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Top Tickets: July 12-18

Diablo’s can’t-miss events of the coming week: Author Ayelet Waldman visits Rakestraw, street fests in Danville and Pleasanton, The Crucible’s fire cabaret, Derby Day in Pleasant Hill, free admission at seven San Francisco museums, and the reopening of the Walnut Creek Library.



Heat / photo by Eric Gillet

Fill every day this week with summer fun, whether it’s a party in the street, a race in the pool, a sizzling fire cabaret, or a whirlwind tour of seven San Francisco museums. Here are your Top Tickets…

July 14: Ayelet Waldman
Berkeley native and book-club favorite Ayelet Waldman visits Rakestraw Books to read from and sign copies of her new novel, Red Hook Road, about two families overcoming a devastating loss. Rakestraw Books, 522 Hartz Ave., Danville, 7 p.m., free, (925) 837-7337, rakestrawbooks.com.

July 15: Summer Wine Stroll and Summer Serenade
We don’t know how you’ll choose, but this Thursday offers two street fests. Head to Danville’s Summer Serenade for shopping deals, live entertainment, children’s activities, and the farmers market. Or, visit Pleasanton for the Summer Wine Stroll, where you can sip wine (from more than 30 Livermore vintners) and nibble hors d’ouevres while browsing the shops along Main Street. Summer Serenade: Hartz and Prospect avenues, Danville, 5:30–8:30 p.m., free, (925) 339-8330, discoverdanvilleca.com. Summer Wine Stroll: Downtown Pleasanton, 6–9 p.m., $25–$30, (925) 484-2199, pleasantondowntown.net.

July 15–17: Heat
The Crucible presents its first Fire Cabaret, a speakeasy-style evening of art, music, drinking, dancing, and fiery performances from jazz singer Kim Nalley, aerial artists Scarlett & Axelrod, and more. Prohibition-era costumes are encouraged. The Crucible, 1260 7th St., Oakland, $35–$45, (510) 444-0919, thecrucible.org.

July 16: Derby Day
Think you can craft the fastest boat? Handy types of all ages will test their creations from cardboard, recyclables, and duct tape in a race across the pool. Register to race, or just come by to watch the fun. Pleasant Hill Aquatic Park, 147 Gregory Ln., Pleasant Hill, 2 p.m., $5 to compete, (925) 682-0896, pleasanthillrec.com.

Target Arts & Wonder / photo courtesy of ZeumJuly 16–18: Target Arts & Wonder
Thanks to a sponsorship from Target, seven San Francisco museums open their doors for free this weekend, including the de Young Museum, Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Check the website for full details, including specific free dates/times for each museum and hands-on activities. Various locations, San Francisco, target.com/arts.

July 17: Walnut Creek Library
Walnut Creek celebrates the reopening of its library, after a $40 million renovation project, which added 15 pieces of public art, 90 public-use computers, free wi-fi, a coffee bar, and reading nooks. Opening day includes activities and programs for all ages—and discounts at many local businesses by showing your library card. Read more about the new facility in our July issue. Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m., wclibrary.org.

For even more events happening this week, or to submit an event for consideration, visit Diablo’s Community Calendar. Follow Diablo on Twitter or Facebook (links below), and you'll be notified as soon as Top Tickets posts each Monday morning.