What's On in San Francisco

The city’s diversity and eccentricity have at times influenced culture around the world, and are reflected in the San Francisco events calendar.

Residents get to enjoy a variety of festivals that celebrate the city’s history and character. From its famous gay pride parade to marathons and street festivals, expats will be spoiled for choice when it comes to annual events in San Francisco.

San Francisco Beer Week (February)

A 10-day festival that showcases the city’s craft beer scene with more than 500 events, lager-loving expats will be in beer heaven. Even those who don’t know the difference between pale ales and dunkel will find something to delight in. Festival-goers get to enjoy gourmet events that sample some of the best food in San Francisco, meet the best brewers in the Bay Area, and can even attend home brewing demonstrations.    

San Francisco International Film Festival (April/May)

The longest-running film festival in North America, around 80,000 tickets are sold every year to cinephiles who get to enjoy some of the best new films from around the globe. For those with a taste for the finer things, there is a black-tie awards dinner that celebrates filmmakers and festival favourites in a glitzy setting.   

Uncorked Wine Festival (May)

Lovers of wine and food should look no further than the Uncorked Wine Festival to tantalise their taste buds. The celebration showcases the region’s vineyards, and pairs some of California’s finest wines with delicious snacks and gourmet treats.

Bay to Breakers (May)

Part-fundraiser, part-marathon and part-celebration, the Bay to Breakers footrace has been a San Francisco institution since 1906. From serious athletes to costumed casuals, winners’ medals are presented to both the fastest and best-dressed runners. Participants are urged along by cocktail sipping onlookers while the race finishes with a music festival at Ocean Beach.

Haight Ashbury Street Fair (June)

Originally the centre of the hippie movement in the 1960s, Haight Ashbury is one of San Francisco’s most colourful neighbourhoods and each June, the Haight Ashbury Street Fair celebrates its creativity and style in a vibrant celebration that is not to be missed. Two stages showcase some of the city’s finest in local artists.

San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration (June)

One of the wildest and friendliest on the planet, the San Francisco Pride Parade follows a week of celebrations. The city’s diverse gay community is joined by politicians, drag queens and the all-female Dykes on Bikes motorcycle club, among countless others. The colourful contingent struts down Market Street to the cheers of the thousands of onlookers who gather to witness the event every year.

San Francisco Waterfront Festival (July)

Every year on the fourth of July, city residents gather on Pier 39 to enjoy an evening of food, fireworks and live entertainment. There is no better way to experience this most American of holidays in the city.

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (August/September)

Since 1983, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival has been making the great bard’s greatest works accessible to everyone in the city. More than 30,000 spectators attend the Free Shakespeare in the Park performances.

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