Keep the Fires Burning

Keep the Fires Burning


The Fire & Light Soiree brings fiery excitement to West Oakland to benefit The Crucible, the fire arts nonprofit.

The Crucible celebrates the fire arts with a blazing soiree. Plus, check out the rest of our arts and culture, music, and events picks for April.

I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you … well, I bring you fire, obviously, and a bright night on the town in West Oakland.

The Crucible’s 2017 Fire & Light Soirée and Art Auction is a journey into the depths of the flame as well as a night of art and fire to benefit the collective’s education programs. Contributions support youth classes, camps, and programs, serving more than 5,000 young people annually.

The year’s annual fête also honors longtime Crucible supporter physicist, educator, and researcher Frances Hellman, dean of the division of mathematical and physical sciences at UC Berkeley. She is an avid arts advocate with a decade-plus connection to the fire-and-fine arts nonprofit.

Patrons and friends in attendance are in for a spectacle of fashion plates and costumed characters displaying unbridled exuberance for conflagration. The masses can enjoy cocktails and dinner as they take in the fund-raising art auction featuring items donated by top Bay Area artists who tinker in glass, metal, wood, ceramic, and more. Also on the auction block: custom classes plus a chance to fund specific Crucible needs.

The evening’s main attraction is the fiery, flaming jaw-dropping theatrical vignette designed by Crucible founder Michael Sturtz, the original pyromaniac. But be careful—don’t stand too close; you might get burned!

April 8, 6 p.m., $300, The Crucible, 1260 Seventh St., Oakland, 510-444-0919,



Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, snow is melting … or it would be melting, if we had snow, but make no mistake: Spring has sprung. And April brings more than showers; it also brings with it all the annual festivities to celebrate the return of the warm weather and the start of a new season. Show you’re a friend of the Earth at the Alameda Earth Day Festival. Enjoy free activities for kids, Earth Day games, and exhibits while you learn more about the small, simple ways that you can help leave a clean, healthy, sustainable world for generations to come. Also, there’s a bicycle-powered smoothie blender and spin art machine; that’s enough to make anyone a friend of the Earth!

April 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free, Washington Park, 740 Central Ave., Alameda,

Celebrate spring at the Union Street Easter Parade.

You’re in the big leagues of silly hat contests now at the 26th Annual Union Street Easter Parade & Spring Celebration. You’ll need your biggest, silliest hat if you want to win the coveted title of Easter Bonnet of the Year. The Easter Bonnet Contest is just part of this annual Easter celebration, which also includes food from Union Street’s best restaurants, kids’ rides and games, a climbing wall, a petting zoo, a pony ride, live music, and bounce castles.

April 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; parade begins at 2 p.m.; free, Union Street from Gough to Fillmore, San Francisco,

At the Splash into Spring Egg Scramble, kids can search the beach to collect awesome Easter goodies, play Easter games, or even have their pictures taken with that Oscar-winning rabbit himself.

April 8, 10 a.m.-noon, free, Easter Bunny photos $3, Crab Cove Picnic Area, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda,



If your life and love and lady is the sea, then the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show will have the craft for you. See the latest boats and boat accessories, attend free boating seminars and expert presentations, and participate in radio-controlled model yacht sailing. Get your sea legs with all the latest and greatest in boat-related tech.

April 6-9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; tickets are $18 one-day adult; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult, $28 two-day adult pass, and $48 four-day pass. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S., Richmond,

Enjoy bagpipes, caber tossing, and haggis at the Tartan Day Scottish Faire.

Everyone’s a true Scotsman at the Tartan Day Scottish Faire, you can play the bagpipes, taste the haggis, and participate in all the great Scottish traditions worth remembering—like highland dancing, caber-tossing, and handmade crafts—and even some of those worth forgetting—like haggis.

April 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $12 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $5 children (4-17 years), 3 years and under free, Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont,

Come on people. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together, and love one another. Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the year that gave us the original counterculture. Enjoy art, music, political activism, and a far-out, freak-out, totally groovy ’60s atmosphere.

April 29, 12-5 p.m., free, Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley,



Kermit was right; it ain’t easy being green. The Green Film Festival screens pressing environmental films that call you to action, connecting you with the foremost environmental filmmakers and experts.

April 20-26, $13-$15, six-film pack $80, Ninth Street Independent Film Center, 145 Ninth St., Suite 220, San Francisco,

Amerika plays at OIFF.

Drawing inspiration from the 40th anniversary of Alex Haley’s seminal book Roots, the theme of this year’s Oakland International Film Festival is movies that ask viewers to delve deeper into the past to understand what’s coming in the future.

April 4-8, $15 per event, Grand Lake Theatre, 3200 Grand Ave., Oakland,

Also this month, the New Parkway Theater screens Company Town, a documentary that asks: What happened to San Francisco? Once a vibrant city bustling with people from all walks of life, now the common people are being squeezed out and only the wealthy tech gurus like the entrepreneurs behind Uber and Airbnb can still afford to live in the city. This screening features a post-film discussion with the filmmakers.

April 4, 7 p.m., $10, The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakland,

Last time, they found Nemo; now Dory’s missing. Those darn fish, always losing someone. Lake Chabot Regional Park hosts a free outdoor screening of the family favorite Finding Dory, beginning shortly after sunset. Bring a flashlight, warm clothes, and a blanket or chair for sitting. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. No pets. Rain cancels.

April 22, 8-10 p.m., free, Lake Chabot Regional Park, 17600 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley,