Because it’s Labor Day weekend, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is closed. The bridge actually closed at 8:00 PM Thursday evening, and will remain closed until 5:00 AM Tuesday morning. To keep people moving from one side of the Bay to the other, BART will be running 24-hours while the bridge is closed. But who really wants to spend all that time waiting for a train, then sitting crammed on the train with everyone else who would normally drive? Why not explore what’s going on right here in the East Bay for your long weekend?

To help you get into the East Bay scene for Labor Day weekend, I’m bringing you some events that will have you wishing the Bay Bridge was closed every weekend. Check it out–there’s even a cruise to watch the Bay Bridge construction:

September 4

Stonemasters “It Ain’t The Shoes” Tour
John Long (Largo) and Dean Fidelman (Bullwinkle) are coming to Bridges!!!
Do not miss this rare opportunity to hear historic climbing tales straight from the mouths of two Stonemasters. On Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 7:00 pm, John Long and Dean Fidelman will share stories and show photos of the awe-inspiring Stonemasters era. The Stonemasters of the 1970s pushed climbing to a new level. Their stories of non-stop climbing, speed records, and glorious firsts will keep you laughing and on the edge of your seat the entire evening. This show WILL sell out! Buy your tickets today!!!
Book and Poster signing after the show.
When: 7:00 PM
Where: Bridges Rock Gym,  5635 San Diego St, El Cerrito
Cost: $12 (advance)-$15 (at the door)
More Information: 510-525-5635

September 4

Open House at Mahea Uchiyama Center of International Dance
Free demonstrations and classes in the following:
Kathak Dance
Introduction to Kathak, classical dance of North India. Explore the dynamics of this rhythmic and improvisational art form through footwork, hand movements and storytelling, while gaining insight to the history, philosophy and mathematics of Kathak dance and Indian culture.
Hawaiian Hula
An art form as old as antiquity, with origins in religion. The hula is tied to both spirituality and nature, and is a celebration of life’s mysteries. Instruction includes classical and contemporary Hula, poetic comprehension and historical perspective, Halau protocol, and introduction to community resources. For men and women. Instructor: Mahealani Uchiyama
Tahitian Drumming
Students will be introduced to the spiritual, traditional and the historical roots of this rich heritage. While students learn about this warm and passionate culture, they will also develop technique and rhythm phrasing. In addition, students will develop their own distinct essence to the energy and vibration of many Tahitian rhythms by developing their skills to solo. Instructor: Victor ‘Anapa Manansala and Kekoa Aki
Tahitian Ori
A dynamic theatre art with fast movement and rhythmic vitality, Ori has come to be known as a symbol of the South Seas. Stresses intricate hip isolation. Instruction includes ‘aparima, ‘ote’a and Tahitian singing, strength and endurance training, gestures appropriate for the dance, familiarization with the Tahitian musical instruments, and introduction to the Tahitian language. These classes are appropriate for beginners as well as experienced dancers. For men and women. Instructor: Mahealani Uchiyama
When: 6:00 PM—9:00 PM
Where: Mahea Uchiyama Center of International Dance, 729 Heinz Ave, # 4, Berkeley
Cost: Free
More Information: 510-845-2605

September 5

Scottish Games
Athletic Heavy Events, Piping and Drumming, Highland Dance Competition, Celtic Country Dancing, Sheep Dog Trials, Birds of Prey Demonstration, The Kilted Mile Race, The Children’s Glen, and the fantastic Grandstand Show.
When: 7:00 PM—9:00 PM
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds: 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton
Cost: $10-25

September 5

Laughter Yoga
Learn to reduce your stress level by laughing. Laughter Yoga shows you how to breathe better by laughing more. Increase your energy levels, your enjoyment in life and even gain some appreciation of the silly.
When: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m
Where: – 835 C St. at Mission Blvd., Hayward  (2 blocks from Hayward BART)
Cost: Free
More Information: 510-881-7980

September 6

Public Bay Bridge Cruise
The bridge will be closed and they will cut out a huge section and roll in the new bypass section. It will be a very dramatic and historical event! There will be narration by an experienced bridge worker who will tell us about this manouver as well as about the whole new bridge construction. We will board at the Oakland Ferry Dock at 12:30 and cruise promptly at 1:00 for a 2.5 hour cruise. Cost is $30 adult and $15 child 10 and under. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Google Jack London Square, Oakland for directions and fun things to do before and after the cruise. STILL A FEW SEATS LEFT SO CALL 1-877-499-4229 TO BOOK.
When: 1:00 PM—3:30 PM
Where: Oakland Ferry Dock
Cost: $30 adult and $15 child 10 and under
More Information: 1-877-499-4229

September 6 & 7

28th Annual Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration
Over 40 wineries showcase their wines and unique personalities in celebration of the Harvest Season.  Meet Livermore Valley winemakers, taste new releases, dance your socks (or flip flops) off to live bands, learn winemaking tips, enjoy activities, and more! There will be over 20 wineries pouring wine at the Harvest Village (located at Robertson Park in Livermore) on Sunday and Monday.  In addition to the wineries, there will be 2 stages of live music, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, adult fun and more!  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the fun!  The Oakland Raiderette’s will be at the Village on Sunday from 2-4PM and there will be a Ping-Pong tournament for those who want to Pong.

In addition to the Village, there will be 20 wineries hosting festivities at their winery locations.  On Sunday, there will be over 20 complimentary shuttle buses taking guests to each of these wineries.  These buses will travel on 3 different bus routes with several wineries on each route.  Each of these wineries will host wine tasting, music, special barrel tastings, arts and craft vendors, food vendors, and fun.  Buses all begin at the Harvest Village (located at Robertson Park in Livermore).
When: Sunday 12-5pm & Monday 12-4pm
Where: Various Wineries and Robertson Park in Livermore
Cost: 2 Day Ticket $50 advance/$75 day of event
Sunday Only Ticket $45
Monday Only Ticket $40
Non-Drinking Ticket $10 (Non-Drinking ticket valid for both days)
More Information: Visit the for a list of Village events, wineries and band line-up.


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Andy Gillin

Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Andy is a highly recognized wrongful death lawyer in California.