Jeadi Vilchiis, a volunteer with the Fruitvale Posada event hosted by the Oakluv Foundation in 2019. Credit: Todd Marshburn

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Although rain isn’t expected again until next week (looks like we caught a break, after Monday’s downpour that prompted a flood-watch warning), temperatures will certainly be chilly throughout the rest of this week and weekend. So dress extra warm if you plan on checking out any of the events we’re featuring this week.

For this roundup, we chose to highlight kid-friendly events, a pop-up for you last-minute holiday shoppers, and two events for those ready to start the holiday festivities with some live entertainment. 

As a reminder, the indoor events listed here all require proof of vaccination, and mask-wearing is also enforced.

If there’s an upcoming event you think we should feature, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

‘We are Oakland’ Holiday Benefit Concert 

What better way to get into the spirit than by listening to your favorite Christmas carols and holiday favorites? This concert at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights is free to attend but donations are welcome, and they’ll go directly to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. If you prefer to attend virtually, the church will also be live streaming the concert on YouTube and their Facebook page

Saturday, Dec. 18, 6 p.m., free but donations welcome, Trinity Lutheran Church, 650 Alma Ave.

Fruitvale Posada 

The Oakluv Foundation is a local nonprofit that was started in 2009 by friends Alex Cox, Alan Smith, and Todd Marshburn to help people in need during the holidays via toy and Christmas tree giveaways, and community events in Fruitvale. Every holiday season since then (except last year due to the pandemic), Alex has donned a Santa Claus outfit, while Smith and Marshburn play their respective characters, “Chaz the Elf” and “Hot Toddy,” to the delight of kids in the neighborhood (Cox grew up on 38th Avenue). This weekend, Santa and his elves will take over Fruitvale Plaza with a toy giveaway, pony rides, a petting zoo, bouncy house, free tamales, and more. While the event isn’t a typical Mexican posada where neighbors will be caroling, there will be plenty of piñatas to break, along with free food and drinks to go around. The event is happening in partnership with The Unity Council, Nieves Cinco de Mayo, and Councilmember Noel Gallo. 

Saturday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., free, E 12th Street between 33rd and 35th Avenue.

Santa’s Storytime at Mischief’s Courtyard in the Laurel

Last year, Santa took a break from visiting stores, malls, and community events due to the pandemic. But he’s back this year, traveling near and far to bring joy to children everywhere. That includes this Saturday in the Laurel, where he’ll be making a stop at Mischief, a family-owned shop that carries a variety of products—including apparel, cosmetics, jewelry, wall art, and more—from over 125 Bay Area makers. Afterward, you can stick around to browse the other shops along this stretch of MacArthur Boulevard, where there are bound to be some sales and other family activities.

Saturday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Mischief’s Courtyard, 3908 MacArthur Blvd. 

Winter Pop-Up with Mi Oaxaca at Color Abode

Fabiola Santiago, known in Oakland foodie circles for her pop-ups featuring Oaxacan dishes under her Instagram handle, “Mi Oaxaca,” is taking a break from the food business. Her final pop-up, at least for now, will be at Color Abode (formerly known as Galeria Beso Maya), owned and operated by Yadira Cazares on Fruitvale Avenue just below the Dimond District. At this winter pop-up, visitors will be able to purchase artwork, handcrafted gifts from Oaxaca, artisanal chocolate, eco-friendly kitchen gifts, black clay sculptures, and more gifts that are Indigenous- and woman-owned. 

Saturday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Color Abode, 3224 Fruitvale Ave. 

Vinyl Drag Brunch at North Light

North Light, a cocktail bar in Temescal, is hosting one last Vinyl Drag Brunch. For this final patio event hosted by Beef Cakes, there will be plenty of delicious food, live performances by drag queens Bonita Rose, Kenya Knott, and drag king Major Hammy, and music on vinyl by the one and only, Whitney Houston. All the fun takes place on the patio. Don’t forget that you have to reserve a table to join

Sunday, Dec. 19, shows at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., North Light, 4915 Telegraph Ave.

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.