From Cuban exiles to Bay Area salsa fanatics clad in nostalgic Cuban revolutionary gear and chomping the occasional cigar, Oakland’s Splash Pad Park was a crucible of various cultures Sunday as San Francisco-based Cuban salsa outfit, Team Bahia, performed some of its best tracks for a crowd of more than 300 dancers.

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In a season that grows increasingly materialistic with each passing year, why not at least support the local economy while showering your loved ones with presents? Oakland’s swelling arts scene, assortment of independent businesses, and, of course, its medical marijuana economy all make for endless gift options. Our guide lists ten possible sources for holiday gifts to fit every price range. Goodbye Target, hello Oakland.

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On Friday night, the spell that had been cast over Children’s Fairyland for the past 60 years ago was broken: adults were allowed into the park without a child.

For one night only, Oakland’s historic Children’s Fairyland opened its magical doors to the young at heart aged 21 and over. The spell that has been cast over Children’s Fairyland for 60 years was broken: adults were allowed into the park without a child last Friday night. For three hours, close to 1,200 adults, most of them in their 20s and 30s, marauded the historic wonderland. Some visited for the first time, others for the first time in more than 20 years.

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The New Parish team

Each year, Oaklandish, a non-profit organization that focuses on arts promotion and community building, gives out eight grants known as Innovator Awards. The recipients are Oakland-based groups and individuals working to improve city residents’ quality of life. Though this year’s honorees were named earlier in the year, Oaklandish celebrated the winners on Thursday night at The New Parish on San Pablo Avenue with a reception and concert.

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