September will be gone before we know it, but not without another heatwave coming our way, starting next Tuesday. 

Halloween events will be happening all over the city starting early next month, and we’ll be showcasing some of them here. Let us know about any that you think should be on our radar.

Have an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar? You can use the self-submission form anytime by clicking on our homepage’s “Events” tab. Is there something you’d like me to consider highlighting in this weekly roundup? Email me at azucena@oaklandside.org

20th Oakland International Film Festival

Still from the film American Pot Story: Oaksterdam

Since 2002, the Oakland International Film Festival has honored Oakland’s diversity and creative richness by showcasing the works of local filmmakers alongside the shorts and feature-length films by directors from elsewhere. This year, around 40% percent of the films are from Oakland filmmakers. The 10-day festival opens on Sept. 15 and will have screenings at the Grand Lake Theater, Holy Names University, Liberation Park, and the Freedom Farmers Market. Closing night will be at the Fox Theatre. Some of the local films to check out are East Oakland Rising, Pen to the Pencil, The Name of the God(s), American Pot Story: Oaksterdam, and Into the Archives: The First Monument

Opening night, Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., $15, Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Ave.

27th annual Creek to Bay Day

View of Lake Merritt during the fish die-off. Credit: Harvey Castro

The recent fish die-off at Lake Merritt reminded us of the importance of keeping our creeks, rivers, and lakes free of pollutants. This weekend, the city of Oakland and volunteers are teaming up for a cleanup day to remove waste and debris throughout the city that can pollute our waterways. The city has a handy website where you can look for a cleanup site near you to volunteer for a few hours. Some sites are sponsored by the city, while others are being organized by residents concerned with how garbage and other contaminants end up in our lake, creeks, and bay. 

Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., see website for locations. 

The return of Hella Gay at Crybaby

The Hella Gay dance party was a staple at the Uptown Nightclub for over a decade. When the venue shuttered in September 2020, Hella Gay and countless other parties were left without a venue and unsure of when the pandemic would allow them to return to the dance floor. After a long two-year hiatus, the crew is “back from outer space” at CryBaby, the new club that opened in the former Uptown space, with sets by DJs Homo Fongo, ELEDA, and Kare Bear

Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 p.m., $15, Crybaby, 1928 Telegraph Ave. 

Live in the Laurel

The archway at the corner of 35th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. Credit: Amir Aziz

Starting this Saturday and every third Saturday through the end of the year, the Laurel District Association will be hosting Live in the Laurel, a celebration of the merchants and residents who call the neighborhood home. Expect live music, art pop-ups, and other surprises from businesses along MacArthur between 35th Avenue and High Street. Check out the association’s website or social media for more information about this month’s lineup. 

Every third Saturday starting Sept. 17 through Dec. 17, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., MacArthur Boulevard from 35th Avenue to High Street

Respect the Crown: Natural Hair Festival

Artwork by Folasade Scott Chapman.

Anana Scott of The Kingdom Hands is putting together this event at Oakstop on Broadway to build awareness of the Crown Act, legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate against someone at school or in the workplace for how they wear their hair. The law, which is primarily aimed at protecting Black people from discrimination, has now been adopted in 18 states, including California. The event will feature various hair and skin-product vendors, hair-care presentations, live music by DJ Kwic, and storytelling by Oakland’s Poet Laureate, Ayodele Nzinga. The event will also serve as a fundraiser to support improved water access for communities in Bolga, in the northern region of Ghana.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., $20 donation, Oakstop, 2323 Broadway 

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.