A new year has started and we can’t wait to see what it has in store for San Francisco. Here we’ve rounded up some of the best exhibitions, events, festivals, parades, and concerts coming up in 2024. For events with no date yet announced, we’ve put the month they usually occur in so you can be on the lookout. Grab your calendar and jot down your favorites!
Note: Many of our linked articles are not yet updated for 2024, but rest assured we’ll get to them as the events draw nearer.
Table Of Contents
Ongoing and recurring activities in San Francisco
1. Flower blooms
Spring and summer bring some of the best flower blooms in the Bay Area — here’s a snapshot of some of the most popular ones. Be advised that linked articles will be updated for 2024 as the dates come around, but the general info and location stays the same every year.
- Magnolias in SF Botanical Garden (January-March)
- Almond blossoms in Tracy (January-February)
- Calla Lily Valley in Big Sur (late January-April)
- Wild mustard in Half Moon Bay (peak bloom in February)
- Cherry blossoms at Japanese Tea Garden (peak bloom in March)
- Tulips in Golden Gate Park (March-April)
- San Jose Rose Garden and Golden Gate Park Rose Garden: April-November (peak bloom in May)
- Giant water lilies at the Conservatory of Flowers (through summer)
- Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park: June-October (peak bloom in August)
See more spring blooms to seek out in Golden Gate Park.
San Francisco is full of amazing activities and resources for just about any hobby you can think of. If you’re looking to try a new sport or learn a new skill, SF Rec & Parks lines up excellent programming every season including yoga, ceramics, photography, swimming, tai chi, knitting, volleyball, kids’ camps, and much more. Course fees range in price from free to over $400, and there are different options for kids, adults, and seniors.
Exact dates for registration and programs are TBA each season, but they generally go as follows:
- Spring: Registration in March for activities in March, April, and May
- Summer: Registration in May for activities in June, July, and August
- Fall: Registration in August for activities in September, October, and November
- Winter: Registration in December for activities in January, February, and March
Winter is elephant seal season on the coast of California, an exciting natural phenomenon that’s iconic to our state. Northern elephant seals inhabit the waters from Baja California, Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. They generally breed from December to March at Point Reyes, Año Nuevo, the Channel Islands and Piedras Blancas.
The adult males (known as “bulls”) arrive first in December so as to stake a claim and engage in bloody fights with each other to establish dominance. Pregnant adult females, known as “cows,” arrive shortly afterwards and give birth to the pups, or “weaners,” they’ve been carrying since the previous year. You may witness male dominance contests, birthing of pups, mating, and other fascinating behavior.
Fridays from March-October (exact dates TBA)
Off The Grid: Fort Mason Center (OTG:FMC) is California’s largest weekly food truck event, and this year will bring its 14th season. The free events bring dozens of gourmet food trucks to the Fort Mason Center parking lot on Friday evenings from 5pm-10pm. In 2024 they split the event into summer and fall sessions, so we may see them follow suit this year.
May-October (exact dates TBA)
SF Parks Alliance and Do The Bay have hosted this massively popular outdoor film series for the last 5 years. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your neighborhood and enjoy the city’s beautiful parks in a cozy outdoor setting. Be sure to keep an eye on the calendar so as not to miss these wholesome outdoor movies.
Sundays June-August (exact dates TBA)
Stern Grove Festival has hosted free summer concerts for over 85 years. Headliners have included everyone from Grammy winners to rising stars, including names like Mitski, The Doobie Brothers, Carlos Santana, Pink Martini, Janelle Monae, and more. The official 2023 dates are still TBA, but it usually happens on Sundays throughout the summer.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival was founded in 2000 as a way to hold public space for San Francisco’s diverse cultural heritage and creators. The festival especially works to uplift the city’s low-income communities of color, many of whom were displaced during the city’s redevelopment plan of the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout the years, the festival has presented over 42,000 new artists for over 2.3 million attendees. 2024 dates are still TBA but we can usually expect it in the summer and fall.
Closed for renovations, 2024 reopening date TBA
The Lift Every Voice series brings dozens of free concerts nearly all year long, courtesy of Illuminate, SF Rec & Parks, and the SF Parks Alliance. All performances are free and family-friendly, with the impressive Golden Gate Bandshell as the backdrop. The Bandshell, which is 120 years old, added new lighting, a state-of-the-art sound system, and a new stage during the pandemic.
The concerts usually begin in February, but the Bandshell has closed for renovations with a re-opening date TBA for 2024. We’ll update our Bandshell lineup article monthly as the concerts are announced.
2024 San Francisco events calendar
Jan. 18-Feb. 4, 2024
San Francisco’s popular annual comedy festival, SF Sketchfest, is celebrating its 21th anniversary this month with over two weeks of performance across SF. It’s a celebration of comedy in all of its forms including improv, stand-up, movie screenings, podcasts, special tributes, retrospectives, panel discussions, and more.
10. SF Beer Week
Feb. 9-18, 2024
San Francisco Beer Week is a special opportunity to explore some of the best craft beers the Bay Area has to offer. Plenty of local breweries will be putting on special promotions and events in San Francisco and beyond.
The Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is one of the most iconic events on San Francisco’s cultural calendar. The festival has been happening since 1851, making it the oldest and largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. Save the dates for all the festivities coming up:
- Feb. 3-4: Flower Market Fair
- Feb. 10: Chinese New Year / Choy Sun Doe Day
- Feb. 17: Basketball Jamboree
- Feb. 23: Miss Chinatown Pageant and Coronation Ball
- Feb. 24: Chinese New Year Parade
- Feb. 24-25: Community Street Fair
- Mar. 3: Chinatown YMCA Run
- TBA: Dragon on Parade photo contest
February (exact date TBA)
Giants fans will be flocking to Oracle Park for the FREE and highly-anticipated Giants FanFest. Guests will have the opportunity to meet their favorite players and Giants VIPs, access the field and tour the ballpark’s hidden gems, and enjoy multiple events and activities throughout the day.
13. Flower Bulb Day
March (exact date TBA)
San Francisco’s wholesome Flower Bulb Day is a massively popular event every March. The gorgeous outdoor garden will cover Union Square with 100,000 tulips, all of which are free for visitors to pick and take home! Visitors can pick a max of 15 tulips each and always draws a ton of crowds. The event is meant to celebrate International Women’s Day, which is on March 8.
Holiday is Mar. 17, parade date TBA
SF’s 173rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade goes down Market Street all the way to Civic Center Plaza. The historic parade is one of the largest in the world with over 100,000 people. It’s followed by a giant block party.
Holiday is Mar. 31, parade date TBA
San Francisco goes all out to celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, a national holiday celebrating California’s own civil rights and labor movement activist, Cesar Chavez. It usually includes food and drink vendors, live performances, arts and crafts, a lowrider car show, games for children and much more in the Mission District.
Apr. 13-14, 20-21, 2024
This popular festival features plenty of Japanese cultural performances, a Grand Parade, traditional art, live music, food, and much more. There’s also typically a Cherry Blossom Queen Program, a tradition that has spanned 5 decades at the SF festival. Some standout exhibitions include the Paper Tree origami exhibit, tea ceremonies at the East Mall, bonsai, and shodo/calligraphy.
April (exact date TBA)
Did you know that Lombard Street is not actually the crookedest street in the world? In fact, it’s not even the crookedest in San Francisco – that title belongs to Vermont Street, a less-manicured but decidedly more crooked street in Potrero Hill. And what makes Vermont Street even more iconic is its annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel (BYOBW) race, which returned last year after a 2-year hiatus. Countless neighbors will get together with their own Big Wheel bikes to race down Vermont Street’s wonky curves. The 2024 race is TBA, but keep an eye out for it in April.
18. SF Film Festival
Apr. 25-May 5, 2024
Heads up, film fanatics! SFFILM is the longest-running film festival in the Americas, featuring consistently impressive lineups from filmmakers both local and international. In past years, SFFILM has showed over 100 films from 40+ countries, so we’re sure to have another incredible lineup this time around.
May 24-26, 2024
We have dates for the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival, but we’re still waiting on the 2024 headliners. Last year The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, Lizzo, Duran Duran, Lil Nas X, and The Smashing Pumpkins put on an amazing show.
20. Carnaval SF
May 25-26, 2024
Carnaval San Francisco is gearing up for a festive return on Memorial Day weekend! The free event returned last year with the state’s first community-led, permitted cannabis garden on 16th and 17th streets. Expect over 50 local performing artists on 5 main stages, as well as 400+ vendors with international food from Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Peru, Chile, and Haiti.
21. Bay to Breakers
May 19, 2024
This wild, energetic footrace through SF’s most iconic neighborhoods has been a local staple for over 100 years and just keeps getting better. Get ready to run, walk, or dance your way to the finish line while enjoying live music along the route and plenty of unforgettable costumes.
22. SF Pride
June 29-30, 2024
SF Pride is known to be the nation’s largest gathering of the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Mark your calendar for the SF Pride celebration, which brings lively performances to multiple stages around Civic Center.
23. Outside Lands
Aug 9-11, 2024
Outside Lands is the city’s largest music festival and is back for 3 days of music this August in Golden Gate Park. The annual festival draws music lovers from across the country and is famous for its misty forested setting. The 2024 lineup is still TBA, but stay tuned as we await more info, and save the dates for now.
Sept-Oct (exact dates TBA)
The Portola Music Festival is San Francisco’s newest live music festival happening in the early fall at Pier 80. 2024 dates and lineup are TBA, but last year’s headliners were Skrillex and Eric Prydz, plus a host of other exciting talent including Nelly Furtado, Major Lazer, Jon Hopkins, Labrinth, Thundercat, and so many more.
Sept. 28, 2024
San Francisco knows how to throw a party, and there are few parties as legendary as the Folsom Street Fair. Tens of thousands of leather and BDSM lovers gather to celebrate sexual liberation in SoMa, dressed in leather, latex, fishnets, harnesses, body paint, thongs, or… nothing at all.
September (exact date TBA)
Chinatown’s beloved event celebrating the moon and summer harvest goes back to 1991. This spectacular festival always takes Chinatown by storm, with countless food vendors, nonstop entertainment, lion dancing, mooncakes, kids’ activities, and more. The event is free to attend and will happen all along Grant Avenue between Broadway and California Street. The San Francisco Chinatown Merchants Association is working around the clock to produce an unforgettable weekend.
27. Flower Piano
September (exact dates TBA)
This beloved fall event brings twelve gorgeous pianos to SF Botanical Garden for a series of performances and free play time in the gardens. The event is free for SF residents and has enjoyed 8 successful years in SF.
Sept-Oct (exact dates TBA)
The free annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair returns every September with art, music, comedy, and other exciting performances. Prformers have yet to be announced, but the fair is known for hosting some iconic musicians, including Jefferson Starship/Airplane, The Tubes, Metallica, Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix Experience), and many others.
October (exact dates TBA)
Get ready to get weird at the 25th annual How Weird Street Faire in Downtown SF. How Weird includes a daytime dance party, a vibrant marketplace, and an outdoor gallery of cutting-edge visionary art. All guests are requested to wear costumes, which can range from “the best version of yourself,” to something you’d expect to see at Halloween.
October (exact date TBA)
The Leap Sandcastle Classic is a favorite at Ocean Beach every year, drawing thousands of people for the ultimate sandcastle contest. You can watch teams build absolutely enormous sand sculptures while enjoying live music, performances, and local food trucks. The event is hosted by Leap Arts in Education as their main fundraising effort to support arts education in Bay Area schools.
Oct. 4-6, 2024
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass dates back to 2001, when SF venture capitalist Warren Hellman founded it as “Strictly Bluegrass.” As such, it was originally a bluegrass-only event but has since evolved to encompass a multitude of genres, hence the decision to add “Hardly” to its name in 2004. Throughout its run, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has remained completely free and noncommercial at the bequest of Hellman, who passed away in 2011.
32. Fleet Week
Oct. 7-15, 2024
San Francisco Fleet Week has been a fixture on the Bay Area cultural calendar since 1981, when then-Senator Dianne Feinstein kicked off this celebration of the nation’s sea services. The Air Show is perhaps Fleet Week’s most highly anticipated event, and for good reason. Each year, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a choreographed show between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, attracting fans from across the world. It’s the only air show in the U.S. to feature a commercial airliner, the United 777, doing a fully choreographed act. The Blue Angels themselves will be flying their new F-18 Super Hornets, a premium fighter aircraft that is sure to make a statement in the sky!
Oct. 13, 2024
San Francisco’s vibrant Italian community comes out in droves to celebrate the Italian Heritage Festival in October. Festivities include a bazaar all weekend long, and of course the Italian Heritage Parade with Fernet pit stops along the route. You don’t want to miss this giant party lifting up the contributions of Italian-Americans in San Francisco.
Nov. 2, 2024
Marigold Project hosts theannual Festival of Altars and Ritual Circle in SF’s Potrero Del Sol Park every November 2nd. Guests can build their own personal altars or come and observe the community altars on display, and are recommended to bring flowers, 8-inch glass prayer candles, and other mementos to honor their loved ones. The ritual procession usually occurs in the Mission District the same day.
Nov. 9-10, 2024
This exciting festival returns for its 7th annual rendition in October. Enjoy great food, fun local products, a latte art competition, live music, learning sessions, and of course endless high-quality coffee.