Weekend Picks: Oakland Laurel Street Fair, San Francisco Filipino Festival, Sacramento Banana Festival, and Berkeley City Horse Kids Carnival

August 9, 2017

Looking for things to do this weekend in the Bay Area? The Capitol Corridor is your ticket to fun! Listen to world music at the Laurel Street Fair in Oakland, celebrate Filipino culture in San Francisco, go bananas at a festival in Sacramento, and have a fun family day at a racetrack in Berkeley!

Laurel Street Fair World Music Festival: 8/12, Oakland

Gather at Oakland’s largest multicultural fair celebrating diversity at the 18th Annual Laurel Street Fair. On Saturday, August 12, from 11am to 7pm, the all-day free outdoor festival includes an international line-up of world-class musicians featuring — Zimbabwean Chinyakare Ensemble, Brazilian Carnaval SambaFunk, Andean Hip-Hop group Debajo Del Agua, Polynesian dance group Halau Makana, Oakland Youth Poets, and more! Take part in a community yoga class, artisan vendors, or check out a children’s carnival, petting zoo, Craft Biergarten, food trucks and local chefs. Held in Oakland’s Laurel District, the fair has grown every year, and is now known as one of the biggest and best neighborhood events in the East Bay with attendance estimated at 8,000 people. To get to the festivities, take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station or the Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART, and get off at the Fruitvale BART station. From there, you can take AC Transit with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor conductor.

Pistahan Parade and Festival: 8/12, San Francisco

Experience a massive celebration of Filipino art, dance, music, and food at the 24th annual Pistahan Parade and Festival in San Francisco. From 11am to 5pm on Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13, the free-admission festival will feature seven pavilions for exploration, discovery, and learning about the best of Filipino culture. There will be world-class entertainment, live art demos, an adobo cook-off, a balut-eating contest, zumba, and more. On Saturday, August 12, at 11am, experience a dazzling display of Filipino culture and traditions at the Pistahan Parade down Market Street, from Civic Center to 4th. Billed as the largest celebration of Filipino Americans in the U.S., the two-day event organized by the Filipino American Arts Exposition is expected to draw over 75,000 people each day. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor’s dedicated connecting bus from the Emeryville Station to the Transbay Temporary Terminal. You can also take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station or the Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART, and ride to downtown San Francisco’s Civic Center Station, which is just a short walk to Civic Center Plaza. Discounted BART tickets are available for purchase in the Café Car.

Banana Festival: 8/12 – 8/13, Sacramento

Go bananas this weekend at the 8th Annual Sacramento Banana Festival . From 10am to 7pm on Saturday, August 12, through 10am to 5pm, on Sunday, August 13, the multicultural extravaganza will celebrate the diverse cultures of the Caribbean, Central America, Puerto Rico, and other regions that use banana as food. Enjoy a variety of banana cuisine, including banana splits, chocolate covered bananas, banana bean pies, and a whole lot more. Held at William Land Park, the two-day festival will showcase more than 200 local artists in visual/performance art — R&B, jazz, country, and rock musicians, along with various ethnic dancers bringing their artistic experiences to the community. There will also be a fashion show, interactive hula hoop, and hip-hop stations. Tickets are $8 in advance online or $10 at the gate; free for children age 5 and under. To get there, take the train to the Sacramento Station. You can take Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) from the train station with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor conductor.

City Horse Kids Carnival: 8/13, Berkeley

Do your kids love horses? Then head over to the Third Annual City Horse Kids Carnival at Golden Gate Fields racetrack in Berkeley. On Sunday, August 13, from 10:30am to 4pm, there will be pony and wagon rides, carnival games, super slide, face painting, and temporary tattoos. The familiy will enjoy live entertainment for all ages, including magic, truck roping, hula hoop tricks, and a juggling show performed by Sara Noelle at 11am. You can also take part in an animal fair with various mammals and reptiles. Please note, aside from the admission ticket — $4 at the door — each activity will require a respective ticket. For more information on ticket prices, go online. Free parking will be available through the Buchanan entrance to Golden Gate Fields. The event will primarily serve kids 3-11 years old and their families. To get there, take the train to the Berkeley Station. From there, you can take the AC Transit with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor conductor, or call a cab, take Lyft or Uber to the Golden Gate Fields, which is over a mile away.

Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy of Velocity Circus