Labor Day, the official federal holiday better known as the unofficial end of summer, is September 1, 2016. Because thousands of Bay Area folks have decamped to Burning Man in the Nevada desert, the three-day holiday weekend in San Francisco is relatively empty and tranquil, with laid-back events and activities to match.
Reggae on the Bay Cruise
Sept. 4, 10:30pm boarding time
A bay cruise that blasts reggae on the bay (hence the name) is a perfect way to use that extra weekend night.
Departs from Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
Scottish Highland Gathering & Games
Scottish hammer, stone putt and other athletic events, a bagpipe bands competition, Scottish and Irish dancing, rugby, whiskey tasting, and food like Scotch eggs and fish and chips. Sheep dogs, Clydesdale horses, falcons and owls show their stuff. Mary Queen of Scots and her court, knights, mercenaries and and other historical characters roam the grounds.
At Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Ticket prices vary.
Millbrae Art & Wine Festival
Sept. 3–4, at 10 am–5 pm
Original art works and craft items, specialty foods, microbrews tasting, classic cars on display, samples and demos of green products, a Michael Jackson tribute band and other music acts and a local talent show. Plus a zip-line, a climbing wall and loads of rides and activities for kids.
On Broadway Ave. between Victoria and Meadow Glen, downtown Millbrae 94030. Free.
Kings Mountain Art Fair
Sept. 3–5, at 10 am-5 pm
This juried, volunteer-run fair set amid stately redwoods is in its 51st year. Featured are ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, paintings, textiles, furniture, wood works and other one-of-a-kind items by more than 130 artists. Kids can make their own art and meet the local volunteer firefighters.
Pancake breakfast is available from 8 am and lunch from 11:30 am. Proceeds benefit the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and the three-room Kings Mountain Elementary School.
At Kings Mountain Community Center and Firehouse, 13889 Skyline Blvd. (Highway 35), above Woodside. Free admission and parking. Food and drink purchases are cash only.
Sausalito Art Festival
Aug. 30 & 31, at 10 am-7 pm; Sept. 1, at 10 am-5 pm
Meet some 260 artists and peruse their art. Wine, gourmet food, and sets by Taj Majal, Tommy Castro, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Pride & Joy. For something different, go by Golden Gate or Blue & Gold Fleet ferry.
At Marinship Park along the waterfront, Sausalito. Tickets: Free-$25.
Free Shakespeare in the Park
Sept. 3–18, at 2 pm
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival honors the Bard this summer by performing the comedic romance A Winter's Tale.
At the Presidio, Main Post Parade Ground Lawn (between Graham St. and Keyes Ave.), San Francisco. Free.