The Bay Area Blues Festival (formerly the Polk Street Blues festival) has merged with the Downtown Martinez Italian Street Painting Festival, and is now in its 7th year.
The 2017 event is in historic downtown Martinez on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24.
You will find live music, gourmet food, and more each day from 10am to 6pm.
You will also find community booths, hands-on kids activities, and a Farmer's Market. Other highlights include bistro-style seating areas, craft beer and fine wine tasting, and chalk art with a blues theme.
Admission is free.
The Bay Area Blues Festival includes two stages. The first is on Court Street and it offers shows both days from Noon to 6pm.
The second stage is on Alhambra Street. Both days of the festival you will find three to four performances. All shows start at 12pm and end around 6pm.
I love the yummy gourmet foods at these festivals. Here are just a few of the vendors you can expect again this year (subject to change):
One of the oldest towns in California, Martinez is located about 40 minutes northeast of SF at the gateway to the Sacramento River Delta.
Your best bet to get to Martinez from San Francisco is by car. Take the 80 across the Bay Bridge to I-580 East and continue onto the 24. Take the 24 all the way to the I-680 North exit.
From here, drive north about 11 miles to the Waterfront Road exit. Take a left onto Waterfront Road and continue onto Marina Vista Avenue. Take a left onto Court Street and you will start to see the Bay Area Blues Festival details.
Your best bet is to take I-580 East over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Exit onto I-80 East. Continue driving about 9 miles until you reach Hwy 4 and follow the signs to downtown Martinez.
Take the San Mateo Bridge (Hwy 92 East) over the SF Bay and continue on I-580 East until you reach I-680 North. Head north on 680 until you reach the Martinez exit. From there, follow the signs to downtown Martinez.
Film Festivals: The city of San Francisco plays host to almost 50 film festivals every year. They range from the small Jewish Film Festival in July to the largest International Film Festival in April. My favorite is Doc Fest, an all documentary film festival, in June. Click here for the current schedule.
Wine Festivals: SF also hosts a number of wine festivals every year. Highlights include the Uncorked Wine Festival at Ghirardelli Square in May and the Noe Valley Wine Walk in August. Click here for the full list of this year's wine tasting festivals.
Stern Grove: A local favorite is the Stern Grove Festival. It starts each year in mid-June and lasts until mid-August. All concerts are free and feature top artists from around the SF Bay. You will also get a chance to see a handful of international stars. Click here for this year's schedule.