Benson out and about in Oaktown. (CC) Dave Schumaker.
Some cities roll out the “No Dogs Allowed” signs rather than the welcome mat when it comes to public gatherings. But not Oakland, which sports a “come one, come all” attitude that draws people and pets from all over the Bay Area. Oakland’s summer calendar is jam-packed with dog-friendly events. Here are five to put on your calendar:
Sessionfest: You know what session beer is, right? The term, referring to low-alcohol beers meant to be savored in one long sitting, or session, has an interesting history you can read about here. Find out more first-hand on May 23, when 35 participating craft brewers serve up session beers of all kinds from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Jack London Square. The event, sponsored by Drake’s Brewing Company and Bike East Bay, also features a free bike valet, food trucks and live music. Tickets, $25 in advance, include a commemorative glass and 10 five-ounce tasting tickets. Leashed dogs welcome!
Love Our Neighborhood Day: For the second year, Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood is participating in an open-streets event, set this year for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 30. The dog-friendly block party will see a mile-long stretch of San Pablo Avenue, from Ashby to Stanford, closed so that people can walk, bike, skate, dance and play in the open street. It’s a chance for business owners to give incentives for foot traffic and for Oakland residents to get to know the neighborhood. Free.
Temescal Street Fair: What started 11 years ago as a little fest sponsored by a handful of local merchants has blossomed into a premier cultural event that takes place this year from noon to 6 p.m. July 5 on Telegraph Avenue between 40th and 51st streets. Several stages of live music, food from neighborhood restaurants, craft booths and a kids’ stage will provide plenty of distractions for humans and (leashed) dogs alike.
Bark at the Park: Cheer the A’s with your best furry friend at your side on Thursday, Aug. 6, when the home team takes on the Houston Astros at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Both you and your pup will need a ticket ($15 for humans, $6 for canines). They can only be purchased online, and once you get to the stadium, you’ll need to register and present current vaccination documentation for your dog. Registration starts at 4:15 p.m., and each attending pup gets a goodie bag and an ID. A pet parade precedes the 7 p.m. game, and of course there’s a photo contest!
Laurel Street Fair: This booming neighborhood event will fill the streets on Aug. 8 with up to 8,000 people. There will be lots to enjoy, from music and dance to a huge Kids’ Zone, fashion shows, creative crafts and an impressive variety of food vendors. Leashed dogs are welcome, but please keep them away from food and merchandise vendors.