Escapes: Things to do around Northern California


Cat-themed everything

Oakland’s most meow-riffic event of the year returns on Saturday: OakCatVidFest. The all-day affair is both a film festival – of cat videos – and an opportunity to adopt a new furry friend.

More than 6,000 people are expected to descend on on West Grand Avenue between Telegraph and Broadway to shop for artisanal cat-themed goods, dance to cat-themed music, make cat-themed crafts and spy on celebrity cats.

From 3 to 7 p.m., more than a dozen local animal shelters will be present with kittens to foster or adopt. And once the sun sets, festivalgoers are welcome to sit in the middle of the street and watch a curated collection of Internet cat videos, projected onto a 100-inch urban screen. Laugh at Grumpy Cat or contemplate life with Henri, Le Chat Noir.

Activities wind down at 10 p.m. Entry to the festival costs $10 and benefits the East Bay SPCA. Cats are allowed if they’re on a leash or in a carrier, but dogs must stay home. For more information, visit


SFMade Week

What: Discover artisans and San Francisco’s locally made goods during this weeklong celebration of the city’s manufacturing sector. Find pop-up shops, tour factories, taste new products and take classes.

When: Various times, Monday through next Sunday

Where: Various locations in San Francisco

Cost: Individual events free to $50



Fashion show

What: A Story of Fashion started out as a small student fashion show at San Joaquin Delta College. Now in its seventh year, it’s a professional fashion show that draws 1,000 people to see the work of 12 emerging designers and 100 models.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Shima Center, San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacfic Ave., Stockton

Cost: $30



Wildflower walk

What: Take advantage of the height of wildflower season with a hike on the bright and colorful Buttermilk Bend trail. Docents will identify flowers all along the two-mile trek.

When: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday

Where: South Yuba River State Park, Pleasant Valley Road, Penn Valley

Cost: $3 suggested donation



Blues festival

What: Blues by the Bay features nine hours of nonstop live music, including Elvin Bishop and Marcia Ball. Held in the heart of the marina, the outdoor festival also highlights local wineries, microbreweries, food trucks and arts and crafts.

When: Noon-9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Martinez Waterfront Amphitheater, 115 Tarantino Drive, Martinez

Cost: $25 general, $50 VIP



Historical Mother’s Day

What: Experience the golden history at Empire Mine, with docents in turn-of-the-century costumes, an old mineyard and a rose garden in full bloom. Grandmothers get in free, and mothers can expect some surprise gifts.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. next Sunday

Where: Empire Mine State Historic Park, 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley

Cost: $7 ages 17 and up, $3 ages 6 to 16, free for ages under 6 and grandmothers


Bee Staff