Berkeley World Music

Weekend Picks: San Francisco Union Street Festival, San Jose Hālau Nā Wai Ola Annual Ho`ike, Berkeley Pints for Paws and Berkeley World Music Festival

May 30, 2018

Summer adventures are right around the corner, and we have picked the best ways to enjoy the beautiful weather along the Capitol Corridor! Head out to a lively street fair in San Francisco or Hawaiian festival in San Jose, sample beers at a pet charity event, and listen to world music in Berkeley. These are just some of the activities to add to your calendar this weekend.

Union Street Festival: 6/2 – 6/3, San Francisco

Happening: 10am – 6pm
Gather your friends and family for San Francisco’s largest free event, the Union Street Music Festival. Going into its 42nd consecutive year, the festival features over 24 live bands sprinkled throughout the five blocks of the Cow Hollow neighborhood. Stages will showcase four different genres Jazz, Blues, Country, and Bluegrass as well as local bands. Scattered throughout the event will be arts and crafts exhibitors, food vendors, sponsor booths, and community groups. Thirsty attendees will find delight in the full pours of tasty beers and fine wines found in the beverage gardens. This annual festival is held on San Francisco’s fashionable Union Street, where historic Victorians have been transformed into popular boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.

Getting there: Depending on your station of origin, take the Capitol Corridor’s dedicated connecting bus from Emeryville to one of our San Francisco stops, or connect to BART at the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station. From any of these San Francisco bus or BART stops, you can take Muni, catch a cab, or take Lyft or Uber.

Hālau Nā Wai Ola Annual Ho`ike: 6/2, San Jose

Happening: 5pm – 9pm
Students of Halau Na Wai Ola will perform Polynesian dance and music this weekend at the 22nd Annual Hoike in San Jose. Under the direction of Kumu Kau`i Isa Kahaku, the performers will dance to an island blend of music featuring Na Hoku Hanohano Award Winners Kupaoa and Mark Yamanaka. It’s an afternoon of Hawaiian themed arts and crafts, food booths, and merchandise vendors. The event will host a Keiki Carnival (children’s games) and door prize drawings, among other family-friendly activities.

Getting there: Take the train to the San Jose Diridon Station. The event is held at Island Moves Halau Na Wai Ola, which is 25 minutes from the station when you take VTA with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor.

Pints for Paws: 6/2, Berkeley

Happening: 2pm – 5pm
If you love animals then you can partner that affection with your love of craft beers at the 5th Annual Pints for Paws.  Attendees will have the opportunity to sample from among 100 craft beers from 20 plus craft breweries in Berkeley, as well as meet local brewers, cider makers, and artisanal winemakers. While deciding among the wide variety of culinary options from local food trucks and vendors, live music will be ongoing throughout the event. General Admission tickets are $65 and will include sample tastings from participating beverage vendors. VIP tickets are $100 and include access to two dozen kegs of limited release brews.  Every dollar raised at the event will go directly to Berkeley Humane to save the lives of dogs and cats in the East Bay.

Getting there: Take the train (unfortunately pets must be left at home!) to the Emeryville or Berkeley Station. From there, you can Uber, Lyft, bike, or walk to the event which is about a mile and a half away from either station.

Berkeley World Music Festival: 6/1 -6/3, Berkeley

Happening: Friday 8pm – 12am; Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 8pm
Music lovers mark your calendars because you will not want to miss the celebration of music and dance at the 15th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival this weekend! From Friday to Sunday, in various locations citywide, this free event will feature a dazzling array of performances by some of the Bay Area’s finest artists. The festival will kick off on Friday night at the La Peña Cultural Center; then on Saturday, world artists will converge all along Telegraph Avenue in an exciting mix of street sideshows and café concerts. Simultaneously, Amoeba Berkeley’s featured concert and crafts fair will be starting at noon in People’s Park and continue until 6pm Saturday. On Sunday, the festival will join “Sunday Streets Berkeley” on Telegraph, where the avenues will become pedestrian plazas for gatherings of community music groups and family-friendly activities. Please check online for details on locations and times.

Getting there: Take the train to the Berkeley Station, and connect to downtown Berkeley on AC Transit with a free Transit Transfer. Or, take the train to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART, and get off at the Ashby stop, which is just a short walk to La Peña Cultural Center. To get to the People’s Park event and Sunday Streets, you can continue on BART to the Downtown Berkeley stop, which is less than a mile walk to the park and a block from Sunday Street festivities.

Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy Steven Restivo