Bay Area fall fairs and festivals

A bevy of cool fiestas
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Summer may technically be on the outs, but don't put away your baggies, huarache sandals, and that bushy, bushy blond hairdo just yet, all you Gidgets and Big Kahunas out there: it's still Surfin' USA in the Bay. Hell, summer doesn't even start in San Francisco until September at the earliest. You can wax up the board and get busy, stuff the kidlets into the Woody, and hit one of the bevy of cool fiestas listed below, or maybe just lay out on a towel in Dolores Park, waiting for a wayward Lothario or Lothariette to rub cocoa butter on your fleshy hind regions. Ah, how good do we have it in the Sucka Free City?

AUG. 25

Jazzy Tomatoes Berkeley Farmers' Market, Center at MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley; (510) 548-3333, www.ecologycenter.org. 10:30am-3pm. Free. This collaboration between the Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival series and the Berkeley Farmers' Market features the sounds of local mandolinist Mike Marshall and Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto, plus the flavors of Venus Restaurant's Ann Murray.

AUG. 25-26

Bodega Seafood Art and Wine Festival Watts Ranch, 16855 Bodega Ave, Bodega; (707) 824-8717, www.winecountryfestivals.com. Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm. $8-12. The sleepy village where Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds hosts this celebration of the best beer, wine, and seafood California has to offer. Sip on a Cline Cellars pinot noir and enjoy albacore wrapped in bacon while taking in the sounds of Marcia Ball's Texas-style roadhouse blues.

Golden Gate Renaissance Festival Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; (415) 354-1773, www.sffaire.com. Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm. $5-15. Stilt walkers, fire-eaters, jesters, jousters, knights, peasant wenches, and Shakespeare fetishists abound in the fourth installment of this medieval fair. Amid the feasting and storytelling, you'll get a chance to practice your chivalry and maybe ride a horse.

AUG. 26

Arab Cultural Festival County Fair Building, Ninth Ave and Lincoln, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.arabculturalcenter.org. 10am-7pm. $2-5. Hikayatna (Our stories) is the theme for this year's Arab Cultural Festival, featuring a bazaar with jewelry, henna, and Arab cuisine, as well as assorted folk and contemporary musical performances.

Taste of Marin St. Vincent's School for Boys, 1 St. Vincent Dr., San Rafael; (415) 663-9667, www.marinorganic.org. 4-10pm. $150. Dedicated to supporting and promoting the exquisite food that is grown and produced in Marin, this event features a silent auction, chances to meet the farmers and chefs, and an elaborate sit-down dinner. Soulstress Maria Muldaur provides the musical entertainment.

AUG. 31-SEPT. 2

Monterey Bay Reggae Fest Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey; (831) 394-6534, www.mbayreggaefest.net. The sprawling Monterey County Fairgrounds plays host to this annual festival featuring the liveliest of modern reggae acts. Eek-a-Mouse, Mighty Diamonds, and you-know-who's brother, Richard Marley Booker, are just a sample of this year's lineup.

SEPT. 1-3

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