San Francisco Events and Festivals

(San Francisco, California - CA, USA)

San Francisco Events, Festivals and Things to DoThe residents of San Francisco like to party and there are many exciting events that are held throughout the year in San Francisco. Popular local events include numerous lively street fairs, carnivals, parades and sporting events. Many of the events and festivals in San Francisco draw enormous crowds of both participants and spectators.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Third Monday in April - Patriot's Day (Massachusetts)
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

San Francisco Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Sports and Boat Show - held at the spacious Cow Palace venue, this large boat show attracts many thousands of people and lasts nine days


  • Chinese New Year - the new year is celebrated in style in the city's Chinatown, with many lively festivities, including the Golden Dragon Parade, which is led by an enormous dragon


  • St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 17th, this exciting parade starts at Market and Second streets and continues past the City Hall
  • San Francisco International Film Festival - this festival began over 40 years ago and is now one of the oldest film festivals in the USA. The festival is concentrated at the Kabuki cinemas in Japantown


  • Cherry Blossom Festival - mid-April, held in the Japantown district of the city, the arrival of spring is celebrated with martial arts displays, tea ceremonies and other traditional Japanese events


  • Cinco de Mayo Celebration - May 5th, held in the Mission District, this popular event includes dancing and parades, to celebrate the Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862
  • Bay to Breakers - with over 100,000 joggers in the Bay Area of San Francisco, many dressed in whacky costumes, this race attracts large crowds of spectators
  • Carnival - held in the Mission District, this carnival is the regions' largest annual event and is a two-day series of festivities


  • Union Street Fair - first week in June, held along Union Street, from Fillmore to Gough Streets, this street fair includes many stalls selling arts, crafts, food and drink
  • Haight Street Fair - second Sunday in June, this well-supported event features rock bands, ethnic foods and is a general street party
  • Pride Celebration and Parade - starting at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, this enormous annual parade attracts up to half a million participants
  • San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival - five day event held in mid-June, presenting a variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movies
  • International QueerTango Festival - five day event held in late June / early July, Argentine tango demonstrations and workshops
  • Stern Grove Music Festival - held in the Grove at 19th Avenue, thousands of people watch classical, jazz and ethnic music being performed, whilst enjoying a picnic on the grass


  • Fourth of July Celebrations - Independence Day festivities culminate in a million-dollar fireworks display held on Pier 39 in the Fisherman's Wharf area of the city
  • San Francisco Marathon - this marathon is one of the largest held in the world and attracts a huge number of participants and spectators


  • San Francisco Fair - this sophisticated urban party is attended by thousands of people at the Fort Mason Center, during the Labor Day weekend
  • Blues Festival - this three-day festival is the largest outdoor blues music festival on the West Coast and is held in the grounds of Fort Mason
  • Opera in the Park - held on the first Sunday after the start of the opera season, the San Francisco Opera puts on a free concert at the Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park
  • Shakespeare Festival - held in Golden Gate Park, this outdoor performance of one of Shakespeare's play is free
  • Chinatown Moon Festival - held at the end of September, the festival is a traditional celebration of Autumn Moon Festival


  • Castro Street Fair - held in early October, this popular street fair is organized by the gay community
  • San Francisco Jazz Festival - mid-October, with jazz performances all over the city
  • Halloween - this is a big event all over the US and includes costume parties and parades
  • Columbus Day Festivities - the city's Italian community lead this event, which includes festivities around Fisherman's Wharf


  • Dia de los Muertos - November 2nd, Mexico's Day of the Dead is celebrated in the Mission District


  • The Nutcracker - this opera is performed annually by the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House
  • Christmas Day - December 25th, Christmas festivities are held all over the city
  • New Year's Eve - this is a full day and night of festivities in the city, culminating in firework displays