Established in 1988, the Oakland Chinatown
StreetFest was created by the Oakland
Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to encourage
a sense of community in a place where
diversity in people and businesses thrive.
Going into its 31st year, the Chinatown
StreetFest has firmly established itself
as one of the most impressive and dynamic
events the Bay Area. The annual event
held every year on the fourth weekend
of August attracting crowds of tens of thousands of
attendees over a two day period. The event
showcases the vitality of this historically
significant, commercial and cultural region
Diversity is one of Oakland's greatest
strengths and many corporations partner
with the Oakland Chinatown Chamber Of
Commerce each year to tap into ethnic
markets, using the StreetFest as its vehicle.
Being that the Chamber is a non-profit
organization, it depends on grants and
corporate contributions to fund events
such as the StreetFest.
StreetFest has done much to open up ethnic
markets to large corporations, and as
a result many have signed up as festival
sponsors. The acknowledgement of this
market in this region of Oakland signals
that the area is ripe for even more commercial
Nine core blocks of Chinatown make up
the festival site, which features over
200 vendor booths. Browsing the 8 city
blocks one will find a little bit of almost
everything the Bay Area has to offer.
Small businesses and community organizations
from all over California come to showcase
a myriad of delicious foods, unique Asian
products, arts & crafts and special services.
Of course there will be a big slice of
Chinatown, offering everything from jade
bracelets to BBQ lamb, and hand crafted
ceramics. Live entertainment runs non-stop
on two stages - Cultural Stage and Popular (music) Stage.
The festival's cultural stage has been
a showcase for not only Chinese culture,
but also for Vietnamese, Korean, Thai,
Laotian, Filipino, Japanese, and Polynesian
formances. Chinese lion dances, Japanese
taiko drumming, Tahitian dance, and cultural musical performances have been among some of the more
The festival abounds with activities
for families and especially for kids.
There is a full fledged carnival, featuring
rides and games, and there have been attractions
such as pony rides, inflatable jump houses,
giant slides, rock climbing, and dunking
The Cultural Village, which is organized
in conjunction with Oakland Asian Cultural Center, features hands-on activities,
such as Chinese calligraphy, Japanese
origami, Chinese opera face makeovers,
and other arts and crafts which both children
and adults can explore.
If you love music and are in a partying
mood, the Popular Stage is the place to
be. This stage features some fine local
rock, pop and jazz acts, but also in the
vicinity of this stage is the food and
beverage court. The formula creates for
a real festive atmosphere and lots of
fun for everyone. It is not uncommon to
see people dancing in the streets next
to the stage. When the joint gets rockin',
especially later in the day, the area
around the Popular Stage usually resembles
a large block party.
This is an exciting event not to be missed!
There is something for everyone at StreetFest.
For more information on StreetFest, please
visit the festival website at http://www.oaklandchinatownstreetfest.com/
to check out the lineup of entertainment
and other activities for the current year..