Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

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You know when it's been cold or cold-ish for so long that you forget the feeling of a gentle breeze against your bare leg? Well, I think we're almost there! Pack a pair of pants/tights just in case we are not, as we sometimes think, the Weather Gods, and then enjoy the following fun weekend activities:

Actual Cafe Three Year Anniversary
A good cafe can be so much more than just a cafe — especially when the cafe literally is so much more than a cafe. In the three years since it set up shop on the quiet corner of San Pablo and Alcatraz, Actual has solidified itself as one of those rare breeds. And although it's still a relatively young establishment, hardly a week goes by where the tucked away cafe isn't hosting some musical performance, art show, or community shindig. Join them in celebrating their third birthday this Saturday, Mar. 23, featuring musical performances by Even Taylor, Kim Tillman, Genevieve Wolff, Arbielle, and Lindee Hoshikawa. 21st Amendment Brewery will be on hand, with cupcakes by James and the Giant Cupcake. 6-10 p.m., free. ActualCafe.comAzeen Ghorayshi

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Elemental Forces
Suzy Poling's characterization of her work as "archaic futurism" is a tricky one. Her photography, painting, video, and sculpture-based installations on view in Elemental Forces at Krowswork rather seem to exude an altogether alien mysticism, not belonging to this world at all, past or present. The artist prominently features the earth, superimposing abstract painting upon photos of impressive geological terrain to give the scenes a fragmented, other-planetary feel. In two videos, the artist explores the earth by way of strange rituals. In one, she bathes in a shimmering body of water, sporting a peculiar headdress. In the other, she covers herself in sundry forms of splattered mud and inky pigment drippings. But these videos also read as an exploration of the ritualistic qualities of the film- and video-capture process itself, a point of fascination that, if now latent in the mainstream, was certainly explicit in the early days of the moving image. Perhaps that points to the archaic that Poling is channeling here. Elemental Forces runs through March 30 at Krowswork. 510-229-7035 or Krowswork.comAlex Bigman

Oakland Running Festival
I'm assuming that if you need me to tell you about this Sunday, March 24's Oakland Running Festival, then you haven't been tying on your running shoes for the past three months in anticipation of the glory of a fast finish. Fortunately, Oakland's version of the marathon can be as fun — and decidedly less exhausting — as a spectator. There will be live entertainment and food all along the route (check their site for exact details), and four races — a marathon, a half-marathon, a 4-person relay, and a kids' fun run — for you to watch. And in case you happen to think you might be in shape anyway (hint: you probably aren't), you can still try registering the day-of. OaklandMarathon.com — A.G.

Splash Into Spring Egg Scramble
Ah, the perennial joys of the Easter Egg Hunt: the frantic scramble, the colorful discovery, the inevitable grass stains, and the sweet taste of chocolatey success. Join Alameda Parks and Recreation on Saturday, Mar. 23, at Crab Cove for a spring-welcoming extravaganza that includes, among many other things, said egg hunt. Pre-hunt activities will include a fish exhibit, beach exploration, lawn games, and arts and crafts for all ages. Snacks will be available for purchase, and the Easter Bunny will be on hand to pose for photos. Don't forget to bring baskets for the kids, the better to lug home their humble bounties. 10-11:45 a.m., free. 510-747-7529 or CityofAlamedaCA.gov/RecreationA.G.


Starter Bakery's Colomba di Pasqua
Celebrate Easter this year with the dove-shaped Italian Easter bread known as Colomba di Pasqua, courtesy of Oakland-based Starter Bakery. The cake-like bread is a close cousin to the better-known Italian holiday loaf pannetone, which is typically served during Christmas. The Colomba di Pasqua ($25) will be available in the East Bay at the bakery’s three farmers’ market booths — the Saturday Grand Lake Farmers’ Market and the Sunday markets in Temescal and Montclair — both this weekend and next. Pre-ordering (via email to orders@starterbakery.com before noon on March 25) is recommended. — Luke Tsai


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Get your cheapskate on:
This is how much we love you guys: Here are our searchable listings of every single free event happening in the East Bay this weekend.

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Azeen.Ghorayshi@EastBayExpress.com.

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