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Mark your calendar for San Francisco’s biggest festivals of 2023

Pride attendees watch the parade on Market Street in San Francisco on Sunday, June 26, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Saturday’s huge—if soggy—Chinese New Year Parade didn’t just usher in the Year of the Rabbit, it kicked off the 2023 calendar of community celebrations around the city. 

And after a few weird years of Covid-driven cancellations or cautiousness, 2023 is shaping up to be fully back to normal, with many of the year’s biggest parties already on the books.

Mark your calendar now for the rest of SF’s don’t-miss 2023 festivals and street fairs listed below. (Events not yet confirmed for 2023 are not included in the list.)

The Irish Pipers Band marches in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Market Street in 2019. | Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival 

Market Street, March 11, 2023 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2023 begins at 11:30 a.m. at Second and Market streets. The route travels down Market toward Civic Center. The parade route culminates at the festival at Civic Center Plaza.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Japantown, April 8-9 and 15-16, 2023

The 56th annual Cherry Blossom festival, the largest one of its kind on the West Coast, will take place April 8-16 in the heart of Japantown. Check back for a list of events. This annual festival, steeped in rich Japanese culture, celebrates Japanese traditions and the diversity of Japanese Americans.

Performers in San Francisco's Carnaval Parade on Sunday, May 29, 2022. | Nick Otto for The Standard | Source: Nick Otto for The Standard

Carnaval San Francisco

The Mission, May 27-28, 2023

The 45th annual Carnival, slated for May 27-28, is the largest two-day multicultural event on the West Coast aimed to educate others by celebrating and showcasing the diasporic traditions of Latino, Caribbean and African communities. The Grand Parade takes place on May 28.

SF Pride

Civic Center, June 24-25, 2023

Kicked off by the Gay Liberation March of 1970, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade have been the largest of its kind in the nation, supporting the LGBT+ community and their allies for 53 years. The parade will be on June 25, 2023. The route travels down Market Street. from Embarcadero to the celebration at the Civic Center.

The Loafers and Sneakers Band performs during the 36th Annual Fillmore Jazz Festival in 2019. | Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Fillmore Jazz Festival

Pacific Heights, July 1-2, 2023

The West Coast’s largest free jazz festival consists of 12 entire blocks of fine arts and crafts to peruse while filling your ears with sweet soulful live jazz tunes. 

Up Your Alley

SoMa, July 29, 2023

This “leather and kink” block party, Up Your Alley, takes place on Dore Alley between Folsom and Howard streets. It’s known as the “broth” of the Folsom Street Fair.

Trish Wright poses at Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. | Samantha Laurey for The Standard | Source: Samantha Laurey for The Standard

Folsom Street Fair

SoMa, Sept. 24, 2023

An annual celebration of support, community and sexual liberation, the Folsom Street Fair promises to be back out into the streets again this year providing a safe inclusive space and equity for BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ people. The adults-only event is celebrating its 40th year in 2023.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Golden Gate Park, Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Head out to Hellman Hollow in Golden Gate Park (near the Polo Field) to enjoy live music and food from over 50 gourmet food and beverage vendors. The event is free. Packing a picnic is encouraged, and remember to BYOB, as alcohol will not be sold at this event. Be sure to check park rules for additional information about alcoholic beverages.