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December 19, 2016
The Bay Lights

What's Coming to San Francisco in 2017

“All you need is love.” It will be hard to get that Beatles song out of your head when San Francisco does its year-long tribute to the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary. The city’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival will also be having a 50th bash. So “wear some flowers in your hair” and let’s get groovy — we’ve got some once-in-a-lifetime events as well as some annual favorites queued up for you.

Iconic Moments

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love with a yearlong celebration of San Francisco’s counter-culture including exhibitions, performances, literary events, tribute concerts and recognition of significant moments in time. There will be a wide variety of Summer of Love themed activities and exhibitions, annual music festivals and year-round activities, like a special Summer of Love exhibition at the de Young Museum with more to be planned. 

In the late 1970s, savvy San Francisco businessman and developer Warren Simmons dreamed of building an urban park along the city’s undeveloped waterfront. On Oct. 4, 1978, his dream became a reality when he transformed a dilapidated cargo pier into PIER 39, an eclectic collection of specialty shops, restaurants, and attractions. Thirty-nine years later, more than 11 million guests visit PIER 39 each year.  In 2017, there will be a different anniversary celebration every Friday for 39 weeks from January through October.

San Francisco is home to the oldest Japantown in the U.S. and come April 8-9 and April 15-16, 2017 they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.  For two weekends Japanese culture will be celebrated  — from anime to zoris. The grand parade will be on April 16, 2017, starting from the Civic Center area and ending in Japantown. Each year the festival draws hundreds of performers from both Japan and California.

Expect a variety of events from parades to panel discussions to parties during San Francisco Pride, June 24-25, 2017. Come for this annual celebration of LGBTQ diversity, as the community and its allies gather to celebrate the successes of the past and the struggles of the present. 

Arts and Culture

On Jan. 25, 2017 the magnificently restored Curran Theatre reopens with “Fun Home” followed by “Eclipsed.” The American Conservatory Theater’s 50th anniversary season will include the world premiere of Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” Feb. 1-26, 2017. The blockbuster Broadway musical “Hamilton” is coming to the SHN Orpheum Theater, March 10-Aug. 5, 2017. Theater-goers can also look forward to these SHN shows: “Finding Neverland,” “Into the Woods,” “Roman Holiday,” and “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

Marking the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death in 1917, the Legion of Honor will feature approximately 50 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ permanent collection Jan. 28-Dec. 31, 2017. The Legion of Honor holds one of the finest collections in the world of sculpture by Rodin cast during his lifetime.

On view for the first time in the U.S. at the Asian Art Museum, “Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty” will showcase100 rare selections from recent excavations, Feb. 17-May 28, 2017. Pieces include a jade coffin, rare bronze bells, elaborate crafts and much more.

Gathered from the Musee D’Orsay in Paris, London’s National Gallery, the New York Metropolitan Museum and private collections worldwide, “Monet: The Early Years” at the Legion of Honor, Feb. 25–May 29, 2017, is the first exhibition devoted to the emergent genius of impressionist Claude Monet. More than 50 dazzling works, many rarely exhibited, will be shown.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which opened with such fanfare on May 14, 2016, continues to keep critics buzzing. Home to the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, known as one of the greatest collections of contemporary art in the world, SFMOMA will also present Matisse/Diebenkorn,” March 11-May 29, 2017, and “Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed,” June 24-Sept. 23, 2017.

In 2017, The Walt Disney Family Museum will present the first-ever comprehensive, museum retrospective of Eyvind Earle. Earle’s distinctive style and interpretation of iconic American landscapes as a fine artist and printmaker included painting the settings for “Peter Pan” and “Lady and the Tramp.” 

Culinary Picks

SF Restaurant Week, Jan. 18-29, 2017, is a celebration of San Francisco’s world-class dining community.  Nearly 130 restaurants throughout the city offer special prix-fixe menus to showcase their passion for sharing great food with diners. www.sfrestaurantweek.com

Presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild and Whole Foods Market, SF Beer Week, Feb. 10-19, 2017, is one of the country’s greatest craft beer celebrations. More than 300 mostly new, rare and special release brews are expected to be tapped by more than 120 breweries for the event which unfolds throughout the Bay Area. Tickets are already on sale for the Opening Gala at Pier 48 on Feb. 28, 2017. Cheers!

Eat Drink SF, Aug. 24-27, 2017, is the Bay Area’s premier annual food, wine, beer and spirits festival. Four days are filled with delicious events that feature 160+ restaurants and 70+ different beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails throughout the weekend. During the signature Grand Tasting session, guests enjoy bites from top restaurants, unlimited pours, stage demonstrations, wine education, and the opportunity to meet and mingle with the Bay Area's finest chefs and sommeliers. www.eatdrink-sf.com

San Francisco’s restaurant scene is always hot, and here are a few special treats: The much-adored ice cream emporium of Salt & Straw is opening its first shops in the city this spring on Fillmore Street and Hayes Valley. The San Francisco scoop spots will feature a menu of flavors created just for San Francisco. Scheduled to open in 2017, China Live — the newest concept from restaurateurs George Chen and Cindy Wong-Chen — is destined to be a culinary and cultural destination in the heart of Chinatown. At more than 30,000 square feet it will house a market, retail and the lively all-day Oolong Café on the ground floor and three separate areas on the second floor including a craft cocktail bar, lounge, and elegant restaurant. Corey Lee’s restaurant In Situ at SFMOMA has already been dubbed “America’s most original new restaurant” by “The New York Times.”

Described as a “tavern with a twist,” Top Chef alum Ryan Scott’s highly anticipated Finn Town opened in December 2016. Culinary tourists craving an “only in San Francisco” dining and drinking experience will discover a menu where the food is unpretentious and the drinks, described as “strong and satisfying, include a few named after individuals who once lived or worked here including Call of the Wild named for author Jack London and Milkman which honors the legacy of Harvey Milk.

Several neighborhoods including Yerba Buena and West Portal have recently welcomed Lemonade known for its innovative, fast casual concept; an additional location will open in the inner Sunset in the spring. Chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns recently opened Motze in the heart of the Valencia Street corridor and a sister restaurant, Crescent (formerly Bar Tartine), is slated to open in the spring. Considered a “pop-up” with about 12 months still on the meter, Motze is named after a 5th century BCE philosopher who advocated for transparency and simplicity and the restaurant reflects that attempt to streamline all aspects of the experience.

Sports and Recreation

Golden Gate Park’s legendary Kezar Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers played for more than two decades, will soon be the home of a new pro soccer team, the San Francisco Deltas. The inaugural season is set to start in March 2017.

It’s not an even-numbered year but that won’t stop true believers from putting stock in another World Series win for the city’s beloved San Francisco Giants. The season home opener on April 10, 2017, is against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park.

What was once a local footrace has grown into a major international competition.  On May 21, 2017 In the Bay to Breakers race, runners traverse the city from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach, passing through a number of San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. Known for creative costumes, Bay to Breakers is more than 100 years old. Registration is open for this only in San Francisco event.

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