San Francisco Events

San Francisco EventsFor approximately two weeks every January, the city hosts the “Dine about Town” event. Around 100 different restaurants participate in the annual food festival that provides the opportunity to dine on lunches or dinners at discounts of up to 25 percent. The varieties of venues welcoming guests serve a wide selection of cuisines that span from American to Vietnamese. Ensuring a table at a particular restaurant of choice requires making reservations.

The Chinese population of San Francisco ushers in the New Year with two weeks of festivities that begin with the Chinese New Year Parade in February. The celebrations began in the 1860s, during the days of the Gold Rush era and evolved into the largest Asian event in North America. Elaborately decorated floats, costumes and characters accompany marching bands, martial arts groups and Chinese acrobats. The highlight of the parade remains the Golden Dragon, which makes an appearance at the end of the procession. Bamboo and rattan comprise the dragon’s skeleton and numerous materials create the gorgeous character that spans over 200 feet in length and requires 100 male and female puppeteers.

Established in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival remains the oldest film festival in North or South America. Every spring, for two weeks, tens of thousands arrive in hopes of viewing hundreds of films created by filmmakers representing dozens of world countries. The festivities also entail a number of award ceremonies that include the Golden Gate Awards. Evolving around locally produced projects, films included in this award category include best documentary feature, best Bay Area documentary, film shorts and youth produced projects.

The city offers various activities on the 4th of July that include parades and evening fireworks displays. The north, south and east bay areas along with the main peninsula each feature their own celebratory events. Visitors attend parades, hear live music and enjoy family orientated activities. In the evening, fireworks propel into the sky from the Municipal Pier and barges located at Pier 39. Watch the displays from any waterfront destination. Boats also take passengers on the water for an interesting perspective of the fun. Ferries additionally offer transportation to Angel Island for fireworks viewing.

From the first weekend after Thanksgiving, for four consecutive weekends, San Francisco presents the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls. During this time of year, a 120,000 square feet of space transforms into the streets of Victorian London. Enjoy freshly baked goods, purchase gifts and view live entertainment presentations all provided by individuals in authentic period costume.