Mylene Fernández-Pintado City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. The Cuban novelist reads from A Corner of the World.
"Making History by Making Maps" Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia, SF; www.shapingsf.org. 7:30-9:30pm, free. Panel discussion as part of Shaping San Francisco's public talks series, with author Dick Walker (The Atlas of California: Mapping the Challenge of a New Era). Join the related free "Bikes to Books" tour by meeting at Jack London Street (at South Park, SF), Sat/11, 1pm, and cycle through streets named for notable SF authors and artists; fittingly, the end point is North Beach's City Lights Bookstore.
ArtLaunch: SF Open Studios Exhibition Opening Reception SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan, SF; www.somarts.org. Opening reception tonight, 7:30pm. Free. Exhibit runs through Nov 9. Get a peek at 450 artworks contributed by artists participating in the SF Open Studios event (more info on SF Open Studios at https://artspan.org).
Satire Fest 2014 Marines' Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter, SF; http://satirefest.com. 9am-5pm, $20. (Check website for additional events, including live drawing and a "Boatload of Cartoonists" cruise.) Through Sun/11. Celebrate satire with animators, web-comics creators, and political cartoonists, with hands-on events, performances, exhibits, and more. Participants include Keith Knight, Will Durst, and longtime Bay Guardian contributor Tom Tomorrow.
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. It kicks off today with "Viva Fifteen: Litquake's Quinceañera 15th Anniversary Bash" (7pm, $15, Z Space, 450 Florida, SF).
Death Salon Fleet Room, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; www.deathsalon.org. Day session 10am; night session 6-9pm, $30-45. "The culture of mortality and mourning" is examined from all angles at this event, with participants like author Loren Rhoads (speaking about the history of SF's cemeteries); hospice-care worker Betsy Trapasso; attorney Jordan Posamentier (speaking about death with dignity laws); musician Jill Tracy (performing songs composed inside of Philadelphia's Mutter Museum); comedian Beza Merid (speaking about the pop culture of cancer); a discussion of "ghostly sexual encounters" with Dr. Paul Koudounaris, and many others.
Indigenous Peoples Day Powwow and Indian Market Berkeley Civic Center Park, Allston at Martin Luther King Jr, Berk; www.idpowwow.org. 10am-6pm, free. Intertribal dancing, dance contests, Native American foods and crafts, singing and drumming, and more highlight this 22nd annual event.
Leap's 31st Annual Sandcastle Contest Ocean Beach (adjacent to the Great Highway between Balboa and Fulton), SF; www.leaparts.org. 10:30am-4:30pm (sandcastle building finishes at 2:30pm), free. They call 'em sandcastles, but this annual competition yields so much more. Past years have seen giant frogs, sea monsters, sharks, and pyramids (complete with camel) appear on the beach.
"Pride: Parade, Prom, Community" PhotoCentral Gallery, Hayward Area Park and Recreation District, 1099 E St, Hayward; www.photocentral.org. Opening reception today, 2:30-5:30pm. Free. Exhibit runs through Dec 6. Photographers and Guardian contributors Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover present a new exhibit of images capturing the SF Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade (1984-1990) and the Hayward Gay Prom 2014.
World Veg Festival SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.worldvegfestival.com. 10:30am-6:30pm, $3-10 donation (free for kids under 12). Through Sun/12. The SF Vegetarian Society's annual event features cooking demos, exhibitors, speakers, entertainment, a "Children's Corner," and more.
Yerba Buena Night Yerba Buena Lane, Jessie Square and Annie Alley, Yerba Buena Lane, SF; www.ybnight.org. 6-10pm, free. Free outdoor festival of music, dance, art, and performance, with five stages of entertainment, giant video projections, and interactive installations.
Blessing of the Animals First Unitarian Church of SF, 1187 Franklin, SF; www.uusf.org. 2-3pm, free. Bring your furry, feathered, scaly, or otherwise creature-tastic companions (or just a photo of them) to this symbolic ritual, held in the tradition of SF patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi.
World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off IDES Grounds, 735 Main St, 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! *