Oaktoberfest is inspired by the Bavarian beer halls of Munich, offering outdoor dining and drinking with live German music, traditional German food options, and a variety of the Bay Area’s best craft beers. Credit: David Wilson Photography

October is officially here but the weather is mild and there’s still a chance to enjoy outdoor activities around The Town. Last week, we saw the awaited return of Oakland First Fridays. This weekend, another favorite festival, Oaktoberfest in Dimond is also back. And of course, Halloween is coming up and the Fruitvale’s Día de Los Muertos festivities will be taking place the same day, Sunday, October 31. We’ll have more about these two holidays later this month.

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.

Inaugural Address by Oakland’s First Poet Laureate

In June, the city recognized Ayodele Nzinga as Oakland’s first poet laureate. This Thursday, residents will get the chance to listen to Nzinga’s inaugural address with opening remarks from Mayor Libby Schaaf, Cultural Affairs Division Manager Roberto Bedoya, and performances and other poetry readings by prominent Bay Area artists and poets. This virtual event will be streamed via Facebook Live and Zoom. A video recording will be posted on the City’s website for those who can’t join live.

Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., free, online. 

Courageous Conversations

Check out the youth who are part of YR Media as they engage in “an intergenerational discussion about racial justice and cross-cultural solidarity” during an event they’re calling Courageous Conversations. Following presentations by Oakland youngsters ages 14 to 24, there will be a panel discussion with members of YR Media, Hella Heart Oakland, which is a group of residents who work to strengthen and improve the wellness of Asian/Asian American women and girls and newly arrived immigrants, and the Brotherhood of Elders Network, an organization that empowers Black boys and Black men to thrive and stay connected to their African ancestry. This event will take place online via Zoom

Thursday, October 7, 4 p.m to 5 p.m., free, online.

Yappy Hour at Jack London Square

Dog parents, this one’s for you! Bring your furry baby to Jack London Square’s restaurant row near Farmhouse Kitchen to enjoy live music and drink specials. Do you know someone who needs a service dog? Then, check out the Canine Companions booth to learn more. You can also grab dinner outdoors with your pet while enjoying the waterfront view. 

Thursday, October 9, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, Jack London Square, 336 Water St. 

Old Oakland Celebrates Block Party

This showcase of retail and food vendors, live music, and fun activities for the family will take over four blocks around 9th Street and Broadway. Put together by Good Good Eatz, Civic Design Studio, and E14 Gallery, the block party’s goal is to support the brick-and-mortar shops in the neighborhood and other local vendors. This is an excellent way to start your holiday shopping early. 

Saturday, October 9, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., free to attend, 9th Street and Broadway.

14th Annual Dimond Oaktoberfest

The yearly street festival celebrating German culture, music, local brews, and delicious foods took a pause last year due to the pandemic. This year’s open-air “Bier Garten” will be located at the corner of Dimond Avenue and Bienati Way behind Peet’s Coffee. Attendees are encouraged to buy food from one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood. There will also be seasonal mixed beer packs available for pre-purchase and pick up to go, or by the glass and can to drink on-site. If you want to try German food, Brotzeit will be selling handmade German sausages. The Golden Gate Bavarian dancers and the Deutscher Musikverein San Francisco German Band will be in charge of the live entertainment.

Saturday, October 9, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free to attend, off Fruitvale at the corner of Dimond Ave and Bienati way. 

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland 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.