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What's New in San Francisco | June/July 2015

“What’s New in San Francisco” is a monthly roundup of news and updates presented by the San Francisco Travel Association.

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June 15, 2015 — “What’s New” 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, www.sanfrancisco.travel.

San Francisco Travel is First to Partner with FLYR to Offer Innovative Airfare Forecasting and Booking Tool for Visitors

San Francisco Travel is the first destination marketing organization to partner with FLYR, an innovative new company that helps travelers identify the best time to purchase airline tickets to visit San Francisco. The new service is available at flights.sanfrancisco.travel.

San Francisco-based FLYR uses data science to predict changes in airfare and protect the best prices, effectively ending the guessing game associated with booking airfares. By using massive databases and complex forecasting algorithms, FLYR delivers the world's most advanced airfare predictions for travelers — enabling innovation for the global travel industry. 

“We want to make planning and booking a trip to San Francisco as easy and affordable as possible,” said San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro.  “Because San Francisco is the center of innovation, we didn’t have to look far to find a way to help travelers book their airline tickets with the confidence that they’ve gotten a good deal.  Then they can relax and enjoy the rest of their San Francisco experience.”  

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with San Francisco Travel with a tool that is every bit as beautiful and innovative as our mutual home.” says FLYR Co-founder Alexander Mans. “The elegant new San Francisco Travel portal, combined with FLYR’s unique forecasting and booking features, will ensure that visitors enjoy the San Francisco experience before they even leave home.”

Two San Francisco Icons Selected For Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice World Wonders 

Of the top 25 landmarks in the world, San Francisco’s Alcatraz is rated number eight and the Golden Gate Bridge is number ten in Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice World Wonders for 2015.  These are the highest ranking locations in the United States, followed by the Lincoln Memorial (18) and the National September 11 Memorial (20).  “To be included on the same page as Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China is quite an honor.  It reminds us that San Francisco’s landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz resonate deeply with travelers from around the world,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. For the complete list, visit www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Landmarks-cTop-g1-a_Mode.expanded

San Francisco “Cable Car” Joins Amtrak’s California Zephyr For the Summer

People from Chicago to San Francisco may not believe their eyes when Amtrak’s California Zephyr train passes by this summer.  Through July 2015 (and possibly longer), one of the train’s cars will be “dressed” as a legendary San Francisco cable car, with passengers standing on the outside running board and holding on just as they do on Powell, Hyde, Mason and California streets. 

Along the 51-hour route, passengers riding inside the California Zephyr enjoy stunningly beautiful views — some of which can only be seen via rail — including spectacular peaks of the Rocky Mountains, breathtaking views of the Colorado River, and the Sierra Nevada mountain range to name a few.  The train also connects Chicago and San Francisco, coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco. 

This is the second year that the San Francisco Travel Association has “wrapped” an Amtrak train car.  Last summer, the Coast Starlight included a “cable car” on its Los Angeles-Seattle route.

Celebrate Super Bowl 50 at Super Bowl City 

The San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee has announced its plans for Super Bowl City, a free-to-the-public fan village designed to celebrate the milestone Super Bowl 50 and to highlight its unique place in the Bay Area. Together with the NFL Experience – pro football’s interactive theme park experience that will be held at the Moscone Center - Super Bowl City will be the hub of fan energy and excitement leading up to Game Day at Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara.

Centered in Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero at the foot of San Francisco’s famed Market Street, Super Bowl City will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages. It will offer a fun – and free – way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event.

Super Bowl City will be designed to showcase the best the Bay Area has to offer, with interactive games and activities that highlight the region’s technological prowess, culinary excellence and cultural diversity, as well as celebrate the 50th Super Bowl and the Bay Area’s place in professional football history.  From cultural performances and displays that highlight the artistic vitality of the region, to locally grown foods that capture the Bay Area’s epicurean spirit to NFL-themed activities, Super Bowl City will be a weeklong, family-friendly celebration.

In a break from tradition, Super Bowl City will be open for an extra weekend this year, providing many local residents the opportunity to experience the excitement of Super Bowl 50 before out-of-town guests arrive. Both locations will open Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 – with the day’s activities topped off by the official re-lighting of the iconic Bay Lights on the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bay Bridge. 

In addition to fan activities, Super Bowl City will be the broadcast home for the CBS Television Network – the exclusive broadcaster of Super Bowl 50 - that will be broadcasting live from the Justin Herman Plaza throughout Super Bowl Week. NFL Network will also be broadcasting live from Super Bowl City.

The NFL Experience will be housed at Moscone Center North and South. For its first visit to the Bay Area, pro football’s annual interactive theme park will feature participatory games, displays, entertainment attractions, youth football clinics and free autograph sessions with NFL players. In addition, fans will be able to see the Vince Lombardi Trophy on display before it is awarded to the Super Bowl 50 champion. The NFL Experience is a ticketed event and will also be open beginning Jan. 30, 2016.

Moscone Center West will also be home to an exciting attraction for fans through the NFL Fan Viewing Gallery. The Fan Viewing Gallery provides fans with the opportunity to get up close and personal as current NFL players, NFL legends and celebrities are being interviewed live by national radio personalities.

The NFL Media Center will also operate from Moscone West, which will provide working facilities for an anticipated 5,000 members of the media, hailing from all over the U.S. and more than 30 countries around the globe. 

Super Bowl 50 will be celebrated in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016. The Super Bowl 50 game will be played at Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara – home of the San Francisco 49ers – on Feb. 7, 2016. The first Super Bowl was played in California in 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and now the Super Bowl returns to California to celebrate its golden moment with the 50th playing of the Super Bowl in the Golden State.

About the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee

Working in partnership with Bay Area public officials and the NFL, the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee is responsible for Super Bowl 50 and its celebration elements, including public exhibits, planning of game day logistics and Super Bowl City, its fan village in San Francisco. The Host Committee will donate 25% of every dollar raised to Bay Area community initiatives and high-performing nonprofits through 50 Fund. To be hosted in the state-of-the-art Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara in 2016, Super Bowl 50 will be celebrated through a series of events that showcase all the Bay Area has to offer. For more information, visit www.sfbaysuperbowl.com.  

Media contacts: Nathan Ballard, 415-235-6283, nathan@nathanballard.com, PJ Johnston, 415-260-8417, pj@pjcommunications.com, Super Bowl 50 Host Committee Media Team at media@sfsuperbowl.com

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

New Tenderloin Museum to Open on July 16, 2015

The new Tenderloin Museum will open on July 16, 2015.  Located at the intersection of Eddy and Leavenworth streets, the museum is an innovative space offering multiple platforms including permanent and temporary exhibitions, neighborhood tours, a café, community arts projects and public events at night. The Tenderloin Museum explores and reveals the lost history of the Tenderloin neighborhood. Recognized for its rich historical fabric and fascinating cultural contributions, the Tenderloin is an ideal home for San Francisco’s next great cultural institution.  The Tenderloin Museum is operated by Uptown Tenderloin, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) organization.  More information about opening week events, including press, VIP, and community events will be posted at www.tenderloinmuseum.org.   Media contact:  Roula Seikaly, 415-309-2620, rseikaly@tenderloinmuseum.org

“Color of Life” Major New Exhibit at California Academy of Sciences 

There’s more to color than meets the eye and now visitors to the California Academy of Sciences can discover nature’s secret language in Color of Life, a major new exhibit that opened June 12, 2015, for an extended run. Made possible through a generous gift from Google.org, the 8,000 sq. ft. exhibit includes live animals, scientific specimens and immersive “interactives’ that invite visitors to touch, see, and experience the often surprising ways that nature’s colors help us understand the health of ecosystems and the interconnectedness of life on Earth.

“Through the wonder of color, we aim to inspire Academy visitors to understand and appreciate the diverse living systems we all depend on,” says Dr. Jon Foley, the Academy’s Executive Director. “At a time when the planet’s biodiversity and environments are in significant decline, we hope Color of Life will offer a new perspective on the natural world—using color as a lens to explore, explain, and sustain our planet.”  

For more information, visit www.calacademy.org.  Media contact: Kelly Mendez, KMendez@calacademy.org, 415-379-5133.

The San Francisco Dungeon Asks “Where’s Jack?” Through Sept. 6, 2015

Through Sept. 6, 2015, the San Francisco Dungeon has added a special show called “Where's Jack?” which explores the connections between San Francisco and Jack the Ripper. When Jack disappeared off the streets of London it was widely believed that he had escaped abroad. In the 1800’s there were several murders at the San Francisco Emmanuel Baptist Church, as well as one on Maiden Lane, that led people to believe that Jack may have escaped to San Francisco. The San Francisco Dungeon includes nine separate shows within the 60-minute visitor experience.  For more information, visit http://sanfrancisco.thedungeons.com/en/san-francisco/home

Media contact:  Kari Martin, Merlin Entertainment, 415-757-2720, Beth Schnitzer, 415-221-2875, beth@spritzsf.com.

Madame Tussauds Reveals First Transgender Figure in its History in Honor of Pride Month

Emmy-nominated actress and producer Laverne Cox will join Madame Tussauds San Francisco in Fisherman’s Wharf as the first ever transgender figure in the long history of Madame Tussauds to celebrate Pride Month.  Cox is known for her groundbreaking role as the first Trans woman of color on the Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black,” and her advocacy in the LGBT community.  Cox’s figure will be unveiled at the San Francisco Pride press conference on June 26, 2015. For more information, visit www.madametussauds.com/SanFrancisco.

Media contact:  Kari Martin, Merlin Entertainment, 415-757-2720, Beth Schnitzer, 415-221-2875, beth@spritzsf.com

Sports Basements Pop-Up Bike Rentals Net Out at Free

Sports Basement has opened a pop-up bike rental location at the corner of Columbus and Bay streets, in the former Tower Records Annex.  Their fleet of hybrid bikes are new 2015 Cannondale Adventure 3s and cost  $24 for three hours or $32 for the full day. Kids’, tandem, electric and road options are also available. These rentals are basically free: Participants pay up front for the bike rental, and then receive the value of their rental in credit to the Sports Basement store. While the Presidio store is located conveniently on the route to the Golden Gate Bridge, they can also spend the credit at any of the six Sports Basement locations within 72 hours of the rental.  “Visitors get an active and affordable sightseeing experience, while being able to stock up at our huge store that carries all the sporting goods one could ever need, including brands such as Nike, Marmot, The North Face, Oakley, Ray Ban, GoPro, Arc'teryx, and more,” said Sasha Lozovoy, Sports Basement marketing coordinator. 

The Sports Basement bike rental annex is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day and is located at 1196 Columbus Ave. Reservations and more information are available at www.basicallyfree.com.  Or call 415-741-1196.

Media contact: Sasha Lozovoy, sasha.lozovoy@sportsbasement.com, 415-575-3012.

National Park Service Announces Return of “Prisoners of Age” Exhibition to Alcatraz Island

The award-winning ‘Prisoners of Age” exhibition from photographer Ron Levine and designers Michael Wou and Russel Volckmann will return to Alcatraz Island July-December 2015.  The exhibition features 60 larger than life photographs and revealing narratives from conversations with the inmates, guards and prison officials.  This exhibit marks the next in a series on Alcatraz that focuses on aspects of crime and punishment, incarceration, freedom and social justice.   “Prisoners of Age” is an evocative series of photographs and chronicles of elderly men and women, taken over a period of 18 years, at prisons and prison-wards for geriatric offenders in the United States and Canada. Prisoners of age comprise the fastest growing age group in the United States. One-in-ten inmates are 55 or older. A decade ago, that was one-in-twenty. Existing prison space is in serious decline and medical costs are soaring. Incarcerating geriatric men and women in prison is becoming prohibitively expensive- up to 9 times the cost of a younger inmate.  As Federal and State prisons begin to look more like high security nursing homes, the people who manage North America's prison system worry about how to handle the imminent explosion in the geriatric population. Through photography and interviews, ‘Prisoners of Age” offers a microcosmic glimpse of what lies ahead in this new millennium. 

Tickets to Alcatraz frequently sell out many days in advance. They are only available through Alcatraz Cruises, the official park concessionaire for ferry service, 90 days in advance: alcatrazcruises.com or 415-981-7625.  Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252, molly@hooklineandthinker.com

Children’s Creativity Museum Unveils New Lineup of Exhibits and Experiences

On June 2, 2015, the Children’s Creativity Museum (CCM), a hands-on, multimedia experience committed to fostering creativity and collaboration in all youth and families, unveiled a new lineup of exhibits designed to inspire innovative solutions and nurture creative thinking. Now in its 17th year, CCM continues to take the experience of play to a new level by empowering its visitors to become makers and tinkerers, and introducing innovative tools in a safe and enriching environment designed to promote creativity and collaboration.

A new Robots exhibit and daily workshops will introduce computer programming using iPads to children as young as 3 years old. Activities such as charting obstacle courses for robots using simple commands aim to promote creative problem-solving in novice programmers. More experienced coders can program robots to respond to sensor input and use loops to avoid obstacles. Adults may learn some coding as well. 

In addition to its already popular exhibits, including an Animation Studio that introduces the art of stop-motion animation movie-making, and an Innovation Lab that teaches design-thinking concepts, CCM’s general admission experience will feature Brain Teasers 2, a traveling exhibit from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry through November 29, 2015. This interactive exhibit is a collection of 21 hands-on puzzles designed to put problem-solving skills to the test in a fun and engaging way. To solve the puzzles, visitors will need to use creative-thinking and problem-solving strategies such as looking for patterns; logical reasoning, thinking ahead, and setting aside preconceived ideas. 

Located in the heart of downtown San Francisco in Yerba Buena Gardens, the museum also operates the historic (1904) hand carved Carousel formerly at Playland-at-the Beach.  For more information, visit www.creativity.org. Media contact: Pat Kilduff, pat@creativity.org.

Stranded! Tropical Island Survival - A New Exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers That Just Might Save Your Life

In a new exhibit entitled Stranded! Tropical Island Survival at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, visitors “wash up” on an uncharted tropical shore to learn the ins and outs of island survival. Strolling through a living jungle of life-saving plants, they discover the best sources of building materials, food and water and see examples of structures and tools—all created with a touch of castaway kitsch. Fun survival facts fill the gallery, including tips for climbing coconut trees and more.

“I grew up with Gilligan’s Island, so my impression of being stranded was always a bit skewed by the idea that you could use a couple of coconuts and some bamboo to build things like battery chargers and sewing machines,” says Lau Hodges, Conservatory Curator. “But, in fact, plants have been sustaining tropical cultures for thousands of years and are a really critical element of survival in the tropics. Palms in particular. They are so important that 18th century botanist Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, believed humans should be referred to as palmivorous because of our long dependence on them for all of our basic necessities.”

The exhibit makes clear that the first order of business is finding drinkable water. After a few hours in the tropics without water, your capacities will be severely limited, and within just a few days, death is a guarantee. Coconuts, bamboo and banana plants all store water that can be harvested. A relative of the banana, the traveler’s palm, is said to be able to hold up to a half gallon of water. A hole in the ground covered strategically with a banana leaf can serve as a solar water still to catch condensation. And rainwater can be funneled into containers with fan-shaped palm fronds. No container? No problem. Use a bromeliad, a plant with a spiraling arrangement of tightly overlapping leaves that acts as a water reservoir. Some of the biggest can hold up to twelve gallons of water.

The next priority is shelter. Bamboo and palm fronds are ideal for constructing a quick lean-to that will protect against weather and critters. Insulate with layers of palm fronds and coconut husks on the ground. Remember … don’t build under coconut palms if you want to avoid being conked in your sleep.

Luckily, the tropics are a cornucopia of food, but many fruits are poisonous, so it is always best to stick with what you know. Palms are a tremendous source of sustenance from coconuts to palm hearts. The so-called cabbage, the apical bud at the upper most part of the trunk, is considered by many cultures to be a delicacy. Plants can also be useful for hunting. Palm fronds can be woven together for basket fishing. The long leaves of many raffia palms can be processed as fishing line, and the sharp spikes of the Canary Island date palm make great hooks. Bait that with a bug, and you are ready to go. The vines of the rattan palm can be used to fashion a simple snare to catch birds or small animals.

The exhibit, which continues through Oct. 18, 2015, also tells the stories of several famous castaways including the real life Robinson Caruso, Alexander Selkirk, who in 1704 was marooned off the coast of Chile and spent 52 months there before being rescued.  Call 415-831-2090 or visit www.conservatoryofflowers.org for more information. Media contact: Nina Sazevich, nina@sazevichpr.com, 415-752-2483.

Celebrity Cruises to and from San Francisco Bay with Elegance

Celebrity Cruises, consistently voted among the top cruise lines in the world, will be in San Francisco several times in 2015 as part of a variety of itineraries.   Celebrity Cruises offers 17-night Panama Canal Cruises, an 11-night Golden Gate Alaska Cruise, 12-night Golden Light Alaska Cruises and a nine-night Pacific Coastal Cruise, all beginning or ending with a cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.   What sets Celebrity apart from other vacation choices is the cruise line's passionate dedication to providing guests with a cruise experience that embodies modern luxury. This has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set the worldwide standard for today's expression of what first made cruising famous - high quality, superior design, spacious accommodations, grand style, attentive service and exceptional cuisine.  Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all providing an unmatchable vacation experience. Celebrity Cruises has a fleet of 10 beautiful ships.  Ship tours will be provided for a limited number of San Francisco/Bay Area residents. Contact sfevents@celebrity.com for space and availability.  Learn more at www.celebritycruises.com/sf.  

Media contact: Beth Schnitzer, beth@spritzsf.com

Smooth Sailing Family Fun Aboard 1891 Scow Schooner Alma This Season

Shanghai the kids to Hyde Street Pier for sailing adventures on San Francisco Bay aboard the 1891 scow schooner Alma. Haul lines to raise sail, or relax and enjoy the dazzling views of the bay in this unique national park experience. During this three-hour sailing tour, a Park Ranger from the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park spins tales of San Francisco’s riveting history: Native Americans, Spanish explorers, bridges, the Gold Rush, Alcatraz and Angel Islands, the infamous Barbary Coast where sailors were shanghaied from the San Francisco waterfront for long ocean voyages, and more. 

Before highways and bridges, hundreds of scow schooners like the Alma plied San Francisco Bay, hauling goods as the “flatbed trucks” of their day. The last of her kind, Alma will transport you to a long ago era on this unique, hands-on sailing program with the National Park Service.

Boarding is at 12:30 p.m., departing Hyde Street pier at 1 p.m. on selected Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 

June 4 through Nov. 21, 2015. Trip may be cancelled due to weather, or other safety concerns, at discretion of the captain. 

The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center and Aquatic Park Historic District.  

Reserve at www.recreation.gov and enter “San Francisco Maritime” in the search box, or call 1-877-444-6777. 

A limited number of spaces may be available at the Hyde Street Pier ticket booth on sailing days, 9:30 a.m.-Noon. For more on the Alma, call 415-447-5000 or visit www.nps.gov/safr/historyculture/alma.htm.  Media contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006, lynn_cullivan@nps.gov

ARTS & CULTURE

Stern Grove Festival Commissions Seven Local Artists to Create New Works to Debut During 2015 Season

As it approaches its 78th Season of presenting world class concerts, Stern Grove Festival adds an important new element to its programming with the announcement of “Interplay: Artists in Concert with Nature,” a series of musical commissions to debut during the 2015 season.  Stern Grove Festival Association has commissioned seven local artists in various disciplines to create a work of art inspired by the interplay between art, nature and audience at the festival. Without spotlights, seats or a traditional proscenium at Stern Grove Festival, the audience, natural space and performers create an arts experience that is unique to the Grove.

The Interplay commission series explores this relationship between the performer, the viewer and the natural environment, culminating in seven premiere performances of new works throughout the Festival’s 78th Season. Stern Grove Festival Association Executive Director Steven Haines elaborates further: “While the theme ‘In Concert with Nature’ reflects the Festival experience, the Interplay series encourages individual artists to more deeply explore their personal relationship with the space and interaction with the diverse community at the Festival. The commission series highlights the Festival’s legacy of supporting local artists and ensures our role in the future of the arts in San Francisco through the creation of new, innovative works.”  

Commissioned artists will also share their creative process with a public online “sketchbook” of ideas presented by Stern Grove Festival, where audiences can enhance their experience with rehearsal video, sound clips, photos, interviews, and behind-the-scenes access.  Artists will be invited to participate in workshops and interactive youth programs to illuminate their process, inspirations, techniques and approach to place-based art making.

These commissions by local artists are new this summer but the tradition of presenting admission free concerts showcasing popular musicians, world class bands, top name talent and emerging artists has been the hallmark of Stern Grove Festival for over seven decades. With programming as eclectic as the city it calls home, where else but Stern Grove Festival would The Doobie Brothers, Randy Newman, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Talib Kweli, tUnE-yArDs, and Morris Day perform in the same series as San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Ballet? 

Stern Grove Festival Association is a non-profit organization with a seven-decade legacy of providing Bay Area residents and visitors with admission-free access to a wide range of performing arts. Every summer Sunday from June through August, 10,000 people gather to party, picnic and celebrate the arts in a breathtaking setting. And all for free. Each year since 1938, the organization presents Stern Grove Festival in Sigmund Stern Grove, a stunningly beautiful outdoor amphitheater located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. Stern Grove Festival is presented in collaboration with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department and Commission. For more information and the complete line-up for the Festival’s 78th Season, visit www.sterngrove.org. Media contact: Anne Abrams, 415-596-0902, aabrams@sterngrove.org.

FOOD & DRINK

Tickets to Eat Drink SF Culinary Festival Now Available 

Eat Drink SF, a San Francisco celebration of flavor presented by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, has announced the schedule for this year’s event as early bird tickets go on sale. The festival, now entering its seventh year, is a unique experience for food and beverage enthusiasts to enjoy top-notch programming including curated experiences, tasting sessions, beverage classes, cooking demos and mingling with the Bay Area’s top chefs.

The festival takes place August 20-23, 2015 with events happening around the city including three signature Grand Tastings at Fort Mason Center on Friday and Saturday. In addition, brand new events have been added this year including: Thursday’s Taco Knockdown presented by Milagro Tequila, Sunday’s city-wide Revival Brunch and Brunch Party at Foreign Cinema. 

Formerly known as SF Chefs, Eat Drink SF was founded by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association in 2009 to celebrate the Bay Area’s culinary community. The annual event promotes and extends the Bay Area restaurant community as a world-class culinary destination, focusing on local tastemakers. Each year more than 200 restaurants participate in Eat Drink SF activities, which include a preview party, Grand Tasting sessions, food and beverage classes and cooking demonstrations. With more than 7,500 attendees, Eat Drink SF provides an opportunity for restaurant members to market to food lovers and connect directly with current and potential guests. 

Early bird tickets are available for purchase at www.eatdrink-sf.com starting at $75. Proceeds support CUESA and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation.  For more information, visit www.eatdrink-sf.com.    Media contact: Jennifer Rodstrom/Katherine Guzman, 415-274-2510, jennifer@wagstaffworldwide.com, kguzman@wagstaffworldwide.com

Culinary Mastermind Gordon Drysdale Named Culinary Director at Scoma’s Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf

Scoma’s Restaurant, the iconic San Francisco restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf, announced San Francisco- based chef and restaurateur, Gordon Drysdale, as its new Culinary Director.
 
Known for putting his stamp on multiple Bay Area Projects, like Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley, Gordon’s House of Fine Eats in San Francisco, Bix in San Francisco, among others, Drysdale is a highly successful and widely acclaimed businessman with a fiery passion for the culinary arts.
 
Inspired by Scoma’s fresh seafood and historic influence, 40-year restaurant veteran Drysdale intends to refresh Scoma’s menu by focusing on high quality fresh ingredients from local sources, seasonal centric recipes and procuring fish that meet the criteria set by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.  The overall mission being to ultimately bring a sense of local pride back to the restaurant scene of the working Wharf.  
 
“I’m really excited to be joining Scoma’s on this venture to refresh and revitalize such an iconic restaurant,” says Drysdale. “We’re focusing on seasonal and sustainable offerings, while retaining the quality ingredients that makes Scoma’s such a historic institution.”
 
“It’s an exciting time,” seconds Chief Operating Officer, Jay Schimmel. “Over the next few months we’ll be launching a number of initiatives with Gordon’s oversight.  Our vision is to bring a bit more culinary relevancy to the Wharf.  The goal is not become ‘inauthentic’ or ‘trendy’ but elevate the Wharf restaurant experience culinarily. Al Scoma’s formula for success was based on quality and hospitality; our goal will be to continue the tradition by supporting local farmers and fishermen; and while we are at it, do our part to help maintain a healthy ocean for the next generation.”
 
In 2015, Scoma’s celebrates its 50th anniversary on the Wharf. Family owned and operated, Scoma's legacy of fresh, sustainable seafood has made it a true San Francisco tradition, complete with an award-winning wine list, unsurpassed views, and gracious service. Scoma’s believes in letting its food speak for itself, and is committed to protecting and preserving the environment with its own licensed fish preparation station for the public to view the seafood as it’s prepared for the kitchen daily. While many seafood restaurants on the wharf have come and gone, Scoma's consistent standards have kept it a local tradition and a gem visited by tourists from all over the world.
 
At a young age, Gordon Drysdale reached the realization that cooking was an art, and with his love for the visual arts, he has never looked back. Now, a 40-year veteran in the culinary field, Drysdale is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He rounded out his educational experience as an apprentice of Jean-Louis Jalouneix, notable French chef. A devotee of farmer’s markets, Drysdale has translated his passion for fresh produce into sustainable cooking, and has applied it into each of his culinary ventures.   He has opened a number of Bay Area restaurants and is currently a partner in seven Bay Area projects. Drysdale currently lives in Mill Valley with wife, Susie, and two teen-aged sons, Miles and Monroe.  Media contact: Kaley Gelineau, 415-221-2875, kaley@spritzsf.com.

AsiaSF Transgender Servers to Star in Television Docu-Series 

AsiaSF, San Francisco’s popular restaurant, cabaret and nightclub where dinner service and entertainment are provided by their world famous transgender stars “The Ladies of AsiaSF,” will be featured in a new television series from Fuse Media (www.fuse.tv) to be called “Transcendent.”  The all-new docu-series  documents the triumphs and struggles of being transgender in America today and will premiere on September 30.  "The first time we met the ladies of AsiaSF we were hooked," said World of Wonder Executive Producers Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey. "They're beautiful, brave and unapologetic. Each of them has such unique and compelling stories to tell. To document their lives is a dream come true."  AsiaSF President and COO Greg Lockamy said “We’ve been entertaining people from around the world since 1998.   We are thrilled to now be able to share our stories with a whole new audience on television.”  AsiaSF offers two shows nightly.   For reservations, visit www.asiasf.com or call 415-255-2742.  Media contact:  Aaron Nelson, 415-255-2742 ext. 224, aaron@asiasf.com.

Montesacro – New Restaurant Specializes in Ancient Pinsa

Pinsa is an ancient flat bread once made by peasants living outside the Roman Empire.  The new restaurant Montesacro is the first Pinseria in the United States (and sister restaurant to 54 Mint, the popular Italian restaurant in Mint Plaza).  “We’re treating it as pizza although it is lower in fat, calories and easy to digest due to the fact that we let the dough rise for three to four days.  It’s made from a blend of rice, soy and wheat flour imported directly from Italy,” explains Gianluca Legrottaglie, owner and wine director.  “Our location at 510 Stevenson, south of Market Street, was a bakery about 100 years ago, so it makes a perfect setting for the food we serve today.”  For more information, visit http://montesacrosf.com/ or call 415-795-3040.  Media contact: Rika Zilant, events@54mint.com.

HOTEL NEWS

Fairmont San Francisco Unveils Five Specialty Suites

The legendary Fairmont San Francisco atop Nob Hill has unveiled five spectacularly renovated Specialty Suites following a $2 million update.  The Cambridge Suite, Buckingham Balcony Suite, Napoleon Two-Bedroom Suite, Diplomat Tony Bennett Suite and Fairmont Presidential Suite offer a distinct, San Francisco-inspired aesthetic, and unique amenities for discerning guests seeking the ultimate in suite luxury.      

ForrestPerkins, a U.S-based interior architecture and design firm that specializes in luxury and notable hotels, resorts, spas and multi-residential projects oversaw this impressive endeavor, having also recently led Fairmont San Francisco’s comprehensive guest room and suite renovation last spring. The Fairmont San Francisco’s 592 guest accommodations feature 62 Main Building and Tower Suites: these five Specialty Suites serve as the crown jewels along with the hotel’s world-famous Penthouse Suite.

When booking any one of these five deluxe options at the published rate, guests will enjoy the full Specialty Suite Experience, including: 

Pre-arrival outreach from the hotel’s VIP Manager 

Airport pick up for the suites’ registered guests

Manager meet and greet

VIP welcome amenity 

Complimentary high-speed Internet access 

Enhanced VIP turndown service

Enhanced bath products

Farewell kit (snacks and water) 

Since 1907, The Fairmont has served as the San Francisco residence for U.S. presidents, world leaders and entertainment stars.  The landmark hotel offers 592 newly-renovated guest rooms and suites, three distinctive restaurants, a health club and easy access to the city’s most popular attractions. For reservations, call 800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com/san-francisco.  Media contact:  Melissa Farrar, 415-772-5041, Melissa.Farrar@Fairmont.com

Clift Celebrates a Century

A century ago San Francisco was reborn from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake, reinventing itself by hosting the World’s Fair and drawing upon the most innovative architects and entrepreneurs of the time. CLIFT was born from those ashes and remains 100 years later as a cultural hotbed leading the ever-evolving city of San Francisco into the next 100 years. On Thursday, June 4, 2015, the iconic hotel celebrated its centennial with a birthday bash that paid homage to its past and offered a glimpse into its future.

The rich history of CLIFT, at 495 Geary St., has always been fueled with innovation. Billed as the first earthquake-proof and fire-proof hotel, CLIFT officially opened in 1915 and was originally commissioned to accommodate visitors to the World’s Fair. It was here that the Silicon Valley was born in 1957. Members of the Fairchild Group, also known as the “Traitorous Eight,” held a secret meeting at CLIFT to create one of the first semiconductor device companies in the Bay Area. Today, as a Morgans OriginalTM, CLIFT is still the place where rebels, innovators, and creators go to meet, relax, and define tomorrow.

“For 100 years, CLIFT has offered guests something unique and truly special,” says Michael Pace, CLIFT general manager. “From the iconic events in Redwood Room to our packages and amenities, CLIFT continues to be a relevant source of inspiration for those who are drawn here.”   

For more information, visit www.CliftHotel.com.  Media contact: Kiaran Locy/Lani Vaill, 415-274-2510, kiaran@wagstaffworldwide.com; lani@wagstaffworldwide.com.

Cavallo Point Lodge Receives National Geographic World Legacy Awards

Cavallo Point Lodge is the only hotel from the United States to be a recipient of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards, in partnership with ITB Berlin. The 2015 honor is in recognition of driving the positive transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet. Out of five award categories, Cavallo Point Lodge is the winner in the Sense of Place category, recognizing excellence in enhancing sense of place and authenticity, including support for the protection of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions. The resort accepted the award at ITB Berlin - the world’s largest travel gathering - to applaud and support a tourism revolution in the making. 

Across the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point Lodge has become a perfect place to enjoy nature, nurture, culture and adventure. Today, the award-winning destination attracts visitors and overnight guests internationally, nationally and locally. The lodge offers historic and contemporary accommodations, acclaimed dining, premier spa, cooking school, retail shop, art gallery, hiking and other numerous activities. Additionally, this eco-friendly lodge provides an inspired backdrop for business meetings, corporate retreats and special events for groups of 10 to 300. This new honor is one more reason for travelers and groups to visit the lodge. 

Once the Fort Baker military base, today meticulously restored turnofthecentury and sensitively designed new buildings reflect the site’s stalwart history and majestic natural setting.  Cavallo Point’s outstanding commitment to sustainability reflects a shared goal with the National Park Service. This focus on suitability has earned the lodge several top accolades, including the internationally acclaimed 2013 Travel + Leisure Global-Vision Award in the category of Sustainability; 2013 “Top 5 Resorts in the U.S” by Travel + Leisure; 2010 LEED Gold certification; and 2008 America’s top new national green landmarks by Travel + Leisure Magazine. 

Media contact:  Ruchika Jain, rjain@graham-associates.com

Calistoga’s Brannan Cottage Inn Wins Sunset Travel Award for “Best Hotel Renovation”  

Brannan Cottage Inn in Calistoga received the Sunset Travel Award for “Best Hotel Renovation” of the West.  The Inn joins 30 top destinations in lodging, dining, cultural tourism, outdoor adventure and more on receiving this distinguished honor within the iconic magazine’s inaugural awards in Sunset Magazine’s June 2015 issue.  For information, visit http://brannancottageinn.com/.  Media contact: Eden Umble, eden@brannancottageinn.com, 707-942-4200.

BEYOND SAN FRANCISCO 

Discover Cairdean Estate Vineyard, Restaurant, Bakery and Mercantile in Napa Valley

Cairdean Estate, Napa Valley’s Wine and Food Village, is a new, essential destination for California’s Wine Country. Celebrating the ever-entwining worlds of wine and food, Cairdean Estate has oa tasting room open daily to the public; a private, by appointment-only tasting room; a 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award winning gastropub, The Farmer & The Fox, serving dinner nightly; and Butterscots Bakery & Deli, offering sandwiches, salads, pastries, baked and frozen desserts, fresh-baked breads and rolls for breakfast and lunch daily. Menus for both venues are created by San Francisco Bay Area favorite and Michelin-recognized Chef Joseph Humphrey. Both restaurants serve beer, wine and artisan craft cocktails. The year 2015 will see the completion of the Wine & Food Village with the opening of Rosgal Gallery, to feature rotating exhibitions, and Redolent Mercantile, a retail experience in finds exclusive to Napa and even California. Upon completion in 2015, the Cairdean Vineyards Winery will boast extensive wine caves and the largest grass roof in Napa Valley. “Cairdean” means “friends” in Scottish Gaelic and captures the heritage of owners Edwin and Stacia Williams while upholding their belief that wine and food are multi-sensory experiences best enjoyed among friends and loved ones.  Learn more at www.cairdeanestate.com.  Media contact: Paul Burditch, 415-874-9696, paul@burditchmc.com

Wine Country Walking Tours’ "New Flavors of Healdsburg" Tour Returns as “2.0”

Wine Country Walking Tours, the original fine wine and foodie walking tour in downtown Healdsburg, announces the return of their widely popular “New Flavors of Healdsburg” tour for spring 2015.  This four-hour tour takes in some newer, must-try spots that even well-traveled gourmand might not know yet.  This year’s version, “New Flavors of Healdsburg 2.0,” promises to be Wine Country Walking Tours most creative wine pairing and foodie tour to date. Each tasting has been custom crafted with the winemakers providing a unique and unforgettable experience. From beignets paired with bubbly to Pinot Noir paired with pork barbacoa, guests gain great insight into the world of food and wine.  Guests visit three boutique tasting rooms for private, exclusive seated tastings all uniquely paired with delicious bites.  Tastings of local bites at several food artisan shops and restaurants complement the tour.  The “New Flavors of Healdsburg 2.0” tour is designed for the gourmand who may have visited Healdsburg in the past or who wants to explore what is currently making headline news.  Guests may also select from a menu of four other different Wine Country Walking tours, each designed to provide a delicious, insider’s look at either Healdsburg or Geyserville, two of Sonoma County’s most appealing towns. Tours start daily at 11 a.m., allowing plenty of time for Bay Area travelers to arrive.  Learn more at www.winecountrywalkingtours.com.   Media contact: Kirsten Jones,707-758-4725, info@winecountrywalkingtours.com.   

Verve Napa Valley Offers Curated Wine Country Tours 

Verve Napa Valley has introduced three new ways to experience wine country with a twist: 

Art and Architecture Tour - Napa Valley’s artistic allure goes well beyond the world-class wine and food that put it on the map. Private and public art galleries, museums, revolving exhibitions, open studios, iconic architecture, historical gems, and an exploding live music scene give culturally-minded visitors a wealth of options from which to choose.  Verve’s Art & Architecture experience provides an insider’s tour of Napa Valley’s finest artistic offerings. T Beller, Verve’s founder and owner, has been a stalwart of the arts and culture scene for over 20 years; she personally curates Verve’s tours of galleries, museums, private homes and studios of the Valley’s most talented artists and collectors.

Sabrage Class - Sabrage is the celebratory art of lopping off the top of a champagne bottle with a saber. This technique became popular during the French Revolution, when soldiers would saber champagne as they rode off to battle. Napoleon was fond of saying “in victory one deserves champagne; in defeat one needs it.”   Verve offers instruction on the Art of Sabrage, including a demonstration and hands-on instruction. Learn tricks of the trade, exclusive wine country knowledge, safety precautions, and other key guidelines to become a sabrage pro.

Health & Wellness Tour - Get invigorated with vinyasa flow yoga amidst picturesque Napa Valley vineyards. It's friendly to all levels and taught by highly regarded Bay Area yogis. After your session, cool down with healthy seasonal fare fresh from local farms. Spend the rest of the day taking advantage of Napa and Sonoma’s striking outdoor beauty (and incredible weather) with scenic hikes and bike rides. With access to bocce ball, hickory golf, private tennis courts, spas and golf courses, days can be filled by a wide variety of wellness activities—and nights with fine wines and dines. 

For more information, visit http://vervenapavalley.com/.  Media contact: Kristi Kaiser, 707-253-2269, kristi@vervenapavalley.com

MEETING & CONVENTION NEWS 

San Francisco Travel Celebrates Groundbreaking of Moscone Center Expansion

City officials, tourism leaders and representatives of San Francisco’s top convention customers celebrated the groundbreaking for the $500 million expansion of Moscone Center today at a ceremony outside Moscone South on May 21, 2015..

When it is completed in fall of 2018, Moscone’s North and South buildings will offer:

•More than 500,000 square feet of contiguous space that can be used for exhibitions and/or meetings, almost double the amount of space currently offered in its largest hall

•Three ballrooms including a new 50,000-square-foot, column-free ballroom

•More than 80 meeting rooms

•108,000 square feet of light-filled, pre-function lobbies offering dramatic views of the city and the surrounding Yerba Buena Gardens

•More than 20,000 square feet of secure, outdoor terraces that are ideal for receptions

•Improved public amenities including wider sidewalks, larger crosswalks between buildings, multiple open air plazas and public art

•Highly flexible design to accommodate new and current groups with increased attendance

•An on-site Visitor Information Center staffed by San Francisco Travel Association employees

The expanded facility is designed to garner the highest LEED® certification possible. Sustainable features include:

•Less carbon emissions per delegate than any major convention center in North America

•Recovery of 15 million gallons of groundwater annually for reuse in the Center, as well as for irrigation at neighboring parks and street cleaning

•Largest rooftop photovoltaic (solar panels) array in San Francisco

•Zero-emissions electricity

•Daylight harvesting to offset electrical lighting

“We have one of the most successful convention centers in the United States; generating 20% of the city’s tourism dollars,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, adding, “but Moscone Center is operating at capacity and is losing business to competing markets with better space to offer. We are excited to be moving forward with the expansion and improvement of Moscone Center so that we can continue to bring the best and most attractive events to San Francisco.”

“The Moscone Expansion and Improvement project is a partnership between the Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation, the City of San Francisco and the neighborhood,” D’Alessandro said.  “Over the last three years, our design team at Skidmore Owings and Merrill with Mark Cavagnero Associates and our construction team at Webcor Builders have worked hard to plan a design and construction schedule that allows Moscone Center to increase space, efficiency and remain operational during the project.”

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO)

Construction Projects

SFO is building remarkable new structures designed to elevate the air travel experience. They are creating spacious boarding areas filled with natural light, with unobstructed views so passengers can see all the action on the bustling runways. http://www.flysfo.com/about-sfo/airport-development 

  • New Air Traffic Control Tower - SFO and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are building a new Air Traffic Control Tower that will provide the airport with the latest in technology and design. Standing 221-feet-tall, the new tower features an inviting flared design clad in curved metal paneling.
  • On Airport Hotel - San Francisco International Airport plans to develop a new Airport-owned and privately managed 4-star hotel. Prominently located at the entrance to SFO, the 4.7 acre project site is close to terminal buildings and parking garages, with easy access to US Highway 101. AirTrain will provide direct access to the hotel.
  • Terminal 1 - When fully completed in 2024, T1 will elevate SFO’s standard of providing a world-class, environmentally friendly travel experience and is expected to meet or exceed the award-winning standards of Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 Boarding Area E. T1 is anticipated, at minimum, to receive an environmental LEED© Gold certification.

Qantas Airways Returning to San Francisco in December 2015

Airways has announced plans to resume nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport and Sydney beginning December 20, 2015.  Qantas plans a build up to a schedule of six flights per week effective January 2016.  The airline had previously operated at SFO from March 29, 2006, through May 7, 2011.

“In 1959, Qantas established the first air service between San Francisco and Sydney.  Their return to SFO is a wonderful homecoming, one which reaffirms our status as the premier gateway to the Pacific,” SFO Airport Director John L. Martin said.

Australia represents a significant source of travel and tourism for San Francisco.  In 2014, a total of 201,600 people visited San Francisco from Australia, ranking it seventh among international inbound markets to San Francisco.  Visitors to San Francisco from Australia spent over $279 million in 2014, a rate which is expected to grow at a rate of 7.3 percent this year.  Tourism from Australia also accounted for 647,000 paid hotel nights in 2014, with a spend rate of $337 per visitor per day.   

Qantas is one of the largest and oldest airlines in the world, having been founded in 1920 as the Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Services Limited.  In 1935, Qantas began operating international flights, with service between Darwin, Australia and Singapore.  In 1959, Qantas launched its first jet service, operating a Boeing 707 from Sydney to San Francisco via Nadi, Fiji and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Today, Qantas has a 65 percent share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7 percent of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.  The airline has established a reputation among the world’s leading long-distance airlines, having been named “Best Airline – Australia/Pacific” at the 2014 and 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards.  In 2015, Qantas was named “Australia's favorite airline” in TripAdvisor's 2015 Travellers' Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Service” in AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards.

Qantas is a founding member of the OneWorld airline alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific.  Qantas will operate nonstop flights six days per week, using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft with 353 passenger seats, comprised of 14 First Class, 52 Business Class, 32 Premium Economy, and 255 Economy seats.

2015 Summer Service Increases

SFO continues to see growth in the international markets with the introduction of new carriers. Recent new routes include Copa Airlines (Panama City), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and China Southern Airlines (Wuhan and Guangzhou, China). Plus, there is new service by existing carriers: United Airlines to Chengdu, China. And, an increase in service to existing routes such as: Air France, British Airways and Emirates each up-gauging to the A380, and increased capacity by Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, Philippine Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

Copa Airlines plans to launch service at SFO on September 17, 2015, with flights operating seven days per week to the airline’s Hub of the Americas at  Tocumen International Airport in Panama City.  Copa offers connecting flights to more than 55 cities across Latin America through the airport, the largest and busiest in Central America.

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

MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS

The following events are held on an annual basis and are updated throughout the year. All dates and locations are subject to change and should be confirmed with sponsors before making travel plans. General city information and detailed event calendars are available at www.sanfrancisco.travel.

JUNE 2015

JUNE 6-27 (Three Weekends)

Ethnic Dance Festival

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 415-392-4400

www.worldartswest.org 

Returning to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, the first two weekends of the Ethnic Dance Festival will feature different groups of artists. The final weekend will feature the screening of a new documentary film about the festival, along with special dance and music performances highlighting exciting innovations happening in the Bay Area dance community.

JUNE 10-21

San Francisco Jazz Festival

SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., 866-920-5299

www.sfjazz.org

For more than 30 years SFJAZZ presented the San Francisco Jazz Festival in venues around the Bay Area; with the opening of the SFJAZZ Center in 2013, the festival is now concentrated in the Center and the surrounding neighborhood and offers more than 30 shows. 

JUNE 12-14

Queer Women of Color Film Festival

Brava Theater, 2789 24th St., 415-752-0868

http://qwocmap.org/

Showcase for new films that reflect the lives of queer women of color and address the vital social justice issues that concern multiple communities. 

 

JUNE 14-AUGUST 16 

Stern Grove Festival 

Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., 415-252-6252

www.sterngrove.org 

The Stern Grove Festival celebrates the season of free Sunday concerts featuring renowned music and dance groups set in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater in the heart of San Francisco.

JUNE 18-21

San Francisco Black Film Festival

African American Art and Culture Center and other Bay Area Venues

www.sfbff.org

This celebration of African American cinema and the African cultural diaspora showcases a diverse collection of films from emerging and established filmmakers; more than 10,000 films have been screened from around the world since the inaugural festival in 1998.

JUNE 18-28

Frameline 39, San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

Castro Theatre, 415-703-8650

www.frameline.org

Legendary showcase of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema screens groundbreaking documentaries, features, touching short films and cinematic classics. 

JUNE 21

Alcatraz Challenge Swim

www.tricalifornia.com 

1.5 mile swim course begins near Alcatraz Island and finishes at the East Beach of Crissy Field located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Presidio Park. 

JUNE 27-28

San Francisco Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Pride Celebration Parade (“Pride”)

Embarcadero to Civic Center, Market St., 415-864-0831 

www.sfpride.org 

San Francisco's 45th annual celebration of lesbian and gay pride culminates with a festive parade from the Embarcadero to the Civic Center on June 28. 

JUNE 27- SEPTEMBER 27 (Weekends only and Labor Day Monday) 

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

San Francisco, Pleasanton, Cupertino & Redwood City, 415-558-0888

www.sfshakes.org 

Bring your family, friends, a blanket and a picnic to enjoy “Romeo and Juliet” in a beautiful park setting!

JULY 2015

JULY-OCTOBER

AfroSolo Arts Festival

Various venues, 415-771-AFRO (2376)

www.afrosolo.org 

Featuring celebrity and emerging African American artists in various performances such as theater, dance, music, spoken word and visual arts.

JULY 4

Fourth of July Celebration at The Pier

PIER 39, 415-705-5500

www.pier39.com 

Dazzling fireworks, local bands, food, arts and crafts ignite this annual waterfront party. Fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m., weather permitting. Dress warmly.

JULY 4-5

Fillmore Jazz Festival

Fillmore St. between Jackson and Eddy Sts. 

www.fillmorejazzfestival.com 

Three stages of continuous jazz performances, more than 300 artists’ booths, and international food courts with some of the best food and beverages that San Francisco has to offer. 

JULY 10-11

Salsa Festival on The Fillmore

Fillmore Street, various venues

http://www.salsaonfillmore.com 

The Salsa Festival on The Fillmore closes off three city blocks and features free concerts, salsa lessons and outdoor dancing at the Fillmore Center Plaza. 

JULY 17-19

The Renegade Craft Fair

Fort Mason Center

http://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.

JULY 17-20

San Francisco Frozen Film Festival

Roxie Theater

www.frozenfilmfestival.com

Showcasing the year’s best new independent avant-garde pop culture films, the Frozen Film Festival takes its name from the distinct chill of the San Francisco summer.

JULY 17-26

Bay Area Playwrights Festival

http://playwrightsfoundation.org/

Local and national playwrights and professional directors, dramaturgs and designers work with the Bay Area’s top actors to engage in an in-depth development process of six new plays. The work leads to two public staged readings of each play.

JULY 19

AIDS Walk

Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park

http://www.aidswalk.net/sanfran 

This annual walk to raise funds for the San Francisco AIDS foundation has inspired thousands of people to walk and donate in support of fighting HIV/AIDS.

JULY 19-25

Mex-I-Am

Citywide

http://www.mexiam.net/

Showcasing the best of Mexico’s performing arts, culture and ideas, this multidisciplinary festival features perfomers from various genres as well as presentations from some of the most influential Mexicans in their fields of expertise.

JULY 23-AUGUST 9

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Castro Theater and other Bay Area venues, 415-621-0556 (info), 415-621-0523 (tickets)

www.sfjff.org 

Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and vitality of Jewish culture. The festival is the first, oldest and most prestigious celebration of its kind in the world. 

JULY 26

San Francisco Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk 

Ferry Building, The Embarcadero

http://www.thesfmarathon.com/

Enjoy the amazing city of San Francisco by taking part in one of the world's great marathons. The USAT&F Certified course is a "best of San Francisco" tour and includes a loop over the Golden Gate Bridge. Choose from running the marathon, half marathon, progressive marathon, 5K run/walk races or really take on the challenge with the “Worth the Hurt” 52.4 double marathon.

JULY 26

Up Your Alley Fair

Dore Alley between Folsom and Howard and adjoining block of Folsom between Ninth and 10th streets, 415-777-3247

http://www.folsomstreetevents.org/alley/

Similar to September’s Folsom Street Fair, which is the climax of Leather Pride Week, this event has a more local appeal for leatherfolk and draws some 12,000+ attendees. 

JULY 31-AUGUST 2

American Craft Council San Francisco Show

Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 612-206-3100 

www.craftcouncil.org 

This is the largest juried craft event west of the Rockies, featuring more than 225 of the nation's top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor artists.