Sure, the days are getting shorter, which means that the end of summer is upon us—but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy what’s left of it.

This week’s roundup includes an in-person mayoral candidates forum, the return of the Laurel Street Fair, a Thursday outdoor pop-up with live music, and two art exhibitions.

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Pomella Summerfest

Sangría from Pomella. Credit: Pomella

Every Thursday in August, Pomella restaurant, which serves up Middle Eastern flavors at its Piedmont location, will host a weekly food pop-up and happy hour with live music on its patio, where even doggies are welcome to enjoy the fun. This week, you can enjoy food from the restaurant, sweets from ice cream truck Mister Softee, and live sounds by Saul Goodman’s Klezmer band

Thursday, Aug. 4, 11, 18, and 25, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Pomella, 3770 Piedmont Ave., Unit B.

The 21st Annual Laurel Street Fair World Music Festival

A scene from the Laurel Street Fair in 2015. Credit: Laurel Street Fair

It’s been two years since MacArthur Boulevard in the Laurel district was closed off to traffic to make way for vendors, dancers, live music, and visitors from the surrounding neighborhood and all around Oakland. Some of what you can expect at the family-friendly and ADA-accessible outdoor festival includes complimentary outdoor yoga led by Rachel Rajput of Left Coast Power Yoga, performances at the main stage by Piwai, Soji Sai & AfroBeat Highlife, Fogo Na Roupa, Bayonics, La Gente, and more. There will also be a traditional blessing and land acknowledgment by In Lak’ech Danza Azteca. Besides the live music and dancing, there will be plenty of food to choose from, local vendors, and family-friendly activities. You can bring your furry friends, so long as they are on a leash.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free to attend, MacArthur Boulevard between 35th Avenue and Maybelle Avenue

Intero-Motion: an East Oakland Art Show

Some people might know Ale Industries for its refreshing craft beers like the East Bay IPA or Cherry Kush. Others will remember not just its delicious brews but the food pop-ups and events that the brewery was known to host before the pandemic inside its large taproom located in the heart of Fruitvale. This weekend, Ale Industries is hosting an art show called Intero-Motion with works by Mila Moldenhawer, a self-identified trans and mixed desi artist born in Berkeley and currently based in Oakland who goes by the artist name Dadoodles. The showcase will feature “fragmented shapes, uncanny figures, flamboyant colors, and the synergy of material, color, and medium.” Besides the artwork that will be on display for sale, DJ Lil Bebe Cyborg will be behind the turntables, and ASÚKAR will provide the food with its Palestinian and Cuban fusion.

Friday, Aug. 12, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m, free to attend, Ale Industries, 3096 E 10th St.

María Paz ”SALT IN MY SPEECH” Credit: pt. 2 Gallery

Oakland-based Chilean self-taught sculptor María Paz is having her first solo exhibition, titled Power to the Hidden Parts, to showcase her ceramics. The exhibit will be unveiled this weekend at Pt. 2. Gallery and run from Aug. 13 through Sept. 2. Paz uses every piece she sculpts to tell a story. The entire series of sculptures in this exhibit are based on song and music.

Saturday, Aug.13, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., free to attend, pt.2 Gallery, 1523b Webster St.

A Seat at the Town Table – Oakland mayoral candidates forum

Oakland City Hall. Credit: Amir Aziz

The November election will be here in the blink of an eye and before those ballots are mailed, expect to see different organizations putting together candidate forums to help inform your decisions this November. Next Monday, Visit Oakland and the Jack London Improvement District will host an Oakland mayoral forum with three of the six candidates who are currently running: Councilmembers Treva Reid, Loren Taylor, and Sheng Thao. The event will be moderated by Taj Tashombe. The candidates not participating are Derreck Johnson, Gregory Hodge, and Allysa Victory. Attendees will get the chance to hear about the candidates’ platforms and ask questions on pressing issues currently affecting Oakland residents. This is a free in-person event.

Monday, Aug.15, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., free to attend, Regal Jack London Theatre, 100 Washington St.

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.