Strange how so many musicians from 10-15 years ago have completely fallen off the map, even when they’re as talented and unique as singer Macy Gray. The Grammy-winning artist is still as good as ever, and you can hear her for free at the boardwalk in Santa Cruz. Friday, 7/10, 6:30 and 8:30pm.
Celebrate France’s national holiday by indulging in delicious food and wine, with multiple restaurants offering special prix fixe menus and Alliance Francaise piqueniques throughout the Bay Area. But the best bet may be the petanque tourney in Justin Herman Plaza in SF, with 150 entrants, and wine, music and food. Sunday, 7/12, 1pm.
Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival
An otherwise nice little music festival is suddenly elevated into an Event when set in the beautiful redwood forests of Felton outside of Santa Cruz. The two-day fest features 10 bands, five each day, with notable acts Brett Dennen, Angelique Kidjo, Michael Franti and Yonder Mountain String Band. Saturday and Sunday, 7/11-12, 11am-6pm.
Mongolian Naadam Festival
Like the Highland games in Scotland, Mongolians are famous for their unique outdoor competitions. Featured at the Naadam fest is the distinctive Mongolian wrestling (and dance), as well as archery, “horse” racing, and ethnic food and vendor booths. Saturday, 7/11, noon-5pm, Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park, SF.
Japantown in San Jose has a long and fabled history, and a resurging present, which all comes alive during the annual Obon fest. Taiko performances, children’s games, cultural exhibits and lots of food highlight the weekend. Saturday, 7/11, noon-10pm, Sunday, 7/12, noon-8pm.