San Francisco’s diversity and eccentricity have at times influenced culture around the world – the city's unique attributes are reflected in the city's diverse and exciting events calendar.
Residents get to enjoy a variety of festivals that celebrate the city’s history and character. From beer and wine festivals to marathons and parades, expats will be spoilt for choice.
Annual events in San Francisco
SF Beer Week (February)
This festival showcases San Francisco's craft beer scene with hundreds of events over 10 days each February. Lager-loving expats will be in beer heaven, but even those who don’t know the difference between pale ale and dunkel will find something to delight in. Festival-goers can also enjoy gourmet events that sample some of the best food in San Francisco, meet the best brewers in the Bay Area, and can even attend home brewing demonstrations.
San Francisco International Film Festival (April)
The longest-running film festival in the USA, the San Francisco International Film Festival hosts around 200 films from 50 countries each year. Attendees get to enjoy some of the best new films from around the globe in an exciting setting.
Bay to Breakers (May)
Part-fundraiser, part-marathon and part-celebration, the Bay to Breakers footrace has been a San Francisco institution since 1912. From serious athletes to costumed casuals, runners of all kinds can join in on the fun. Participants are cheered along by onlookers while the race concludes at Ocean Beach with the Finish Line Festival.
San Francisco Pride Parade (June)
One of the wildest and friendliest on the planet, the San Francisco Pride Parade follows a week of celebrations. The colourful contingent struts down Market Street to the cheers of the thousands of onlookers who gather to witness the event every year.
Fourth of July Celebration at the Pier (July)
Every year on Independence Day, city residents gather on Pier 39 to enjoy an evening of food, fireworks and live entertainment. There is no better way to experience this most American of holidays in the city.
Union Square Tree Lighting (November)
Christmas cheer abounds during this event, with plenty of entertainment on offer, including live performances and holiday shopping. The festivities culminate with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree in the centre of Union Square, a decades-old tradition.