SF LIFE: Shakespeare, Scottish Highland Games, Britex Tours
Labor Day weekend, will it bring the warm weather we have been waiting for? Doesn’t matter because we have so many fun things to do around and about our area. This weekend you don’t have to hit the cash machine. Free events abound: Shakespeare in the Park, and a host of cool freebie events at the Presidio. Looking for something out of the ordinary, Pleasanton hosts the 151st Scottish Highland Gathering and Games. Something for everyone in the family. Enjoy your weekend tomatoes!
Shakespeare in The Park
Presented by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival with a mission to make the words and themes of our pal Will accessible to everyone, this festival brings its amazingly produced plays all over the bay area – For Free! The organization does much more than performing fabulous Shakespearean plays. They also provide camps for students, along with an opportunity for at-risk youth to learn a variety of skills and teamwork through Shakespeare.
In addition, they offer touring programs and residencies for school enrichment programs. This is a particularly important part of education that often gets left behind. You can see The Winter’s Tale this weekend at the Presidio Saturday – Monday at 2:00 p.m. If you head out on Sunday, no need to pack a meal. You can take advantage of Off The Grid Picnic at the Presidio starting at 11:00 a.m. Get more details.
More Presidio Events
The Presidio has really grown and become one of the go to destinations in SF and not just for those looking to immerse themselves in history. Families, singles, youngsters and tomatoes will find something intriguing and usually free. Ok, so have you ever wanted to dig for archaeological treasures and unleash your inner Indiana Jones (or Jane)? Well, I have and at the Presidio tomorrow you can pretend, as you watch Presidio archaeologists excavate El Presidio de San Francisco. You can’t actually get your hands dirty, but you can ask questions and observe! It’s a Spanish-colonial archaeological site buried just below the ground in front of the Presidio Officers’ Club. 10:00 a.m.
After you witness the scraping and unearthing, you can go on a docent-led heritage Exhibition Tour and experience the Presidio Officers’ Club with a personal guide at 11. At 12 you can take a short tour of Andy Goldsworthy’s Earth wall. It’s his fourth Presidio installation and is a nod to the ongoing archaeology did you just witness. All materials are found on site. It’s a six feet wide sphere and was shaped using naturally curved Presidio eucalyptus branches. Clay from the courtyard was used to bury the sculpture. This sphere is definitely worth a quick visit.
If you enjoy our native plants from 1 – 4 at the Presidio Nursery you can learn to grow and care for our natives and help transplant seedlings, prune, compost and collect seeds. It’s always a good idea to give back to our community and this is a great way to volunteer if you love nature. For more info on all the great activities at the Presidio visit: www.presidio.gov
Scottish Highland Games
Time to dig for that kilt you have in storage and wear it proudly to the 151st Scottish Highland Gathering and Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. These games are so highly entertaining even if there is no Scottish coursing through your veins. From archery to the requisite bagpipers, highland dancers to the infamous throwing of the caber, you will be delighted.
The caber is the big athletic event that draws the crowds. The caber is a long section of tree trunk, tapered so it is smaller at one end. Men test their strength by tossing it into the air and away. Just stay clear! Ever popular as well are the Sheep Dog Trials and Clydesdale Horses. Of course if your Mr. Tomato enjoys a good Scottish Whisky, head to the whisky tasting featuring over 100 different brands. Of course there is a gathering of the clans in the clan village, so all you Campbell’s, Fergusson’s, MacAlister’s, etc. can meet up with fellow Scots. For more info: www.thescottishgames.com
Tomatoes – if you have not visited this four-story fabric landmark – Britex – it is time to do so. Ever watched Project Runway and dreamed of running through a never-ending fabric store? This is the free tour for you. Put on your comfy (yet stylish) walking shoes for a brisk paced journey into wonderland.
Every other Saturday (including tomorrow) at 11:00 a.m., you can take a free 25-minute tour of this home to some of the world’s most luxurious fabrics. You walk through each of the four fabulous floors and learn how to navigate the aisles, the bolts and the accessories. Tours are led by expert Britex Fabrics staff members who can answer any of your questions. You can book ahead.