A Year’s Worth of Festivities

A chronological road map of our favorite events and where to find them. We wouldn't want to lose you amid all the beer festivals and free concerts.

The East Bay has an almost overwhelming supply of exciting festivities that take place throughout the year. To help you navigate that landscape of fun, we’ve created a chronological road map of our favorite events and where to find them. We wouldn’t want to lose you amid all the beer festivals and free concerts.


Alameda Point Antiques Faire Huge outdoor event featuring more than eight hundred antique dealers. First Sunday of every month, 6 a.m.-3:00 p.m., free-$15. 2900 Navy Way, Alameda. AlamedaPointAntiquesFair.com

First Friday Shorts A monthly showcase of short films highlighting films by local filmmakers and community media arts organizations. First Friday of every month, 6-9 p.m., free. The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakland. TheNewParkway.com

Oakland Art Murmur Monthly art walk in Oakland. First Friday of every month. 6-9 p.m., free. At various galleries in the Telegraph Avenue and Broadway corridor, starting at 27th Street and ending in the Jack London District. OaklandArtMurmur.com

Piedmont Avenue Stroll 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. PiedmontAveStroll.org

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

Second Saturdays  On every second Saturday of the month galleries on 15th Street open their doors at night to host joint openings and events with music. Exact times vary.


Bacon and Beer Festival Celebration of bacon and beer presented by Oakland Grown, Bison Organic Beer, and Eat Boston. Sunday, March 15. Jack London Market Building, 55 Harrison St., Oakland. BaconandBeer.net/Oakland

CAAMFest The annual event has grown into a ten-day feast with two important main courses: films from Asia 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 12-22. Various venues in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. CAAMedia.org

Oakland Running Festival Full and half-marathon, 5K, kids’ fun run, and team relay. Sunday, March 22. Snow Park, 19th and Harrison streets, Oakland. OaklandMarathon.com

White Elephant Sale Biggest rummage sale in Northern California, with proceeds benefitting the Oakland Museum of California. Saturday-Sunday, March 7-8, 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 18. Noon-4 p.m., $5-$45. Martinez Waterfront Park. BayAreaCraftBeerFestival.com

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day Earth Day celebration with panel discussions, speakers, film screenings, and food demos focused on the intersection of veganism and the environment. Saturday, April 19. 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $10-$15. David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley. BerkeleyVeganEarthDay.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 21. 6-8:30 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, food booths, and live performers spread out over four days. Saturday-Sunday, April 11-12 and 18-19, free. Japantown, On Post St. between Laguna and Fillmore Streets, San Francisco. SFCherryBlossom.org

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 23-May 7. Various venues. SFFS.org

Oakland Drops Beats A full day of free local music shows in various venues in Downtown Oakland — accompanied by live paining and food. A perfect way to discover new local musicians for free. Also held in the Fall. April 25. Free. OaklandDropsBeats.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 17. 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 Bike East Bay’s annual celebration of the bicycle. With deals and promotions for bike riders at various Bay Area locations. Thursday, May 14. bikeeastbay.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. Saturday-Sunday, May 23-24. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Harrison St., between 16th and 24th streets, San Francisco. CarnavalSanFrancisco.org.

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. Saturday, May 17, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, May 16-17, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m, donations accepted. Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. HimalayanFair.net

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 17. 12-5 p.m., free. Fourth Street, Berkeley. FourthStreet.com

Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival With live jazz 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. Typically held in May. free. San Antonio Park, 18th Avenue at Foothill Boulevard, Oakland. EastSideArtsAlliance.com

Oakland Greek Festival With Greek food, drinks, music, and dance. Friday-Sunday, May 15-17. 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. Kaiser Center, 300 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. 6:30-10:30 p.m., $10, $15. OaklandIndieAwards.com

Park Street’s 14th Annual Spring Festival Touted as a Mother’s Day tradition, the annual festival features arts, crafts, food, beer, wine, and a kids’ area with bounce houses and a petting zoo. Saturday-Sunday, May 9-10, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Park Street, Alameda. ShopParkStreet.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. May 28-June 1. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco. SilentFilm.org

Session Fest Over thirty craft breweries show off their best session beers, accompanied by live music, food trucks, and sunshine. May 23. Jack London Square, Oakland. 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 17-July 5. Closed Mondays. 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-Sunday, June 13. Noon-9pm. Free. People’s Park, Berkeley. BerkeleyWorldMusic.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. Every Friday from June 5- August 28. 8:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Foot of Broadway, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

East Bay Open Studios Connects the public with more than four hundred artists in fourteen cities in the East Bay. June 6-7 and June 13-14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 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. June 18-28. 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 39th Ave. and Loma Vista Ave., Oakland. LaurelVillage.org

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 in June. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. LiveOakParkFair.com

Montclair Village Fine Art Festival Featuring arts and crafts vendors and more. Typically in late June. Mountain Boulevard, between La Salle Avenue and Antioch Court, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

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: “Color Our World with Pride.” Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28. 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, and popcorn. Typically held in June and July, free. 49th Street and Telegraph Avenue, Oakland. TemescalStreetCinema.com

Waterfront Flicks Watch outdoor movies along the Oakland waterfront, with trivia games, prizes, beer, and food. Proceeds benefit the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. June 11& 25, July 9 & 23, August 12 & 27. Sundown, free. Market lawn at Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com


Berkeley Kite Festival 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. Saturday-Sunday, July 25-26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Cesar E. Chavez Park, 200 Marina Blvd., Berkeley. HighlineKites.com/pages/Berkeley-Kite-Fest.html

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 multiple days at various venues. July 17-18 and July 24-25. Location TBA. BrainwashM.com

Fourth of July at the Berkeley Marina Live entertainment on the main stage, plus arts 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. Friday, 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. Friday, July 4. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.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. Friday, July 4, free. MyAlamedaParade.com

Park Street’s 30th Annual Art & Wine Faire Arts, crafts, food, beer, wine, two music stages, kids’ area, petting zoo, valet bike parking, and more. Saturday-Sunday, July 25-26. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Park Street, Alameda. ShopParkStreet.com

Pedalfest The third 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, July 25. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Oakland. PedalfestJackLondon.com

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 23-August 9. 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, a 5K run, and more. Participants receive T-shirts, coaster medals, and completion certificates. Sunday, July 26. Races begin at various points in San Francisco. 888-958-6668 or TheSFMarathon.com

Temescal Street Fair Features food and drink from local restaurants, four stages with live music, fine artists, craft and community booths, carousel rides, and kids’ activities. Sunday, July 5. Noon-6 p.m., free. Telegraph Ave., between 42nd and 51st streets, Oakland. TemescalDistrict.org


Biergartenfest Annual German beer and food festival organized by Oakland Nature Friends. Typically held in August. 3115 Butters Dr., Oakland, TheNatureFriendsCorporation.org

Caltopia A free festival on the UC Berkeley campus, featuring music, food, and games. Open to students, faculty, staff, and the public. Sunday-Monday, August 23-24. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. UC Berkeley campus. Caltopia.Berkeley.edu

Chinatown Streetfest With more than 200 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 Asian Cultural Center. Typically in August, free. Oakland Chinatown, Oakland, www.oaklandchinatownstreetfest.com

Laurel Street Fair Now in its sixteenth year, the Laurel Street Fair features a music and dance stage, DJ booths, a kids’ area, creative crafts and merchandise, fashion shows, and food vendors. Typically held in early August. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free. MacArthur Blvd. between 35th and 38th aves., Oakland. LaurelDistrictAssociation.org

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. August 1-2, Noon- 6 p.m. 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. August 7-9. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. SFOutsideLands.com


Oakland Pride Festival Oakland’s own Pride Festival, with a parade, live entertainment, vendor booths, and much more. Sunday, September 13. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. Franklin and Webster streets, Oakland. OaklandPride.org

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention A five-day music festival featuring local and national acts in venues throughout Berkeley. September 16-20. BerkeleyOldTimeMusic.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. Friday-Sunday, September 18-20, free. Jack London Square, foot of Broadway, Oakland. EatRealFest.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 27, free. Folsom St., between 7th and 12th streets, San Francisco. FolsomStreetFair.org

Mission Creek Oakland Music and Arts Festival An offshoot of the Mission Creek Arts & Music Festival in San Francisco, Mission Creek Oakland books bands in a variety of genres over several weeks. Typically held in September. Various East Bay venues. MCOFest.org.

Oaklavia Three miles of streets circumnavigating Lake Merritt will be closed to cars, allowing people to walk, dance, bike, and boat around the lake.  Sunday, September 14. Lake Merritt, Oakland. Oaklavia.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. Typically held in late September. Various locations. OakUFF.org

Solano Stroll Since 1974, folks from all over the East Bay have enjoyed the massive street fair, featuring all kinds of entertainment, including more than five hundred vendors. The event includes a theme parade, entertainers, food vendors, juried arts and crafters, games, art cars, and community organizations. Sunday, September 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Solano Ave., Berkeley. SolanoAvenueAssn.org


Bay Area Circus Arts Festival A 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 unicycle basketball team, reigning North American champs). Typically held in October. Location TBA. BerkeleyJuggling.org/festival

Berkeley Video and Film Fest With feature films and shorts in a variety of genres. Typically held in October, November, and December. East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison St., Berkeley. BerkeleyVideoFilmFest.org

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

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Massive three-day music festival featuring both high-profile and up-and-coming bluegrass, country, blues, and rock artists. October 2-4, free. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. HardlyStrictlyBluegrass.com

The Jack London Classic – Classic Cars and Boats Showcase of more than 60 classic automobile and boats. The Pavilion stage will also host live music throughout the day. Typically held in late October. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.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. Thursday, October 31. 3 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 San Francisco and the East Bay. Typically held in mid October. Various venues. Litquake.org

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade & Heritage 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, October 3. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Dimond District, Fruitvale Ave., between Montana Ave. and Colma St., Oakland. Oaktoberfest.org

Oktoberfest Annual German beer and food festival organized by Oakland Nature Friends, with music by Bajuk Trio. Typically held in October. 3115 Butters Dr., Oakland, TheNatureFriendsCorporation.org

Park Street’s 20th Annual 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 10, free. Park St., Alameda. ShopParkStreet.com

Sunday Streets Berkeley More than a mile of Shattuck Avenue, from Rose to Haste streets, will be closed to car traffic, allowing people to skate, bike, walk, dance, and play. Sunday, October 11. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. SundayStreetsBerkeley.com

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. Held in October. Treasure Island. TreasureIslandFestival.com


Vintage Fashion Faire A vintage fashion extravaganza with more than fifty booths showcasing fashion from every decade, including Victorian and Deco eras, and the Forties through the Eighties. Friday, Nov 16, 10-5 p.m. $5-$10. 2701 Monarch St., Alameda. AlamedaPointAntiquesFaire.com/blog/vintage-fashion


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. Friday, December 4. 4:30-7:30 p.m., free. Jack London Square, foot of Broadway, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com

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, a visit from Santa, entertainment, music, refreshments, and more. Typically held in early December. Montclair Village, Mountain Blvd. and La Salle Ave., 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 early December. 2 p.m., free. Broadway and 11th St. to 20th St. and Harrison St. OaklandHolidayParade.com

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. December 11-12, 19-20, 22-23. Telegraph Avenue, between Dwight and Bancroft ways, Berkeley. TelegraphFair.com

Winterfest A holiday festival in the Dimond District. Typically held in early December. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dimond Recreation Center, 3860 Hanly Rd., Oakland. DimondNews.org


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 sts. and Pacific Renaissance Plaza, Oakland. OaklandChinatownChamber.org


Chinese New Year Parade A San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush. Typically held in February. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., free. Chinatown, San Francisco. ChineseParade.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. Typically held in February. Various venues. NoisePop.com

Codex Book Fair and Symposium The biggest event of its kind in the world, the Codex Book Fair and Symposium brings people together from all over the globe to appreciate book as art objects. Boasting over 180 exhibitors and two days of expert lecturers. Typically held in February. $10-$30. Craneway Pavilion. 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond. CodexFoundation.org

Correction: The original version of this report erroneously stated that Bike to Work Day is organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. In fact, in the East Bay, it is organized by Bike East Bay.


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