Bay Area Summertime Happenings 8/12 - 8/14: Jerry Day, a 1940s swing dance, chalk art & so much music

Bay Area Summertime Happenings 8/12 - 8/14: Jerry Day, a 1940s swing dance, chalk art & so much music
Stu Allen & Mars Hotel perform at Jerry Day 2014 Photo: Henry Hungerland Photography / Jerry Day Committee
By Laila Weir - Published on August 11, 2022.

Travel back in time this weekend, to summer-of-love San Francisco at the Jerry Day concert or to the 1940s at a WWII living history event and swing dance in San Jose. Or stay in the present with San Jose Jazz Summerfest in San Jose or a choice of chocolate and chalk art in Berkeley or the Laurel World Music Festival in Oakland. Read on for details.

Always double-check event details, weather forecasts and safety guidelines. Submit event tips at

Jerry Day Free Concert in San Francisco

Recapture the days when going to San Francisco meant wearing flowers in your hair, not AirPods in your ears, at the 20th anniversary (wow!) of Jerry Day Saturday, the free concert celebrating San Francisco native and founding member of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia. Live bands will play classic Dead songs and Dead-inspired music in the amphitheater named for the legendary musician in his childhood neighborhood, the Excelsior. (Parking will be limited; keep on truckin', but consider public transportation to get to the show.)

And that's only the beginning. Jerry Day will be followed by Jerry Night, not to mention a pre-party Friday. Get details about the show and related events at

When: Saturday, Aug. 13; doors open at 11 a.m.
Where: Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, 40 John F Shelley Drive, San Francisco


Oakland's Laurel Street Fair World Music Festival

This long-running street fair is back from pandemic hiatus at last for its 21st installment, promising lots of fun for all ages. There will be live entertainment on two stages, a dance floor, a kids’ carnival, craft beer garden, BBQ tasting, and loads of food, retail, artisan and nonprofit vendors. It draws somewhere around 15,000 attendees to to MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland, so parking can get tricky. Consider public transportation instead: close options include AC Transit’s 14, 54, 57 & NL lines and the fair is just about two miles from the Fruitvale BART Station.

The fair is free, but all guests registering to attend through EventBrite will be entered to win prizes like T-shirts, commemorative event glasses or a case of Tequila Blanco tequila (provided you're over 21).

When: Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 35th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland


San Jose Jazz Summer Fest

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest returns for its 32nd festival season this weekend with nearly 100 acts over three days on 12 stages in and around Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose. The lineup includes a mix of genres from jazz, funk, R&B, Latin, soul, hip-hop, blues, swing, zydeco and global music. A one-day pass to the main stage and other outdoor stages is just $35 ($10 for kids 5-12), and tickets go up from there; you can snag a three-day adult pass to all stages for $150.

When: Friday, Aug. 12 to Sunday, Aug. 14
Where: Plaza de César Chavez Park, San Jose


Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival in Berkeley

At this beautiful event, attendees are assigned an area of sidewalk along Shattuck in North Berkeley to decorate with their own chalk art. The theme for this year is “Chalking Beautiful Music.” Families or groups may work together, or artists may work alone. When you need a break from making (or admiring) art, you can indulge in chocolate tastings for $1/ticket (available at event booths at 1451, 1495 or 1601 Shattuck Ave. on the day of the event or in advance on EventBrite). You'll also find crafts, food trucks, beer, wine, jazz musicians, jugglers and dancers along the blocks between Rose and Vine Streets.

There will be a chalk art contest for the best drawing after 4 p.m. The top three winners will receive cash prizes ($150/$100/$50), while 10 runners-up will get $25 gift certificates to Books, Inc. Pre-register at Eventbrite or register in person on Saturday at the event booths at Shattuck & Vine or Shattuck & Cedar, where you can pick up boxes of artist's chalk if you need them: $10 cash for 24 pieces or $20 for 48 pieces.

When: Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Shattuck Ave. between Rose and Vine Streets, Berkeley


Spirit of '45: Living History Day & Swing Dance Party in San Jose

San Jose's 14-acre History Park will be transported to the 1940s on Saturday with an event capturing the war and home front experience of World War II. There will be music from the era, a vintage car show, a WWII Tent City, a 1945-style victory parade, exhibits and interactive activities for all ages, 1940s-era children’s games and food trucks – all followed by a 18-piece big band concert and swing dance in the evening. Period attire is encouraged.

General admission to the event plus the swing dance is $25; entrance just to the main event is $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors, $5 for kids 6-11 (under 6 are free) and free for WWII vets, Rosies and active-duty military; just the swing dance is $20 for general admission.

When: Saturday, Aug. 13, Living History Day 3-6 p.m.; Big Band Concert & Swing Dance 7-10 p.m.
Where: 635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose