As summer kicks off in San Francisco, so does the city's annual schedule of festivals and street fairs. From the two-day Union Street Festival that takes over Cow Hollow to the traditional Day of the Dead events in the Mission during November, the next few months are all about celebrating the city, its neighborhoods and the particular character of each. We've mapped nineteen festivals and fairs around the city. So take the opportunity to enjoy some performances or food and to check out the city's neighborhoods and what makes every festival unique. Have a favorite fair or festival that we missed? Put it in the comments after the jump.Read More
Mapping 19 of San Francisco's Street Fairs and Festivals
Union Street Festival
Saturday June 7 & Sunday June 9
In its 26th year, Cow Hollow's major festival has changed its format to turn each of its six blocks into a unique "world" such as Fashion World, Tech World and Health & Fitness World. Craft beer and wine tastings will also be available.
Haight Ashbury Street Fair
Sunday, June 8
The Haight's main street fair has three stages and runs down Haight Street from Golden Gate Park to the famed Haight-Ashbury corner. It was created by local merchants and residents with the support of Harvey Milk back in 1978.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Live entertainment throughout the summer and fall will include music, acrobatics, poetry and more, as well as arts and crafts and food. Events happen at a variety of dates and times from May through October.
North Beach Festival
Saturday June 14 and Sunday June 15
At age 60, North Beach's festival is one of the oldest in the country. Unique features include the animal blessing at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi and live Italian street painting.
Stern Grove Summer Music Festival
Sundays from June 22-August 24
Every summer, the Stern Grove amphitheatre at 19th and Sloat avenues turns into a free outdoor music venue. Highlights of the 77th season include Smokey Robinson, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Rufus Wainwright.
San Francisco Pride
Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29
The highlight of the city's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Festival is the parade held on Sunday morning. The festival, however, goes all weekend with dance stages, booths and vendors.
Fillmore Jazz Festival
Saturday July 5 and Sunday July 6
The largest free jazz festival on the West Coast draws in more than 100,000 visitors each year. It stretches over twelve blocks and goes from sunup until sundown each day.
Nihonmachi Street Fair
Saturday August 2 and Sunday August 3
Japantown's street fair brings together Asian-Pacific American life with San Francisco culture. Youth volunteers produce and organize the event. Two stages showcase performances such as Hawaiian music and Japanese dance.
Street Food Festival
Saturday, August 16
Over 80 vendors representing restaurants and eateries from all over the city get together for the Street Food Festival each year in the Mission.
Ghirardelli Square Festival
Saturday September 13 & Sunday September 14
The chocolate festival features local chefs making chocolate creations and live music. The "Earthquake" ice cream sundae eating competition is one of the main events of the weekend.
Folsom Street Fair
Sunday, September 21
The most infamous street fair in San Francisco isn't like any other festival, and it definitely isn't kid-friendly. This celebration, which stretches from 8th to 13th streets, is all about leather and fetish.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Friday October 3, Saturday October 4 & Sunday October 5
This huge free festival in Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow is one of San Francisco's major events every year. It draws huge crowds for headliners like Emmylou Harris and The Lumineers.
Castro Street Fair
Sunday, October 5
The fair, founded by Harvey Milk in the 1970s, celebrates the Castro neighborhood as well as local artists, performers and craftspeople. There is even a stage of carnival acts such as sword swallowers and a freak petting zoo.
Thursday October 9-Sunday October 13
Fleet Week celebrations take place on the waterfront and include a parade of navy ships and ship tours. The highlight is, of course, the Blue Angels airshow.
Outer Noriega Street Fair
The Outer Noriega Street Fair is one of the newest festivals in the city, with its 3rd iteration held in 2013. It is held when the Sunset actually gets sunny and includes music and booths from local merchants.
Noe Valley Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 18
In one of San Francisco's most kid-friendly neighborhoods, the Noe Valley Harvest Festival is all about autumn. There are hayrides and costume contests for both dogs and children.
Potrero Hill Festival
Saturday, October 18
Potrero's celebrations bring together local artists, food vendors, musicians, historians and entertainment. It kicks off with a brunch created by the California Culinary Academy.
Saturday, October 25
Wharf Fest draws on the unique characteristics of Fisherman's Wharf by including a chowder eating competition, ship tours and street performers. It was begun in 2013 to replace the canceled Fleet Week but will continue even though Fleet Week is now back.
Dia de los Muertos
Sunday, November 2
The traditional Day of the Dead held in The Mission every year includes a Festival of Altars and a procession through the neighborhood. It commemorates the Meso-American holiday to honor ancestors. There are no vendors or booths.