The autumn season is here, which means that San Francisco finally gets to have a summer. San Francisco residents know that summer in the foggy city begins right after Labor Day Weekend. Along with the warm, sunny weather, this time of year is an exceptionally good time to explore the various neighborhoods in the city.
Fall festivals in San Francisco pop up in just about every neighborhood, but we at Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist Team and Keller Williams San Francisco made a list of our top favorites. These festivals stood out because they are long beloved San Francisco staples and sum up the character of this fine city by the bay.
Do you have fall festivals in San Francisco that you attend every year? Let us know on Twitter! #FallFestivalsSF….
The Best Fall Festivals in San Francisco
Oktoberfest by the Bay, September 23-25
While Oktoberfest may have its beginnings overseas in Germany, Oktoberfest by the Bay is quintessential San Francisco fun. Drink, laugh, and be merry down at Pier 48 while enjoying tasty food, live music, and of course, quality beer.
Even if you’re not a fan of beer or German food (gasp!), the festival is worth attending for the Chico Bavarian Band alone. This 21-piece band headlines the festival and attendees can also enjoy traditional Bavarian dancing by the Nature Friends Schuhplattler, which takes place every few hours. We raise a glass and say “prost!” to that!
Folsom Street Fair, September 25
The first fall festival in San Francisco that makes are list is not for the faint of heart. Quoted as the “grand daddy of all leather events,” Folsom Street Fair is the world’s biggest leather event and draws locals and tourists alike to partake in a street fair that is anything but tame. Over 200 vendors showcase leather and fetish toys, several stages entertain with music and live performances, there are food trucks galore, and attendees dress to impress.
Folsom Street Fair definitely falls into the NSFW category, so if you’re visiting with your grandparents, you might want to skip this one. But if you want to peek into the world of San Francisco’s leather and fetish culture, venture to the SOMA neighborhood Sunday, September 25th. The festival is on Folsom from 8th to 13th Streets and runs from 11:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. Clothing optional.
Hardly, Strictly BlueGrass, September 30 – October 2
You know the saying, “I left my heart in San Francisco”? Well, that’s the sentiment of Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass. San Francisco venture capitalist Warren Hellman loved his city and bluegrass music so much that he dedicated a large portion of his earnings to creating a free, non-commercial annual bluegrass festival in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Sixteen years later, and the festival still draws over 700,000 visitors every year.
The “hardly, strictly” was added to the festival name to encompass musical genres that stray slightly outside the realm of bluegrass. Past performers include legends such as Dolly Parton and Elvis Costello and each year the festival delights with seven stages featuring both world famous acts and local faves. Grab some friends, wander through the park under the shady branches of cypress and eucalyptus trees, and lounge in the grass while music sounds through the air from all directions. It’s the perfect way to spend a weekend in San Francisco. Visit hardlystrictlybluegrass.com for performance times and information.
Castro Street Fair, October 2
Founded by Harvey Milk in 1974, the Castro Street Fair has long been an emblem of community and culture for San Francisco’s LGBTQ residents. The fair is located in the vibrant Castro neighborhood intersection of Market Street and Castro Street. You can’t miss it; just look for the giant rainbow flag waving high in the air.
Shop local vendors, nosh on good eats, and be entertained by performances at several stages. The Castro Street Fair gives San Francisco’s LGBTQ community an opportunity to truly shine. And just to top things off, the fair is a charitable event, with proceeds going to important causes affecting the Castro neighborhood. You can get your party vibe on while contributing to a good cause — a great way to enjoy a Sunday in San Francisco.
Litquake, October 7-15
Considering San Francisco has the highest per capita consumption of both books and alcohol (SITE A SOURCE FOR THIS), it’s no wonder that the main venues hosting San Francisco’s annual literary festival are bars. San Francisco has long been a literary hub for both writers and readers alike, and this festival celebrates that fact like none other.
Designed for both young and old, festival goers spend a full week attending numerous literary events at bars, shops, and cafes, have opportunities to meet authors face-to-face, and can indulge in both the written word and libations during the closing night Lit Crawl. Visit lit quake.org for the full schedule of events.
Potrero Hill Festival, October 15
The Potrero Hill neighborhood is celebrating the 27th year of its annual fall festival in San Francisco. Meander along 20th Street between Wisconsin and Missouri Streets and enjoy live entertainment, food vendors, shopping, and quintessential festival fun and games.
The festival supports the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House community center, which serves to help children, youth and seniors overcome potential risks from educational deficits, violence, and hunger. This little festival also boasts a big view, with sweeping vistas of San Francisco.
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If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in these neighborhoods, or anywhere in San Francisco, reach out to Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist Team and Keller Williams San Francisco. Knowing San Francisco’s neighborhoods inside and out is part of our expertise and we can help you find the perfect home for you!