For the past two decades, arcade aficionados and gaming novices have made the pilgrimage to California Extreme in Santa Clara, where hundreds of arcade games and pinball machines from today and yesteryear are assembled for a weekend of fun.
Many of the games – some never officially released – come from the personal collections of some attendees. California Extreme has released a tentative game list for the event, located at Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. The event will also host several tournaments, including for Street Fighter II, pinball and Killer Queen.
All the games are on free play, so guests can leave the quarters at home once you pay the entrance fee ($60 for the weekend, $40 and $30 for Saturday and Sunday, respectively). For more information, visit caextreme.org.
Gilroy Garlic Festival
What: Vampires beware. The annual Gilroy Garlic Festival – where the city nicknamed the “garlic capital of the world” celebrates the harvest of its famous crop – is set to offer a particularly stinky (but delicious) weekend. Head to the festival’s Gourmet Alley, where attendees can get their fill with garlic-laced calamari, garlic fries, garlic bread and “only-in-Gilroy” garlic ice cream.
Where: Christmas Hill Park, 7050 Miller Ave., Gilroy
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., July 28, 29 and 30
Cost: $20 for adult tickets
Berkeley Kite Festival
What: For more than 30 years, the Berkeley Kite Festival has brought excitement and delight to the Bay Area skies. The event draws thousands of attendees each year, as giant colorful fish and octopus kites soar next to classic box kites. Bring your own kite, or buy one at the festival’s kite shop.
Where: César E. Chávez Park, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, July 29
Courtland Pear Fair
What: In Courtland, the Bartlett pear offers the crisp, fresh taste of a summer in the Delta. The annual Pear Fair celebrates the pear harvest, and includes local farm stands, 5-mile and 10-mile runs, and pear pie eating contests for both kids and adults.
Where: Bates Elementary School,180 Primasing Ave., Courtland
When: 9 a.m.-6:15 p.m., Sunday, July 30