Features & Columns
Summer Guide 2013 Festivals & Fairs
Sake San Jose
Sample sake and soak up the sights in Japantown at annual event to benefit Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services. San Jose Taiko starts things off at 5pm. Thu, May 23, 5-8:30pm; $50. Japantown, San Jose.
Everything anime, plus a music festival, panel discussions, games and karaoke. Fri-Mon, May 24-27; $30 and up. McEnery Convention Center, San Jose.
Wings of Freedom Tour
Vintage aircraft on display; flights available. Thru Sat, May 25. Moffett Federal Airfield, Mountain View.
San Jose Taco Festival
Tacos of all varieties (Thai noodles, short ribs, ice cream, anything goes) from a selection of taco trucks for tasting and judging, plus live music and a kids' area. Sat, May 25; $10 general admission. History Park, San Jose.
Asian American Heritage Future Roots Festival
San Jose Councilmember Ash Kalra hosts a celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, featuring live performances, health screenings, arts and crafts, and food trucks. Sat, May 25, noon-7pm; free. Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose.
Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras
This event salutes the finest of fungus with street performers, live music, food vendors and more. Sat-Sun, May 25-26, 10am-6pm; free. Morgan Hill Community Center.
Civil War Battles and Encampment
Re-enactments of historic battles between Union and Confederate soldiers. Sat-Mon, May 25-27. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Food, arts and crafts, and live music, all in a Hellenic vein. Fri-Sun, May 31-June 2. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1260 Davis St, San Jose.
St. Clare Community Festiv'all
An annual three-day affair with family events, music, a car show, and a barbecue. Fri-Sun, May 31-June 2; free. St. Clare School, 725 Washington St, Santa Clara.
St. Pius Festival
This year's festival has an international flavor, celebrating the theme of "St. Pius Around the World." Fri-Sun, May 31-June 2; free. St. Pius Church, Redwood City.
The Beer Walk
Cool off with more than 20 libations from local breweries. Sat, June 1, 1-5pm; $30. Downtown Mountain View.
Tied House 25th Anniversary
The brewery celebrates with a beerwalk downtown, in collaboration with SJbeerwalk.com. Sat, June 1, noon-5pm. Mountain View.
Vivace Youth Chorus
A 10th-anniversary celebration with concert and reception. Sat, June 1, 5pm. Le Petit Trianon, San Jose.
Redwood Mountain Faire
Art, food and live music. Sat-Sun, June 1-2. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Roots That Rock
A Santa Cruz Mountains vintners' festival runs two weekends and features scores of wineries. Sat-Sun, June 1-2. Also June 8-9.
Summer Fashion Show
This year's showcase for sartorial design features Vernon Davis as one of the models; also champagne and light hors d'oeuvres. Sat, June 1, 1 and 4pm. $40. Santana Row.
A large car show from the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association, celebrating its 20th year, with thousands of vehicles, plus autocross races, vendors and entertainment. Sat-Sun, June 1-2. Pleasanton Fairgrounds.
Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival
Wine tasting from regional wineries, beer, food and more. Sat-Sun, June 1-2; free. Washington and Sunnyvale avenues, downtown Sunnyvale.
Sunset Celebration Weekend
Annual open house for the magazine, with demonstrations, food and entertainment. Sat-Sun, June 1-2. Sunset, Menlo Park.
Joseph Zanger Memorial & Reunion Dance
Dancing on the country park stage to the sounds of Pat Eodice. Sun, June 2, noon-5pm; free. Casa de Fruta, Hollister.
Food and Wine Classic
Meet with top chefs and vintners while sampling dishes and savoring fine wines. Proceeds benefit education programs. Sun, June 2, 5:30-8:30pm; $175-$225. Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga.
A new series of concerts features performers from Russian International Piano Music Competition. Fri, June 7, 12:10pm. Free. Le Petit Trianon, San Jose.
Carnival rides, music, Tiki Lounge and more. Fri-Sun, June 7-9; free. Nativity School, Oak Grove Avenue and Laurel Street, Menlo Park.
Dia de Portugal Festival
The Portuguese Heritage Society of California hosts a day of food, music and dance. Sat, June 8, 10am-6pm; free. Kelley Park, San Jose.
Capitola Car Show
With hot rods and live music. Sat-Sun, June 8-9. Esplanade, Capitola.
San Mateo County Fair
Exhibits, entertainment and lots of rides. June 8-16. San Mateo County Expo Center, San Mateo.
Roaring Camp Anniversary
The railroad park honors its 50th year with living-history demonstrations, live music and train rides. Sat-Sun, June 8-9. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Afternoon Tea and Vintage Fashion Show
Tea, fruit and pastries, and a vintage hat and fashion show. Sun, June 9, 1-4pm; $25 adv. Harris-Lass Historic Museum, Santa Clara.
Part of a series of food-truck events with music and a different nonprofit beneficiary. This time, the Blue Angels Band plays, and the American Cancer Society is helped. Sun, June 9, 4-8pm. Saratoga Gateway, 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd.
Ragazzi Boys Chorus
A 25th-anniversary celebration and concert. Sun, June 9, 5pm. $20-$47. Bing Concert Hall, Stanford.
Mommy & ME
A series of family event; the theme this month is "All About Animals." Tue, June 11, 1am-noon. Park Valencia, Santana Row.
Art on the Square
The first in a series of art shows that accompany Music on the Square performances. Fri, June 14, 5-8:30pm; free. Courthouse Square, Redwood City.
Juneteenth in the Park
A celebration commemorating the emancipation of the slaves; with food, arts and crafts and performances. This year's headliner is Chrisette Michele. Sat, 11am-7pm, Sun, 11am-6pm, June 15-16; free. Discovery Meadow, San Jose.
Hats Off to Dad
Train rides, railroad exhibits and barbecue for Father's Day. Sun, June 16. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Historic Transportation for Father's Day
Forget the Tesla and take a ride on a trolley. Sun, June 16, 11am-4pm; $5 general, free to members. History Park, San Jose.
Great Train Robberies
Shootouts, duels and other blazing re-enactments will demonstrate why the West was wild. Sun, June 16; plus Thu, July 4 and Sat-Sun, Aug 31-Sept 2. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Alameda County Fair
In addition to traditional rides, art displays and carnival games, this year's event features freestyle motocross riders. Plus live music at 7pm. Closed Mondays. June 19-July 7; $6-$10, plus $10 parking. Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton.
The city's best downtown restaurants will present prix fixe three-course menus. June 21-30. Downtown San Jose.
Surf City Classic Woodies
Restored classic Woodies will be shown off in all their glory. Sat, June 22, 10am-4pm; free. Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
Dia de San Juan Festival
Western Regional Puerto Rican Council presents a day of cultural events, food and live music by Tito Rojas and others. Sat, June 22, 11am-7pm; $20/$25. History Park, San Jose.
San Mateo SummerFest
The first go-round for this event features cooking demos, bands and kids' activities. Sat-Sun, 1-am-6pm; free. B Street between Baldwin and Sixth Avenue, San Mateo.
Willow Glen's Dancin' on the Avenue
Dance the evening away at community event featuring live music from local bands. Sat, June 22, 2-8pm; free. Lincoln Avenue and Willow Street, Willow Glen.
A food-truck event with music by Synchronicity to benefit Pathways. Sun, June 23, 4-8pm. Saratoga Gateway, 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd. Silicon Valley BBQ Championship and All City Picnic. A cooking competition, carnival games, car show, live music and more. Fri-Sat, June 28-29. Central Park, Santa Clara.
Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance
A showcase of cars, including 2013 exotics from Cadillac and Ferrari. Sun, June 30, 9am-4pm; $25/$30, under 16 free with adult. San Mateo County Event Center, San Mateo.
Honoring Independence Day with a 5k run and walk (7:45am), car and cruise show (9:30am) and parade (10am), ending the day with fireworks (6pm). Thu, July 4; free. Various locations, Morgan Hill.
A parade and festival celebrating "75 years of pageantry." Thu, July 4, 9am; free. Middlefield Road and Bradford Street, Redwood City. Rose, White and Blue Parade. A Fourth of July traditional parade with floats, dance groups and antique autos, followed by a picnic on The Alameda. Thu, July 4, 10am-3pm. The Alameda, San Jose.
Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off
A spicy Independence Day fest with teams competing in the chili championship, plus activities for kids and live music. Thu, July 4, noon-5pm; free. Mitchell Park, Palo Alto.
Fourth of July in Redwoods
Traditional family fun, including hula hoop contests, a sock hop and live music. Thu, July 4. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Summer Block Party
Fireworks in the evening, preceded by a party and sidewalk sale with music by Primary Colors. Thu, July 4, 10am-6pm. Santana Row.
The Night Market
Food trucks gather to re-create the popular night market scene in Taiwan. Fri-Sat, 6-11pm, beginning July 5. Thru Sep 28. Berryessa Flea Market, San Jose.
Food trucks gather; the Audrie Pott Foundation is the beneficiary. Sun, July 7, 4-8pm. Saratoga Gateway, 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd.
Mommy & Me
The theme is Sports of All Sorts. July 9, 10am-noon. Park Valencia, Santana Row.
Jewelry on the Square
A juried art show to go along with Music on the Square. Fri, July 12, 5-8:30pm; free. Courthouse Square, Redwood City.
Sabor del Valle
An evening of wine tasting, art and cooking demonstrations, focusing on Latino vintners from around the North Bay and South Bay. Fri, July 12, 6pm; $49 online before Jun 15; $60 online after Jun 15; $80 at the door if available. History Park, San Jose.
The French holiday is saluted with a concert of French arias by Opera San Jose. Sat, July 13, 7pm. Park Valencia, Santana Row.
Carmel Bach Festival
Two weeks of classical concerts, classes and open rehearsals devoted to Bach and his contemporaries. July 13-27. Various venues in Carmel area.
Los Altos Art and Wine Festival
Arts and crafts booths, local artists, food and wine, plus street performers and music. Sat-Sun, July 13-14, 10am-6pm; free. Main and State streets, Los Altos.
A Japantown celebration with games, food and performances. Sat-Sun, July 13-14; free. Buddhist Church Betsuin, San Jose.
Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival
Local artisans show their wares, plus demonstrations. Sat-Sun, July 13-14, 10am-5pm; free. Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto.
Strangers Car Club BBQ & Car Show
American hot rods and customs from the 1950s and '60s. Plus music, art and a barbecue. Sun, July 14, 11am-4pm; $5. History Park, San Jose.
A full array of chamber music concerts and related events with the theme "From Bach." July 18-Aug 10. Various locations in Menlo Park, Palo Alto area.
California Rodeo Salinas
With music, a daily horse parade, games and food. Thu-Sun, July 18-31; $7-$20. Salinas Sports Complex, Salinas.
Fountain Blues Festival
John Mayall headlines; also Ruthie Foster, Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, and Girls Got the Blues. Sat, July 20, noon-8pm; $15/$20; 12 and under free. St. James Park, San Jose.
A fine-crafts festival, plus live music, food, cooking demos and kids' activities. Sat-Sun, July 20-21, 10am-6pm; free. Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park.
Food trucks and live music. Sun, July 21, 4-8pm. Saratoga Gateway, 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd.
Saratoga Classic Car Show
Rolling marvels of the past, music from Chubby's Allstars, food and more. Sun, July 21, 10am-5pm. Downtown Saratoga.
Do It Yourself
A hands-on day of crafting, including weaving and printing. Sun, July 21, 11am-4pm; $5 general, free to members. History Park, San Jose.
Art on the Square
A juried art show combined with Music on the Square. Fri, July 26, 5-8:30pm; free. Courthouse Square, Redwood City.
Day Out With Thomas
A chance for young rail enthusiasts to meet Sir Topham Hatt and ride a full-size Thomas engine. Fri-Sun, July 26-28 and Aug 2-4. Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton.
Gilroy Garlic Festival
A salute to all things garlic, with food, music, cook-offs and more. Fri-Sun, July 26-28, 10am-7pm; $8-$17; children under 6 free. Christmas Hill Park, Gilroy.
PAL Blues Festival
A summer salute to the blues, plus a barbecue cook-off, arts and crafts, and kids' activities. Sat-Sun, July 27-28; free. Courthouse Square, Redwood City.
Willow Glen Sidewalk Sale
Great deals all along Lincoln Avenue. Sat, July 27, 10am-6pm. Downtown Willow Glen.
Target Summer Pops
Symphony Silicon Valley concert series begins with "Sounds of Summer," featuring light classical selections. Sat, July 27, 7pm. Then "The Wild Wild West" highlights themes from the movies. Sun, July 28, 5:30pm. Free. SJSU Tower Lawn.
Moss Landing Antique Street Fair
A large outdoor antiques and collectibles market. Sun, July 28, 7:30am-5pm; $5, children 12 and under free. Downtown Moss Landing.
A 6-mile coastal run followed by a celebration with music and food. Sun, July 28, 8:30am. Starts at Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz.
Silicon Valley Beer Week
This inaugural event brings together local brew enthusiasts for a series of beer-related events, including tastings, talks and tap takeovers, culminating with the Summer KraftBrew Beer Festival on Aug. 3. July 28-Aug 3. San Jose. (See www.svbeerweek.com for details.)
Downtown Campbell hosts a tasting of more than 20 beers. Souvenir glass included. Wed, July 31, 6-9pm; $30/$35. East Campbell Avenue, Campbell.
Santa Clara County Fair
Rides and animals and games, oh my. Thu-Sun, Aug 1-4. Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose.
A new series of concerts continues with Steve Lin on classical guitar. Fri, Aug 2, 12:10pm. Free. Le Petit Trianon, San Jose.
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
Marin Alsop leads a series of concerts showcasing cutting-edge modern classical composers. This year's guest artists include the Kronos Quartet. Aug 2-11. Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
Target Summer Pops
Symphony Silicon Valley concert series continues with the swing revival sound of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Fri, Aug 2, 7pm. Next: "Simply Sinatra" with Steve Lippia. Sat, Aug 3, 7pm. Finally: Music from John WIlliams' score for "Star Wars." Sun, 5:30pm, Aug 4. Free. SJSU Tower Lawn.
Vibe: SJ Soccer and Music Festival
Four-on-four tournaments and individual soccer-based contests paired with live music from local acts. Sat, Aug 3, 9am-3pm; free. PAL Stadium, San Jose.
San Jose Renaissance Faire
Ye olde days of England are celebrated with jousting, sorcery, Tudor infighting, period food and long robes. Sat-Sun, Aug 3-4; $8-$18 plus $5 parking; under 6 free. Guadalupe River Park, San Jose.
Fremont Festival of the Arts
Three stages of music, plus booths from various artisans. Sat-Sun, Aug 3-4, 10am-6pm; free. Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont.
San Jose Jazz Summerfest
A weekend of live jazz, blues, salsa, R&B and Latin performances. Fri-Sun, Aug 9-11. Locations throughout downtown San Jose.
Fiesta de Artes
Art and wine festival with bands, local talent, arts and crafts. Sat-Sun, Aug 10-11, 10am-6pm; free. Los Gatos Civic Center Grounds.
Scotts Valley Art and Wine Festival
With displays by California artists and tastings by local vintners. Sat-Sun, Aug 10-11, 10am-6pm; free. Skypark, Scotts Valley.
Summer Gathering of Mountain Men
Re-enactments of a wilderness camp. Sat-Sun, Aug 10-11. Roaring Camp, Felton.
Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market
A large outdoor selection of good old things in the old Spanish mission town; don't forget to visit "Vertigo" locations. Sun, Aug 11, 8am-4pm; free. Downtown San Juan Bautista.
S.U.E. band performs while food trucks deliver tasty meals. Sun, Aug 11, 4-8pm. Saratoga Gateway, 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd.
Musical Saw Festival
Traditional folk instruments in concert and workshops. Sun, Aug 11. Roaring Camp Railroad, Graham Hill Road, Felton.
Louisiana culinary treats, plus live zydeco music. Sat, Aug 17; $5-$22, 3 and under free. Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont.
Festival of India
A celebration of Indian culture and heritage. Sat-Sun, Aug 17-18, 10am-7pm; $5. 39439 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont.
San Jose Gay Pride Festival and Parade
Two days celebrating the LGBT and diverse cultural community in the South Bay, including a family day, children's activities, live entertainment, a parade and booths. Sat-Sun, Aug 17-18. Downtown San Jose.
Aloha Celebrity Races and Polynesian Festival
Novice racers are encouraged to participate in this outrigger canoe-racing event. Sun, Aug 18, races at 9am, festival at 11am; free. Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Dazzling feats and spectacles. Wed-Mon, Aug 21-26; $20-$110. HP Pavilion, San Jose.
Art on the Square
A juried art show with a Music on the Square performance. Fri, Aug 23, 5-8:30pm; free. Courthouse Square, Redwood City.
Learn about life in California between 1770 and 1870 through folklorico dancing, brick-making and more. Sat, Aug 24, 5-8pm; free. Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, Santa Teresa County Park, San Jose.
Italian Family Festa
This long running festival of Italian food and frivolity raises funds for the Italian American Heritage Foundation and its efforts to promote Italian history in the Santa Clara valley. Sat-Sun, Aug 24-25; free. Guadalupe River Park, San Jose.
Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
Artists and craftspeople come together at this annual community extravaganza. Sat-Sun, Aug 24-25, 10am-6pm; free. University Avenue, Palo Alto.
North Fair Oaks Community Festival
A morning parade is followed by performing arts and food. Sun, Aug 25, 11am-6pm; free. Middlefield Road, between First and Fifth avenues, Redwood City.
Fandango at the Peralta Adobe
An exploration of local history with hands-on activities, live music, storytelling and dancing. Sun, Aug 25, noon-5pm; free. Peralta Adobe, Fallon House Historic Site, San Jose.
Food trucks and live music by the Roadshow!. Sun, Aug 25, 4-8pm. Saratoga Gateway, 12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd.
Three days of interactive exhibits and activities, including construction areas and models. Fri, Aug 30, 4-8:30pm and Sat-Sun, Aug 31-Sept 1, 9am-1:30pm and 3-7:30pm; $19-$21. McEnery Convention Center, San Jose.
Watsonville Fly-In and Air Show
Airborne tricks, vintage planes, swap meet, music with Mario Valens and food—and some hot rods as well. Fri-Sun, Aug 30-Sept 1. Watsonville Municipal Airport.
A Moveable Feast salute to strip food. Sat, Aug 31, 11am. San Jose. Location TBA, Arts, Crafts and Music Festival
Everything from pottery to stained glass will be for sale. Plus live entertainment. Sat-Mon, Aug 31-Sept 2, 9am-6pm. Casa de Fruta, Hollister.