Best Annual Events in the East Bay

Looking for something to do in the East Bay? With so many offerings in the area, weve curated some of the annual events you can’t miss. Less researching and more enjoying your time in the area. Enjoy!

*Things change, so please check in with the organizers of these events for details.

Featured Photo: Visit Berkeley

January

Concord’s Comfort Food Week runs the gamut of culinary experiences, but keeps it delightfully crowd-pleasing. You won’t regret postponing your January diet to indulge in this East Bay town’s unbeatable offerings.

February

During Black History Month, Oakland non-profit Black Joy Parade unites a diverse community by creating a space — its signature parade — to celebrate the Black experience and community’s contribution to history and culture.

March

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St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Where else but in Dublin — California, that is? One of the most colorful St. Patricks Day events outside Ireland has bagpipers, Celtic dancers in kilts, Irish bangers and mash, corned beef sliders, people sporting green hair and drinking green beer. Theres an Irish marketplace, too.

More info: dublinstpats.com

Also in March:

  • Concord’s Spring Brews Festival, hosted by The Brewing Network, is one of the best craft beer festivals in the Bay Area. Enjoy beverages from over 60 craft breweries as well as live music and great food.

May

Scintillate your palates with this culinary crawl (like farm-to-table trick or treat), one of Temescal’s most delectable annual events — Taste of Temescal

June

Relax by Lake Merritt and enjoy affordable activities and food, free music, kids activities, and dancing. There is something fun for everyone at Lakefest Oakland.

July

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Photo: Courtesy of Visit Berkeley

Berkeley Kite Festival

The good fun and artistry of modern kite flying are on full display as the skies fill with fabulous, soaring kites of all shapes and sizes. At the picturesque Berkeley Marina across from the Golden Gate Bridge, the location cannot be beat. Kids love the free kite-making classes, too.

More info: anotherbullwinkelshow.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Art + Soul Oakland

Art + Soul Oakland

In late July, tens of thousands head for the popular two-day event packed with sensational music, food, fun, dance, art, and family fun in downtown Oakland. Grammy-winner caliber performances from the worlds of blues, R&B, soul, funk, gospel, rock, Latin, turf and urban/world dance take place on four stages. 

More info: artandsoulsoakland.com

August

The sidewalks of North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto are the “canvas” of artists young and old, professional and greenhorn during the annual Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival. Artist registration is free and chocolate tasting tickets keep the antioxidant buzz strong.

September

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Lafayette Art & Wine Festival

Since 1996, the largest community event in Contra Costa County, the annual Lafayette Art & Wine Festival is a well-loved, sociable downtown fixture. Food and drink, kids zones, family fun, live music and lots more. Upcoming dates are Sept. 17-18, 2022 and Sept. 23-24, 2023.

More info: lafayettefestival.com

Also in September:

  • Celebrate LGBTQ+ communities in the most diverse city in the country, at the most diverse Pride celebration: Oakland Pride.

October

A homey take on Oktoberfest, Oaktoberfest in the Dimond offers traditional, seasonal foods and some of the best Bay Area craft beers. Enjoy performances from cultural artist and entertainers and support mom and pop businesses.

November

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Photo: Courtesy of Oakland Zoo

Glowfari at the Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo is spread over 525 acres, with a gondola and an express train, even a tropical rainforest and an African savannah. Glowfari is a wildly illuminating lantern festival” featuring hundreds of larger-than-life animal shapes along a mile-long path. From mid-November through the end of January (except holidays).

More info: oaklandzoo.org

Also in November:

  • The Unity Council Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival is a free, outdoor festival that brings over 100,000 people to the vibrant, culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood to enjoy world-class live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans.

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

You so deserve a vacation. 

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