Rolex Big Boat Series
Bring a picnic, or a Frisbee, or a kite, and your little dog too, and enjoy an afternoon at Crissy Field watching the big colorful sails gliding along the bay as part of the St. Francis Yacht Club annual event. The regatta brings in over 100 competitors from around the world, vying for the coveted IRC North American Championship. No hi-tech behemoths like the America’s Cup, these are normal-size, single-mast sailboats. You can also wander down to the Warming Hut from 11am-1pm on Saturday to check out the Rock Balancing Art Gathering. Friday-Sunday, 9/12-14, 11am-4pm.
Vallejo Art Walk
Vallejo, where artists go for the last remaining “cheap” rent in the Bay Area. And what is San Francisco’s and East Bay’s loss, is Vallejo’s gain. The monthly art walk on Georgia, Virginia and Marin streets features a host of works by established and emerging artists in 25 galleries and shops. It’s not quite the scene of Oakland’s art walk, but for now it’s actually more about the art. Friday, 9/12, 5-10pm.
Finally, a fun reason to make the commute down the peninsula. The carnival in Cupertino has everything adults and their children, or adult children, can hope for: corndogs, cotton candy, margaritas and beer/wine. Of course there’re lots of rides, jumpy houses, live bands, balloon animals, clowns, games, crafts, carnies and a silent auction to benefit the St. Joseph of Cupertino School. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 10:30am-4:30pm, 9/12-14. 10120 N. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
Totally had me at chocolate, even though this whole thing could be a shameless promotion to push product. But no, actually proceeds go to help raise money for Project Open Hand. Anyway, there’s a lineup of culinary workshops and chef demos each day, and more than 30 vendors, though the chocolate samples come with a price. Saturday & Sunday, 9/13-14, noon-5pm. Ghirardelli Square.
Sea Music Festival
If chocolate’s not your thing, stroll over to the Hyde Street Pier for the Sea Music Festival, and listen to San Francisco’s closest thing to indigenous music. The three stages (including a ferryboat) have a full lineup of bands and performers bellowing out sea chanties and other beer-swilling songs. Saturday, 9/13, 9:30am-5pm. Or, stroll up to Stockton Street in North Beach for the Festa Coloniale Italiana Saturday, 11am-6pm.