The small community of Oakhurst boasts a view that’s tough to beat – it’s in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, just south of Yosemite National Park. Fall days are usually warm and colorful, with gold sun, blue skies and green-tree vistas. And at the 22nd annual Oakhurst Fall Festival, the region’s best will be available to sample: wine, chocolate, cheese, nuts, beers and more. Though the food artisans are the focus, there will also be live entertainment, local art on display, a car show and a Civil War-period clothing exhibit. Little ones are sure to love the miniature horse rides, a petting zoo, face painting and bounce house. Festivities last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Oakhurst Community Park. Admission costs $2 and tickets for tasting and other activities cost $1 apiece. For more information, visit www.oakhurstchamber.com.
What: The first Santa Cruz Comedy Festival aims to be the beginning of a landmark event, with 50 standup comics performing in eight venues in one night. There will be a mix of paid and free shows with comedians from all over the Bay Area.
When: 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday
Where: Various venues, Santa Cruz
Cost: Ticket prices vary
What: Art education organization Leap hosts its 31st annual sandcastle contest, which brings together architects, engineers, businesses and elementary school students to create huge, imaginative sculptures – using just water and sand. All are welcome to observe and cheer while grazing on goodies from a local food truck. Fittingly, the theme this year is “Food, Glorious Food.”
When: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ocean Beach, Balboa Street at Great Highway, San Francisco
What: Redrun aims to be the spookiest, deadliest race around, with 3,000 runners passing through Virginia City’s most famous haunted spots. When the 6 miles end, get painted like a zombie and take over downtown. The Zombie Manifestival will feature music, dancing, food and a costume contest.
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: C Street, Virginia City, Nevada
Cost: $35-$65 to run, $10 for the festival
What: The entire San Pedro Square Market will be in the Oktoberfest spirit, with German beer, food and musical performances on offer. Folks with big appetites shouldn’t miss the “Brawt-Dog”-eating contest. General admission includes a souvenir beer stein and two pints, while VIP adds on a liter stein, two specialty beers and an exclusive beer tasting event.
When: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: San Pedro Square Market, 87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose
Cost: $25 general admission, $60 VIP