.What to Do in 2013

The best of the Bay Area's annual events.

No matter what time of year, whether your tastes lean toward family-friendly street fairs or grueling running festivals, chances are there’s an event for you happening somewhere in the Bay Area. We culled from our list of annual happenings and chose the ones we think you should know about now. So mark your calendars — it’s going to be a busy 2013.


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

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


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 14-24. Various venues. CAAMedia.org

Japanese Food Festival With sushi, sake, live entertainment, a silent auction, and more. Typically held in March. Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Road, Oakland. Oakland-Fukuoka.org

Oakland Running Festival Full and half-marathon, 5K, kids’ fun run, and team relay. Sunday, March 24. Snow Park, 19th and Harrison streets, Oakland. OaklandMarathon.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. The spring show is focused on tiki style. Friday, March 22, 6-9 p.m., Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m, $5-$10. AlamedaPointAntiquesFaire.com/blog/vintage-fashion

White Elephant Sale Biggest rummage sale in Northern California, with proceeds benefitting the Oakland Museum of California. Saturday-Sunday, March 2-3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. 333 Lancaster St., Oakland, WhiteElephantSale.org


14th 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. Saturday, April 6, 6-9 p.m., $60-$130. WhiskiesoftheWorld.com

Bay Area Craft Beer Festival Sip suds from more than thirty local microbreweries. Saturday, April 20. Noon-4 p.m., $5-$45. 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 20. 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 20. 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. Typically held in April. $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. Typically held in April. 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. Saturday-Sunday, April 13-14 and 20-21, free. Japantown, Post and Buchanan streets, San Francisco. NCCBF.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 25-May 9. Various venues. SFFS.org


Bay to Breakers The infamously zany 12K race features runners decked out in costumes as they traverse the streets of San Francisco. Sunday, May 19. 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 9. EBBC.org/btwd

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. Sunday-Monday, May 26-27, 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. Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, May 19, 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 19, 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 18. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 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 17-19. 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. Thursday, May 30. Kaiser Center, 300 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. 5:30-10:30 p.m., $10, $15. OaklandIndieAwards.com

Park Street’s 13th Annual Spring Festival Touted as a Mother’s Day tradition, the annual festival features arts, crafts, food, beer, wine, and a kids’ area with pony rides and a petting zoo. Saturday-Sunday, May 11-12, 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. Typically held weekly from May to October. 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 19-July 7. 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. Typically held in June. Free. Telegraph Ave., between Bancroft Way and Parker St., Berkeley. BerkeleyWorldMusicFestival.org

Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival With chocolate samples, arts and crafts vendors, and a sidewalk chalk art contest. Saturday, June 1 (or June 8, in case of rain), 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. Typically held weekly from June to August. 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 1-2 and June 8-9, 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 20-30. 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.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. Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9, 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. Saturday-Sunday, June 15-16. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Vallejo Waterfront Park, 289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo. NorCalPirateFestival.com

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Load up on energy drinks and watch metal bands. Sunday, June 30. Shoreline Amphitheatre, One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. MayhemFest.com

San Francisco Free Folk Festival A two-day, volunteer-run celebration of music and community with live music and workshops. Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9, noon-10 p.m., free. Presidio Middle School, 450 30th Ave., San Francisco. SFFolkFest.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, a kids’ run, and more. Participants receive T-shirts, coaster medals, and completion certificates. Sunday, June 16. Races begin at various points in San Francisco. 415-814-2823 or RunSFM.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: “Global Equality.” Saturday-Sunday, June 29-30. 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. Thursdays, June 13-July 18. 8 p.m., free. 49th Street and Telegraph Avenue, Oakland. TemescalStreetCinema.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. Saturday-Sunday, July 27-28, 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

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. Thursday, 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. Thursday, 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. Thursday, July 4, free. MyAlamedaParade.com

Mission Creek Music & Arts Festival Long-running San Francisco independent music and arts festival, taking place at venues in San Francisco. Typically held in July. MCMF.org

Park Street’s 29th Annual Art & Wine Faire Arts, crafts, food, beer, wine, two music stages, kids’ area, pony rides, petting zoo, valet bike parking, and more. Saturday-Sunday, July 27-28. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Park Street, Alameda. ShopParkStreet.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, July 20. 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 25-August 12. Various locations. SFJFF.org

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 18-21. 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 7. 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, beer, and food. Proceeds benefit the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. Typically held weekly from July to September. Sundown, free. Market lawn at Jack London Square, Oakland. JackLondonSquare.com


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 18-19. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. UC Berkeley campus. Caltopia.Berkeley.edu

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. Typically in August, free. Oakland Chinatown, Oakland, www.oaklandchinatownstreetfest.com

Laurel Street Fair Now in its fourteenth year, the Laurel Street Fair features a music and dance stage, DJ booths, a kids’ area, a classic car cruise, crafts and merchandise, fashion shows, and food vendors. Saturday, August 10. 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. 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. August 9-11. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. 415-831-2700 or SFOutsideLands.com

Scottish Highland Games Traditional Highland games, plus craft booths, vendors, food, whiskey tasting, mansion tours, a gathering of the clans, children’s activities, dancing demonstrations, pipe band competitions and musical performances. August 31-September 1. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Caledonian.org


America’s Cup Watch America’s fastest boats compete in the finals. September 7-21. San Francisco Bay. AmericasCup.com

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention A five-day music festival featuring local and national acts in venues throughout Berkeley. September 18-22. BerkeleyOldTimeMusic.org

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 September. Location TBA. BrainwashM.com

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 27-29, free. Jack London Square, foot of Broadway, Oakland. EatRealFest.com

Fall Boat Show For true boating enthusiasts. Typically held in September. 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 29, 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.

Oakland Pride Festival Oakland’s own Pride Festival, with a parade, live entertainment, vendor booths, and much more. Typically held in September, 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 26-29. 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. Typically held in September. 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 St., San Francisco. RockMake.com

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 traditional pancake breakfast and theme parade, plus entertainers, food vendors, juried arts and crafters, games, art cars, and community organizations. Sunday, September 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Solano Ave., Berkeley. SolanoAvenueAssn.org


Berkeley Video and Film Fest With feature films and shorts in a variety of genres. Typically held in October, November, and December. Various locations in 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

Fleet Week Watch the US Navy’s precision flying team the Blue Angels soar above the San Francisco Bay Area, and its parade of ships enter San Francisco Bay. October 10-14.. FleetWeek.us

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Massive three-day music festival featuring both high-profile and up-and-coming bluegrass, country, blues, and rock artists. October 4-6, free. Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan St., San Francisco. StrictlyBluegrass.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. 3:30 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 San Francisco and the East Bay. October 11-19. Various venues. Litquake.org

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

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade & Heritage Festival Annual parade featuring real cowboys. Saturday, October 5. 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 5. 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 12, 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 6. Noon-6 p.m., free. College Avenue, between Alcatraz and Manila avenues, Oakland. RockridgeOutAndAbout.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 13. 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. Saturday-Sunday, October 19-20. Treasure Island. TreasureIslandFestival.com

Vintage Fashion Faire A vintage fashion extravaganza with over fifty booths showcasing fashion from every decade, including Victorian and Deco eras, and the Forties through the Eighties. The fall show is focused on vintage Halloween. Friday-Saturday, October 18-19. $5-$10. AlamedaPointAntiquesFaire.com/blog/vintage-fashion


The Big Game The annual football game between longtime rivals Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Saturday, November 23. Stanford Stadium, 641 East Campus Dr., Stanford. CalBears.Cstv.com

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. Typically held in November. 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, cable-car trolley rides, a visit from Santa, entertainment, music, refreshments, and more. Typically held in 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. Saturday, December 7. 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. Saturday-Sunday, December 15-16, 22-23. Telegraph Avenue, between Dwight and Bancroft ways, Berkeley. TelegraphFair.com

Winterfest A holiday festival in the Dimond District. Typically held in December. Dimond District, 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

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


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

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. Typically held in February. Noon-6 p.m., $15-$40. ChocolateandBeerFest.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 late January to early February. Various Bay Area locations. NoirCity.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 26-March 3. Various venues. NoisePop.com

SF Beer Week Various beer-tasting events at venues all over the Bay Area. Typically held in February. SFBeerWeek.org

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


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