Free fun and music will greet visitors to the 75th Anniversary Festival and Open House at the Napa Valley College main campus on April 14.

The event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is designed to attract people of all ages to the campus, and will feature two dance bands, Napa Valley College Estate Wines, food provided by a variety of restaurants on wheels, Chem Lab Kaboom, and a vintage car show.

“We are a college that defines ‘community’ in the way we provide access, encourage involvement and generate success,” said Mary Ann Mancuso, the Board of Trustees president. “This is a celebration to show that our 75-year commitment enriches the entire Napa Valley community, not only the college community.”

For the younger set, planned activities also include a kids’ zone featuring super hero characters, rock wall climbing, face painting and bounce houses. The Child and Family Studies Education program and the Child Development Center will provide an open house, tours and age-appropriate activities for young children.

The Silverados, Napa Valley’s first-ever professional baseball team, will give away $10,000 worth of free tickets to this summer’s inaugural season games, while guests will also learn how to fly drones and view the sun’s surface through a special telescopic lens.

The college is planning to use golf carts to traverse the varied demonstrations and activities around campus. Guests will be able to hop a cart at the Health Occupations Program labs to reach the Teaching Winery, for instance. There will also be tours and demonstrations in the Maker Lab, which includes high-tech equipment such as a 3D printer and a laser cutter.

Guests will also learn what’s cooking in the Hospitality/Culinary/Tourism Management program’s newly remodeled teaching kitchen on the Napa campus, while the Napa Valley Cooking School’s Professional Chef Program from the Upper Valley Campus in St. Helena will offer samples to guests.

A law enforcement expo – and public safety career fair – will be held as Police Academy cadets will be tested and recruited by area law enforcement agencies. The expo will feature a de-activation team, a SWAT demonstration, K-9 corps and tours of high-tech law enforcement vehicles.

Rep. Mike Thompson, an alumnus of NVC and honorary chair of the 75th Anniversary Celebration Committee, will address the crowd, along with educators and other local elected officials, including state Sen. Bill Dodd, who will present the college with a 75th anniversary proclamation from the California Legislature. A statement from Ann Cash, the daughter of founder Harry McPherson, will be read on her behalf at the Founder’s Day event.

Guests will receive a commemorative souvenir program, featuring stories about the college’s history and longtime supporters. Also, a photo booth will be available to memorialize the family event.

Cultural performances will include a Latino music band, Ballet Folklorico, a Mexican lariat workshop and the “Dance of the Old Men,” a humorous folk dance from Michoacán featuring dancers dressed as senior citizens who suddenly become agile.

Several classrooms will be open to visitors interested in seeing classroom instruction and job training in various subjects, including chemistry, engineering, welding, machine tool technology, computer-aided design and business.

Award-winning NVC Estate Wines will be available for tasting and purchase at the Teaching Winery and other areas of campus. The recently-approved Beer-Making Program will also be unveiled.

KVON/KVYN will broadcast live from the festival, interviewing guests and celebrities. The Napa Valley College baseball team is scheduled to play a game in the afternoon on Storm Field.

The wooded amphitheater at the center of the campus known as the “glade” will host several of the student services at NVC, including information about dual (free) enrollment for high school students, Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Project RISE, admissions, financial aid and other programs and services through the department of Student Affairs.

Celebrating its founding in 1942-43 by Harry McPherson, the college will welcome the public to the campus to learn how the school plays a vital role in the local economy by providing access to higher education and job training at an affordable price.

“We are excited to offer the public a full understanding of what the college means to the community, and how connected the college is to the economic and social vitality of the Napa Valley,” said Dr. Ron Kraft, the college president.

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