Thursday, September 23, 2010

Film Fest Caps Month of Oakland Festivals

The Oakland Underground Film Festival begins tonight, screening independent films all weekend at Linden Street Brewery near Jack London Square, and at Grand Lake Theater near Lake Merritt.

The Wall Street Journal last week did a roundup of Oakland hot spots, yet another national nod to Oakland's red hot entertainment scene. The four-day film festival will only add to that surging prestige. The entire film fest schedule can be viewed by clicking here.

This Sunday, Oakland's Rockridge district is hosting its Out & About Festival from 12 to 6 p.m. These are hardly the only festivals in Oakland — in fact, the past month has felt like a nonstop street party.

About 10 days ago, the 2nd annual Taste of Temescal festival featured nearly 25 restaurants and it sold out ahead of time, yet another sign that the North Oakland neighborhood is completely revitalized.

In mid-September, the Oakland Museum of California hosted the O Zone party, which drew thousands of people to recently renovated museum. Just a week before that, the first annual Oakland Pride Day was held Sept. 5 in downtown Oakland. It was the first LGBT Pride festival held in Oaktown since 2004. Organizers say they want to make it an annual thing.

On the last weekend of August, the annual Eat Real Festival garnered huge crowds at Jack London Square, just a hooked golf shot away from Oakland's proposed Jack London ballpark sites that would house a new A's ballpark. The same weekend, the 23rd annual Oakland Chinatown StreetFest was held in downtown Oakland streets.

Finally, the Art & Soul Festival last month brought tens of thousands to downtown on a sunny late August weekend, spotlighting classic Oakland musical talent like En Vogue and (old A's front office employee) MC Hammer.

A waterfront Oakland ballpark will perfectly fuse the city’s rich sports history with its hot 21st-century entertainment scene. We can't wait.

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