Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Fun & Entertainment
Published on September 02, 2022
Bay Area Summertime Happenings: Fun stuff to do over a hot Labor Day weekendPhoto: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival/Facebook

For those of you who prefer to skip the holiday traffic and stay in town over Labor Day, the last installment of Hoodline's 2022 Bay Area Summertime Happenings has you covered with a fun itinerary of events for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Kick things off with First Fridays at the San Jose Museum of Art, then kick back at the Yerba Buena Festival Saturday. Armchair travelers will want to check out the Scottish Games and a new Brazilian festival, and foodies may want to eat their way through the Bizerkeley vegan food fest.

We left Monday open as a beach day, because – in case you hadn't heard – it's supposed to be hot this weekend (well, warm in San Francisco, but isn't that the city's version of "hot"?) and Monday's forecasted as the peak of the heat wave (with even San Francisco reaching almost 80 degrees!). Check out our roundup of less-crowded Bay Area beaches for inspiration.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival puts on six months of free outdoor performances in the center of San Francisco, and this weekend is one of its less-frequent weekend shows. The show is Blues in the City, a collaboration between Bay Area jazz bassist, composer and band-leader Marcus Shelby's New Orchestra and San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin that examines how the pandemic has impacted San Francisco’s most vulnerable citizens — the homeless, the poor, and BIPOC communities. 

The show is free; no registration is required. Prepare for a warm and sunny day — hats and sunscreen recommended. There are chairs on site (organizers ask guests not to move them around), but attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and low lawn chairs if they wish. No pets.

When: Saturday, Sept. 3, 1-2:30 p.m.
Where: Esplanade, Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission St. between 3rd & 4th Sts., San Francisco


Scottish Gathering and Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds

The long-running Scottish Games are back for their 156th event (wow) at the Alameda County Fairgrounds this weekend, complete with kilts, bagpipes, and all kinds of Caledonian revelry — including a whiskey tasting. See Highland Dancing, including the Sword Dance; lots of band contests and performances; and sports competitions like traditional Scottish hammer throwing, putting the stone, and "sheaf and caber tossing" (yeah, we don't know what that is, either). There will also be a kilted mile run open to runners of all ages, provided they're wearing kilts, of course; birds of prey, sheepdogs, and other animals; and even classic cars.

Entrance is $30/$15 for ages 12-17 and 65+/free for kids under 12 and active-duty military; discounts for two-day passes. Parking is $15. Tickets for lunch and whisky tasting can be bought separately. Be prepared for heat.

When: Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 3-4, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, Gates 8 & 12 off Valley Avenue, Pleasanton


Brazilian Day & Lavagem Festival in Berkeley

Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day (just a few days early) with this free outdoor cultural festival. Organizers promise two stages of live bands, dance performances and DJs, plus food and artisan booths, a beer and wine garden, a caipirinha bar (yum) and a kids' village. There will also be a traditional blessing, called a Lavagem, calling for world peace at 2 p.m. Go early to catch some demo classes at 10 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public. VIP tickets are available for $30 and include reserved VIP seating, a private restroom, and two drinks.

When: Sunday, Sept. 4, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: BrasArte, 1901 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley


First Fridays at San Jose Museum of Art

The museum's galleries are open late for this free recurring event, with music by a local DJ. This month's First Fridays evening celebrates the opening of a new exhibit, Kelly Akashi: Formations!, which includes a newly commissioned series in which the artist explores "the inherited impact of her family’s imprisonment in a Japanese American incarceration camp during World War II." Light food and drinks are available in the cafe. Note that masks are required.

When: Friday, Sept. 2, 6-9 p.m.
Where: 110 South Market Street, San Jose


Bizerkeley Food Festival 2022 

The Bizerkeley Food Festival is back after its sold-out inaugural event last year. Billing itself as "Berkeley's first and only vegan food festival," it's slated to bring a dozen-plus vegan food vendors from all different types of cuisines including soul food, food fusions and more to the parking lot of Sports Basement. Organizers are also planning free food samples; drink sampling for guests 21+, live performances, speakers, and a silent auction benefitting the Friends of Animal Care Services. Attendees will get discounts to shop at Sports Basement Berkeley, too.

When: Sunday, Sept. 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (or when vendors sell out)
Where: Sports Basement outdoor parking lot, 2727 Milvia St, Berkeley

Bonus: Free Shakespeare in the Park is in San Francisco this weekend, too!