12 Amazing Ways To Enjoy San Francisco (Including The Hunky Jesus Contest)
Whether you're visiting the City by the Bay or call yourself a local, we're bringing you the best events this year San Francisco. Mark your 2019 calendar with this insider's round up.
San Francisco Film Noir Festival (AKA Noir City)
Start the year with bad girls, dark alleys, corrupt cops, and hardboiled heroes, at the SF Film Noir Festival, which is hosted each January for a week at the iconic Castro Theatre.
When: Jan. 25-Feb. 3, 2019
Insider Tip: Skip the lines, get prime seating and get a discount on tickets with the NOIR City Passport.
A celebration of everything alternative, the San Francisco Independent Film Festival is a two-week, 85-film lineup at quirky venues across The City. IndieFest now runs concurrently with the Winter Music Festival, and with more music-themed films added to the schedule, there's always a lively crowd checking out the screenings.
When: Jan. 30-Feb. 14, 2019
Insider Tip: Be sure to get the information for the pre and post-film parties at nearby venues for some free food, drinks, and chances to meet the stars.
Leather Alliance Weekend
The 2019 Leather Alliance Weekend will include the Mr. San Francisco Leather 2019 Contest and the 2019 SF Bootblack Contest, along with the SF Leather Community Awards, a beer/soda bust, a vendor fair, auctions, entertainment, education, and, of course, parties.
When: March 1-3, 2019
Hunky Jesus Contest
A San Francisco institution hosted by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence every Easter Sunday. The twerktacular Hunky Jesus Contest pits loin-cloth clad Jesus lookalikes against one another as they vie for the distinction of being the hunkiest, most Christ-like being.
When: Easter Sunday at noon, rain or shine.
Insider Tip: Be sure to bring blankets, dispensable clothing and a supply of beverages.
Bay to Breakers
This raucous annual event draws cosplayers, furries, nudists and pop culture characters in one of the largest footraces in the world. It's more of a foot-walk, actually. Bay To Breakers stretches a whopping 7.5 miles from Howard Street (bay) to Ocean Beach (breakers), with most participants crawling across the finish line after hours of partying along the way.
When: May 19, 2019
Insider Tip: If you're not going to be part of the action, grab a seat to watch along Golden Gate Park's Panhandle.
San Francisco Pride
One of the largest pride festivals in the world, San Francisco's homegrown version explodes with rainbow flags, visiting revelers and fabulous events. This year's theme: A Celebration of Diversity.
When: Hightail it to Civic Center Plaza on either June 29 or 30 for a look at the street fair. The Pride Parade rolls down Market Street on Sunday, June 30.
Insider Tip: With the throngs of visitors don't expect to get anywhere quickly this weekend—just relax and enjoy the show!
Noteworthy: Check out one of the largest LGBT film festivals, Frameline.
Up Your Alley Festival
Aptly called "Folsom Street Fair's dirty little brother," this midsummer leather festival attracts a smaller but kinkier crowd. If you're fascinated by whips, chains, puppy play and other things we probably can't mention, then check out this kinktastic carnival.
When: Sunday, July, 28, 2017. Dore Alley between Howard and Folsom.
Insider Tip: Come with an open mind and up for anything. Get there early to get the most experience and shortest lines for all booths and activities.
Lazy Bear Weekend
Thousands of otters, bears, and their admirers descend on Russian River in Sonoma County for Lazy Bear Weekend. Now in its 19th year, Lazy Bear is one of the largest events in the country for manly wildlife.
When: July 29-Aug.5, 2019.
Insider Tip: Snag your tickets early (on sale now), and book your hotel/cabin ahead. It's one crowded den!
Folsom Street Fair
The world's largest BDSM street fair, Folsom, is a spectacle for visitors and locals alike. Be sure to pick up a leather jock strap from one of fair vendors, and ask before you snap any pictures, of course.
When: Sept. 29, 2019
Insider Tip: Catch the plethora of house and bar parties nearby. That's where many would say the most of the fun takes place.
Halloween in The Castro
Halloween in San Francisco's Castro district may not be as organized of a party as it once was, but you'll still find sidewalks packed with bears and otters dressed as lumberjacks in outfits as skimpy as the law will allow.
When: Halloween weekend
Insider Tip: Bring a bag or plastic pumpkin and see what you collect by the end of the night.
All of the city is aglow during the holiday season, and the weekend after Turkey Day is notoriously one of the heaviest party weekends of the year. Break away from the fam and join many of the native locals as they line Castro and Market streets for all the holiday events.
When: Thanksgiving weekend
Insider Tip: Buy you tickets to events early, before they are sold out, to capacity, or change an arm and a wing at the door.
Santa Skivvies Run
This annual charity crawl affirms that certainly sometimes the best things come in small packages. Choose from over six routes throughout the city, depending on your favorite hoods and bars.
When: First or second Sunday of December.
Insider Tip: Be sure to don more than just a Santa cap—if you're in your birthday suite and not your Santa suit, you'll be left at the starting line.
See what events are happening every weekend in San Francisco.