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Dumpling Down!
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Charles DeluvioDumpling Down!

A dumpling festival, a 90s block party and more fun things to do this weekend in the Bay Area

By Ivy McNally
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Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

Take your furry friend on a fun stroll along the Embarcadero (Em-bark-adero?) and pause (paws?) at Public House, one of the hood’s most dog-friendly hot spots (spots?). With a heated patio, local brews and gastropub classics, it’s a fave stop before games at AT&T park, but this weekend they are showing love to the four-legged fans with doggie treat giveaways and a great opportunity to mingle with fellow animal lovers. 

Chinese New Year Parade

The start of the Lunar New Year offers the Chinese New Year Parade, the city’s best procession that doesn’t involve public nudity (instead, there are acrobatic dragons and stilt walkers). More than 100 groups wind their way through Chinatown annually in an unmissable spectacle, including a 288' Golden Dragon. Hope you like fireworks!    

Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt

Be a part of the action during Chinatown’s lively New Year Parade by teaming up with pals for a challenging treasure hunt. You’ll solve puzzles and clues to get from one secret location to the next — think of it as a pub quiz on the go! Grab a flashlight, comfy shoes and your game night crew for a great start to the Year of the Dog.

The Great San Francisco Crystal Fair

Crystals are really riding a wave of popularity at the moment, as kids who grew up listening to their moms’ Stevie Nicks albums seek holistic guidance and protection from, ahem, the world at large. Plus, they are real pretty to look at. The Great San Francisco Crystal Fair started in 1987, making it older than many recent crystology converts. Speak with experienced vendors and collectors, and treat yourself to something healing (and pretty). 

Stargazing Party

Head to the Main Parade Ground in the Presidio to catch a sight rarely seen by city eyes: the majesty of the night sky. San Francisco Amateur Astronomers provide the telescopes and the know-how to guide this stargazing party—spy a 9-day-old moon, planets and nebulae, and maybe even Algol, colloquially as the Demon Star.  

Superchunk

Superchunk’s importance has been eclipsed by that of Merge, the indie-rock label launched by two of its members to release their band's records, and later the home of Neutral Milk Hotel, the Magnetic Fields, Arcade Fire, etc. But Superchunk itself—which returns this year with its 11th album, What a Time to Be Alive—remains beloved as the living embodiment of the American indie-rock dream.  

City Nights presents Mardi Gras (18+)

The under-21 set needn’t feel left out this Mardi Gras season — you might get booted from Bourbon Street, but City Nights is here to provide everything else that marks the occasion: dope decor, masks and beads, and an all-night dance party. Check out the aerialists and stilt-walkers, and get some inspiration from the club’s go-go dancers to sign up for the pole dancing contest — all endorphin boosters minus the booze.

Bay Area 90s Block Party

It seems no scene can escape nostalgia, and when we’re talking about the glory days of 90’s R&B, why would you even want to? Embrace the past at this two-night Oakland show, part tribute to famous block parties of lore, part chance for these talented acts to shine on stage as if the aughts never even happened. You’ll be treated to performances by new jack swing pioneer Guy (featuring Teddy Riley), “Peaches & Cream” crooners 112, Donna Meagle’s cousin Ginuwine, and more. 

Dumpling Down! Chinese New Year Food Festival

Face it, holidays are all about food and Lunar New Year is no different. Roll down to the SOMA StrEat Food Park for dumplings of all kinds and other tempting Chinese dishes. Think: Onion pancakes, oodles of noodles and crispy fried chicken. Wash it all down with bottomless kumquat mimosas. Dogs are welcome, too, naturally.    

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