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San Francisco Events

If you like partying and dress-ups, San Francisco could be just the ticket, so go ahead and travel to San Francisco at any time of the year. One of the major San Francisco events, the Chinese New Year, (late January/early February) is celebrated in Chinatown with color and verve similar to Chinese centers in Asia. In late April, Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated in Japantown with martial arts demos, tea ceremonies and other Japanese events. Also in April is San Francisco's International Film Festival , the oldest in the USA. On the third Sunday in May, over 100,000 joggers take part in the Bay to Breakers run, many of them in silly costume (and sometimes in nothing at all).

June is a celebratory month for San Francisco 's gay community, with many San Francisco events including a film festival and Gay Pride Week leading up to the last Sunday in June, when the outrageous Gay Freedom Day Parade is held. The evening before the parade is the Dyke March and the Pink Saturday party on Castro St, attended by up to half a million people. Carnaval is celebrated in the Mission district over Memorial Day weekend in May.

Stern Grove, a woodsy park in the Sunset district, teems with music lovers on weekends during its free June-through-August concert series . Cable car drivers compete to be the loudest or most tuneful in the late June/early July Cable Car Bell-Ringing Championship . September is chock full of San Francisco events and festivals: there's free Opera in the Park , free Shakespeare performances , a blues festival and the Folsom St Fair , the sexiest S&M street fair in the city. San Francisco really turns it on for Halloween (31 October): this may be the most crazed night of the year, with hundreds of thousands of costumed revelers taking to the streets, particularly Castro St.

1/2004

16-19 Jan
San Francisco International Art Exposition . An eclectic collection of contemporary art fills the Herbst and Festival Pavilions at Fort Mason. For information, call toll-free 877-734-2399. http://www.sfiae.com.

1/2004

1-18 Jan
Art Exhibit . "Degas Sculptures" presents all 73 bronze sculptures by the late 19th-century master of impressionism. On loan from Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Brazil, it is one of only four complete sets in existence. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park ( 34th Avenue and Clement Street). Phone 415-863-3330. http://www.famsf.org. Concludes 18 Jan

2/2004

Early February
California Antiquarian Book Fair . The country's largest book fair showcases rare and antiquarian books and manuscripts. Highlights include early printed books, illustrated books, fine bindings, early American literature, modern first editions, children's books, maps and autographs. Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth Street. For information, call 415-551-5190. http://www.californiabookfair.com.

2/2004

1-15 Feb
Photography Exhibit . "Reverie and Reality: 19th-Century Photographs of India " exhibits more than 120 vintage 19th-century photographs of India. Featured photographers include Linnaeus Tripe, Samuel Bourne, John Murray and Lala Din Dayal. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park ( 34th Avenue and Clement Street). Phone 415-863-3330. http://www.famsf.org. Concludes 15 Feb

 

2/2004

21-29 Feb
Tulipmania . A display of more than 39,000 tulips arranged along Pier 39 in this 25-year-old tradition. Free tours are also offered daily at 10 am and 1 pm, and landscaping specialists point out the differences among the varieties. For information, call 415-705-5500. http://www.pier39.com.

 

2/2004

1-8 Feb
Photography Exhibit . "Diane Arbus Revelations" presents 200 images by the 20th-century photographer, as well as contact sheets, cameras, letters, notebooks and other writings by Arbus. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. Phone 415-357-4000. TDD 415-357-4154. For advance tickets, call TicketWeb at 866-468-3399. http://www.sfmoma.org. Concludes 8 Feb

 

2/2004

Early-Late February
San Francisco Crab Festival . Organized by the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Center, this monthlong event celebrates the Pacific Coast 's Dungeness crab. Events include the annual Bon Appetit Wine and Spirits Focus and Crab and Wine Marketplace in early February, followed by events at local restaurants and other venues throughout the month. For information, call 415-391-2000. http://www.sfvisitor.org/crab.

 

2/2004

1-8 Feb
Chinese New Year Celebration . The lunar calendar's new year is lavishly welcomed in Chinatown and is one of the major San Francisco events. There is a New Year Flower Fair and a Chinese Community Street Fair, as well as a beauty pageant. The Golden Dragon Parade, a procession of costumed characters and floats, is said to be the nation's best. For information and tickets, call the Chinese Chamber of Commerce at 415-391-9680. http://www.chineseparade.com. Concludes 8 Feb

 

3/2004

Mid March
Bouquets to Art . Lectures by horticulturists and displays by 100 of California 's top floral designers. Lunch and tea served. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park ( 34th Avenue and Clement Street). Phone 415-863-3330. http://www.famsf.org.

 

3/2004

4-11 Mar
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival . Showcases Asian and Asian-American cinema by new and established filmmakers. Special events include "Directions of Sound," which features Asian-American musicians. Castro Theater, 429 Castro St. and Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post St. For information, call 415-863-0814. http://www.naatanet.org.

 

3/2004

17-21 Mar
San Francisco Garden Show . North America 's third largest garden show covers six acres with hundreds of exhibits, gardens and free educational seminars. Cow Palace, Geneva Avenue and Santos. For information, call 415-771-6909. http://www.gardenshow.com.

 

4/2004

Throughout April
Dance . The San Francisco Ballet performs regularly in the War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave. For information, call 415-861-5600. For tickets, call 415-865-2000. http://www.sfballet.org. Concludes late April

 

4/2004

3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 Apr
Cherry Blossom Festival . Japanese street fair with food, flower arranging, and arts and crafts. Also a parade that departs from the Civic Center and ends in Japantown, via Geary Street. For more information, call 415-563-2313.

 

4/2004

Throughout April
NBA Basketball . The Golden State Warriors host regular-season home games at The Arena in Oakland, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. For information and tickets, call 510-986-2200. For tickets, call 415-478-2277, or toll-free 888-479-4667. http://www.nba.com/warriors. Season concludes late April

 

5/2004

Early-Mid May
San Francisco International Film Festival . The country's oldest cinematic festival incorporates all categories. More than 100 films are screened at the Castro Theatre and other venues. For information about programs and times of this San Francisco event, phone 415-561-5000. For tickets, call 925-275-9490. http://www.sffs.org. Concludes mid May

 

5/2004

14-16 May
Bay to Breakers Foot Race . A large race, with more than 100,000 costumed participants running from the Embarcadero to the Great Highway. For information, call 415-359-2800. http://www.baytobreakers.com.

 

5/2004

2 May
Cinco de Mayo . Festival commemorating Mexico 's Battle of Puebla (1862). Arts and crafts, entertainment and food at the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza. Also a parade down Mission Street. For information, call 415-826-1401 or 415-256-3005.

 

5/2004

29, 30 May
Carnaval . A multicultural street festival featuring dancers, food and Latino, jazz, samba, Caribbean music and more. A parade on Sunday draws lavish floats, costumed dancers and international musicians. Harrison Street between 16th and 22nd streets. For information, call 415-920-0125. http://www.carnavalsf.com.

 

6/2004

Early June
Haight Street Fair . This street fair displays the creative roots of one of San Francisco 's most famous neighborhoods with arts, crafts and entertainment. For more information, call 415-863-3489. http://www.haightstreetfair.org.

 

6/2004

5, 6 Jun
Union Street Festival . One of the city's largest free arts festivals features works by more than 200 artists, as well as live music from two stages, specialty food booths and an interactive children's area. Union Street between Gough and Steiner streets. For information, call 415-456-6455, or toll-free 800-310-6563. http://www.unionstreetfestival.com.

 

6/2004

1-4 Jun
Art Exhibit . "Art Deco: 1910-1939" displays 300 works from collections in Europe, America and Japan that explore the origins, influence and cultural and economic context of this popular style. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park ( 34th Avenue and Clement Street). Phone 415-863-3330. http://www.famsf.org. Concludes 4 Jun

 

6/2004

10 Jun
Film . The Seventh Art: New Dimensions in Cinema presents films that use unconventional techniques and themes, in conjunction with discussions by filmmakers, critics and curators. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. Phone 415-357-4000. TDD 415-357-4154. For advance tickets, call TicketWeb at 866-468-3399. http://www.sfmoma.org.

 

6/2004

Early June
Berkeley Festival and Exhibition . A biennial festival of music. Venues include Hertz Hall, First Congregational Church and St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley and Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek. For tickets, call 510-642-9988. http://bfx.berkeley.edu/bfx.

 

6/2004

Throughout June
Concert . The San Francisco Symphony performs regularly in Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. and the Flint Center, 21520 Stevens Creek Blvd., Flint (40 mi/65 km south of San Francisco ). For information, call 415-552-8000. For tickets, call 415-864-6000. http://www.sfsymphony.org. Concludes late June

 

6/2004

19, 20 Jun
North Beach Festival . The city's oldest urban street fair presents the neighborhood's Italian heritage with live entertainment and arts and crafts. It attracts approximately 100,000 people each year. Washington Square Park and Green Street at Columbus. For information, call 415-989-2220. http://www.sfnorthbeach.com.

 

6/2004

Mid-Late June
San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival . One of the largest and oldest events of its kind. More than 250 films are screened at the Castro Theatre and other venues. For information, call 415-703-8650. http://www.frameline.org.

 

7/2004

Early-Mid July
Opera . The San Francisco Opera performs in War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave. For information, call 415-861-4008. For tickets, call 415-864-3330. http://www.sfopera.com. Concludes mid July

 

7/2004

4 Jul
Independence Day . Public holiday. Traditional San Francisco events: Fireworks begin at around 9 pm at Fisherman's Wharf. For information, call 415-705-5500. http://www.pier39.com.

 

7/2004

1-4 Jul
Exhibit . "Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti." Multimedia presentation explores the influence and legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the Nigerian Afrobeat musician, composer and activist. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. Phone 415-978-2787. http://www.yerbabuenaarts.org. Concludes 4 Jul

 

8/2004

Early August
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2004 . More than 50 films by national and international filmmakers are screened at one of the largest and longest-running Jewish film festivals. Castro Theater, 429 Castro St. and other venues. For more information, call 415-621-0556. www.sfjff.org. Concludes early August

9/2004

26 Sep
Folsom Street Fair . Arts, crafts, entertainment and food mark one of the city's most risque street fairs. Folsom Street between Seventh and 12th streets. For information, call 510-861-3247. http://www.folsomstreetfair.com.

 

12/2004

Throughout December
Musical . Beach Blanket Babylon continues its zany, garish satire of popular culture with performances Wednesday-Sunday. Order tickets well in advance. Club Fugazi, 678 Green St., North Beach. Phone 415-421-4222. http://www.beachblanketbabylon.com Concludes late December

 

12/2004

Throughout December
Art Exhibit . "In a New Light: The Asian Art Museum Collection." Part of the museum's permanent collection, this ongoing exhibit presents more than 2,500 objects from the major cultures of Asia. Highlights include Indian stone sculptures, carved Chinese jades, Tibetan thangkas and decorated Islamic manuscripts. Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St. Phone 415-581-3500. http://www.asianart.org. Concludes late December

 

12/2004

Throughout December
Photography Exhibit . "Picturing Modernity." These selections from the SFMOMA collection survey the 150-year-old history of photography, which developed alongside the modern art movement. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. Phone 415-357-4000. TDD 415-357-4154. For advance tickets, call TicketWeb at 866-468-3399. http://www.sfmoma.org. Concludes late December

 

12/2004

Throughout December
Art Exhibit . Part of the museum's permanent collection, "Matisse and Beyond: The Painting and Sculpture Collection" focuses on California art and the early work of Henri Matisse and covers 20th-century modern art. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. Phone 415-357-4000. TDD 415-357-4154. For advance tickets, call TicketWeb at 866-468-3399. http://www.sfmoma.org. Concludes late December

 

12/2004

Throughout December
NFL Football . The San Francisco 49ers play regular-season home games at 3 Com Park at Candlestick Point, 602 Jamestown Ave. For information, call 415-656-4900. For tickets, call TicketMaster at 415-421-8497. http://www.sf49ers.com. Season concludes late December

 

12/2004

Throughout December
NFL Football . The Oakland Raiders play regular-season home games at the Network Associates Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. For information, call 510-864-5000. For tickets, call 510-569-2121 or 510-762-2277. http://www.raiders.com. Season concludes late December

 

Public holidays
January 1 - New Year's Day
third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Jr Day
third Monday in February - Presidents' Day
March/April - Easter
last Monday in May - Memorial Day
July 4 - Independence Day
first Monday in September - Labor Day
second Monday in October - Columbus Day
November 11 - Veterans Day
fourth Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
December 25 - Christmas Day

 


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