SOME PEOPLE can’t be satisfied by just being outdoors. They have to look, touch, taste, smell, dance, fly a kite, race a motorcycle, listen to a story in a grove of trees and eat a ton of garlic even 20 times that.
If you’re one of those people, then this guide is for you. Thousands of people are putting together outdoor parties for spring and summer weekends, and you’re invited. They range from the unusual like Morgan Hill’s homage to mushrooms to the poignant Santa Rosa’s salute to one of its departed, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. This is just a sampling of what’s out there, and summer hasn’t even begun. If you can’t get enough, check www.fairsnet.org or the California Travel & Tourism calendar at gocalif.ca.gov/calendar/calquery.cgi.
SONOMAFEST 2000 Through May 7, Sears Point Raceway, highways 37 and 121, Sonoma. Superbike Challenge (Friday through May 7). Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines: Ten days are devoted to vintage road-racing, drag-racing, Battletrax, swap meets and an all-women’s ride. Cost: Various, depending on event. Information: 800-870-7223.
PETALUMA OUTDOOR ANTIQUE FAIRE 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Kentucky and Fourth streets at Water Street, Petaluma. The vintage environs and motion picture-perfect setting make an ideal backdrop for antique-hunting. The many shops prop open their doors, and the streets will be full of more than 300 exhibits. Avail yourself of food and walking tours at this semi-annual event. Cost: Free. Information: 877-273-8258, 707-769-0429, www.petaluma.org.
DREAM MACHINES SHOW 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Half Moon Bay Airport, Highway 1, Half Moon Bay. Also known for its gourds, this freewheeling coastal town becomes a landing area for antique, vintage and classic cars, show planes and itty-bitty trains. Cost: $10; $5 seniors/children. Information: 650-726-2328.
FESTIVAL DE LA FAMILIA 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Old Sacramento and downtown plaza, Sacramento. The fest bills itself as Sacramento’s largest one-day event. Es verdad? The 140,000 visitors might say so, as they experience more than 24 Latin America countries’ food, entertainment and arts and crafts from nearly 200 vendors. Cost: Free. Information: 916-326-5521.
CONTRA COSTA EARTH DAY FESTIVAL 2000 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Chronicle Pavilion at Concord, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. So many Earth Day events from which to choose, but the mother of all Mother Earth celebrations happens right in Concord. More than 25,000 are expected to take in a giant windmill, the world’s fastest electric car, a 22-foot-diameter Earth and a “New Energy for a New Era” maze. Hop aboard the shuttle and happy Earth Day to you. Cost: Free. Information: 925-274-3669, www.ccearthday.org.
SAUSALITO SPRING FAIRE 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May Saturday and May 7, downtown, Sausalito. Silver-blue panoramic Bay views count as one of the attractions in this 30th weekend gathering, as do the 80-plus artist booths, food and entertainment. Cost: $5 adults, free ages 12 and under. Information: 415-332-0904.
DAYS OF WINE AND HONEY FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 7, South Livermore to L Street, Livermore. If you don’t watch out, you’ll start swilling your honey and spreading your wine at this year’s sweet gathering. More than 50 wineries will have their wares out, and so will craft vendors and fine art exhibitors. Children’s rides and entertainment will also be available. Cost: Free. Information: 925-373-1795.
CLAYTON ART & WINE FEST 2000 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and May 7. Main Street, Clayton. All manner of creatures feel quite welcome, what with the Kiddie Land for the young-‘uns, the Doggie Comfort Station for the canines, a rock climbing “mountain” for the up-and-coming, and arts and crafts, food and entertainment for the everyone. Cost: Free. Information: 925-672-2272.
TASTE OF NORWAY 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 7. Fort Mason, San Francisco. Might there be all the herring you can eat, or at least a little of that good old farm-fresh goat cheese? Learn how to make favorite hearty Scandinavian dishes from Trond Moi and Rabah Abusbaitan, get a sense of the fashion from Lise Solvang, dance, listen to stories and, for kids, visit Cardamom Town. Cost: $10, $7 seniors and students, free ages 12 and under. Information: 925-974-9071.
CINCO DE MAYO The Mexican armies successfully fought off the French during the Batalla de Puebla in 1862, and now the event has become akin to an independence day celebration. This event often takes the usual parade route, followed by music, a car show, children’s activities, international food, arts and crafts.
n Cinco De Mayo 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Richmond Civic Center, Civic Center Plaza Drive and McDonald, Richmond. Cost: Free. Information: 510-233-7771.
n Cinco De Mayo San Francisco 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 7. Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco. Cost: $5 general, $2 seniors, free ages 12 and under when accompanied by adult. Information: 415-826-1401.
n People’s Weekly World-Nuestro Mundo May Day-Cinco de Mayo Celebration “Stand Up!” 4-6 p.m. May 13. Mosswood Park Recreation Center, Webster and 36th streets, Oakland. Cost: Free. Information: 510-436-0477.
JAZZ ON 4TH STREET FESTIVAL 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 7. Fourth Street, between Hearst and Virginia streets, Berkeley. It’s the fourth go-round for Fourth Street, which hosts performances by Mingus Amungus, the Kemp Generation, Charanga Tumbao Y Cuerdas and the award-winning Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble and Combos. Naturally, food, arts and crafts will be available and shopping will abound. Cost: Free. Information: 510-644-3002.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY FAIR 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays, May 11-14. Cal Expo, Capital City Freeway and Exposition Boulevard, Sacramento. Staying too long in the asphalt-clogged Bay Area makes it easy to forget the state’s agricultural roots. The county fair brings us back to earthy pastures, where the livestock roam and people fly high on midway rides. Cost: Free. Information: 916-263-2975.
Luther Burbank Rose Parade Festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 20. Sonoma Avenue and E Street, Santa Rosa. The 106-year old Luther Burbank Rose Parade Festival pays tribute this year to one of its recently departed, cartoonist Charles Schulz. With the theme, “Happiness Is Celebrating 50 Years,” the parade will have more than 4,000 marchers and 125 units, and the “Peanuts” gang themselves serve as Grand Marshals. Cost: Free. Information: 707-542-7673.
SUNSET CELEBRATION WEEKEND 2000 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 20-21. 80 Willows Road, Menlo Park. The upscale magazine has helped define California decor, cuisine and culture for a century. The charity open house brings celebrity chefs, garden tours, children’s activities, beer- and wine-tasting, demonstrations of gardening, cooking and home decorating. Cost: $8 adults, $6 seniors and ages 12 and under, $1 discount with Safeway Club card. Information: 800-786-7375, www.sunsetmagazine.com.
BAY AREA STORYTELLING FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 20-21. Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area, San Pablo Dam Road, El Sobrante. Within a grove of whispering eucalyptus trees emerge stories of fairies and families, ghosts and gentle souls. Headliners this year include Judith Black, Charlie Chin, Willy Claflin, Janice Del Negro, and the Healing Force. Bring a blanket or low lawn chair. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Cost: $13-45. Information: 510-525-2233,510-869-4946, www.storysaac.org/basf.html.
HIMALAYAN FAIR 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20-21. Live Oak Park, 1300 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. From the Himalayan mountains to the Berkeley hills, the fair brings Asian arts, antiques, crafts, food, live music and dance. The fund-raiser benefits needy Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian grass-roots projects. Cost: Free. Information: 510-869-3995.
WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 20-21. The Cannery, 2801 Leavenworth, San Francisco. Hurdy-gurdies, didgeridoos and penny whistles: Lark in the Morning stocks instruments from all over the world, so no wonder the store, with the Cannery, hosts world music performances and workshops. Learn steel drums, “French Ball” dance and song and listen to global harmony. Cost: Free. Information: 415-771-3112, 415-922-4277, www.thecannery.com, www.larkinam.com.
SACRAMENTO JAZZ JUBILEE 11:45 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, May 26-29. Various locations, Sacramento. More than 125 international bands come to the state capitol and to one of the premier jazz festivals extant. Local Pete Escovedo and his Latin Jazz Orchestra comes, as will 13-year-old piano prodigy Eldar Djangirov from Kyrgstan. A parade jump-starts the Jubilee 11:45 a.m. Friday. Cost: $85 four-day pass, $40 ages under 17; $35, $16 daily tickets. Information: 916-372-5277.
MORGAN HILL MUSHROOM MARDI GRAS 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 27-28. Morgan Hill Community Park, Monterey, Tennant and Edmundson streets, Morgan Hill. New Orleans may have oysters and Cajun spices, but California has fungus. The 21st gathering will have a parade, 150-plus arts and crafts booths, Munchkinland for kids and gourmet mushrooms. Cost: $10 adults, $5 ages 55 and older and under 13. Information: 408-778-1786, www.mushroommardigras.com.
CARNAVAL SAN FRANCISCO 10 a.m.-7 p.m., May 28. Mission District, Harrison Street between 16th and 22nd streets, San Francisco. Cast inhibitions to the winds (but bring a sweater: It is the city, you know) and watch sparsely clad dancers and spectacular floats in the annual parade. The fest following features Latin-infused music, car show, children’s area and activities, international food, arts and crafts. Cost: Free. Information: 415-826-1401, www.carnaval.com.
SAN RAMON ART & WIND FESTIVAL May 28-29. San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon. The rainbow is actually the cavalcade of kites flying overhead. Besides browsing through 170 arts and crafts booths, the activities include a hot-air balloon launch, kite flying demonstrations, kite making, a Windbreaker 5K run, food booths and live music. Cost: Free. Information: 925-973-3200.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY FAIR 1 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 31-June 4. 1201 W. 10th St., Antioch. Get out the lariat and twirl along for this year’s fair, which returns with its petting zoo, the Mangini Agricultural Museum, kids’ games and contests, a carnival, exhibits, livestock and a Hispanic rodeo. Musical acts include Pablo Cruise, Joni Morris, Kevin Atwater, Killing Floor So Blue and the Marshall Tucker Band. Cost: $6 ages 13 to 61, $3 ages 62 and older and 7-12, free ages 6 and under. Information: 925-757-4400, www.ccfair.org.
PERFORMERS’ FESTIVAL Noon-5 p.m. June 3-4, Pier 39, San Francisco. Slapstick, trickery, comedy, juggling and unicycling all converge in a comedic frenzy to the pier. Cost: Free. Information: 415-705-5500.
SAN LEANDRO CHERRY FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 3-4, Marina Park, San Leandro. Not to fear, spittoons will be available. The festival has an 84-year history, and this year tradition persists with a parade, food, arts and crafts and a children’s area. Cost: Free. Information: 510- 577-3462.
UNION STREET ART FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 3-4, Union Street from Gough to Steiner streets, San Francisco. One of the first neighborhoods to convert its Victorian and Edwardian houses into boutiques and storefronts, the setting is apropos for upscale fine art. About 250 juried arts-and-crafts people will be on hand to celebrate this 25th go-round of the festival. Sample gourmet foods like key lime calamari and other mouthwatering local restaurant offerings, with a soundtrack of live jazz, blues and classical. Cost: Free. Information: 510-970-3217, www.unionstreetartfestival.com.
MARIN HOME SHOW AND JAZZ FEST 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, June 3-4. Marin Center Exhibition Hall and Fairgrounds, Civic Center, San Rafael. The festival, now in its 24th year, offers the unique combination of home improvement and jazz, with critically acclaimed musicians at that, such as Paula West, Jules Broussard, Terrence Brewer Trio, Royal Society Jazz Orchestra and Rex Allen’s Sing Express. Cost: $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors and handicapped, ages under 12 free. Information: 415-456-5209, www.marinhomeshow.com.
ETHNIC DANCE FESTIVAL- 2 p.m. Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, June 9-11, 16-18, 23-25. Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco. Traditional and folk dancers sweep you off your feet with their stunning performances. This 22nd lineup brings Balinese temple dances, Appalachian clogging, Korean farmers’ drumming and much, much more. Cost: $15-$25. Information: 415-474-3914, tickets 415-392-4400, www.worldartswest.org.
NEW ORLEANS BY THE BAY Noon-7:30 p.m. June 10-11. Shoreline Amphitheater, 1 Amphitheater Pkwy., Mountain View. It must be something in the water, and maybe how it floods the land, that cultivates the rhythms and foods of New Orleans. Making their way to the West are headliners Dr. John and the Neville Brothers, as well as dozens of blues and brass bands. Naturally, gumbo, jambalaya and touffe make their appearances. Cost: $15 general, free ages 12 and under. Information: 650-967-4040.
SOLANO-MARIN COUNTY FAIR: noon-10 p.m. June 14-18. 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. Sure, there are racing cars, monster trucks and destruction derbies, but how can anyone miss the world-championship shoe decorating contest? Fairgoers can step lively with the carnival, livestock, arts and crafts and food vendors, and the motion keeps on going with music by Box Step, Elvin Bishop, John Kay, Steppenwolf, Nelson Twins, Chris LeDoux, Williams and Ree, Nathan Owens Sounds of Motown and War with Freddy Fender. Cost: $7 ages 13 and older, $3 ages 7-12, free ages 6 and younger. Information: 707-763-0931, www.sonoma-marinfair.org.
CRAWDAD FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, June 16-18. Main Street, Isleton. All right, not all the little critters may come from the Delta, but how else can the festival feed crowds 200,000 people strong? This place crawls with crawdads: in the wine, the parade, the race, and they’re probably dancing to the music, too. Cost: Free. Information: 916-777-5880, www.californiadelta.org/events.htm.
DANVILLE SUMMERFEST 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 17-18. Hartz Avenue, Danville. Balmy weather brings the crowds out for art and crafts, live music and delectable food, as well as the shopping opportunities up and down the street. Cost: Free. Information: 925-837-4400.
ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIR 2000: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Sundays (11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 4), June 23-July 9. 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Experience one type of “The California Dream,” this year’s theme, by hitching carnival rides, winning stuffed toys, watching horse racing and listening to headlining musicians. Cost: $7 ages 13-61, $4 ages 62 and older and 6-12, free ages 5 and under. Information: 925-426-7600, www.alcofairgrounds.com/fairhomepage.htm.
NAPA COUNTY FAIR noon-11 p.m. June 30-July 4, parade 11 a.m. Sunday. The theme this year is “Grapevines and Good Times.” Speed freaks can whirl about on the carnival rides or be on hand for the racing clubs and stunt motocross shows, as well as the destruction derby. Musical acts include Blackhawk. The Independence Day parade begins at 11 a.m., and the fair ends with a pyrotechnic blast. Cost: $5 ages 12 and over, $2 ages 6-12, free ages 5 and under. Information: 707-942-5111, www.fairsnet.org/fairs/ca/calistog/index .html.
MARIN COUNTY FAIR 11 a.m.-10 p.m. June 30-July 4, Marin Fairgrounds, Redwood Highway, San Rafael. Innovation drives the 55th annual fair’s theme, “Marinventing the Future.” An Inventor’s Lab showcases the brainwork of all ages. Other intellectual exercises include the 30th annual Short Film Festival, more than 10,000 fine arts and crafts exhibits (including Toilet Art), and a Creatures and Models exhibit by Industrial Light and Magic, the George Lucas favorites. Meanwhile, the body gets a workout at the carnival rides, including the 10-story Ferris Wheel, and by running about among the barnyard animals. Cost: $10 general, $8 seniors and youth, free ages 3 and under; price includes all rides. Information 415-499-6400, www.marinfair.org.
JUMPIN’ FROG JAMBOREE 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 1-2. Roaring Camp Railroads, Graham Hill Road, Felton. Any one who knows Mark Twain knows about the Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee but did you know this is an amphibian qualifier? The toads race happens Sunday. You can also gold-pan, make candles and ride the last steam-powered passenger railroad around the camp or the boardwalk. Cost: $5 for jump, $2.50 for race; $14.50 adult train ride, $9.50 child train ride. Information: 831-335-4484, www.roaringcamp.com.
FILLMORE STREET JAZZ FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 1-2, Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy streets, San Francisco. Mayor Willie Brown might still drop his clothes off at one of the thrift stores here, which gives you an idea of the kind of upscale shopping, even when it’s secondhand. This is also where jazz began in the Bay Area, which makes this an appropriate venue for the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast. About 32 bands will play on four stages. Cost: Free. Information: 510-970-3217, www.fillmorestreetjazzfest.com.
CORNFEST 2000 5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10-6 p.m. Sunday, July 7-9, Brentwood City Park, Second and Oak streets, Brentwood. Nearly 35,000 people were all eyes and ears last year to stalk the corn. The crowds will be back thronging the farmers market, carnival, craft and food vendors and specialty shows. Musical acts include Pete Escovedo Orchestra, Rolando Morales, California Cowboys, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, Dave Mason Band. Cost: $5 ages 16 and older, $2 ages 62 and older and 15 and under, free ages 8 and under. Information: 925-634-3344, www.brentwoodchamber.com.
SOLANO COUNTY FAIR July 14-23, Solano County Fairgrounds, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. The outdoor celebration returns with the traditional offerings of carnival rides, concerts, horse races, rodeo, petting zoo. Cost: To be announced. Information: 707-644-4401, www.scfair.com.
BENICIA CAMEL RACES 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 15-16, First Street, Benicia. This is actual military history in the remaking. The U.S. Army tried getting camels to carry supplies from Mexico to Northern California, but the 9-footers didn’t take too kindly to the trek. Now Benicia honors the mid-1800s frontier life and the camel with races, rides and displays. Cost: Free. Information: 707-745-5435.
MID-SUMMER STREET FAIRE 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 15-16. Main Street, Martinez. The town that brims with antiquity once again hosts a gala street fair and sale, replete with arts and crafts and food vendors. Cost: Free. Information: 925-228-2345.
MILLENNIUM FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 22-23. Downtown Fremont, Fremont. Like its Silicon Valley environs, the festival has ballooned so much so that more than 400,000 are expected to visit this year. There’s plenty to see, including works from more than 750 artists, hundreds of food vendors and an interactive technology pavilion showing the latest gadgets and toys. Eddie Money headlines the 6:30 p.m. Saturday concert. Cost: Free. Information: 510-795-2244, www.fremontbusiness.com.
GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 28-30. Christmas Hill Park, Miller Avenue and Uvas Parkway, Gilroy. A vampire wouldn’t touch this town with a 10-foot stake. It’s a wonder anyone can get in, what with more than 20 tons of garlic served up last year on bread, calamari, pasta, mushrooms, scampi, pepper steak and just a wee bit in the ice cream. Cost: $10 adults, $5 seniors and ages 6-12, free for ages under 6. Information: 408-842-1625, www.gilroygarlicfestival.com.