Top 5 things to do in the Bay Area this weekend

Russian Festival
There’re a lot of Russians in San Francisco – 10,000 by one count – with a history that goes back as far as the early 1800s. In honor of that past and present, the Russian Center of San Francisco is hosting its annual celebration of food, dance, music and art. Expect big crowds for the stroganoff, blinis and borscht, and the ensuing fun and impressive performances. And of course there’s a vodka tasting. The biggest draw might be the magnificent old building itself, built by SF’s first wave of Russian immigrants. Saturday 1/31 from 11am-10pm, and Sunday 2/1 from 11am-7pm, 2460 Sutter St., SF.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
This is basically what art and the art world has come to, just one big excuse for a party. “Wait, there’s art here too?” And yet some of my favorite times in LA have been art crawling on gallery nights. And Minna is one of the top galleries in SF. So combine those two, and add in booze, pancakes, and body paint. Oh, and there’s like 50 underground and emerging artists represented too. Saturday, 1/31, 8pm-2am, 111 Minna St., SF.

SF Live Arts: Folk and Bluegrass Music Night
The excellent and innovative music/performance series continues with Patchy Sanders, a six-member band from Ashland, Ore, performing alt bluegrass, or as they claim, noir-grass/neo-folk. Following is duo Misner & Smith, with lovely harmonies and memorable songwriting. Saturday, 1/31, 8-11pm, 2097 Turk St., SF.

Exploratorium Free Day
In celebration of Groundhog Day, the Exploratorium is free all day. Explore and tinker with the hundreds of exhibits. Did I mention it’s free? Sunday, 2/1, 10am-5pm.

Super Bowl L
The list of pubs, sports bars and theaters hosting viewings and parties is long and varied. Pick your favorite spot and chances are they’re having some kind of super bowl soiree. Or, check this list of popular city sports bars. Sunday, 2/1, kickoff 3-ish.

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