San Francisco Events

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Events in San Francisco, California

Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival
- Indulge in chocolate at this festival. Admission is free, but visitors must pay a fee to sample the chocolate. Held at Ghirardelli Square each September.

North Beach Festival - Considered one of the country's original outdoor festivals. Situated in the North Beach District, this event features arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and children's activities. The event is free and takes place each June.

Stern Grove Festival - This annual festival is an admission-free event providing the public access to diverse performing arts. Takes place at the Sigmund Stern Grove, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Takes place each summer.

Shakespeare Festival - One of the main events of the Shakespeare Festival is producing free Shakespeare in the park. Over 50,000 people will experience high quality, professional theater for free. The performances take place from July through October.

Chinese New Year Festival & Parade - The Chinese New Year Parade has been named one of the top ten parades in the world. This festival was first started in the 1860's. Enjoy gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, and see Miss Chinatown USA. The festival takes place during the month of February.

Carnaval - A Brazilian celebration with costumes, booths, food, and a parade. This festival happens every year on Memorial Day weekend.

Pacific Orchid Exposition - This event takes place in February. It is sponsored by the San Francisco Orchid Society. The expo displays more than 150,000 varieties of orchids. Visitors will enjoy beautiful displays and can also purchase orchids to take home.

California Antiquarian Book Fair - The world's largest rare book fair takes place each February in San Francisco. The fair also features manuscripts and maps.

St. Patrick's Day Parade - One of the longest running parades in the U.S. is celebrated with music, dance and Irish cuisine. There is also a festival that takes place after the parade.

San Francisco Flower and Garden Show - This show takes place each spring in the Bay Area. Displays feature gardens, spring plantings, decorations and more. Happens to be one of the largest garden shows in the nation.

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival - This festival takes place each April in Japantown. Enjoy Japanese cuisine, origami, music, dance, martial arts, a parade and vendor booths.

Sidewalk Arts and Crafts Show - During the month of April this festival takes place. Features paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more. The event lasts two to three days; artists set up their booths along sidewalks or in a park.

Opening Day on the Bay
- The last Sunday in April is always the official opening day of Northern California's sailing season. On this day more than 150 boats, all decorated, head across the San Francisco Bay in parade formation.

International Children's Film Festival - An event featuring more than 150 short films from around the world. The films are clustered for different age groups- toddler to teen. Many varieties including animation, live action and documentary.

Ethnic Dance Festival - Takes place each weekend in June, features various ethnic dance associations. Located at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration - Enjoy a day of fun with live music and concerts on Pier 39. When it gets dark, spectators will enjoy San Francisco's annual fireworks display. This event happens every Fourth of July.

San Francisco Aloha Festival - This two-day festival is free and offers talent in music and dance by the Pacific Islanders of San Francisco. This festival is held every first full weekend in August. The festival will also feature arts and crafts vendors, island cuisine, workshops and games for kids. This event is alcohol-free.

Fleet Week - This event pays tribute to our nation's Armed Forces. The event features a parade of ships, ship tours, military displays and an air show. Takes place each October at Pier 39.

Excelsior Festival - This free family event features live music, entertainment, a children's area, food, art and craft vendors. This annual festival began in 2003 and has continued to be a tradition each October.

Holiday Tree Lighting - This Pier 39 holiday tradition happens each November. Visitors will enjoy entertainment and the lighting of the majestic tree, which is located in the Entrance Plaza.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair - This fair revives traditions of an old English Victorian Christmas with theaters, a music hall, shops, food, period costumes and more. Starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and continues for four weekends.

San Francisco Marathon - Held in July or August, includes a full marathon, two half marathons and a 5k. The course runs past many landmarks including Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and finishes near the Ferry Building.

Fillmore Street Jazz Festival - The largest free Jazz festival on the West Coast. Visitors can enjoy live music from multiple stages, or visit over 8 blocks of arts and crafts and gourmet food and beverages. Takes place Independence day weekend.