Weekend Picks: Oakland Summer Block Party, San Francisco Bastille Day Celebration, Sacramento Gold Fever Tour, and Berkeley Salsa Sunday

July 12, 2017

Nothing says summer like spending the weekend outdoors. Come listen to live music in Oakland, join other Francophiles for a Bastille Day celebration in San Francisco, catch gold fever in Sacramento, and salsa dance in the streets of downtown Berkeley. You’ll find plenty of things to do for summer all along the Capitol Corridor!

40th Street Summer Block Party: 7/15, Oakland

Get ready to rock outdoors to great live music at the second annual 40th Street Block Party. From 11am to 5pm on Saturday, July 15, the lineup includes California, Younger Lovers, Dear County, The Heartlights, Paper Dolls, and The Special Guests, playing Jazz, Blues, and more. Enjoy food offerings from Clove & Hoof bad-ass “straight from the smoker” BBQ; Kenny’s Heart & Soul food truck; Homeroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese; beer by The Hog’s Apothecary; wine by Oakland Yard; Tacos Oscar; and Subrosa Coffee. The free event includes fun for the whole family so bring the kids for face painting and other art activities. To get to the festivities, take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station, connect to BART, and take it to Macarthur BART station, which is a four-minute walk from the block party.

Bastille Day Celebration: 7/15, San Francisco

Join the grand Bastille Day celebration with an outdoor festival and a firemen’s ball at Justin Herman Plaza. From 11am to 8pm on Saturday, July 15, there will be over 40 businesses, including Goudy French Cuisine, Chantal Guillon (famous for their macarons!), Mademoiselle Collette, Ladera Patisserie, and Boudin highlighting French food and wine. You’ll also enjoy a Citroën vintage car show, games of “Pétanque”, and live music featuring local French-American bands. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station or Oakland Coliseum Station, connect to BART to downtown San Francisco, and get off at the Embarcadero Station, which is a short walk to the plaza.

Gold Fever Tours: 7/15 – 7/16, Sacramento

Travel back in time and relive California’s Gold Rush days with a guided Gold Fever Tour in Old Sacramento at the California History Museum on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30am to 1:30pm. You can experience what it was like to pan for gold in the early days of the 1850s while actively participating in the guided tour. Take on the persona of a character in history – or a “real-life rascal” – who scratched and clawed their way to make this area the center of the Gold Rush fever. Meander through Old Sacramento and find out how they survived the floods, fires, disease, and occasional steamboat explosion while keeping their gold dust. Tickets can be purchased online – $10 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 17, and free for children 5 and under. To get there, take the train to the Sacramento Station, which is just a short walk from the museum.

Salsa Sunday Block Party: 7/16, Berkeley

Beat the summer blues with some Latin sizzle and dance the rumba on the streets of Downtown Berkeley at the free Salsa Sundays, starting at 12pm. Listen to some of the best DJs and salsa bands from the Bay Area hitting the stage until 6pm. Don’t know how to salsa? No worries! You can learn the basics with free introductory dance classes before the bands go on. Salsa Sundays is a series of five block parties held every third Sunday from June through October along a tree-lined stretch of Center St. that is home to the Berkeley Art Museum and a half block from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. To get there, take the Capitol Corridor to the Richmond Station, connect to BART, and get off in Downtown Berkeley. Alternatively, you can take the Capitol Corridor to the Berkeley Station and take AC Transit with a free Transit Transfer from the Capitol Corridor conductor, a cab, Uber, or Lyft to Downtown Berkeley, which is almost two miles away.

Written by Sylvia Sheehan
Photo courtesy of Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District