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Arts & Entertainment

5 San Francisco events this weekend: Run a marathon, eat at the Chinatown food festival and more

A young lion dancer walks with her troupe toward the parade route on Market Street on Feb. 19, 2022. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

This weekend, head to Chinatown to indulge in some fluffy char siu bao and watch exciting lion dance performances, or have a picnic in Golden Gate Park as you watch determined marathon runners pass by. Whatever your speed, there’s something in this guide that will step up your weekend plans. 

1. Sundown Cinema in Dogpatch

🗓️ Friday | 6-11 p.m.
📍 Crane Cove Park

Sundown Cinema’s summer series of outdoor park movie screenings continues with this month’s pick, Moana, which will screen at Crane Cove Park. It might be summer, but it’s still San Francisco, so you’ll want to bring an extra layer or two and a blanket for this family-friendly flick with a waterfront view. Show up early to get a good spot, and be sure to check out the food truck options and themed pre-show entertainment. 

2. Lion Dance Festival and Food Festival in Chinatown

🗓️ Saturday-Sunday | 11 a.m.
📍 Waverly Place, Portsmouth Square

Experience two full afternoons of explosively energetic lion dancing during the second year of this local festival dedicated to the ancient art in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The Chinese lions showcased in these colorful and intricate performances symbolize virtue, intelligence, wisdom, longevity and courage. Twelve lion dance groups will show off their skills at the two-day event in Portsmouth Square. 

For the foodies in attendance, the “Craving Chinatown” food festival will be happening simultaneously on Saturday. Over 30 local eateries will serve iconic dishes, snacks, baked goods and desserts for you to enjoy while partaking in the rest of the community festivities. 

3. SF Marathon, all over San Francisco

🗓️ Saturday-Sunday | Various times
📍 Starting line at the Embarcadero at Mission Street

Ready, set, go! San Francisco may only be seven miles across, but who’s to say you can’t make it into 26? The SF Marathon is back this weekend, and registration to participate—for a fee—is open until 5 p.m. Saturday. In addition to the traditional marathon race, you can also sign up to run a 1k, 5k, half-marathon, or if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can double the marathon distance for an ultramarathon. But if you’re more of a spectator, you can post up in a lawn chair or bring a picnic to Golden Gate Park to cheer runners on from the sidelines—a fun time either way.

If you do decide to run the race, your feet may feel like they might fall off—but the trek comes with rewarding views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito and many of the city’s vibrant parks and neighborhoods. The bulk of the races take place on Sunday, but the full event includes a couple races and speakers on Saturday, as well. 

4. Paws-itively Summer in Mission Bay 

🗓️ Saturday | 10 a.m.
📍 Thrive City

Your pups should be able to get in on the summer fun every once in a while, too, so why not bring them out for a treat and puppy play date at the Paws-itively Summer event hosted every Saturday in July at Thrive City? There will be a park area for your canine companion to play and mingle, a bandana-decorating station and the opportunity to hang with other pet owners. Space at the event is limited and subject to availability, so be sure to RSVP. 

5. Fiestas Fridas in SoMa

🗓️ Saturday | 1-3 p.m.
📍 Esplanade, Yerba Buena Gardens

"Fiestas Fridas" is a celebration of the work and impact of iconic artist Frida Kahlo, who spent time living and painting in San Francisco in the 1930s when her partner, Diego Rivera, was commissioned to paint murals in the city. This festival will feature themed activities and music from Banda Sin Nombre, which fuse global folk music with performance art, drag and dance. A “Coronation Walk” will conclude the afternoon, and participants are encouraged to don flower crowns and unibrows to embody the celebrated artist’s signature look.