The Only Summer Festival and Fair Guide You Need

Summer in the Bay Area doesn’t have to mean that your dreams of bright, sunny weather are crushed and plagued by Karl the Fog.

To help you escape the chilly weather and enjoy the perks of Daylight Savings Time, we’ve done some digging around to bring you a comprehensive list of up-and-coming activities. Whether you’re a foodie, wine lover, music junkie, feast your eyes on our ultimate collection of festivals and fairs happening throughout the Bay Area.  

Here’s our summer to-do list that we think you, too, would enjoy.

July 1 – October 1 – Shakespeare Festival. Dedicated to the arts and education, the mission of the festival is to make the works of Shakespeare accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, geography or economic status. This outdoor performance has become as much a part of summer in the Bay Area as a backyard barbecue. See Hamlet in multiple locations spanning from Redwood City to San Francisco. // July 1 – 16: Amador Valley Community Park, 4301 Black Avenue, Pleasanton; July 23 – August 6: Memorial Park Amphitheater, 21163 Anton Way, Cupertino; August 12 – August 27: Sequoia High School, 1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City; September 2 – October 1: John McLaren Park, 100 John F Shelley Drive, San Francisco, Times may vary,

July 8 – 9 – Palo Alto Clay & Glass Festival. This two day celebration features both fine and functional art. Meet over 150 artists displaying their work while chowing down on food from local vendors. Get your hands dirty with the various hands-on activities like pottery-making and wheel-throwing demonstrations. // 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, 11:00 a.m. — 3:30 p.m., Free,


July 14 – Bastille Day at Belden Place. Officially France’s National Day that celebrates momentous historical events that led to the ultimate creation of a republic. Belden Place is a home away from home for French citizens and francophiles alike. An alley where you can feel Parisian for a day, there will be red, white, and blue streamers to make it look as authentic and boisterous possible. // Belden Place, San Francisco, 5:00 p.m. — onwards, Free, .11:00 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.,

July 15 – Blues & Brews Festival. Enjoy a day of craft beer tasting, delicious food, and blues music from musicians like Gregg Wright, Frankie G & The Conviction, Caroompas Room, GG Amos and The Indecision Band. // 147 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, 12:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m., $40 in advance/$50 day of,

July 15 – Jack’s Night Market. Enjoy all the East Bay has to offer in this vibrant outdoor bazaar. There will be an eclectic mix of local makers, artisans, and musicians throughout the evening; enjoy tasty eats from food vendors and trucks, too. Beer and wine sales benefit Pro Arts – an Oakland based nonprofit arts organization that encourages change in and through the arts to invigorate our communities.  // Jack London Square, Oakland, 6:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m., Free,

July 15 – Bayview Sparc. Burning Man tribes unite! Dubbed the ‘block party of epic proportions,’ this annual fest brings together groups like The Flaming Lotus Girls, ICARUS, Sextant, Imprint City and more. // 1439 Egbert Avenue, San Francisco, 3:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m., $15 — $25, 

July 15 – 16 – Renegade Craft Fair. A curated selection of indie crafts, makers and artisans gather to showcase their work. A celebration of creative spirit, the weekend gathers emergent and seasoned independent makers alike. // Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, 11:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., Free,

July 28 – 30 – Gilroy Garlic Festival. The smelliest festival on the West Coast, is also dubbed ‘Summer’s Ultimate Food Fair.’ This outdoor festival features favorite foods like pickles, fries, steak, calamari, and even ice cream are made with a garlic twist while live music is played on three stages. For the first time there will be a special chartered Caltrain to and from the festival from San Jose Diridon Station. // 7050 Miller Avenue, Gilroy, 10:00 a.m. — 7:00 p.m., Prices may vary,


August 3 – 13 – Sonoma County Fair. Come one, come all. The annual fair delivers entertainment while soaking up the NorCal sun with live music, fair food, farm animals, carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, and a flower show. // 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, 11:00 a.m. — 9:00 p.m., Prices may vary, 

August 5 – 6 – Renaissance Fair and Fantasy Fest. Magic and merriment is in the air during this interactive festival. Rub elbows with noble ladies and knights. Costumed performers bring Shakespeare’s England to life with parades, pageants, and fun townsfolk. // 180 Woz Way, San Jose, August 5: 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., August 6: 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., Prices may vary,

August 6 – Jerry Garcia Day. Celebrate one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and San Francisco native: Jerry Garcia. Rock out to live music dedicated to the Grateful Dead frontman in an outdoor amphitheatre. // Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre, 50 John F. Shelley Drive, San Francisco, 11:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., Free,

August 10 – Summer Wine Walk. Wine the night away while experiencing all the flavors of Polk Street. Merchants on Polk Street will offer wine samples and special treats inside their stores. A whole new way to happy hour. A ticket buys you a wine glass and a map with participating stores. // Polk Street – between Jackson Street to Post Street, 4:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m., $20 – $25,

August 19 – Tour de Fat. Started by New Belgium Brewing Co. to increase awareness and participation in cycling as a sustainable form of transportation, Tour de Fat is now a national rite of passage for cycling advocates and bon vivants alike. Ready your eyes and ears for a mix of musicians, circus performers, comedians, and magicians. Proceeds benefit San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Bay Area Ridge Trail Coalition. // Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, 4:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m., $25,

August 19 – Art + Soul. Oakland’s largest street party of the year celebrates the vibrant, flourishing art and music scene. Enjoy live performances on 4 different stages, poetry slams, art activities, art vendors while grubbing on BBQ, beer and wine. // 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, 12:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.,Free,


August 24 – 27 – Eat Drink SF. Foodies and wine lovers, embrace the day. This annual food, wine, and spirits festival features 200 local restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries. Immerse yourself in the culinary world with classes, demonstrations and parties. Four days of delicious events have never sounded so good. // Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, Prices may vary, 

August 26 – 27 – Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival. Enjoy BBQ oysters, fresh crab cakes, smoked salmon from some of the best seafood vendors. This annual festival showcases Bodega Bay’s seafood while also highlighting local wineries and microbreweries. Eat your heart out. // 16855 Bodega Highway, Bodega Bay, 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., $12 advance / $15 gate, 

August 26 – 27 – Tequila and Taco Music Festival. 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, floor! Hot, fresh tacos, cool tequila drinks on a warm summer day spells perfection. This festival features live music, gourmet tacos with tequila or margarita sampling. // 137 Dakota Ave, Santa Cruz, 11:00 a.m. — 5:30 p.m. Pricing may vary,

August 27 – Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival. The Gourmet Ghetto is notoriously famous for delectable dishes and notable restaurants, like Chez Panisse. During this festival, though, the neighborhood is handed over to chalk artists. Sidewalks will be assigned to novice and professional artists alike to create street chalk drawings. Cash prizes are awarded to those whose artwork is dubbed 1st through 3rd place. Don’t forget about the chocolate though; these yummy treats hail from specialty local vendors. // 1495 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., Pricing may vary, 

September 2 – Aloha Polynesian Festival. Experience the sights, sounds and scents of the South Pacific through cultural song, dance, art and food. Learn how to make a lei, jam along with ukulele musicians or experiment with new flavors from traditional Polynesian food vendors. // 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco, 11:00 a.m. — 7:00 p.m. Free,

September 9 – Vintage Paper Fair. Nothing beats the slightly intrusive feeling of rummaging through a person’s treasured effects and correspondences back in the pre-digital days. Discover rare finds at one of the West Coast’s largest selection of postcards, photography and sports memorabilia. // 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco, 11:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m. Free,

September 17 – Comedy Day in the Park. Netflix binge-style, just IRL. This 5 hour free comedy show in the park has over 40 comedians. Past surprise guests have included big headliners like the late Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Chappelle and Ellen DeGeneres. // Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 12:00 p.m.— 5:00 p.m., Free,

September 15 – 17 – Monterey Jazz Festival. The longest continuously running annual jazz event in the world. Let the music hit your ears and lose yourself to the tunes with over 500 artists performing on 8 stages spread over 20 acres. // 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, Times may vary, Prices may vary, 

The Only Summer Festival and Fair Guide You Need
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