The Bay's got it all, from garlic to tango fests -- here's your handy, comprehensive guide to big spring happenings
SF Flower and Garden Show, San Mateo Event Center, 495 S. Delaware, San Mateo. (415) 684-7278, www.sfgardenshow.com. March 21-25, 10am-6pm, $15–$65, free for 16 and under. This year's theme is "Gardens for a Green Earth," and features a display garden demonstrating conservation practices and green design. Plant yourself here for thriving leafy greens, food, and fun in the sun.
The Art of Aging Gracefully Resource Fair, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California, SF. (415) 292-1200, www.jccsf.org. March 22, 9:30am-2:45pm, free. Treat yourself kindly with presentations by UCSF Medical Center professionals on healthy living, sample classes, health screenings, massages, giveaways and raffles.
California's Artisan Cheese Festival, Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Sherwood, Petaluma. (707) 283-2888, www.artisancheesefestival.com. March 23-25, $20–$135. Finally, a weekend given over to the celebration of cultures: semi-soft, blue, goat, and cave-aged. More than a dozen award-winning cheesemakers will provide hors d'oeuvres and educational seminars.
15th Annual Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting, Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, Buchanan and Marina, SF. (800) 467-0163, www.rhonerangers.org. March 24-25, $45–$185. The largest American Rhone wine event in the country, with over 2,000 attendees tasting 500 of the best Rhones from its 100 US member wineries.
Whiskies of the World Expo, Hornblower Yacht, Pier 3, SF. (408) 225-0446, www.whiskiesoftheworld.com. March 31, 6pm-9pm, $120–$150. The expo attracts over 1400 guests intent on sampling spirits on a yacht and meeting important personages from this fine whiskey world of ours.
Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, SF County Fair Building's Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, SF. (415) 431-8355, bayareaanarchistbookfair.wordpress.com. March 31-April 1, free. This political book fair brings together radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the world.
Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza, Monterey. (831) 373-3366, www.montereyjazzfestival.org. March 30-April 1, free. 1200 student-musicians from schools located everywhere from California to Japan compete for the chance to perform at the big-daddy Monterey Jazz Festival. Free to the public, come to cheer on the 47 California ensembles who will be playing, or pick an away team favorite.
Argentine Tango Festival, San Francisco Airport Marriot Hotel, 1800 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame. www.argentinetangousa.com. April 5-8, $157–$357. Grip that rose tightly with your molars — it's time to take the chance to dance in one of 28 workshops, with a live tango orchestra, and tango DJs. The USA Tango championship is also taking place here.
Salsa Festival, The Westin Market Street, 50 Third St., SF. (415) 974-6400. www.sfsalsafestival.com. April 5-7, $75–$125. Three nights of world-class performances, dancing, competition and workshops with top salsa instructors.