Jerry Day 2016 At The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park

Jerry Day at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in Mclaren Park, San Francisco

Anyone who knows us knows that we work our tails off running a full service design agency. They also know that we have a lot of fun, go on a a lot of family adventures, and take a lot of vacations.

The key to making it all work is a family calendar — and the minute we got the date for San Francisco’s Jerry Day 2016, we added it to the calendar and planned on making it a full weekend adventure.

  • We spent Friday hiking the Lands End Trail and exploring the Lands End area of San Francisco, including the Giant Camera Obscura, Mile Rock Beach, and the Lands End Labyrinth. We also visited the Dutch Windmill and Murphy Windmill, as well as the Koret Children’s Quarters in Golden Gate Park, and then climbed the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps.
  • On Saturday, we visited the California Academy of Sciences and the Japanese Tea Garden, hiked to the top of Strawberry Hill at Stow Lake, and explored more of Golden Gate Park, including the famous Rose Garden. We also spent a few hours at the Apple Store that night getting Natalie a new phone — but that’s a story for another post.
  • Sunday morning we ate a hearty breakfast and headed out to San Francisco’s Bernal Height’s neighborhood to hike Bernal Hill for some spectacular panoramic views of the city and to visit the Bernal Hill Labyrinth. We then headed over to McLaren Park and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater to have a picnic lunch and relax under the trees for Jerry Day.

Jerry Day is a free, family-friendly, annual event that celebrates the music of famed guitarist Jerry Garcia. Held at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park, the 14th Annual Jerry Day featured the music local bands including, The Lady Crooners, Midnight North, Melvin Seals & JGB, and Stu Allen & Mars Hotel.

The music of the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band? A free, family-friendly, outdoor, music festival? San Francisco? Sounds perfect.

We wanted to go to Jerry Day last year, but we had already booked a beach house vacation with some good friends and were out of town. When we checked our schedule this year and saw the weekend was open, we were so excited! We booked a hotel for a long weekend, planned to visit the California Academy of Sciences and some more non-touristy, hidden San Francisco gems and secret spots, and got supplies to tie-dye new shirts for the whole family. Even Brian wore a tie-dye shirt — and if you know Brian at all, you know he never wears costumes or participates in matching anything.

We found a shady spot under a tree, spread out our picnic blanket, and spent the afternoon relaxing, soaking up the sun, enjoying the music of the Grateful Dead, and just making the most of our last family adventure weekend before school starts.

It was our first time seeing The Lady Crooners perform and they were fantastic — we’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of their shows. We’ve seen Melvin Seals & JGB and Midnight North play several times and they were awesome as always. We’ve also seen Stu Allen play numerous times, so we packed it up and hit the road before his set, making the two hour drive home before dark.

If you’re a Dead Fan, you should definitely be on the lookout for Jerry Day 2017 — it’s great for the whole family! With vendors selling tie dye and other accessories, food vendors on hand, and fantastic music, it really is a perfect day in the park.

Midnight North
Midnight North performed a 45 minute set at Jerry Day 2016, a free music festival in San Francisco’s McLaren Park honoring Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

Jerry Day 2016 Musical Lineup

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel is a Grateful Dead tribute band based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Filled with jam band veterans and Grateful Dead enthusiasts, the band featuring the ever-popular and always inventive Stu Allen (formerly of Melvin Seals & JGB). Mars Hotel presents familiar and obscure Dead songs which they use as launch pads for flights of improvisation.

Melvin Seals & JGB

Melvin Seals has been a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years with a long-established reputation as a performer, recording artist and producer. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become “Jam Band Music”. From blues to funk to rock to jazz, Melvin Seals serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up. Melvin Seals & JGB offers an exciting, often psychedelic musical journey that changes nightly and keeps the audience dancing and smiling (and some staring in amazement) for hours. Adding his rock-gospel-soul-rhythm and blues touch with his funky style of playing, no wonder Jerry nicknamed him “Master of the Universe”. Melvin continues to treat music lovers to his unique brand of melodic flavor with JGB.

Midnight North

When you come to a Midnight North show, you’ll find Elliott Peck, Grahame Lesh and Alex Jordan sliding into three part harmonies that are as comfortable as an old pair of jeans. You’ll hear bassist Connor O’Sullivan and new drummer Alex Koford making themselves at home in any groove from a stomp to a slow-burn or boogie. Settle in and you might find Midnight North writing a new page in the American songbook. Midnight North holds a weekly gig at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA where webcast live. They released two recordings in 2015. Scarlet Skies, the band’s second full length album was released on June 9th and Stayin’ Single, Drinkin’ Doubles, a 4 song digital EP, was released on Valentine’s Day.

The Lady Crooners

The Lady Crooners is a folk/pop/’almost country’ band from San Francisco, CA. The Lady Crooners formed in 2010 as a collaboration of siblings, Nadia and Joseph Krilanovich. Songwriting was a natural fit for the duo, him with a guitar, her with a love of storytelling, and both wanting to create something good. Adding little sister Megan, bassist Jason Braatz, lead-guitarist Kevin Conness, and producer/engineer John Smart on percussion/mandolin launched The Lady Crooners into their signature raucous, sophisticated, down-home act. They have released three albums, The Lady Crooners, The Surface, and Carry Me Home.

About Jerry Day

Conceived and established in the Excelsior District of San Francisco (Jerry Garcia’s childhood neighborhood), Jerry Day is a civic and cultural event that celebrates one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and San Francisco native son — Jerry Garcia.

This event captures the true spirit of Jerry Garcia as we celebrate his legacy, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and recognize his childhood roots from the Excelsior District of San Francisco. By uniting the diverse communities of San Francisco and beyond, through Jerry’s music, we are creating something extraordinary for Jerry’s childhood neighborhood — the Excelsior District, McLaren Park, and the City and County of San Francisco.

We’re already waiting for the announcement for Jerry Day 2017 so we can add it to our calendar!

Many links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link and purchase the item, I may receive a small affiliate commission — it costs you nothing extra but helps me keep the lights on and the hosting for this site paid. All affiliate links on this site use "/aff/" in the URL to denote that it is an affiliate link. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” and in following the rules of the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement. Yes, that means I am also an Amazon Associate and earn a small commission from qualifying Amazon purchases referred from links on this site.