We love this time of year! The mood turns festive, the fireplace is lit, and the decorations go up!
As the holidays approach, we are all preparing for the new year. My humans have put together a list of destination worthy events in 2015 to help plan your potential visits in the new year.
From November until January 19th, you can ice-skate in picturesque Union Square amidst the holiday crowds and giant city Christmas tree. http://unionsquareicerink.com/
San Francisco celebrates the Lunar New Year bringing in the Year of the Ram. Festivities go from February 14 until March 8, with the big culminating Chinese New Year parade on March 7. http://www.chineseparade.com/calendar.asp
Japantown hosts the 48th annual Cherry Blossom Festival the weekends of April 11-12 and April 18-19. The second largest Cherry Blossom Festival outside of Japan in one of 3 remaining Japantowns in the U.S., this festival celebrates Japanese culture and the Japanese-American community. http://sfcherryblossom.org/
One of San Francisco’s longest running traditions, Bay-to-Breakers commences Sunday, May 17. One of the world’s oldest footraces (and definitely the oldest fun-run), the 12K run starts participants along the eastern bay side of the city heading west to the beach breakers where San Francisco meets the Pacific Ocean. http://www.baytobreakers.com/
The 37th Annual Carnaval San Francisco takes place Memorial Weekend, May 23-24. The free 2-day family friendly festival takes place in the Mission District and celebrates the Latin American and Caribbean influences in the city. http://carnavalsanfrancisco.org/
The 39th Annual Union Street Festival takes place in the Marina District the weekend of June 6-7. A long standing small neighborhood event, it eventually became embraced by the city at large, featuring local artists, eats, and fashion. http://www.unionstreetfestival.com/
SF Pride takes over the city the weekend of June 28-29 with the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29. This is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation with celebrations going on across the city. http://www.sfpride.org/
The Fillmore, the old jazz district, hosts the Fillmore Jazz Festival July 4-5. The largest free jazz festival on the west coast, this year’s theme embraces women in jazz. http://www.fillmorejazzfestival.com/
Outside Lands is one of the many music concerts hosted in Golden Gate Park. While not free like some of the other concerts, it is the largest. Dates and artist lineups are not currently set for the 2015 concert. http://www.sfoutsidelands.com/
September is mostly conferences and conventions in the downtown part of San Francisco. Though still considered peak traveling season, vacationers will be back at work and school, leaving local museums (such as the de Young) and tourist attractions (such as Pier 39) less impacted. Those in search of summer weather should plan on coming around late September as that tends to be the warmest time of year.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is the largest free music concert in Golden Gate Park. Originally, the festival only featured bluegrass music but has recently expanded to feature additional genres, hence the name. Dates and band lineup for 2015 are not currently out, but the concert usually occurs the first weekend in October. http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com/
San Francisco Fleet Week occurs October 6-12 all around the north-eastern quadrant of the city, but mainly in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Live military band music, boat tours, and airshows are the primary attractions. http://fleetweeksf.org/
The biannual Renegade Craft Fair will be in San Francisco November 8-9 (they host another fair in July). Unlike most craft fairs focused on fine arts and crafts, this fair is for DIY (Do It Yourself-ers) and so-called life-hacks (tips and tricks to make life easier). Visitors will find crafts from off the beaten path and artisanal goods. http://www.renegadecraft.com/sanfrancisco
That’s a lot to keep San Franciscans and tourists busy throughout the year! We wish everyone the happiest of holidays, and here’s to more kitty treats and warm fireplaces to cozy up to in the New Year!