Imagine Hawaii with more fog and fewer Hilo Hattie stores, and you'll get a feel for the San Francisco Aloha Festival, held below the Presidio's forested paths at the water's edge. Master canoe crews paddle a nine-mile course through the bay's bracing surf to race around the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz, as thousands of Pacific Islanders and haoles (aka gringos) watch and feast on smoky kalua pork, lomi salmon salad, and the rice/beef/egg/gravy comfort-food concoction known as loco moco.
This sprawling party, now in its ninth year, reveals the islands' cultural confluence in its entertainment as much as in its cuisine: Performers dance Tahitian hula, sing Maori and Samoan songs, play Hawaiian reggae and slack-key guitar. Visitors are encouraged to participate in workshops demonstrating the arts of lei-making and the finer points of slack key and ukulele strumming. Dress warmly, close your eyes, dig your toes in the sand, and you just may be transported. The feast begins at 10 a.m. at the Presidio's parade grounds, Lincoln & Montgomery, S.F. Admission is free; see www.pica-org.org for schedule information.
-- Heather Wisner
In France, cycling is like football: It's for big jocks who get way too much attention. Here, of course, it's a marginal sport whose major annual event blips on and off ESPN2 in five minutes -- even though its longtime superstar is Texan Lance Armstrong. The fact that he's a cancer survivor and just won his fifth Tour de France isn't lost on everyone, though. Indie director Scott Coady screens The Tour Baby!, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2000 race, as a benefit for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's cancer research and treatment programs. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), S.F. Admission is $15; call 221-8184 or visit www.thebalboatheater.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Non-A's fans: Like you can read this
In this century, few baseball teams have captured the hearts of fans more than the Oakland Athletics. Bolstered by scrappy up-and-comers like Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and Barry Zito, they have slapped the face of the MLB with pure talent and hustle.
Conversely, few teams have broken those same hearts with as many post-season tank jobs and defections. Jason Giambi's exodus to the Yankees and New York catcher Jorge Posada's solo home run to beat the A's in the 2001 playoffs promoted the errant notion that unless the team spends millions, it'll be remembered only for Jeremy Giambi's non-slide in that same playoff game. Prove the doubters wrong at the Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees, beginning Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at the Oakland Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way. Tickets are $8-24; call (510) 762-2255 or visit oakland.athletics.mlb.com.
-- Kevin Chanel