Students register for classes at Vista College during its earliest years. Now called Berkeley City College, the institution is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Photo:
Students register for classes at Vista College during its earliest years. Now called Berkeley City College, the institution is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Photo:

BERKELEY CITY COLLEGE 40TH ANNIVERSARY Berkeley may be best known for one of its higher-ed institutions, but this week a much-deserved spotlight will be trained on the other. Although it has gone by many different names over the years, Berkeley City College has been producing scholars for four decades. BCC’s 40th anniversary celebration will kick off Friday, Oct. 17, and will continue with various events and activities throughout the coming year. Starting at noon, the day will be packed with discussion panels, live music, campus tours, and presentations by a host of officials including Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. At 5:15 p.m. there will be a dedication of “From the Ground Up/Desde las raices,” a brand new mural created by local artists including BCC students. The college is located at 2050 Center St. RSVPs are encouraged.

Photo: Jim Norrena
Photo: Jim Norrena

RECIPE This isn’t your grandmother’s bakery. Rather, it is — but your grandmother is also preparing to overthrow the U.S. government. A new comedic play called “Recipe” tells the story of older women (“sixties refugees”) who belong to the same baking circle and together plan to take on the surveillance state. Central Works is hosting the world premiere of the play, which is written by Michael Sullivan of San Francisco Mime Troupe fame. The show runs Oct. 18 through Nov. 23. Tickets are $15-$28 at the door, and $28 in advance. All shows are at the Berkeley City Club at 2315 Durant Ave.

Berkeley Shakedown Street Festival

SHAKEDOWN STREET FESTIVAL Calling all Dead Heads: Civic Center Park will be the site of a massive reunion Saturday, Oct. 18. Four Grateful Dead tribute bands will play the Berkeley Shakedown Street Festival, a free event designed to be the first of an annual gathering. The lineup includes Sweet Blossoms String Band, Reckoning “DeadGrass,” Totally Dead, and Wake of the Dead. Vendors, food trucks, and Lagunitas Beer will also be on site. The event is family-friendly; kids can hang out at the coloring booth while Mom and Dad are grooving. P.S. The festival isn’t the only opportunity to celebrate the Dead in Berkeley this fall.

West Branch library

SPEED DATE YOUR CANDIDATES Looking for a hot date this Saturday? Head to… the library. The “Speed Date Your Candidates” event series hosted by the League of Women Voters gives Berkeley voters a chance to meet the candidates on the ballot Nov. 4. This weekend, come meet candidates for School Board (Norma Harrison, Karen Hemphill, Julie Sinai, Ty Alper and Josh Daniels) and Berkeley City Council Districts 1 (Linda Maio and Alejandro Soto-Vigil) and 4 (Jesse Arreguín). The candidates will travel from table to table answering questions from the public. The forum will be held at the West Branch library at 1125 University Ave. from 1-3 p.m.

Daniel Popsicle

DANIEL POPSICLE Berkeley High School math teacher Dan Plonsey moonlights as an accomplished musician. For 15 years he’s played with Daniel Popsicle, an ensemble that’s had over 50 different members since its inception. Tasked by an old mentor with “creating music for a new millenium,” Plonsey founded Daniel Popsicle, envisioning an apocalyptic future where the remaining odd assortment of musicians and instruments would come together. The group claims to play the “music of El Cerrito,” but some of it was recorded here in Berkeley, where the group will play Sunday, Oct. 19, as part of the ongoing Berkeley Arts Festival. The show starts at 3 p.m. at 2133 University Ave. A donation of $10-$20 is suggested.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

To improve the food system, start with words
A ‘Swan Lake’ inspired by a British Royal love triangle
Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas: 1 and 2-day passes available
Berkeley, Albany disaster prep day comes Oct. 18

Berkeleyside’s Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas is two days of provocative thinking, inspiring speakers, workshops, and a big party — all in downtown Berkeley on Oct. 24-25. Check out the program and buy your tickets at

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...