The Art, Soul and Spirit of Oakland

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Los Rakas in their hometown of Oakland. (Photo: Manjula Varghese)

Oakland's Art and Soul Festival is the best street festival I know, embracing visitors with the small town warmth of a country fair and a sense of the town's great spirit. It's a nice reminder of why we love this sometimes troubled city. Expect lots of food trucks and booths, and the chance not only to look at art, but to make it yourself. There's some great music as well, including Oakland R&B singer Goapele, Panamanian hip-hop duo Los Rakas, and the John Brothers Piano Company. And it's cheap -- 12 bucks for adults, just seven for seniors, and free for kids under 12. Art and Soul in Oakland runs Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19 and 20, in downtown Oakland; details here.