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This Week's Hottest Events: Nighttime Garden Party, Tableside Tomato Cart, & More

7x7 editors reveal the hottest events going on this week and give you a head's up on tickets to grab in advance (before they sell out)!

Honoring the Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite 

Little known fact: African American troopers at the turn of the century, also known as the Buffalo Soldiers, were sent to Yosemite and Sequoias Parks in 1899, 1903, and 1904 to patrol the land and consequently played a crucial part in their preservation. This week award winning journalist and MOAD founding board member Belva Davis and Rue Mapp, Founder of Outdoor Afro, will lead a conversation with Outdoor Afro members reporting on a June 2014 trip to retrace the trail of the Buffalo Soldiers from the Presidio of San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. Proceeds will support efforts to make the Buffalo Soldiers' trail a national landmark.

Wednesday, July 16: Reception, 5:30 pm, Program, 6:00 pm, 678 Mission Street. Get tickets here

Bix Celebrates Summer With a Table-Side Tomato Cart 

The highly anticipated tomato season has officially arrived in the Bay Area, and with it,  the annual table-side tomato cart at Bix. Chef de Cuisine Edward Higgins has sourced an excellent selection of tomatoes from local purveyor Mariquita Farms, which are featured in a salad prepared tableside ($15). The cart will be available for dinner service throughout tomato season and features house-made mozzarella, a basil chiffonade, extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt. 

Wednesday, July 16 - the end of tomato season. 5:30 pm daily, 56 Gold Street 

2nd Annual Matatu Film Festival 

Returning for a second year, the Matatu Film Festival takes its name from matatus, East African minibuses that are decorated with popular icons and sounds. The different films in the festival spotlight unique journeys regardless of age, geographical bounds, sexual preference, race, and socio-economic status and the story that represents the sacred agreement among disparate communities.

Runs from July 16 to 19: $12/day pass, $72/festival pass. 45 Grand Avenue, Oakland. Get tickets here. 

East Bay Adopt-a-Thon 

The annual Oakland Adopt-a-thon is set to take over Jack London Square with furry friends looking for forever homes. More than 350 adoptable animals from 40 East Bay pet adoption agencies will set up along the waterfront, including dogs, cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, rats, birds and reptiles, as well as canine demonstrations, pet vendors, $10 microchip implants for dogs, and more. 

Saturday, July 19: 10 am – 3 pm, Jack London Square, Oakland 

NIGHT LIGHT: Multimedia Garden Party 

Night Light: Multimedia Garden Party will blanket SOMArts Cultural Center in luminous art installations, including 5 audiovisual performances, and digital and cinematic projections by more than 30 artists. For one night only, so don't miss it. 

Saturday, July 19: 9 pm–midnight, $12, SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. Get tickets here.