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2012's To-Do List

The best of the Bay Area's annual events.


Looking for something to do this year? Whether you're interested in drinking whiskey, purveying art, watching live music, or shopping for antiques, there's no shortage of activities in the Bay Area to keep you busy. You might even step outside your comfort zone to explore something different. Who knows? You might discover a new passion.


Alameda Point Antiques Faire Huge outdoor event featuring more than 900 antique dealers. First Sunday of every month, 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m., free-$15. 2900 Navy Way, Alameda.

Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto Excursion Go behind the scenes with "Epicurean Concierge" Lisa Rogivin at various restaurants and food shops in North Berkeley, plus conversations with chefs and food purveyors, and tastings and samples. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., $75. Meets near Shattuck Avenue. IntheKitchenwithLisa.com

East Bay Regional Park District Trails Challenge Following a guidebook, complete a series of self-guided hikes of up to twenty Regional Park trails in exchange for better health and a commemorative pin. Self-paced, free. Various locations. RegionalParksFoundation.org

Oakland Art Murmur Monthly art walk in Oakland. First Friday of every month. 6-10 p.m., free. At various galleries along Telegraph Avenue between 19th and 48th streets. OaklandArtMurmur.com

Piedmont Avenue Art Walk Participating merchants stay open late to host art, entertainment, and refreshments. Third Thursday of every month. 6-9 p.m., free. At various stores and galleries on Piedmont Avenue. PiedmontAvenue.org

Saturday Stroll A weekly component to Art Murmur, but with fewer festivities and more focus on the galleries. Saturdays. 1-5 p.m., free. OaklandArtMurmur.org

Taste of Montclair Walking Tour Adventurous foodie Serena Bartlett leads an exploration of Montclair's food and drink offerings, with tastings, talks, and guidance from a hand-drawn map. First Wednesday of every month. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $45. GrassRoutesTravel.com


Chinese New Year Parade A San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush. Saturday, February 11. 5:15 p.m.-8 p.m., free. Chinatown, San Francisco. ChineseParade.com

Chocolate and Beer Festival Annual event unites brewers and chocolatiers for an afternoon tasting of suds and sweets. Also featuring live jazz. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond. February 11. 2-6 p.m., $15-$40. Cranway.com

Noise Pop The biggest independent music festival of the year brings together the hottest noisemakers for anticipated reunions and rarely seen bills, performed in intimate environments. The festival seems to keep expanding with each year, and now includes a film festival, comedy acts, art, and a crafts fair. February 21-26. Various venues. NoisePop.com

SF Beer Week Various beer-tasting events at venues all over the Bay Area. February 10-19. SFBeerWeek.org

SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival Now in its thirteenth year, the annual festival features old-timey and bluegrass acts from near and far. February 10-19. Various Bay Area venues. SFBluegrass.org


Japanese Food Festival With sushi, sake, live entertainment, a silent auction, and more. Sunday, March 11, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Road, Oakland. Oakland-Fukuoka.org

Oakland Running Festival Full and half-marathon, 5K, kids' fun run, and four-person relay race. Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25. Snow Park, 19th and Harrison streets, Oakland. OaklandMarathon.com

RPM Challenge Listening Party During the month of February, the Express challenges Bay Area musicians to create a new album of work. At the listening party, we play one track from every album completed. The event is broadcast live. Attendees include the musicians, music industry professionals, and the general public. Saturday, March 24, 4-8 p.m. free. Vitus, 201 Broadway, Oakland. RPMChallenge.com

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival The annual event has grown into a ten-day feast with two important main courses: films from the old country and films by Asian Americans. Because it comes early in the calendar year, the festival often steals thunder from other fests with its adventurous selections. March 8-18. Various venues. CAAMedia.org

13th Annual Whiskies of the World Expo A whiskey and artisanal spirit festival on the SF Hornblower Yacht with hundreds of whiskeys and other libations for tasting, whiskey seminars and pairings, top-deck cigar smoking, live music, and food. March 31, 6-9 p.m., $60-$130. WhiskiesoftheWorld.com

White Elephant Sale Biggest rummage sale in Northern California, with proceeds benefitting the Oakland Museum of California. March 3-4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. 333 Lancaster St., Oakland, WhiteElephantSale.org


Bay Area Craft Beer Festival Sip suds from more than thirty local microbreweries. Saturday, April 21. Noon-4 p.m., $5-$35. Historic Downtown Martinez. BayAreaCraftBeerFestival.com

Berkeley Earth Day A celebration of the environment with earth-conscious cultural performers, speakers, and environmental resource booths. Saturday, April 21. Noon-5 p.m., free. Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. and Allston ways, Berkeley. BayAreaEarthDay.com

Cal Day Campus open house with lectures, lab tours, free admission to university museums, music and dance performances, and more. Saturday, April 21. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., free. UC Berkeley campus, Berkeley. CalDay.Berkeley.edu

Deep Green Earth-day festival and conference celebrating the environmental, economic, and health benefits of cannabis. Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $12-$75. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbor Way South, Richmond, DeepGreenFest.com

Montclair Village Restaurant Walk Co-sponsored by the Lions Club, this event showcases village restaurants and food and beverage outlets, with tastings and more. Proceeds go to charity. Tuesday, April 24. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Montclair Village and Village Square, Oakland. MontclairVillage.com

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival A large, vibrant celebration of Japanese culture and of the Japanese-American community, with a parade, pageant, and live performers spread out over four days. April 14-15 and 21-22, free. Japantown, Post and Buchanan streets, San Francisco. NCCBF.org