Best Annual Events in the East Bay

Across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge lies the East Bay, home to popular towns Oakland, Berkeley and Livermore. With stunning views of the whole Bay Area, the hilltop hiking opportunities are not to be missed.

If you’re looking for things to do in town, there’s a ton of variety: “Oaktown” has a quieter Chinatown, nearby Jack London Square is a vibrant shopping and dining area, and Lake Merritt is an ideal spot for a city walk. RingCentral Coliseum is a huge draw for Oakland Athletics games, live music and more.

Berkeley boasts the University of California Berkeley, whose Campanile is the third tallest bell and clock tower in the world, as well as Chef Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse, the Greek Theatre, and a multitude of ethnic restaurants, including The Cheese Board Collective, Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, Grégoire Restaurant, Cha-Ya, Agrodolce Osteria, Cesar, and many more. If you head further east, you’ll hit Livermore, home to 40 world-class wineries and well worth a day trip.

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

Featured Photo: Visit Berkeley


Oakland Zoo-East Bay-Annual Events-January-credit Oakland Zoo Facebook-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Oakland Zoo Glowfari

Find a perch in the East Bay hills to watch fireworks across the Bay. And if your lightshow appetite lingers after New Years, visit the Oakland Zoo exhibit, Glowfari — a wildly illuminating lantern festival” featuring hundreds of larger-than-life animal shapes along a mile-long path. Finish off the month at Concord’s Comfort Food Week, where you can taste the gamut of culinary experiences. You won’t regret postponing your January diet to indulge in this East Bay town’s unbeatable offerings.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in January here.


Black Joy Parade-East Bay-Annual Events-February-credit Black Joy Parade Facebook-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Black Joy Parade

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.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in February here.


do_east bay_st patricks dublin california_800x450

One of the most colorful St. Patricks Day events outside Ireland happens to be in Dublin… California. And 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.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in March here.


Flower and Garden Show-East Bay-Annual Events-April-credit San Francisco Bay Flower _ Garden Show Facebook-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Bay Area Flower and Garden Show

Usher in springtime with Berkeley Restaurant Week, Earth Day celebrations, and the Bay Area Flower and Garden Show. It’s also a great time of year for the monthly Alameda Point Antiques Faire, the largest antiques show in Northern California.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in April here.


Taste of Temescal-East Bay-Annual Events-May-credit @temescaldist Facebook-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of @temescaldist

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.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in May here.


Lakefest-East Bay-Annual Events-June-credit @lakefestoakland-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of @lakefestoakland

Nothing says summer like relaxing by Lake Merritt and enjoying Lakefest Oakland’s activities, food, free music, kids activities, and dancing. The weather is unbeatable this time of year if you’re looking for a little summer sizzle.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in June here.


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Photo: Courtesy of Visit Berkeley

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 Berkeley Kite Festival. Right on the Berkeley Marina, across from the Golden Gate Bridge, the location cannot be beat. In late July, tens of thousands head for the popular two-day Art + Soul Oakland 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. 

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in July here.


Chocolate _ Chalk Art Festival-East Bay-Annual Events-August-credit @chocolateandchalkartfestival-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of @chocolateandchalkartfestival

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.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in August here.


do_east bay_lafayette wine festival_800x450

Celebrate LGBTQ+ communities in the most diverse city in the country, at the most diverse Pride celebration: Oakland Pride. In late September, tuck into food and drink, live music and more at the well-loved, sociable Lafayette Art & Wine Festival. Upcoming dates: Sept. 23-24, 2023.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in September here.


Oaktoberfest-East Bay-Annual Events-October-credit Oaktoberfest Facebook-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Oaktoberfest

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.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in October here.


Unity Council Dia de los Muertos-East Bay-Annual Events-November-credit @TheUnityCouncil Facebook-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of @TheUnityCouncil

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.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in November here.


Jack London Square Tree Lighting-East Bay-Annual Events-December-credit @jacklondonsquare-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of @jacklondonsquare

Holiday lights, live music and theatre productions are all a part of how the East Bay does December. Bundle up for a stroll through town, peruse local shops for unique gifts, or enjoy family time at one of the many event venues.

Read more about the best things to do in the East Bay in December here.

Event Venues

Looking to see what’s happening right now in the East Bay? Our comprehensive list of venues below will help you find what you need to know what’s going on.

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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