Berkeley's festivals and special events fill the calendar with a variety of unique, fun and memorable experiences.

Festivals & Annual Events

Events in Berkeley, California offer a window into the unique culture, style and Berkeley vibe. Berkeley is host to a spectrum of annual events you won't want to miss. Berkeley's annual festivals and events are held around the calendar and all across town, many with long legacies, others new but sure to earn their own fans.

January

Berkeley Restaurant Week

The Annual Berkeley Restaurant Week features restaurants across Berkeley that offer special-value prix fixe menus, generally for $20, $25 or $35. Discover new places, or revisit favorites from more than 45 restaurants that share Berkeley's Cali-cuisine legacy.

February

Pizza Lovers Month

For the entire month of February, as part of Pizza Lovers Month, the Downtown Berkeley Association is invites area residents to participate in a Pizza Lovers Crawl of nine local restaurants.

Black History Celebration

The Berkeley Black History Month Program is sponsored by: City of Berkeley, Berkeley Juneteenth Cultural Celebrations, Councilmember Ben Bartlett, and Berkeley NAACP.

Lunar New Year Celebration & Parade

The Lunar New Year Celebration and parade is presented by the Solano Avenue Association. The parade leaves the Kains and Solano intersection (at the theater in Albany) at noon and travels eastbound/uphill to Colusa and Solano Avenue on the (south side) sidewalk.

Lunar New Year Festival

The annual Lunar New Year Festival includes martial arts performances, lion dances by the famous Kei Lun performers from San Francisco, traditional treats from merchants, a shop blessing parade and craft tables for the kids.

March

Persian New Year Festival

The Persian New Year Festival is called Chahar-Shanbeh Souri, which literally means ‘Eve of Wednesday’ because the festival is always held on the last Tuesday of winter, just before the Vernal Equinox or first moment of spring.

April

Cal Day

Cal Day will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 9 AM - 4 PM. The annual open house welcomes prospective & admitted students, current students, kids and families and the community to explore the beautiful campus and enjoy hundreds of exciting free events.

May

Bay Area Book Festival

Tens of thousands of book lovers meet hundreds of acclaimed authors over an exciting weekend in downtown Berkeley, California. The Bay Area Book Festival is one of the premier literary events in the nation!

Himalayan Fair

Founded in 1983, Berkeley's Himalayan Fair is a colorful, open-air festival of all things Himalayan including arts, crafts, food, dance and a very "kush" vibe. The 2019 fair will be held May 18th-19th

June

Berkeley World Music Weekend

Berkeley World Music Festival is a free world music and cultural weekend that features musical genres from every corner of the world. Some of the finest musicians in the world who call the Bay Area home perform at this Festival. Best starting place is the main information booth at Telegraph and Haste. The 2019 festival will take place Saturday & Sunday, June 1-2.

Berkeley Festival & Exhibition

The Berkeley Festival & Exhibition is a biennial festival founded in 1990, and alternating with the Boston Early Music Festival in even-numbered years. BFX has become one of the world’s largest and most important early music conclaves, deemed “a remarkable institution on the American musical scene” by The New York Times.

Juneteenth Festival

Juneteenth in Berkeley is held annually on June 19th in south Berkeley’s five-block Alcatraz-Adeline corridor. Communities nationwide have adopted JUNETEENTH as an occasion to celebrate African American culture and traditions, and as an opportunity to acknowledge contributions African Americans have made to the fabric of America.

Sunday Streets

Sunday Streets (also called “Open Streets”) closes streets to automobile traffic for a day so that people may use the space for other physical and social activities. The streets become parks as people replace car traffic. People walk, bike, skate and dance and play.

July

Berkeley Kite Festival

Experience the excitement and artistry of modern kite flying. You'll find something for everyone at the Berkeley Kite Festival, from the Giant Creature Kites as big as houses, to the free Kite Making and Candy Drop for kids. Held at the picturesque Berkeley Marina, perhaps the finest kite flying location in the world directly across from the Golden Gate Bridge.

4th of July at the Berkeley Marina

The Berkeley Marina hosts one of the best 4th of July parties from noon until 10PM. There are all kinds of free family fun in an alcohol-free environment culminating with fantastic fireworks over the bay.

August

Caltopia

Caltopia is the largest college lifestyle event in the nation, held on the UC Berkeley campus every August. The two-day interactive festival introduces 30,000+ Cal students to brands of all sizes aligned with the Cal lifestyle.

Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival

The sidewalks of North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto are the "canvas" of artists young and old, professional and greenhorn during the annual Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival. Artist registration is free, with contests and prizes. And chocolate tasting tickets keep the antioxidant buzz strong.

September

Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention

The Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention will be held from September 18-22, 2019 featuring square dances, concerts, workshops, string band contest, stuff for kids, lots of jamming & more.

Solano Avenue Stroll

The Solano Avenue Stroll is the East Bay’s largest street festival, with over 500 vendors, entertainment, parades and food. The 2019 stroll will take place on September 8th from 10am-5pm.

October

Grateful Day Fest

Celebrating the legacy of the Grateful Dead, the Grateful Day Fest features artists & vendors, kid’s zone and stilt walkers with live bands all day.

Berkeley Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow

In 1992 Berkeley, California became the first city in the world to officially celebrate October 12th as Indigenous Peoples Day. Celebrate with dancing, Native American foods, arts & crafts, and more at the Berkeley Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow.

November

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios

Over 100 handpicked artists and craftspeople at studios, workshops, creative spaces and galleries in and around Berkeley, California open their doors for the annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. Weekends from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and additional open hours per studio and artist availability.

Berkeley Half Marathon

Experience a running tour of our exceptional city starting with iconic Telegraph Avenue and Shattuck Avenue, winding through the serene residential streets of North Berkeley, cruising along the waterfront near the Berkeley Marina and much more. The Berkeley Half Marathon returns on November 17th, 2019.

Dia de los Muertos

At this time of year, when the veil between the living and dead is thought to be at its most diaphanous, take part in the Dìa de los Muertos Celebration. Gather in the heart of Downtown Berkeley on Kittredge Street and Harold Way to celebrate and remember those who have passed on.

December

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios

Over 100 handpicked artists and craftspeople at studios, workshops, creative spaces and galleries in and around Berkeley, California will open their doors to the public for the annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios, Saturdays and Sundays 11–6 p.m., November 30–December 1, 7–8, 14–15 , 21–22, 2019

Santa on Solano

Santa takes time out of his busy schedule to appear on Solano Avenue for the first three weekends in December from 12 noon to 4PM for Santa on Solano. Take pictures with Santa, enjoy snacks, and more!

Snow Day in Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto

Take a Snow Day in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto! Bring your boots and mittens to play in the snow that is predicted to gently fall on Shattuck Avenue between Rose and Vine Streets in Berkeley on Sunday, December 8, 2019 10AM-3PM.

Telegraph Ave. Holiday Street Fair

Holiday shoppers are treated to an abundance of good cheer, great music, fine food, with unique and unusual handcrafts by some of Northern California's finest artists at the Telegraph Ave. Holiday Street Fair.