JULY 2-OCTOBER 2 (Weekends only and Labor Day Monday)
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
San Francisco, Pleasanton, Cupertino and Redwood City, 415-558-0888
Bring your family, friends, a blanket and a picnic to enjoy “A Winter’s Tale” in a beautiful park setting!
JULY 21-AUGUST 7
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Castro Theater and other venues around the Bay Area, 415-621-0556 (info), 866-558-4253 (tickets)
Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and vitality of Jewish culture. The festival is the first, oldest and most prestigious celebration of its kind in the world.
Japan Film Festival of San Francisco
New People Cinema, 1746 Post St.
Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is the first and only fully dedicated annual Japanese film event in the San Francisco Bay Area. Showcasing the latest in anime, live-action and documentaries straight from Japan, this week-long festival will take place in San Francisco’s historic Japantown.
San Francisco Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk
Ferry Building, The Embarcadero
Enjoy the amazing city of San Francisco by taking part in one of the world’s great marathons. The USAT&F Certified course is a “best of San Francisco” tour and includes a loop over the Golden Gate Bridge. Choose from running the marathon, half marathon, progressive marathon, 5K run/walk races or really take on the challenge with the “Worth the Hurt” 52.4 double marathon.
Up Your Alley Fair
Dore Alley between Folsom and Howard and adjoining block of Folsom between Ninth and 10th streets, 415-777-3247
Similar to September’s Folsom Street Fair, which is the climax of Leather Pride Week, this event has a more local appeal for leatherfolk and draws some 12,000+ attendees.
San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival
Golden Gate Park
This huge event in Golden Gate Park has upped the ante on music festivals going green and “leveraged San Francisco’s food, wine, technology and activism cultures,’ according to Rolling Stone, “for a one-of-a-kind world-class experience.”
American Craft Council San Francisco Show
Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 612-206-3100
This is the largest juried craft event west of the Rockies, featuring more than 225 of the nation’s top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor artists.
Nihonmachi Street Fair
Japantown and Japan Center, 415-771-9861
A celebration of the Asian and Pacific communities in the Bay Area, with an emphasis on the nonprofit organizations that provide vital services. Live musical and cultural performances, Asian artisans, food, information tables, exhibits, and Children’s World.
AUGUST 6-NOVEMBER 12
AfroSolo Arts Festival
Various venues, 415-771-AFRO (2376)
The 22nd annual event features celebrity and emerging African American artists in various performances such as a jazz concert, visual art exhibit, solo performances, a youth performance extravaganza and more.
Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 40 John F. Shelley Dr., 415-272-2012
The Excelsior District celebrates native son and Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia with an outdoor concert and family fun.
Noe Valley Wine Walk
24th Street from Diamond to Chattanooga, 800-310-6563
The tasting event will include merchants offering wine samples and special treats inside their stores throughout 24th Street from Diamond to Chattanooga and on Castro Street.
San Francisco Street Food Festival
http://www.lacocinasf.org/ or http://www.sfstreetfoodfest.com/
La Cocina joins with Noise Pop and Midway to produce a two-day celebration of food, music and drink.
San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
1.5 mile swim course begins near Alcatraz Island and finishes at the East Beach of Crissy Field located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Presidio Park. Then, hop on a bike and cycle for 20 miles through the San Francisco hills. End the triatholon running seven miles on scenic oceanside trails.
Eat Drink SF
Fort Mason Center
Chefs, wine and spirits are celebrated in this interactive urban food and wine festival featuring local talent and regional ingredients in a series of tastings, classes, dinners and events.
Architecture and the City
Sponsored by AIA San Francisco, the largest architectural and design festival in the U.S. includes a series of architectural tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures, home shows and more.
Sausalito Art Festival
Sausalito’s yearly art festival has been showcasing stars from the contemporary art world since 1952. Browse fine art and crafts along the beautiful bay shore.
JLVelo Giro di San Francisco
Levi Strauss Plaza
Featuring more than 800 amateur and pro racers on a course covering northeast San Francisco, Il Giro (Italian for tour) begins at Levi Strauss Plaza and includes a day-long expo and a series of races for all levels and concludes with a pro race at 3 p.m.
San Francisco Symphony’s 105th Season Opening Night Gala
Davies Symphony Hall, 415-864-6000 (subscriptions available in March; individual tickets for concerts go on sale in July)
The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas open the orchestra’s regular season with an opening gala concert.
San Francisco Opera Opening Gala
War Memorial Opera House, 415-864-3330
The season begins with the annual opening night gala.
San Francisco Fringe Festival
Exit Theatre and other downtown venues,
415-931-1094 (info), 800-965-4827 or 415-673-3847 (tickets)
This annual festival is a marathon of 40-plus shows with low price tickets and a wide variety of alternative, classical, comedy, cabaret and new theater open to all performers on a non-curated basis.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
Ghirardelli Square, 415-775-5500
Discover unique chocolate desserts and delicacies from Ghirardelli and beyond at this annual chocolate celebration.
Autumn Moon Festival
Grant Ave. between California and Pacific Streets, 415-982-6306
This event features multicultural entertainment, traditional lion and dragon dances, arts and crafts, lantern village, moon cakes and children’s activities.
The Giant Race
AT&T Park, 415-972-1881
The Giant Race features a half marathon, 10K, and 5K distances, that all lead through San Francisco’s historic streets and finish on the field at AT&T Park – home of the San Francisco Giants. Families can participate in the Kids Race and Family Relay.
San Francisco Opera in the Park
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 415-864-3330
Enjoy this outdoor venue and free admission to an opera concert featuring arias and ensembles by the stars of the San Francisco Opera and the Opera Orchestra.
San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Nearly 100 dragon boat teams and 2,500 paddlers from across North America will race the 500-meter course; festival also features entertainment and children’s activities.
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 415-820-1570
Laugh out loud … it’s the free comedy “concert” featuring 30+ of the U.S.’s and Bay Area’s best comedians.
Big Book Sale
Fort Mason Center
Held at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, the Annual Big Book Sale will feature over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories.
Oktoberfest By The Bay
Pier 48 near AT&T Park, 888-746-7522
Bringing Munich’s autumn beer festival to the Bay, Oktoberfest features non-stop singing, dancing, music, German food and beverages.
Sausalito Floating Homes Tour
Self-guided tours include access to dozens of the most unique homes in the world; docents are onboard to describe Sausalito’s incredible waterfront style and to answer questions.
Bay Area Blues Festival
Two main stages, a merchant marketplace, arts and crafts, gourmet food booths and much more are all a part of this annual homage to San Francisco’s blues roots.
Folsom Street Fair
Folsom Street between Seventh and 12th Streets, 415-777-3247
The “daddy of all leather celebrations,” the Folsom Street Fair is the largest leather, alternative and fetish street fair in the world drawing some 400,000 attendees annually, dressed in leather, rubber, uniforms, drag or very little at all.
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 2
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park
This free celebration of music in the park includes a who’s who of blues, bluegrass and indie rock music.