This year, Oakland’s annual holiday yacht parade rings in the season with a global theme. Stake out a spot at Jack London Square, the Oakland Yacht Club (1101 Pacific Marina, Alameda), the Encinal Yacht Club (1251 Pacific Marina, Alameda), or any waterside restaurant along the Oakland/Alameda estuary and watch boats adorned with lights and festive decorations — such as giant inflatable Santas, lit-up reindeer and snowmen, holiday bands, and symbols representing holidays around the world — glide by. Owners of vessels from canoes to sailboats will go all out to compete for the “best decorations” distinction. If you’d like a closer look at the craftsmanship, you can participate in the parade yourself by donating a toy and earning a ride on the San Francisco Bay ferry for free. All proceeds will go toward the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts and the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
East Bayizing the international tradition by which neighbors meet and eat in the moonlight, the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St., Oakland) will hold its weekly night market on Friday: Off the Grid’s gourmet food trucks will offer artisanal local cuisine, with local beer and wine served in the Blue Oak beer garden. A Makers & Tasters discussion will bring together great minds in the brewing and gardening communities. Live music, dance lessons, a DJ, and an LGBT history tour of the museum help guests digest all that stout and kraut.
For all of your decorating, gift buying, and general holiday partying needs, head to the Emeryville Public Market’s (5959 Shellmound St.) holiday-themed pop-up series this December. The launch party, on Thursday, Dec. 5, will feature DJs, food from Wazwan Indian Restaurant and Pamir Afghan Cuisine, and more than twenty local vendors selling their wares, including jewelry from Yes & Yes Designs, infused ghee from Spice Child, paper crafts from Feed the Fish Co., and homemade vegan baked goods from Mollie Rose Baking Company. You can also check out the Tapigami art installation, a new art form created by Northern California artist Danny Scheible made entirely out of different types of tape. The following two pop-ups on Dec. 12 and 19 will feature workshops on how to make your own holiday decorations, as well as a holiday market for any shoppers who leave their gift-buying until the last minute.