Jazz, chaps, and artichokes: Our guide to festive fun in the sun -- or fog, whichever
Grab your calendars, then get outside and celebrate summer in the Bay.
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United States of Asian America Arts Festival Various locations, SF; (415) 864-4120, www.apiculturalcenter.org . Through May 25. This festival, presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, showcases Asian Pacific Islander dance, music, visual art, theater, and multidisciplinary performance ensembles at many San Francisco venues.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Yerba Buena Gardens, Third St at Mission, SF; (415) 543-1718, www.ybgf.org . Through Oct, free. Nearly 100 artistic and cultural events for all ages take place at the Gardens, including the Latin Jazz series and a performance by Rupa & the April Fishes.
Asian Pacific Heritage Festival Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 Ninth St, Oakl; (510) 637-0462, www.oacc.cc . Times vary, free. The OACC presents hands-on activities for families, film screenings, cooking classes, and performances throughout the month of May.
Carmel Art Festival Devendorf Park, Carmel; (831) 642-2503, www.carmelartfestival.org . Call for times, free. Enjoy viewing works by more than 60 visual artists at this four-day festival. In addition to the Plein Air and Sculpture-in-the-Park events, the CAF is host to the Carmel Youth Art Show, Quick Draw, and Kids Art Day.
Oakland Greek Festival 4700 Lincoln, Oakl; (510) 531-3400, www.oaklandgreekfestival.com . Fri-Sat, 10am-11pm; Sun, 11am-9pm, $6. Let's hear an "opa!" for Greek music, dance, food, and a stunning view at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension's three-day festival.
Asian Heritage Street Celebration Japantown; www.asianfairsf.com . 11am-6pm, free. The largest gathering of Asian Pacific Americans in the nation features artists, DJs, martial arts, Asian pop culture, karaoke, and much more.
Saints Kiril and Methody Bulgarian Festival Croatian American Cultural Center, 60 Onondaga; (510) 649-0941, www.slavonicweb.org . 4pm, $15. Enjoy live music, dance, and traditional food and wine in celebration of Bulgarian culture. A concert features special guests Radostina Koneva and Orchestra Ludi Maldi.
Taiwanese American Cultural Festival Union Square, SF; (408) 268-5637, www.tafnc.org . 11am-5pm, free. Explore Taiwan by tasting delicious Taiwanese delicacies, viewing a puppet show and other performances, and browsing arts and crafts exhibits.
Uncorked! Ghirardelli Square; 775-5500, www.ghirardellisq.com . 1-6pm, $40-45. Ghirardelli Square and nonprofit COPIA present their third annual wine festival, showcasing more than 40 local wineries and an array of gourmet food offerings.
Cupertino Special Festival in the Park Cupertino Civic Center, 10300 Torre, Cupertino; (408) 996-0850, www.osfamilies.org . 10am-6pm, free. The Organization of Special Needs Families hosts its fourth annual festival for people of all walks or wheels of life. Featuring live music, food and beer, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, and other activities.
Enchanted Village Fair 1870 Salvador, Napa; (707) 252-5522. 11am-4pm, $1. Stone Bridge School creates a magical land of wonder and imagination, featuring games, crafts, a crystal room, and food.
Immigrants Day Festival Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; (650) 299-0104, www.historysmc.org . 12-4pm, free. Sample traditional Mexican food, make papel picado decorations, and watch Aztec dancing group Casa de la Cultura Quetzalcoatl at the San Mateo County History Museum.
A La Carte and Art Castro St, Mountain View; (650) 964-3395, www.miramarevents.com . 10am-6pm, free. The official kick-off to festival season, A La Carte is a moveable feast of people and colorful tents offering two days of attractions, music, art, a farmers' market, and street performers.
Bay Area Storytelling Festival Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area, El Sobrante; (510) 869-4946, www.bayareastorytelling.org . Gather around and listen to stories told by storytellers from around the world at this outdoor festival. Carol Birch, Derek Burrows, Baba Jamal Koram, and Olga Loya are featured.
Castroville Artichoke Festival 10100 Merritt, Castroville; (831) 633-2465, www.artichoke-festival.org . Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm, $3-6. "Going Green and Global" is the theme of this year's festival, which cooks up the vegetable in every way imaginable and features activities for kids, music, a parade, a farmers' market, and much more.
French Flea Market Chateau Sonoma, 153 West Napa, Sonoma; (707) 935-8553, www.chateausonoma.com . Call for times and cost. Attention, Francophiles: this flea market is for you! Shop for antiques, garden furniture, and accessories from French importers.
Hats Off America Car Show Bollinger Canyon Rd and Camino Ramon, San Ramon; (925) 855-1950, www.hatsoffamerica.us . 10am-5pm, free. Hats Off America presents its fifth annual family event featuring muscle cars, classics and hot rods, art exhibits, children's activities, live entertainment, a 10K run, and beer and wine.
Himalayan Fair Live Oak Park, 1300 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 869-3995, www.himalayanfair.net . Sat, 10am-7pm; Sun, 10am-5:30pm, $8.This benefit for humanitarian grassroots projects in the Himalayas features award-winning dancers and musicians representing Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Mongolia. Check out the art and taste the delicious food.
Pixie Park Spring Fair Marin Art and Garden Center, Ross; www.pixiepark.org . 9am-4pm, free. The kids will love the bouncy houses, giant slide, petting zoo, pony rides, puppet shows, and more at this cooperative park designed for children under 6. Bring a book to donate to Homeward Bound of Marin.
Supercon San Jose Convention Center, San Jose; www.super-con.com . Sat., 10am-6pm; Sun., 10am-5pm, $20-30. The biggest stars of comics, sci-fi, and pop culture including Lost's Jorge Garcia and Groo writer Sergio Aragonés descend on downtown San Jose for panels, discussions, displays, and presentations.
Bay to Breakers Begins at Howard and Spear, ends at the Great Highway along Ocean Beach, SF; www.baytobreakers.com . 8am, $39-59. See a gang of Elvis impersonators in running shorts and a gigantic balloon shaped like a tube of Crest floating above a crowd of scantily clad, and unclad, joggers at this annual "race" from the Embarcadero to the Pacific Ocean.
Carnival in the Xcelsior 125 Excelsior; 469-4739, my-sfcs.org/8.html. 11am-4pm, free. This benefit for the SF Community School features game booths, international food selections, prizes, music, and entertainment for all ages.
Russian-American Fair Terman Middle School, 655 Arastradero, Palo Alto; (650) 852-3509, paloaltojcc.org. 10am-5pm, $3-5. The Palo Alto Jewish Community Center puts on this huge, colorful cultural extravaganza featuring ethnic food, entertainment, crafts and gift items, art exhibits, carnival games, and vodka tasting for adults.
MAY 21JUNE 8
San Francisco International Arts Festival Various venues, SF; (415) 399-9554, www.sfiaf.org . The theme for the fifth year of this multidisciplinary festival is "The Truth in Knowing/Threads in Time, Place, Culture."
Sonoma Jazz Plus Festival Field of Dreams, 179 First St W, Sonoma; (866) 527-8499, www.sonomajazz.org . Thurs-Sat, 6:30 and 9pm; Sun, 8:30pm, $40+. Head on up to California's wine country to soak in the sounds of Al Green, Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, and Bonnie Raitt.
Carnaval Mission District, SF; (415) 920-0125, www.carnavalsf.com . 9:30am-6pm, free. California's largest annual multicultural parade and festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with food, crafts, activities, performances by artists like deSoL, and "Zona Verde," an outdoor eco-green village at 17th and Harrison.
San Ramon Art and Wind Festival Central Park, San Ramon; (925) 973-3200, www.artandwind.com . 10am-5pm, free. For its 18th year, the City of San Ramon Parks and Community Services Department presents over 200 arts and crafts booths, entertainment on three stages, kite-flying demos, and activities for kids.
MAY 30JUNE 8
Healdsburg Jazz Festival Check Web site for ticket prices and venues in and around Healdsburg; (707) 433-4644, www.healdsburgjazzfestival.com . This 10th annual, week-and-a-half-long jazz festival will feature a range of artists from Fred Hersch and Bobby Hutcherson to the Cedar Walton Trio.
Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival North Shattuck, Berk; (510) 548-5335, www.northshattuck.org . 10am-6pm, free. Create chalk drawings and sample chocolate delights while vendors, musicians, and clowns entertain the family.
Napa Valley Art Festival 500 Main, Napa; www.napavalleyartfestival.com . 10am-4pm, free. Napa Valley celebrates representational art on Copia's beautiful garden promenade with art sales, ice cream, and live music. Net proceeds benefit The Land Trust of Napa County's Connolly Ranch Education Center.
MAY 31JUNE 1
Union Street Festival Union, between Gough and Steiner, SF; 1-800-310-6563, www.unionstreetfestival.com . 10am-6pm, free. For its 32nd anniversary, one of SF's largest free art festivals is going green, featuring an organic farmer's market, arts and crafts made with sustainable materials, eco-friendly exhibits, food, live entertainment, and bistro-style cafés.
01SJ: Global Festival of Art on the Edge Various venues, San Jose; (408) 277-3111, ww.01sj.org. Various times. The nonprofit ZERO1 plans to host 20,000 visitors at this festival featuring 100 exhibiting artists exploring the digital age and novel creative expression.
Harmony Festival Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa; www.harmonyfestival.com . $30-99. One of the largest progressive-lifestyle festivals of its kind, Harmony brings art, education, and cultural awareness together with world-class performers like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Jefferson Starship, Damian Marley, Cheb I Sabbah, and Vau de Vire Society.
Crystal Fair Fort Mason Center; 383-7837, www.crystalfair.com . Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm, $6. The Pacific Crystal Guild presents two days in celebration of crystals, minerals, jewelry, and metaphysical healing tools from an international selection of vendors.
Sunset Celebration Weekend Sunset headquarters, 80 Willow Road, Menlo Park; 1-800-786-7375, www.sunset.com . 10am-5pm, $12, kids free. Sunset magazine presents a two-day outdoor festival featuring beer, wine, and food tasting; test-kitchen tours, celebrity chef demonstrations, live music, seminars, and more.
Haight Ashbury Street Fair Haight and Ashbury; www.haightashburystreetfair.org. 11am-5:30pm , free. Celebrate the cultural contributions this historical district has made to SF with a one-day street fair featuring artisans, musicians, artists, and performers.
Rock Art by the Bay Fort Mason, SF; www.trps.org . 10am-5pm, free. The Rock Poster Society hosts this event celebrating poster art from its origins to its most recent incarnations.
City of Oakland Housing Fair Frank Ogawa Plaza; Oakl; (510) 238-3909, www.oaklandnet.com/housingfair . 10am-2pm, free. The City of Oakland presents this seventh annual event featuring workshops and resources for first-time homebuyers, renters, landlords, and homeowners.
North Beach Festival Washington Square Park, 1200-1500 blocks of Grant and adjacent streets; 989-2220, www.sfnorthbeach.org . 10am-6pm, free. Touted as the country's original outdoor arts and crafts festival, the North Beach Festival celebrates its 54th anniversary with juried arts and crafts exhibitions and sales, a celebrity pizza toss, live entertainment stages, a cooking stage with celebrity chefs, Assisi animal blessings, Arte di Gesso (Italian street chalk art competition, 1500 block Stockton), indoor Classical Concerts (4 pm, National Shrine of St. Francis), a poetry stage, and more.
Sonoma Lavender Festival 8537 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood; (707) 523-4411, www.sonomalavender.com . 10am-4pm, free. Sonoma Lavender opens its private farm to the public for craftmaking, lavender-infused culinary delights by Chef Richard Harper, tea time, and a chance to shop for one of Sonoma's 300 fragrant products.
JUNE 7AUG 17
Stern Grove Music Festival Stern Grove, 19th Ave and Sloat, SF; www.sterngrove.org . Sundays 2pm, free. This beloved San Francisco festival celebrates community, nature, and the arts is in its with its 71st year of admission-free concerts.
Mission Creek Music Festival Venues and times vary; www.mcmf.org.The  Mission Creek Music Festival celebrates twelve years of featuring the best and brightest local independent musicians and artists with this year's events in venues big and small.
Jewish Vintners Celebration Various locations, Napa Valley; (707) 968-9944, www.jewishvintners.org . Various times, $650. The third annual L'Chaim Napa Valley Jewish Vintners Celebration celebrates the theme "Connecting with Our Roots" with a weekend of wine, cuisine, camaraderie, and history featuring Jewish winemakers from Napa, Sonoma, and Israel.
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival Mendocino County Fairgrounds, 14480 Hwy 128, Boonville; (917) 777-5550, www.snwmf.com.Three-day  pass, $135; camping, $50-100. Camp for three days and listen to the international sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead, the English Beat, Yami Bolo, and many more.
San Francisco Pride 2008 Civic Center, Larkin between Grove and McAllister; 864-FREE, www.sfpride.org . Celebration Sat-Sun, noon-6pm; parade Sun, 10:30am, free. A month of queer-empowering events culminates in this weekend celebration: a massive party with two days of music, food, and dancing that continues to boost San Francisco's rep as a gay mecca. This year's theme is "Bound for Equality."
High Sierra Music Festival Plumas-Sierra Fairgrounds, Quincy; (510) 547-1992, www.highsierramusic.com . Ticket prices vary. Enjoy four days of camping, stellar live music, yoga, shopping, and more at the 18th iteration of this beloved festival. This year's highlights include ALO, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Built to Spill, Bob Weir & RatDog, Gov't Mule, and Railroad Earth.
City of San Francisco Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration Pier 39, Embarcadero at Beach; 705-5500, www.pier39.com . 1-9:30pm, free. SF's waterfront Independence Day celebration features live music by Big Bang Beat and Tainted Love, kids' activities, and an exciting fireworks show.
Fillmore Jazz Festival Fillmore between Jackson and Eddy; www.fillmorejazzfestival.com.10am-6pm , free. More than 90,000 people will gather to celebrate Fillmore Street's prosperous tradition of jazz, culture, and cuisine.
JULY 17AUG 3
Midsummer Mozart Festival Various Bay Area venues; (415) 392-4400, www.midsummermozart.org . $20-60. This Mozart-only music concert series in its 34th season features talented musicians from SF and beyond.
JULY 18AUG 8
Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso, Atherton; www.musicatmenlo.org . In its sixth season, this festival explores a musical journey through time, from Bach to Jennifer Higdon.
North Beach Jazz Fest Various locations; www.nbjazzfest.com . Various times and ticket prices. Sunset Productions presents the 15th annual gathering celebrating indoor and outdoor jazz by over 100 local and international artists. Special programs include free jazz in Washington Square Park.
JULY 26, AUG 16
FLAX Creative Arts Festival 1699 Market; 552-2355, www.flaxart.com . 11am-2pm, free. Flax Art and Design hosts an afternoon of hands-on demonstrations, free samples, and prizes for kids.
Up Your Alley Dore Alley between Folsom and Howard, Folsom between Ninth and 10th Sts; www.folsomstreetfair.com . 11am-6pm, free. Hundreds of naughty and nice leather-lovers sport their stuff in SoMa at this precursor to the Folsom Street Fair.
Aloha Festival San Francisco Presidio Parade Grounds, near Lincoln at Graham; www.pica-org.org/AlohaFest/index.html . 10am-5pm, free. The Pacific Islanders' Cultural Association presents its annual Polynesian cultural festival featuring music, dance, arts, crafts, island cuisine, exhibits, and more.
Nihonmachi Street Fair Japantown Center, Post and Webster; www.nihonmachistreetfair.org . 11am-6pm, free. Japantown's 35th annual celebration of the Bay Area's Asian and Pacific Islander communities continues this year with educational booths and programs, local musicians and entertainers, exhibits, and artisans.
Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival Golden Gate Park; www.outsidelands.com . View Web site for times and price. Don't miss the inaugural multifaceted festival of top-notch music, including Tom Petty, Jack Johnson, Manu Chao, Widespread Panic, Wilco, and Primus.
AUG 25SEPT 1
Burning Man Black Rock City, NV; www.burningman.com . $295. Celebrate the theme "American Dream" at this weeklong participatory campout that started in the Bay Area. No tickets will be sold at the gate this year.
AUG 29SEPT 1
Sausalito Art Festival 2400 Bridgeway, Sausalito; (415) 331-3757, www.sausalitoartfestival.org . Various times, $10. Spend Labor Day weekend enjoying the best local, national, and international artists as they display paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and more in this seaside village.
Millbrae Art and Wine Festival Broadway between Victoria and Meadow Glen, Millbrae; (650) 697-7324, www.miramarevents.com . 10am-5pm, free. The "Big Easy" comes to Millbrae for this huge Mardi Grasstyle celebration featuring R&B, rock 'n' roll, jazz, and soul music, as well as arts and crafts, food and beverages, live performance, and activities for kids.
AUG 30SEPT 1
Art and Soul Festival Various venues, Oakl; (510) 444-CITY, www.artandsouloakland.com . 11am-6pm, $5-$10. Enjoy three days of culturally diverse music, food, and art at the eighth annual Comcast Art and Soul Festival, which features a Family Fun Zone and an expo highlighting local food and wine producers.
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival Various Bay Area locations; www.sfshakes.org . This nonprofit organization presents free Shakespeare in the Park, brings performances to schools, hosts theater camps, and more.
Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mountain View; (650) 968-8378, www.miramarevents.com . 10am-6pm, free. Known as one of America's finest art festivals, more than 200,000 arts lovers gather in Silicon Valley's epicenter for this vibrant celebration featuring art, music, and a Kids' Park.
Treasure Island Music Festival Treasure Island; treasureislandfestival.com. The second year of this two-day celebration, organized by the creators of Noise Pop, promises an impressive selection of indie, rock, and hip-hop artists.
Folsom Street Fair Folsom Street; www.folsomstreetfair.com . Eight days of Leather Pride Week finishes up with the 25th anniversary of this famous and fun fair.
Listings compiled by Molly Freedenberg.