…As if that were even possible! Seriously, though, just being seen at some of this week’s events is a passport to instant awesomeness, Oakland style! Some of the hottest annual / monthly tickets in town unfurl this week, along with some things that we hope will become more frequent, or that can’t help but be awesome by association. Enjoy!

Friday, October 4

Urban Releaf’s 15th Anniversary Party
5 – 9 p.m.
Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street

Urban Releaf’s mission is to “build healthy communities one tree at a time,” and since 1999, they have planted over 15,000 trees in communities that have low canopies and sparse vegetation coverage. They will also celebrate Kemba being selected as Barefoot Wine “Sole of the Year” in addition to 15 years of building communities. This event includes a silent auction, free wine tasting, food vendors, a membership drive, and art and entertainment by Karen Seneferu, Ayodele Nzinga, Samba Funk, Surfurama, Joan, and Tarika Lewis.

For more information, visit www.urbanreleaf.org.

St. Vartan Armenian Church Bazaar and Food Festival
5:30 p.m. – midnight
St. Vartan Armenian Church, 650 Spruce Street

This event continues Saturday from noon to midnight!

Experience the premier Armenian food festival of the East Bay, with authentic Armenian cuisine, music and dancing, games for kids, cultural displays, church tours, full meals available until 8 p.m., and authentic Armenian food served all night. Friday evening’s entertainment features DJ Raffy Senekeremian, and there will be live music Saturday afternoon with Khatchig Jingirian.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids under 14, with kids under 6 free. Visit www.stvartanoakland.org for up-to-date listings and directions.

Rise Above Presents Temescal: New Paintings by Jake Watling
6 – 9 p.m.
Rise Above Gallery, 4770 Telegraph Avenue

In his installation and solo show of new paintings, Watling explores meaning and iconography of native traditions, including the true meaning of the Temescal. As always, there will be live screen printing at the opening of the artist’s limited-edition design for this show — which runs through November 30, Saturdays 11 – 5, or by appointment. Music provided by One Man Banjo.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RiseAboveGraphics.

Sing-Along Cinema: Little Shop of Horrors
Jack London Square Ferry Lawn, Broadway and Embarcadero

Jack London Square concludes its hit Sing-Along Cinema film series with a screening of fan favorite Little Shop of Horrors on the waterfront at sundown. A theatrical troupe will lead audiences in an evening of song, dance and fun along with the movie. Cinema-goers are invited to show up in costume dressed as their favorite characters and sing along to their favorite songs. Pre-event festivities include costume contests, games, prizes and more!

For more information, visit www.jacklondonsquare.com.

The 57th Street Gallery Presents Joel Futterman
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

Pianist Joel Futterman is acclaimed internationally as one of the foremost adventurous and imaginative pioneers shaping the art of progressive jazz music today. His astonishing technical prowess and near-endless musical inventiveness is showcased in a discography of over 60 recordings. Futterman is also the author of two books: Creative Patterns and The Design. Over the past 12 years, he has developed a strong creative partnership with Bay-Area-based reed player Ike Levin, who will join him for this performance. Musicians are Joel Futterman, piano/saxophone/Indian flute; Ike Levin, saxophone/clarinet; and Alvin Fielder, drums.

Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Saturday, October 5

A Day of Free Financial Planning
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

Do you need help with planning for your or your children’s education? Are you struggling with debt and mortgage payments? Do you need advice on how to invest your money wisely? Do you have questions about estate planning? Attend this day-long clinic to have these and other financial questions addressed by professional financial planners. These planners are volunteering their time and expertise to provide unbiased financial planning information. Participants can receive as many private consultations or attend as many educational workshops as they like.

For more information and to pre-register for the event, call 877-861-7826 or visit  http://www.financialplanningdays.org/oakland.

Oakland Asian Community Safety and Awareness Fair
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Lincoln Neighborhood and Park, 250 10th Street

This is a free safety fair, sponsored by Gateway Bank and presented by the Oakland Asian Advisory Committee on Crime, the Oakland Asian Police Officers Association, and the Asian Youth Services Committee.

For more information, click here‎.

39th Annual Black Cowboy Parade
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Defremery Park, 19th and Adeline

Councilmember Lynette McElhaney will be the Grand Marshall at The Black Cowboy Parade and Festival, the only parade and celebration of its kind in the United States. For nearly four decades, the Black Cowboy Parade, held in memory of the black cowboys who helped to settle the American West, has been an annual event in Oakland. It begins at DeFremery Park in West Oakland and returns there for a festival featuring host food vendors, entertainment and children’s activities (including pony rides) following the parade.

For more information, visit http://www.blackcowboyassociation.org/annualparade.html.

Phat Beets Free Food ‘n’ Justice Series Workshop: “Ferment Change! (Vinegar) Mayan-Aztec Fermenting: Cosecha y Comida / Harvest and Eat”
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
North Oakland Farmers’ Market, 942 Stanford Avenue

Some Latin-American cultures have been fermenting food and drink for thousands of years. Vinegars were made from tropical fruit using natural fermenting agents from sugar and ginger. Chicha, a spirit drink made from fermented corn, was used by the ancient Mayan-Aztec during spiritual celebrations. Francisco Jimenez (from Costa Rica) leads this two-part workshop that teaches people how to ferment the Mayan-Aztec way by making vinegars from bananas, plantain and pineapple (Part I) and harvesting 6 weeks later and using it as food, condiments or for healing (Part II).

Please RSVP here: http://tiny.cc/0mici.

Plant-Powered Health and Fitness Expo
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Kaiser Rooftop Garden, 300 Lakeside Avenue

Are you interested in learning more about diet, health, and fitness from plant-based experts and fitness gurus? This event features workshops on how to train for a marathon, get involved with cross-fit, and much more! A yoga class will be offered in the park, along with vendors showcasing the latest fitness gear, and local eateries offering a variety of healthy and organic foods.

Admission is $15 in advance at https://www.purplepass.com/health, and $20 at the door.

“Oaktoberfest in the Dimond” Street Festival
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
4 blocks surrounding the intersection of Fruitvale Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard

Oaktoberfest in the Dimond returns for its 6th year of fun, community-building, and festivities. Free to the public, highlights throughout the festival include the Bill Brand Biergarten with 20 local craft breweries, the Mad Zymurgist Homebrew Competition hosted in the HopTech Homebrewers’ Alley, the family-friendly Rootbier Garten and Wells Fargo Bank Family Stage filled with fun for the entire family, the Main Stage with traditional German and modern Oakland entertainment, and plenty of food and vendor booths in between, including beer-food pairings, German-inspired artisan entrees, cooking demos, and traditional favorites to satisfy everyone.

For more information, visit www.Oaktoberfest.org.

Flaunt: Oakland-Style Art Party, Beer Garden, and Fashion Show
12 – 7 p.m.
Classic Cars West, 411 26th Street

The show, organized by Oakland-based Femme Cartel, is a photographic love letter to Oakland: our vibrant, diverse, creative, stylin’ city. The photography flaunts Oakland style in all of its confidence, diversity, hotness, risk-taking, soulfulness, beauty, complexity, and cutting-edge creative rebellion. Photos showcase Oakland’s finest exploring / honoring their identities through what they’re wearing and how they’re wearing it, rocking their own self-made fashions, or expressing their personalities through individualized and unique definitions of style and fashion. Highlighting the subversive, freeing power of self-styling, the show explores tensions between feminism and fashion, consumerism and fashion, and presents a colorful, creative challenge to the narrow world of fashion “dos and don’ts” dictated by the mainstream media.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1410712815820417/.

West Oakland Grown Harvest Festival
1 – 5 p.m.
California Hotel, 34th and Chestnut

City Slicker Farms and People’s Grocery present the West Oakland Grown Harvest Festival, which celebrates healthy food, honored traditions and our beloved West Oakland community. The festival will be held at People’s Grocery’s California Hotel garden and will feature free healthy food, gardening and skill-sharing workshops, scarecrow building, kids’ activities, a jumpy home, and a pie bake-off.

For more information, visit http://www.baylocalize.org/public-event/home-grown-west-oakland.

Do the Write Thing and Publish!
1:30 – 5 p.m.
Oakland Public Library Community Room, 125 14th Street

Join local authors Denise Michelle Harris and Alicia Young for a dynamic workshop packed with tips for the aspiring writer. They will share insights from the worlds of fiction and nonfiction writing as well as traditional and independent publishing.

For more information, visit http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/events/main-library/do-write-thing-and-publish-0.

Date Night at Chabot: “Let’s Talk About Space, Baby!”
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

“We explore the Universe. We lead hands-on activities in chemistry. We gaze at the stars in the sky. We bring you date night options that are out of this world!” Chabot offers a date night experience that harnesses the power of wonder, awe, and cosmic connection. Choose one of their unique packages for the ultimate outing with your sweetheart.

For more information, visit http://www.chabotspace.org/date-night.htm.

The 57th Street Gallery Presents Herbert Mims
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

Herbert Mims, Jr. brings a warm, soulful singing tone to his performance repertoire on alto and soprano saxophones that recalls the logic and lyricism of Cannonball Adderly. His solos are shrewdly conceived, yet delivered with ease and elegance. Musicians are Herbert Mims, Jr., alto and soprano saxophone; Graham Bruce, trumpet/flugelhorn; Terry Rodriguez, piano; Terry Hilliard, bass; Leon Joyce, Jr., drums; Linda Livingston, percussion; and guest vocalist Jackie Gage.

Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Sunday, October 6

Rockridge District Association Out & About Street Festival
noon – 6 p.m.
College Avenue between Alcatraz and Kales

Sponsored by the Rockridge District Association, this event will feature gourmet food and drink from local restaurants and food trucks, live music on 3 (mostly jazz) stages, and a chef stage. Kids’ activities include a climbing wall, face painting, pumpkin carving and hula hooping. Find comfort and beauty in the Wellness Area, or shop local craft artists and retail booths by local merchants. The Livingroom Lounge will host a relaxing atmosphere to do some wine and beer tasting while hearing from representatives in the professional services. Valet bike parking will be provided by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.

For more information, visit http://rockridgemarkethall.com/events/item/rockridge-out-and-about.

Tuesday, October 8

Oakland City Council Committee Meetings
times listed below
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Oakland, and consists of eight members who are elected directly by the citizens of Oakland: one representative from each of seven districts, and one at-large representative. The Council sets goals and priorities for the City, as well as approving the City budget, adopting ordinances to help the City serve its citizens, and appointing members to various boards and commissions. Most of the Committees of the City Council meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available at http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/calendar/.

10:30 a.m.: Public Works
noon: Finance and Management
2 p.m.: Community and Economic Development
4 p.m.: Life Enrichment
5:30 p.m.: Public Safety

For more information, visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil/ or call (510) 238-7370.

F. M. Smith Park Advisory Council Meeting
6:30 – 8 p.m.
F. M. Smith Park, 1969 Park Boulevard

Have questions or want more information? Contact Lisa at lisamhire@yahoo.com or Center Director Lois Gomes at lgomes@oaklandnet.com, or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/15X_NCPC/cal.

Wednesday, October 9

AC Transit Board of Directors Meetings
times listed below
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, 1600 Franklin Street, 10th Floor

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District is the third-largest public bus system in California, serving 13 cities and adjacent unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. AC Transit has been serving the East Bay since 1960, taking over from the Key System and its predecessors, which carried passengers via buses, horse-drawn rail, electric streetcars, and ferries over the previous 100 years. AC Transit’s mission is to provide safe, convenient, courteous, and reliable transit service.

3 p.m.: Operations Committee
3:30 p.m. External Affairs Committee
6 p.m.: Board of Directors

For more information, visit http://www2.actransit.org/main.wu.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission
4:30 p.m.
Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission reports and makes recommendations to the Oakland City Council on Office of Parks and Recreation policies. It consists of 11 seats, appointed by the Mayor and Council to represent the citizens of Oakland. The public is welcome to attend the Commission’s monthly meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of every month except for August. Please call the Director’s office, (510) 238-7532, to confirm meetings in case of cancellation or change of venue.

For more information, visit http://www.oaklandnet.com/parks/news/prac.asp.

Oakland Board of Education General Meeting
5 – 7 p.m.
Paul Robeson Building, 1025 2nd Avenue, Board Room

The Governing Board, commonly called the Board of Education, is the elected policy-making body of the public education system within the City of Oakland. The Governing Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure that every student served by the District is well educated and demonstrates high academic achievement.

For more information, visit http://bex.ousd.k12.ca.us/.

Manzanita 18Y NCPC Meeting
6:45 – 8:15
Salvation Army, 2794 Garden Street

For more information, please contact NSC Edith Guillen at (510) 238-7159 or eguillen@oaklandnet.com.

Thursday, October 10

Local Clean Energy Alliance Meeting
Call for meeting time: (510) 834-0420
Central Historic Building, 436 14th Street

The LCEA has open meetings on the second Thursday of every month, featuring informative speakers on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related efforts. For more information, visit http://www.localcleanenergy.org/.

Oakland City Council Rules and Legislation Committee Meeting
10:45 a.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available at: http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/calendar/.

For more information, visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil/ or call (510) 238-7370.

StorySlam: “The First Time I…”
7 p.m.
Sweet Bar Bakery, 2355 Broadway

StorySlam is an open-mic event where people tell and listen to true stories on a theme. Put your name in the hat to tell a five-minute story from your life, or just be part of the audience. The two top winners get bragging rights and prizes for mesmerizing us with their tale on this month’s theme: “The First Time I…” (and we don’t just mean sex). Stories must be: true, about one’s own life, 5 minutes or less, and spontaneously or from memory (no notes allowed). Storytellers will be chosen at random from the names in the hat. Arrive early for food, wine and beer. Housemade pizza and pastries will be available for purchase from the amazing chefs and bakers at Sweet Bar Bakery, an Oakland gem.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/StorySlamOAK.

Temescal NCPC Meeting
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Faith Presbyterian Church, 49th and Webster

Everyone is welcome at the monthly Steering Committee meetings of the Temescal Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council. For more information, please visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TemescalNeighborhood or email temescalfamilies@yahoogroups.com.

Rockridge NCPC Meeting
7 – 9 p.m.
Rockridge Library, 5366 College Avenue

The Greater Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council was officially established in April 2002 to respond to the newly reorganized Community Policing Program of the City of Oakland Police Department. It combines beats 12Y and 13X under a single NCPC and operates under its own by-laws. Monthly steering committee meetings consist of officers, committee chairpersons and volunteers, a Neighborhood Services Coordinator (NSC) from OPD, and our Problem-Solving Officer (PSO): a specifically-designated OPD patrol officer. Any resident community member who wishes to attend regularly and participate in meetings is also welcome to join. For more information, email chair@rockridgencpc.com or visit http://www.rockridgencpc.com/.

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