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Top 5 San Francisco Festivals

Updated on November 5, 2016

As a culturally diverse city, San Francisco hosts many cultural, art, music and sports festivals and events throughout the year. The city is home to many different and unique festivals and parade that are so colorful and interesting. You will find many street festivals, food and wine festivals, music and concerts, fairs and many other special events held different neighborhoods across San Francisco. Some of the events are so big and popular all over the world. Tourists and participants attend some of the biggest festivals from all over the world.

1. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Festival

Martin Luther King Jr. set a remarkable example and changed the world with his vision of equality, justice, and peace. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Festival takes place in San Francisco annually on the third Monday in January. This is observed as Martin Luther King (MLK) day to celebrate the life and legacy of this American inspiration. The celebration includes parades and several exciting events and programs. The celebration occurs around the Yerba Buena Gardens area. The most attractive is the parade. Starting from different points, the parade ends at the Yerba Buena Gardens. The celebration also includes film show, music and art festivals and many other interactive events and programs.

2. Chinese New Year Festival and Parade

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is an annual celebration occurs in February. The celebration continues for almost two weeks following the first day of the Chinese New Year. This festival in San Francisco is the largest Asian cultural event in North America. More than three million people watch this celebration every year. Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco began in mid 1800s when the immigrants from China were coming to the USA in search of work. This festival combines both Chinese and American traditions. The grand parade is the main highlight of this festival. The participants in the parade march with flags, drums and several floats. The most popular float is the golden dragon which is a large dragon carried out by more than 100 people through the streets of San Francisco. Besides the parade, Chinese New Year Festival includes Flower Fair and Chinatown Community Street Fair and some other sporting events.

Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year Parade | Source

3. Carnaval San Francisco

Carnaval or Mardi Gras is a large, two-day annual celebration in San Francisco, held on the last weekend of May. The Carnaval takes place in the lively Mission District. This festival rejoices Latin American and Caribbean tradition. Each year a theme of the parade is chosen and all the participant groups perform and showcase the elements of the year's theme. The grand parade is a spectacular and colorful event that resembles with the Rio De Janeiro carnival. Several music and dance groups take part in the parade with various kinds of costumes, masks, floating stages and musical instruments and pass through the streets. In addition to the parade, the festival includes live stage performance, music, dance, arts & crafts and food. This is a family friendly weekend event once in a year and enjoyable for the people of all ages.

4. Bay Area Blues Festival

The bay area blues festival is a merger of two great festivals, the Downtown Martinez Italian Street Painting Festival and San Francisco’s Polk Street Blues Festival. This is a grand street program where the spectators enjoy live blues and jazz music, arts and crafts exhibition, gourmet food and street paintings. Usually the festival takes place in summer. Several stages in different areas are set to perform the live music. Another attractive feature of this festival is the street paining. Street artists create fabulous chalk art using the theme of the festival and other traditional culture. This is a spectacular event for music and art enthusiasts.

Bay Area Blues Festival
Bay Area Blues Festival | Source

5. Litquake

Litquake is an annual literary festival which is the longest running literary festival in this city. It was started in 1999 as a one day event known as Litstock. From 2002, it is being celebrated as a complete literary festival throughout the city. Literacy enthusiasts can meet and mix with the community, meet with authors and poets, participate in workshops, attend group discussions, reading in this festival. This is a perfect place to find authors, meet your favorite writers and meet with the people who love literacy.

Litquake | Source

San Francisco is a city where you will find events and festivals all the year round. The festivals are unique and full of fun. Attending any of these will make your trip to San Francisco an unforgettable experience.


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