The Definitive Guide to Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco
Summer in San Francisco can be on the cool side, which is why it’s such a great escape from soaring temperatures in other destinations. Come Memorial Day there’s plenty to do by the bay, including traditional Memorial Day commemorative ceremonies May 29, 2017, a rousing Carnaval celebration May 27-28, 2017 and an opportunity to see several major art exhibits before they close.
Public transit is the best option to reach many of these events; for routing and scheduling, call 511 (within the nine Bay Area counties) or 510-893-8729.
MAY 26, 2017
PIER 39 (The Embarcadero)
Head to PIER 39 for a screening of the "Princess Diaries" beginning at 8:30 p.m.; it's all part of their 39-week celebration of their 39th anniversary.
MAY 26-31, 2017
San Francisco Giants (24 Willie May's Plaza)
Join the San Francisco Giants for a three-day homestand against the Atlanta Braves and a three-day matchup with the Washington Nationals. Friday's game includes a special ticket package which includes a collector's edition Star Wars-themed item marking the 40th anniversary of "Episode IV - A New Hope." May 26, 2017 is also fireworks night at AT&T Park. Other special premiums throughout the series include a Giants Car Flag on May 27 and a cooler bag on May 29. On Sunday the special package offers Sunday brunch during a pre-game reception in Triples Alley (beer, wine and mimosas included). May 30, 2017 is Chinese Heritage Night and Japnaese Heritage Night is May 31, 2017. All ticketing details are available at www.sfgiants.com/specialevents.
MAY 27, 2017
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (foot of Market Street on The Embarcadero)
While you’re picking up something fresh and yummy for your barbeque or Memorial Day weekend picnic, take in seasonal cooking demonstrations. Admission: All demos take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) at 11 a.m. and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all. Today, Jake Godby of Humphry Slocombe, will be giving shoppers the latest scoop.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: Richard Howell & Sudden Changes (Esplanade, Fourth and Mission Streets)
Described as a jazz "Jedi master" by KQED, tenor saxophonist Richard Howell is a Bay Area treasure who has come into his own as a bandleader after decades of producing and supporting other artists. His latest album, "Burkina," was named one of the best recordings of 2016 by "The Mercury News." For information call 415-543-1718. Admission: Free performance, 1-2:30 p.m. Pack a picnic and remember the sunscreen, hats and shades.
MAY 27-28, 2017
Carnaval (Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets)
Bursting with international music, dance, cuisine, and arts and crafts from the many countries that celebrate Carnaval, Carnaval San Francisco will be celebrated in San Francisco’s Mission District on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, 2017. This year’s theme is “El Corazon de San Pancho —The Heart of San Francisco.” BART offers easy access to all events. Admission: Festival and parade are free; grandstand parade seating ($30) is available.
Treasure Island Flea Marketplace (Treasure Island, Avenue of the Palms)
Treasure Island Flea debuted six years ago on Treasure Island, renowned as the site of the 1939 World’s Fair. On the final weekend of every month co-founders Angie and Charles Ansanelli offer a showcase for more than 400 exhibitors selling one-of-kind items and 25-plus top food trucks and stands. TI Flea bars sell spirits, cocktails, local craft beers, champagne and wine. This dog-friendly, open-air market open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. also offers workshops in “Maker’s Square,” a blend of local entertainment and special events. Admission: $3, under 12 free. Free parking.
MAY 28, 2017
Golden Gate Park Band Concert (Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park)
A special musical salute to Memorial Day begins at 1 p.m. Professional musicians perform all summer long in this concert series which started in 1882. Admission: Free
Off-the-Grid’s Picnic at the Presidio (Main Post Lawn on the Main Parade Ground Presidio of San Francisco)
In this re-invention of the outdoor picnic, some of San Francisco’s top restaurants serve your favorite dishes family style to create a “mix and match” brunch that includes fresh from the farm produce. Kids, in the meantime, can enjoy classic lawn games such as bocce ball and kite-flying. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Free. Off-the-Grid is adjacent to the Walt Disney Family Museum which is open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., except Tuesday. Currently on view: “Awaking Beauty The Art of Eyvind Earle" and "Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja." A free exhibit, “Telling the Presidio Story,” which explores the Presidio story from 10,000 years ago to the present through films, images and artifacts is also open in the Presidio Heritage Gallery, Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave.
USS San Francisco Memorial (The USS San Francisco Memorial Park, Lands End off Camino del Mar in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area)
An annual event since 1950, the USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation’s ceremony is at noon. Built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the USS San Francisco (CA-38) participated in almost every Pacific battle from Pearl Harbor to the end of WWII, earning 17 battle stars. Admission: Free. For information visit www.usssanfrancisco.org or call 415-334-0263; public transit options include Muni 38-Geary to 48th Avenue and walk two blocks north.
MAY 29, 2017
Presidio Memorial Day Commemoration (San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio)
The official San Francisco Memorial Day commemoration will take place on Monday, May 29, 2017 at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio, 1 Lincoln Blvd. Soldiers in the Presidio have participated in every commemoration of Memorial Day since its inception in 1868. The annual commemoration is now the largest in the West. The schedule of events begins with a grand march with veterans at 10:30 am from the Presidio Officers’ Club, located at 50 Moraga Ave., and ends at the San Francisco National Cemetery. The formal program begins at 11 a.m. and includes music and remarks by dignitaries. At the conclusion of the ceremony, there will be a ranger-led walk of the National Cemetery. Visitors are invited to bring their own picnic or purchase burgers and snacks from Presidio Foods for a community picnic on the Main Parade Ground, noon to 3 p.m. Admission: Free. Free shuttle service will be available from parking areas around the Main Post to the National Cemetery from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For information call 415-561-5300.
Submarine “Lost Boat” Ceremony (The USS Pampanito is located at Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 45)
At 10 a.m. join submarine veterans in the "Lost Boat" ceremony aboard the USS Pampanito, honoring comrades and submarines lost at sea. This moving ceremony features 52 bell tolls for each boat and crew on "eternal patrol." Admission: The ceremony is free and open to the public.
USS Hornet Memorial Day Ceremony (707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3, Alameda)
Veterans, past and present, will be honored in a special Memorial Day tribute onboard the Bay Area’s famous “floating museum,” the USS Hornet beginning at 11 a.m. The USS Hornet will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Memorial Day. Tours of the ship will be available. The carrier’s numerous exhibits include 13 Navy and Marine aircraft, ranging from WWII vintage to modern era. The Hornet is also home to the West Coast’s largest collection of Apollo Moon Mission artifacts. Admission: $20 for adults, $15 for adults with Military I.D., and $10 for youth age 7-17 (age 6 and under are free with paying adult).
This is the last weekend to see "Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty" at the Asian Art Museum which closes on May 28, 2017; "Matisse/Diebenkorn" at SFMOMA before it closes on May 29, 2017 and the San Francisco Decorator Showcase which is open to the public through May 29, 2017.