FALL ARTS 2014 A cornucopia of outdoor and indoor fun, family-friendly events, and adult playgrounds
Pilgrim Soul Forge Harvest Fair Pilgrim Soul Forge, 101 West Tower, Alameda; www.grantsforge.com . Noon-6pm, free. Possibly the only fall fair in the Bay Area to offer blacksmithing demonstrations alongside the usual suspects: food trucks, craft vendors, and live music.
Savor Filipino Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Market, SF; www.savorfilipino.com . 10am-6pm, free (most workshops $15). Try the best in Filipino cuisine at this gathering of chefs and authors, with a huge menu of tasty eats (check it out online) and workshops on vegan Filipino cooking, modern Filipino desserts, and other tasty topics. Plus: live music and traditional dance performances, and a "Dance That Lumpia Off" audience-participation activity.
Millbrae Art and Wine Festival 400 Broadway, Millbrae; www.miramarevents.com . 10am-5pm, free. Downtown Millbrae's annual Mardi Gras-style celebration, with live music, a juried art show, a classic car show, carnival-style rides, and tons of specialty food and drink vendors.
San Francisco Zine Fest SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.sfzinefest.org . Aug 30, 11am-5pm; Aug 31, 11am-4pm. Free. Support indie writers, artists, and creators at this annual event, with exhibitions, workshops, book signings, and more. Special guests include Ryan Sands (publishing company Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD zine), and illustrator and cartoonist Hellen Jo.
SF Bay Brazilian Day and Lavagem Festival Casa de Cultura, 1901 San Pablo, Berk; www.brasarte.com . 11am-7pm, free. Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day with a lavagem (blessing) calling for world peace, plus Brazilian music, food, a "Caipirinha lounge," and more.
Oakland Pride Uptown Oakl; www.oaklandpride.org . Parade starts at 10:30am, Broadway and 14th St; festival, 11am-7pm, Broadway at 20th Sts. Parade free; festival $5-10. It's the very first year for the Oakland Pride Parade, while Sheila E headlines the fifth annual festival, billed as the second-largest pride event in NorCal.
SF Mountain Bike Festival McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 20 John F. Shelley, SF; sfurbanriders.org/wordpress/sf-mtb-festival. 9am-5pm, free. Register in advance to compete — or just show up to spectate or test your skills in any of the non-competitive categories. Events include a short-track challenge, a 10-mile urban adventure ride, a cargo bike hill climb, a bike skills challenge for youth and families, and more, plus a box jump demo and a bike raffle.
Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown, SF; www.moonfestival.org . Grand opening ceremony and parade, Sept 6, 11am; festival, 11am-5pm (dog costume contest, Sept 7, 2:30pm). Free. Cultural performances, an open-air street bazaar, lion dancing, and (new this year!) a dog costume contest highlight this 24th annual celebration of the Asian holiday.
Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com . 10am-6pm, free. With works by over 600 professional craftspeople and artists, plus live music, home and garden exhibits, a young-performers stage, a climbing wall, food and wine, and more.
Haight Street Music and Merchants Street Festival Haight between Masonic and Stanyan, SF; email@example.com . Noon-6pm, free. Yep, it's another street fair on Haight — but this brand-new event has a highly local focus, since it's sponsored by local merchants. Expect three stages of music, kids' activities, a skate ramp, and more.
Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm . 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors , Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a "Chocolate School" (learn about the chocolate-making process!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.
Comedy Day Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.comedyday.com . Noon-5pm, free. This year's incarnation of the free, all-day comedy festival is dedicated to the memory of supporter (and frequent unannounced performer) Robin Williams.
Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com . 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including Alamo Square) on foot or bike.
Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com . Sept 19, 1-9pm; Sept 20, 10:30am-9pm; Sept 21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo "state fair, street-food festival, and block party," this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.
Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com . Sept 19, 5pm-midnight; Sept 20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sept 21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sept 20-21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org . 10am-5pm, $5-10. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can't-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children's entertainment.
Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com . 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.
Bay Area Record Fair Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St, SF; www.theeparkside.com . 11am, $5 early entry (free after noon). Vinyl junkies, take note: over 30 Bay Area indie labels participate at this semi-regular event, which also boasts live music, DJs, raffles, and more.
San Mateo Bacon and Brew Festival Central Park, Fifth Ave and El Camino Real, San Mateo; www.sanmateochamber.org/bbf . 11am-5pm, $15. This fest breaks it down to the essentials. Admission gets you a free beer (or soft drink), while food vendors favor you-know-which crispy pork product.
SuperHero Street Fair 1700 Indiana, SF; www.superherosf.com . 1-11pm, $10. Seven stages and 13 "sound camps" provide the beats for this fifth annual festival celebrating heroes, villains, sidekicks, and everything in between. It goes without saying that costumes are highly encouraged.
"A Day on the Water 2" Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker, Berk; (510) 677-9425. Noon-7pm, free. Outdoor fair and music festival with Manzo Rally, Afrofunk Experience, Crosscut, and more.
Sunday Streets: Excelsior Mission between Theresa/Avalon and Geneva, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com . 11am-4pm, free. Hit the street at this edition of Sunday Streets, which coincides with the sixth annual Tricycle Music Fest at the Excelsior Branch Library (sfpl.org/tricycle for more info).
"Oaktoberfest" Fruitvale at MacArthur, Oakl; www.oaktoberfest.org . 11am-6pm, free. Family-friendly craft beer festival, with over 30 participating local breweries, a Bavarian big band and dancers, German food vendors, and more.
Alternative Press Expo Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina, SF; comic-con.org/ape. Check website for updates regarding times and badge prices. APE is back to celebrate alternative and small-press comics in a new venue, with a guest list that includes Bob Fingerman, Faith Erin Hicks, Ed Piskor, Paul Pope, Jason Shiga, and many more.
Castro Street Fair, Castro at Market, SF; www.castrostreetfair.org . 11am-6pm, free (donate at the gate to get $1 off at fair beverage booths). Five different entertainment areas (including a main stage, a "legends" stage, and "Barnaby's World of Wonderment") highlight this annual event, which was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Performers were TBD at press time, so check the website closer to the event for updates.
Union Street Wine Walk Union between Gough and Steiner, SF; www.sresproductions.com . 4-8pm, free (sampling tickets, $25). Restaurants and merchants offer wine tasting and small bites at this fifth annual neighborhood event.
Litquake Various venues, SF; www.litquake.org . San Francisco's annual literary festival turns 15 this year, with a week full of live readings, performances, panels, and multimedia events, including tributes to Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Barbary Coast Award will be presented to Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida and their many projects, including 826 Valencia and McSweeney's.
Woodside Day of the Horse Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside, Woodside; www.whoa94062.org . 10am-2:30pm, free (progressive trail ride, $40). The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA) celebrates Year of the Horse with stagecoach rides, live music, a petting zoo, and more, plus an organized trail ride for experienced riders and their horses to raise money for the organization's charitable community projects.
World Vegetarian Festival SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.worldvegfestival.com . 10:30am-8:45pm, free. The SF Vegetarian Society's annual event features cooking demos, exhibitors, speakers, an eco-fashion show, entertainment, and samples galore.
Italian Heritage Parade Begins at Jefferson and Stockton, proceeds on Columbus, and ends in Washington Square, SF; www.sfcolumbusday.org . 12:30pm, free. Established in 1868, this North Beach tradition features handmade floats, a costumed Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, Italian music, a Ferrari display, and more.
World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay; weighoff.miramarevents.com. 7-11am, free. Who will reign supreme at this 41st annual battle of the bulge, dubbed the "Superbowl of Weigh-Offs"? Last year's champ tipped the scales at 1,985 pounds — that's a lotta pie!
Noe Valley Harvest Festival 24th St between Sanchez and Church, SF; www.noevalleyharvestfestival.com . 10am-5pm, free. This 10th annual shindig aims to help you get a jump on holiday shopping, with over 50 local artisans showing their creations. Also: two stages of music, costume contests for dogs and kids, a dunk tank, a pumpkin patch, and more.
Potrero Hill Festival 20th St between Wisconsin and Missouri, SF; www.potrerofestival.com . 11am-4pm, free. Now in its 25th year, this neighborhood block party features local food and entertainment — including a kick-off Cajun-style brunch ($5-12) with Dixieland jazz — plus pony rides and a bouncy house for kids.
Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Main between Mill and Spruce, Half Moon Bay; www.miramarevents.com . 9am-5pm, free. They don't call Half Moon Bay the World Pumpkin Capital for nothing — the coastal town represents at its 44th annual gourd-tastic throwdown with three stages of music, the Great Pumpkin Parade (Oct 18 at noon), a haunted house attraction, expert Jack O' Lantern carving, and food and drinks galore (pumpkin beer, anyone?)
Sunday Streets: Mission 18th St between Guerrero and Harrison and Valencia between 25th and Duboce, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com . 11am-4pm, free. Sunday Streets returns to the Mission! Check the website after Oct. 3 for updates on planned activities.
San Francisco's Wharf Fest Fisherman's Wharf, SF; www.sresproductions.com . 11am-6pm, free. Celebrate SF's waterfront history at this event, with a chowder competition, chef demos, ship tours, street performers, fireworks, and more.
San Francisco Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars Festival, Garfield Park, 26th St and Harrison, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org . 6-11pm, free. Procession begins at 22nd St and Bryant, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org . 7pm, free. Add a personal altar for a loved one who has passed away to the display at Garfield Park (candles must be in glass containers; no open flames allowed), and bring canned food to donate to St. Anthony's Foundation, in honor of the altar memorializing the deaths of homeless people in SF. The procession, led by Rescue Culture Collective, circles the Mission accompanied by traditional Aztec dancers.
Green Festival Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina, SF; www.greenfestivals.org/sf . Nov 14, noon-6pm; Nov 15-16, 10am-6pm. $15-30. Learn how to "work green, play green, and live green" at this expo, an ode to health and sustainability. Featured events include vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, inspirational speakers, and a marketplace with more than 250 eco-friendly businesses. *