The best of what to do in and around San Francisco this week
Have some frivolous fun in San Francisco this week, first at GlowCon, a convention and party celebrating glowsticks and other light-up things. Then head to Oakland for literary festival Beast Crawl or to Yolo County for the Capay Valley Tomato Festival. If you want to stay in the city, Stern Grove Music Festival and SPARK Social SF are calling your name.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
July 16 | Glowy convention and party
Light up your weekend with a trip to GlowCon, the convention and party dedicated to illuminating the LED arts. Vendors and exhibits will show off crazy art cars, sculptures, and wearables that give actual meaning to the phrase, “It’s lit!” Roam the 16,000-square-foot space and slip on some special headphones to participate in the Silent Disco. Do note that you can’t BYO glowsticks, but you can buy all kinds of trippy light things for your time on the Burning Man playa or simply your next night on the dance floor.
2 p.m.–2 a.m. | The NWBLK, 1999 Bryant St., San Francisco | From $30 | website
July 16 | Literature festival
Oakland’s free roaming literary festival Beast Crawl is back for the fifth year, and it’s a great excuse to check out all the happening bars, cafés, restaurants, and galleries that line the Uptown neighborhood (easily accessible from San Francisco by BART). More than 150 local writers will be giving readings at 40 different venues. The whole event lasts nine hours—split up into four literary legs with food and drink breaks in between—but feel free to stop in for any portion of the night.
Times & locations vary, Oakland | Free | website
July 16 | Escape the city
Capay Valley Tomato Festival 2016
You only live once, so why not take a trip to Yolo County to celebrate the source of many incredible fruits and vegetables served in the finest restaurants of the Bay Area (and brought to local homes via Farm Fresh to You)? The Capay Valley Tomato Festival features heirloom tomato tastings, tractor-tram rides, self-guided farm tours, live music, and dancing. The valley is about 65 miles from the East Bay—easy enough to do as a day trip. But if you’d like to stay the night, the tomato fest also offers camping tickets for attendees.
3–11 p.m. | Farm Fresh to You/Capay Organic, 23808 State Highway 16, Capay | From $20 | website
Joan Osborne’s Soul Revue at Stern Grove Festival
We’ll say it again: Stern Grove Music Festival is one of the best deals in the city. This Sunday’s special guest is singer-songwriter Joan Osborne, who will be performing funky American classics with her Soul Revue. Osborne is a seven-time Grammy nominee, as well as one of the greatest voices of her generation, so make sure to pack a picnic and head down early to snag the perfect center-stage spot. This annual summer festival concludes for the year on August 21.
2 p.m. | Stern Grove, Sloat Blvd. at 19th Ave., San Francisco | Free | website
Now open | Food truck park
SPARK Social SF
SoMa StrEat Food Park, a fun food truck park on 11th Street, has debuted a second mobile eatery corral called SPARK Social SF in Mission Bay. An old double-decker bus decorates the outdoor eating space, which is home to a changing selection of international food trucks and carts like Panchita’s Pupuseria, Curry Up Now, Kabob Trolley, and Firetrail Pizza. It’s open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Oh, and it’s a beer/sangria garden, too!
Parklab, 601 Mission Bay Blvd. North, San Francisco | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.