June is officially here, and the happenings around town are sure to keep everyone busy this summer. 

As we continue monitoring the current COVID surge, we are including mostly outdoor events and indoor events where the use of masks and proof of vaccination are required. The Oakland Museum, CryBaby, and The New Parkway, which are featured in this week’s roundup, are still requiring proof of vaccination. The first two also require the use of masks.

Know of an event that should be featured? Email me at: azucena@oaklandside.org 

Friday Nights at OMCA

Friday Nights at OMCA returns this Friday, June 3. Credit: Off the Grid

This popular weekly event at the Oakland Museum of California makes its long-awaited return this Friday. OMCA is renewing its partnership with the food-truck market Off the Grid, which also served as the food choice for the museum’s recently concluded Lunchtime Sessions: Music, Dance, and Storytelling series. Starting at 5 p.m, 10 different Off the Grid trucks will be on 10th Street between Oak and Fallon streets to greet hungry museum-goers. Grab your order and head over to the museum gardens to enjoy your food and some live music courtesy of DJ Emancipation and MC Aïma the Dreamer of Soulovely, a collective of queer and BIPOC female artists. 

Friday, June, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., free to attend, Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St.

Suavecito Souldies 8-year anniversary at CryBaby

Rene Lopez, better known as DJ Tuff, started Suavecito Souldies in 2014. The party pays homage to lowrider oldies where DJs play all-vinyl soul sets. DJ Tuff and friends have been holding down First Fridays in Oakland bringing together a community of music lovers, lowrider enthusiasts, vendors, slow dancers, and vinyl collectors. And last month, the popular party made its return to the club (after a hiatus due to the pandemic) at CryBaby, one of the newest nighttime spots in downtown Oakland. 

Friday, June 3, 9 p.m., free before 10 p.m. with RSVP, $5 after, CryBaby, 1928 Telegraph Ave.

The Boozy Bee adult spelling bee and game night

Looking to impress your friends, a date, or just accept a new challenge? Head to Loyal to the Soil Collective downtown for the Boozy Bee’s first-ever adult spelling bee and game night. Come show off your spelling skills and enjoy drinks and food while you compete. 

Friday, June 3, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., $8-$20, 21 and up to enter, Loyal to the Soil, 1719 Broadway

Fantastic Negrito presents: White Jesus Black Problems

Fantastic Negrito at his Oakland recording studio. Credit: Pete Rosos

Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito is at it again with the June 3 release of a new album, White Jesus Black Problems. Accompanying the album is a film of the same name, which will be premiering at The New Parkway as part of the San Francisco Black Film Festival. Interested in attending? You can get a free pass by showing proof of purchase of the pre-order of the album or of tickets to Fantastic Negrito’s show at the UC Theatre on June 10. You can request tickets to the film screening by emailing proof of the aforementioned purchases to: info@storefrontrecords.com 

Friday, June 3, 6:30 p.m., free with proof of purchase, The New Parkway, 474 24th St.

Oakland Zoo’s Centennial Birthday Celebration

Snow Park was the original site of the Oakland Zoo. Credit: Oakland Zoo

This Sunday marks the Oakland Zoo’s 100th birthday and the institution is hosting a get-together at its original location, at what is now Snow Park on 19th and Harrison streets by Lake Merritt. The zoo is teaming up with East Bay Regional Parks, Oakland Public Library, Oakland Roots, and Pollinator Posses to bring family-friendly entertainment to the park. There will also be a special performance by Grammy-nominated children’s music collective, Alphabet Rockers.

Sunday, June 5, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, free to attend, Snow Park, Harrison and 19th Street

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.