Fes­ti­vals:

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - OAKLAND - By Nancy Davis Kho

From Art + Soul to Eat Real Fest, join an Oak­land party

Oak­land could eas­ily lay claim to the ti­tle of fes­ti­val cap­i­tal of the Bay Area.

Dis­tinct tra­di­tions and sto­ries come alive through­out The Town with the pres­ence of di­verse cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties. Artists, mu­si­cians, in­no­va­tors, change mak­ers and so many fas­ci­nat­ing peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions that con­trib­ute to Oak­land life in­spire creativ­ity on ev­ery level.

Maybe that’s why nearly ev­ery week­end brings an­other fes­ti­val or epic event to Oak­land. Here’s an in­side look at the up­com­ing fes­ti­vals, arts, cul­ture and sport­ing events you won’t want to miss this sum­mer.

FIRST FRIDAYS

On the first Fri­day of ev­ery month, Oak­land throws a block party that stretches down Tele­graph Av­enue, from W. Grand to 27th Street. From 5 to 9 p.m., you’ll find artists, street mu­si­cians, food trucks, dance bat­tles, spo­ken word slams and all sorts of mak­ers and creative types shar­ing their Oak­land flair. A tra­di­tion stretch­ing back to 2006 when it started as a gallery walk, First Fridays are where Oak­land’s artis­tic and civic pride com­bine and flour­ish. www.oak­land first­fri­days.org/home

ART + SOUL — JULY 28-29

This an­nual street fes­ti­val

that takes place on 10 city blocks down­town is brim­ming with food, fam­ily fun and mu­sic. The ur­ban dance show­case and ar­ti­san mar­ket­place are al­ways high­lights. This year will fea­ture a spe­cial home­com­ing con­cert with Oak­land leg­ends The Poin­ter Sis­ters. Ma­jor head­lin­ers per­form along­side lo­cal groups like Oak­land’s kid­friendly hip hop artists Al­pha­bet Rock­ers, who will en­sure that all mu­sic lovers will be en­ter­tained.www.art and­souloak­land.com

FRI­DAY NIGHTS AT OMCA

The Oak­land Mu­seum of Cal­i­for­nia keeps its doors open late ev­ery Fri­day night. From 5 to 10 p.m., mu­seum adult ad­mis­sion

is half price and kids get in free. Off the Grid food trucks, beer, wine and mu­sic in the form of DJs, acous­tic sets, and dance lessons keep the party pump­ing. Free hands-on art work­shops for kids also make it a fam­ily af­fair. www. mu­se­umca.org/fri­daynights-omca

TASTE OF OAK­LAND — JULY 7, AUG. 4 AND SEPT. 1

Youth Aid and Oak­land Parks & Recre­ation and

Youth De­vel­op­ment present the first an­nual “Taste of Oak­land” fundraiser. The event will be held at Jack Lon­don Square with food, ac­tiv­i­ties and live en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing a spe­cial mu­si­cal per­for­mance by Tony! Toni! Tone! www.tas­te­o­foak­land.com

PEDALFEST — JULY 28

This free event cel­e­brates ev­ery­thing on two (or one, or three) wheels and is per­fect for cy­clists and the peo­ple who love

them. Held an­nu­ally at Jack Lon­don Square, Pedalfest fea­tures dare­devil stunts, pedal-pow­ered art and a wacky Am­phibi­ous Bike Race. www.ped­alfest­jack lon­don.com

DANC­ING UN­DER THE STARS

Who needs Arthur Mur­ray when you can get free dance lessons on Fri­day nights all sum­mer? Jack Lon­don Square plays host ev­ery Fri­day night from 7:30 to 10 p.m. June 1 through Aug. 3, where dance pros con­duct a 30-minute les­son, in styles from hip hop to Bol­ly­wood to Poly­ne­sian. Dancers can put their new skills straight to work at the mixed mu­sic dance party that fol­lows un­til 10 p.m. www.jack­lon­don­square. com/events

LAU­REL STREET FAIR WORLD MU­SIC FEST — AUG. 11

Nom­i­nated for Oak­land Magazine’s “Best Cul­tural Event” in 2018, the fes­ti­val re­turns for its 19th edi­tion from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 11. The event high­lights Oak­land’s rich di­ver­sity in mu­sic and dance, and also fea­tures more than 150 lo­cal ven­dors of food, drinks and hand­made crafts. www.street­fair.lau­reld­is­trict as­so­ci­a­tion.org

OAK­LAND TRIATHLON — AUG. 19

This pop­u­lar Oak­land event of­fers ath­letes the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete in a tra­di­tional triathlon, a sprint triathlon, a re­lay ver­sion and more. An Expo

and party with food, beer, and live mu­sic cel­e­brate the ath­letes’ achieve­ments and help re­plen­ish those calo­ries. www.oak­land tri.com

OAK­LAND CHI­NA­TOWN STREETFEST — AUG. 25-26

In an an­nual party that started back in 1988, Oak­land’s Chi­na­town will cel­e­brate the Year of the Dog. Cover­ing eight city blocks with more than 200 ven­dors, the fes­ti­val show­cases the vi­tal­ity of this his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial and cul­tural neigh­bor­hood of Oak­land. www. oak­land­chi­na­town­cham­ber.org/ events/streetfest.html

3RD THURSDAYS AT LATHAM SQUARE

Ra­dio per­son­al­ity Ster­ling James plays host to this monthly party in the heart of down­town Oak­land, which runs ev­ery third Thurs­day through Oc­to­ber. The

fam­ily-friendly live mu­sic lineup melds jazz, hip hop, Latin and more. Food trucks, pur­vey­ors of beer and wine and other ven­dors round out the lively of­fer­ing. www.oak­land­cen­tral.com/

lath­am­square

OAK­LAND PRIDE FES­TI­VAL — SEPT. 9

A fes­tive coun­ter­part to the Pride cel­e­bra­tions across the bay, Oak­land’s cel­e­bra­tion kicks off with a pa­rade, fol­lowed by a fam­ily-friendly fes­ti­val with pony rides, bounce houses and face paint­ing. www.oak­land­pride.org

EAT REAL FEST — SEPT. 14-16

Food­ies, re­joice: Oak­land’s an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of gas­tro­nomic de­lights is back to cel­e­brate its 10th an­niver­sary. The fes­ti­val, held at Jack Lon­don Square, high­lights good food with a fo­cus on ar­ti­san food craft, street food, craft beers, lo­cal wines and de­li­cious cock­tails — all fea­tur­ing sus­tain­able lo­cal in­gre­di­ents. www.eatre­alfest.com

OAKTOBERFEST — SEPT. 29-30

One last fes­ti­val to stretch out the sum­mer season, Oaktoberfest takes place in Oak­land’s Di­mond neigh­bor­hood. Bring­ing to­gether craft brew­ers, Home­brew­ers Al­ley and a wine pavil­ion, it may be the only beer fes­ti­vals where Ger­man polka bands play af­ter hip hop DJs, and where you can both watch a dance turf bat­tle and blow on an Alpen­horn. www.oaktoberfest.org

VISIT OAK­LAND

First Fri­day on Tele­graph Av­enue is a block party fea­tur­ing artists, street mu­si­cians, food trucks, dance bat­tles and spo­ken word slams.

ART + SOUL FES­TI­VAL

Oak­land leg­ends The Poin­ter Sis­ters will head­line the Art + Soul Fes­ti­val with a spe­cial home­com­ing con­cert.

LORA SCHRAFT

Left: The Oak­land Pride Fes­ti­val on Sept. 9 will of­fer pony rides, bounce houses and face paint­ing. Right: Pedalfest fea­tures pedal-pow­ered art and an Am­phibi­ous Bike Race.

OAK­LAND PRIDE FES­TI­VAL

Above: Chi­na­town will cel­e­brate the Year of the Dog at the Oak­land Chi­na­town StreetFest on Aug. 25-26. Right: Ten city blocks will be trans­formed dur­ing the Art + Soul Fes­ti­val on July 28-29.

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