Top Tickets: May 23–29
Diablo’s can’t-miss events of the coming week: Rosie’s Big Bash, Company C Contemporary Ballet, a culinary tour of Danville, Bay Area KidFest, San Ramon Art & Wind Festival, summer concerts in Pleasant Hill, and more.
Wings of Freedom / photo courtesy of the Collings Foundation
I don't know about you, but I've been looking forward to this three-day weekend! I'll be tackling some spring cleaning around my home, finally getting around to seeing The Avengers, and stopping by the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival. But this weekend isn't only about fun; it's about honoring the soldiers who have defended our country in times of war. And there are several opportunities to celebrate their heroism and learn more about American history, from touring a new WWII museum in Richmond to exploring inside war planes in Concord and Livermore. Here are my top event picks:
May 25: Rosie’s Big Bash
To celebrate the opening of the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center—the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to the WWII Rosies—Craneway Pavilion is hosting a retro bash. Enjoy museum tours, dinner, cocktails, and dancing the night away to a live performance by swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S., Richmond, 5 p.m., general admission $35 (dancing), VIP admission $250 (includes dinner and tours), (510) 215-6000, craneway.com.
May 25–27: Company C Contemporary Ballet
The Walnut Creek dance troupe presents a mixed repertoire for spring, including the Artistic Director Charles Anderson’s bluegrass-meets-Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same and the pas de deux Key to Songs, as well as pieces by James Sewell, Peter Anastos, and Gregory Dawson. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, times vary, $23–$45, (925) 943-7469, tickets: lesherartscenter.org, more info: companycballet.org.
May 26: Simply Delicious Danville
Taste the bounty of Danville at this self-guided, open house–style tour of restaurants and boutiques. Each participating business will host demonstrations and tastings offering everything from wine to chocolate to small plates. Downtown Danville, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., $48, (925) 314-3369, simplydeliciousdanville.com.
May 26–28: Bay Area KidFest
The whole family will enjoy this three-day festival featuring live entertainment, arts and crafts, games, police K-9 team and firemen meet-and-greets, and bounce houses. New this year is a shark encounter show and mural painting. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Mt. Diablo High School, 2450 Grand St., Concord, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., $5–$6 ($1 off with donation of canned food), (925) 671-3287, kidfestconcord.com.
May 26–TBD: Earthquake
Get to the bottom of why the earth shimmies and shakes at this educational exhibit featuring an earthquake simulator, planetarium show about the San Andreas fault, preparedness activities, and a herd of ostriches. (You’ll have to see the exhibit to learn about the big bird’s connection to earthquakes!) California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr. (in Golden Gate Park), San Francisco, $19–$30, (415) 379-8000, calacademy.org.
May 27–28: San Ramon Art & Wind Festival
As its name implies, this annual festival celebrates art (with 200 arts and crafts booths, and live music and dancing on three stages) and wind (with a hot air balloon launch and kite-flying demonstrations), plus food and drinks sold by local nonprofits. San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., free, ci.san-ramon.ca.us.
May 27–June 1: Wings of Freedom
This Memorial Day Weekend, get a different perspective on World War II by touring—and for $325–$425, flying in—historic B-17, B-24, and P-51 warplanes at the Concord and Livermore airports. The more adventurous among you may be interested flight training in the TP-51C “Betty Jane” for $2,200–$3,200. May 27–29: Livermore Municipal Airport in Livermore; May 30–June 1: Buchanan Field Airport in Concord; walk-through tours $6–$12, (978) 562-9182, collingsfoundation.org.
May 27–September 2: Sunset By the Lake
Pleasant Hill kicks off its summer season of free twice monthly concerts with East Bay Mudd, a 10-piece band playing soul, funk, and R&B classics. Return for En Vivo Band and Stompy Jones in June, Petty Theft and Tamsen Donner Band in July, The Fundamentals and Cover2Cover in August, and Lumberyard and The Bell Brothers in September. City Hall, 100 Gregory Ln., Pleasant Hill, 6 p.m., free, (925) 671-5229, pleasanthillconcerts.com.
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 week.