Guide To Labor Day Weekend In The Bay Area

Celebrated as a haven for creative artists and for its picturesque waterfront area, once a year the city of Sausalito combines these two characteristics into a festival that mixes art and wine, food and entertainment, and says goodbye to another summer.
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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

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Here are some of the highlights of Labor Day weekend. Enjoy!

Lovers of art and wine will have not one, but two festivals to slake their thirst this weekend, as the Millbrae Art and Wine Festival provides “the last blast of summer” on Saturday and Sunday, while the Sausalito Art Festival takes over the waterfront there with a full three days of art, wine, and entertainment.

There are lots of sports to choose from as well. On Saturday, the Cal Bears open their season with a game against UC Davis at Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. In San Francisco, Monday will see the annual return of the fest-pedaling bicyclists of the “Giro di San Francisco”. Some ATVs and guaranteed-very-large trucks will fill the SAP Center in the weekend’s Monster Jam Triple Threat Series.

If you're taking mass transit or driving on Highway 24, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. BART passengers contemplating a trip through the Lafayette-Orinda area will want to build in extra time for a bus bridge; and eastbound Highway 24 drivers in Lafayette will need to plan on taking some extra time there as well, due to a couple of lanes being closed all weekend. And the Valley Transportation Authority will also have a bus bridge running all weekend. 

SOUTH BAY:

Sat, Aug 31; Sun, Sep 1; and Mon, Sep 2; all day: Due to on-going light rail rehabilitation work, VTA is operating a Labor Day weekend bus bridge on the Blue (901) and Green (902) light rail lines, northbound and southbound, between Gish and Santa Clara stations.

  • Pro tip: To see if your travel will be affected, go to VTA’s Service Alerts page and read the advisory there for all the details (Civic Center, Japantown/Ayer, and St. James are the stations between Gish and Santa Clara).

Fri, Aug 30 at 7pm; Sat, Aug 31 at 1pm and at 7pm; Sun, Sep 1 at 2pm: SAP Center: Monster Jam Triple Threat Series. Six different competitions involving three different vehicles -- Monster Jam Trucks, Speedsters and ATVs. For those who’ve paid extra, there’s a Pit Party before the main event on Saturday and Sunday. Pit Parties allow fans to get close to the vehicles, meet drivers and get autographs. 

  • Pro tip: SAP parking lots typically open two-and-a-half hours prior to event time, as detailed here. A general-area parking map is here
  • Areas and roadways affected: In downtown San Jose, there may be extra traffic and parking demand along The Alameda / W Santa Clara Street, Autumn Street, and the general Arena Green West/SAP Center/Diridon area.

EAST BAY:

Fri, Aug 30 at 11pm thru Tue morning, Sep 3 at 7am: In Lafayette: On eastbound Highway 24 at Oak Hill Road, the two left lanes will be closed all weekend, for major BART track work until Tuesday. During peak weekend travel times, delays on EB-24 in Lafayette may reach up to 30 minutes. This is one of several weekends on which these two eastbound left lanes will need to be closed.

IN ADDITION, all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: The BART tracks will be shut down between the Orinda, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek BART stations. No trains will serve those stations – instead, free bus service will be provided. BART riders can expect delays of 40 minutes or more. 

  • Pro tip: If you’re going to be riding BART through the affected area, go here and check out the details of the shuttle bus service to make sure you get on the right bus and minimize your delay. 

Sat, Aug 31 at 3:30pm: Memorial Stadium: Cal Berkeley Golden Bears’ season opener against the UC Davis Aggies. Detailed AC Transit service information is here.

  • Pro tip: If you go to the Bears’ Gameday Visitors’ Guide, it contains a wealth of information on such things as where to catch free gameday shuttles (at the Downtown Berkeley BART Station) and why you want to be cautious about where you park (Parking fines are doubled on Cal football gamedays).
  • Areas and roadways affected: In Berkeley: Expect heavy congestion and even less parking than normal in the vicinity of Memorial Stadium, starting several hours prior to gametime.

PENINSULA:

Sat, Aug 31 and Sun, Sep 1 from 10am-5pm: The annual Millbrae Art and Wine Festival takes place on Broadway between Victoria Avenue and Meadow Glen Avenue. Billed as “the last blast of summer,” festival features live music from 11 bands, Art Explosion juried show with 250 artists and crafters, classic car show, rides including a zip line and bungee jumping, 100-foot Super Slide, Kids’ Playland, fair food, artisan specialty food, beer, wine, and cocktails.

  • Pro tip: Millbrae’s BART and CalTrain transit station is about three blocks from the Festival. Various SamTrans bus lines (ECR, 397) will also get you there. 
  • Areas and roadways affected: The festival stretches for about a half-mile on Broadway in Millbrae. Parking close to the festivities may be a challenge, but with El Camino Real only a block away, and Highway 101 also readily accessible, this area can actually absorb a lot of extra weekend traffic without locking up. 

SAN FRANCISCO:

Mon, Sep 2 from 8am-4pm: San Francisco: The annual Giro di San Francisco bicycle race takes place. There will be street closures from 6:30am to 6:30pm in the areas of Levi’s Plaza, the Embarcadero, Battery and Front streets. A list of the streets to be closed is here.

  • Pro tip: Avoid the closed streets and you’ll be fine. The sight of these cyclists zipping around at breakneck speeds does attract spectators, though. 
  • Areas and roadways affected:  In San Francisco: Levi’s Plaza, The Embarcadero, Battery and Front streets, including the area sometimes dubbed ‘Media Gulch’ due to presence of broadcasters KPIX, KGO and KCBS Radio. 

NORTH BAY/SOLANO:

Sat, Aug 31 (10am-7pm); Sun, Sep 1 (10am-7pm); Mon, Sept 2 (10am-5pm):

Billed as “America’s premiere waterfront art, music, and wine festival,” the Sausalito Art Festival takes place on the waterfront in Sausalito. The event attracts some 30,000 people over the course of its three days and offers more than 260 artists working in painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, textiles, photography, etc. Two stages will feature music from 19 live bands.  The new Art Tech Pavilion will feature virtual and augmented-reality art demonstrations and holographic displays. There’s a Children’s Adventure Land with “art-focused experiences” designed for kids.
  • Pro tip: Sausalito Ferry will have added direct service to the Festival, with ferryboats running between the San Francisco Ferry Terminal and the Army Corps of Engineers pier in Sausalito, located in front of Marinship Park (right on the Festival. This added service is in addition to the regular holiday Golden Gate weekend ferry service between the San Francisco Ferry Building, the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, and the downtown Sausalito Ferry Landing.)
  • Areas and roadways affected: This is a big festival and there’s certain to be extra traffic on Highway 1 and the Sausalito/ Marin City exit, despite all that can be done by ferries, buses, rideshares, and complimentary bicycle parking. For information on those topics and on parking lot pricing and availability, go here.