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What To Do in 2017: SF’s Top Fairs & Festivals

Plan your year with street fairs, fireworks, festivals, Pride, Carnaval and more
By - posted 1/4/2017

Thursday, July 27

Contemporary Reggae with the Rubadub Posse | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, July 27 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Contemporary Reggae with the Rubadub Posse | Yerba Buena Gardens

Fronted by the incandescent Berkeley-raised vocalist Kimiko Joy, “RUBaDUB Posse” is a testament to reggae’s enduring power, celebrating songs of love, liberation, unity and justice that have inspired people across the globe.
Encompassing classic tunes from the rocksteady, roots and dub eras all the way to …

Friday, July 28

The Unique Derique Comedy | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Friday, July 28 – 11:00 am | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Children's Garden)
The Unique Derique Comedy | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

A beloved Bay Area institution, the Unique Derique is a prince among clowns, an internationally esteemed performer who has honed a singular blend of physical comedy and hambone body percussion.
Derique (aka Lance McGee) started clowning in Berkeley at 15 with Circus A La Mode and …

Saturday, July 29

2017 Berkeley Kite Festival & Championships
2017 Berkeley Kite Festival & Championships

Kites aren’t just for kids any more. Experience the artistry of modern kite flying at the 32nd Annual Berkeley Kite Festival & West Coast Kite Championships. You’ll find something for everyone, from the giant creature kites as big as houses, to the free kite making and ...

Uke-Splosion: SF Ukelele Summer Jam | Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, July 29 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Uke-Splosion: SF Ukelele Summer Jam | Yerba Buena Gardens

The ukulele is truly the people’s instrument, and SF Uke Jam is the Bay Area’s leading force bringing fans of the diminutive instrument together.
Whether you play or just enjoy hearing the ukulele being strummed by knowing fingers, come join the SFUJ community for an afternoon …

Sunday, July 30

2017 Berkeley Kite Festival & Championships
2017 Berkeley Kite Festival & Championships

Kites aren’t just for kids any more. Experience the artistry of modern kite flying at the 32nd Annual Berkeley Kite Festival & West Coast Kite Championships. You’ll find something for everyone, from the giant creature kites as big as houses, to the free kite making and ...

2017 Kinky “Up Your Alley” Fair | SoMa
Sunday, July 30 – All Day | Cost: FREE*
*Free, but a donations are requested.
| Dore Alley
2017 Kinky

This is no indie hipster fair with hand-knit scarves and folk music… If rubber, sportswear, biker gear, skinheads, punks, or any variety of built, hairy men turns you on, then they’ve got it. In their own words, you won’t find a filthier event in the States.
2017 …

Thursday, August 3

Blue Tango Project | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, August 3 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Blue Tango Project  | Yerba Buena Gardens

Hailing from the colorful and gritty La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the Blue Tango Project is a groundbreaking investigation into the treacherous emotional and musical crossroads where tango and the blues embrace.
A collaboration between Argentine-born Latin Grammy-nominee María Volonté and California harmonica player Kevin …

Saturday, August 5

World Dog Surfing Championships | Pacifica
Saturday, August 5 – 9:00 am | Cost: FREE*
*Free to watch. Entering your dog ranges from $10 to $25
| Linda Mar State Beach
World Dog Surfing Championships | Pacifica

The World Championships for Dog Surfing take place on the NorCal coast — where the concept for the sport originated with big thanks to the book that started it all – The Dog’s Guide to Surfing – bringing together dog surfing talent for charity. Dog surfers …

Tuesday, August 8

Litquake in the Gardens: Outdoor Lunch Break Poetry | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Tuesday, August 8 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Litquake in the Gardens: Outdoor Lunch Break Poetry | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

Thursday, August 10

LINES Dance Center: Global Dance Performance | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, August 10 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
LINES Dance Center: Global Dance Performance | Yerba Buena Gardens

LINES Dance Center presents a program of Contemporary and Global Dance featuring students from their adult Choreography and Performance Workshops – classical Chinese dance taught by HaiYan Jackson, contemporary taught by Victor Talledos, Afro-Cuban taught by Natailia Aceves and hip-hop taught by Kyle Limin.
See talented …

Friday, August 11

The Unique Derique Comedy | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Friday, August 11 – 11:00 am | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Children's Garden)
The Unique Derique Comedy | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

A beloved Bay Area institution, the Unique Derique is a prince among clowns, an internationally esteemed performer who has honed a singular blend of physical comedy and hambone body percussion.
Derique (aka Lance McGee) started clowning in Berkeley at 15 with Circus A La Mode and …

Thursday, August 17

Jazz Herstory Collective | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, August 17 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Jazz Herstory Collective | Yerba Buena Gardens

The Bay Area has a long and deep history of extraordinary women playing jazz, funk, rock and soul, and the Jazz Herstory Collective is a project that celebrates that legacy.
Featuring some of the most prodigious young musicians on the Bay Area scene, the JHC has …

Afro-Cuban Roots Music with Bobi Cespedes | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, August 17 – 6:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Jessie Square)
Afro-Cuban Roots Music with Bobi Cespedes | Yerba Buena Gardens

Since settling in the Bay Area in 1969, Cuban-born vocalist Bobi Céspedes has been an essential cultural conduit, providing authentic Afro-Cuban roots music to a region with a passionate hunger for clave.
She made an enduring impression in the 1980s with the celebrated band Conjunto Céspedes, …

Friday, August 18

Non Stop Bhangra For Kids: Traditional Punjabi Folk Dance | Yerba Buena Gardens
Friday, August 18 – 11:00 am | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Children's Garden)
Non Stop Bhangra For Kids: Traditional Punjabi Folk Dance | Yerba Buena Gardens

A passport to Bollywood for kiddies. Non Stop Bhangra celebrates the beautiful and vibrant spirit of Bhangra, a traditional Punjabi folk music and dance.
This children’s program repeats at 12:15–12:45pm.

Saturday, August 19

Noise Pop’s 20th Street Block Party: Food & Music Fest | SF
Noise Pop's 20th Street Block Party: Food & Music Fest | SF

Get ready to party with 15,000 summer lovin’ people at this delicious summer feast and street party over three blocks, typically with two stages of alt-indie bands and DJs curated by Noisepop, and food and drinks from some of the neighborhood’s top restaurants, businesses, and artisans and a …

99th Annual Italian Festival “Festa Coloniale Italiana” | North Beach
Saturday, August 19 – All Day | Cost: FREE | San Francisco Italian Athletic Club
99th Annual Italian Festival

The SF Italian Athletic Club once again welcomes you to North Beach for the annual Festa Coloniale Italiana to celebrate the rich Italian and Italian-American heritage that has existed in San Francisco for generations.
Expect everything Italian – food, wine, live music, dancers, pizza toss and more. Fun for the …

Daymé Arocena & Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble | Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, August 19 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Daymé Arocena & Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble | Yerba Buena Gardens

The sensational young Cuban vocalist Daymé Arocena introduces her gorgeous new album Cubafonía to Yerba Buena Gardens. A former member of the extraordinary Jane Bunnett & Maqueque sextet, Arocena is rapidly gaining international attention as a solo artist.
Still in her mid-20s, she’s been recording …

Sunday, August 20

California Brazil Camp: An All-Star Faculty Cast | Yerba Buena Gardens
Sunday, August 20 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
California Brazil Camp: An All-Star Faculty Cast | Yerba Buena Gardens

For 20 years California Brazil Camp has brought eager musicians together with some of Brazil’s greatest musicians and composers under the redwoods of Cazadero.
In celebrating this milestone year, Brazil in the Gardens brings together an all-star faculty cast, including Spok, a saxophonist, arranger and orchestra …

Thursday, August 24

Soul-Infused Classical Arabic Songs with Dalia Marina | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, August 24 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Soul-Infused Classical Arabic Songs with Dalia Marina | Yerba Buena Gardens

Raised in the Bay Area and now based in Boston, Palestinian-American vocalist Dalia Marina made a lasting impression with her 2012 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival debut as a special guest with Middle Eastern ensemble Zamanna and her 2014 program presenting an eclectic set of jazz, …

Friday, August 25

Venezuelan Music Project | Yerba Buena Gardens
Friday, August 25 – 11:00 am | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Children's Garden)
Venezuelan Music Project | Yerba Buena Gardens

Even in South America, Venezuela’s musical riches tend to be overshadowed by the styles of neighboring Colombia, Brazil and Argentina. But in the Bay Area, the nation’s fabulous cultural wealth, with its fertile intermingling of indigenous, European and African influences, has found bountiful expression through …

Saturday, August 26

10th Annual Rock Balancing Gathering & Free Lessons | Crissy Field
Saturday, August 26 – 11:00 am | Cost: FREE*
*Free, but an RSVP is appreciated.
| Crissy Field (near Warming Hut)
10th Annual Rock Balancing Gathering & Free Lessons | Crissy Field

Watch and join in the amazing gravity-defying art of rock balancing near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Dozens of artists worldwide are part of a global balanced rock sculpture movement, and two of them have invited you to learn the practice of creating these serene, temporary sculptures …

Paula West’s Eclectic Jazz Repertoire| Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, August 26 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Paula West's Eclectic Jazz Repertoire| Yerba Buena Gardens

San Francisco jazz singer Paula West possesses a strikingly beautiful voice, a full, velvety, caressing contralto. But it’s the expansive body of music she explores with her exquisite instrument that makes her one of the most consistently enthralling singers on the scene.
Whether West interprets Bob …

Thursday, August 31

Original Folk Music with Evie Ladin Band | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, August 31 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Original Folk Music with Evie Ladin Band | Yerba Buena Gardens

Grounded in Appalachian old-time repertoire, seasoned in African-diaspora roots, and composing original music inspired by life in Oakland and globe-spanning tours, the kinetic Evie Ladin Band erases the lines between music and movement.
A trio of tenaciously innovative string musicians and dancers, the combo features Ladin’s …

Saturday, September 2

Kugelplex: Rock ‘n Rollin Party Music | Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, September 2 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Kugelplex: Rock ‘n Rollin Party Music | Yerba Buena Gardens

Bringing rock ‘n’ roll energy to the party music of Eastern European Jewry, Kugelplex plays wild, virtuosic dance tunes at concerts, festivals and weddings. They’ve performed with Joan Baez, the Oakland Symphony, the Klezmatics’ Frank London and Kitka, among other illustrious ensembles.
For this unique program …

Thursday, September 7

The Flock: Seven-Piece World Music Ensemble | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, September 7 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
The Flock: Seven-Piece World Music Ensemble | Yerba Buena Gardens

A rising force on the Bay Area music scene, saxophonist, arranger and composer Teddy Raven can be found playing funk with Kuckaw!, California soul with Midtown Social, instrumental Balkan music with MWE and various jazz hybrids with Jazz Mafia aggregations.
He’s delved particularly deeply into Romani …

Saturday, September 9

Nubian Music with Alsarah & The Nubatones | Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, September 9 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Nubian Music with Alsarah & The Nubatones | Yerba Buena Gardens

The Brooklyn-based combo Alsarah & The Nubatones came together out of a collective love for Nubian music and a genuine belief that soul transcends all cultural and linguistic barriers. Inspired by Nubian music’s pentatonic scales, they blend original material and traditional music of central Sudan …

Tuesday, September 12

Line Breaks On Your Lunch Breaks | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Tuesday, September 12 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Line Breaks On Your Lunch Breaks | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

Saturday, September 16

Brooklyn Raga Massive with Classical Revolutional Music | Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, September 16 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Brooklyn Raga Massive with Classical Revolutional Music | Yerba Buena Gardens

The composer Terry Riley is a patriarch of minimalism, and his seminal commandment is “In C,” a supremely pliable work conceived for any instrumental combination, with 53 musical cells and a set of directions that allow every performer to move through the music at their …

Thursday, September 21

Camilo y los Robot Ninjas: Post-Latin Salsa-Core Performance | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, September 21 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Camilo y los Robot Ninjas: Post-Latin Salsa-Core Performance | Yerba Buena Gardens

Oakland guitarist Camilo Landau belongs to an illustrious family of musicians, poets, activists and journalists. He came by his love of music via his uncle, guitarist and eight-time Grammy Award-nominated producer Greg Landau, who started teaching his 12-year-old nephew guitar and tres upon returning from …

Afro-Salsa Sound with Ricardo Lemvo | Yerba Buena Gardens
Thursday, September 21 – 6:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Afro-Salsa Sound with Ricardo Lemvo | Yerba Buena Gardens

Raised by Angolan parents in Congo’s capital Kinshasa (when the country was known as Zaire), charismatic Los Angeles vocalist Ricardo Lemvo has honed an irresistibly grooving Afro-salsa sound, blending Congolese rumba and soukous with Cuban charanga and son.
Belting out his original songs in Spanish, Portuguese, …

Saturday, September 23

Smithsonian’s 13th Annual Free Museum Day | 2017
Saturday, September 23 – All Day | Cost: FREE*
*Museum ticket required from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/
| San Francisco Bay Area
Smithsonian's 13th Annual Free Museum Day | 2017

Participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide will open their doors free of charge to all visitors during Smithsonian Magazine’s 13th annual Museum Day. 2017 Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Saturday, September 23, 2017 Participating Bay Area Museums FREE, but a ticket is required (available to download August 25, ...

Marcus Shelby Orchestra | Yerba Buena Gardens
Saturday, September 23 – 1:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Marcus Shelby Orchestra | Yerba Buena Gardens

Internationally acclaimed bassist/composer Marcus Shelby occupies his own niche in the Bay Area’s jazz eco-system. As the leader of a powerfully swinging 15-piece big band and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival resident composer, he’s used the ensemble as a vehicle for developing epic works exploring …

Sunday, September 24

2017 Folsom Street Fair | SoMa
2017 Folsom Street Fair | SoMa

The 34th Annual Folsom Street Fair, a true only in San Francisco original, covers over 13 city blocks filled with 400,000 people in their most outrageous leather, rubber, and fetish attire enjoying the world’s largest leather fair.
2017 Folsom Street Fair
Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 11 …

Friday, October 6

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2017: Friday | Golden Gate Park
Friday, October 6 – All Day | Cost: FREE | Hellman Hollow
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2017: Friday | Golden Gate Park

2017 brings San Francisco the 17th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, one of the largest, free-est and beloved music festivals in the country. Be one of over 750,000 attendees over the three-day musical extravaganza in beautiful Golden Gate Park. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2017 Three days, seven stages, over ...

Fleet Week 2017 | Full Airshow Friday & Blue Angels
Friday, October 6 – 12:00 pm | Cost: FREE | Marina Green
Fleet Week 2017 | Full Airshow Friday & Blue Angels

Look up in the sky when you hear the roaring of jet engines and head down to SF’s northern waterfront and Dogpatch for San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week airshow and festival. 36th Annual San Francisco Fleet Week  October 2 – 9, 2017 San Francisco FREE ...

Tuesday, October 10

Line Breaks On Your Lunch Breaks | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Tuesday, October 10 – 12:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade)
Line Breaks On Your Lunch Breaks | Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

Sunday, October 22

2017 San Francisco Trolley Dances | SF
Sunday, October 22 – All Day | Cost: FREE*
*Free to watch; if you take Muni, fare is required
| CIIS - California Institute of Integral Studies
2017 San Francisco Trolley Dances | SF

Each year, Epiphany Productions transforms the city’s streets into stages through San Francisco Trolley Dances, a series of free contemporary dance performances along a Muni line. For the price of a Muni ticket, you’ll get a “hop-on, hop-off” Muni tour to experience an extraordinary lineup of ...

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