A Pentathlon of Summer Events

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Esther Lee/Illustration






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It's summertime, and the living is supposedly easy. To make it even easier, though, the Daily Clog has compiled a little to-do list comprised of fun stuff to do in the Bay Area during the summer. But F.Y.I., this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eyes, ears and Internets open and you should have no problem keeping yourself pleasantly occupied during the warmer months. Now go, young sparrow! Venture forth into the world, and while you're at it, thank your lucky stars you're not stuck in the 'burbs, working for the man, like some poor saps we could mention. Sigh.

June 15 - August 17

Kicking off its 71st season of music on June 15 and running through August 17th, Stern Grove hosts its free concerts beginning at 2 p.m. every Sunday afternoon. The festival takes place about two miles south of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, in a natural amphitheater of a park, surrounded by groves of eucalyptus and rustic lakeside sights. The festival's musical palette has traditionally spanned the genres-opera singers, jazz performers, classical artists and pop stars are all represented. This year's offerings are similarly diverse. Performers scheduled range from Rachid Taha to the San Francisco Symphony, not to mention appearances from R&B vet Allen Toussaint in July and the obviously dubbed Voices of Latin Rock event set to light some fires two weeks later. Doesn't this sound positively edenic? Pack a picnic basket, grab some friends and you're ready to go. And hey, if the weather keeps up, you don't even have to worry about bringing a blanket.

June 21 - September 21

If you're at any point over the summer seeking respite from the blazing heat, look no further than the Legion of Honor. Not only does this art museum boast a pretty sizeable art collection, but it's also got some of the best air conditioning in San Francisco, rivaled only by, well, other museums. (We hear it's to keep the paintings from melting.) When you get there-provided you make the trip between the dates of June 21 and Sept. 21-you can also see feminist history in progress. For the first time ever in the United States, four female impressionists (Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzales and Marie Bracquemonde) will have their work shown side by side in the special exhibition, "Women Impressionists." The airy pastels and bright landscapes should send you on your hot and sweaty way back to Berkeley feeling all nice and refreshed. Because, honestly, who doesn't like Impressionism?

June 28-29

San Francisco's Pride Parade is the world's largest LGBT-centric parade. On the last Sunday of June every year, hundreds of thousands of attendees convene in downtown San Francisco to watch the parade and its ecstatic nudities reel down Market Street, ushered by its famous bike-riding, leather-wearing contingents. Concurrently, a two-day Pride festival takes place in and around the Civic Center, on the 28th and 29th of June, featuring hundreds of booths, dance stages and celebrity guest speakers. This year's headliners include popstress Cyndi Lauper, guerrilla stand-up comedian Margaret Cho, the San Francisco Opera and a small army of deejays to keep the champagne flowing and the party going into the early hours of the evening. And that's not even counting the Dyke March and the Pink Saturday party, held in the Castro district the Saturday night before the Sunday parade.

Naturally, everything's entirely free. Except for the sex toys. Those babies don't go for cheap.

June 29

On June 29, "Savor the world without leaving the Bay Area"-or Berkeley, for that matter-at the Berkeley International Food Festival. Yes, for one day only, you of the highly developed and adventurous palate can enjoy all kinds of multicultural culinary goodness with nary a BART ride. It's all going down from noon to 5 p.m. around the intersection of San Pablo and University. Expect booths vending every type of ethnic food you could ever hope to consume, not to mention entertainment to distract you from the outrageous amounts of deliciousness you'll ingest. For example, it might be worth it to check out the Berkeley International Folk Festival, which will be held in conjunction with the food festival at Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Or you could ogle "celebrity chef" Mike C. while he heats things up (sorry; we had to) at the Kitchen on Fire cooking stage.

July 25-26

In the pursuit to recapture one's idyllic childhood, flying kites ranks up there with eating ice cream and mashing Susie's face into the sand because she wouldn't let you touch her toy tractor. But on July 25 and 26, the Berkeley Kite Festival will entertain college students, kids and their doting grandmamas alike with all-day kite-flying spectacles. Taking place at Cesar A. Chavez Park, the festival promises free kite-making stands, inflatable kids rides, professional kite-flyers flaunting high-tech and exotic gear, and lots of greasy food and fizzy drinks. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. While all kites are eligible to be entered into the festival's celebrity-judged contests, of which there are eight ("most beautiful," "longest tail," "best ground display"), last year's kite bonanza went above and beyond by delivering the largest ship ever powered by a kite in U.S. waters. Whether this year's event turns up any record-breakers remains to be seen.

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