Fall is officially here—even if the weather continues to fool us with summer-like temperatures—and Halloween is around the corner. So we’ll be highlighting spooky happenings around town beginning this week.

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

Community meeting: DeFremery Park improvements

Sign of the park located in West Oakland. Credit: Amir Aziz

How should DeFremery Park in West Oakland be improved? West Oakland residents and community members are being invited to share their thoughts at this meeting to discuss the park’s future. Through the Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation, the city recently received a $200,000 grant from The Clorox Company for improvements at DeFremery, which holds a lot of historical meaning for Oakland: The Black Panthers used to gather at the park, and NBA legends like Bill and Paul Silas played hoops there. In recent years, the park has also seen its popularity rise among skaters, and its public swimming pool fully reopened in June. Community members who can’t make the meeting in person or virtually can still fill out an online survey to make their voices heard. The meeting will be followed by two informational community events at the park on Sept. 28 and Oct. 1.

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m., in person, or Zoom, DeFremery Park Recreation Center Social Hall, 1651 Adeline St. 

Author Jasmine Guillory at Sweet July

Best-selling author and Oakland gal Jasmine Guillory is currently busy promoting her latest book, Drunk On Love, her eighth release. As part of the promo tour, Guillory will be at Sweet July, the lifestyle and retail shop founded by cookbook author and television show host Ayesha Curry. The store in downtown Oakland opened in January 2021. Guillory will be chatting about and signing her new book, a copy of which is included in the ticket price for the event.

Thursday, Sept. 29, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., $20, Sweet July, 455 23rd St. 

19th Annual Healthy Living Festival

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaff dancing with 2019 Healthy Living Festival guests. Credit: Oakland Zoo

Our elders have been among the most affected by isolation during the pandemic. But as more people feel comfortable going outside, many events are making their return, including Healthy Living Festival—a free event for older adults that takes place once per year at the Oakland Zoo. The event, hosted by Alameda County District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley and the group United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County, gives people 55 and older and their family members and caregivers an opportunity to socialize in person with activities that promote wellness. In addition to seeing the animals, attendees will have a chance to receive their COVID-19 vaccine or booster, as needed. Those who register for the event will also receive a complimentary meal.

Thursday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., free to attend, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd.

15th Annual Dimond Oaktoberfest

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

The family-friendly craft beer festival is back in full swing with a weekend of delicious German food, music, and, of course, craft beer and cider from over 40 breweries, including Crooked City Cider, Federation Brewing, Ghost Town Brewing, Two Pitchers Brewing Company, and many more. The two-day festival will also feature delicious treats from over 20 food vendors. If you are coming with a large crowd and want guaranteed seating, you can purchase tickets to reserve a table in the Brotzeit Bavarian Hall with the option of purchasing German food platters. Individual tickets for beer and food can also be purchased during the festival. Proceeds benefit Dimond District merchants. 

Saturday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free to attend, Fruitvale Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard

Driveway Follies at the Kon-Tiki

Since 2007, an unsuspected driveway at a house in the Glenview neighborhood has opened its doors every Halloween weekend for magical, spooky nights of vaudeville-style marionette puppet shows. The late Larry Schmidt originally started Driveway Follies with a mission to preserve the art of marionette puppetry. Although the shows typically take place on Halloween weekend, this year the puppeteers are taking the show on the road and teaming up with a local restaurant and brewery for two fundraisers (not full shows) ahead of its big Halloween weekend. The first event is at local restaurant, The Kon-Tiki. The other will take place on Oct. 21 at Two Pitchers Brewing

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., The Kon-Tiki, 347 14th St. 

Correction: Driveway Follies takes place in the Glenview neighborhood.

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.