You’ll hardly be alone at Strictly Bluegrass

More than 750,000 people are expected to descend on Golden Gate Park for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, a massive, three-day concert created by eccentric billionaire Warren Hellman.

Featuring musicians both mainstream and emerging – more than 100 artists in all – the free event. now in its 15th year, draws some of the biggest crowds the park sees all year.

With Emmylou Harris, Boz Scaggs, Steve Earle and Neko Case on the bill, Hardly Strictly Bkuegrass runs Friday, Oct. 2, through Sunday, Oct. 4.

Parking can be an issue so plan ahead. Public transportation, such as Bay Area Rapid Transit and San Francisco Muni, will operate during the festival, with routes to and from Golden Gate Park.

For information, visit

Antique Street Faire


What: Main Street in downtown Placerville will be closed to vehicles as it hosts its 27th Antique Street Fair. Head up Highway 50 for a variety of antique and collectible vendors offering pottery, woodwork, quilts, toys and dolls, jewelry and handcrafted soaps.

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27

Where: Main Street, downtown Placerville

Cost: Free parking and admission




What: Stockton’s outdoor waterfront pulls on its lederhosen for an Oktoberfest celebration featuring beers, brats and dancing. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume for discounted beer. The event is 21 and older.

When: 2-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3

Where: Waterfront Warehouse, 445 West Weber Ave., Stockton

Cost: $15 general admission; $10 non-drinking admission


Walking Ghost Tour


What: Paranormal investigators Devin Sisk and Ellen MacFarlane, who’ve appeared on The Discovery Channel and The Travel Channel, will lead tours through historic Sonoma Plaza, which includes City Hall and an old Spanish mission.

When: 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.

Where: Sonoma Plaza, 453 First St. East, Sonoma

Cost: $24 per person, advance purchase required


Eggplant Festival


What: Enjoy a day dedicated to the “meat” of the vegetable world. Eggplants take center stage this festival, now in its 28th year, which features food booths, cooking demonstrations, music, classic cars, arts and crafts and kids’ activities. Early-arriving attendees will receive a free eggplant.

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3

Where: Loomis Train Depot, 5775 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis

Cost: Free


Annual Donner Party Hike


What: Step back in time with a series of historical hikes that focus on the Donner Party and the danger, mishap and tragedy they endured during the winter of 1846-47.

When: Hikes begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3; walking tours start at 8 a.m. Oct. 4.

Where: Donner Memorial State Park, 12593 Donner Pass Road, Truckee

Cost: $50 to $70 per person

Information: 775-746-4138 or

Bee staff