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Fun and Free: A Guide to San Francisco’s Street Fairs and Neighborhood Festivals

Written by Shelley D. FargoPublished Jun. 18, 2022 • 11:00am
During a warm up for a performance of Circus Bella, Abigail Mann suspends Guilia Gentile, 10, mid air on the trapeze at the 65th annual North Beach Festival on Sunday, June 16, 2019, in San Fransisco, Calif. | Josie Norris/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

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The pandemic disrupted so many of the beloved neighborhood gatherings, street fairs and marquee festivals San Franciscans love. Thankfully, this summer and early fall marks many triumphant returns—from Pride to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. And so, the Standard gathered updated information for the biggest events of the year, so mark your calendars, bookmark this page for updates, and get to North Beach this weekend for a high-flying good time.

Festival goers look through a rack of jackets at the Bart Bridge Clothing booth at the 65th annual North Beach Festival on Sunday, June 16, 2019, in San Fransisco, Calif. | Josie Norris/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

North Beach Festival

June 18-19, 2022

SF’s “Little Italy” hosts its 66th festival this weekend. Among the highlights of this 125-booth arts and crafts event will be catching a glimpse of the Club Fugazi acrobats and the world’s largest salami! Fill your cup and belly with gourmet offerings including food trucks and beverage gardens.

Wardell Walters drives his vehicle “Star 1”, a tribute to the city during the annual Juneteenth Parade as it rolls through the Fillmore District neighborhood on Saturday 14, 2014, in San Francisco , Calif. The event celebrates the abolition of slavery in the US. This year marks the 151st Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Juneteenth

June 18-19, 2022

San Francisco is blessed with a variety of Juneteenth events but the biggest two take the form of a street fair. On Saturday, the Fillmore, formerly known as the “Harlem of the West,” will hold the Juneteenth SF Freedom Celebration with a carnival and music. On Sunday, the party moves to the Bayview’s Gilman Park for the Black Wall Street celebration

Amy Dabner (left) embraces Adam Schindler at the start of the annual Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, California, on Sunday, June 30, 2019. (Photo by Gabrielle Lurie/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

SF Pride Weekend

June 25-26, 2022

LGBTQ+ members and allies alike gear up for SF Pride weekend: a time-honored San Francisco tradition that never disappoints. The celebration and rally will be held on the 25th, but events are planned throughout June.

Nihonmachi Street Fair

August 6-7, 2022

​​The heart of J-Town will be hoppin’ this summer during its 47th annual street fair. Post Street from Laguna to Webster will be closed to traffic and open for live music, the Sound of Thunder car show, Asian artisans, and the can’t-miss Doggie World parade and pageant.

Pistahan Parade and Festival

August 13-14, 2022

Pistahan is a two-day celebration of Filipino culture, community and cuisine at Yerba Buena Gardens. This outdoor event will feature pavilions focused on art, cuisine , dance, health, heritage and sports.    

Haight Street Fair

Summer’s End TBD, 2022

Fear not! The 43rd Haight Street Fair has been postponed, not canceled. Check back for dates on this San Francisco open-air tradition—promised sometime toward the end of summer.

The Loafers and Sneakers Band performs during the 36th Annual Fillmore Jazz Festival along Fillmore Street in San Francisco, Calif. Saturday, July 6, 2019. | Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Fillmore Jazz Festival

Fall TBD, 2022

The West Coast’s largest free jazz festival will be back sometime this fall. Be ready to explore 12 full blocks of fine arts and crafts while filling your ears with sweet soulful live jazz tunes. 

Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival

August 27-28, 2022

The 15th day of the 8th moon of the Chinese calendar is the autumn moon. Around this time, San Francisco’s Chinese Mid-autumn Moon Festival, a family gathering and celebration of thanks for a good harvest, occurs. It’s the second most important Chinese celebration (after Chinese New Year) and signals the end of the autumn harvest in China.

Folsom Street Fair

September 25, 2022

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, inlcusive space and equity for BIPOC and LBGTQ2+ people. An adults only event.

Chuck Prophet performs on the swam stage during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. The free festival was founded by venture capitalist Warren Hellman in 2001. | Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

September 30 through October 2, 2022

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. 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. 

How Weird Street Faire

Fall 2022 TBD

Soma’s multi-stage electronic dance music party is prepping for its 22nd annual experience. Historically a spring event, the 21st edition took place in September 2021.  Check back for the exact dates you’ll be able to buy all your trance, hippy, UFO and fractal wear in one faire!

Potrero Hill Festival

October TBD, 2022

Stretching along four full blocks of 20th Street, the Potrero Hill Festival is a family celebration of music, magic and food benefitting the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House

Castro Street Fair

October 2, 2022

Founded in 1974 by Harvey Milk, the Castro Street Fair celebrates its 48th year this fall. It’s located in the heart of Castro, at the intersection of Castro and Market streets on the first Sunday of October. The Castro Street Fair celebrates diversity in the community. Donations of $5-$10 are appreciated but not required.

San Francisco Fleet Week

October 7-9, 2022

Be prepared for the deafening roar and Top Gun excitement from Oct. 2 through 11, with most events scheduled on the weekend of Oct. 7-9. Don’t miss the headline waterfront show performed by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

2023 Calendar Street Fairs & Neighborhood Festivals

Chinese New Year

February 4-5, 2023

Sunday, January 22, 2023 will ring in the Year of the Rabbit. Even though it’s all the way in 2023, many Chinese New Year festivities are already on the docket, including the must-see parade and street fair scheduled for Feb. 4-5, 2023.

The Irish Pipers Band marches in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Market Street in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, March 16, 2019. | Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 2023 

The 171st annual SF St. Patrick’s Day Parade made its return in 2022, sending a sea of green flowing down and around Market Street. We anticipate a similar scene next year.

Cesar Chavez Parade & Festival

March 31, 2023

Since signed into law in 2000, the state of California has declared Cesar Chavez Day a state holiday in honor of this labor hero. The 2022 festivities kicked off with a celebratory breakfast on March 31, Chavez’ birthday, followed by a festival and parade in April in honor of the renowned civil rights leader and activist. 

Cherry Blossom Festival

April 2023

The 55th annual Cherry Blossom festival, the largest of its kind on the West Coast, is already scheduled for early April with a full schedule of events. This annual festival celebrates the traditions and diversity of Japanese Americans.

Carnaval San Francisco

May 2023 

The 44th annual Carnival rounds out May in the Mission, celebrating and showcasing the diasporic traditions of Latinx, Caribbean and African communities. 

Union Street Spring Festival

June 2023

A five-block party awaits in the Marina District between Gough and Union every June. Find food, crafts, live entertainment and kids activities aplenty throughout the weekend.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the dates of the Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival.

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Shelley D. Fargo can be reached at [email protected]




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