined that Vallejo would have to put on something big.
  “I had suggested that since it’s going to be aired on all the NFL channels, we need to showcase what our city is all about,” Malifrando said. 
   And thus, Super Fright Night was born, giving Vallejo citizens the opportunity to see the Lombardi trophies up close and have a fun time.
   “We manufactured the entire event around this exhibit,” Malifrando said. 
   The majority of funding for the event came from Malifrando, but funds have also come in from sponsors like Team Chevrolet and Vallejo’s fire department union. 
   “Businesses are coming forward to help offset the cost of putting it on,” Malifrando said. “The city is doing what they can to help as well, so this is a collaborative effort.”
   From 2:30 to 5:30, the event will be primarily cultural, to represent Day of the Dead as well as Vallejo’s diverse community. Attractions will include an interactive exhibit honoring Frida Kahlo, Mexican folk dancing and food trucks representing Vallejo’s diverse population, with offerings ranging from Mexican food to Filipino food to American hot dog stands. 
   Starting at 5:30, there will be a flash mob dance set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” From there, the event will take a turn for the artistic. West African drummers and dancers as well as Cuban salsa dancers will perform at 6 alongside fire dancers. There will also be flame-shooting metallic sculptures set up by the Flaming Lotus Girls, an art collective whose works have been featured at Burning Man and the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival. The event will culminate with a laser light show at 7 that lasts for the rest of the evening. There will also be pony and train rides throughout the day as well as basketball courts.
   Malifrando says he expects attendance to be huge, especially with the trophies as well as Trunk or Treat happening in the area on Saturday. 
   “I think we’re going to get a turnout of 1,000, if not up to 10,000,” he said. “Vallejo is a very strong, supporting community. When we had the Giants’ World Series trophy, we had over 2,500 lined up without an event just to be photographed with the trophy. This is the eight Lombardi trophies, so we expect a big turnout.”

   Super Fright Night will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 at the Vallejo Waterfront, located on 289 Mare Island Way. For more information, visit HatterVallejo.com.

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