Summer fairs and festivals

Pub date May 17, 2011


Young At Art Festival de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, SF. (415) 695-2441, Through May 22, free. The creative achievements of our city’s youth are celebrated in this eight day event curated and hosted by the de Young Museum.

* Oakland Asian Cultural Center Asian Pacific Heritage Festival Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 Ninth St., Oakl. (510) 637-0462, Through May 26. Times and prices vary. Music, lectures, performances, family-friendly events in honor of Asian and Pacific American culture and traditions.

DIVAfest Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, SF. (415) 931-2699, Through May 28. Times and prices vary. Bastion of the alternative, EXIT Theatre showcases its 10th annual buffet of fierce women writers, performers, and directors. This year features two plays, beat poetry, musical exploration, and more.

* Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission and Third St., SF. (415) 543-1718, Through Oct. 31. Times vary, free. A series of cultural events, performances, activities, music, and children and family programs to highlight the green goodness of SoMa’s landscaped oasis.


May 18-June 5

San Francisco International Arts Festival Various venues. (415) 399-9554, Times and prices vary. Celebrate the arts through with this mish-mash of artistic collaborations dedicated to increasing human awareness. Artists included hail from around the world and right here in the Bay Area.


May 21

* A La Carte & Art Castro St. between Church and Evelyn, Mountain View. (650) 964-3395, 10am-6pm, free. With vendors selling handmade crafts, microbrewed beers, fresh foods, a farmers market, and even a fun zone for kids, there’s little you won’t find at this all-in-one fun fair. Asian Heritage Street Celebration Larkin and McAllister, SF. 11am-6pm, free. This year’s at the country’s largest gathering of APA’s promises a Muay Thai kickboxing ring, DJs, and the latest in Asian pop culture fanfare — as well as tasty bites to keep your strength up.

Freestone Fermentation Festival Salmon Creek School, 1935 Bohemian Hwy, Sonoma. (707) 479-3557, Noon-5pm, $12. Learn about the magical wonders of fermentation with hands-on and mouth-on demonstrations, exhibits, and tasty live food nibbles.

Uncorked! San Francisco Wine Festival Ghirardelli Square, SF. (415) 775-5500, 1-6pm, $45-50 for tasting tickets, free for other activities. Uncorked! brings you the real California wine experience with tastings, cooking demonstrations, and even a wine 101 class for those who are feeling not quite wine-refined.


May 20-29

SF Sex Worker Film and Art Festival Various venues, SF. (415) 751-1659, Times and prices vary. Webcam workshops, empowering film screenings, shared dialogues on plant healing to sex work in the age of HIV: this fest has everything to offer sex workers and the people who love ’em.


May 22

Lagunitas Beer Circus Lagunitas Brewing Co., 1280 N McDowell, Petaluma. (303) 447-0816, Noon-6pm, $40. All the wonders of a live circus — snake charmers, plate spinners, and sword swallowers — doing their thing inside of a brewery!


May 21-22

* Maker Faire San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 South Delaware, San Mateo. Sat, 10am- 8pm; Sun, 10am-6pm, $5-25. Make Magazine’s annual showcase of all things DIY is a tribute to human craftiness. This is where the making minds meet. Castroville Artichoke Festival Castroville, Calif. (831) 633-0485, Sat., 10am- 6pm; Sun., 11 am- 4:30 p.m., free. Pay homage to the only vegetable with a heart: the artichoke. This fest does just that, with music, parades, and camping.


May 28-29 

San Francisco Carnaval Harrison between 16th and 22nd St., SF. 10am-6pm, free. The theme of this year’s showcase of Latin and Caribbean culture is “Live Your Fantasy” — bound to bring dreams alive on the streets of the Mission.


June 3-12

Healdsburg Jazz Festival Various venues, Healdsburg. (707) 433-463, Times and prices vary. Bask in the lounge-lit glow of all things jazz-related at this celebration in Sonoma’s wine county.


June 3-July 3 

SF Ethnic Dance Festival Zellerbach Hall, Berk. and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF. Times and prices vary. A powerful display of world dance and music taking to the stage over the course of five weekends.


June 4

* Berkeley World Music Festival Telegraph, Berk. Noon-9pm, free. Fourteen world music artists serenade the streets and stores of Telegraph Avenue and al fresco admirers in People’s Park.

Huicha Music Festival Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. (707) 938-5277, 2-11pm, $55. Indie music in the fields of a wine country: Fruit Bats, J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, Sonny and the Sunsets, and more.


June 4-5

Union Street Eco-Urban Festival Union from Gough to Steiner and parts of Octavia, SF. (800) 310-6563, 10am-6pm, free. Festival goers will have traffic-free access to Cow Hollow merchants and restaurant booths. The eco-urban theme highlights progressive, green-minded advocates and products.

The Great San Francisco Crystal Fair Fort Mason Center, Building A., SF. (415) 383-7837, Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., 10am-4pm, $6. Gems and all they have to offer: beauty, fashion, and mysterious healing powers.


June 5

* Israel in the Gardens Yerba Buena Gardens, SF. (415) 512-6420, 11am-5pm, free. One full day of food, music, film, family activities, and ceremonies celebrating the Bay Area’s Jewish community and Israel’s 63rd birthday.


June 10-12

Harmony Festival Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley, Santa Rosa. 10am-10pm, $45 one day, $120 for three day passes. This is where your love for tea, The Flaming Lips, goddess culture, techno, eco-living, spirituality, and getting drunk with your fellow hippies come together in one wild weekend.

Queer Women of Color Film Festival Brava Theater. 2789 24th St., SF. (415) 752-0868, Times vary, free. A panel discussion called “Thinkers and Trouble Makers,” bisects three days of screenings from up-and-coming filmmakers with stories all their own.


June 11-12

* Live Oak Park Fair 1301 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 227-7110, 10am-6pm, free. This festival’s 41st year brings the latest handmade treasures from Berkeley’s vibrant arts and crafts community. With food, face-paint, and entertainment, this fair is perfect for a weekend activity with the family.


June 11-19 

San Mateo County Fair San Mateo County Fairgrounds. 2495 S. Delaware, San Mateo. June 11, 14, 18, and 19, 11am-10pm; all other days, noon-10pm, $10 for adults. It features competitive exhibits from farmers, foodies, and even technological developers — but let’s face it, we’re going to see the pig races.


June 12

Haight Ashbury Street Fair Haight between Stanyan and Ashbury, SF. 11am-5:30pm, free. Make your way down to the grooviest corner in history and celebrate the long-standing diversity and color of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, featuring the annual battle of the bands.


June 16-26

Frameline Film Festival Various venues, SF. Times and prices vary. This unique LGBT film festival comes back for its 35th year showcasing queer documentaries, shorts, and features.


June 17-19 Sierra Nevada World Music Festival Mendocino County Fairgrounds. 14400 CA-128, Boonville. (916) 777-5550, Fri, 6pm-midnight; Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, 11am-10pm, $60 for Friday and Sunday day pass; $70 for Saturday day pass, $150 three day pass. Featuring Rebulution, Toots and the Maytals, and Jah Love Sound System, this fest comes with a message of peace, unity, and love through music.


June 18 

Summer SAILstice Encinal Yacht Club, 1251 Pacific Marina, Alameda. (415) 412-6961, 8am-8pm, free. Boat building, sailboat rides, sailing seminars, informational booths, music, a kid zone, and of course, wind, sun, and water.

Pinot Days Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, SF. (415) 382-8663, 1-5pm, $50. Break out your corkscrews and head over to this unique event. With 220 artisan winemakers pouring up tastes of their one-of-a-kind vino, you better make sure you’ve got a DD for the ride home.


June 18-19

North Beach Festival Washington Square Park, SF. (800) 310-6563, Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-6pm, free. Make your way down to the spaghetti capital of SF and enjoy food, music, arts and crafts booths, and the traditional blessing of the animals.

Marin Art Festival Marin Civic Center, San Rafael. (415) 388-0151, 10am-6pm, $10. A city center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright plays host to this idyllic art festival. Strolling through pavilions, sampling wines, eating grilled oysters, and viewing the work of hundreds of creative types.


June 20-Aug 21

Stern Grove Music Festival Stern Grove. Sloat and 19th Ave., SF. (415) 252-6252, Sundays 2pm, free. This free outdoor concert series is a must-do for San Francisco summers. This year’s lineup includes Neko Case, the SF Symphony, Sharon Jones, and much more.


June 25-26

San Francisco Pride Celebration Civic Center Plaza, SF; Parade starts at Market and Beale. (415) 864-FREE, Parade starts at 10:30am, free. Gays, trannies, queers, and the rest of the rainbow waits all year for this grand-scale celebration of diversity, love, and being fabulous. San Francisco Free Folk Festival Presidio Middle School. 450 30th Ave., SF. (415) 661-2217, Noon-10pm, free. Folk-y times for the whole family — not just music but crafts, dance workshops, crafts, and food vendors too.


June 29-July 3

International Queer Tango Festival La Pista. 768 Brannan, SF. Times vary, $10-35. Spice up your Pride (and Frameline film fest) week with some queer positive tango lessons in culturally diverse, welcoming groups of same sex couples.


June 30-July 3

High Sierra Music Festival Plumas-Sierra Fairgrounds, Quincy. Gates open at 8am Thursday. $205 weekend pass, $90 parking fee. Yonder Mountain String Band, My Morning Jacket, and most importantly, Ween. Bring out your sleeping bags for this four day mountaintop grassroots festival.


July 2

Vans Warped Tour Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. 11am, $46-72. Skating, pop punk, hardcore, screamo, and a whole lot of emo fun.


July 2-3

Fillmore Jazz Festival Fillmore between Jackson and Eddy, SF, 1-800-310-6563, 10am-6pm, free. Thousands of people get jazzed-up every year for this musical feast in a historically soulful neighborhood.


July 4

City of San Francisco Fourth of July waterfront celebration Pier 39, Embarcadero and Beach, SF. (415) 709-5500, Noon-9:30pm, free. Ring in the USA’s birthday on the water, with a day full of music and end up at in the city’s front row when the fireworks take to the sky.


July 9-10

Renegade Craft Fair Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. Buchanan and Marina, SF. (312) 496-3215, 11am-7pm, free. Put a bird on it at this craft fair for the particularly indie at heart.


July 14-24

Midsummer Mozart Festival Various Bay Area venues. (415) 627-9141, Prices vary. You won’t be hearing any Beethoven or Schubert at this midsummer series — the name of the day is Mr. Mozart alone.


July 16-17

Connoisseur’s Marketplace Santa Cruz between Camino and Johnson, Menlo Park. (650) 325-2818, 10am-6pm, free. Let the artisans do what they do best — you’ll polish off the fruits of their labor at this outdoor expo of artisan food, wine, and craft.


July 21-Aug 8

SF Jewish Film Festival Various Bay Area venues. Times and prices vary. A three week smorgasbord of world premiere Jewish films at theaters in SF, Berkeley, the Peninsula, and Marin County.


July 22-Aug 13

Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso, Atherton. (650) 330-2030, Classical chamber music at its best: this year’s theme “Through Brahms,” will take you on a journey through Johannes’ most notable works.


July 23-Sept 25

 SF Shakespeare Festival Various Bay Area venues. Various times, free. Picnic with Princess Innogen and her crew with dropping a dime at this year’s production of Cymbeline. It’s by that playwriter guy… what’s his name again?


July 30

Oakland A’s Beer Festival Eastside Club at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakl. 4:05-6:05pm, free with game ticket. Booze your way through the Oakland A’s vs. Minnesota Twins game while the coliseum is filled with brewskies from over 30 microbreweries, there for the chugging in your souvenir A’s beer mug.


July 30-31

 Berkeley Kite Festival Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker, Berk. 10am-5pm, free. A joyous selection of Berkeley’s coolest kites, all in one easy location.


July 31

Up Your Alley Dore between Folsom and Howard, SF. 11am-6pm, $7-10 suggested donation. Whether you are into BDSM, leather, paddles, nipple clamps, hardcore — or don’t know what any of the above means, this Dore Alley stroll is surprisingly friendly and cute once you get past all the whips!


Aug 1-7

SF Chefs Various venues, SF. Times and prices vary. Those that love to taste test will rejoice during this foodie’s paradise of culinary stars sharing their latest bites. Best of all, the goal for 2011’s event is tons of taste with zero waste.


Aug 7

SF Theater Festival Fort Mason Center. Buchanan and Marina, SF. 11am-5pm, free. Think you can face about 100 live theater acts in one day? Set a personal record at this indoor and outdoor celebration of thespians.


Aug 13

San Rafael Food and Wine Festival Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission, San Rafael. 1-800-310-6563, Noon-6pm, $25 food and wine tasting, $15 food tasting only. A sampler’s paradise, this festival features an array of tastes from the Bay’s best wineries and restaurants.


Aug 13-14

Nihonmachi Street Fair Post and Webster, SF. 11am-6pm, free. Founded by Asian Pacific American youths, this Japantown tradition is a yearly tribute to the difficult history and prevailing spirit of Asian American culture in this SF neighborhood.


Aug 20-21

Oakland Art and Soul Festival Entrances at 14th St. and Broadway, 16th St. and San Pablo, Oakl. (510) 444-CITY, $15. A musical entertainment tribute to downtown Oakland’s art and soul, this festival features nationally-known R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock artists.


Aug 20-22

* SF Street Food Festival Folsom St from Twenty Sixth to Twenty Second, SF. 11am-7pm, free. All of the city’s best food, available without having to go indoors — or sit down. 2011 brings a bigger and better Street Food Fest, perfect for SF’s burgeoning addiction to pavement meals.


Aug 29-Sept 5

Burning Man Black Rock City, Nev. (415) TO-FLAME, $320. This year’s theme, “Rites of Passage,” is set to explore transitional spaces and feelings. Gather with the best of the burned-out at one of the world’s weirdest, most renowned parties.


Sep 10-11

* Autumn Moon Festival Street Fair Grant between California and Broadway, SF. (415) 982-6306, 11am-6pm, free. A time to celebrate the summer harvest and the end of summer full-moon, rejoice in bounty with the moon goddess.


Sept 17-18

SF International Dragon Boat Festival California and Avenue D, Treasure Island. 10am-5pm, free. The country’s largest dragon boat festival sees beautiful man-powered boats take to the water in 300 and 500 meter competitive races.


Sept 23-25

SF Greek Food Festival Annunciation Cathedral. 245 Valencia, SF. Fri.-Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., noon-9pm, free with advance ticket. Get your baba ghanoush on during this late summer festival, complete with traditional Greek dancing, music, and wine.


Sept 25

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between 7th and 12th St., SF. 11am-6pm, free. The urban Burning Man equivalent for leather enthusiasts, going to this expansive SoMa celebration of kink and fetish culture is the surest way to see a penis in public (you dirty dog!).


Sept 30-Oct 2

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, SF. 11am-7pm, free. Pack some whiskey and shoulder your banjo: this free three day festival draws record-breaking crowds — and top names in a variety of twangy genres — each year.


Items with asterisks note family-fun activities.