Summer Festival Guide: The Best of the Sunny Side of the Bay
Break out the SPF Oaklands summertime festivities are here! Food festivals, street fairs, free concerts, marathons, triathlons. Get your rest, because it's about to get busy. Not sure where to start? Take a cue from The Oakland Ray on the best ways to enjoy the Sunny Side of the Bay all summer long.
June Jack of All Trades When: June 14 (every second Saturday each month), 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Where: Jack London Square Think of this festival as a hodgepodge of all things Oakland makers, designers, artists, vintage wares, food, craft beer and live music, all in one day. If you're looking for the perfect sampling of Oakland, Jack of All Trades is not to be missed. Oakland Dragon Boat Festival When: June 15 Where: Lake Merritt Whether you're a spectator or a sporty type, Oaklands Dragon Boat Festival is fun for all parties. Grab a spot on the lawn at Lake Merritt, or for prime seating, head to Lake Chalet to watch the races dockside. What The Truck! When: June 21, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Where: Jack London Square Food trucks have become a coveted staple for events and festivals. But What The Truck! takes four-wheeled vehicles to the next level, including everything from gaming and art trucks to glam and accessory boutiques (on wheels). Visitors can bike, ferry, drive or BART to this FREE festival in Jack London Square. Walk in the Wild: An Epicurean Escapade When: June 21, 5 - 8 p.m. Where: Oakland Zoo Show some love for Oaklands Zoo at the 22nd Annual Walk in the Wild. Sample the best of the best in the Bay Area, including bakeries, breweries, caterers, restaurants and wineries. Pro tip: Be sure to stay late for dancing and dessert after the main event. Garden of Memory When: June 21, 5 - 9 p.m. Where: Chapel of the Chimes Welcome the long days of summer with a music-filled celebration at Chapel of the Chimes, kicking off the summer solstice. A rare chance to walk through one of Oaklands most beautiful historic buildings and enjoy live music all at the same time. Montclair Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival When: June 27 - 29, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Where: Montclair Village More than 80 of the Bay Areas most talented artists will come together to display their crafts in the quaint neighborhood of Montclair. Sip on one (or two) of the 20 artisan wines and craft brews as you peruse. Evolution Expo When: June 27 - 29 Where: Oakland Convention Center The Evolution Expo will bring a bit of Sci-Fi to Oakland, including three full days of interactive exhibits, games, panels, and a chance to meet NASA astronauts in person. On top of this, The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik is the keynote speaker (Blossom, anyone?). Don't miss it! July 4th Festival of Family Fun When: July 4, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Where: Jack London Square Kick off the Independence Day weekend at Jack London Squares annual 4th of July Festival, including tasty treats and entertainment for all. Note: Fireworks are not included. 4th of July Cruise When: July 4, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. Where: USS Potomac Wondering where to find the best views of the fireworks around the Bay? On the water, of course! The USS Potomac (otherwise known as F.D.R.s Floating White House) invites you to cruise the Bay VIP style while sipping on champagne and other fancy foods. Call for tickets today: 510-627-1215. 11th Annual Temescal Street Fair When: July 6, Noon - 6 p.m. Where: Telegraph Avenue between 51st and 42nd streets Oaklands Temescal Street Fair is one of the most popular cultural events of the summer, showcasing The Towns creative artists and entertainers. Be sure to bring the kids to this family-friendly festival, including a special kids stage for the little ones. An Intimate Evening When: July 26, 6 - 11 p.m. Where: Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate Adorn yourselves in your favorite summer whites for Dunsmuirs elegant annual event. Live music, line dancing, carriage rides, martinis you'll feel like you've stepped onto the set of a movie at this picturesque event. Pedalfest When: July 26, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Where: Jack London Square Get ready for a day of all things bikes, including pedal-powered food and sound stages, vintage bike collections, stunts by cycling daredevils, kids bike rodeos -- the works! August Urban Wine Xperience When: August 2, 1 - 5 p.m. Where: Jack London Square Ferry Lawn Urban wineries in Oakland? That's right. The East Bay Vintners Alliance is home to over 20 award-winning urban wineries. Nows your chance to taste them all in one sitting, paired with delicious bites from local eateries. 14thAnnual Art + Soul When: August 2 & 3 Downtown Oakland Where: Oaklands premier summer festival is back and better than ever! This year, get ready for the inaugural Oaktown Throwdown BBQ competition, bringing together both professional and backyard smokers competing for the Grand Champion title. And of course, a lineup of top-notch musicians, live art and family-friendly fun. Laurel World Music & Food Festival When: August 9, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Where: MacArthur @ 35th Avenue Head to the Laurel District for the neighborhoods 15th annual Laurel Street Fair. Year to year, the event draws upwards of 8,000 people and continues to raise the bar for some of the best music, crafts, fashion shows and food vendors of any neighborhood festival. The Towns Half Marathon When: August 16, 7 a.m. Noon Where: Start/end at Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Hall Lace up those running shoes its time to explore The Town with this inaugural race! Not much of an athlete? Cheer on the runners at the finish line at the RunOak Festival, including local music, food, beer and wine. 2nd Annual Mezcal and Tequila Festival When: August (Date TBD) Where: Tamarindo Antojeria Nothing says summer like Mezcal and Tequila. Sample the flavorful spirits as you learn the history and culture from the masterminds in the industry. Keep your eyes peeled for the exact date and time for this tasty festival. Chinatown StreetFest When: August 23 & 24, 10 a.m. 5:30 p.m. Where: Oakland Chinatown District Join the thousands of visitors and locals from the Bay Area and beyond at Oaklands annual Chinatown StreetFest celebration, a perfect way to experience Chinatowns preserved traditions. Unique Asian products, live entertainment and delicious foods are just things to enjoy at this weekend-long celebration.
Oakland Pride Festival When: August 31, Noon 8 p.m. Where: Uptown Oakland (22nd & Franklin streets) Celebrate Oakland's diversity and culture at the 5th Annual Oakland Pride. With multiple stages, family gardens and wedding pavilions, there's nothing that Oakland Pride hasn't covered. En Vogue was the headline performer in 2013, so you never know who will be on the roster for this year's event.
Oakland Triathlon When: August 31 Where: Begins in Jack London Square Oakland is truly becoming the endurance capital of the West Coast. Not only is the city home to two annual running festivals, but it will also host the inaugural Oakland Triathlon Festival, the largest West Coast urban triathlon! Bike through Oakland's downtown, run around Lake Merritt, swim in the Oakland Estuary experience some of the best of Oakland all in one active day. Ongoing Summer Events Free Summer Sounds Concert Series When: June 4 - August 27 Where: City Center Plaza Stage Wednesdays at noon They had us at FREE J This ongoing concert series at the City Center Plaza is a welcome midday (and midweek) break for visitors and locals. Grab some lunch, soak up the sun and hear some new tunes in The Town. Kaiser Roof Garden Concert Series When: June 13 - September 12, Fridays at noon Where: Kaiser Rooftop Kick your weekend off with this special summer series of free concerts at the Kaiser Center Roof Garden. Take in some of the best views of Oakland and Lake Merritt as you enjoy the multicultural music from dozens of local musicians. Bites off Broadway When: May 9 - October 10, Fridays from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Where: Temescal (365 45th Street) In Oakland, there's one thing for certain there is no shortage of tasty food. Get a sample of some of the best in town at Bites off Broadway. Hula-hooping and live music are an added bonus. Temescal Street Cinema When: June 19 - July 31 (Thursdays), films begin at 8:45 p.m. Where: Temescal (49th Street @ Telegraph Ave.) Get a glimpse at some of the creative minds behind the Bay Areas film community at the Temescal Street Cinema free outdoor movie series. From heartbreaking documentaries to animated shorts, the program presents an amazing collection of films. Jack London Square Waterfront Flicks, Dancing Under the Stars, and so much more! Jack London Square is the place to be for outdoor summer happenings. For all of you newbie dancers out there, Dancing Under the Stars is a FREE way to get immersed into dance of all varieties, held every Friday in the summer. Or cozy up for a FREE outdoor screening with Waterfront Flicks on Thursdays. Be sure to follow along with the events on the Jack London Square website to stay in the know. What festival are you planning to attend this summer? Share your favorites with us in the comment section below!