HIMALAYAN FAIR The 31st annual Himalayan Fair at Live Oak Park will run will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 18. The free fair features over 100 vendors, some here all the way from the Himalayas. Entertainment includes numerous dance and music offerings throughout the day, showcasing the cultural traditions of the region. Founded in 1983, the Himalayan Fair is a great Berkeley tradition. Live Oak Park, 1300 Shattuck Ave.
JAZZ ON FOURTH This Sunday, May 18, from noon to 5 p.m., Fourth Street will be transformed into the venue for the 19th annual Jazz on Fourth music festival, which supports the Berkeley High School jazz programs. Performers include Ed Reed, Sista Monica Parker, Tito y su son de Cuba, and, of course, members of the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble. Local businesses will offer a number of activities including food booths, face-painting, and a major raffle. Berkeleyside is a sponsor of Jazz on Fourth. All along Fourth Street between Virginia and Hearst.
AMNESIA WORLD PREMIER Amnesia, a new play written and performed by Ariel Luckey, has its world premier at the La Peña Cultural Center this weekend. The show opened Thursday, but there are still plenty of chances to catch it Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17 at 8 p.m., or Sunday, May 18, at 7 p.m. The play combines theatre, dance, spoken word, and an original score to tell the story of a young man’s relationship with his family’s past and address issue such relevant societal issues as race and immigration. On Saturday, the performance will be followed by a discussion with Rabbi David Cooper, Patricia Contreras Flores, and Sophia Lanza. Tickets are $18-$26, on a sliding scale, available from Eventbrite. La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave.
READ-AND-WRITE-A-THON At the Sixth Annual Read-and-Write-a-thon you can witness 10 straight hours of literary entertainment. The event is a fundraiser for WriterCoach Connection, an organization that trains community volunteers into writing coaches and sends them into schools in the East Bay. On Saturday, May 17, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the stage at Longfellow Middle School will showcase poetry, prose, drama, fiction, and even a game of Team Literary Jeopardy. It’s all part of a non-stop display of talent. Listen to student poetry, watch a group reading of a play, and, if you’re feeling generous, maybe even donate to a good cause. Longfellow Middle School, 1500 Derby St.
CHESS FESTIVAL The 5th Annual Berkeley Chess School Chess Festival, taking place this Sunday, May 18, from noon to 5 p.m., has a number of great offerings. These include the chance to try your hand against a Junior Chess Champion in a simultaneous exhibition or participate in a bughouse chess tournament. For those who can’t tell a bishop from a rook, there’s a chess-themed play, chess-themed art, a silent auction, and all the best carnival games. Throw in live music and some tasty food (plus wine and beer), and you’ve got a great day for the whole family. Tickets $5 adults, $3 for 12 and under. Hillside School, 1581 Le Roy Ave.
Don’t miss these other events recently featured on Berkeleyside:
Three cheers for Jazz on Fourth, Sunday in Berkeley
Real Madrid to play Inter Milan on grass (!) at UC Berkeley
3-D models bring Berkeley’s train history back to life
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The Double,’ a top film of 2014
Despite theft, ‘best ever’ Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale
Want to promote your local event to Berkeleyside’s many thousands of readers? Simply post it to Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. It’s self-serve and free!
—By Jasper Burget