Pub date August 29, 2006

SEPT. 2–4
Art and Soul Oakland Frank Ogawa Plaza and City Center, 14th St and Clay, Oakl; (510) 444-CITY, 11am-6pm. $5. The sixth incarnation of this annual downtown Oakland festival includes dance performances, lots of art to view and purchase, an expanded “Family Fun Zone,” and a notably eclectic musical lineup. Big-name musical performers include New Found Glory, Rickie Lee Jones, Calexico, and the Silversun Pickups.
Sausalito Art Festival Army Corps of Engineers-Bay Model Visitor Center and Marinship Park, Sausalito; (415) 331-3757, Call or check Web site for time. $5-20. The Sausalito waterfront will play host to hundreds of artists’ exhibits, as well as family entertainment and top-notch live music from the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dick Dale, and the Lovemakers.

SEPT. 2–24
Free Shakespeare in the Park Parade ground in the Presidio, SF; (415) 558-0888, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun and Labor Day, 2:30pm. Free. Shakespeare’s The Tempest gets a brilliant rendition under the direction of Kenneth Kelleher on the outdoor stage: families fostering budding lit and theater geeks should take note.

Cowgirlpalooza El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; (415) 282-3325, 4pm. $10. This sure-to-be-twangy evening on el Rio’s patio features music by the most compellingly country-fried female musicians around, including Austin’s the Mother Truckers, 77 el Deora, and Four Year Bender.

Brews on the Bay Jeremiah O’Brien, Pier 45, SF; 12-4:30pm. $8-40. Beer tasting, live music, and food abound at the San Francisco Brewers Guild’s annual on-deck showcase.
911 Power to the Peaceful Festival Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, SF; (415) 865-2170, 11am-5pm. Free. This event calling for international human rights and an end to bombing features art and cultural exhibits, as well as performances by Michael Franti and Blackalicious.

SEPT. 9–10
Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 N Point, SF; 12-5pm. Free. An indisputably fun weekend at the square includes chocolate goodness from over 30 restaurant and bakery booths, various activities for kids and families, and a “hands free” Earthquake Sundae Eating Contest.
San Francisco Zinefest CELLspace, 2050 Bryant, SF; (415) 750-0991, 10am-5pm. Free. Appreciate the continuing vitality of the do-it-yourself approach at this two-day event featuring workshops and more than 40 exhibitors.

SEPT. 10
Solano Avenue Stroll Solano between San Pablo and the Alameda, Berkeley and Albany; (510) 527-5358, 10am-6pm. Free. This long-running East Bay block party features a clown-themed parade, art cars, dunk tanks, and assorted artsy offerings of family fun, along with the requisite delicious food and musical entertainment.

SEPT. 16–17
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Old Mill Park, Mill Valley; (415) 381-8090, Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm. $7. Dig this juried show featuring original fine art including jewelry, woodwork, painting, ceramics, and clothing.

SEPT. 17
Arab Cultural Festival County Fair Building, 9th Ave and Lincoln, Golden Gate Park, SF; 10am-7pm. $2-5. Lissa Faker (Do you still remember?) is the theme for this year’s Arab Cultural Festival, featuring a bazaar with jewelry, henna, and Arab cuisine, as well as assorted folk and contemporary musical performances.

SEPT. 23–24
Autumn Moon Festival Grant between California and Broadway and Pacific between Stockton and Kearney, SF; (415) 982-6306, 11am-6pm. Free. At one of Chinatown’s biggest annual gatherings, you can see an acrobatic troupe, martial artists, street vendors, and of course, lots of moon cakes. I like the pineapple the best.

SEPT. 24
Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Seventh St and 12th St, SF; 11am-6pm. Free. The world’s largest leather gathering, coinciding with Leather Pride Week, features a new Leather Women’s Area along with the myriad fetish and rubber booths. Musical performers include My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, the Presets, and Blowoff, Bob Mould’s new collaboration with Richard Morel.

SEPT. 29–OCT. 1
A Taste of Greece Annunciation Cathedral, 245 Valencia, SF; (415) 864-8000, Call or check Web site for time. $5. Annunciation Cathedral’s annual fundraising event is an all-out food festival where you can steep yourself in Greek dishes, wine tasting, and the sounds of Greek Compania.

OCT. 3
Shuck and Swallow Oyster Challenge Ghirardelli Square, West Plaza, 900 North Point, SF; (415) 929-1730. 5pm. Free to watch, $25 per pair to enter. How many oysters can two people scarf down in 10 minutes? Find out as pairs compete at this most joyous of spectacles, and head to the oyster and wine pairing afterward at McCormick and Kuleto’s Seafood Restaurant, also in Ghirardelli Square.

OCT. 5–9
Fleet Week Various locations, SF; (650) 599-5057, Cries of “It’s a plane!” and “Now there’s a boat!” shall abound at San Francisco’s impressive annual fleet gathering. Along with ship visits, there’ll be a big air show from the Blue Angels and the F-16 Falcon Demonstration Team.

OCT. 5–15
Mill Valley Film Festival CinéArts at Sequoia, 25 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley; Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (925) 866-9559, Call or check Web site for times and prices. Documentaries and features of both the independent and international persuasion get screentime at this festival, the goal of which is insight into the various cultures of filmmaking.

OCT. 6–14
Litquake Various locations, SF; San Francisco’s annual literary maelstrom naturally features Q&As and readings from a gazillion local authors, but also puts on display a staged reading of an Andrew Sean Greer story, music from Jay Farrar and Ray Manzarek, and a storytelling session with Sean Wilsey and his mother, Pat Montandon.

OCT. 12–15
Oktoberfest by the Bay Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; Check Web site for times. $5-15. One of the few places your lederhosen won’t look silly is the biggest Oktoberfest left of Berlin, where the Chico Bavarian Band will accompany German food and a whole lotta beer.

OCT. 28–29
Wonders of Cannabis Festival County Fair Building, 9th Ave and Lincoln, Golden Gate Park, SF; (510) 486-8083, 11am-7pm. $20. Ed Rosenthal, cannabis advocate extraordinaire, presents contests in comedy and joint rolling, cooking demonstrations, two musical stages, and some heavy-duty speakers: Terrence Hallinan, Ross Mirkarimi, Tommy Chong, and interestingly, Rick Steves of the eponymous PBS travel show. SFBG