A galactic range of options await any visitor to San Francisco. As we
roll into summer, celebrations and festivals abound in this magnificent
city. Here are a few suggestions from the San Francisco Convention
& Visitors Bureau for the month of April.
Cherry Blossom Festival: April 11-12, 18-19
It's easy to feel torn trying to decide which of all the fabulous San
Francisco spring events you should attend. Japantown's Cherry Blossom
Festival is among the best contendors for two weekends in April with
this year's Grand Marshall, actor and activist, George Takei. The
festival honors the diversity of Japanese Americans with traditional
fare, such as tea ceremonies, folk dancing, martial arts, taiko
drummers and crafts, and contemporary events like an anime fashion
show, a visit from Hello Kitty and her entourage and a karaoke song
festival. The main highlight for the city's large foodie contingent is
the street fair, which features cooking demonstrations and
mouthwatering cuisine - imagawayaki cakes filled with sweet bean paste,
takoyaki dumplings, deep-fried mochi balls, and of course, sushi. Most
of the events are free, and all of them are great for families.
Union Street Spring Celebration & Easter Parade: April 12
Forgo the traditional Easter bonnet and white patent-leather shoes.
This is one Easter celebration where the whole family can let their
hair down. Union Street's 18th annual free spring bash offers the
little ones bounce houses, climbing walls and pony rides, while their
parents enjoy alfresco dining, live music, fashion shows and vintage
cars. Everyone can participate in the Easter hat contest, and if past
winners are any indication, everything from grandiose floral
arrangements and feathers to stuffed bunnies, dyed eggs and balloons
are fair game.
San Francisco International Film Festival: April 23-May 7
As the oldest, and one of the most respected, film festivals in the
U.S., the SFIFF will once again strike the perfect balance between
celebrating the past and heralding the future of film. This year's
festival will feature the work of more than 100 established and
up-and-coming auteurs. Highlights will include two restored
masterpieces: Michelangelo Antonioni's 1955 drama "Le Amiche" and John
Cassavetes' 1974 award winner "A Woman Under the Influence." Gena
Rowlands, who won a Golden Globe for her role as Mable in Cassavetes'
film, and Robert Redford are expected to attend the event.
Opening Day on the Bay
The San Francisco Giants' opening series at AT&T Park is a sure sign spring has arrived.
April 7's home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers will have fans
rooting for the team to make their first World Series appearance since
Baseball isn't the only season that kicks off in April. Northern
California's boating season officially opens with a splash on April 26
as more than 150 vessels prance across San Francisco Bay in
well-choreographed formation for Opening Day on the Bay. Tug, tour and
commercial boats create a quite spectacle as they vie for prizes based
on whose "costumed" boat best interprets this year's theme, Legends of