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Walnut Creek Magazine

Where & When May/June 2016: A Guide to the Best Events Around the Bay

May 10, 2016 03:59PM ● By Cale Finta

San Francisco's famous Bay to Breakers, now in its 104th year.


A guide to the best events happening around the Bay


 In a world premiere by acclaimed choreographer Helen Pickett, set to an original score by “House of Cards” composer Jeff Beal, SMUIN BALLET returns to Walnut Creek with a powerful performance titled Dance Series Two. A lyrical and reverent ode to water, the six dancer series combines classical ballet and swiftly-changing geometric poses blending high-energy athleticism with wit and elegance. DETAILS: May 27-28, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, WC,

 Tantalize your taste buds and explore new restaurants at TASTE OF LAFAYETTE where a ticket buys you entry to a wine reception, food samples, live music and so much more. Start with savory appetizers from Bistro Burger, The Hideout and Lantern Catering at Lafayette Plaza Park, then tour some of town’s finest establishments including The Cooperage, Yankee Pier, Postino and many more. DETAILS: May 17, 5:30pm-9pm,

San Francisco’s BAY TO BREAKERS is the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world. With a starting point near San Francisco Bay, the 12K race runs through the city and finishes at the Great Highway. A quintessential San Francisco experience for 103 years, this colorful event brings the Bay Area together in a celebration of life.  DETAILS: May 15, costumes encouraged. To register, go to

 Hear great music and get inspired to learn how to play a musical instrument at Diablo Valley’s first-ever INTERNATIONAL HARP FESTIVAL. The three-day event includes a multitude of workshops and exciting evening concerts performed by acclaimed artists in jazz, new age, Celtic and classical music. Internationally acclaimed artists. DETAILS: May 26-29, San Damiano Retreat Center Danville,

 San Ramon’s ART & WIND FESTIVAL features 150 art and craft booths, three stages of entertainment, great food, and plenty of kid fun. But the main attraction are the kites demonstrated by champions who perform amazing tricks in the air. DETAILS: May 29-30, Central Park on Alcosta Boulevard,

 The warm weather is back and with it comes the WALNUT CREEK ART & WINE FESTIVAL at Heather Farm Park. Celebrating its 35th season, this popular free event kicks it up a notch this year with a fine art and wine gallery, craft beer, freestyle motocross exhibition and classic arcade games. Plus plenty of live music community faces and arts and crafts vendors. DETAILS: June 4 & 5, 301 N. San Carlos Drive, on-site parking or ride the free shuttle from WC BART and Shadelands Business Park. 

Pack your family and a picnic for an evening of film and fun at MOVIES UNDER THE STARS. The season kicks-off in the Antarctica with teenage penguin Cody Maverick in Surfs Up. DETAILS: June 17, 9PM Clarke Swim Center Heather Farm Park, $2 per person suggested donation. Other movie dates: July 29, Inside Out at Ballfield #2 Heather Farm; August 19, Alladin at Civic Park; September 10, Toy Story at Civic Park. For more information, go to


 Internationally renowned artist Crystal Wagner comes to Walnut Creek to create a large-scale art installation using the walls of the Bedford Gallery for her FLUX exhibit. Wagner's colorful, mind-blowing works are built from ordinary materials such as tablecloths and office supplies to form swirling, imaginative environments that appear to grow organically out of the walls. DETAILS: June 26 – September 4, 1601 Civic Drive,

 In its 62nd year, the NORTH BEACH FESTIVAL brings together an eclectic mix of people, gourmet food, live entertainment and art. Situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Little Italy, the outdoor festival runs along the quaint streets of Grant and Columbus. DETAILS: June 11-12, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM both days.

 The “artichoke capitol of the world” celebrates its crop at the CASTROVILLE ARTICHOKE FESTIVAL. This is your chance to eat chokes fried, marinated, pickled and creamed in soups plus enjoy cooking demos, view agro art, and tour local fields. DETAILS: June 4-5, Monterey County Fair & Event Center,

 Brave the crowds and heat to enjoy carnival rides, fair food, farm animals, music concerts, and horse races at the ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIR in Pleasanton. From monster trucks and rodeos to pig races and fried food, this one has the classics and a whole lot more. DETAILS: June 15 - July 4,

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