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A festival for every whim: Where to go this weekend

Caitlin Olson | May 11, 2012 | Lifestyle Story City Life Culture

With temperatures expected to be in the 70s again this weekend, it’s the perfect time for the festival season to begin. Here’s a list of where to spend your sunny days May 11–13.


What: Stanford Powwow
Where: Eucalyptus Grove, Stanford Campus
When: Friday, 5 p.m.–Sunday, 6 p.m.
Price: Suggested donation
The 41st annual Stanford Powwow is back to showcase Native American culture with dancing, hand drum contests, and the annual 5K fun run.


What: Inner Peace Festival
Where: Lake Merritt, Oakland
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Price: Free
Interested in doing some downward dog and meditation? Along with hourly “oms,” the Inner Peace Festival will feature yoga, drum circles, and an interactive social media exhibit that will show how Facebook and the Internet have the power to spread peace in the digital realm.

What: May Madness Car Festival
Where: Fourth and Lincoln Sts., San Rafael
When: Saturday, noon–6 p.m.
Price: Free
If you’ve been wanting to cruise back to the ’50s and ’60s era of classic cars, the North Bay is the place to be. Hundreds of custom hot rods and roadsters will be on display for all of you cool-car aficionados.

What: Hungarian Heritage Festival
Where: Twin Pines Park, Belmont
When: Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Price: $5
Hungry for some authentic Hungarian pastries? Look no further. The Hungarian Heritage Festival will be the perfect place to munch on a palacsinta and listen to some folk music. Make sure you join the dance circle at 6 p.m..

What: Taiwanese American Cultural Festival
Where: Union Square
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Price: Free
This weekend’s Taiwanese American Cultural Festival will include puppet shows, a marketplace of orchids, and Taiwanese delicacies, such as tea eggs, mochi, and bean curd. We’re excited about the live acrobatics and demonstration of the Taiwanese yo-yo.

What: Pagan Festival and Parade
Where: Civic Center Park, Berkeley
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Price: Free
The Pagan Alliance aims to bring everyone together to celebrate Mother Earth through art, live music, and belly dance rituals. Don’t miss the Pagan pride parade at noon.

What: Park Street Spring Fair
Where: Park Street, Alameda
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Price: Free
The fair has fun for the whole family. The kids can spend time doing crafts and exploring the petting zoo while Mom and Dad enjoy mimosas, wine, and gourmet fudge.

What: Balloonacy!
Where: Million Fishes Gallery, Mission
When: Saturday and Sunday, noon–10 p.m.
Price: Free
Picture an art gallery filled floor to ceiling with 2,000-plus balloons. Add some speakers and LEDs to a few hundred of the balloons and what do you get? We’re not quite sure either, but the folks at the Million Fishes Gallery are inviting everyone to experience it for themselves. They’re expecting it to be “part dance party, part existential crisis.”


What: How Weird Street Faire
Where: Howard and 2nd Sts., SoMa
When: Sunday, noon–8 p.m.
Price: $10 suggested donation
Description: How Weird’s 13-block span will feature 13 stages bumping a variety of electronic and trance music. Stop by one of the many vendors to buy some unique clothes, jewelry, and hula hoops.

Caitlin Olson is an editorial intern at San Francisco magazine. Email her at


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