dancing to the music

Weekend Picks: San Francisco North Beach Festival, Oakland Dancing Under the Stars and San Jose Dancin’ on the Avenue

June 13, 2018

Whether it’s celebrating Italian heritage in San Francisco or dancing under the stars in Oakland and San Jose, there’s no excuse to stay indoors! Hop aboard the Capitol Corridor and join the fun!

North Beach Festival: 6/16 – 6/17, San Francisco

Happening: 10am – 6pm
This weekend visit San Francisco’s famed Little Italy for the 64th Annual North Beach Festival. The free outdoor festival will feature 125 arts and crafts booths, tasty food, two stages of live entertainment, Italian street painting, poetry readings, beverage gardens, a kids’ chalk art area, and the famed blessing of the animals ceremony. Back by popular demand, Circus Bella will bring its one-ring circus to the North Beach Festival, featuring static trapeze, rope walking, a nine-person juggling act, contortion, hula-hoop, original clowning, and more. The annual festival is considered one of the country’s original outdoor street fairs. Proceeds from the festival allow the North Beach Business Association to fund  neighborhood projects as well as provide financial support for neighborhood organizations.

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 the downtown San Francisco bus or BART stops, you can take SF Muni, catch a cab, or take Lyft or Uber.

Dancing Under the Stars: 6/15, Oakland

Happening: 7:30 – 9:00pm
From experienced dancers to to those with two left-feet, everyone is invited to dance the night away in Oakland’s beautiful waterfront Jack London Square at an evening of Dancing Under the Stars. Every Friday night throughout the summer months, dancers will kick up their heels and pack Jack London Square for a free and festive 30-minute dance lesson. Lessons will be taught by professional dance instructors, Johnny Lopez and Carla Service, and each week will vary in style of dance covering cumbia, pop, Polynesian, Bollywood, bachata, salsa, and merengue. The night will be followed by a music dance party from 8 to 9pm.

Getting there: Take the train to the Oakland Jack London Station, and you’ll be just steps from the fun.

Dancin’ on the Avenue: 6/16, San Jose

Happening: 2pm – 8pm
Bring your dancing shoes and groove to live music at the 23rd Annual Dancin’ on the Avenue in San Jose this weekend. Three music stages will feature an eclectic mix of live music and entertainment. There will also be a dedicated community stage with performances by local dance groups and a Kids’ Court area with games and crafts. Patrons will choose from among dozens of great food and beverage booths, but note, beverage tickets will be sold on-site at five cash-only ticket booths and one PayPal ticket booth. Tickets are $2 each, beer and wine will require 4 tickets while non-alcoholic drinks are 1 ticket each. Admission to Dancin’ on the Avenue is free and anyone consuming alcohol must bring a valid ID.

Getting there: Take the train to the San Jose Diridon Station. The event is in the Willow Glen neighborhood, accessible by the VTA with a free Transit Transfer, or catch a cab, Lyft, or Uber

Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy SRES Productions