Carnaval, Maker Faire, Eat Real, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Folsom Street Fair ... Our annual comprehensive guide to outdoor and community affairs
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival, Ghiradelli Square, 900 North Point, SF. (800) 877-9338, www.ghiradelli.com. Noon-5pm, $20. It's finally time to put your at-home ice cream noshing skills to the test. For two-days only, chocolate lovers unite to celebrate all that is good in life — and by that we mean eating contests, chef demonstrations, and local dessert samplings.
EcoFair Marin 2012, Marin County Fairgrounds and Lagoon Park, Civic Center, San Rafael. (415) 499-6800, www.ecofairmarin.org. 10am-6pm, $5. This sustainability event brings together speaker presentations, exhibitions by energy reducing and conserving business leaders, and tasty raw and vegan food vendors, as a community effort to help bring about a healthier planet.
Ceramics Annual of America: Exhibition and Art Fair, Festival Hall, Fort Mason, Buchanan at Marina, SF. (877) 459-9222, www.ceramicsannual.org. $10. Contemporary ceramics from Korea, China, Mexico, Australia, and Italy, as well as top American artists' works, will be showcased in this one-of-a-kind art show. Tours and discussions regarding the clay medium will be provided as a way to foster knowledge regarding the clay medium.
Comedy Day, Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF. (415) 820-1570, www.comedyday.com. Noon-5pm, free. There are two secret cures for depression: sunlight and laughter. Comedy Day brings the two antidotes together for a cheery day of priceless (literally, it's free) entertainment.
Eat Real Festival, Jack London Square, Oakl. (510) 250-7811, www.eatrealfest.com. Free. Processed foods really do have a bunch of weird named ingredients that trigger horrific thoughts in one's imagination. At Eat Real, suspicion is taken out of the eating experience, as everything is handmade, fresh, and local — so you can just eat.
Superhero Street Fair, Islais Creek Promenade, Caesar Chavez at Indiana, SF. www.superherosf.com. 2pm-midnight, $10-20 suggested donation. Fantasy and reality merge through live music performances, a climbing wall, sideshows, interactive games, and a cobblestone walkway of art. The festival hopes to set the World Record for the largest number of superheroes in one location — or at least put Nick Fury to shame.
Folsom Street Fair, Folsom between Seventh and 12th Streets, SF. (415) 777-3247, www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, free. Time to get out that spiked collar and latex gloves once again. Don't forget your nipple clamps or the vibrating magic wand, either! Might as well bring out the leather whip and chains too — not that you've been anticipating this huge fetish extravaganza all year or anything.
Polk Street Blues Festival, Polk between Jackson and California, SF. (800) 310-6563, www.polkstreetbluesfestival.com. 10am-6pm, free. The blues festival will feature two stages, a marketplace of crafts and food booths, and enough saxophones and harmonicas to get you rollin' and tumblin'.
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