Great Escape: Summertime Cultural Festivities Galore this Weekend

1.jpgBask in music, dance, entertainment while surrounded by different cultures and food.
By Evelyn
Here, near, and not-so-far away, this weekend is packed with events and activities that can make junk clean-up, learning to dance, wine tasting, learning new cultures and eating vegetables—fun.

Around the South and East Bay check out these weekend happenings for more summertime enjoyment.

•3rd Annual Festival and Yard Sale sponsored by Church of the Valley in Santa Clara on Saturday. First things first. Got some clean-up to do at home? Get rid of the old junk that you’ve been hanging on to—or just come to a giant yard sale, and have fun at the same time! This community event comes with live music, a variety of professional artisans, food vendors, book sale, and bake sale. Located at 400 N. Winchester Ave., Santa Clara. Telephone: 408-248-1050.
•Summer Jam in San Jose is a benefit event for the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Featuring Hawaiian/Island entertainment including, from Hawaii, The Green & Natural Vibrations along with other Island entertainment. The entire amount, 100% of ticket sales, benefits LPCH. Located at 110 Jackson St., San Jose. Cost $20 general and $15 keiki (2-16 years) and kupuna (65+). Online tickets can be purchased here.

•19th Annual Assyrian Food Festival. The Celebration Continues, in San Jose, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Experience the rich culture and heritage of the Assyrians, whose homeland was modern-day Iraq and who were among the first nations to accept Christianity. Enjoy live traditional folk music, dancing, clothing, dance performances, highlighted by a parade. The food is a delicious Mediterranean mix. You can expect to find kabobs, dolmas, hummus, taboule salad, baklava, doveh – Assyrian yogurt drink, Assyrian coffee, and much more. Location: Assyrian Church of the East, 680 Minnesota Ave., San Jose. Cost of admission is free, food and drink may be purchased at event.
•Gaucho Gypsy Jazz. On the Town Summer Series in Palo Alto, Saturday at 7 p.m. Bring a picnic and lawn chair, sit back, and enjoy a blend of 1930’s European gypsy jazz and the rhythmic drive and improvisation of New Orleans swing. Location: Oshman’s Jessica L. Saal Town Square, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Telephone: 650-223-8700. Cost: free.

•Zucchini Festival in Hayward, Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This “vegetable” must taste good at this event or they wouldn’t have had a festival in its honor every year since 1983, bringing in crowds of 30,000, helping to raise money for local charities and non-profit organizations. Besides the zucchini samples in pasta, quiche, bread, sandwiches, ice cream, pizza, sausage, cakes and more, the event features live music, arts and crafts, children’s rides and more food. Location is at Kennedy Park, 19501 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward. Cost: $6 general, $3 seniors, juniors & handicapped, and free for kids under 5. $1 discounted on Saturday, for 1 can of non-perishable food for Hayward Salvation Army. Telephone: 510-278-2079.

•Bollywood Dance in Saratoga on Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy DJ music and high school student performances with booths for Henna, Indian jewelry, clothes, and food at the Bollywood inspired music and dancing event. Location: Bank of America parking lot, 14476 Big Basin Wy, Saratoga. Cost: Free and food can be purchased at event.

•Rose & Pâté Week in Menlo Park or San Jose from Monday, Aug. 15 to Sunday, Aug. 21, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. in Menlo Park and San Jose. Celebrating Rose & Pâté Week by offering specially priced selections of roses and pates. Cost: $11 for a flight of three roses and from $6.50 to $8.50 for select pâtés. Left Bank is an authentic French brasserie located in Menlo Park and San Jose as well as Larkspur. Locations: 635 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park and 377 Santana Row Suite 1100, San Jose.