By Valerie Luu
Gender/Sexuality Editor

Oktoberfest by the Bay

Fort Mason, Oct. 2 – 5. $25-$35

It all started when Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, Germany married Princess Therese Oct. 12, 1810. They threw an epic wedding party with their citizens of Munich, Germany and 198 years after the first party, Oktoberfest tradition of beer, bratwurst, and Bavarian music continues at Oktoberfest by the Bay, a four-day celebration at Fort Mason. Bust out your trachten, traditional Bavarian garb, and sing and dance to the music of the Chico Bavarian Band. There are two separate party sessions on Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $25, and a 21-and-over night from 6 p.m. to midnight for $35. Sunday’s event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. offers $25 2-for-1 tickets, so you and a bud can do some budget beer bingeing.

San Francisco LoveFest Parade

Dowtown San Francisco, Oct. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free but donations accepted.

Also of German origin, this free outdoor parade was founded in Berlin in 1989 by Matthias Roeingh a.k.a. “Dr. Motte” who believed in music as a means for peace. Lovefest aims to “celebrate music, love, diversity, tolerance, peace and community when Americans need it most,” according to its website. But it is more or less a giant parade with 28 floats blaring electronic dance music spun by DJs. One hundred thousand people are expected to attend this all-ages dance party, which begins at noon on 2nd Street between Market and Howard Streets and will commence down Market Street until the crowd gathers at the Civic Center Plaza.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Speedway, Lindley & Marx meadows in Golden Gate Park, Oct. 3 (10:30 a.m. to Noon and 2:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.), Oct. 4 (10:45 a.m.

to 7:15 p.m.), Oct 5 (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Free.

In its eighth year, the free outdoor festival at Golden Gate Park offers exactly what it’s called: a mixture of 73 bluegrass artists and not-so-bluegrass musicians such as MC Hammer of “Can’t Touch This” fame. Notable performers include Robert Plant and Alison Krauss featuring T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello’s High Whines & Spirits, Emmylou Harris, Iron & Wine, Ben Kweller and Gogol Bordello. Bring blankets, coolers, chairs, and a good group of friends to enjoy the three-day music festival.

World Vegetarian Festival

San Francisco County Fair Building Oct. 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free with student ID; $6 suggested donation.

The San Francisco Vegetarian Society and its co-sponsor In Defense of Animals, host the 9th World Vegetarian Festival, a two-day festival filled with lectures by leaders in the vegetarian movement, health food demonstrations and live entertainment. Booths will provide ethnic and vegan food samples as well as earth and vegan friendly products. Other activities include Yoga on the Lawn as well as a raw and cooked vegan dinner for $25 and $20 respectively.

Castro Street Fair

Castro Street at Market, Oct. 5 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free but donations accepted.

Located at the heart of the Castro District where Castro Street and Market intersects, the Castro Street Fair happens every year on the first Sunday of October. This community event was started in 1974 by Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected in public office. Proceeds will be used to keep the rainbow flag flying, literally, on Market and Castro Street, but operates mainly to benefit 29 LGBT organizations, local institutions, health organizations and schools. Local artists, vendors and organizations will showcase their work and live entertainment will include two dance pavilions (one for club music and another for country) and Barnaby’s World of Wonderment, a burlesque and vaudeville show.