Weekend Picks: Gold Rush Days, San Francisco Aloha Fest, Berkeley Brazilian Day Street Party, and Hiero Day in Oakland

August 30, 2017

Get ready for a Labor Day weekend full of festivals all along the Capitol Corridor! Transport yourself back in time to the Gold Rush Days in Sacramento, enjoy a hip hop festival in Oakland, learn about South Pacific Islands in San Francisco, and dress in white to celebrate Brazilian Independence Day in Berkeley. The best part is that our Take 5 for $5 Weekend deal is good on the Labor Day holiday Monday — buy one full-fare ticket and bring up to five companions for $5 each person, each way!

Gold Rush Days: 8/31 – 9/3, Sacramento

Go back in time to the Gold Rush Days of the 1850s as Sacramento’s favorite nostalgic weekend returns over the Labor Day weekend. From Saturday, September 2, to Monday, September 4, the historic district of Old Sacramento will be transformed into a Wild West Gold Rush town of California’s early days. Be entertained by jugglers, roving musicians, and street singers performing live on several stages; enjoy Old West costumed re-enactors in mining camp theatrics and family-friendly melodramas; catch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage or mechanical bull; and watch cowboys on horseback and ladies riding sidesaddle. The ever-popular, hands-on and interpretive Tent City will depict daily life during the Gold Rush days, while the whole family enjoys panning for gold, arts and crafts, train rides, a river cruise, pony rides, and games like corn hole and horse shoes. On Saturday there will be a Beer Garden open between 11am and 10pm, plus a Country Dance Street Party with live music and line dancing lessons. To get there, take the train to the Sacramento Station, which is only a five-minute walk to all the fun.

Aloha Poly Fest: 9/2, San Francisco

Grab your Aloha shirts and head over to Golden Gate Park on Saturday, September 2, to experience the sights, sounds, and scents of the South Pacific at the annual Aloha Poly Fest being held at the County Fair Building from 10am to 6pm. Learn about the Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian islands in the Pacific Ocean through cultural song, dance, art, and food. Among the variety of island-style activities for all ages, you’ll be able to learn how to make a lei, haku, hair accessories, and jewelry using flowers, feathers, and palm leaves. Enjoy ukulele jam sessions and play along with others in the open-air courtyard. Take the little ones to the Kids’ Zone for arts and crafts, face painting, and playtime. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station and connect to BART to downtown San Francisco. From downtown San Francisco, you can take Muni, catch a cab, or take Lyft or Uber. Buy discount BART tickets on board the train in the Café Car for added convenience.

Brazilian Day Street Party: 9/3, Berkeley

Join the celebration of Brazilian Independence Day at the annual Brazilian Day Street Party in Downtown Berkeley from 10am to 7pm on Sunday, September 3. There will be an annual lavagem (blessing), a procession for world peace, food, and drinks, plus live Brazilian samba bands, DJs, capoeira, free dance classes, and activities for the kids. The event, for which participants generally wear all white, pays homage to two major celebrations in Brazil – Brazil’s Independence Day and the recreation of a lavagem – a cleansing ceremony using song and dance that dates back to slavery when women washed the steps of the church for the festive mass on Sundays in Salvador. To get there, take the train to the Berkeley Station, and connect to downtown Berkeley on AC Transit. Or, take the train to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART, and get off at the Downtown Berkeley stop, which is just half a mile from the event.

Hiero Day: 9/4, Oakland

On Labor Day, Monday, September 4, head to downtown Oakland for the 6th annual Hiero Day, the biggest hip hop event on the West Coast. From 10am to 7pm, celebrate the Hieroglyphics‘ Hip Hop Music Festival and Block Party, where thousands come to celebrate a commitment to community and ground breaking music in Oakland. There will be over 40 artists, DJs, and hosts taking over three stages with non-stop music all day, as well as internationally-renowned artists providing continuous entertainment from Hip-Hop, Jazz, Electronic, Alternative, and R&B. There will also be a children’s area and a variety of local food and crafts. Early bird tickets are $19.93, General Admission is $50, and children 7 and under are free. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Oakland Jack London Square Station and from there walk about 20 minutes or take the free Broadway Shuttle to downtown Oakland. Visit Google Maps for directions.

Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy of Gold Rush Days, Old Sacramento