Escapes: San Jose, Castro Valley, Ione and more

Mexican freedom from European rule may be noted elsewhere with other holidays at other times of the year, but Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on Sept. 16. You can join the festivities throughout the month in San Jose at the city’s 22nd annual Mexican Heritage and Mariachi Festival.

The festival presents authors, musicians, dancers and scholars. Highlights include an exhibit of the work of illustrator José Guadalupe Posada, the premiere of a PBS documentary series “Latino Americans” and a mariachi Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph, 80 S. Market St.

This is your chance to take in an Irish-Mexican musical collaboration, which will be staged Saturday in the San Pedro Square Marketplace at 7 p.m. Or, next Sunday, learn more about Latino culture at the Fiestas Patrias — patriot festival — at 9 p.m. in San Jose’s Discovery Meadow.

For a look at the extensive schedule throughout September, visit


A walk in the woods

What: Learn how to lead guided nature walks with professional hiking guide and retired park ranger Greg Hackett, as part of the Sierra College Insights speaker series.

When: 6:45 p.m. Friday, doors 6:15 p.m.

Where: Sierra College, Tahoe-Truckee campus, 11011 College Trail, Truckee

Cost: Free

Information: (530) 550-2290 to reserve a seat


Preston Castle wine tasting

What: Sip fine wine and nosh on hors d’oeuvres, then dance to the blues at the historic — and haunted — Preston Castle. It’s a fundraiser for the foundation that supports the site.

When: 3-6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Preston Castle, Ione

Cost: $40



Sea shanty time

What: It’s a day of maritime heritage with traditional seafaring songs at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s 25th annual sea music concert.

When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, 499 Jefferson St., San Francisco

Cost: Free



Fall festival

What: The 41st annual Castro Valley Fall Festival boasts more than 150 arts and crafts, community and nonprofit booths, as well as a classic car show.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley, Eden

Cost: Free

Information: (800) 310-6563, www.edenareachamber


— Brittany Torrez