When the month of August hits Golden Gate Park, you’ll have one of the hottest, most talked-about, music-centered festivals in the region setting up shop. With an endless stream of performers and activities, some people dream about the three-day Outside Lands extravaganza kicking off all year round.

Other August 2014 events to enjoy in the park include artistic pursuits (including printmaking and photography), gardening, orchids and music. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the beginning of the month, where you’ll most likely have a hard time figuring out how to spend the first weekend of August at Golden Gate Park.

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2014 Summer Gardening Fair – SF Botanical Garden – August 2

A free event centered on plants and gardening is taking place during the first week of August at the San Francisco Botanical Garden – it’s the 17th annual gathering of its kind that will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Representatives from local horticultural and conservation organizations will be on hand to talk shop with plenty of activities and demonstrations to keep you busy. You might even join a local plant club while you’re at it. There will also be opportunities to purchase plants, plant products, and new/used books. Additional highlights of the event include elderberry flute making, exploring the inside of a beehive, and tons of children’s activities.

BigPicture Exhibit – California Academy of Science – August 1

The opening of the Academy’s first major exhibition of wildlife photography will take place on the first of August, where 45 breathtaking works from professional-level nature and conservation photographers are put on display – showcasing some of the best entered into the 2014 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition. Images chosen survived a pool of more than 6,300 entries, and represent 12 different countries.

Friday Night at deYoung [Modernism] – deYoung Museum – August 1

Offering a mix of art, live music, dance, theater performances, lectures, hands-on activities, artist demonstrations, film screenings, and special exhibits, deYoung Museum is the place to be on Friday nights. To enhance the evening, the museum’s café has a special Friday Night menu and serves up specialty cocktails. The observation tower is open until 8 p.m. These events begin at 6 p.m. and usually end around 8:30 p.m. – and best of all…these are all free events.

The August 1 Friday Night at deYoung will center on the celebration and reflection of themes examined in the special exhibition titled Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection. There will be a mixed media project inspired by Modernism, starting at 6 p.m. in Buchanan Court. Alexandra Blum and Calixto Robles will demonstrate mono-screen printmaking in Wilsey Court (6 p.m.), followed by live music by ViolinJazz in the same place at 6:30 p.m.

Additional Friday Night at deYoung events for August 2014 include:

• August 8: Oakland Pride Night, celebrates Oakland Pride and special exhibition Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay with artist demonstrations, photography mixed media projects, live music by Kippy Marks (electric violin), and a film screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.
• August 15: Brazil Camp at the deYoung, focusing on the culture, music and dance of Brazil with mono-screen printmaking, live music by churo group Grupo Falso Baiano, and a docent-led tour (with pre-registration).
• August 22: Brazil Camp at the deYoung, with activities centered on Brazilian music and dance culture, including mixed media art-making and live music by guitarist, composer, and arranger Chico Pinheiro.
• August 29: Mixed Music Fusion, with the sounds of the Broken Shadows Family Band, mixed media art projects, and a closing reception for the August Artist-in-Residence Adela Akers.

Battle San Francisco 2014 – Skatin’ Place – August 2

Even if you don’t skate, watching the fifth annual Battle event at the legendary 6th Avenue Skatin’ Place in Golden Gate Park will certainly provide ample enough entertainment on a Saturday morning and afternoon. This event begins with a quick trick ladder as a warm up, and then goes into a men’s and women’s Classic competition. Speed and Battle competitions are slated for the afternoon, with the doling out of awards to follow. Free skating caps off the day. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is being held at the Skatin’ Place – located on 6th Ave. and Kennedy Drive.

Waterbear Weekend – California Academy of Science – August 2 & 3

When you’re looking for something to do this weekend with the kids, the Academy has scientists on hand to introduce visitors to the waterbear. Inspect and learn about waterbears at the Project Lab. In the East Garden, see how waterbears are collected from tree tops, and if you’re lucky – you’ll be one of the limited number of participants who will have an opportunity to climb to the top of a tree to collect. Activities will also take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a lunch break held from 12 to 1 p.m.

Orchids in the Park – San Francisco County Fair Building – August 2 & 3

A colorful showcase of orchids will be hosted by the San Francisco Orchid Society at the start of August, where plant and flower enthusiasts may spend the day admiring the bloom’s beauty and variety. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this event held at the Conservatory includes an exhibition and sale of one of the most alluring floral specimens in the world. You will find the SF County Fair Building located at the corner of 9th Ave & Lincoln Way. The cost to enjoy this event is $5 for regular admission, $4 for seniors, and free for visitors 16 years and younger. For more information, you may visit http://www.orchidsanfrancisco.org/orchidsinthepark.html.

Summer Gardening Fair – SF Botanical Garden – August 3

The stars of the show at the San Francisco Botanical Garden for this event are shade plants, where you can participate in an annual tradition to mingle with plant enthusiasts. This fun gathering will center on all things plant related. You’ll have a chance to direct any questions you may have to a master gardener, who will be found at the Plant Arbor from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Also, don’t forget to browse the collection of plants on sale (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Arbor – you may come home with new specimens for your garden or home.

Golden Gate Park Band Performances – Spreckels Temple of Music– August 3

Held at the Spreckels Temple of Music at the park’s Music Concourse, the GGP Band offers a month-long lineup of entertainment that is free to enjoy. An ideal time to spread out a picnic blanket and take in the sounds with family, the August 2014 performance schedule is as follows:

• August 3: An undetermined collection of tunes, to be announced.
• August 10: The Golden Age of Concert Bands
• August 17: Hungarian music, dancing and singing to celebrate St. Stephens Day.
• August 24: Celebration of Ukrainian-American Day with Ukrainian music, singing, and dancing.
• August: 31: Musical Souvenirs
• September 1: A free Labor Day performance held on a Monday, instead of the characteristic Sunday-afternoon show.

Keep in mind that GGP Band performances start at 1 p.m., and typically last until around 2:45 p.m.

Outdoor Photography Class – Rose Garden – August 6, 9, 13, 17, 20, 23, 27 & 30

To enjoy professional photography instruction in the midst of your favorite park, consider taking a photo class at Golden Gate Park. With camera in hand (and the optional trip-pod), come dressed weather-appropriately to take glorious images of the surrounding natural scenes and attractions. Techniques touched upon will include working in manual settings mode, composition, understanding light, aperture, white balance, and shutter speed.

Keep in mind that this is a hands-on, walking photography class, so you’ll probably want to wear sneakers for the adventure. It costs $70 to participate in one of these classes (which are held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.). Further details are found here: http://www.saanoadventures.com/sunset-photography/golden-gate-park-photography.

Thursday Nightlife [Illuminate] – California Academy of Science – August 7

The weekly Thursday Night events at the Academy mix science with plenty of other elements, such as art, music, demonstrations, food, and cocktails. With a new theme each week, this party is only for the 21 and over crowd – starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. The first Nightlife event for the month of August will include an interactive art display with LED and sound effects; neon face painting and glow-in-the-dark juggling; a chance to learn about bioluminescence in the deep sea; a live performance by Typhoon & Yesway; an art exhibit; and DJ set for music lovers.

Outside Lands – Golden Gate Park – August 8 to August 10

One of the most heralded, annual extravaganzas to congregate at Golden Gate Park is back again, and this year, the performance lineup is jammed pack with an assortment of impressive names in the music business, such as Kanye West; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; The Killers; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Arctic Monkeys; Death Cab for Cutie; and Capital Cities. If you’re lucky enough to snag a ticket or 3-day pass to this event, just some of the activities and local gems you’ll be able to enjoy include:

• Beer Lands: 30 breweries (many of which are local), offer a collection of 64 beers and ciders to quench your thirst.
• Outsider Art: Showcasing a talented assortment of artists in the park, creativity is abound at the festival.
• Eco Lands: The ideal hub for those with sustainability and the environment on the mind.
• Food, Food &More Food: Three fields in Golden Gate Park will accommodate around 69 food trucks and restaurants, including cheeseburgers from 4505 Meats; eggrolls and dan dan noodles from Chino; burritos and tacos from Kung Fu Tacos; dried porcini doughnuts from Rich Table; live spun cotton candy bouquets from Sugar and Spun; warm dessert tamales from The Culinary Dudes; Gilroy garlic mac & cheese from Homeroom; and pastrami cheese fries and sandwiches from Wise Sons Deli.
• Wine Lands: Head for the burgundy and gold tent to enjoy local reds and whites.
• House of Heineken: A DJ lineup that includes Green Velvet, DJ Icey, Soultech feat. Gene Farris & Dustin Sheridan, and Gorgon City, will entertain the masses.

For more details about parking, vendors, performers, and other important facts, visit http://www.sfoutsidelands.com for your one-stop shop of information.

Outside Lands Ocean Beach Clean-Up Day – Ocean Beach – August 9

Just before the Outside Lands festival activities for the day kicks off, spend your Saturday morning doing something feel-good alongside San Franpsycho, SF Surfrider, Surf For Life, 5Gyres and Noriega-Lawton Merchant Association. The beach cleanup will take place along Ocean Beach at Noriega & Great Highway, starting at 10 a.m. There will be coffee and refreshments provided by Devil’s Teeth Bakery and Noriega Produce.

The Deadlies – Park Chalet – August 16

If you’re looking for another musical event happening at Golden Gate Park in August, the Deadlies will be playing right across from Ocean Beach under the Windmill. This show will begin at 4 p.m. and continue on until 7 p.m.

Charity and the JAMBand – Park Chalet – August 17

The monthly concert series for kids that takes place at Golden Gate Park is celebrating with a back-to-school theme that will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fun for all ages (but primarily geared towards children), prepare for an afternoon filled with music, singing, dancing, and tons of fun.

Printmaking Workshop – SF Botanical Garden – August 17

With the guidance of artists Stephanie Martin and Stacy Frank, enjoy an afternoon filled with printmaking from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. As you explore different art approaches, you will be working with nontoxic drypoint intaglio and monoprint techniques. Participants will go home with original prints using an etching press, archival inks and papers. The cost to attend this workshop is $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers, which includes the fee for all materials. For more information and to reserve your space, check out the Botanical Garden website. Keep in mind that this workshop is limited to 12 participants.

Ratha Parade for Festival of the Chariots – Traverse & JFK Drive – August 24

Jumpstarting the Festival of the Chariots held in Golden Gate Park, a parade will start its route at 11 a.m. on Traverse & JFK Drive, and then proceed east to reach Sharon Meadow. Included in the procession are chariots and the Gaura-Nitai float that many people come to help pull to its intended destination. To reach the starting point of the parade, you can drive to the park entrance located at 25th and Fulton St. Park, for an easy walk to the park. Also, parking at the festival site (around Stanyon and Haight Streets) is available, where you can walk up JFK Drive to reach the starting point of the parade.

Festival of the Chariots – Sharon Meadow – August 24

While the official start time of the 48th annual Festival of the Chariots is at 1 p.m. in the park, the chariot pulled into the park will arrive approximately at 12:30 p.m. Join in the fun to celebrate the Festival of India, where you’ll encounter Indian dances, live music, exhibits, vendors, and a free vegetarian feast showcasing Indian food. For more details, you can check out http://www.sfkrishna.org/.

Golden Gate Park Cross Country 5K – Polo Field – August 24

Starting at the upper dirt track on the south side of Polo Field at Golden Gate Park, get an early morning stretch of the legs when you participate in this month’s 5K hosted by the DSE Runners. With a course that finishes on the lower paved track on the south side, runners will follow a route that passes through Chain of Lakes Drive, Kennedy Drive, the east end of Upper Speedway Meadow, and back across the grass meadow heading towards Polo Field. This event will take place from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. It is free for ages up to 12 years old to participate, while it is $3 for 13-17 year-olds, and for 18 and over – $3 dollars for members and $5 dollars for non-members. For more information, visit http://dserunners.com/events/race-schedule/ or call the DSE Hotline at (415) 978-0837.

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