Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


As our nation's poet laureate Rihanna once said, "Cheers to the freakin' weekend/I'll drink to that/yeaheahahhh." Let's get to it:

Whole Hog Dinner
Pig out at Oliveto on Saturday, Feb. 23, when Executive Chef Jonah Rhodehamel presents the final night of the restaurant's fourteenth annual Whole Hog Dinners. Porcine fare includes a spit-roasted whole leg, tongue-ear-jowl antipasto, pancetta-wrapped sardines, boudinnoir, pork-kidney salad, charcoal-grilled pork heart, and more, made from many whole hogs including a Hungarian Mangalitsa. 5:30 p.m., dishes priced à la carte. Oliveto.comAnneli Rufus

Purim Carnival
The Jewish holiday Purim celebrates the victory of Queen Esther and her adopted father Mordecai, who helped save the Hebrews from being killed by Haman, an advisor to Persian King Ahasuerus, more than 2,000 years ago. And every year, the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay hosts its annual Purim Carnival, which attracts hundreds of attendees. This year's event, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, will feature mask- and costume-making with the help of textile artist InbalShalev, face-painting, a parade, carnival games, and prizes. Play with groggers (noisemakers), fill up on libations and hamantaschen (special triangle-shaped cookies filled with fruit jam), and let the kids loose in the bouncy house. 2-5 p.m., free with canned food donation. 510-848-0237 or JCCEastBay.orgLenika Cruz

  • Silvia Poloto

Introductions: New Artists at SLATE
Slate Contemporary's New Artists show functions as a teaser. Six new additions to the gallery's roster, plus two guests, each present one or two works, leaving a viewer aching for a look at their larger practice. Some of the stylistic voices here are familiar, like the architecturally suggestive abstract paintings by Maya Kabat. Others are unusual and beguiling, like Silvia Poloto's surreally distancing, matte-surface collage work; Daniella Woolf's tapestries of outmoded transactional documents (library cards, postcards, checks); and Alicia Woods' hand-spun baskets consisting of scavenged modern technologies like magnetic cassette tape and fiber optic cable. Perhaps the most exciting artist here is Richard Koci Hernandez, a rising star who has made a name for himself through dedication to iPhone photography. His grainy, noir-inspired snapshots faintly disturb by evoking surveillance, while at the same time showing how compositionally well formed a smartphone photo can be. One senses a polarizing force in this approach: in larger quantities it will prove either genius or revolting. Introductions: New Artists at SLATE runs through February 23 at Slate Contemporary. 510-652-4085 or SlateContemporary.comAlex Bigman

Lorin Station Crop Swap
Get super-seasonal and hyper-local: Bring your own homegrown garden produce to the Lorin Station Weekly Crop Swap (northeast corner of Alcatraz Avenue and Adeline Street, Berkeley) every Sunday, and trade it for backyard produce grown by others. Transition Berkeley and the Victory Garden Foundation organize these free hour-long weekly crop swaps throughout the late spring and summer; right now it's lemon, lettuce, kale, and beet season. 1 p.m., free. TransitionBerkeley.comA.R.

  • Diddo Clark

Darwin Day
On Sunday, February 24, David Seaborg will dress up like Charles Darwin to give a keynote lecture on current evolutionary theory as part of Humanist Hall's Darwin Day celebration. The event will feature other regularly dressed intellectuals: Peter Hess, a Darwin expert from the National Center for Science Education, and George Smoot, an astrophysicist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who won a Nobel Prize in physics for discovering anomalies in cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang. Their topic? Nothing too intimidating or jargon-filled for the layperson: the need for science education and the teaching of evolution in schools. 1:30 p.m., $5 (donations accepted). HumanistHall.org L.C.

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.

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