Best Place to Get Your Oakland On: Most diverse free outdoor festival
Art & Soul Festival
While the biggest Labor Day festival may be out in the desert, Oakland's free Art and Soul Festival can't be beat for fun in the sun without suffering through sandstorms. Set in downtown Oakland's beautiful City Center, it's a feast for the eyes, ears, mind, and mouth. Last year's musical lineup featured national acts like Ziggy Marley and Rachelle Farrell and great local groups like the Caravan of Allstars. There are dance and fashion shows on the 14th Street stage while literary readings are going on by the Elihu M. Harris State Building. When it all gets to be too much and you need some sustenance, choose from an array of vendors serving ethnic eats and goodies like deep-fried Twinkies. Oakland is, of course, the Bay Area's most diverse city. It shows during the three days of Art and Soul.