2012’s To-Do List

The best of the Bay Area's annual events.

Looking for something to do this year? Whether you’re interested in drinking whiskey, purveying art, watching live music, or shopping for antiques, there’s no shortage of activities in the Bay Area to keep you busy. You might even step outside your comfort zone to explore something different. Who knows? You might discover a new passion.


Alameda Point Antiques Faire Huge outdoor event featuring more than 900 antique dealers. First Sunday of every month, 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m., free-$15. 2900 Navy Way, Alameda.

Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto Excursion Go behind the scenes with “Epicurean Concierge” Lisa Rogivin at various restaurants and food shops in North Berkeley, plus conversations with chefs and food purveyors, and tastings and samples. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., $75. Meets near Shattuck Avenue. IntheKitchenwithLisa.com

East Bay Regional Park District Trails Challenge Following a guidebook, complete a series of self-guided hikes of up to twenty Regional Park trails in exchange for better health and a commemorative pin. Self-paced, free. Various locations. RegionalParksFoundation.org

Oakland Art Murmur Monthly art walk in Oakland. First Friday of every month. 6-10 p.m., free. At various galleries along Telegraph Avenue between 19th and 48th streets. OaklandArtMurmur.com

Piedmont Avenue Art Walk Participating merchants stay open late to host art, entertainment, and refreshments. Third Thursday of every month. 6-9 p.m., free. At various stores and galleries on Piedmont Avenue. PiedmontAvenue.org

Saturday Stroll A weekly component to Art Murmur, but with fewer festivities and more focus on the galleries. Saturdays. 1-5 p.m., free. OaklandArtMurmur.org

Taste of Montclair Walking Tour Adventurous foodie Serena Bartlett leads an exploration of Montclair’s food and drink offerings, with tastings, talks, and guidance from a hand-drawn map. First Wednesday of every month. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $45. GrassRoutesTravel.com


Chinese New Year Parade A San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush. Saturday, February 11. 5:15 p.m.-8 p.m., free. Chinatown, San Francisco. ChineseParade.com

Chocolate and Beer Festival Annual event unites brewers and chocolatiers for an afternoon tasting of suds and sweets. Also featuring live jazz. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond. February 11. 2-6 p.m., $15-$40. Cranway.com

Noise Pop The biggest independent music festival of the year brings together the hottest noisemakers for anticipated reunions and rarely seen bills, performed in intimate environments. The festival seems to keep expanding with each year, and now includes a film festival, comedy acts, art, and a crafts fair. February 21-26. Various venues. NoisePop.com

SF Beer Week Various beer-tasting events at venues all over the Bay Area. February 10-19. SFBeerWeek.org

SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival Now in its thirteenth year, the annual festival features old-timey and bluegrass acts from near and far. February 10-19. Various Bay Area venues. SFBluegrass.org


Japanese Food Festival With sushi, sake, live entertainment, a silent auction, and more. Sunday, March 11, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Road, Oakland. Oakland-Fukuoka.org

Oakland Running Festival Full and half-marathon, 5K, kids’ fun run, and four-person relay race. Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25. Snow Park, 19th and Harrison streets, Oakland. OaklandMarathon.com

RPM Challenge Listening Party During the month of February, the Express challenges Bay Area musicians to create a new album of work. At the listening party, we play one track from every album completed. The event is broadcast live. Attendees include the musicians, music industry professionals, and the general public. Saturday, March 24, 4-8 p.m. free. Vitus, 201 Broadway, Oakland. RPMChallenge.com

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival The annual event has grown into a ten-day feast with two important main courses: films from the old country and films by Asian Americans. Because it comes early in the calendar year, the festival often steals thunder from other fests with its adventurous selections. March 8-18. Various venues. CAAMedia.org

13th Annual Whiskies of the World Expo A whiskey and artisanal spirit festival on the SF Hornblower Yacht with hundreds of whiskeys and other libations for tasting, whiskey seminars and pairings, top-deck cigar smoking, live music, and food. March 31, 6-9 p.m., $60-$130. WhiskiesoftheWorld.com

White Elephant Sale Biggest rummage sale in Northern California, with proceeds benefitting the Oakland Museum of California. March 3-4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. 333 Lancaster St., Oakland, WhiteElephantSale.org


Bay Area Craft Beer Festival Sip suds from more than thirty local microbreweries. Saturday, April 21. Noon-4 p.m., $5-$35. Historic Downtown Martinez. BayAreaCraftBeerFestival.com

Berkeley Earth Day A celebration of the environment with earth-conscious cultural performers, speakers, and environmental resource booths. Saturday, April 21. Noon-5 p.m., free. Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. and Allston ways, Berkeley. BayAreaEarthDay.com

Cal Day Campus open house with lectures, lab tours, free admission to university museums, music and dance performances, and more. Saturday, April 21. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., free. UC Berkeley campus, Berkeley. CalDay.Berkeley.edu

Deep Green Earth-day festival and conference celebrating the environmental, economic, and health benefits of cannabis. Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $12-$75. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbor Way South, Richmond, DeepGreenFest.com

Montclair Village Restaurant Walk Co-sponsored by the Lions Club, this event showcases village restaurants and food and beverage outlets, with tastings and more. Proceeds go to charity. Tuesday, April 24. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Montclair Village and Village Square, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival A large, vibrant celebration of Japanese culture and of the Japanese-American community, with a parade, pageant, and live performers spread out over four days. April 14-15 and 21-22, free. Japantown, Post and Buchanan streets, San Francisco. NCCBF.org

Presidential Yacht Potomac Opening Day Cruise Celebration of the opening of yacht season, with “visits” from (aka people dressed up as) historical Bay Area notables including Jack London, FDR, Lilly Coit, Emperor Norton, and others. Lunch included. Sunday, April 29. 10:30 p.m.-2 p.m. USS Potomac, 540 Water St., Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

The San Francisco International Film Festival The oldest film fest in the Western Hemisphere is also one of the world’s most interesting, because it plays to the Bay Area’s film-loving audiences instead of to industry types with two weeks of movies you’ll probably never see anywhere else. April 19-May 3. Various venues. SFFS.org

Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show With sailboat rides, sailing seminars interactive workshops, parties and live music, and more. April 12-15, free. Jack London Square, Oakland. StrictlySailPacific.com


Alcatraz Challenge Swim 1.5-mile swim begins near Alcatraz Island and ends at the East Beach of Crissy Field, located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Presidio Park. Sunday, May 27. 8 a.m. TriCalifornia.com

Bay to Breakers The infamously zany 12K race features runners decked out in costumes as they traverse the streets of San Francisco. Sunday, May 20. 7 a.m.-noon. Starts at Howard St. at Beale St., San Francisco. BayToBreakers.com

Bike to Work Day Drop your car keys, grab your bike, and participate in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual celebration of the bicycle. With deals and promotions for bike riders at various Bay Area locations. Thursday, May 10. SFBike.org

SF Carnaval Festival and Parade Parade and Street fair celebrating Latin American and Caribbean cultures, with food, non-stop music, dancing, a crowning of the King and Queen, and work by local artists. May 26 and 27, free. Harrison St., between 16th and 23rd streets, San Francisco. CarnavalSF.com.

Himalayan Fair Berkeley’s “Little Lhasa” comes alive at the popular annual event, but the “great mountain cultures” of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bhutan also are represented, with a full day’s worth of elaborately costumed traditional dance and music performers. And don’t forget the spicy, charcoal-grilled food. May 19, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., May 20, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. HimalayanFair.net

Historic Ships Cruise Get up close and personal with the mighty USS Hornet, the Jeremiah O’Brien, the Pampanito and others. Lunch included. USS Potomac, 540 Water St., Oakland. Saturday, May 26. JackLondonSquare.com

Jazz on Fourth With food, drink, and other merchants lining Fourth Street, and two stages are filled with homegrown talent, culminating in the finale’s big-band pyrotechnics of award-winning, globetrotting Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble. Sunday, May 20, free. Fourth Street, Berkeley. FourthStreet.com

Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival With live performances; a children’s court with arts, crafts, and games; a food court with crafts, community information booths, and vendors; dance performances; poets; DJs; emcees; speakers; and open ciphers. Saturday, May 19, free. San Antonio Park, 18th Avenue at Foothill Boulevard, Oakland. EastSideArtsAlliance.com

Oakland Greek Festival With Greek food, drinks, music, and dance. May 25-27. Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, 4700 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. OaklandGreekFestival.com

Oakland Indie Awards With food and drink samplings from local restaurants; plus expos by local media, small businesses, and organizations. Typically held in May. Location TBD. OaklandIndieAwards.com

Park Street’s 10th Annual Spring Festival Touted as a Mother’s Day tradition, the annual festival featurs arts, crafts, food, beer, wine, and a kids’ area with pony rides and petting zoo. Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Park Street, Alameda. ShopParkStreet.com

Soundwaves Live musical entertainment plays out along the Oakland waterfront at Jack London Square. Thursday, May 17 and each Thursday through October. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., free. At the Broadway palm trees. JackLondonSquare.com


Alameda County Fair The annual fair features horseracing, contests, concerts, livestock, agriculture education, and carnival rides for the kiddies, plus plenty of barbecued ribs, turkey legs, and corn on the cob. June 20-July 8. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. AlamedaCountyFair.com

Berkeley World Music Festival Featuring live performances by Bay Area-based world music artists, as well as a crafts bazaar. Saturday, June 2, noon-6 p.m., free. Telegraph Ave., between Bancroft Way and Parker St., Berkeley. BerkeleyWorldMusicFestival.org

The Best of the Bay Ride Enjoy panoramic bay views, miles of pastoral and forested hills, and deep, cool redwood forests on optional 83-, 100-, 108, and 125-mile treks through the Bay Area. Preregistration only; limited to 150 riders. Saturday, June 16, $70-$80. Begins at the Orinda BART station. CherryCityCyclists.org

Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival With chocolate samples, arts and crafts vendors, and a sidewalk chalk art contest. Saturday, June 2 (postponed to June 9 if it rains), 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Shattuck Avenue, between Rose and Delaware streets, Berkeley. NorthShattuck.org

Dancing Under the Stars Weekly series of free dance styles (with different genres each week), provided by the Linden Street Dance Studio. Dance party follows each lesson. First dance of the season: Salsa. Friday, June 1 and each Friday through August. 8:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Foot of Broadway, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

Dimond Night Out Restaurant walk and business open house. Tuesday, June 5. Dimond District, Fruitvale Avenue, between Montana Avenue and Colma Street, Oakland. DimondNews.org

Double Dipsea Handicap Race This 13.7-mile handicap race starts at Stinson Beach and winds through Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais State Park before returning to the beach. The race is extra fun for slow runners because they get a head start, and the fast runners have to work harder to catch up. Saturday, June 23, $40-$60. Begins at Stinson Beach. DoubleDipsea.com

East Bay Open Studios Connects the public with more than four hundred artists in fourteen cities in the East Bay. Two weekends in June, free. Various East Bay locations. ProArtsGallery.org

Frameline Aka the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Film Festival, the decades-old summertime festival has branched out over the years and now spans the globe with its innovative, exciting programs. Typically held in June. Various locations. Frameline.org

Laurel Summer Solstice Music Festival Inspired by Fete de la Musique in France, the summer festival features live performances by both amateur and professional musicians on street corners and in stores, cafes, and parking lots. Typically held in June, free. Laurel Village, between 35th Ave. and High St., Oakland. LaurelVillage.com

Live 105’s BFD Over the years, San Francisco’s leading modern rock outpost Live 105 has reliably convened less edgy chart-toppers like Good Charlotte and Linkin Park, classic rebels like Social Distortion and The Cure, and an array of up-and-coming, underground, and local acts. Typically held in June. Shoreline Amphitheatre, One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. Live105.com

Live Oak Park Fair With a bazaar featuring fine crafts, contemporary art, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, quilts, baskets, sculptures, clay, fiber, glass, metal, hand-cut block prints, paintings, and woodwork by more than one hundred artisans. Plus food and music. Typically held in June, free. Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. LiveOakParkFair.com

Northern California Pirate Festival Four acres of live music, pirate and military encampments, roving entertainers, treasure hunts, sword fighting, black powder drills, a children’s stage, a costume contest, craft beers, pirate wares, and cannon battles. Typically held in June, free. Vallejo Waterfront Park, 289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo. NorCalPirateFestival.com

Pacific Fine Arts Festival With sidewalk displays of fine arts and crafts and a judged show. June 22-24, free. Mountain Boulevard, at La Salle Avenue and Antioch Court, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

SalmonAid Festival Wild salmon benefit featuring live musical performances, movie nights, salmon viewing, and culinary events. Typically held in June, free. Various locations TBA. SalmonAid.org

San Francisco Free Folk Festival A two-day, volunteer-run celebration of music and community with live music and workshops. Typically held in June, free. Presidio Middle School, 450 30th Ave., San Francisco. SFFolkFest.org

San Francisco Pride One of San Francisco’s biggest, most colorful parties. Aside from the usual two-day procession of cowboys in leather chaps and sexy transgendered go-go dancers, the parade also features special musical guests and sundry forms of entertainment. This year’s theme: “Global Equality.” June 23-24. Parade starts at Market and Beale streets and ends at Market and 8th streets. Celebration held in Civic Center, San Francisco. SFPride.org

Temescal Street Cinema With free screenings of locally made films and shorts projected on the side of a Bank of the West building, plus live music by local bands, and popcorn. Thursday evenings in June and July, free. TemescalStreetCinema.com

24th Annual Tri for Fun Series of three triathlons designed for novices, with a 400-yard swim, 11-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run. Advance registration is encouraged and includes a T-shirt, refreshments, and raffle. Don’t forget your bike helmet and swim cap. June 16, July 21, August 18, and September 18, $65. Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, Pleasanton. OnYourMarkEvents.com.

Vans Warped Tour With Vana, Sick of Sarah, Polar Bear Club, Mighty Mongo, Hyro Da Hero, I Fight Dragons, and more. Saturday, June 23. Location TBA. WarpedTour.com


Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon & Swim With a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz to the Presidio and a seven-mile out-and-back run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Typically held in July. East end of Crissy Field in the Presidio, San Francisco. TriCalifornia.com

Berkeley Kite Festival and West Coast Kite Championships The Berkeley Marina, directly in the path of the relentless winds coming off the Pacific Ocean, has long been a prime spot for flying kites. Kite teams from Berkeley and Japan show off their enormous kites (both traditional and non-), visible as far as the eye can see. July 28-29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Cesar E. Chavez Park, 200 Marina Blvd., Berkeley. HighlineKites.com/pages/Berkeley-Kite-Fest.html

Berkeley Juggling and Unicycle Festival An only-in-Berkeley celebration of the circus arts, with workshops on subjects like fire-spinning and acro-balancing, as well as organized juggling and unicycle games (don’t miss Berkeley’s Revolution basketball team, reigning North American champs). Typically held in July. Location TBA. BerkeleyJuggling.org

Dimond Park Picnic Community picnic with barbecue, free performances, swimming, and more. Bring your own picnic lunch. Typically held in July. Dimond Park, 3860 Hanley Rd., Oakland. DimondNews.org

East Bay SPCA Summer of Love Adopt-a-thon Adopt a new dog, cat, or rabbit from more than ten local adoption agencies, plus activities for kids and other family-friendly events. Sunday, July 22. Jack London Square, foot of Washington Street, Oakland. EastBaySPCA.org

Fourth of July at the Berkeley Marina Live entertainment on the main stage, plus art and crafts booths, massages, sailboat and dragon boat rides, and fireworks, viewable from the end of the Berkeley Pier at dusk. An alcohol-free event with complimentary valet bike parking. Wednesday, July 4, noon-10 p.m. free. Berkeley Marina, 201 University Ave., Berkeley. AnotherBullwinkelShow.com/4th-of-july

Fourth of July Festival of Family Fun With music, food, arts and crafts, and carnival games. Wednesday, July 4. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

Jail Break Run Run as if you’re on the lam in this annual race coordinated by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the Special Olympics of Northern California. The 5K/10K run begins with a lap around the Santa Rita County Jail, and the event raises funds and public awareness for the Special Olympics. Sunday, July 22. Starting location TBA. OnYourMarkEvents.com

Mayor’s Fourth of July Alameda’s annual Fourth of July extravaganza attracts some 20,000 spectators, or roughly one-third of the city’s population, and is rumored to be one of the longest Fourth of July parades in the world. There’s flag waving, color guards, marching bands, baton twirlers, classic cars, horses, politicians, veterans, and floats, floats, floats. The best hometown parade going in the East Bay, no question. Wednesday, July 4, free. MyAlamedaParade.com

Mission Creek Music & Arts Festival Annual local independent music and arts festival, taking place at venues around the Bay Area. Typically held in July. MCMF.org

Park Street’s 28th Annual Art & Wine Faire Arts, crafts, food, beer, wine, two music stages, kids’ area, pony rides, petting zoo, valet bike parking, and more. July 38-29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Park Street, Alameda. ShopParkStreet.com

Pleasant Hill Firecracker 5K Run-Walk This flat, three-lap route along downtown Pleasant Hill’s July 4 parade route starts at 8 a.m. The just-for-fun children’s dash is a 100-yard sprint for kids seven and under. Wednesday, July 4. Register in front of Fleet Feet Sports, 45 Crescent Dr. PHJuly4.com.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Load up on energy drinks and watch Anthrax, (the East Bay’s own) High on Fire, Slipknot, Slater, and others. Sunday, July 1, Shoreline Amphitheatre, One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. MayhemFest.com

Run to the Lake A 5K run/walk, 10K run, and kids fun dash that benefits Eden Medical Center’s Trauma Center. Sunday, July 8. Begins at Eden Medical Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Rd., Castro Valley. EdenMedCenter.org/Events

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival The world’s oldest and largest Jewish film festival sees its mission as exploring the Jewish experience in all its complexity. And if that means giving equal voice to Palestinians and other minorities, so be it. Boundaries were created to be stretched. July 19-August 6. Various locations. SFJFF.org

San Francisco Marathon Run across the Golden Gate Bridge and past many of the city’s most famous landmarks in this extremely popular event. Options include a full marathon, two half-marathons, 5K run, a kids’ run, and more. Participants receive T-shirts, coaster medals, and completion certificates. Sunday, July 29. Races begin at various points in San Francisco. 415-814-2823 or RunSFM.com

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Dedicated to restoring and presenting original silent films with live musical accompaniment — which means no special effects (well, hardly any), no overbuilt soundtracks, and a complete absence of Shia LaBeouf. What a relief. July 12-15. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco. SilentFilm.org

Temescal Street Fair Features food and drink from local restaurants, a fashion show, fine artists, craft and community booths, live music, a kids’ stage, and more. Sunday, July 8. Noon-6 p.m., free. Telegraph Ave., between 48th and 51st streets, Oakland. TemescalDistrict.org

Waterfront Flicks Watch outdoor movies along the Oakland waterfront, with trivia games, prizes, New Belgium beer, and food from Miss Pearl’s Jam House. Proceeds benefit the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. Thursday, July 12 and every other Thursday through September. Sundown, free. Market lawn at Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com


Biergartenfest Annual German beer and food festival organized by Oakland Nature Friends, with music by Internationals. Sunday, August 5, 1 p.m. 3115 Butters Drive, Oakland, TheNatureFriendsCorporation.org

Bone Bash XIII Annual concert booked by the classic rock radio station. Typically held in August. Location TBA. 1077TheBone.com

Brainwash Movie Festival The Bay’s only “drive-in, bike-in, walk-in” film fest started off showing a bunch of ultra-indie films and vids on a wall in a West Oakland parking lot; it’s since grown to cover three days at various venues. Typically held in August. Location TBA. BrainwashM.com

Chinatown Streetfest With more than 280 booths spanning nine blocks, selling food, crafts, unique Asian products, arts and crafts, and community resources. Plus live entertainment and a “Cultural Village,” presented by the Oakland Museum of California. August 25-26, free. Oakland Chinatown, Oakland, OaklandChinatownStreetFest.com

Festa Coloniale Italiana The San Francisco Italian Athletic Club’s annual street festival celebrates North Beach’s Italian and Italian-American culture. The fest also celebrates Ferragosto, a traditional mid-summer Italian holiday. Saturday, August 11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. North Beach, San Francisco. SFIACFesta.com

Golden Gate Park Cross-Country A 5K race that begins on the upper dirt track on the south side of Polo Field at Golden Gate Park and finishes on the park’s lower paved Polo Field track, after a run through Speedway Meadows and a loop around the Polo Field. Sunday, August 26. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. DSERunners.com

Oakland Art and Soul Festival Set in downtown Oakland’s City Center, the annual festival is a feast for the eyes, ears, mind, and mouth, with national music acts, dance and fashion shows, and an array of vendors serving ethnic eats and crafts as diverse as the city. Typically held in August. Oakland City Center, 500 12th St., Oakland. ArtAndSoulOakland.com

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival The extravagant three-day affair in Golden Gate Park features a lineup with mass appeal, likely to draw KFOG devotees, hip-hop heads, indie-rock fans, and the jam-band set. Acts TBA. Typically held in August. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. 415-831-2700 or SFOutsideLands.com

Pedalfest The second annual festival features tons of bike-themed activities, including bike trick demonstrations, a pedal-powered stage (to fuel the music), plus rides, art, food, and much more. Saturday, August 18. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

Round the Rock Alcatraz Challenge Canoe Race This Polynesian outrigger canoe race hosted by the Pacific Islanders Cultural Association and He’e Nalu of Marin Outrigger Canoe Club starts at the East Beach of Crissy Field National Park, and is followed by a raffle and prizes. Typically held in August. Crissy Field, 603 Mason St., San Francisco. AlcatrazChallenge.com


AT&T Giant Race A half-marathon, 5K timed race, fun run, and walk let you skip, hop, or whatever you like across home plate at AT&T Park. The route winds along the Embarcadero, beginning and ending at the ballpark. Afterward, enjoy the pregame festival with live music, food, and giveaways. All funds raised go to Project Open Hand. Sunday, Sep. 16. AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco. TheGiantRace.com

Berkeley Video and Film Fest With feature films and shorts in a variety of genres. Typically held in September. Various locations in Berkeley. BerkeleyVideoFilmFest.org

Eat Real Fest Wildly popular three-day celebration of cheap, healthful, locally-sourced gourmet food, with vendors, demonstrations, film screenings, literary readings, and much more. September 21-23, free. Jack London Square, foot of Broadway, Oakland. EatRealFest.com

Fall Boat Show For true boating enthusiasts. September 13-16. Jack London Square, Oakland. NCMA.com

Folsom Street Fair The self-proclaimed “granddaddy of leather events” celebrates leather, rubber, and fetish styles, in addition to featuring live rock performances, vendor booths, and exhibitions. Sunday, September 23, free. Folsom St., between 7th and 12th streets, San Francisco. FolsomStreetFair.org

Mission Creek Oakland Music and Arts Festival Now in its fourth year, Mission Creek books bands in a variety of genres over several weeks.. Typically happens in September. Various East Bay venues. MissionCreekOakland.Tumblr.com.

38th Annual Mountain View Art & Wine Festival With live jazz, rock, swing, blues, Motown, rumba, funk, hip-hop, flamenco, and Celtic music; food; wine; microbrews and margaritas, health and wellness displays; an organic and green products showcase, home and garden exhibits; a kids’ zone; magicians; and jugglers. Typically held in September. Castro Street, between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View. MiramarEvents.com

Oakland Pride Festival Oakland’s own Pride Festival, with a parade, live entertainment, vendor booths, and much more. Sunday, September 2, free. Franklin and Webster streets, Oakland. OaklandPride.org

Oakland Underground Film Festival Film festival highlighting independent film and projection art, with a special emphasis on social justice; local filmmakers; urban life; and avant-garde, experimental, and nonlinear films. September 27-30. Various locations. OakUFF.org

Power to the Peaceful Festival An estimated 50,000 folks flock to Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadow, spreading the gospel of peace, love, granola, and environmental consciousness. In addition to potent performers, the fest also features a food drive, yoga jam, and vendors. Acts TBA. September 8-9. Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. PowertothePeaceful.org

Rock Make Street Annual street festival featuring two stages for local bands, plus craft booths, food, and a beer and wine tent. Typically held in September, free. Treat Ave at 18th Street, San Francisco. RockMake.com

Scottish Highland Games Traditional Highland games, plus craft booths, vendors, food, whisky tasting, mansion tours, a gathering of the clans, children’s activities, dancing demonstrations, pipe band competitions and musical performances. September 1-2. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Caledonian.org

Solano Stroll A massive street fair featuring all kinds of entertainment, including more than five hundred vendors, plus a pancake breakfast, parade, games, and more. Sunday, September 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Solano Ave., Berkeley. SolanoAvenueAssn.org

Support Strokes Fundraiser benefiting various breast cancer organizations, hosted by California Canoe and Kayak. Three courses are available and novice as well as expert paddlers. Saturday, September 8. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Oakland Estuary. JackLondonSquare.com


The Big Game The annual football game between longtime rivals Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Saturday, October 20. Stanford Stadium, 641 East Campus Drive, Stanford. CalBears.Cstv.com

Dia de los Muertos Festival Annual festival honoring the dead featuring dancing, food, vendors, altars, and more. Typically held in late-October. Fruitvale Village, Between 33rd Avenue and 37th Avenue on East 12th Street, Oakland. UnityCouncil.org

Fleet Week Watch the US Navy’s precision flying team onboard the Potomac, from the middle of San Francisco Bay. Lunch, assorted wines, and other beverages included. Saturday, October 5-7. 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Presidential Yacht Potomac, 540 Water St., Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Massive three-day music festival featuring both high-profile and up-and-coming bluegrass, country, blues, and rock artists. October 5-7, free. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. StrictlyBluegrass.com

KBLX Stone Soul Concert This year’s show features live performances by MC Hammer, En Vogue, and more. Monday, October 1. Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord, 2000 Kirker Pass Rd., Concord. KBLX.com

Lions Club Halloween Parade A parade of kids and costumed animals starts at the Village Park entrance and winds its way down Mountain Boulevard, turns right on La Salle Avenue, right on Moraga Avenue, and returns to the Park. Wednesday, October 31. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. free. Mountain Village Park, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

Litquake The West Coast’s largest independent literary festival features readings and other literature-themed events throughout SF and the East Bay. October 5-13. Various venues. Litquake.org

Mill Valley Film Festival Marin County’s California Film Institute uses its clout as the hometown of many movie professionals to put on the one of the quirkiest and most intelligent fests anywhere, without the marketplace sensibility and ego trips — it’s noncompetitive. October 4-14. Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center New, 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael. MVFF.com

Montclair Village Fine Arts & Crafts Festival Featuring arts and crafts vendors and more. October 13-14. Mountain Boulevard, between La Salle Avenue and Antioch Court, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade & Festival Annual parade featuring real cowboys. Typically held in October. DeFremery Park, 18th and Adeline streets, Oakland. BlackCowboyAssociation.org

Oaktoberfest in the Dimond With live music and other entertainment, along with more beer and bratwurst than anyone would know what to do with. Saturday, Oct 6. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dimond District, Fruitvale Avenue, between Montana Avenue and Colma Street, Oakland. Oaktoberfest.org

Oktoberfest Annual German beer and food festival organized by Oakland Nature Friends, with music by Bajuk Trio. Sunday, October 7, 1 p.m. 3115 Butters Drive, Oakland, TheNatureFriendsCorporation.org

Park Street’s Classic Car Show This annual car show has a bumper-to-bumper crop of more than four hundred primo vehicles that have been waxed, buffed, and shined so fine that onlookers can see their reflections in the gleaming panels and bumpers of the hardtops and hatchbacks. Saturday, October 13, free. Park St., Alameda. ShopParkStreet.com

Rockridge Out and About A vibrant street festival with live music, tons of gourmet foods and beverages, a wellness tent, activities for kids, and more. Sunday, October 7. Noon-6 p.m., free. College Avenue, between Alcatraz and Manila avenues, Oakland. RockridgeOutAndAbout.com

Spice of Life Festival Food and drink festival in Berkeley’s famed Gourmet Ghetto, also featuring vendors, art, entertainment, and kids’ activities. Typically held in October. Shattuck Avenue, between Rose and Delaware streets, Berkeley. NorthShattuck.org

Treasure Island Music Festival The two-day fest, co-organized by the folks who bring you Noise Pop and the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, is a must-attend event for anyone curious about the state of independent music. Acts TBA. Typically held in October. Treasure Island. TreasureIslandFestival.com


Hecho en Califas Annual arts and music festival focusing on work with themes of identity and social justice. Typically held in November. La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. LaPena.org

Jack London Square Tree Lighting Ceremony In addition to tree lighting, there will be tap-dancing Christmas trees, live music, a talent competition, live reindeer, a parade float preview with costumed characters, and more. Saturday, November 30. 5 p.m.-7 p.m., free. Jack London Square, foot of Broadway, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

Temescal Turkey Trot With 1.5-mile and 5K runs and walks up Claremont Avenue the morning after Thanksgiving. Participants are encouraged to come in costumes. Temescal District, Oakland. TemescalDistrict.com


KPFA Crafts Fair Annual fundraiser for the radio station, featuring live music, food, and more than 200 juried booths selling crafts of various kinds. Typically held in December. Location TBA. KPFA.org

Montclair Village Holiday Stroll Village merchants stay open to shoppers and their families for a gala kick-off to the holiday season. Activities include a window display contest, cable-car trolley rides, a visit from Santa, entertainment, music, refreshments, and more. Thursday, December 4. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m., free. Montclair Village, Mountain Boulevard and La Salle Avenue, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

Oakland Holiday Parade This parade delights kids big and small, drawing as many as 70,000 people with giant helium balloons, cartoon and storybook characters, marching bands, floats, and more. Typically held in December. Broadway and 11th Street to Harrison Street. OaklandHolidayParade.com

Pleasanton Hometown Holiday Celebration Typically held in December, free. Downtown Pleasanton, Main Street, Pleasanton. PleasantonDowntown.net

Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair Vendors from far and wide set up shop in the streets, where all manner of gifts — framed black-and-white photos, wooly hats, screen-printed T-shirts, artwork, ceramics, jewelry, and more — can be found at prices that won’t break your bank. Typically held on first three weekends of December. Telegraph Avenue, between Dwight and Bancroft ways, Berkeley. TelegraphFair.com

Winterfest A holiday festival in the Dimond District. Held in December. Dimond District, Oakland. DimondNews.org

Winter Island Alameda Two weeks’ worth of holiday activities, including film screenings, culinary demonstrations, shopping fairs, parades, and more. Typically held in late December. Various locations. AlamedaWinterIsland.com.


Angel Island Trail Run With spectacular views of Marin County, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate, the trail circles the entire island and climbs Mount Livermore. You can choose from the 8K, 16K, 25K, or 50K runs. Hikers are welcome, too. Bring the whole family and enjoy a post-run picnic at beautiful Ayala Cove. Typically held in January. Bib pick-up is at Tiburon Ferry Dock, 21 Main St., Tiburon. PCTrailruns.com

Earth’s Biggest Calendar Sale Huge — and hugely popular — sale of wall and desk calendars and organizers. January 1. Pegasus Books (all locations), 1855 Solano Ave., Berkeley; 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; 5560 College Ave., Oakland. PegasusBookstore.com

Noir City East Bay author Eddie Muller’s annual film noir extravaganza always manages to dig up a few “new” old hardboiled movies you never heard of, peppered with appearances by the original stars and filmmakers. Easy to get hooked on, hard to swear off of. Typically held in January. Various Bay Area locations. NoirCity.com

Oakland Chinatown Lunar New Year Bazaar Two-day celebration held in the heart of Oakland Chinatown features vendors selling traditional new year decorations, flowers, gifts, candies, and more, dragon and lion dancing, martial arts, Chinese cultural music, and a “Little Prince & Princess” contest. Typically held in late-January, early-February. 9th and Franklin streets and Pacific Renaissance Plaza, Oakland. OaklandChinatownChamber.org

SF Sketchfest The Bay Area’s biggest and best-known comedy festival. Typically held January-February. Various locations. SFSketchfest.com 


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