Best Annual Events in San Francisco

Looking for something to do in San Francisco? With so many offerings in the area, weve curated five of the annual events you can’t miss. Less researching and more enjoying your time in the area. Enjoy!

*Things change, so please check in with the organizers of these events for details.

January

Celebrating modern art, architecture, technology and design, FOG Design + Art offers dynamic exhibits, custom installations, pop-up galleries, presentations and discussions every year at Fort Mason.

February

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Photo: Courtesy of Knight Lights Photography

Chinese New Year Festival & Parade

Gung Hay Fat Choy! The date of the Lunar New Year changes every year, but the excitement remains the same. Year of the Tiger” is celebrated in Chinatown on Feb. 19, 2022 with a parade beginning at dusk: decorated floats, martial arts demonstrations, the fabulous Lion Dance, firecrackers and more. 

More info: chineseparade.com

Also in February:

March

One of San Francisco’s largest annual parades and one of the longest-running parades in the United States, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is celebrated with live music, dance, beverages and traditional Irish cuisine.

April

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Cherry Blossom Festival

One of Americas three remaining Japantowns typically attracts more than 200,000 spectators to free outdoor events over two weekends in April when pretty pink blossoms and cultural performances are in the spotlight. Martial arts, music, food, and a festival queen are all in the lineup by the Peace Pagoda.

More info: sfcherryblossom.org

May

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Bay to Breakers

Some are serious runners; many wear costumes to walk it just for fun. Conceived as a feel good picker-upper after the Great Earthquake of 1906, this 12km footrace weaves through nine neighborhoods from San Francisco Bay to Ocean Beach. Watch for the signature ”centipedes,” creatively costumed groups of 13 or more.

More info: baytobreakers.com

Also in May:

  • The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival encompasses nearly 100 artistic, cultural and community events from May through October in Yerba Buena Gardens. Events include music series, cultural festivals, dance performances, international music concerts, visual art exhibits, theater and spoken word performances.

June

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SF Pride Parade

All are welcome! A two-day weekend Pride Parade in late June that draws well over one million participants and spectators is the culmination of a month-long celebration. Widely known as one of the worlds oldest and largest LBGTQ+ gatherings, the colorful rainbow-themed free event was founded in 1970.

More info: sfpride.org

Also in June:

  • For more than 30 years, SFJAZZ presented the San Francisco Jazz Festival in venues around the Bay Area. But since 2013, when SFJAZZ Center opened, the festival is now concentrated in the Center and and offers more than 30 shows.  

July

At the Renegade Craft Fair, the best makers of handmade goods from the Bay Area and beyond assemble to sell their wares. Come to get some and immerse yourself in indie-craft culture, including interactive workshops. 

August

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Photo: Courtesy of Paige Parsons

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival

Since 2008, the citys best music festival has grown to include outstanding food and drink, and more. Once the lineup is announced, festival passes and one-day tickets sell fast for the three-day event in Golden Gate Park, shifting from late August to Halloween weekend in a post-Covid pivot. Stay tuned for updates.

More info: sfoutsidelands.com

Also in August:

  • Chefs, wine and spirits are celebrated at Eat Drink SF, an interactive urban food and wine festival featuring local talent and regional ingredients in a series of tastings, classes, dinners and events.

September

The San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen open the orchestra’s regular season with an Opening Gala Concert.

October

Fleet Week features Navy ship tours and exciting — and oftentimes scary — air shows that defy physics.

November

More than a dozen permanent and temporary eco-friendly light art installations transform San Francisco nights into a citywide gallery of light during Illuminate SF.

December

SF Ballet — America’s oldest ballet company — presents Tchaikovsky’s beloved family classic, The Nutcracker, every year.

More Local Favorites in San Francisco

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