Can you believe Memorial Day is already upon us? Wondering what to do with the luxuriously long weekend ahead? Well lucky for you, I’ve compiled some interesting options to choose from… Whether you’re looking for festivals of music, dance, & food, scholarly history lessons, or engaging activities to entertain the wee ones, there’s a little something here for everyone… Enjoy!!
FRIDAY – May 23rd
Friday Nights at OMCA (5-9pm)
The Oakland Museum of California is holding its weekly night market on Friday. Off the Grid’s gourmet food trucks will offer artisanal local cuisine, with local beer and wine served in the Blue Oak beer garden. A Makers & Tasters discussion will bring together great minds in the brewing and gardening communities. Live music, dance lessons, a DJ, and an LGBT history tour of the museum help guests digest all that stout and kraut. Plus access to all galleries including newly opened exhibits SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot and Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records.
Admission 1/2 price for adults; free for kids under 18.
SATURDAY – May 24th
Oakland City Walking Tour: New Era | New Politics (Tour begins at 10am)
On this free 90-minute downtown walking tour, you’ll discover the places where Oakland’s African American leaders have made their marks. Learn how Lionel Wilson, Delilah Beasley, Robert Maynard, the Dellums family, Josephine Baker, and others changed the Bay Area and California.
Meet in front of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), 14th Street at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Cost is FREE.
Celebrating Elephants Day at the Oakland Zoo (10am-3pm)
To raise awareness about the perilous situation of African elephants, the Oakland Zoo is hosting its 18th annual Celebrating Elephants event. Funds from the tours will be donated to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants. Visitors can find out how to tell the zoo’s four African elephants apart, learn about poaching and the illegal ivory trade, examine an eleven-pound elephant tooth, and tour the elephant barn, where you can see the animals up-close and watch an elephant “pedicure” (a once-a-year opportunity).
9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland. Event is included with regular Zoo admission. Elephant Barn Tours are $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 16.
“Eastlake” Free All-Day Lake Merritt Music Festival (12-7pm, cont. at local venues till 2am)
The First Annual Eastlake Music Festival debuts in the newly completed Lake Merritt Amphitheater and features local music, dance, indie arts and crafts, micro-brews and food trucks. The festival is a not-for-profit festival, fiscally sponsored by the Friends of Oakland Parks, and 100% volunteer planned, organized and run. The main amphitheater stage will feature live bands till 7pm. Then the party moves to various local venues to run into the week hours.
Full festival map here. Cost is FREE.
Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Yoshi’s Oakland (two shows – 7:30pm, 9:30pm)
The two-time Grammy winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the standard for excellence for authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. Live or recorded, it doesn’t get any better. Their music is characterized by the raw, organic and vintage sound defined by the genre. They are on a mission to keep the musical legacy of salsa dura “hard salsa” alive and expand its audience to those who love great music, not just Latin music.
Yoshi’s Jazz Club, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Cost is $34.
SUNDAY – May 25th
Monthly sausage pop-up hosted by two of the cooks at Pizzaiolo. This month’s sausage is Bratwurst with sauer kraut and beer on tap.
470-482 49th St., Oakland. $5-$15
Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Yoshi’s Oakland (two shows – 7:00pm, 9:00pm)
The two-time Grammy winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the standard for excellence for authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. See full description above.
Yoshi’s Jazz Club, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Cost is $29.
MONDAY – May 26th – Memorial Day!
Join Mountain View Cemetery to honor all veterans at the 93rd Annual Memorial Day Commemoration when docent Dennis Evanosky will lead a guided tour of the refurbished Civil War plot and other areas of notables that are buried in the cemetery. The ceremony will be held at the second fountain on the Main Avenue of the cemetery and complimentary refreshments will follow.
5000 Piedmont Ave, Oakland. Cost is FREE.
Oakland Carnival at Mosswood Park (10am-5pm)
Bring the family for a chilled decompression from San Francisco’s Sunday Carnaval. With a kids’ zone and Carnival cultural performances by Bay Area dance companies and bands.
Corner of Broadway & Mac Arthur. Opening blessing at 10am, entertainment starts at noon.
Now in it’s fifth year the My Yute Soccer annual Jamaican Jerk Cook off is ramping up for another full day of chilled music and hot jerk. Top-of-the-line chefs including James Syhabout, Chop Bar’s Chris Pastena, Michael Cook from Rumbo al Sur, and guest chef from Atlanta, award-winning jerk chef Jimmie Jackson will be turning out their own jerk-inspired recipes. Festival includes live music and raffle items. All funds raised support My Yute Soccer, providing free soccer camps to educate youth in soccer and promote awareness of socio-cultural differences for the general public.
Linden Street Brewery, 95 Linden Street, Oakland. Cost $15 general admission plus $5 drink & tasting tickets, or $25 package admission.