Oakland First Fridays fill street where Cinco de Mayo sideshow chaos erupted

Businesses in Oakland anticipated another chaotic night in the Uptown District, as the streets were bustling with Oakland First Fridays vendors and visitors. 

The area of Broadway and Thomas L. Berkley Way was the scene of a large sideshow Thursday night during Cinco de Mayo festivities.

Oakland police recovered a firearm from the sideshow, made two arrests, and issued twelve citations. The police department also tweeted pictures showing some of the 60 vehicles they towed that were involved in the late-night sideshow.

Business owners in the area know First Fridays draw a large crowd, and the threat of another sideshow popping up had some businesses on edge.

Close to 30,000 people from the greater Bay Area attend the monthly food, music, and arts outdoor festivities, according to the Oakland First Fridays website. 

Sergio Carrillo, the manager at Tierra Mia Coffee on the corner of Broadway and Thomas Berkley Way, said he had a "pretty long night" on Thursday, making two middle-of-the-night checks on the café after getting security system notifications on his phone.

Sideshow participants "were just banging on the doors, trying to get in," Carrillo said. "Thankfully nothing was harmed."

He said businesses across the street were tagged with graffiti Thursday night.

Santa Rosa Police received anonymous tips that car caravans, some coming from Oakland, were involved in a 750-person sideshow that same night. Around 11 p.m. one person was shot, according to Santa Rosa police.

"Several shots were fired," Jeneane Kucker, Santa Rose Police Lieutenant, said, adding that the victim underwent surgery in a local hospital and was in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

At World of Braids along Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, the threat of sideshows didn't worry Ana Hoyt, who was busy braiding hair for high school proms this weekend.

"It's a concern all over, but that is something you cannot stop," Hoyt said.

Locals weren't worried either.

Liat Marks, who recently moved to Oakland from Tel Aviv, said she "definitely" feels safe in the area, though as a practice, she stays vigilant.

That's how Tseday Armstrong feels too. She enjoys Oakland First Fridays, and suggests visitors take BART rather than drive, to avoid car break-ins.

"You can really make it a good time," Armstrong said. "It's mainly just about connecting with your community and having a good time."