Berkeley is taking the open streets idea -- closing a roadway to traffic for use as a community recreation area -- to a new level with its Sunday Streets event this weekend.
The event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday will close about a mile of Shattuck Avenue -- from Haste Street to Rose Street -- to motor vehicles and turn it into a long park to "cycle, stroll, skate, dance, and play in the open streets," say organizers.
For those who don't want to provide their own recreation, there will be live entertainment, block parties, games and activities.
Activities will include free hula hoop, Zumba, Pilates and yoga classes, face painting and a reading room from Moe's Books.
Entertainers will include the Quake City Jug Band and Cradle Duende's "klezmenco."
While Albany and El Cerrito have held smaller events that closed thoroughfares in residential areas for recreation, Berkeley is trying it out along 17 blocks in the heart of its commercial area, linking downtown and North Berkeley.
"It will be a celebration of local businesses and organizations," say organizers. "Storefronts will be unobstructed, and business owners will be encouraged to promote commerce and visibility by setting out seating on the street, hosting activities, and otherwise inviting interest and community."
The Berkeley Library will have activities all day outside the main branch at Shattuck and Kittredge, with children's activities and youth performers being the focus.
Rotary wine GALA: The third annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser hosted by the Rotary Club of El Cerrito is set for 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Mira Vista Golf and Country Club, 7901 Cutting Blvd.
The festive event at the picturesque Mira Vista banquet room features wine from area vintners, specialty chocolate and artisan cheese, along with the club's famous Bay views.
The beneficiary of this year's gala is Foster A Dream, a 10-year-old Bay Area organization that "helps foster children survive, thrive and realize their dreams," writes event organizer Karen Nierlich.
"As you may be aware foster youth face many hurdles, the biggest of which might be financial emancipation at age 18," Nierlich said. "Foster A Dream focuses on three key areas: meeting critical needs, providing life skills and honoring dreams/celebrations."
The organization (www.fosteradream.org) steps in to supply basic needs, mentoring, Dare to Dream scholarships and even holiday celebrations that foster youths might otherwise forgo.
Tickets to the gala are $45 each, available by calling Nierlich at 510-525-1341.
For more details, visit www.elcerritorotary.org/winetasting_fundraiser.html.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: The musical "Grease" has gone from a Broadway hit to a summer movie success to a perennial singalong favorite.
The story by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey of a good-girl/bad-boy teenage love, set at Rydell High in 1959, comes to Pinole for performances the next two weekends.
David Clark directs the West County Musicals production, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Oct. 18, 19 and 20 at the Pinole Community Playhouse, 601 Tennent Ave. There will also be 2 p.m. matinees this Sunday and on Oct. 21.
For tickets visit pinoleplayers.org or call 510-724-9844.
GRIP -- a volunteer coalition of congregations of a variety of faiths in West Contra Costa, Albany, Berkeley and as far away as Alamo -- operates a shelter and soup kitchen in Richmond that tends to the area's most needy.
The Harmony Walk & Run brings together the community and congregations for the morning outing, followed by a community fair and festival with activities, entertainment, a costume contest, a pancake breakfast and more at the renovated Civic Center.
Signups so far are below half of GRIP's goal for the Chevron-sponsored event.
Registering for the 3.5-mile walk is free, but there is a fee for the run.
To register or get more details visit harmonywalk.teamraiseeasy.com.
Vendors and volunteers are also being sought. For details, contact Kia Croom at 510-233-2141, ext. 304, or email@example.com.