San Antonio Park in East Oakland, facing north with a skyline view of Downtown Oakland. Credit: Amir Aziz

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One of the largest and most anticipated outdoor events happening this weekend is Oakland First Fridays, which is taking place on Friday, October 1, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We’ll be publishing a full story on Wednesday about the return of this popular cultural event in Oakland, so make sure to check back then for a run-down of what to expect.

Some more good news: California has the lowest COVID-19 transmission rate in the country and the Bay Area is faring better than the state at large, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Last week, we spoke to Alameda County’s top health official Dr. Nicholas Moss to give us an update on the safety guidelines for attending indoor events (among other social outings).

As usual, we’re highlighting only outdoor and virtual activities in our weekly event roundup. If there’s an event you think we should feature, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Here’s this week’s roundup of local happenings to check out.

Silent Book Club Oakland

Resident Patrick Brogan started the Silent Book Club before the pandemic when it used to meet at Slainte in Jack London on the third Saturday of the month. Once COVID hit,  the club met at Mosswood Park a few times, but it now meets virtually since the delta surge. Another resident, Kate Eby, started a second chapter, which meets on the first Saturday of the month. If you’re a book lover and want to read with others like you virtually, then this event is for you. Join via the Facebook group to let others know what you’re reading.

Saturday, October 2, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., free, online 

Freedom Farmer’s Market

In its eighth season, in collaboration with the Temescal Business Improvement District, the Freedom Farmer’s Market showcases food from Black farmers and other sustainable farmers. This season of the weekly event began back in July and will continue every Saturday until November 13. If you are a vendor interested in participating, fill out the application here. You can also apply to be a volunteer with Farms to Grow, the organization that started the market. 

Saturday, October 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., free, Kasper’s Plaza, 4521 Telegraph Avenue. 

#Firestorm30

October 19 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Oakland firestorm, where 2.5 square miles of primarily residential neighborhoods were destroyed, 150 people were injured, and 25 people lost their lives. Among the casualties were Battalion Chief James M. Riley and Oakland Police Officer John Grubensky. This weekend, there will be a commemorative event and memorial at the Rockridge BART station. 

Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m., free, Plaza at West Entrance, 5660 College Avenue.

Día de la Raza at San Antonio Park

This weather calls for a summer-like day. Stop by San Antonio Park in East Oakland to catch some sun, lounge under the trees, and celebrate the legacy of Chicano history in Oakland. This event will also commemorate the Chicano Revolutionary Party, a Chicano Militant socialist organization from the 1960s that was based out of Fruitvale. There will be Aztec dancers, speakers, and live music. The event organizers are asking attendees to wear a mask and keep their physical distance from others.

Sunday, October 3, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, free, San Antonio Park, 1709 East 19th Street.

VA COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Every weekday until the end of the year, the VA Northern California Health Care System will offer COVID-19 vaccinations to veterans, their spouses, and caregivers. The vaccine will also be offered to CHAMPVA recipients and teens between 12-to-17-years old who are caregivers of veterans or are CHAMPVA beneficiaries under the SAVE LIVES Act. You can make an appointment online or by calling: 1-800-382-8387.

Every weekday through the end of the year, 9:30 a.m to 2:15 p.m., Oakland Outpatient Clinic, 2221 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.