Festivals, Fairs, and Road Trips 

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

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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

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