Get Your Weekend Plans In Order

Bay Area Things To Do, Plus Traffic Tips

Bob Pryor
September 13, 2019 - 1:46 am
Golden Gate Park

Getty Images

Welcome to the weekend, and thanks for checking out KCBS Radio's guide to the Bay Area's best events, plus traffic tips for getting back and forth from the fun things to do. You can get this guide sent straight to your phone every week by downloading the RADIO.COM app and making KCBS Radio one of your favorite stations or by signing up for our newsletter.

If it’s mid-September, it must be time for Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park. Robin Williams Meadow is the site for the 39th iteration of the famous comedic marathon, coming up on Sunday.

The ‘SAP Center 25’ Festival celebrates the quarter-century mark for that sports and entertainment venue in San Jose with three days of afternoon festival entertainment at Arena Green, followed by nightly headline acts at the Center itself.

Back in San Francisco again, the Mission District plays host to the Festival of the Americas on Sunday, while across the Bay, in Oakland, it’s the Oakland Grand Prix, bringing some very fast bicyclists into the Uptown area.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival will draw crowds to the vino, art, and music at Central Park, while more northerly music lovers can spend their Saturday at the Marin Music Festival in San Rafael.

Finally, travelers in the Lafayette area should keep in mind that there will be left-lane closures on eastbound Highway 24 all this weekend (yes, day and night) and we’ll also see BART trains being single-tracked between Orinda and Walnut Creek on both days. 

SOUTH BAY:

Fri, Sep 13; Sat, Sep 14; Sun, Sep 15; from 2pm-7pm: San Jose’s Arena Green is the site of the SAP Center 25 Festival Weekend, a three-day admission-free festival celebrating the Center’s 25 years. There will be live music, art and craft booths, interactive rides and games, etc. After each day of the festival, in the evening, there will be a headliner act at the SAP Center: Friday at 8pm it’s Blake Shelton. Saturday at 7:30pm it’s Kings of the West (Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, The Game, E-40, Warren G and the Psycho Realm). Sunday at 7pm it’s Maluma.

  • Pro tip: SAP parking lots typically open two-and-a-half hours prior to event time, as detailed here. A general-area parking map is here. For patrons of the Diridon CalTrain Station, it’s about a 5-minute walk to the SAP Center. This public transit page lays out some transit options and provides a reminder that you can come all the way from Sacramento, since Capitol Corridor trains serve Diridon. 

Sat, Sep 14 (10am-6pm) and Sun, Sep 15 (10am-5pm): Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival takes place at Central Park. It features live entertainment on three stages, 170 art and craft booths, 25 community groups serving international foods, four vintners pouring fine wines, micro-brewed beer, a Kids Kingdom and more. Organizers expect 50,000 people over the course of the weekend.

  • Pro tip: There is limited parking is available in several locations surrounding the park, as well as along Patricia Drive; just follow the signs. 
  • Areas and roadways affected: Delays are possible on Kiely Blvd, Benton Street, Homestead Road, and other roads near Central Park.

EAST BAY:

Sun, Sep 15 from 8am-4pm: The annual Oakland Grand Prix bicycle race takes place in Uptown Oakland, near Kaiser Center and Lake Merritt. The three-quarter-mile “criterium” loop course includes portions of Franklin, Webster, 19th and 22nd streets. AC Transit will re-route lines 12, 33, 51A, NL, and 805 from 5am-5pm. 

  • Pro tip: If you have to get into or out of the core Uptown area, or even if you’re just going to watch the race, the 19th Street BART station makes an excellent destination.
  • Areas and roadways affected: Only a few streets are closed, but the closures are right in the middle of the Uptown area, just east of Broadway. Go a few blocks in any direction away from the race and things are likely to be unaffected.

Fri, Sep 13 at 11pm continuing thru Monday morning, Sep 16 at 7am: The two left lanes on eastbound Highway 24 at Oak Hill Road will be closed due to work on BART tracks next to the freeway. Drivers should expect delays.  

BART will be single-tracking Saturday and Sunday between Orinda and Walnut Creek, resulting in delays of up to 30 minutes in the area. BART also may need to turn back some trains at Orinda to maintain their schedule. If so, passengers will be asked to leave the train they are on and board a different train to reach their destination.

PENINSULA:

Fri, Sep 13 (2pm-9pm); Sat, Sep 14 (11am-9pm); Sun, Sep 15 (11am-7pm): In Daly City, the Cow Palace’s Main Lot is the site for ‘HempCon 2019’, an outdoor trade show and market place for the cannabis industry. There will be live entertainment, competitions and cannabis sales. 

  • Pro tip: Most people will drive and pay the $15 for on-site parking. Getting there by mass transit can be quite slow. 
  • Areas and roadways affected: Expect extra traffic coming and going from the venue on Geneva Avenue.

SAN FRANCISCO:

Sun, Sep 15 from 11am-5pm: San Francisco’s Mission District hosts Festival of the Americas (“Fiesta de las Américas”), which is centered on 24th Street between Folsom and Bryant Streets. Festival celebrates the independence of various Latin American countries, along with the culture, arts and music of Latin America. There will be lucha libre wrestling, low rider cars, and several stages of entertainment. 

  • Pro tip: Muni lists the full array of festival-related street closures here and shows the re-route for the 48 Quintara 24th Street bus line. That bus will take you to the festival area (hence the re-route). So will BART – the 24th Street/Mission station is a 5-minute walk from the Festival.
  • Areas and roadways affected: 24th Street is normally a busier corridor than the parallel streets of 23rd and 25th, so the closure of 6 blocks of 24th street will likely send a good amount of traffic to those parallel streets. For through travelers, going two blocks south to Cesar Chavez might me a better option.

Sun, Sep 15 from noon-5pm: Golden Gate Park’s Robin Williams Meadow is the site for the annual Comedy Day. It’s five hours of free entertainment from 51 comedians, with food, beer, and wine available. 

  • Pro tip: Driving’s usually not a good option near the park, since there’s so little available parking, much of it is limited to two hours, and the enforcement is ferocious. Even so, the organizers list a couple of alternative parking suggestions on their FAQ page, along with several suggested Muni bus lines to take. If you take the N Judah light rail line to Carl and Stanyan Streets, you’ll be a 10-to-12-minute walk from Robin Williams Meadow.
  • Areas and roadways affected: Minimal impact to western Haight Ashbury and Cole Valley.

NORTH BAY/SOLANO:

Sat, Sep 14 from 11am-6pm: Head to San Rafael for the Marin Music Festival, taking place at the Marin Rod and Gun Club at 2675 Francisco Blvd East. This admission-free festival features local bands, art and craft booths, food trucks, beer and wine, and a stunning waterfront view.

  • Pro tip: If you’re coming westbound on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge, take the first exit coming off the span (the one marked for San Quentin). There’s usually parking available on Kerner Blvd. From there, it’s a short walk along the Bay Trail to the back entrance of the Rod and Gun Club.
  • Areas and roadways affected: There will be extra traffic on Francisco Blvd East, Kerner Blvd, and Grange Avenue.