Local Events, San Francisco
This is more of a street fair with Jazz. It runs along Fillmore street, from the fancy digs in pacific heights, to the African-American neighborhoods down on the lower end. This fair has a more authentic feel than a lot of the city fairs (especially the Union St fair) and is our favorite. It retains the local neighborhood feel and has many unique artists and craft workers selling their wares. There are stages at both ends of the fair for Jazz and swing bands, with a large stage at the halfway point. Get there early in the day if you want to avoid the massive crowds.
This usually runs right before or around the 4th of July weekend, and runs for 2 days.
Yep, this is the famous Gay Pride parade and everyone should see this at least once. Gay, straight, both, neither…it doesn’t matter to the participants and viewers. Just go with an open mind and have fun. You’ll see a float for the local church with a giant rainbow cross, followed by shirtless firemen dancing to disco music, and right behind that, families with small children smiling and waving to the crowd. The scene is not for everybody, but it should be. The parade makes its way down Market street to the Civic center where the party really gets going.
Food, drinks, all sorts of politically aware booths, health information, local community groups, and just about everyone famous in SF makes an appearance. The large stage has dance groups, bands, and various speakers, all in the shadow of city hall. This is one of the largest gatherings in the city and it happens every June.
Claimed to be the "oldest ongoing blues festival in the world", the annual SF Blues Festival is a lively, rowdy, wild musical event. Located on the sprawling Great Meadow, above Fort Mason Center (across the street from the famous Marina Safeway - reputed to be SF's best pick up place), this is two days of musical orgy.
This years festival is September 24 and 25. The performers have not yet been announced. Tickets go on sale June 1st. One day passes are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate. Two day passes are $45 in advance only. Special reserved lawn seating is available for a special price.
Valet Bike Parking! Only in SF will you find such a thing. If you don't arrive by bike, public transportation is a must.
San Francisco is well-known as a city that is very open to alternative lifestyles. This is a picture of a Gay Pride parade that is one of the largest on the planet and takes place in late June in the Castro.
If you are in San Francisco at the end of June, make sure you attend the San Francisco Gay Parade. It is a fun-filled event and very enjoyable. You will not regret it.
Check my travelogues for more pics. The parade lasts usually about 4 hrs and believe me, you will NOT be bored :-)
The second weekend of October is "Fleet Week" in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Navy brings in several ships, all men on deck in their dress whites, saluting the SF public. The weekend features an airshow over the San Francisco Bay, with center stage being Chrissy Field, along the San Francisco waterfront. The highlight is a show by the Blue Angels... Yowza! There's one show Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday afternoon. Also, they practice on Thursday and Friday before the weekend. Very, very cool. Or not. Depends on how you feel about military aircraft.
Some of us ended up for a spell in this friend of a friend of a friend’s party who lived on Haight; She had a DJ on point spinning good hip-hop. (read: no MTV ***e). Considering it was a party on the Haight, it would not have been appreciated for me, a complete random, taking photos or it. We got hungry and later went on a search for food.
Even though the Union Street and Haight Street fair were within a mile or two from each other and a day apart - they were from two different worlds
Of course there were food booths, arts and crafts - just with a Haight Street flavor. Instead of boobies popping out everywhere, there were dreadlocks and 2 foot spiked Mohawks. Instead of only drink’n in “gardens” the WHOLE place was a beer garden. If any beer was pured out, it was your own fault. Many people walking down the streets were silently advertising their products for sell as the cops looked over smiling. yup... smiling.
The ironic thing is, people were more in control here than Union. You didn’t have the drunk ex-frat boy yelling to his buddy, “hey a$$hole over here!!!” Instead you had dancing in the street. Very interesting and deep if you ask me.
The Union Street Fair kicks the summer fairs off on the first weekend of June. The local artist, craftsmen and photographers sell their goods along with an array of other booty for your buying pleasure. There are food booths represent the nearby restaurants and “beer gardens” (read: covered chain link fences) for your drinking needs. Unfortunately they get packed and unpleasant.
The police were tossing people beers and drinks away who were walking in the street. Smart people bring flasks.
And of course, with any all day party affairs, as the day progressed, the more beer consumed – and you begin to tell people how good of a friend they are.
Ohh ya… the important stuff\
On Union Street between Steiner and Gough.
’03 is the 27th Annual.
Around the first weekend in June
Although perhaps not well represented by a couple of my friends, there were beautiful babies everywhere. Both the girls and the guys in our group were very impressed with the gene pool that was represented.
There were some people with us visiting in from other parts of the country. One guy from Michigan was speechless - on so many different levels.
There were also Caribbean music, Break Dancers, Hippie rock on stage at the end of the fair, as well as several houses along the Haight that had parties, many of which shared their music with the masses by placing the speakers out the windows – a little funk, a little hip-hop and a whole lotta house. Very nice mix.
Among the many street performers and musicians, there were a group of traditional Aztec (I believe) dancers. The highlight of the show was the “Fire Dance” where one of the dancers will roast different parts of his body over an open flame. Some of the heat probably made his balls sweat - a little too close to the boys than I would like.
Their garments were elaborate. But you must look at all the people in the picture. Such characters in this part of the city.
Dance’n in the streets!!!
A half a block up Ashbury, one of the houses decided to make a little street dancing happen. Since the street was already closed off, they collected a few old couches and recliners, DJ posted up in an apartment, you could see him spinning through the windows between the speakers. Everyone drinking and dancing the day away. Great house music I must say.
The fun never stops at the exotic erotic ball, but in some ways kind of a yawn. The last Halloween on Castro was the last Halloween on Castro. Gun shots ended the tradition. Suddenly.