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Festival Season 2016

Aug 31, 2016 10:38AM ● By Becky Coburn

Lafayette Art & Wine Festival

Top 7 Reasons the Award-Winning Lafayette Art & Wine Festival is So Popular

Lafayette Art  & Wine Festival, scheduled for September 17, 10am-7pm, and September 18, 10am-6pm, is big time fun with a small town feel. Here are the top 7 reasons this festival, now in its 21st year, remains so popular: 

1. Location: Beautiful downtown Lafayette, steps from BART, near bike trails (valet bike parking provided), 2 blocks off Hwy 24, and an easy walk/shuttle from free festival parking.

2. Continuous Music & Dancing - no cover charge: Features Bay Area's best headliner cover bands, including The Spazmatics, Evolution, SuperHuey, Life in the Fast Lane, Other People's Money, Queens & Thieves, Zebop!, Extra Large, East Bay Mudd, Lumberyard, Savannah Blu, Long Train Runnin’, and Bay Bridge Beat. 

3. Unique Wine & Beer Offerings: Popular wines, beers and ales are served throughout. Look for high-end wines and unique craft beers in the Premium Wine & Craft Beer Pavilion.

4. Food: Choices everywhere, including festival food and Lafayette's restaurant row favorites. 

5. Original Fine Arts & Crafts: 260+ local and regional artists' booths, including the "Local Artists Alley," which showcases Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda fine artists.

6. Family + Dog Friendly: People move to Lafayette for the family-friendly lifestyle, so it's no surprise that this is a family-friendly festival, starting with a large KidZone, Kids' Stage, and water bowls for the family dog. 

7. Budget Friendly: Festival proceeds support Lafayette Chamber's community programs, Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE), and other local non-profits, but much of the festival experience is free, including music, parking, and bike valet. 

Sponsors include Sungevity, Xfinity, BMW of Concord, Yelp, and Mechanics Bank. See for full list.

Greek Food & Wine Festival

WELCOME or, as the Greeks say, KALOS ORISATE!

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church invites you to the 38th Annual Greek Food and Wine Festival at 1955 Kirker Pass Road, Concord, on September 16, 17 & 18.

Come and enjoy a meal Greek-style. Food and wine are traditional Greek art forms, and we are blessed to have the best artisan chefs in the world -- our Greek grandmothers, nounas, aunties, etc. We proudly call them the YiaYia Sisterhood. They are all dedicated to cooking the best Greek food, using the freshest ingredients and authentic recipes. All our savory dishes are lovingly prepared right here on our church premises.

The Greek Festival is about community, and we call the friends & family who flock to it and spread the spirit “keffee” (meaning “possessed by the spirit of happiness”). Keffee can be felt from the enthusiastic volunteers to the festivalgoers who experience an undefined, easy feeling as they leisurely stroll around the many food booths and exhibits. 

We also offer an assortment of outstanding Greek wines. Our wine bar offers rich reds and delightful whites from the Greek Isles. Pair them up with your favorite Greek dishes offered in our dining room. As you enjoy the food and wine, live bands and lively Greek dances will entertain you. Feast your eyes on a variety of Hellenic arts, crafts, and treasures. Make sure to visit our Byzantine style church, with its hand-carved icon screen and five-foot tall egg-tempera icons. Each year the festival gives back to the community by donating 10% of its proceeds to local charities.

The Contra Costa Greek Food & Wine Festival offers a collage of Greek experiences: music, dancing, art, cuisine, wines and hospitality. Come have a taste of Greece. Yassou! Festival times: Friday, 5 – 11pm; Saturday, noon – 11pm; and Sunday, noon – 8pm.

Martinis on the Plaza 

The Martinez Chamber of Commerce presents Martinis on the Plaza Gala, celebrating the official birthplace of the martini and the rich history of bayside Martinez!

Martinez’ most acclaimed social event is held around the fountain at Ignacio Plaza, located at the steps of City Hall under twinkling white lights, with the gaiety of the post-Depression and World War II era. It is a remembrance of all that is good in America, a revitalization of swing dancing, the advent of the Rat Pack, and music that makes everyone want to dance. The event features fabulous food from regional restaurants and martinis, specialty libations, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Suggested attire is black tie optional, cocktail, or period appropriate. 

The birth of the martini was the result of a miner who walked into a Martinez saloon and requested a bottle of champagne to celebrate his gold mining success. As the bar did not have champagne, the bartender offered him a “Martinez Special,” known today as the Martini.

Saturday, September 17, 6:30 -10pm, at Ignacio Plaza, 525 Henrietta St., Martinez. Tickets can be found at by searching Martinis on the Plaza. All guests must be 21 and over. For additional information, call (925) 228-2345.

Bay Area Blues and Car Show

Madness on Main Street Car Show

The 20th Annual Madness on Main Street Car Show runs from 10am-3pm on September 10 in downtown Martinez on Main Street. Over 200 cool cars, trucks, and bikes will be on display. Free for the public to attend. Show off your vehicle! Pre-registration is $20 and includes Dash Plaque. Event day registration is $25-cash only, from 8-10am. Awards are given at 2pm.

The 6th Annual Bay Area Blues Festival

The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, from 10am to 6pm on Main Street, Alhambra to Court Streets. The event features blues music on two stages, arts and crafts exhibitors, gourmet food booths, local restaurants, community booths, kid’s activities, a farmers’ market, craft beer and fine wines, and of course, chalk art! Kids can also purchase chalk to create their own designs and have some creative fun. This is a free festival.

Walnut Festival & Twilight Parade

80th Annual Invitational Twilight Parade

Every September, the Walnut Festival Association presents fantastic events to celebrate the community. At 6pm on Saturday, September 17, the annual Twilight Parade takes place on Main Street in downtown Walnut Creek. The parade, which begins on Mt. Diablo and ends on Civic Drive, invites local high school bands, business owners, and community organizations to participate. The Twilight Parade is a sanctioned event and is judged by the Pacific Judging Association.  High school bands are awarded points and prizes for their participation in the parade.  The parade is free of charge, so be sure to get there early to reserve the best viewing spots.

Walnut Festival – Sept. 22-25
Thousands are expected to descend on Heather Farm Park, starting Thursday, September 22, through Sunday, September 25, for the Walnut Festival. The four-day festival offers family-friendly entertainment, two stages of live music, a large carnival with more than 30 rides, Kid Zone, a showcase of amazing local and regional talent including artists, craftsmen, designers, jewelers, builders, food specialties, craft beer garden, and more.
The cost of admission is $7 per person and free for kids 5 and under, 65 or older, and active military (ID required). Bring a can of food for donation and the price is $6. Hours for the festival are: 5-10pm, Thursday; 5-11pm, Friday; 11am-11pm, Saturday; and 11am - 8pm, Sunday. You can purchase pre-sale coupons for $25 starting Monday, September 12, thru Tuesday, September 20, at the Walnut Festival office, located in Heather Farm Park at 500 N. San Carlos Drive, 9am and 4pm, Monday - Friday. "Pay One Price" ride bracelets will be available, providing full access to all the festival's great rides Thursday, September 22, or Sunday, September 25 after 4pm.

Fishing Derby

Before the festival, children can learn to fish at a free fishing derby at the Heather Farm Park lake, 7 – 11am, Saturday and Sunday, September 24 - 25. Poles and bait provided. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested donation: $5. To register, visit or call (925) 935-6766.

Pleasant Hill Art, Jazz and Wine Fest

Mark your calendars for Pleasant Hill's signature event! It’s time for the 14th Annual Art, Jazz and Wine Fest in Downtown Pleasant Hill on Saturday, October 1, 10am to 6pm, followed by an evening concert at 6:30pm, and Sunday, October 2, 11am to 5pm.

The Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Pleasant Hill and Downtown Pleasant Hill, presents a weekend of live music, fun entertainment and activities for children, arts and crafts vendors, and also features local wines and craft brews. Best of all, general admission is FREE!

Live Music

Enjoy two full days of live music, starting Saturday, with Breedloves, Jackson & the Immortals, The New Frantics, and Queens & Thieves. Back by popular demand, East Bay Mudd performs at the Saturday evening concert, 6:30 - 8:45pm. Sunday's line-up features Jinx Jones and the King Tones and The Bell Brothers.

Wine, Arts & Crafts on Crescent Drive

"Stroll down Crescent Drive and shop at more than 70 booths, featuring handmade crafts, fine art, textiles, jewelry, and more," says Steve Van Dorn, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. "And don't miss a visit to our Premium Wine Pavilion, featuring award winning California wines.  Representatives from Napa, Sonoma and Livermore wineries offer insights to their regional varietals, showcasing their finest wines and answering your questions."

Craft Beer Garden

The Craft Beer Garden will have live entertainment and is very popular with both singles and families because of its proximity to the family entertainment at KidZone.

KidZone at City Hall Lawn

This year, look for exciting and fun events in our ever-expanding KidZone. Children enjoy the bounce house and can walk, crawl or run in the water balls activity. Popular children's entertainer Samantha Samuels presents the children’s stage entertainment, including Studio A Dancers, Village Music School, Dae Han Martial Arts, and Boswick the Clown on Saturday, and Puppets of Praise, Pleasant Hill Library Storytelling Time, and Pleasant Hill Starquest on Sunday, plus more!

For more information, visit and keep up to date on our events schedule, wine and beer list, art vendor updates, and special offers! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for your chance to win FREE tickets for wine and craft beer.  See you there!