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San Francisco Events

San Francisco Independent Film Festival

Hosted at various theatres in the Bay Area of the city, the annual San Francisco Indie Film Festival aims to bring a range of obscure, niche independent films and features to audiences in San Francisco. Prizes are awarded in various categories to winning filmmakers.

Date: 31 January 2019 - 14 February 2019
Venue: Various theatres in San Francisco
Website: http://sfindie.com/
Cost:

Various.


Chinese New Year Parade

This is a global and national event, but the celebrations are notable in San Francisco given that herein lies the largest Chinese community outside of China, making it easily one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in the US. There are floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, exploding firecrackers and the spectacular 268' Golden Dragon (Gum Lung).

Date: 23 February 2019 - 23 February 2019
Venue: Chinatown.
Website: http://www.chineseparade.com
Cost:

Free.


San Francisco International Film Festival

Over a packed 14-day period with around 200 films from more than 50 countries, the San Francisco International Film Festival screens an eclectic programme of features, shorts, documentaries, animations and student films drawn from the very best of world cinema. The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the films shown here showcase works that have not yet reached the mainstream movie-going audience.

Date: 10 April 2019 - 23 April 2019
Venue: Various theatres in the San Francisco area.
Website: https://www.sffilm.org/sffilmfestival-sffilm
Cost:

Various.

 


Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

This annual season of arts performances features six months of free events reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the Bay Area, including classical, jazz and world music, theatre, traditional and contemporary dance and children's and family programmes. The events take place in the Esplanade, Children’s Garden and Jessie Square among other locations. The festival includes the surrounding Yerba Buena neighbourhood and promotes its restaurants and other recreational opportunities.

Date: 01 May 2019 - 31 October 2019
Venue: Esplanade, Yerba Buena Gardens
Website: http://www.ybgfestival.org
Cost:

Free.


Bay to Breakers Race

Each year, runners take to the streets for the Bay to Breakers Race, the oldest annual footrace in the world and a staple for Bay area residents. Following a 12km (7.5 mile) route, participants make their way along a course that runs west throughout the city and Golden Gate Park and finishes at the Great Highway along the Pacific Coast’s beautiful Ocean Beach.

Date: 19 May 2019 - 19 May 2019
Venue: Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf
Website: https://www.baytobreakers.com/
Cost:

Free to spectate.


International Arts Festival

The International Arts Festival promotes the world of global arts and San Francisco through production of an annual, multi-disciplinary festival that brings together a global community of artists and audiences. Events to promote the festival also take place throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those by checking the festival’s website.

Date: 23 May 2019 - 02 June 2019
Venue: Various.
Website: http://www.sfiaf.org
Cost:

Various.


Carnaval

San Francisco is not a city short on parades, but this is among the most noteworthy, as it’s San Francisco's version of Mardi Gras features two days of dancing, music and celebration of the diverse Latin American and Caribbean roots in the area. Food vendors offer tempting delicacies, while others sell crafts native to the celebration. Entertainment includes a Carnaval King and Queen competition and a Grand Parade that passes through streets of the Mission District.

Date: 25 May 2019 - 26 May 2019
Venue: Various venues.
Website: http://www.carnavalsanfrancisco.org/
Cost:

Free.


San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival began back in 1983 with the debut production of 'The Tempest' in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It was such a success that it became an annual event and eventually had to move to a bigger venue at Presidio Parade Ground. The event remains free and performs a variety of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Seating is on a first come, first served basis so visitors are advised to arrive early with a blanket and picnic basket.

Date: 01 June 2019 - 30 September 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Presidio Parade Ground
Website: http://www.sfshakes.org
Cost:

Free.


Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

An icy cold 2.4km (1.5-mile) swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shoreline, a 29km (18-mile) bike ride on the Great Highway and concludes with a13km (8-mile) trail run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Entries are limited to 2,000 competitors each year and is recommended only for experienced triathletes. However, spectators are welcome and encouraged to cheer on the hardy men and women as they make their way through this grueling trek.

Date: 09 June 2019 - 09 June 2019
Venue: Presidio/Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Website: http://www.escapealcatraztri.com
Cost:

Free to spectate.


North Beach Festival

The North Beach Festival is considered one of the country's original outdoor festivals. The event is situated in the historic North Beach District, known to locals and visitors alike as San Francisco's Little Italy and the home of the famed beat generation. The Festival site includes numerous quaint streets in the heart of the district including Grant Avenue and Columbus Avenue. The event features over 125 arts and crafts booths, 20 gourmet food booths, two stages of live entertainment, Italian street painting, beverage gardens, a kids’ chalk art area and the blessing of the animals.

Date: 15 June 2019 - 16 June 2019
Venue: Little Italy.
Website: https://www.sresproductions.com/events/north-beach-festival/
Cost:

Free.


Stern Grove Festival

Each Sunday afternoon throughout the summer, locals and visitors can enjoy Sigmund Stern Grove’s programme of free musical performances and other theatrical shows. Entertainment ranges from old school rhythm and blues to hip hop and rap acts. The park, with its natural amphitheatre and backdrop of towering trees and forest is a great venue for such an event, which has taken place every year since 1938.

Date: 16 June 2019 - 18 August 2019
Venue: Sigmund Stern Grove.
Website: http://www.sterngrove.org/
Cost:

Free.


San Francisco LGBT Pride

One of the biggest, most extravagant and well-known pride events in the world, this event is open for all to enjoy and those that attend will see many participants and floats throughout the two days. Celebrations begin in the Civic Center but the real fun erupts on the following day with the parade taking over the city's streets with colour, dancers, and music.

Date: 29 June 2019 - 30 June 2019
Venue: Streets of San Francisco.
Website: http://www.sfpride.org/
Cost:

Free to spectate.


San Francisco Marathon

The 42km (26.2 miles) marathon takes in many of the most famous sites and streets of San Francisco. Starting from the Embarcadero at the renovated Ferry Building and Food Mart, the course goes west through Fisherman's Wharf and by Crissy Field. It continues along the Marina, crosses the Golden Gate Bridge then loops around and returns across the bridge. The route also takes in Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower and the famous Haight Ashbury District. The course ends back where it started at the Ferry Building. The event also offers a variety of races from a full marathon to a 5K and an Ultramarathon.

Date: 28 July 2019 - 28 July 2019
Venue: Streets of San Francisco.
Website: http://www.thesfmarathon.com/
Cost:

Free to spectators.


Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival

Music, food, wine, beer, comedy and art come together in this annual festival held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Every August, a vast setlist of artists draw crowds to the Park for this Bay area end-of-summer showcase.

Date: 09 August 2019 - 11 August 2019
Venue: Golden Gate Park.
Website: https://www.sfoutsidelands.com/home/

San Francisco Fringe Festival

Each year the San Francisco Fringe Festival presents a lively programme of theatrical performances by theatre companies and amateur groups from San Francisco and beyond. Over its 12-day run, visitors can expect to see a wide array of performances from serious drama to comedy sketches. The thing that makes this eclectic festival truly unique is that there is no curator and the line-up is determined by a lottery system which ensures an extremely varied programme.

Date: 05 September 2019 - 14 September 2019
Venue: Various theatres in San Francisco.
Website: http://www.sffringe.org/
Cost:

Various.


Opera in the Park

Opera in the Park is a free event that takes place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in Sharon Meadow. Created to make opera more accessible to the general public, the inaugural event was held in 1971 and has become one of the most popular fixtures on the city's summer calendar. Most visitors pack a lunch and a bottle of wine and settle in for an afternoon of quality entertainment.

Date: 08 September 2019 - 08 September 2019
Venue: Robin Williams Meadow, Golden Gate Park
Website: https://sfopera.com/discover-opera/free-events/opera-in-the-park/
Cost:

Free.


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