Record-breaking Air Pollution Leads to Event Cancellations in the East Bay

This weekend's 25th Annual Indigenous Peoples Day Powwow will be cancelled due to poor air quality (Quinn Domborwski/Flickr)

As fires rage on in the North Bay, art and culture events throughout the East Bay are being cancelled or postponed due to concerns about air pollution.

Air quality in Berkeley and Oakland has marginally improved as of Friday, but remains some of the worst on record since 1999. Nevertheless, the Air Quality Index rating continues to classify Berkeley and Oakland as "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups." Under this classification, active children, adults, elderly people and people with respiratory conditions should limit their presence outdoors.

Here is a list of some events within the East Bay that will be cancelled and postponed until further notice.

  • Indie rock band The National's shows at the Hearst Greek Theatre in Berkeley will be postponed. The National was slated for an evening show on Saturday and a matinee show on Sunday, but both shows will be rescheduled for another date. Tickets for this weekend's shows will be honored for the upcoming show.
  • The 25th annual Indigenous Peoples Day Powwow  is cancelled. Although it was set to take place tomorrow, Oct. 14, at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, there are no plans to reschedule the Powwow. "The poor quality of breathable air in Berkeley caused by northern wild fires has made us realize that the health of our community overrides the desire for celebration at this moment in time," writes event coordinator Gino Barichello in a statement.
  • The following day's event at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, the third annual Celebrando Comunidad en la Placita, will be postponed until further notice due to "air quality concerns."
  • Sunday Streets Berkeley -- an open-street event running through Shattuck Ave. on Sunday, Oct. 15 -- will be cancelled. Its companion events, including a pet parade, salsa dancing and a block party on Vine St., will also not be held. There is no word if the event will be rescheduled for a following Sunday. “Sunday Streets Berkeley is a diverse celebration of our community, and we could not in good conscience ask members of our community, especially children, seniors, and other sensitive individuals to risk their health and safety,” says Heather Hensley of the North Shattuck Association in a press release.
  • Life is Living Festival's 10th iteration, which was set to be held at Lil' Bobby Hutton (DeFremery) Park in West Oakland on Oct. 14, will be rescheduled for another weekend. Hosted by Youth Speaks, the festival was set to host a series of theater, hip-hop and visual artists, including children's hip-hop musicians Alphabet Rockers and storyteller Emily Butterfly.

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