Special Sections » Summer Guide

Festivals, Fairs, and Road Trips

From accordions to zucchini, a guide to the summer's biggest and best special events.

by and


Alameda County Fair: This year's features include the Action Zone (a sports and fitness expo), the second annual Cooking Academy, the Community Heroes Program awards, a parade, talent competition, opening-night fireworks, and live music by Bo Diddley, Crystal Gayle, the Spinners, War, and Night Ranger. June 25-July 11. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, 925-426-7600.

Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire: Featuring more than eight hundred outdoor and indoor booths of antiques and collectibles, all twenty years old and older, plus food and beverages, unlimited free parking, and a free parking-lot shuttle. First Sunday of every month, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $10 general admission 7:30-9 a.m., $5 general admission after 9, free for kids under 16, 510-869-5428, AntiquesbytheBay.net. Alameda Point Naval Air Station, Alameda Point, Alameda.

Annual Scottish Highland Games: Enjoy traditional Celtic music, athletic competition, Scottish country and Irish step dancing, clan displays, living history encampments, birds of prey, kids' activities, and more. Tours of the mansion are included in the ticket price, and there will be a ceilidh with dancing and music after Saturday's games. July 10-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $8-$20, kids under 6 get in free. Dunsmuir Historic Estates, 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct., Oakland, 510-615-5555, Dunsmuir.org

Blues by the Bay: Now in its fifth year, Blues by the Bay features the Tennessee-reared soul singer Earl Thomas, along with the über-funky Walter "Wolfman" Washington, and the rhythm and blues group ShinBone. July 10-11, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Halvorsen Park on Waterfront Dr. in Eureka. Tickets $27 for one day or $45 for two, and $25 for youth 13-20. 707-445-3378.

Booneville Folk-Blues Festival: Artists performing at the third annual fest include Ron Thompson, Steve Mann with Will Scarlett and Jake Fussell, John Brandeburg, and Ragtime Rick Blaufeld. Sat., July 10, noon, $15-$20, 707-895-FRET, MendocinoGuitars.com/boonevilleblues.html

California WorldFest: This year's annual world music spectacular in Grass Valley features Lucinda Williams, Youssou N'Dour and the Super Etoile, Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Led Kaapana, the Peking Acrobats, and dozens more on seven stages. July 15-18, WorldFest.net

Carmel Bach Festival: Directed by German-born Bruno Weil, this long-running tribute to Bach and his baroque contemporaries features free family concerts, recitals, and symposia, much of it performed on 18th-century instruments. July 17-Aug. 7 in various locations, including the Sunset Theater on San Carlos and 9th St., the All Saints Church, and the Carmel Mission. Tickets $15-$65, 831-624-2046.

Center Stage: Osher Marin JCC hosts two outdoor concerts, featuring the Americana "newgrass" group David Grisman Quintet (June 23), and the Afro-Cuban artists Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca (July 10). 7 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. $17.50-$85, 415-444-8000.

Coasterpalooza 2004: Roller-coaster enthusiasts celebrate a day of high-flying thrills and the 120th anniversary of the first modern coaster, the Switchback Railway. Enjoy exclusive ride time on select attractions, a behind-the-scenes tour, and other events. Sat., July 10. Paramount's Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, 1-888-742-7277, ParamountParks.com

Concerts at the Cove: Free music at the Crab Cove deck, near the beach. On July 9, the Bob Claire Orchestra plays favorites of Motown, rock, jazz and blues. On August 13, the Pete Escovedo Orchestra plays hot Latin jazz to match the hot evenings. Bring a beach blanket or deck chair and gaze off over the bay as dusk settles. 5:30-7:30 p.m.. Food and beverages available for purchase, and the Crab Cove Visitor Center will have extended hours. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda.

Cotati Accordion Festival: This two-day punchbox-fest includes Polkacide, Dick Contino, and the great Sourdough Slim. Aug. 28-29 from 9:30 a.m., Cotati Town Sq., Cotati. $15-25, children under 15 free. 707-664-0444.

Cotati Philharmonic Orchestra: The orchestra's two "Invitation to the Dance" concerts feature the music of Strauss, Kabelevsky, Gershwin, and the Celtic Folk Fusion Group. Both are free, held outdoors, and begin at 7 p.m., June 26-27. Saturday's concert will be held at La Plaza Park in Cotati; Sunday at Windsor Town Green in Windsor. 707-792-4600 ext. 664, CotatiPhil.org

Day on the Meadow Music Festival: The inaugural installment of this new summer music event features Camper Van Beethoven, Lit, Sugarcult, and many other bands and DJs on three stages, with food vendors and many arts and crafts booths. Sat., July 3, noon, $10.49-$15, available without service charges at Streetlight Records in San Jose and Santa Cruz, www.dayonthemeadow.com. Discovery Meadow, Guadalupe River Park, in front of the Children's Discovery Museum, W. San Carlos St. and Woz Way, San Jose.

Dead on the Creek: A weekend retreat of music, camping, and food in relaxed, rural Mendocino County. Scheduled acts include Wake the Dead, Caroline Herring, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, and others. Aug. 6-8, $65-$200 (includes food); kids six and under get in free, 707-459-3015, DeadontheCreek.com. Uncle John's Camp, String Creek, Willits.

Downtown Berkeley's Summer Noon Concerts: This showcase of jazzy hip-hop, rhythm and blues, capoeira music and dance, and classical strings is a tasty sampling of the smorgasbord that is Berkeley performing arts. The free concert series runs through July 29, with a performance by the a cappella ensemble SoVoSo. Concerts are held Thursdays at noon at the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza (Shattuck Ave. and Center St.), Berkeley, www.downtownberkeley.org

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.