The spring and summer months in San Francisco are all about dancing in the street. Whether you’re looking to Samba in your feathers in the Mission or wear flowers in your hair in the Haight, it’s time to play outside.
May 28th and 29th: San Francisco Carnaval
Latino flavor is alive in San Francisco over Memorial Day Weekend as every flavor or Latin culture parades through the Mission for Carnaval. A street party on Harrison Street between 16th Street and 24th Street features several bands, DJs, and dancers; fantastic food; and a variety of vendors. The parade starts at 10am, May 29th on Bryant Street and 24th Street and continues down Mission Street to 17th Street.
June 4th-5th: Union Street Eco-Urban Festival
Pop your collar and head down to the boutique-lined streets of Cow Hollow for the annual Union Street Eco-Urban Festival. The fenced-in beer gardens are gone this year, but the festival carries on with two stages for live entertainments, 150 arts and crafts booths, and 25 food booths over six blocks. An emphasis is put on green living with two of the six blocks reserved for eco-friendly booths.
June 12th: Haight Ashbury Street Fair
The gumbo pot of the Haight comes alive as thousands of locals, tourists, hippies, homeless, and hipsters converge for one of the city’s most popular street fairs. Look out for local tunes on two stages, lots of vendors, and wild styles from all walks of life. This is one of the best people-watching events of the year if you can find an empty corner or seat to call home for a few hours.
June 18th and 19th: North Beach Festival
One of the longest-running street parties in San Francisco, the North Beach Festival is back at Washington Square Park for its 57th year. Always a draw for large crowds, the festival features three stages, 125 arts and crafts booths, food booths, and a beer garden.
June 25th and June 26th: Pride Weekend
The ultimate LGTB party, organizers say Pride Weekend is one of the largest free public gatherings in the world. DJs and Dancers take over Civic Center and parades fill the streets as thousands of revelers from around the world visit San Francisco for the party.
July 2nd and 3rd: Fillmore Jazz Festival
While many residents leave the city for the long Fourth of July weekend, The Fillmore attracts nearly 100,000 locals and visitors for the largest free jazz event on the West Coast. From Pac Heights to the Fillmoe, enjoy music on three stages between Jackson Street to Eddy Street.Stay outside or dip into one of the surrounding venues. The Boom Boom Room always offers a funky musical distraction with a special batch of sangria and Rasselas is the place to be for the after party.
September 24th and 25th: Polk Street Blues Festival
A new kid on the block, the Polk Street Blues Festival returns for its second year from California Street to Broadway Street. Celebrate San Francisco’s blues roots with two stages, food, and vendors.
September 30th to October 2nd: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Before San Francisco buttons up for the winter, more than 500,000 will visit Golden Gate Park for a festival that reaches epic proportions. The music is heavily rooted in bluegrass and Americana, but look out for a few surprises. Last year, Bright Eyes and soul singer Sharon Jones contributed to a genre-bending lineup that covers six stages dispersed throughout the mid-section of the park.
The Aloha Festival, organized by the Pacific Islanders’ Cultural Association, was canceled this year due to road construction at its Presidio location. The association is looking for a new site in hopes of resuming the festival in 2012.
What’s your favorite street party? Leave a comment and let us know.