Exciting Festivals in San Francisco You Must Attend When in SF

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in San Francisco | Events in San Francisco

San Francisco is a hub of cultural celebrations and festivities all year long. Come and be a part of this beautiful array of merrymaking and indulge yourself in this festive vibe. Whether you're a local, passerby, or a tourist, here is a list of festivals in San Francisco you must attend if you’re in town!

Here is the list of 16 Exciting Festivals in San Francisco You Must Attend When in SF

1. Chinese New Year Parade

Chinese New Year Parade

Date: February
Venue: China Town

The Chinese New Year is an annual event that consists of two weeks-long festivities that commence on the day of the Chinese New Year.  The tradition started in the 1860s during the Gold Rush. The Chinese in San Francisco celebrate this day to share their culture with those who are unacquainted with it, and what better way to do it than with a parade! Magnificent floats, costumes, drums, lanterns, and firecrackers leave the spectators awestruck.

2. Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival

Date: April
Venue: Japan Town

The Cherry blossom festival in San Francisco is a vibrant display of Japanese heritage and traditions. Each year, more than 200,000 people attend this festival to witness the dazzling display of Japanese culture's poise and grace. It is a symbol of the cordial relationship between Japan and the USA.

3. Pride Parade

Pride Parade

Date: June
Venue: Market Street to 8th street

San Francisco's pride parade is one of the largest celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community in the world. The first March was conducted in June 1970 by the San Francisco Gay Liberation Front, and it has become a tradition since. The parade consists of hundreds of groups and organizations putting up booths, dance performances, trunk, and float showcases too. Parents, friends, and relatives come and show their support towards the community.

4. Outside Lands Music Festival

Outside Lands Music Festival

Date: August
Venue: Golden Gate Park

The Outside lands music festival in San Francisco is a celebration of the coming together of performers, artists, and music lovers. It is the largest independently-owned music festival in the U.S. It is a day-long experience where people go and enjoy music, food, wine, and art. The festival also attempts to promote environment-friendly strategies to minimize the large environmental footprint and conducting eco-friendly workshops as well!

5. Carnaval San Francisco

Carnaval San Francisco

Date: May
Venue: Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets

Carnaval is an annual family street fest and parade conduct in San Francisco every year. It started in February 1979 as a small parade performance by a group who came together in Precita Park, and it is one of the largest celebrations of global culture on the West Coast. It is a vibrant showcase of global cuisine, dance, music, arts, and crafts on every nook and corner of the street.

6. International Beer Festival

International Beer Festival

Date: April
Venue: Fort Mason Centre, Gallery 308

The international beer festival in San Francisco attracts brewers from far and near. You get a taste of everything ranging from beer to delicious bites of food to local music. It is a vibe that has to be experienced, and it is a fun way to meet beer lovers and make new friends. It is a fundraiser event for the Telegraph Hill nursery school as well, so checks the good cause box as well!

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7. San Francisco International Film Festival

San Francisco International Film Festival

Date: April
Venue: SF's top theatres, including the Castro Theatre, the Victoria Theatre, and the Roxie Theatre in the Mission District.

The San Francisco Film festival is held for two weeks in Spring. It is an attempt to bring films from all over the world to America. It began in 1957 and is one of the longest-running film festivals in America. It is currently conducted by the San Francisco film society. There is a showcase of around 200 films from 50 countries, and it is a massive cultural event.

8. S.F. Jazz Festival

S.F. Jazz Festival

Date: June
Venue: San Francisco Jazz Centre

S.F. jazz festival in San Francisco is a celebration of Jazz music like never before. The stage is home to performers ranging from legendary evergreen artists to the fresh blood jazz musicians. It is conducted by the non-profit organization SFJAZZ, which is dedicated to jazz music and education. The festival is a musical roller coaster ride that takes each participant through a musical journey through time.

9. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Date: October
Venue: Golden Gate Park

Hardly strictly bluegrass is a non-profitable music festival that supports musicians from all genres since 2001. So, you can enjoy tunes from blues to country to bluegrass to zydeco all at one venue. It is an annual three-day festival, free for any music lover who wants to attend it. So, go and set up your own mini picnic and experience the refreshing vibe and music at the park.

10. Castro Street Fair

Castro Street Fair

Date: October
Venue: Intersection of Market Street & Castro Street

The Castro street fair is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. It is conducted on the first Sunday of October since 1974. There is a wide array of local artisans, food vendors, D.J.s, and organization stalls that come together to showcase their works and display their solidarity and diversity. It is also a fundraising event for local non-profit organizations!

11. Tree Lighting Ceremony

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Date: November
Venue: Union Square

The tree lighting ceremony at Union Square is the official start to the holiday season. It is a free event, and a must experience with your family. You can sip on your hot cocoa and nimble of delicious Christmas treats while watching one of the largest crystal Christmas trees in all of North America light up. The ice-rink at the Union square during the Christmas season is a major attraction as well.

12. San Francisco Chocolate Salon

San Francisco Chocolate Salon

Date: March
Venue: San Francisco County Fair Building

The San Francisco Chocolate Salon is a display of artisan and gourmet chocolate. It is literally heaven for chocolate lovers and fanatics. Once you are in, you can witness the whole array of chocolate in forms you never imagined. The festival includes talks by chefs and authors, demonstrations, and chocolate tasting. So chocolate addicts, come savor this opportunity and live your dream!

13. Bay to Breakers

Bay to Breakers

Date: May
Venue: San Francisco Bay to the Great Highway breakers.

Bay to Breakers is a footrace from the northeast end to the west of the city, which is a 7.6 miles course. It is a fun-filled race with people dressing up in funny costumes for the event. The first race was conducted in 1912 to lift the spirits of the people after the massive earthquake. Come be a part of this long-running frolic filled tradition!

14. San Francisco Independence Day

San Francisco Independence Day

Date: July 4
Venue: By the Bay

Fourth of July in the US Independence Day. The whole city is busy with merrymaking and festivities. You can spend the day by the bay, take a ferry, set up your barbecue at the park, or spend it at Pier 39. At around 9:30, head down to the bay and watch a musical and magical showcase of fireworks with American patriotic music playing in the background.

15. San Francisco Street Food Festival

San Francisco Street Food Festival

Date: August
Venue: Pier 70, 420 22nd Street

The Street Food festival in San Francisco is a celebration of food and eateries. Chefs from over 50+ restaurants, local food vendors, and entrepreneurs come together to present an array of mouth-watering delicacies. It is a cultural beanfeast Venue you spend the whole day eating, drinking, and merrymaking. There are fun, family-friendly events, games, and musical performances all day as well.

16. San Francisco Sketchfest

San Francisco Sketchfest

Date: January
Venue: Multiple locations across the city

The San Francisco sketch fest is a rib-tickling celebration of American comedy. It was the first of its kind in the bay area starting in 2002. The event includes television events, theatrical performances, film events, live recordings of podcasts, guest performances, and lots more. There are the live sketch and improv performances that will give you a laugh a minute.

This post was published by Devarchita Sen

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