January in San Francisco brings about the SF Sketchfest, a comedy festival taking place in late January-early February each year throughout various venues in the city. Late January/early February also brings Apple product enthusiasts to San Francisco for the annual MacWorld convention. Lovers of food and drink are sure to enjoy the Good Food Awards Marketplace and Beer & Spirits Garden, while classic and rare film enthusiasts will delight in late January/early February’s annual Noir City Film Festival.
San Francisco is known for its Chinese-American culture, making February a special month, featuring a variety of Chinese New Year festivities culminating in San Francisco’s famous Chinese New Year Parade. Lovers of film will enjoy the Mostly British Film Festival and the San Francisco Independent Film Festival which also take place each year in February.
The San Francisco Weekly’s annual DRINK tasting event in March is a can’t miss for lovers of good libations, while the 30+ year Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon brings some of the best triathletes in the world to the city, as well as an accompanying Fitness Festival and Expo which is sure to interest health and fitness-minded spectators.
Lovers of Japanese and Japanese-American culture will not want to miss San Francisco’s Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in April, while film buffs will likely want to attend the San Francisco International Film Festival, the longest continuously running film festival in America. Whiskey aficionados may want to pay a visit to the annual Whiskeys of the World Expo, a 10+ year event taking place each April in SF. April in San Francisco also features San Francisco’s annual celebration of all things weird, the How Weird Street Faire.
May in San Francisco means its about that time for the San Francisco International Arts Festival, featuring a wide variety of performances from an eclectic assortment of both international and local performers of various kinds representing many regions from across the globe. Other events worth checking out in May include San Francisco’s Cinco de Mayo Festival, the San Francisco Carnaval celebration, and the 70+ year Golden Gate Festival.
Bay Area food-lovers rejoice in June when Dine About Town rolls around, an annual event in which top restaurants in the city offer unprecedented deals on two and three-course meals. Other relevant events in San Francisco for June include The Union Street Festival, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival (held over four weekends in June), the SF Free Folk Festival, the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair (a 30+ year SF staple), the North Beach Festival (an annual event of over 50 years), and the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade, likely the largest gay pride celebration in the country. African-Americans and lovers of African-American culture and American culture in general should also be sure to check out the 60+ year San Francisco Juneteenth celebration, which is considered the largest gathering of African-Americans held annually in Northern California.
July in San Francisco brings two major film festivals to the city, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. July in SF also features a major music festival in the free Fillmore Jazz Festival, as well as the month-long LaborFest, held in commemoration of San Francisco’s general strike of 1934 and in celebration of the working-class struggle as a whole.
The San Francisco Bay Area Aloha Festival is a 15+ year staple in the city celebrating the culture of the Pacific Islands, while the Pistahan Parade and Festival is another long-time event of almost 20 years celebrating Filipino culture. Music lovers will not want to miss the Outside Lands Festival, held in Golden Gate Park each year and having featured artists of the likes of Radiohead, M.I.A., Pearl Jam, and Stevie Wonder.
September in San Francisco is an exciting time in the city, featuring such special events as the San Francisco Dragon Boat Festival, the San Francisco Fringe Festival, the Autumn Moon Street Fair, and the Polk Street Blues Festival.
The film festivals just do not stop in San Francisco, with the Mill Valley Film Festival rolling around each October. October is also a great month for music in San Francisco, featuring festivals such as the Treasure Island Music Festival and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. The San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade, Litquake (an annual celebration of literature), and the Castro Street Fair (a yearly LGBT-oriented event held in the city’s Castro district) also take place each year in October.
Late October/early November brings the Bay Area Science Festival to the city, while the annual Haberdash: A Celebration of SF Men’s Fashion & Style may be of interest to the sartorially-inclined among us. Lovers of hip-hop dance should be sure to check out the 10+ year San Francisco International Hip-Hop Dance Fest.
Another Hole in the Head is an annual film festival going on 10 years running celebrating horror, sci-fi, dark fantasy and exploitation films which takes place from late November through early December each year. Another event in December well worth a visit is Tibet Day San Francisco, an annual event celebrating Tibetan culture. You should also be sure to check out the various yearly New Year’s Eve festivities held throughout the city if you happen to be in the Bay Area for NYE.