Theater and the Arts

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Herbst Theater, Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call 392-4400  

San Francisco Ballet

455 Franklin Street, 861-5600


The San Francisco Opera

War Memorial Opera House

301 Van Ness Avenue.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call 864-3330

The San Francisco Symphony

Davies Symphony Hall, Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.

features a varied program of performances, ranging from Beethoven to the San Francisco premiere of El Nino, A Nativity Oratorio. For information, and to purchase tickets, call the SFS Box Office at 415 864-6000 or visit

The Smuin Ballet

710 Mission Street.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

For tickets, call 978-ARTS

710 Mission Street. For information, call 978-2700

Annual  Events


Grand National Roadster Show

San Mateo County Exposition Center, 503 236-0632.

The show contains one of the biggest gatherings of roadsters anywhere, complemented by a NASCAR virtual reality ride and vintage hot rods.

Berlin and Beyond Festival

Castro Theater, 263-8760.

This unique German language film festival provides highlights of recent European cinema.

Chinese New Year Festival & Parade

Chinatown, 391-9680.

San Francisco’s largest festival, highlighted by the New Year Flower Market on January 20 and 21, a fantastic parade on February 3, at 5:30 p.m. from Market and Second Streets to Columbus Avenue and a community street fair on February 3 and 4.

The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, 923-0222.

A film festival representing personal points of view on threats against political and

individual freedom.


Whale-watching can be enjoyed throughout the winter, when hundreds of gray whales migrate along the Pacific coast. Contact the California Office of Tourism 801 K St., Suite 1600, Sacramento 95814, tel. 800-862-2543.


San Francisco Tribal, Folk & Textile Arts Show

Fort Mason, 310 455-2886.

Over 80 folk and ethnic art dealers sell North American pottery, basketry, textiles and jewelry.

Pacific Orchid Exposition

Fort Mason Center, 546-9608.

The  annual edition of the San Francisco Orchid Society’s show dazzles with dozens of breathtaking floral collections. 

Tulip Mania

PIER 39, 705-5500,

More than 39,000 brilliantly colored tulips from all over the world coupled with

free guided tours.


San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

AMC Kabuki Theaters, 863-0814.

The biggest event in North America dedicated to the exhibition of Asian American and Asian cinema.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Second and Market to the Civic Center, 731-0924.

One of San Francisco’s largest annual parades and one of the longest-running parades in the U.S. Begins at 12:45 p.m. at Second and Market Streets and concludes at City Hall.

San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

Cow Palace, 800 829-9751,

Cutting-edge landscape design and high-quality exhibits of plants and superior

gardening products.

Opening Day – San Francisco Giants

Pacific Bell Ball Park, 800 5GIANTS 800-544-2687,


Street Performers Festival

PIER 39, 705-5500,

Comedians, jugglers, unicyclists, slack ropewalkers and many more perform on two stages.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Contact the Japan Center 1520 Webster St., 94115, tel. 415-922-6776.

an elaborate presentation of Japanese culture and customs, winds up with a colorful parade through San Francisco’s Japantown.

San Francisco International Film Festival

AMC Kabuki, Castro Theater and other venues, 931-FILM.

More than 100 films and videos from 30 countries will be showcased during this annual


Cinco de Mayo

Parade on Mission Street, Festival in Civic Center Plaza, 826-1401,

A parade and festival featuring Mexican and Central American art and entertainment. Also included is a classic low rider and bomb car show with over 80 cars on display. There will also be a children’s area. 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

San Francisco Youth Arts Festival

Golden Gate Park, 759-2916.

An annual exhibition and celebration showcasing the visual and performing arts by San Francisco students in grades K-12.


Harrison Street, between 16th and 22nd, 826-1401.

San Francisco’s version of Mardi Gras, and one of its largest annual public events, featuring exotic carnaval dancers with a mixture of Latino, jazz, samba Caribbean,

and more.


Haight Street Fair

Haight Street, 661-8025.

One of San Francisco’s most famous neighborhoods celebrates its creative roots with

arts, crafts and entertainment.

San Francisco Black Film Festival


Showcases films that celebrate black independent film and filmmakers.

Juneteenth Celebration

Kimball Park, located at Geary and Steiner Streets, 229-1220.

A celebration of African American culture.

San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Castro Theatre and other venues, 703-8663.  

More than 250 films from around the globe are showcased in this 25th annual flick festival, the largest and oldest event of its kind in the world.

San Francisco Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Pride Celebration Parade

Embarcadero to Civic Center, 864-FREE.

San Francisco’s annual celebration of lesbian and gay pride culminates with a

festive parade from the Embarcadero to the Civic Center

Jewish Film Festival

Castro Theater and other venues around the Bay Area, 621-0556.

Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and

vitality of the Jewish culture.


Fourth of July Waterfront Festival

Fisherman’s Wharf, 705-5500.

A day long event featuring the West Coast’s largest display of fireworks, live entertainment, food, arts and crafts at this annual waterfront party. Fireworks begin around 9:00 p.m.

Cable Car Bell-Ringing Competition

Union Square, 923-6217.

Muni cable car operators clang out melodies on a cable car bell during this annual

competition for top bell-ringer.


Afro Solo Arts Festival 2001

Yerba Center of the Arts & other locations, 771-AFRO.

The Afro Solo Arts Festival features celebrity and emerging African American artists in various performances such as theater, dance, music, spoken word and visual arts. Most shows begin at 8:00 p.m.

Nihonmachi Street Fair

Japantown and Japan Center, 771-9861.

This Japanese festival features lion dancers, taiko drummers, Japanese arts and crafts, musical entertainment, food and children’s events.

ACC Craft Fair

Fort Mason Center,800 836-3470.

This is the largest juried craft fair on the West Coast featuring necklaces, stoneware bowls and silk goods.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Nut Tree, Vacaville, 800 523-2473.

Journey back to 16th century England with 1,500 brilliantly costumed performers, jousting knights, rare handmade crafts, theater, dance, food and drink. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Weekends only.


San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

Golden Gate Park, 422-2222.

Relax in a tranquil environment and enjoy Shakespeare’s classics, beginning on Labor Day and running every Saturday and Sunday through September 30. Shows begin at 1:30 p.m. but locals arrive by noon for a seat. Free.

San Francisco Fringe Festival

Exit Theater and other downtown venues, for information call 931-1094, for tickets call 673-3847.

A non-juried, non-censored marathon of 260 performances by 50 local, national and international theater companies in several locations in downtown San Francisco, with a broad spectrum of classic theater, performance art and outrageous comedy.

Festival of the Sea

Hyde Street Pier, 561-6662.

Re-live San Francisco’s seafaring past with a tugboat rodeo, free boat rides,

hands-on activities, a boat-building contest, hands-on crafts demonstrations and

much more.

Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival

Ghirardelli Square, 775-5500.

A chocolate lover’s dream. Attendees sample various chocolate treats including chocolate covered strawberries, brownies, chocolate cheesecake and more. Proceeds benefit Project Open Hand.

Vivas Las Americas!

Pier 39, 705-5500.

Hispanic Heritage is the focus of this event, featuring music and dance performances commemorating the artistry of Mexico and Central and South America.

San Francisco International Art Exposition

Fort Mason Center, Herbst and Festival Pavilion, 312 587-3300.

100 fine art galleries will exhibit, representing the work of 1500 artists, ranging from painting to drawing to sculpture to prints and video art.

San Francisco Blues Festival

Great Meadow at Fort Mason, 979-5588.

The oldest blues festival in America presents some of the best blues musicians in the world.

Wells Fargo Fall Cup Regatta

Pier 39, 705-5500,

Watch America’s Cup participants, Olympic veterans and former World Champions in two days of fleet-style racing on the San Francisco Bay. The public is invited to watch from noon to 5:00 p.m.


Italian Heritage Parade and Festival

tentative Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach, 989-2220.

The City celebrates its Italian heritage with a lively parade through North Beach, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

San Francisco Jazz Festival

Various locations, 788-7353.

One of San Francisco’s biggest and best musical festivals features local, national and international jazz artist performances at locations throughout San Francisco. The line-up includes many renowned musicians such as Abbey Lincoln, Jimmy Scott, John McLaughlin, and Zakir Jussain in Remember Shakti.


Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show

Cow Palace, 469-6057, for tickets, 469-6065.

Enjoy concerts, art, food, livestock and rodeo competitions at the annual Grand National.



San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

Fort Mason Center, 546-6661.

Over 65 distinguished antique dealers from America and Europe sell a broad range of antique merchandise.


Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema

Castro and Roxie Theaters, 552-8760.

More than 300 films by local artists showcase the richness and diversity of San

Francisco and Northern California as a major hub in the independent film world.

American Indian Film Festival

Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 554-0525.

Presenting documentaries and dramas by new and emerging Native American artists.

San Francisco International Automobile Show

Moscone Center, 331-4406.

The latest and greatest automobiles in the world at this annual show.


Christmas at Sea

Hyde Street Pier, 561-6662.

Climb aboard a historic ship and enjoy caroling, storytelling, hot cider, cookies,

kids’ crafts and a visit from St. Nick.

San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker

War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue, 865-2000.

America’s oldest ballet company, regarded as one of its finest, presents Tchaikovsky’s beloved family classic every December.

The New Pickle Circus tel. 415-544-9344, a particularly joyous group that started as a band of street performers during the early 1970s, performs annually during the holiday season at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater in the Marina District or at nearby Fort Mason.