Kilts-a-Whirlin' The Scottish Gathering and Games began in 1865 as a family picnic for Bay Area Scottish immigrants. Nowadays, it's a bit bigger. More than 1,500 performers and competitors will be on hand for this year's shindig, which includes: bagpipe bands; dancing, drumming, harping, fiddling, and log-tossing contests; soccer; and fish and chips, bangers, beer, and ale. The revelry lasts 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (also on Sunday) at Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton. Tickets are $8-12 a day, $20 for two days; call (800) 713-3160.

Soulsalito Reggae artist Pele Juju, ex-Byrds leader Roger McGuinn, and Latin percussionist Pete Escovedo (Sheila E.'s dad!) are all set to perform at this year's Sausalito Art Festival. Along with three stages of entertainment, the event offers 12,000 original works of art, and (like most fests) lotsa food and beverages. Eat, drink, and boogie from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bridgeway and Harbor Drive, Sausalito. The festival continues through Monday. Admission is $5-8; call 332-3555.

Trailers A.T.A. Gallery's Other Cinema initiates its fall season with, appropriately enough, a program of coming-attraction trailers. Topping a roster of teen, rock, novelty, sex, horror, and special FX previews is Tari Abranovich's Wall of Noise, a 30-minute metanarrative cut from 10,000 films. Three-dimensional roller-coaster ride footage is also on the agenda. A champagne reception starts at 8 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.

september 3
3Bond, James Bond Costume contests, James Bond trivia, and music by the Vesper Martinis are all part of "Shaken Not Stirred -- A Tribute to James Bond and the World of Spies." Presented by the Scottish Cultural and Arts Foundation and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the final event in this week's Fest on the Fault Line features a Sean Connery impersonation competition, and with any luck at least one Honor Blackman/Pussy Galore look-alike will attend. The covert maneuvering starts at 9 p.m. at Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 885-4074.

Grease Is the Word The Grease Ball is a daylong event dedicated to rockabilly music, style, and automotion. It serves up a dozen bands: the Paladins, Flathead, Deadbolt, the Derailers, Whistle Bait, the Forbidden Pigs, Johnny Legend, Blue Bell Wranglers, Russell Scott and His Red Hots, the Pinsetters, Sloe Gin Joes, and Haunted Hayride. It also offers tattoo artists, pompadour stylists, vintage clothing, and food. Hot rodders and hair hoppers alike will congregate from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 626-1409.

september 4
Blues and Gymnastics Sponsored by the Bay Area Blues Society, this year's Oakland Heritage Festival features an appearance by Guitar Shorty, an old-school entertainer who does flips on stage as he sings and plays. Shorty's routine is just part of a huge bill that also includes Little Jimmy King (grandson of Albert King), E.C. Scott, Guitar Mac, Phil Lewis, Wiley Trass, Willie G, and Sweet Liz. Sixties hit-maker Clarence Carter headlines the event, which lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Duns-muir House and Gardens, Foothill Exit (off 580), Oakland. Tickets are $15-20; call (510) 836-2227.

september 5
Sex and Reason Editor of The New Republic and out homosexual (not "gay") man, Andrew Sullivan is a living, breathing source for argument. But in his new book, Virtually Normal, Sullivan avoids the feverish fighting usually attached to debates about politics and homosexuality, opting instead for cool, calm reason. First a critique of prohibitionist, liberationist, conservative, and liberal approaches to the subject (as defined by Sullivan), then an attempt at assimilationist alternatives, Virtually Normal is sometimes admirable, sometimes irritating. It's hard to imagine either Christian fundamentalists or gay activists giving it the time of day. Still, people who like thinking long and hard about unresolvable issues will enjoy it, and it's a good counterpoint to Berkeley professor Leo Bersani's equally idiosyncratic Homos. See and hear Sullivan at 7:30 p.m. at A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro, S.F. Free; call 431-0891.

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