Many Central California city leaders have openly proclaimed their great respect for Lodi city planners. Downtown Lodi is the envy of many mayors throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Lodi has reestablished its downtown's quaint charm while economically charging its central core to once again become the heartbeat of the city for every Lodi citizen.
In the late '90s, the School Street revitalization project was completed. The project involved laying old- fashioned brick streets, inlaid golden sidewalks, informational kiosks, plenty of colorful potted plants and 30-foot tall Sycamore trees. The trees, with broad shade-producing leaves, form a cool canopy over golden sidewalks to create an ideal shopping environment.
Did we say shop? Lodi is unique in the big valley, and our selection of merchandise and creative retailers in the downtown shopping district includes one-of-a-kind boutiques, fashionable furniture stores and great independently owned and operated restaurants with unforgettable dining experiences. From antiques to the region's best Zinfandels and from hot salsas to cool jazz, Downtown Lodi has it all.
Lodi Stadium 12 Theatre is one of the anchors in downtown. The state-of-the-art, stadium-style theater opened in 2001, and today it brings thousands to the downtown scene weekly. After an evening show, you'll see couples and families safely strolling under a cool canopy of stars down School Street, enjoying the crisp Central Valley nights. Many strollers will shop or enjoy a dinner in one of many sidewalk cafes.
For Lodians, the Downtown is a huge source of pride and it shows. The streets are the palettes on which the city paints much of its quality of life. Year-round, the downtown core hosts major events that attract thousands. One of these events, the Lodi Street Faire, boasts over 700 antique and craft vendors the first Sunday in May and October.
The School Street Strolls, which take place in early April and October, place local wineries within the unique shops of Downtown for an evening of great wine, food, and shopping as visitors stroll down the lovely lanes of our historic district.
The streets turn electric in early December for the Christmas Light Parade. Eighty-plus lighted floats meander through the streets for the enjoyment of townspeople and neighbors. The Parade is an event that vividly captures the small-town, homespun flavor of our community spirit.
Every Thursday from June to October, it's time for the Downtown Farmers' Market. All kinds of fresh produce from the Lodi area farms and a cornucopia of other attractions fill the streets.
Downtown Lodi is alive with activity year-round, and revitalization is continuing in all directions from the central core. In May of 2006, Lodi celebrated its 100th birthday, and to commemorate the occasion, Lodi had the pleasure of introducing the Walldogs to Lodi. The Walldogs are a group of artists and sign painters who converged en masse on Downtown Lodi for a whirlwind painting spree over one exciting weekend. Over 50 Walldogs, with the participation of many Lodi citizens, painted nine beautiful murals throughout downtown depicting Lodi's rich heritage. These murals add a vibrancy to Downtown and provide a wonderful tour for visitors to Lodi.
Sacramento Street, one block to the east of School Street, is beginning to enjoy a renaissance of its own. A new 380-space parking garage is heralding the beginnings of new nightspots, eateries, boutiques and shops. A new multi-modal transportation hub is adjacent to the new garage. The transportation hub combines a train and bus station in one facility. Now, you can ride the bus from anywhere in the county to the station and hop a train to the Bay Area or Old Sacramento for a day trip.
For more information about Downtown Lodi and events, you can contact the Lodi Conference & Visitors Bureau at (800) 798-1810, pick up visitor information at 115 S. School Street, #9, go to www.visitlodi.com or visit www.lodichamber.com to view streaming video of Downtown Lodi and more!