If you’ve never been to any of the great fall festivals or events at Alameda County Fairgrounds, I am here to let you in on what is also some of the best unique shopping in the East Bay! Besides the new Lantern Light Festival coming in November, we have fun events happening just about every weekend. What you may not realize is that with all of the specialty vendors at each of the events, it’s also the perfect place to get some of your holiday shopping done.
Whether you’re buying for someone who “has everything” or just looking for something special for someone special, our fall events could offer just the inspiration you need. Many of us who work here like to walk over and check out the goods before they open and we are always blown away by the endless array of cool and unusual things you don’t find anywhere else.
Depending on the event, vendors offer everything from handmade jewelry, accessories, clothing and crafts, to specialty pet supplies or hard-to-find car accessories. So take a break from the mall and enjoy a fun fall day out at the beautiful Fairgrounds!
Here’s a list of fall events that feature shopping:
Harvest Moon Classic Dog Show – October 19-21
Shop at a dog show? Yes, it’s true. The Harvest Moon Classic is a highly anticipated event at the Fairgrounds each year featuring every imaginable breed of dog in a variety of competitions. Dozens of vendors are also on hand with great gifts for pets and pet lovers – everything from portraits and personalized items to clothing, fancy collars, specialty foods and more. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
Harvest Festival – October 26-28, 2018
I especially love this event and usually manage to find something (or many things!) I can’t live without. Celebrating its 24th year, the super popular Harvest Festival is known as one of the West Coast’s biggest and best craft shows. Featuring the fine handiwork of more than 200 top artisans, you’ll find unique jewelry, clothing, ceramics, specialty foods, art, photography and much more. There’s also live entertainment and kids art and crafts area, so come on out and make a day of it. www.harvestfestival.com
Kumu Hula Festival – November 2-4, 2018
Besides being the oldest hula competition outside of Hawaii, the Kumu Hula Festival celebrates Hawaiian culture with authentic food, music, work shops and loads of craft and import vendors. It’s like taking a little trip straight to the islands. You’ll find exotic clothing, jewelry, beauty products, candles, foods, floral products and more. They welcome and encourage all to come out for a true Hawaiian experience — and some early Christmas shopping! kumuhulaassociation.com
Goodguys 29th Autumn Get Together Car Show – November 10-11 2018
You and the car nut in your life, won’t want to miss the Good Guys Autumn Get Together, the final Bay Area Goodguys event of 2018. Over 2,500 primo hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks of every make, model and year will be on display. And head over to the popular mega Swap Meet for hard-to-find parts and accessories – or pick up a whole car at the Cars 4 Sale Corral. www.good-guys.com
Lantern Light Festival – November 30, 2018 -January 20, 2019
The Lantern Light Festival is brand new to Alameda County Fairgrounds this year and from everything I’ve heard about it, not to be missed.
This nighttime event features acres of giant, glowing handcrafted Chinese lanterns in spectacular themed displays, including one that features a 400-foot dragon. Kids and grownups alike will surely enjoy all of the special attractions including the Forbidden City Maze, Mining for Emeralds, the Wishing Tree and much more.
Of course, the event also features many vendors selling unique imported or handcrafted souvenirs and gifts. And who wouldn’t love getting a beautiful handmade mini lantern or jade good luck charm? lanternlightfestival.com
Christmas Trees – November 20, 2018 – December 24, 2018
While you’re here at one of the great fall events, be sure to stop by and pick up your Christmas Tree from the Aurora Ventures people. They’re located inside the grounds at the corner of Valley & Bernal (enter through Gate 8.) They’ve got a huge selection of quality trees and a fun play area and activities for kids, too. Open 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
For more information on all events:
Visit the Fairgrounds website and click on the “Event Calendar” bar on the homepage. That will take to you to the listings page for the current month. There is also a menu tab that allows you to choose any month. Just scroll down to see listing information and links for every upcoming event at alamedacountyfair.com. The Fairgrounds’ event schedule is always growing and evolving, so check often.
Our Facebook followers will also find information on the Events page and in the news feed. We frequently run contests and promotions to give away tickets to some of these events, so it’s definitely worth your while to stay connected.