When it comes to summer festivals, fairs, and parties, the San Francisco Bay Area blows most U.S regions out of the water. On top of all the wonderful fixtures that abound within the Bay Area (see our great blogs below) there comes a summer explosion of creative energy and celebration which drives locals and visitors alike into a joyous frenzy that lasts over three months. Here are some free or affordable May events to get you started:
May 10: How Weird Street Faire - Centered at Howard and 2nd St, SF; www.howweird.org.
12-7p.m., $10 donation, $5 in costume. Reboot the motherboard with 10
blocks of art and celebration, 10 stages of music, performances, and constumes, and countless food and craft vendors.
May 15 - 17: Oakland Greek (the country...) Festival - 4700 Lincoln, Oakland. (510) 531-3400, www.oaklandgreekfestival.com.
Call for more info. Let's hear an "opa!" for Greek music, dance, food,
and a stunning view at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension's
May 15 - 24: Young at Art Festival - Various venues and times; (415) 750-3600, www.deyoungmuseum.org.
The Visual and Performing Arts Office of the San Francisco Unified
School District unveils this nine-day celebration of student creativity
in visual, literary, media, and performing arts hosted by the De Young.
May 16: Asian Heritage Street - Celebration Civic Center/Little Saigon District SF; www.asianartsf.com 11am - 6pm, free. The largest gathering of Asian Pacific Americans in the nation features artists, DJs, martial arts, Asian pop culture, j-cars, karakoke, and much more.
May 16 - 17: Himalayan Fair Live - Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck, Berkeley; (510) 869-3995, www.himalayanfair.net.
Sat, 10a.m. -7p.m.; Sun, 10a.m. -5:30p.m., $5 donation. This benefit
for humanitarian grassroots projects in the Himalayas features food,
drink, traditional music and dance, and a raffle.
May 16 - 17: Supercon - San Jose Convention Center, San Jose; www.super-con.com.
Sat, 10a.m. -6p.m.; Sun, 10a.m. -5p.m., $20-$30 (not cheap, I know.). The biggest stars of
comics, sci-fi, and pop culture – Frank Cho, Michael Golden, and Adam
Hughes — descend on downtown San Jose for panels, discussions,
displays, and presentations.
May 17: Bay to Breakers - Begins at Howard and Spear, ends at the Great Highway along Ocean Beach, SF; www.baytobreakers.com.
8a.m. , $39-$55. It's been saved! Sort of. Register your float, keep
your alcohol discrete, and don't pee in the street if you want the
running Elvises, drinking nurses, and other traditional participants to
get to keep enjoying the race.
May 20 - 31: San Francisco International Arts Festival - Various venues, SF; (415) 399-9554, www.sfiaf.org.The theme for this multidisciplinary festival is "The Truth In Knowing/Threads in Time, Place, Culture.
May 23 - 24: Carnaval - Mission District, SF; (415) 651-1811, www.carnavalsf.com.
10a.m. -6p.m., free. California's largest annual multicultural parade
and festival celebrates "Roots of Revival: Seeds of Change" with food,
crafts, activities, performances, and the Grande Parade starting on
Sunday at 9:30am.
May 29 - June 9: Healdsburg Jazz Festival - Check Web site for ticket prices and venues in and around Healdsburg; (707) 433-4644, www.healdsburgjazzfestival.com. This 11th annual, week-and-a-half-long jazz festival will feature a range of artists, from James Moody to Esperanza Spalding.
May 31: UNION Design Festival Octavia at Hayes, SF; www.uniondesignsf.com.
11a.m. -6p.m., free. More than 3000 people will descend on Hayes Valley
to enjoy the work of more than 150 independent designers of clothing,
jewelry, paper goods, and more.
Coming up in June...
Union St. Festival!
North Beach Festival!!!
Haight Ashbury Festival!!!
Stern Grove Music Festival!!!
Sierra Nevada Music Festival!!!
San Francisco Pride!!!
did I mention Robogames?!!!
For more info on this incredible summer festival line-up that kicks butt stayed tuned to the GT Blog or swing by to chat with the savvy and sexy front desk staff who will fill you in!