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Carnaval, BottleRock Bring The Music For Memorial Day Weekend

Plus, Traffic Tips For The Long Weekend

Bob Pryor
May 24, 2019 - 3:07 am

It's the unofficial start of summer this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday. What better way to finalize your plans than by consulting KCBS Radio's indispensable Major Timesaver report? Every Friday, traffic reporter Bob Pryor publishes this guide to the weekend's biggest events and offers tips to deal with the possible biggest traffic headaches.

Keep up with KCBS Radio throughout the week by signing up here for our newsletter or take us with you wherever you go by downloading the RADIO.COM app and making us one of your favorite stations. 

It's going to be a busy weekend nearly anywhere you look. Crowds are expected to throng Harrison Street in San Francisco this Saturday and Sunday, as Carnaval rolls into the Mission District. The story will be much the same at the Napa Expo grounds, where BottleRock Napa is expected to draw its customary 100,000 visitors to its lineup of big-name singers and bands.

In the South Bay, McEnery Convention Center plays host to avid artists and fans of anime, manga and Japanese pop cultue as FanimeCon pays its annual visit.

If you're taking public transit on Monday, be aware that ACE Train and Tiburon Ferry will close for the day. But most agencies will be on a weekend or Sunday or holiday schedule. And yes, in San Francisco, the ever-hungry parking meters will need to be fed, although residential permit parking and daytime street sweeping regulations will not be enforced.

SOUTH BAY:

Fri, May 24 through Monday, May 27: San Jose: McEnery Convention Center and some of the adjacent hotels join in hosting FanimeCon 2019, the annual convention of all things anime, manga, cosplay, gaming, and Japanese-art-and-culture. There’s art, dancing, karaoke, screenings, and a panel for every topic you can imagine. This is FanimeCon’s 25-year silver celebration.

  • Pro tip: From CalTain’s San Jose Diridon Station, VTA’s Winchester/Mountain View light rail line will take you straight to the Convention Center. From BART’s Warm Springs station, VTA’s 181 express bus will take you to First and Mission Streets, where you can take that same light rail line from the Civic Center Station to the Convention Center.  If you don’t mind dealing with traffic and paying for parking, the McEnery Convention Center has its own underground garage and there are also plenty of parking garages in downtown San Jose.

EAST BAY:

Sat, May 25; Sun, May 26; and Mon, May 27; all day: BART trains will not run between the Concord and Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre stations as crews replace aging tracks, train control equipment, and other critical infrastructure. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, passengers traveling between these two stations will need to avail themselves of the free buses provided by County Connection.

  • Pro tip: Passengers traveling toward San Francisco who normally park at Concord, North Concord, or Pittsburg/Bay Point stations, may want to consider driving to the Pleasant Hill Station for free weekend parking in order to avoid taking the bus. If that's not an option for you, expect your trip to take an extra 20 minutes. Passengers heading through this area on the very last train of the day should also see the BART advisory on this work for pertinent information.

Sat, May 25 from 11am-5pm: The 5th Annual Burger and Brew Fest takes place in downtown Fremont on Capitol Avenue between Paseo Padre Parkway and Liberty Street. Features craft beers from many, many breweries, along with burgers, sliders, gourmet snacks, live music, and a “Burger Throwdown” cooking competition..

  • Pro tip: The B-and-B Fest is about a 10-minute walk from Fremont BART. Metered Street parking is also available, and there’s parking in the lot behind City Hall.
  • Areas and roadways affected: Capitol Avenue will be closed to traffic from about 5am to 10pm, which may add to the regular traffic on Mowry Avenue and Paseo Padre Parkway.

PENINSULA:

Sun, May 26 from 6pm-9pm: Los Altos Hills: Foothill College’s Smithwick Theatre hosts the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, featuring award-winning short films about nature, adventure, conservation, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, and Native American and indigenous cultures. The festival will include “Umunhum”, a film about local efforts to restore the top of Mt. Umunhum and open it to the public.

  • Pro tip: The best tip is to get there early so you’re assured of a seat. Because this is a free event, tickets do not guarantee admission. The first 940 guests to arrive will be allowed in.

SAN FRANCISCO:

Sat, May 25 and Sun, May 26 from 10am-6pm: In San Francisco’s Mission District: The 41st Annual Carnaval San Francisco takes place on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets. Carnaval is an international, multicultural celebration featuring music, dance, culture, folklore, food, and arts-and-crafts from the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Polynesia, Asia, and beyond. The Carnaval Grand Parade is on Sunday at 9:30am. 

  • Pro tip: Plan ahead! This page lists the streets in the Mission that will be closed both days as a result of Carnaval, including some that shut as early as 4pm on Friday. This page lists the streets that will be closed on Sunday due to the parade. 
  • Areas and roadways affected: With eight blocks of Harrison Street closed and Giants games scheduled for 1:05pm both days, much of downtown and the Mission is likely to be severely congested, especially during Sunday’s parade, which is a big, extravagant affair.

NORTH BAY/SOLANO:

Fri, May 24; Sat, May 25; Sun, May 26; from 11:30am-10pm each day: In Napa, the sold-out BottleRock festival takes place at Napa Valley Expo. After the music ends at 10pm, some of the artists will play at aftershows in downtown Napa and the BottleRock website sells tickets for those too.

  • Pro tip: Napa Valley’s VINE Transit system offers free rides to the festival nd extended late-night service all this weekend, including regional express service to the El Cerrito del Norte BART station. Details are here. Other transportation options are also detailed on BottleRock’s Transportation web page.
  • Areas and roadways affected: Among the streets that will be closed to traffic from 8:00pm-11:00pm on concert nights are: Third Street from Soscol Ave to Silverado Trail; Burnell Street west of the Expo; and Juarez Street, north to First Street. Drivers for Lyft and Uber ride-sharing services will be shifted to downtown Third Street across the Napa River.

From Sat, May 25 thru Mon, Sep 2 (Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day Weekend) 11am-5pm: Starting this weekend and continuing through Labor Day Weekend, summer-weekend parking restrictions take effect for the Golden Gate Bridge. On Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am until 5pm, personal vehicles will not be permitted to park at the Welcome Center parking lot at the southern end of the bridge or at the northern Vista Point lot. Tour buses will be allowed to park at both the Welcome Center and Vista Point lots. Taxis and rideshare vehicles will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the Welcome Center only—they will not be allowed to enter Vista Point. (There are no planned restrictions on weekdays, as traffic is generally lighter and doesn’t clog the Highway 101 corridor.)

  • Pro tip: The Bridge District has a whole page of suggestions on how to use public transit to get to Vista Point or the Welcome Center. If walking’s not an issue, you can park in the overflow lots along Merchant Avenue, Lincoln Boulevard, and in the Presidio.