Labor Day weekend is upon us, dragging the tail end of summer along with it. Lucky for us that we live in San Francisco, where our biggest concern about the "end of summer" is if the fog will leave before or after the Folsom Street Fair. Around here, the coming of fall is cause for celebration – not to mention the beginning of Indian Summer – and having a three-day weekend to kick off the season is a sweet bonus.
So don’t sit this one out — the Burning Man people are all gone, the 280 freeway is closed, and the city is brimming with killer activities for everyone. We’ve rounded up a few of the best ones here.
This Friday night show from a Tom Petty tribute band is the perfect way to kick off your weekend. Petty is known for his staples of classic American rock 'n' roll, which will fit the TGIF theme perfectly. Tribute band or not, these guys are no slouches — they’ve been rocking stages in the Bay Area since 2003.
The Chapel, Friday, 8 p.m. doors, $16—18
It’s crazy how fast time flies when you’re having fun. The folks behind the ‘90s-themed party Debaser are already celebrating the one year mark on their other party, Last Nite. This one celebrates music from the 2000s, or the aughts, or whatever people call it these days. DJs Emdee and Jamie Jams will bring the jams, with a very special set from guest artists Bang On, who will play music by The Strokes.
Elbo Room, Friday, 10 p.m. doors, $5—10
The city’s quintessential political satire group finishes their season right where it started — in Dolores Park. Be warned (or relieved) that these aren’t silent mimes. The group means mime in the sense of mimic, and they’ve made a career out of lampooning the wealth divides that separate San Francisco. This year’s show Ripple Effect features “an old commie,” a “tech newbie,” and a “flag-waving beautician” all stuck together on a boat in the Bay.
Fans of hip-hop, turntablism, and free barbecue should keep their ears peeled this weekend. Somewhere in the city a crew of the best hip-hop DJs are hosting a super-secret outdoor party. We can’t tell you where Doin’ it in the Park is (because we don’t know and have already said too much), but we can tell you it will feature old-school vibes and cuts from Apollo, Mr. E, and Mama Bear, among others. We can also plug their after party Doin’ it After Dark. That one has the same vibes, Mighty’s excellent sound system, and is open to all.
Mighty, Sunday, 9 p.m. doors, $5 before 11 p.m.
It’s really too bad that Cafe Cocomo is closing. This has been one of the Bay Area’s favorite salsa spots for 20 years. But at least they’re going out in style. This all-day bash features free barbecue on their outdoor patio, and 12 hours of house, hip-hop, and dance music. Come ready to rip it up one last time before they hand in the keys.
This one is good for families and patriots. As part of their series of free, themed concerts, the Golden Gate Park Band will play their best American songs.
The bandshell in the music concourse in Golden Gate Park. Enter at 9th Avenue., Sunday at 1 p.m. Free.
There is something magical about typewriters. Maybe it’s the rhythmic clickety-clack sound we grew up with in all those old movies, or just the thrill of seeing your words printed instantly on the page. Either way, we can’t get enough of them, and are anxious to get our hands on one at this old-school letter writing party. Before you go, be aware that this has somewhat of a political bent. People will be writing actual letters to, like, senators and stuff. But hey, it’s called Labor Day for a reason, right? We plan on typing up a letter to contest our latest parking ticket.
Make Out Room, Monday at 6 p.m. Free.
And if getting out into nature is more your thing, we’ve still got you covered. Check out our list of the best swimming holes, or great places to hike. Today is also Michael Jackson’s birthday, so there a few MJ-themed parties to groove at this weekend.
Photo by DavidAllenStudio.com courtesy of the San Francisco Mime Troupe.
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