Happy summer, y'all. And by that we mean you're probably wearing at least one sweater right now. At any rate, here's some HOT FUN IN THE SUN for your Weekending pleasure:
Alameda County Fair
Last year, the Alameda County Fair made the Guinness World Records for producing the world's largest "commercially available" hamburger (it weighed in at a whopping 777 pounds). This year marks a less caloric (though no less weighty) landmark for the annual fete: the fair's centennial. Festivities are already well underway at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, but you can still catch sundry special events on this, the fair's final weekend, as well as all the barbecued, battered, and fried delights that keep us coming back each year. Fri.-Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $6-$10, free for kids under six. 925-426-7559 or AlamedaCountyFair.com — Cassie McFadden
The hugely happening monthly gallery crawl known as Oakland Art Murmur will have more art show openings than ever this month, and will be trying out some new strategies as well. Namely, for the first time, 23rd Street will not be closed to traffic: "Keeping 23rd Street open does not serve our mission," said Art Murmur Executive Director Danielle Fox. "When we are aiming to focus Oakland's attention on the galleries, we were putting too much time and money into the street-fair aspect of 23rd and Telegraph." But there's still plenty to do and see: Our recommended itinerary starts with The Hive — a studio enclave of more than three dozen rising art stars in the East Bay scene, where Elizabeth Saviano is showing her joyous paintings in her show, Circo — then dips into wine-tasting at Urban Legend Cellars before a stroll up Washington Street into popuphood, a cluster of oh-so-compelling little shops/galleries. At Crown Nine, Freya Prowe's New Work features brooding animal forms, primal yet whimsical, and deftly produced. Next, head up Telegraph Avenue to Word to Your Motherland, a group show at Betti Ono Gallery, and finally, make your way to 25th Street to check out Murmur's beating heart: Lauren McIntosh's Banished Paintings at Oakopolis, naive paintings that at first seem so sad, but upon closer inspection open up with fresh seriousness; and the 25th Street Hallway (for lack of a better term) — five galleries, including PHOTO, The Wall Gallery, Roscoe Ceramic Gallery, Manna Gallery, and Slate Contemporary Gallery, which will celebrate the opening of Figure Form and Fiction, a group show of conceptual takes on the human body. The whole trip should take about ninety minutes to two hours by foot, which puts you at the 25th Street galleries around 8 p.m., just when Murmur is at its most thrilling. — Obi Kaufmann
It's "East Bay" in reverse-engineered Pig Latin, but it's also, more pertinently, one of the most ambitious and exciting lit events to come to the East Bay: 125 writers representing a wide swath of genres, reading at 25 different venues, over the course of a single day, in what organizers are billing as the East Bay's premiere literary pub crawl. The idea, according to Hollie Hardy, one of the event's organizers, was to unite the East Bay's disparate micro-scenes and "help create a literary identity for Oakland, because we deserve it." Mission accomplished, judging by the lineup: The Beast has four legs (get it?!), the first three of which present a slate of readings at various bars, restaurants, and cafes within walking distance of each other in and around Uptown, and the last of which is sure to be the smarty-pantsiest party you've ever been to, at Club Paradiso at 9 p.m. We're particularly excited for the Rad Dad, Frank Bette, Small Press Distribution, and Tourettes Without Regrets events, but you're welcome to tackle the Beast however you like. See website for full map and schedule. Free. BeastCrawl.tumblr.com — Ellen Cushing
Temescal Street Fair
It's time once again for the annual Temescal Street Fair, which for the ninth year will stop traffic along a stretch of Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland for a day of food, drink, live performances, and other family-friendly revelry. This year's festival features a jam-packed lineup of performers across four stages, three stomach-stuffing food courts, and more than one hundred craft-tastic vendor booths. Among the many offerings to take in: a performance by the Kinetic Arts Center's young circus troupe, drinks from The Avenue and bites from Barlata, and crafts from artisans at the new Temescal Alley. Between 42nd and 51st sts. on Sunday, July 8. Noon-6 p.m., free. 510-860-7327 or TemescalDistrict.org — Cassie McFadden
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 Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.