photo of lights at the Autumn Lights Festival at Gardens at Lake Merritt

Autumn Lights Festival in Oakland

There’s nothing I love more than festive lights and even more so if I don’t have to wait until the holiday season! So leave it to Oakland to create a tradition bringing together the community and supporting the public Gardens with an extravagant festival. Bring the whole family and give yourselves ample time to wander through gardens lit up with ethereal and experiential installations by local artists. There are water works, fire works (a snail that shoots fire out of its eye tentacles as you pull on its reins), and even a light show as a piano is played.

Photo of beer and food, Eat Real Festival, Jack London

Eat Real Festival

Oakland is all about craft – food, beer, art – and there was no better way to celebrate it than at the 9th annual Eat Real Festival. The Eat Real Festival is basically a big smorgasborg of local food trucks and stands and an introduction to some truly delicious wholesome and local sourced products. We lucked out with some beautiful weather this weekend, by far the busiest spots were Humphrey’s ice cream and Fat Face gourmet popsicles, unfortunately after we consumed both lunch and dinner, we didn’t have the room for dessert (Blasphemy! I know).

Photo of dancers, Polynesian Festival & Aloha Outrigger Races, Santa Cruz

25th Annual Polynesian Festival & Aloha Outrigger Races

A much smaller festival than we anticipated, but as we were told, “things were a little different this year, because, [they] changed a few things”. Still, it made for a great excuse to get out to Santa Cruz. The outrigger races were spaced out so inbetween we walked over to the Boardwalk and hung out.

Photo of lanterns, Peace Lantern Ceremony, Berkeley, California

Peace Lantern Ceremony

The Peace Lantern Ceremony is held in the beginning of August to remember the anniversaries of the world’s first atomic bombings (August 6 and August 9). The tradition of floating lanterns are in honor of the of victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to reaffirm our commitment to peace.

Obon Festival, San Jose photo

Obon Festival

Obon Festival is a Japanese Buddhist festival to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. There were a number of celebrations throughout the Bay Area this year, so we decided to check out a couple. The Alameda County Buddhist temple in Union City holds a small Bazaar, so not a full on festival (as it’s fairly […]