Festivals, Fairs, and Road Trips 

From accordions to zucchini, a guide to the summer's biggest and best special events.

Alameda County Fair: This year's features include the Action Zone (a sports and fitness expo), the second annual Cooking Academy, the Community Heroes Program awards, a parade, talent competition, opening-night fireworks, and live music by Bo Diddley, Crystal Gayle, the Spinners, War, and Night Ranger. June 25-July 11. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, 925-426-7600.

Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire: Featuring more than eight hundred outdoor and indoor booths of antiques and collectibles, all twenty years old and older, plus food and beverages, unlimited free parking, and a free parking-lot shuttle. First Sunday of every month, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $10 general admission 7:30-9 a.m., $5 general admission after 9, free for kids under 16, 510-869-5428, AntiquesbytheBay.net. Alameda Point Naval Air Station, Alameda Point, Alameda.

Annual Scottish Highland Games: Enjoy traditional Celtic music, athletic competition, Scottish country and Irish step dancing, clan displays, living history encampments, birds of prey, kids' activities, and more. Tours of the mansion are included in the ticket price, and there will be a ceilidh with dancing and music after Saturday's games. July 10-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $8-$20, kids under 6 get in free. Dunsmuir Historic Estates, 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct., Oakland, 510-615-5555, Dunsmuir.org

Blues by the Bay: Now in its fifth year, Blues by the Bay features the Tennessee-reared soul singer Earl Thomas, along with the über-funky Walter "Wolfman" Washington, and the rhythm and blues group ShinBone. July 10-11, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Halvorsen Park on Waterfront Dr. in Eureka. Tickets $27 for one day or $45 for two, and $25 for youth 13-20. 707-445-3378.

Booneville Folk-Blues Festival: Artists performing at the third annual fest include Ron Thompson, Steve Mann with Will Scarlett and Jake Fussell, John Brandeburg, and Ragtime Rick Blaufeld. Sat., July 10, noon, $15-$20, 707-895-FRET, MendocinoGuitars.com/boonevilleblues.html

California WorldFest: This year's annual world music spectacular in Grass Valley features Lucinda Williams, Youssou N'Dour and the Super Etoile, Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Led Kaapana, the Peking Acrobats, and dozens more on seven stages. July 15-18, WorldFest.net

Carmel Bach Festival: Directed by German-born Bruno Weil, this long-running tribute to Bach and his baroque contemporaries features free family concerts, recitals, and symposia, much of it performed on 18th-century instruments. July 17-Aug. 7 in various locations, including the Sunset Theater on San Carlos and 9th St., the All Saints Church, and the Carmel Mission. Tickets $15-$65, 831-624-2046.

Center Stage: Osher Marin JCC hosts two outdoor concerts, featuring the Americana "newgrass" group David Grisman Quintet (June 23), and the Afro-Cuban artists Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca (July 10). 7 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. $17.50-$85, 415-444-8000.

Coasterpalooza 2004: Roller-coaster enthusiasts celebrate a day of high-flying thrills and the 120th anniversary of the first modern coaster, the Switchback Railway. Enjoy exclusive ride time on select attractions, a behind-the-scenes tour, and other events. Sat., July 10. Paramount's Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, 1-888-742-7277, ParamountParks.com

Concerts at the Cove: Free music at the Crab Cove deck, near the beach. On July 9, the Bob Claire Orchestra plays favorites of Motown, rock, jazz and blues. On August 13, the Pete Escovedo Orchestra plays hot Latin jazz to match the hot evenings. Bring a beach blanket or deck chair and gaze off over the bay as dusk settles. 5:30-7:30 p.m.. Food and beverages available for purchase, and the Crab Cove Visitor Center will have extended hours. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda.

Cotati Accordion Festival: This two-day punchbox-fest includes Polkacide, Dick Contino, and the great Sourdough Slim. Aug. 28-29 from 9:30 a.m., Cotati Town Sq., Cotati. $15-25, children under 15 free. 707-664-0444.

Cotati Philharmonic Orchestra: The orchestra's two "Invitation to the Dance" concerts feature the music of Strauss, Kabelevsky, Gershwin, and the Celtic Folk Fusion Group. Both are free, held outdoors, and begin at 7 p.m., June 26-27. Saturday's concert will be held at La Plaza Park in Cotati; Sunday at Windsor Town Green in Windsor. 707-792-4600 ext. 664, CotatiPhil.org

Day on the Meadow Music Festival: The inaugural installment of this new summer music event features Camper Van Beethoven, Lit, Sugarcult, and many other bands and DJs on three stages, with food vendors and many arts and crafts booths. Sat., July 3, noon, $10.49-$15, available without service charges at Streetlight Records in San Jose and Santa Cruz, www.dayonthemeadow.com. Discovery Meadow, Guadalupe River Park, in front of the Children's Discovery Museum, W. San Carlos St. and Woz Way, San Jose.

Dead on the Creek: A weekend retreat of music, camping, and food in relaxed, rural Mendocino County. Scheduled acts include Wake the Dead, Caroline Herring, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, and others. Aug. 6-8, $65-$200 (includes food); kids six and under get in free, 707-459-3015, DeadontheCreek.com. Uncle John's Camp, String Creek, Willits.

Downtown Berkeley's Summer Noon Concerts: This showcase of jazzy hip-hop, rhythm and blues, capoeira music and dance, and classical strings is a tasty sampling of the smorgasbord that is Berkeley performing arts. The free concert series runs through July 29, with a performance by the a cappella ensemble SoVoSo. Concerts are held Thursdays at noon at the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza (Shattuck Ave. and Center St.), Berkeley, www.downtownberkeley.org

Eighteenth Annual Lambtown Lamb Cook-Off: Prepare your favorite lamb dish for a chance to win a $325 first-place cash prize at Dixon's annual Lambtown USA festival. Teams or individuals can enter. Saturday, July 24; setup begins at 8:00 a.m. and must be completed by 9:30 a.m. May Fair Grounds, Dixon. For entry details, contact Dan Osborn at 707-678-9389. Lambtown.com

Family Fun Festival: At the Berkeley Farmers' Market on Saturday, August 14. Clowns, face painting, music, crafts fair, and a generally, kid-oriented good time. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Center St. and MLK Jr. Way., Berkeley. EcologyCenter.org, 510-548-3333. Free.

Fiesta Hispana: The seventh annual celebration of Hispanic culture and customs, featuring music on stages throughout the park, dancing, and traditional foods and vendors of Hispanic merchandise. Sun., Aug. 1, free with park admission. Paramount's Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, 1-888-742-7277, ParamountParks.com

The Fire Arts Festival: The Crucible and Burning Man present the fourth annual cavalcade of workshops, lectures, installations, and performances celebrating and showcasing the fire arts. July 7-11. The Crucible, 1260 7th St., Oakland, 510-843-5511, TheCrucible.org

First Wednesdays Street Parties: The city of Pleasanton presents weekly live music and themed celebrations all summer long. First Wednesday of every month, 6-9 p.m, through Sept. 2, PleasantonDowntown.net. Main St., Pleasanton.

Fuck the Fourth Sale: Stop by the warehouse to pick up lefty lit, CDs, videos, DVDs, and apparel, starting as low as $1. Everything will be at least 25 percent off, and light refreshments will be served. Thu., July 1, 4-10 p.m. AK Press Warehouse, 674-A 23rd St., Oakland, 510-208-1700.

Gilroy Garlic Festival: Since 1979, Gilroy has hosted the world-renowned festival to celebrate the end of the garlic harvest and raise money for local charities. Hear live music, see Miss Gilroy Garlic 2004, and eat all kinds of stinky food. July 23-25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $10 adult, $5 for 60 and up and children 6-12, children under 6 are free. Christmas Hill Park, 7050 Miller Ave., Gilroy; take 101 South and look for Caltrans sign trucks for directions. 408-842-1625. GilroyGarlicFestival.com

Glendale Kiwanis Jazz Festival: With three outdoor stages, nineteen bands, and a Cajun dinner of Louisiana crab cake, crawfish manicotti, and sauce vert on baby greens, the Kiwanis Jazz Festival may be California's tastiest blend of fish grease, jazz, and zydeco. Sat., June 26, noon, at 1500 Verdugo Rd. in Glendale. General admission is $40, and kids are free. 818-354-8838, GlendaleKiwanisJazz.org

Goodguys Eighteenth Annual West Coast Nationals: Giant three-day swap meet, "Cars 4 Sale" corral, activities for kids, and more than 35,000 custom and classic cars on display, August 27-29. General admission $15, seniors $12, children $6, under six free. Parking $8. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton. 925-838-9876, Good-Guys.com

Green Music Festival: Celebrating its fifth year, the festival features the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Poncho Sanchez and Tiempo Libre, and an orchestra playing Gershwin, Bernstein, Sousa, and Cohan. July 4-August 1, Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, $30-$55 ($10 for youth). 707-546-8742, GreenMusicFestival.org

Hayward Zucchini Festival: This annual event features live entertainment, lots of food, and, of course, zucchini. Aug. 21-22, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., $2-$5, 510-264-9466.

Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival: The fifth annual event is themed "The Texas Connection." Featured performers include Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Lucky Peterson, Texas Johnny Brown, and Rosie Ledet. July 10-11, $10-$26, group rates available, 510-836-2227, BayAreaBluesSociety.net. Hayward City Hall Plaza, 777 B St., Hayward.

High Sierra Music Festival: This year's music and arts fest at the Plumas-Sierras Fairgrounds in Quincy includes performances by Steve Earle and the Bluegrass Dukes, moe., the Richard Thompson Band, the Radiators, Chris Robinson and the New Earth Mud, Donna the Buffalo, Friends of Dean Martinez, and dozens more. July 1-4, $110-$165 adults, $30-$40 kids 6-12 (5 and under get in free), 510-420-1529, HighSierraMusic.com

Historic Train Fair At Ardenwood Historic Farm September 4-6, the authentic 1891 Best Steam Engine will be running, as will the rail-riding stories coming out of the hobo camp; there will be model railroads, equipment displays, and a working handcar to take rides on. 10 am to 4 p.m. each day. Turn right off Ardenwood Blvd., 510-796-0663.

Home-Grown Blues Series Every Wednesday evening throughout the summer from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Old Oakland on 9th St. between Washington and Broadway. Featured artists include A Caravan of Allstars: Wylie Trass, Willie G., Ella Pennewell & Teddy "Blues Master" Watson. BayAreaBluesSociety.net

Independence Day Celebration at Ardenwood: Celebrate the 4th in old-school style with a brass band, fiddle music in the farmyard, egg-tossing, pie-eating, nail-driving contests, and all the historic charm of the Best Steam Engine. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Ardenwood Historic Farm, 510-796-0663.

Independence Day Weekend Fireworks Skyconcert: One of the largest fireworks shows in the Bay Area, choreographed to popular and patriotic music. Sat., July 3. Paramount's Great America, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, 1-888-742-7277, ParamountParks.com

John Muir's Mountain Days: Willows Theatre presents its annual musical ode to the pioneering conservationist, inside this year for the first time. Preview performances Aug. 18 and 19; opening night Aug. 20. Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Tue., Thur., 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m., through Aug. 29, $10-$30, group discounts available, 925-798-1300, JohnMuirMusical.org. Alhambra Performing Arts Center, 150 E St., Martinez.

Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival: Joan Baez, Greg Brown, David Bromberg Quartet, and Rosalie Sorrels perform along with many others. Camping is encouraged. June 25-27, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. Tickets start at $18. 707-792-4600.

Lollapalooza: Sonic Youth, Le Tigre, Morrissey, Peretz (aka Perry Farrell), Modest Mouse, the Coup, and other hot acts take the stage this year at Bill Graham Presents' two-day festival. 2:30 p.m., July 17-18, Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, general admission $29.50, or $50 for 2 days, 510-625-TIXS, BGP.com

Long Beach Bayou Festival: "The French Quarter" and "N'Orleans at Night" are twin themes of this year's festival, which showcases such Cajun, zydeco, and blues acts as Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers, the Melvin Eddy Blues Band, and Lady Star and the Busting Loose Blues Band. Headliners include San Diego Cajun Playboys (Sat.) and Bonne Musique Zydeco (Sun.). June 25-27 at Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach. Tickets: $10 for a single evening pass, $75 for a VIP backstage pass (children aged nine and under are free). LongBeachFestival.homestead.com

Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee: From its humble beginnings as a two-band show with tickets costing two bucks a pop, the Jazz Jubilee has evolved into a 27-band, three-day blowout. The lineup for 2004 includes Blue Street Jazz Band, Cornet Chop Suey, and Side Street Strutters, among many others. July 15-18 at Mammoth Lakes, with ticket prices ranging from $10 for youth jubilee badges to $100 for reserved table seating. 760-934-2478, MammothJazz.org

Monterey Jazz Festival: Vocalist Bobby McFerrin and drummer Jack DeJohnette kick off the 47th annual festival, which also features blues legend Buddy Guy, Slide Hampton, violinist Regina Carter (who is also the festival's artist-in-residence) and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, whose 2004 piece, "A Mood for Dizzy," will have its world premiere on the Lyon Stage. Jazz buffs traveling from the Bay Area can enjoy round-trip coach bus service, offered with any $40 ticket purchase. Sept. 17-19 at the Monterey Fairgrounds in Monterey, 831-373-3366, MontereyJazzFestival.org

Mountain Winery Concert Season: This summer the winery regales us with performances from such pop divas as Macy Gray, Jewel, Wynonna, and Lucinda Williams, along with old-school favorites such as Al Green, Tony Bennett, and B.B. King, who is slated to perform with special guest Dr. John. Through September 30; performance dates, times, and ticket prices vary, 14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga, 415-371-5500, MountainWinery.com

Music in the Vineyards Series: Chouinard Vineyards invite you to bring your own picnic, get in as many people as you can for $30 per vehicle, and enjoy their wine while listening to music under the trees. Programming runs the gamut from rock to reggae, blues, jazz, swing, and Cajun. Sundays 4:30-8:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary: 510-582-9900, fax: 510-733-6274. 33853 Palomares Road, Castro Valley. Chouinard.com/events/concerts.html

Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival: This year's productions are Romeo and Juliet (July 17-Aug. 3) and The Tempest (Aug. 14-30). Thur.-Sun., 7 p.m., through Aug. 3, NapaShakespeare.org. Riverbend Plaza, 500 Main St., Napa.

North Beach Jazz Festival: Unsaddled by nostalgia for "the old masters," San Francisco's North Beach Jazz Festival showcases contemporary, innovative acts that will appeal as much to teens raised on hip-hop as to old-school jazz buffs. The festival kicks off on Wed., July 28, with "Jazz on Grant" -- free jazz in more than thirty venues, including a performance by Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra (7:30 p.m. at Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 610 Vallejo St.). Thursday's "Noche Latina" at Velvet Lounge (9 p.m. at 443 Broadway St, $10) features DJ Luis Medina and Papi Choclate, and is followed on Friday by worldbeat at Bimbo's 365 Club (8 p.m., 1025 Columbus Ave., $20) with DJ SoulSalaam, O-Maya, and Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. On Saturday, enjoy the Tenth Anniversary Gala (8 p.m., $15-35) at the Palace of Fine Arts (3301 Lyon St), headlined by the sixty-piece group Dakah Hip-hop Orchestra and hot local waxslinger, DJ Zeph. The festival closes on Sunday, Aug. 1 with a free concert in Washington Square Park (12-6 p.m. at Columbus St. and Filbert). Dubbed "A Taste of New Orleans," it's an afternoon of funky bayou sounds from DJ Motion Potion, the Bay Area group Mingus Amungus -- which is famous for putting a hip-hop edge on the old bebop of Charles Mingus -- and the Mardi Gras Indian group Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias. NBJazzFest.com

Oakland Symphony Chorus: Presenting major choral works with renowned local conductors, Oakland Symphony Chorus brings the sinister luster of baroque music to the East Bay this summer. Featured composers include Mozart, Verdi, Orff, Brahms, Poulenc, and Handel. Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., July 6-Aug. 17, at First Covenant Church, 4000 Redwood Rd., Oakland. $10 per evening. 510-207-4093.

139th Annual Scottish Gathering and Games: The Caledonian Club of San Francisco stages this two-day festival of Scottish music, drumming, food, and competitions in athletics, dance, and sheepdog herding. General admission $12 ($15 the day of), seniors and youth 10-16 $8 ($10 the day of), under 8 are free. Parking $5. September 4-5, 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. 800-713-3160, Caledonian.org

151st California State Fair: Music, midway, horse racing, agricultural competitions, exhibits, California grape and gourmet section, and an "Xtreme Zone" with daredevil motocross exhibitions. August 20-September 6. $10 general, $8 seniors, $6 children 5-12, parking $7 (motorcycles $5); Mon.-Thu. noon-10 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 9 a.m.-10 p.m. 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. BigFun.org, 916-263-FAIR.

OZZfest 2004: Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Slayer, Slipknot, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society, and other metalesque acts perform from 9 a.m. on July 29, Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View. General admission is $49.50, reserved tickets cost $89.50, 510-625-TIXS.

Point Richmond Music Festival: Three evenings and one full day of food, refreshments, dancing, and live entertainment by the Dave Matthews Blues Band, Masquers Theater Kids, the Hogans, Wendy DeWitt, and many more, all behind the Baltic. July 9, 5-7:30 p.m.; Aug. 14, 12-7:30 p.m.; Sept. 10, 5-7:30 p.m.; Sept. 24, 5-8 p.m., PointRichmond.com/prmusic. Baltic Bar and Restaurant, 135 Park Place, Point Richmond, 510-235-2532.

Projekt Revolution Tour: Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park, Korn, and the Used headline this year's concert. 2:30 p.m., September 5, Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, $49.50, 510-625-TIXS.

Reggae on the River: Michael Franti and Spearhead, Bunny Wailer, and Steel Pulse headline this year's three-day camp-out, which also includes performances by Ozomatli, Calypso Rose, Loco Bloco, and Soul Majestic with special guest Prince Rastan. Tickets are already 50 percent sold. August 6-8 at French's Camp, Piercy. 707-923-4583, ReggaeontheRiver.com

Robert Mondavi Winery Summer Festival: The winery's 35th annual Summer Festival features an all-star lineup with performances by jazz, soul, and R&B legends, including Jose Feliciano (July 10), Cassandra Wilson (July 17), Dave Brubeck (July 31), and Chaka Khan (August 14). Proceeds are donated to the Napa Valley Symphony and the music programs of the Napa Valley Unified School District. Concerts are held on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. through Aug. 14, on Highway 29 in Oakville. Tickets $48-$65, 707-259-9463, 888-769-5299.

Rock 'n' Roll Duct Tape Fashion Show: The third annual 21-and-up party features live music by the Feud, Drunk Horse, the Bionic Band, and others, a preshow wine reception, and more. Sat., July 3, 8:30 p.m., $10-$15. Raven Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg, 707-433-6335, RavenTheater.org

Russian River Blues Festival: The blues standard-bearer Etta James returns this year, along with Chicago queen Koko Taylor and the hot young singer Jonny Lang. June 26-27, Johnson's Beach, Guerneville, $47, $50-$190. 510-655-9471. RussianRiverBluesFest.com

Russian River Jazz Festival: This year the famous riverfront jazz fest features pop singer-songwriter Bobby Caldwell, the soul priestess Chaka Khan, and SF's own Madeline Eastman, along with Claudia Villela and Ricardo Peixoto, who will play a special tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim on the Wine Stage. Sept. 11-12, Johnson's Beach, Guerneville. Tickets $42.50-$190. 510-655-9471, RussianRiverBluesFest.com

Sacramento Film and Music Festival: The seventeenth annual event will feature films of all kinds, and live performances by DIG Music artists Looking Star, ibucho! and Sinclair. Aug. 12-16, SactoFilmFest.com

San Francisco Blues Festival: Blues buffs who've spent most of the year listening to Ray Charles scratch on the phonograph while sipping sour-mash whiskey with a dash of bitters won't want to miss this year's celebration of the best blues heavyweights, including Buddy Guy, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Keb' Mo', and Fat Possum Juke Joint Caravan. The festival kicks off with a free waterfront blues concert featuring "West Coast Hard Jump" artists Gary Smith, Dave Barrett, Paul Durkett, and Big Bones, who will play from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero 4, San Francisco. All other festivities take place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sept. 25 and 26, at Great Meadow, Fort Mason, San Francisco. $25 per day or $40 for 2 days in advance, or $30 per day at the gate. Reserved lawn tickets cost $70, 415-979-5588, SFBlues.com

San Francisco Free Folk Festival: With performers representing traditions as vastly different as the Scottish strathspey and the cowboyest of blues, the San Francisco Free Folk Festival stretches the limits of what we call "folk music." This year's lineup includes the Irish musician Shay Black, the singer-songwriter duo Trusting Lucy, and the bluegrass outfit Sibling Brothers Family Band. June 26-27, noon-11 p.m., Roosevelt Middle School, 460 Arguello St. at Geary, San Francisco, SFFolkFest.org

San Francisco Gay Pride Parade: Aside from the usual two-day procession of cowboys in leather chaps and sexy transgendered go-go dancers, this year's Pride celebration features performances by R&B/pop superstar Ari Gold, SF's hi-camp drag review the Woodyz, singer Mika, Cheer SF, party band Bust-a-Groove, rapper JenRo and her dancers, "The Frisco Femmes," sultry lounge singer Bettina Devin, Blue Buddha, Sean Wiggins, and R&B singer Legato. Noon-6 p.m. on June 26 and noon-7 p.m. on June 27. Grandstand seats are set up bleacher style along the north side of Market St. and UN Plaza. $35, 415-677-7961, SFPride.org

San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade: This year's celebrity grand marshals are Alan Cumming and Bruce Vilanch, and this year's theme is "Out 4 Justice." Plus vendor booths, a dozen live entertainment stages, food and drink, Leather Alley, a deaf and hard-of-hearing gathering space, and much more. Sun., June 27, 10:30 a.m., SFPride.org

San Francisco Symphony: Enjoy performances of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, k.d. lang's interpretations of Joni Mitchell, and even balladmaster Johnny Mathis, all coming to Davies Symphony Hall this summer. Concert dates, times, and ticket prices vary. 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, 415-864-6000.

San Jose America Festival: The fourteenth annual Independence Day concert features Fastball, Butterfly Boucher, and Drifting Sands playing on the Concert for the Homeless stage, Lady Bo, Island of Fire Dancers, Chocolate Watch Band, and others on the main stage, the JC Smith Band, Harpo Slim and the Prowlers, the Powerhouse Blues Band, and more on the blues stage, a raffle, and, of course, fireworks. Sun., July 4, 11 a.m., free. Discovery Meadow, Guadalupe River Park, in front of the Children's Discovery Museum, W. San Carlos St. and Woz Way, San Jose.

San Jose Jazz Festival: Boasting a total of seven stages, and about fifty free concerts, this year's festival features Ray Barretto, James Moody, Pete Escovedo, and Terence Blanchard. Aug. 5-8, Cesar Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, SanJoseJazz.org

San Ramon's Free Concert Series: Get out with the kids, get out without any money, just get out, and spend the dusk in San Ramon's Central Park listening to a variety of performers, including classic rock band Finding Stella, world music outfit the Aaron English Band, David Martin's House Party, the Hitmen, and more. July 18-August 15 at 5:30 p.m. 12501 Alcosta Blvd. 925-973-3200. www.ci.san-ramon.ca.us

SFJAZZ Summer Concert Series: Once a small fall concert series, and now a year-round producer of internationally renowned jazz artists, SFJAZZ offers a whole summer's worth of free concerts. This year, saxophonists Anton Schwartz and Howard Wiley, Wild Mango, Big Belly Blues Band, Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, and the Oakland Jazz Choir are all slated to perform. Through October 13 at various Bay Area locations, including Stanford Shopping Center and San Francisco's Union Square (Thu. 6-7:30 p.m.), Crocker Galleria (Wed. 12-1:30 p.m., 50 Post St., San Francisco), and Levi Plaza (Wed. 12-1:30 p.m., 1160 Battery St., San Francisco), 415-788-7353.

Stanford Jazz Festival: The impulse to blend genre and bend traditions is what drives Stanford University's acclaimed jazz festival, which includes presentations ranging from Ron Stalling's music and spoken word piece "A Context for Peace" (July 9) to the Latin showcase "Descarga: Salsa Meets Jazz" (June 26), led by trombonist Wayne Wallace. Through August 7, this festival runs the gamut from swing to experimental styles. Tickets $5-$30. Various locations on campus. For information, call 650-725-ARTS, or visit StanfordJazz.org

Stern Grove Festival: The array of internationally known, eclectic artists performing at Stern Grove this summer includes the West African Highlife Band (July 18) and the world-beatsmith Mercan Dede (Aug. 1). Additional highlights from this 67th season of free summer concerts include a reprise of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," summertime blues with the John Hammond Trio (Aug. 15), music and dance lessons for kids, and preconcert artist talks in the lush 33-acre park. Sundays at 2:00 p.m., through Aug. 15, at Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco. Admission is free. 415-252-6252, SternGrove.org

Stroll-a-Thon: Decorate your wagon or stroller yourself -- the top three win a prize. There will be a watermelon-eating contest, ice-cream parlor, dunk tank, and more at this old-fashioned festival. Sun., July 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $4-$5, free for members and kids 13 and younger. Dunsmuir Historic Estates, 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct., Oakland, 510-615-5555, Dunsmuir.org

Summer Concert at Black Diamond Mines: The band Golden Bough plays toe-tapping Celtic fusion music on July 17; August 21 features Swing Fever, a 25-year veteran of the jazz/swing scene. Bring your blankets and picnic dinner and have a great time at the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. $10 for parking. 7-9 p.m., 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch.

23rd Annual Harvest Wine Celebration in Livermore: Music, food, local crafts, and lots of wine, September 5-6. Ticket price covers wine tasting, transportation between wineries, and free logo glass. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.. $35 advance, $40 the day of. 925-447-WINE, LivermoreWine.com

Vans Warped Tour: Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Warped Tour features NOFX, Bad Religion, Atmosphere, Coheed and Cambria, New Found Glory, the Bouncing Souls, the Vandals, Ima Robot, Juliette and the Licks, along with a host of other guitar-wranglers and ne'er-do-well-ers. 11 a.m., July 3 at Piers 30 and 32 in San Francisco ($29), and noon on July 8 at Sleep Train Amphitheater Parking Lot and Plaza in Marysville ($28.50), 510-625-TIXS.

Villa Montalvo Jazz Concert Series: Al Jarreau, George Benson, Dave Koz, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet are all slated to perform this summer at the Montalvo concert series, held in a luxuriant 175-acre villa in the Saratoga hills. Dates, times, and ticket prices vary. At the Montalvo Garden and Carriage House Theaters, 15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga, 408-961-5800

Wente Vineyards: In its effort to save beleaguered music programs in the Livermore public schools, Wente Vineyards presents the "Save Our Music Through Song Matching Grant Challenge." The summer concert series features acts such as Jewel, Hootie and the Blowfish, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Huey Lewis and the News. Each ticketholder donates $1 or $5 per ticket, and Wente Vineyards will match up to $5,000 in donations to the Livermore Valley Education Fund. Through Sept. 8. 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, 925-456-2424.

West Wave Dance Festival: The thirteenth annual Summerfest Dance Festival returns to San Francisco's Cowell and ODC theaters with fifteen world premieres and 22 Bay Area choreographers, including Liss Fain, Janice Garrett, Nancy Karp, Sara Shelton, and many more. July 21, 8 p.m.; July 23-24, 8 p.m.; July 29-Aug. 1, 8 p.m., 415-863-9834, SummerFestDance.org

WorldFest: Youssou N'Dour, Lucinda Williams, Tommy Emmanuel, and the stars of the Peking Acrobats headline the eighth annual fest, which includes seven stages of music and dance, along with camping, international cuisine, and crafts. Alasdair Fraser, Tiempo Libre, Habib Khan & Emam, and O-Maya also perform. Camping is encouraged. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., July 15-18 at the Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. $5-$25 for kids under 12, $15-$45 for youth, and $30-$110 for adults. 530-891-4098.

World One Festival: Founded in 1994 by fledgling broadcasters with a shared vision of cultivating "global good vibes," worldOne Radio is now in its eighth year of weekday evening radio. This year, the all-volunteer radio and festival project celebrates July 4 with free performances from Brazilian artists Bat Makumba, the Indigenous Reggae group Tchiya Amet and the Lighthouse Band, the Tibetan folk artist Tetchung, and others. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on July 4 at Cerrito Vista Park, Moeser at Pomona St., El Cerrito, 510-215-4370, WorldOneRadio.org

Zydeco Americana: A weekend-long celebration of the 4th in and around Eagles Hall, featuring a parade, multiple performances by Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers and Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, dance lessons, and more. July 2-4, free-$25, LouisianaSue.com. Eagles Hall, 2305 Alameda Ave., Alameda, 415-285-6285.

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