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What’s New in San Francisco - November/December

“What’s New in San Francisco” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website

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SAN FRANCISCO NEWS

Illuminate SF Festival of Light Celebrates New Installations in Event’s Fourth Year

Experience San Francisco as a shining gallery of light during the fourth annual Illuminate SF Festival of Light, from Thanksgiving 2016 through New Year’s Day 2017. Art and technology lovers alike may embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s public art installations by a diverse range of local and world renowned light artists. 

The 39-day event celebrates 32 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations—five more than last year and three times the number of the inaugural celebration in 2013—accessible by public transit and free for all ages. Held during the longest nights of the year, Illuminate SF Festival of Light features the now permanent Bay Lights, four vibrant installations in the new SFMOMA, free neighborhood light art tours, artist studio and neon walking tours, a stargazing party at the Presidio and more interactive experiences. Many of San Francisco’s intimate neighborhoods will also light up shopping districts, streets and galleries, and host participatory holiday activities.

For locations, dates, times and more information, visit www.illuminatesf.com.

San Francisco’s Holiday Lights, Sights and Decorations

San Francisco shines even brighter this holiday season with decorations and activities that add to the city’s natural scenic beauty and magical atmosphere.  For highlights of the festive lights, sights and decorations in the City by the Bay and ideas on how to experience the holidays San Francisco-style, visit www.sftravel.com/holidays

50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017

In 1967 nearly 100,000 young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, turning San Francisco, CA into the epicenter of a cultural phenomenon known as the Summer of Love. During this transformative time, music, fashion, art and new ideas flourished and there was a feeling that everything was possible.  

That feeling never left the city. The young hippies that gathered in the city 50 years ago, and the sons and daughters of those who wore flowers in their hair, went on to stand up for civil rights and the environment, dared to question authority and still flock to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, forever linking the city to the counterculture and the ideas it launched, nurtured and spread.  

For visitors to San Francisco in 2017, the 50th anniversary will be a celebration with major exhibitions at some of the region’s top museums, special events and concerts looking back at the Summer of 1967 and exploring what that period meant then and now.  The celebration will also include a range of service and volunteerism events inspired by the original Summer of Love. 

San Francisco Travel and the California Historical Society have joined forces on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Celebrating this rare moment in history, the California Historical Society provides the detailed factual and cultural context for this seminal summer through its own exhibition and work with cultural partners such as the de Young Museum.  San Francisco Travel is the go-to resource for visitors planning a trip, including must-see events, itineraries and tours that follow the footsteps of some of the greatest musicians of all time. 

To help visitors plan their “trip,” the San Francisco Travel Association has launched a special website, www.summeroflove2017.com, which provides an ever-expanding guide to the whole groovy scene, including events and itinerary ideas.  The site also links to the California Historical Society. 

Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards Names San Francisco One of the Top Big Cities in the U.S. 

Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with San Francisco recognized as number three on the list of Top Large Cities in the U.S.   The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 25, 2016. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca. Over 300,000 dedicated readers – nearly twice as many as last year -- cast votes for 7,394 hotels, 606 cities, 500 cruise ships, and 236 islands, in an average survey time of 8.4 minutes. 

FOOD & DRINK NEWS

Nov. 14, 2016 – New Saucy Awards® are a Culinary Bucket List for the Bay Area  

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) will announce the first recipients of the new The Saucy Awards®, at a gala on Nov. 14, 2016 at the Herbst Theater.  

Hospitality industry professionals and concepts, not exclusive to GGRA members, within seven Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma) were nominated by their peers or self-nomination for 16 open awards. The Saucy Awards® steering committee, consisting of six industry veterans & luminaries, have since narrowed down the field to four nominees for each award. 

The list of nominees read like a “must dine” list for local and visiting foodies alike.  The full list of The Saucy Awards’® nominees can be found on the GGRA’s web site: www.ggra.org/event/the-saucy-awards.   

The Saucy Awards®, will benefit the GGRA’s Scholarship & Education Foundation (GGRASF), as a part of its initiative to advance and support the hospitality industry in the Bay Area. The GGRA serves to celebrate and empower the restaurant community through advocacy, education, marketing, events and training.  

Media contacts: Shawna Sund and Danielle Logan, 415-274-2510, shawna@wagstaffworldwide.com, dlogan@wagstaffworldwide.com

First Crush Restaurant Named Best Wine Tourism Restaurant by Great Wine Capitals

As one of nine recognized Great Wine Capitals, San Francisco/Napa Valley has awarded its hospitality leaders the 2017 Best Of Wine Tourism regional designations in seven categories.  The awards categories include accommodations; art and culture; architecture and landscape; innovative wine tourism experience; sustainable wine tourism practices; wine tourism restaurant; and wine tourism services.  

In San Francisco, First Crush Restaurant & Wine Bar (www.firstcrush.com) was named Best Wine Tourism Restaurant. 

An international Best Of award is presented to one wine tourism business within each region that is deemed best in class across all nine Great Wine Capitals by an international jury. All regional Best Of award winners will move forward to compete for the global awards, which will be judged by an international panel of respected wine tourism professionals and presented at the annual general meeting of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, to be held in November 2016 in Porto, Portugal. The international judges will choose one overall winner for each region, selecting from the seven regional “Best of” title-holders.  For more information, visit www.greatwinecapitals.com

Five San Francisco Restaurants Named in Conde Nast Traveler’s List of the Best Restaurants in the U.S.

The editors of Conde Nast Traveler included five San Francisco restaurants in their list of the 207 best restaurants in the world.  The selections in the United States were listed on Sept. 20, 2016 and here’s what they had to say about their choices:

Bar Tartine, San Francisco: “Cortney Burns and Nick Balla make every ingredient in every dish at Bar Tartine; nothing leaves their kitchen that wasn't grown or made by hand, in-house. You can taste that next-level care in every bite. Like the mind-blowing dry-aged beef tartare with radish on house-sprouted bread. Every experience at Bar Tartine is better than the last, in a way that makes the restaurant feel new on every visit.” Michael Solomonov, chef/co-owner of Zahav and Dizengoff in Philadelphia

Benu, San Francisco: “There was something about the austere, clean lines, long menu, and sheer expense of the place. Who wants to eat like that anymore? I was wrong. Not about the austerity, cleanliness, or expense—it has all that in spades. But Corey Lee's menu commands attention, from some sort of voodoo with an unlaid hen's egg that pops you in the kisser as a sweet hit of cholesterol, to a handwoven nori net that has ensnared a collection of miniature pickled vegetables. The service goes above and beyond; the wine list has depth and breadth. And it’s one of the few dining rooms on the contemporary fine dining scene that really makes you want to behave yourself. I'm so glad I was so wrong.” Myffy Rigby, editor of Fairfax Media’s Good Food Guides

Saison, San Francisco: “While chef Joshua Skenes’s food is beautiful, it is also intriguing. I recall wondering what type of vinegar was used in a dish, expecting wine. It turned out to be fermented sea cucumber guts. Doesn’t sound great, but it was so subtle and delicious. The meat-aging room and live abalone tank always draw me to those items. A very special place.” Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation

Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco: “My happiest place in America to eat crab backs filled with fat, juicy oysters and enjoy a cold draft beer.” Anthony Bourdain, chef, writer, and TV personality

Zuni Café, San Francisco: “One of the most beautiful spaces ever, with the most delicious food—especially if you go there straight from the airport.” Ignacio Mattos, chef/co-owner of Estela and Café Altro Paradiso in New York City.

Beloved Big 4 Restaurant and Bar at The Scarlet Huntington Turns the Big 4-0 

Forty years ago, Big 4 Restaurant and Bar opened its doors for the first time serving traditional and beloved dishes with (what was then) a modern twist. In honor of its anniversary, throughout the month of October, the restaurant is promoting special dinner menus featuring new items, Big 4 classic dishes and prohibition-era cocktails to complement the restaurant’s distinguished 1920’s style and ambiance. Executive Chef Miguel A. Garcia Jr’s classic American dishes are subtly enhanced by his rich culinary background which includes Moroccan, Asian-Fusion, Rustic Italian, and seasonal California cuisine. Big 4 Restaurant was named after the reputed “Big Four” industrialists – Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford and Mark Hopkins – famed railroad tycoons of the 19th century who played a vital role in San Francisco’s history and early development. The recently renovated restaurant pays tribute to the grandeur of earlier eras, retaining its elegance with an impressive collection of original artifacts, historical photographs and memorabilia from California’s storied history. Loyal patrons and first-time guests alike enjoy the iconic restaurant’s clubby atmosphere and live piano music nightly. 

For more information, visit www.big4restaurant.com.  Media contact: Bernadette De Mesa, 415-986-7212, bdemesa@graham-associated.com.

San Francisco Wine School Opens 4,000 Square Foot Wine Education and Events Center

Individuals and groups traveling through the San Francisco Bay Area to tour Wine Country can now get some industry leading instruction before they hit the vineyard trails.  San Francisco Wine School recently opened a new 4,000 sq ft Wine Education and Events Center just four miles north of SFO International Airport with many educational options for thirsty travelers.  

Founder, Master Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator David Glancy created a formal certification program and eight three-hour workshops dedicated to California wine that has garnered support from the Wine Institute and vintner and grower associations around the state.  Their in-depth California Wine Appellation Specialist® (CWAS®) certification program is available in three distinct formats (WeeklyIntensive, and Online) and each of the related three-hour regional workshops are offered at various times throughout the year.  

San Francisco Wine School also hosts a variety of private groups for classes and customized wine events including themed movie nights, tasting dinners and receptions on a topic or region of your choice.  

For a taste of California wine tours, San Franicsco Wine School offers eight two-minute California wine region videos.   

For more information, visit www.sfwineschool.com.  Media Contact: Alexandra Pace, 212-380-7745, apace@sfwineschool.com

Culinary Institute of America at Copia Opens in Napa

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia, the first CIA facility geared to the general public, officially opens in November 2016. Located in the heart of Napa’s bustling Oxbow district, CIA at Copia is the ultimate Napa Valley destination for exploring, experiencing, and enjoying the world of food and wine. Visitors and locals are welcome to attend engaging and delicious cooking and beverage classes taught by CIA instructors and expert guest lecturers in the state-of-the-art Napa Valley Vintners Theater, shop for the best in home goods at the new lifestyle store, delight in family-friendly events, dine at The Restaurant at CIA Copia, a destination for market-based, Mediterranean-inspired, California cuisine, and much more. In addition to offering daily programming, wine tasting, and dining opportunities, CIA at Copia provides the perfect setting for an array of special events, both public and private, in its 80,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event and theater space.  

The Wine Hall of Fame and atrium wine tasting experience at CIA at Copia are anticipated to debut in the spring 2017, and the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Collection and a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen both have planned openings in late summer 2017.

For additional information, visit www.ciaatcopia.com.  Media contact: Evita Broughton, 510-735-9667, evita@ellipsespr.com

ARTS & CULTURE NEWS

Openings

Chinese Historical Society Museum Reopens with Landmark “Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion” Exhibition 

The Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA), the oldest museum dedicated to the Chinese American experience, re-opened on Nov. 5, 2016 after a summer of renovation with the most extensive and important exhibition in its 50-year history: “Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion.”

“This exhibit is the proof of our mission,” said CHSA Executive Director Sue Lee, noting that the exhibition features reproductions from the New-York Historical Society’s holdings, interactive media, evocative recreations, and CHSA’s own historic Chinatown paintings by Jake Lee. “The curatorial quality, the historical detail, and the hands-on interactive technology of this exhibit are unlike anything we have ever done. Its educational potential really raises the bar for us. It is an unprecedented exploration of the Chinese American experience and diaspora.”

Prior to its now permanent installation at CHSA, “Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion” had impressive runs at the Oregon Historical Society and at the New-York Historical Society, the latter of which facilitated the exhibition’s donation to CHSA. 

“Quite simply,” said Lee, “this exhibit is the most comprehensive museum expression about the experience of Chinese in America to date.”

For more information, visit www.chsa.org.  Media contact: David Perry, 415-767-1067, news@davidperry.com

Nov. 11-13, 2016 – 18th Annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest

Eleven electrifying hip hop dance companies from around the world will perform at the 18th annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest, presented by Micaya at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.

This season’s local companies include the San Francisco-based dance theater company The Embodiment Project; San Francisco's innovative The Tribe, Oakland's turf company TURFInc, and Oakland’s On Demand. 

This year's international performers hail from London, Paris, Rotterdam and Ho Chi Minh. The all-female Paradox-Sal, an Afro-House group from Paris, combines popping, locking, hype, top rock, new style, waacking, dancehall and traditional African dance. Rotterdam's Amenti Collective effortlessly blends a variety of dance styles from ballet to hip hop and modern to trump. S.I.N.E. Crew, an all-male ensemble from Ho Chi Minh City, perform stirring works incorporating breakdancing and other street styles. London-based artist Shaadow Sefiroth brings his wide-ranging dance vocabulary to two solo performances.

From Denver comes Grass Roots Project, a street-dance theater company directed by hip hop dance legend Rennie Harris. Among the works he will present are three sections from his evening-length piece Beautiful Human Lies, a work inspired partly by Harris’ upbringing in an African American community in North Philadelphia and also by current events, including police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The festival also features Los Angeles’ Groovaloos and Femme Fatales.

For more information, visit www.sfhiphopdancefest.com. Media contact: Mona Baroudi, 415-615-2735, mona.baroudi@sbcglobal.net

Nov. 11-Dec. 18, 2016 - New Conservatory Theatre Center Presents Regional Premiere of Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet”

On Nov. 11-Dec. 18, 2016 New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) will present the regional premiere of Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize Finalist, “Sons of the Prophet,” to be directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle. Karam, who recently won the Tony Award for his play “The Humans,”was named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Sons of the Prophet, his refreshingly honest take on how we cope with wounds that just won’t heal. If to live is to suffer, then Joseph Douaihy is more alive than most. With unexplained chronic pain and the fate of his reeling family on his shoulders, Joseph's health, sanity, and insurance premium are on the line. In addition to its Pulitzer honors, “Sons of the Prophet “received Best Play awards from New York Drama Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel Awards, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, hailing the discovery of an “important playwright in Stephen Karam” (New York Magazine). “Explosively funny” (“The New York Times”), “Sons of the Prophet” is the funniest play about human suffering you'll ever see. Tickets are available at www.nctcsf.org or by calling 415-861-8972.

Media contact: Ben Randle, 415-694-6156, ben@nctcsf.org

Nov. 17, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017 – “Luzia” by Cirque du Soleil Under the Big Top at AT&T Park

“Luzia” takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. Freely inspired by Mexico, “Luzia” is a poetic and acrobatic ode to the rich, vibrant culture of a country whose wealth stems from an extraordinary mix of influences and creative collisions – a land that inspires awe with its breathtaking landscapes and architectural wonders, buoyed by the indomitable spirit of its people. The tableaux of “Luzia” weave an intricate, contemporary mosaic that awakens your senses and transports you to a place suspended between dreams and reality. Featuring a cast of 44 performers from diverse artistic backgrounds, “Luzia” surprises with acrobatic performances breaking down the barriers, such as integrating rain and water into contemporary circus disciplines.  It is performed under the redesigned white and gold Big Top at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Tickets range in price from $49–$185 and are available by visiting www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia or calling 1-800-450-1480. Media contact: Kevin Kopjak, 415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.

Nov. 19-Dec. 18, 2016 -Bay Area Children’s Theatre Production of“Seussical, TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences)” and “The Wheels on the Bus”

The Cat in the Hat accompanying himself on the piano? That’s what families will see when the Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT) presents “Seussical, TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences)” —a kid-friendly version of the exuberant Broadway musical that brings to life everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude Mc Fuzz, Mayzie LaBird and other inhabitants of the captivating worlds imagined by the late, great writer and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel.  Featuring actor-musicians who sing, dance, and play their way through the story, with music and lyrics by Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, “Seussical, TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences)” opens Nov. 19, 2016at the Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 Fourth St., San Francisco, and plays weekends through Dec. 18 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  A magical, musical tale of determination and friendship,“Seussical, TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences)” is recommended for ages three and up. 

“The Wheels on the Bus,’ an interactive, theatrical experience created for children from six months to four years old by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) and Children’s Fairyland, plays Fridays at 10 a.m.  and weekends at 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., Nov. 11 – Dec. 18, at the Children's Creativity Museum.  “The Wheels on the Bus” is the newest production in the Theatre for the Very Young series designed by BACT Executive Director Nina Meehan and Doyle Ott, director, Children’s Theatre Program at Children’s Fairyland.  The show invites babies and toddlers to use their eyes, ears, hands, feet, and imagination to explore things that go round and round.  With actors leading the way, the audience will climb aboard an imaginary bus, explore the gears that make the bus go, visit a carnival Ferris wheel, explore an airplane, and bike home to enjoy . . . a pizza.   

For more information, visit  www.bactheatre.org  or call 510-296-4433.  Media contact: Vivian Auslander, 510-524-2941, vivianauslander.com.  

Jan. 26–June 25, 2017 - Cary Leibowitz at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

New York–based contemporary artist Cary Leibowitz (b. 1963) creates comically self-effacing text-based works with a decidedly gay and often Jewish perspective that address issues of identity, kitsch, modernist critique, and queer politics. Since the early 1990s, when he became widely known under the moniker “Candyass,” Leibowitz has been one of the art world’s most delicious practitioners of this demonstrative self-abasement. 

In both his cheeky multiples and his irregular-format paint-on-wood “wood” works, Leibowitz mixes his obsession with popular culture, fine art, and Jewishness with elements of therapy and self-loathing, interrogation and self-interrogation, institutional critique, social commentary, and stand-up comedy routine. His brightly colored reductive paintings often reference seventies queer history, blending comedy and neurosis in such a way that questions about appearance and identity become a running gag. 

The exhibition will feature nearly 350 original artworks and multiples from 1987 to the present: paintings, fabric works, multiples, installations, documentation, photography, and ephemera related to curatorial endeavors and performance.

For more information, visit www.thecjm.org or call 415-655-7800.  Media contact:  Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com.

Feb. 25- May 29, 2017 - “Monet: The Early Years” at the Legion of Honor

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will present “Monet: The Early Years” on Feb. 25- May 29, 2017 at the Legion of Honor. This will be the first major US exhibition devoted to the initial phase of Claude Monet’s (French, 1840–1926) career. Through approximately sixty paintings, the exhibition demonstrates the radical invention that marked the artist’s development during the formative years of 1858 to 1872. In this period the young painter developed his unique visual language and technique, creating striking works that manifested his interest in painting textures and the interplay of light upon surfaces.  With a selection of works gathered from some of the most important international collections – the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other public and private collections worldwide – “Monet: The Early Years” authoritatively demonstrates the artist’s early command of many genres, not only the landscapes for which he has become so renowned but also still lifes, portraits and genre scenes.

For more information, visit www.legionofhonor.famsf.org.  Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org

Continuing

Through Dec. 18, 2016 – “Home Land Security” at Presidio’s Fort Winfield Scott

Occupying a suite of former military structures in the Presidio overlooking the San Francisco Bay, “Home Land Security” brings together works by contemporary artists and collectives from around the globe to reflect on the human dimensions and increasing complexity of national security, including the physical and psychological borders we create, protect and cross in its name.

The exhibition extends FOR-SITE’s focus on provocative art about place, inviting viewers into decommissioned batteries, an administrative building, and a chapel — some open to the general public for the first time — that served for decades as key sites in the U.S. Army’s Coastal Defense System. The 16 featured artists represent diverse points of origin — including China, Cuba, Iran, Israel, Poland, South Korea, Syria, the United States and Vietnam — underscoring the universality of themes of home, safety, and defense in an increasingly pervasive climate of fear and distrust. The artworks, which encompass media ranging from painting and sculpture to video and performance, respond to both personal and cultural concerns, with the historic sites of Fort Winfield Scott providing a new context for signature pieces and a showcase for site-specific commissions.

“Home Land Security” builds on previous artistic collaborations with the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and commemorates the park service’s centennial. 

Participating artists: Shiva Ahmadi, Tamman Azzam, Tirtzah Bassel, Yashar Azar Emdadian, Al Farrow, Díaz Lewis (Cara Megan Lewis and Alejandro Díaz-Perera), Liza Lou, Mandana Moghaddam, Trevor Paglen, Shahpour Pouyan, Michele Pred, The Propeller Group (Matt Lucero, Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn, and Phunam Thúc), Do Ho Suh, Bill Viola, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Yin Xiuzhen. 

For more information, visit www.for-site.org.  Media contact: Robyn Wise, 415-269-7043, wiserobyn@gmail.com.

Through Dec. 31, 2016 - Disney’s “The Lion King” Returns to SHN’s Orpheum Theatre 

Disney’s “The Lion King” once again leaps onto SHN’s Orpheum Theatre stage through Dec. 31, 2016.      

The North American touring productions of “The Lion King” have been seen by more than 17 million theatergoers and grossed more than $1.2 billion to date.  Since its Broadway premiere in 1997, 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, “The Lion King” is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years.  

“The Lion King” won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical.”  “The Lion King” has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.  

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor, first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.   

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from “The Lion King” animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of “The Lion King” is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.” 

Tickets are available at the SHN Orpheum Theatre Box Office, online at www.shnsf.com and by phone at SHN Audience Services at 888-746-1799.  Media contact: Andi Wang, 415-551-2052, awang@shnsf.com.  

Through Jan. 9, 2017 – “Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio” at The Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents “Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio,” on view through Jan. 9, 2017.  This never-before-seen exhibition created by the museum allows visitors to discover the artistic process and step behind-the-scenes to explore how one of the most influential animated films in history was produced: Walt Disney’s 1940 feature-length masterpiece “Pinocchio.”

Guest-curated by John Canemaker—an Academy Award®, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher, and author—this immersive exhibition invites the visitor to experience the production processes of the pre-digital era, providing a glimpse into how legendary animators worked and thought. Pinocchio inspired advances in character development and three-dimensional design, and the exhibition allows guests to enjoy the art created by the animators and designers of The Walt Disney Studios to create the stunning work featured in the film.

Featuring more than 300 objects, this unique, original exhibition takes a closer look at the settings, color, mood, character relationships, style and costumes of this remarkable film, which has dazzled audiences for more than 75 years.

Learn more at www.waltdisney.org.  Media contact: Victoria Rainone, WDFM@demonstratepr.com, 415-660-9971.

Through Jan. 15, 2017 – “The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe” at the Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum presents “The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe,” an exhibition of ancient and contemporary artwork depicting sacred stories that together are as old as the Bible, longer than the Odyssey, and a source of creative inspiration across southern Asia.

One of the world’s great adventure stories, the Rama epic teems with excitement as well as moral quandaries that continue to shape how we view our lives today. This expansive exhibition features works from 1,500 years ago to today, illuminating through art, live performance, and masterful storytelling the enduring values and timeless appeal of key characters: Rama, the legendary prince; Sita, his long-suffering love; Hanuman, their faithful monkey lieutenant; and Ravana, the 10-headed lord of the demons. 

Unprecedented in scale and scope, the tale is told through 135 sculptures and paintings, masks, puppets and examples of temple architecture originating from India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia and borrowed from museums across the U.S., U.K. and Europe. On view only at the Asian Art Museum.

For more information, visit www.asianart.org,  Media contact: Zac Rose, 415-581-3560, zrose@asianart.org

Through Jan. 15, 2017 – “Shortening: Making Irrational Rational,” New Art Exhibition by Nelson Saiers on Alcatraz

Alcatraz, best known for the historic federal penitentiary and occupation by the Indians of All Tribes, also has a long tradition of welcoming artists to provoke thought about freedom and incarceration.  Starting in mid-July, the National Park Service and Nelson Saiers-artist and math Ph.D.- opened an installation called “Shortening: Making Irrational Rational.”  The exhibit is installed in the New Industries Building, which will be open through Jan. 15, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.  Access to the exhibit is included in the ferry price and can be purchased at www.alcatrazcruises.com

“Shortening: Making Irrational Rational” incorporates properties of the number Pi, prison vernacular and NFL football jerseys to weigh in on the "irrationally" long prison sentences given for minor, nonviolent drug offenses and the need to shorten those sentences.  The installation will show the first 200 digits of Pi on 100 NFL football jerseys.  

For more information, visit www.alcatrazcruises.com. Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252, molly@hooklineandthinker.com

Through Feb. 12, 2017 – “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50” 

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) presents a major exhibition to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding on October 15, 1966, in Oakland. Presenting a contemporary view of the Black Panther Party’s legacy from multiple perspectives, “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50” shows how the Party continues to inspire culture, social activism, and community empowerment efforts locally, nationally, and internationally. Designed to create empathy and emotional resonance, the exhibition explores the Black Panther Party as a necessary, heroic, and human response to societal needs. Informed by insights from former Black Panthers, artists, scholars, and community members, the exhibition features art installations, historical photographs and media presentations, artifacts, and contemporary works of art. 

For more information, visit www.museumca.org.  Media contact: Lindsay Wright, 510-318-8467, lwright@museumca.org.

Through Feb. 26, 2017 – “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” at the de Young

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco hosts “Frank Stella: A Retrospective,” a comprehensive presentation surveying the career of this towering figure in Post-war American Art. Approximately 50 works, including paintings, reliefs, sculptures and maquettes, represent Frank Stella’s prolific output from the late 1950s to the present day and reveal the artist’s dramatic influence on the cultural landscape over the last six decades.  

For more information, visit www.deyoung.famsf.org.   Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Through March 12, 2017 – “Danny Lyon: Message to the Future“ at the de Young

The exhibition assembles 175 photographs and related films and ephemera to highlight Lyon’s concern with social and political issues and the welfare of individuals considered by many to be on the margins of society. The presentation includes many objects that have seldom or never been exhibited before and offers a rare look at works from Lyon’s archives alongside important loans from major public and private collections in the United States. This is also the first exhibition to assess the artist’s achievements as a filmmaker.  

For more information, visit www.deyoung.famsf.org. Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-357-4000, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Through April 2, 2017 – Four New Exhibitions at the Museum of the African Diaspora

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), presents four new exhibitions through April 2, 2017.   “Where Is Here,” curated by Jacqueline Francis and Kathy Zarur, presents the work of contemporary artists of African descent who are interested in claiming, making, and describing places. Toyin Ojih Odutola debuts a new body of work with “A Matter of Fact,” an exhibition that places her subjects in articulated environments and punctuates the detailed scenes with accents of vivid color. MoAD is also introducing the second annual Emerging Artists Program with Nyame Brown’s “Classroom in Neveryon.” An exhibition on the first floor showcases the photographic survey conducted by renowned international architect and designer, David Adjaye, of buildings in 53 cities across the continent of Africa with “Urban Africa.” Learn more at www.moadsf.org.  Media contact: Mark Sabb, 415-358-7200, msabb@moadsf.org.

Through May 28, 2017 – SFJAZZ’ Fifth Anniversary Season

SFJAZZ is presenting its Fifth Anniversary Season since the SFJAZZ Center’s opening in January 2013. The Center has been recognized as one of the best performing arts centers in the country receiving numerous architecture, design, and acoustic awards. 

Programming highlights includeJulian Lage Trio, Billy Hart with Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner & Ben Street, Chick Corea with Eddie Gomez and Brian Blade, Ludovico Einaudi, GoGo Penguin, Brad Mehldau’s Highway Rider with Joshua Redman, Joel Harrison 5 with Brian Blade, Van Morrison, Trumpet Festival, SFJAZZ Collective, Mariza, Diego El Cigala, Burt Bacharach, Chucho Valdés with the Joe Lovano Quintet, Dorado Schmitt & Django All-Stars, Petra Haden & Jesse Harris, Robert Glasper Experiment, Aaron Neville, New Year’s with Maceo Parker, Chris Botti, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, John Santos Sextet, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Cookers, Paris Combo, Dianne Reeves, Scott Amendola Quintet with Nels Cline, Goran Bregovic, Miguel Zenón Quartet, Destani Wolf, Tiffany Austin, Jackie Ryan, Laurie Antonioli, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley, Brian Blade, Anoushka Shankar, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, Hermeto Pascoal, King Sunny Adé, ECM Festival, Nels Cline: Lovers, SFJAZZ Poetry Festival, Juan de Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Dayna Stephens, Patrick Wolff, Howard Wiley, Mad Duran, Omar Sosa, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Gerald Clayton, Eliane Elias, A Tribute To Ernesto Lecuona with Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Michel Camilo, and more.

For more information, visit www.sfjazz.org.   Media contact: Marshall Lamm, 510-928-1410, marshall@sfjazz.org. 

Through Nov.12, 2016 – “The Hard Problem”at American Conservatory Theater’s Geary Theater

Tom Stoppard continues his long-term collaboration with A.C.T. and Artistic Director Carey Perloff on his first new play in nearly a decade, “The Hard Problem” a provocative drama of sex, science, and supercomputing. Razor-sharp psychology grad Hilary wins a prestigious brain research position that forces her to confront her lover (and math tutor) in a fight to defend the soul, altruism, and even God from modern science. But as she competes for funding against a rival project racing to unlock the mathematical secrets behind stock market risk, Hilary realizes that her biggest threat is closer to home—her own genetic secret. From one of theater’s greatest voices, “The Hard Problem” shows Stoppard at his best as he dives deep into this compelling conflict of mind versus matter. 

Tickets are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415-749-2228 or visiting www.act-sf.org.   Media contact: Kevin Kopjak,415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.

Through Jan. 19, 2017 – “The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of 17th Century France” at the Legion of Honor

“The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of 17th-Century France” at the Legion of Honor is the first major exhibition in the United States devoted to brothers Antoine, Louis and Mathieu Le Nain, who created some of the most beautiful and enigmatic works of art in history. Organized in conjunction with the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX, and the Musée du Louvre-Lens in France, this presentation features more than 40 of the brothers’ masterpieces and spans their full artistic achievement.

For more information, visit www.legionofhonor.famsf.orgMedia contact:Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES NEWS

The San Francisco Dungeon Introduces “Escape Alcatraz” Drop Ride 

San Francisco Dungeon on Fisherman’s Wharf unveiled their new “Escape Alcatraz” drop ride attraction over Halloween weekend, featuring the only underground free-fall ride in the United States. The 60-minute attraction’s new finale stays true to The Dungeon’s always gripping and interactive journey that explores the city’s dark and sinful past from the pre-Gold Rush era to Alcatraz (1849-1907). Full of laughs and screams, The San Francisco Dungeon brings together a stellar cast of professional theatrical actors and features gripping storytelling, special effects, and fully themed, 360-degree stages and scenes. The “Escape Alcatraz” drop ride and show culminates in a heart-pounding jump and escape from the infamous island prison into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay. The below sea-level construction of the new ride and permanent attraction will be complete in time for Halloween with a grand opening celebration set for Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. The San Francisco Dungeon attraction runs continuously from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days a year on Fisherman’s Wharf at 145 Jefferson St. 

For more information, visit www.sanfrancisco.thedungeons.com  Media contact: Trisha Clayton, 415-346-4565, t.clayton@comcast.net, and Cameron Rogers-Polan, 310-995-0045, cameron.rogerspolan@yahoo.com.

Nov. 17, 2016-June 30, 2017 – “Butterflies & Blooms” at the Conservatory of Flowers

Get eye to eye with a butterfly in the exhibit “Butterflies & Blooms” coming to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park this fall. The popular exhibit returns by overwhelming demand to San Francisco’s beloved Victorian greenhouse, transforming its Special Exhibit gallery into a beautiful and intimate cottage garden aflutter with hundreds of butterflies on the wing including magnificent monarchs, western swallowtails, painted ladies and more. Walk among a wide variety of brightly colored blossoms like zinnias and daisies while free-flying butterflies flit from flower to flower, drinking nectar and getting covered in pollen. These goodwill ambassadors of the insect world provide a fascinating demonstration of plant pollination in action. The Butterfly Bungalow at the entrance to the gallery also allows you to observe the pupae in their chrysalis stage. You never know, you may be lucky enough to catch the moment when one of these delicate beauties emerges.

Visitors learn about the mysterious process of metamorphosis, butterfly anatomy, pollinators’ critical role in the life cycle of plants and more through fascinating interpretive signs throughout the gallery.

For more information, visit www.conservatoryofflowers.org.  Media contact:  Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com.

Through Aug. 31, 2017 – National Park Service’s Every Kid in a Park Program

Building upon the Centennial of the National Park Service this year, the NPS is extending the Every Kid in a Park program for a second year in 2017.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is valid through Aug. 31, 2017. After completing a fun educational activity on the website, the child can download and print a pass. 

Locally, the printed pass can be traded for a more durable annual Every Kid in a Park pass at the three national park sites with entrance fees: Muir Woods National Monument, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and Pinnacles National Park

The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.   

Visit www.EveryKidinaPark.gov for more information.  Media contact: Nathan Hale Sargent, 415-561-4732, hale_sargent@nps.gov

Laverne Cox Recreated as Dr. Frank-N Furter at Madame Tussauds

At Madame Tussauds San Francisco, Laverne Cox recently unveiled her wax double restyled as Dr. Frank-N Furter from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again.” The reimagined Dr. Frank-N-Furter is styled in the authentic costume Laverne wore during filming of the cult classic, which premiered Oct. 20, 2016 on FOX.

On June 26, 2015 Madame Tussauds San Francisco made history when they welcomed Laverne Cox to pull the curtain back on her wax figure. The wax replica of Ms. Cox represents the first transgender figure ever created in the more than 200-year history of Madame Tussauds. Ms. Cox’s figure was previously styled in the dress she wore on the cover of Time magazine in 2014.

Madame Tussauds San Francisco offers guests the unique opportunity to meet incredible wax likenesses of some of the city’s and world’s most famous stars. Only at Madame Tussauds can you get up close and personal with local legends, Hollywood A-listers, music superstars, TV personalities, sporting heroes and cultural icons. The attraction is open at 10 a.m. 365 days a year, located in Fisherman’s Wharf at 145 Jefferson St.  

Visit www.madametussauds.com/SanFrancisco.  Media contact: Matthew Clarkson, Matthew.Clarkson@merlinentertainments.biz

Explore Earth's Unseen Marvels at California Academy of Sciences

Explore the Academy's renowned gems and minerals collection in a whole new way. “Gems and Minerals Unearthed” features nearly 400 dazzling geologic specimens. From amethyst and azurite to silver and jade, marvel at the enormous diversity of colors, textures, and chemical properties found in pieces both raw and refined. Run your hands over large, touchable specimens to examine their structure, view a giant crystal quartz specimen up close, and discover how fluorescent minerals glow under UV light. Discover how minerals define modern life—from smartphones to skyscrapers—and learn what you can do to sustain these precious natural resources for future generations.

For more information, visit www.calacademy.org.  Media contact: Kelly Mendez, kmendez@calacademy.org.  

San Francisco Takes a Parking Lot, Puts Up a Bit of Paradise

San Francisco’s newest park, Noe Valley Town Square, opened in October.  The $2.8 million project replaced an asphalt parking lot with a flexible, open plaza to accommodate the weekly Noe Valley Farmers’ Market and other community events. The design also features a perimeter edge garden, children’s play area, seating and other site furnishings, landscaping, irrigation, and lighting.  Previously owned by a nearby church, the Noe Valley Town Square property was purchased by San Francisco Recreation and Parks in June 2013. The site of a gas station from the 1930s to the early 1990s, the property underwent soil remediation and underground storage tank removal between 1991 and 1999. 

For more information, visit www.sfrecpark.org. Media contact: Joey Kahn, 415-629-2559, joey.kahn@sfgov.org.  

Never Too Early to Register for Bay to Breakers 2017  

Registration for the 2017 Bay to Breakers is now open.  In its 106th consecutive year, the 2017 edition will take place on Sunday, May 21. This year’s runner perks include an Official Under Armour Runners’ T, a Finisher Medal, Free High-Resolution Digital Race Photos, Finish Line Festival Access and much more.

Bay to Breakers is truly a one-of-a-kind San Francisco experience. No other race offers the unique blend of athleticism, fun, frivolity and determination. The combination of more than 40,000 registered participants and more than 200,000 spectators makes Bay to Breakers an annual celebration of the human spirit. 

With the course passing through the heart of the City by the Bay and its scenic landmarks, participating in Bay to Breakers will deepen your love and appreciation for the city. Since its inception in 1912, more than two million costumed runners, walkers and centipedes have completed the iconic 12K journey from the San Francisco Bay to the breakers on Ocean Beach.  

To sign up or view more information, visit www.baytobreakers.com.  Media contact: Chris Holmes, cholmes@teamwass.com

 HOTEL NEWS

Graton Resort & Casino Announces Nov. 15 Public Opening of Resort’s Hotel Expansion

Graton Resort & Casino, a resort, gaming and entertainment destination located in Sonoma County’s wine country, has begun accepting hotel reservations in anticipation of the public opening of the resort’s expansion on November 15, 2016.  The $175 million 342,000 square-foot expansion will offer guests a full-service 200-guestroom resort and spa experience on top of the previously existing $800 million casino and entertainment facility that opened in November 2013.

Highlights of the expansion include:

  • A six-story hotel with 200 guestrooms and suites ranging from more than 500 square feet to 2,600 square feet 
  • An opulent lobby and lounge 
  • A 10,000-square-foot spa and adjacent fitness center
  • 20,000-square-feet of newly added event and convention space 
  • An outdoor resort-style pool area 

In addition, Graton Resort & Casino will continue to feature its array of award-winning restaurants and casual dining options with Boathouse Asian Eatery opening in November.  The resort also offers more than 130 popular table games, an exciting selection of 3,000 slot machines, a private poker room and a high limit casino area.

For more information, visit www.GratonResortCasino.com or call 707-588-7070. Media contact:   Morgan Moore, GratonPR@glodownead.com

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO)

Volaris’ first nonstop service San Francisco – Mexico City Launched Oct. 13, 2016

Volaris, the ultralow-cost Mexican airline which operates in Mexico, United States and Central America, has launched its new international route, connecting the cities of Mexico City, Mexico and San Francisco, CA. This new route further reinforces its expansion into the United States.

The Mexico-San Francisco route represents a great connectivity option for these cities, since both offer many attractions and create a unique flow of travelers between them. According to the United States National Tourism and Travel Office, San Francisco attracts the fifth highest number of foreign tourists in the U.S. This makes tourism one of the most important economic factors that is evident by its great entertainment infrastructure and its international airport - the best in the Americas, per Frequent Business Traveler.

On the other hand, Mexico City is the most important business, political, financial, academic, economic and cultural destination in the country, which offers its visitors an extensive number of attractions.

This Volaris route will operate on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday on an A320 aircraft. Departures are scheduled for 8:15 p.m. in SFO, arriving in MEX at 2:29 am. Return flights will depart MEX at 4:14 p.m., arriving at SFO at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at www.volaris.com or call in the U.S., 1-866-988-3527, and Mexico, 01-800-122-8000.

Coming Soon - Great New Local Dining Options in the International Terminal

SFO has a simple philosophy for its dining program: “Reflect the culinary lifestyle of the Bay Area.”  Travelers at SFO are greeted with the same wide variety of convenient, healthy, and artisan eateries that makes the Bay Area one of the best places in the world to eat.  Cuisine from around the world can be found in the terminals, and most of these restaurants actually originated in the San Francisco Bay Area.  So whether passengers are in the mood for pizza, sushi, burgers, deli sandwiches, a cold brew or just a good cup of coffee, the International Terminal will have it all.

Pre-Security

  • 24th & Mission St.
  • Burger Joint
  • Koi Palace
  • Pick Up Stix
  • Potrero Grill
  • Roasting Plant
  • Samovar
  • Starbucks
  • Tapas & Taps
  • Wendy's

Post-Security Boarding Area A

  • Gott's Roadside
  • Valencia St. Station 

Post-Security Boarding Area G

  • 1300 On Fillmore
  • Joe and the Juice
  • Napa Farms Market
  • Mustards Grill
  • Mum Fresh
  • Tomokazu

The new locations will open in phases from 2016 through 2017.  For more information, visit International Terminal Dining at www.flysfo.com.

Finnair Launches Seasonal Flights to Helsinki in June 2017

Finnair has announced that it will open a new seasonal route from Helsinki to San Francisco beginning in June 2017. The airline will operate three weekly flights between both cities from June 1 to September 30. The flights will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Thanks to Helsinki’s geographical location, Finnair’s new northern route to San Francisco will offer competitive travel times for customers from Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia as well as from many European cities. San Francisco will be Finnair's fourth US destination, along with New York, Chicago and Miami. The new San Francisco flight will be operated within the Atlantic joint business between Finnair, American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. The joint business offers customers additional flight choices, better connections and better pricing on transatlantic routes. Currently, the four airlines operate over 100 daily return flights between Europe and North America.

The new flights are available at www.finnair.com

Media contact: Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport, Doug.Yakel@flysfo.com, 650-821-4000.

MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS 

NOVEMBER 2016

NOVEMBER 10-13 (SAN FRANCISCO)
NOVEMBER 19 (PALO ALTO)
3RD I Film Festival South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond
Castro and The New People Cinema, 415-835-4783,
www.thirdi.org
Committed to promoting diverse images of South Asians through independent film, from art-house classics to documentary films.

NOVEMBER 11-13
San Francisco Hip-Hop Dance Festival
Palace of Fine Arts Theater
www.sfhiphopdancefest.com
This festival will feature excellent professional dance companies from around the world. In addition, master classes taught by some of the visiting artists will be offered, along with a VIP/Performer party to celebrate the convergence of artists with the public.

NOVEMBER 11-13
San Francisco Green Festival
Cow Palace, Geneva Avenue and Santos Street, 800-584-7336
www.greenfestivals.org
This joint project of Green America and Global Exchange brings individuals, businesses and investors together to work cooperatively on positive social and economic solutions for communities and the environment. This is one of the largest and most authentic sustainability events in the world.

NOVEMBER 18
Embarcadero Center Building Lighting Ceremony
Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero Center, 800-733-6318
www.embarcaderocenter.com
Bring the family to stroll through a holiday fair, enjoy live entertainment and witness the lighting of the Embarcadero Center’s dramatic office towers which illuminate the San Francisco skyline with 17,000 lights throughout the season.

NOVEMBER 19
PIER 39 Tree Lighting Ceremony
PIER 39, 415-705-5500
www.pier39.com
Welcome the holiday season with a day of holly-jolly magic and merriment at PIER 39’s Tree Lighting Celebration; live music and seasonal favorites will be featured. Bring the whole family to sing, shop and enjoy the 60-foot tree. 

NOVEMBER 19-20
The Renegade Craft Fair
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
www.renegadecraft.com/sanfrancisco
The best makers of handmade goods from the Bay Area and beyond assemble for this free-to-attend marketplace for indie-craft culture, featuring interactive workshops.

NOVEMBER 19-27
59th San Francisco International Automobile Show
Moscone Center, 415-331-4406
www.sfautoshow.com
Featuring the world’s major manufacturers displaying their model cars, SUV’s, trucks and vans...almost 800 vehicles in all.

NOVEMBER 19-DECEMBER 18 (FIVE WEEKENDS INCLUDING FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING) 
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
Cow Palace, 415-897-4555
www.dickensfair.com
The Dickens Christmas Fair revives the tradition of an old English Victorian Christmas with theaters, a music hall, dance parties, taverns, shops, stalls, food, street vendors and period costumes.

NOVEMBER 24  
Turkey Trail Trot
Golden Gate Park
www.turkeytrailtrot.com
This invigorating fun run or walk has become a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition.

NOVEMBER 24-JANUARY 1 
Illuminate SF
Citywide, 415-391-2000
www.illuminatesf.com
More than a dozen permanent as well as temporary eco-friendly light art installations transform San Francisco nights into a citywide gallery of light. Tours and events based on these public art installations invite visitors to “embrace the power of light.”

NOVEMBER 25
Union Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
Union Square, Powell and Geary Streets, 415-781-7880
www.visitunionsquaresf.com or www.macys.com/believe
The annual illumination of Macy’s Great Tree includes more than 1,500 ornaments adorning the tree.

NOVEMBER 25
Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
Ghirardelli Square, 415-775-5500
www.ghirardellisq.com
Ghirardelli’s magical square comes alive with colorful performers, music and a 50-foot Christmas tree lighting up the night.

DECEMBER 2016

DECEMBER 1 
Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk
24th Street from Diamond to Chattanooga, 800-310-6563
www.sresproductions.com
Merchants offer wine samples, finger foods and special treats; attendees who wish to sample purchase tasting wristband prior to event and receive wine glass and map with all tasting locations.

DECEMBER 3
Union Street Fantasy of Lights
Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner, 800-310-6563
www.sresproductions.com
Costumed characters, Santa, merchant open houses and activities for children launch the holiday season along this famous street in San Francisco.

DECEMBER 4 
Run Wild San(ta) Francisco - “The Santa Hat Race”
Crissy Field
www.runwildsanfrancisco.com
This 5K run/walk, where participants all receive a Santa Hat & t-shirt with their entry and many dress in “Holiday”costumes, benefits San Francisco Firefighters Toy program.

DECEMBER 10
Parol Lantern Festival and Parade
Jessie Square/St. Patrick’s Church/Yerba Buena Gardens, 415-348-8042
www.kularts.org or www.bayanihancc.org
Grand pageantry of more than 1,000 glowing lanterns; annual Parol celebration has become a must-see holiday event. Bay Area Filipino community gathers for the annual celebration of holiday spirit, hope, unity, and pride. It’s a family fun-filled evening of dancing lights, music, games, and prizes.

DECEMBER 10-29  
San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., 415-865-2000 (tickets)
www.sfballet.org
“Nutcracker” performed by America’s oldest ballet company presents Tchaikovsky’s beloved family classic every year.

DECEMBER 24
Light the Menorah
Ghirardelli Square, 415-775-5500
www.ghirardellisq.com
Ghirardelli Square lights a nine-foot menorah and celebrates with music and good company.

DECEMBER 28
Foster Farms Bowl
Levi’s Stadium, 415-972-2209 or 800-225-2277
www.fosterfarmsbowl.com
Enjoy the color and excitement of high impact college football as two of the country's top teams clash at the Foster Farms Bowl.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sftravel.com, read the Visitors Planning Guide or call 415-391-2000.  San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  For more information, visit www.sftravel.com.   

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 39 international cities on 34 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO offers free upgraded Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and www.facebook.com/flysfo

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