San Francisco Festivals and Events in October
Fleet Week San Francisco
Aquatic Park and Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf
Fleet Week is the Bay Area’s opportunity to honor the men and women of the U.S. Navy and marine services. Navy ship tours and an exciting air show will be happening. Reserved seating and corporate packages available. These are the best areas to stay for Fleet Week.
San Francisco Olympians Festival
EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy St.
Dramatic readings and new play development confirm the power of ancient ideas to illuminate modern stories. More than two dozen plays and the occasional “serial play” showcase the work of playwrights from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Featuring the best dance films from around the world and San Francisco’s own backyard. From feature documentaries on choreographic luminaries to innovative experimental shorts, the festival offers something for dance aficionados and newcomers alike.
Mill Valley Film Festival
Presented by the California Film Institute, the Mill Valley Film Festival celebrates the best in independent and world cinema. Founded in 1978, it has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers.
Union Street Harvest Wine Walk
Union Street from Gough to Steiner Streets, and Fillmore Street from Union to Lombard Streets
Restaurants and merchants along Union Street offer hors d’oeuvres and wine samples to attendees who wish to sample. You can purchase a tasting wristband prior to the event and receive a wine glass and map with all tasting locations.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park
This free celebration of music in the park includes a who’s who of top entertainers.
Castro Street Fair
Arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, dancing and music are all part of the fun at this gay-friendly street festival.
San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade
Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach
The city celebrates its Italian heritage with an annual parade through North Beach with food, music, entertainment and celebrities. 2018 marks the 150th anniversary.
San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
The oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast! This show includes 60 distinguished antiques dealers from America and Europe selling a broad range of antique merchandise.
This San Francisco literary festival showcases hundreds of the Bay Area’s finest writers for a week of readings, discussions, films, cross-media happenings and more.
OCTOBER 12-13 & 19-20
Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show
Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave.
Bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle bronco riding, team and tie-down roping and bull riding are among the competitive events at the Cow Palace.
SF Street Food Festival
Potrero Power Station,420 23rd St.
This annual food festival chooses a different focus each year. For 2018, over 30 Bay Area chefs and restaurants will salute American cuisine and how it has been shaped by immigrant cultures from all over the world.
OCTOBER 13-NOVEMBER 11
ArtSpan/SF Open Studios
San Francisco’s most exciting artists open their doors to the public and reveal their latest projects, how they work and what’s for sale.
Celebrate San Francisco’s historic waterfront district. This year’s festival includes a chowder cook-off competition, exhibitors, fun family activities and entertainment.
OCTOBER 20 (Berkeley) & OCTOBER 21 (San Francisco)
Superfest: International Disability Film Festival
The Magnes Collection of Art and Life (Berkeley) and Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St. (San Francisco)
The longest-running festival of its kind in the world, Superfest showcases an innovative range of juried short and feature-length films that celebrate disability as a generative and creative force in cinema and more broadly in culture.
San Francisco Trolley Dances
Site-specific performances parallel major Muni routes in San Francisco. Artists and ensembles are matched with specific sites to create 8- to 15-minute pieces in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area.
OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 4
Big Book Sale
Fort Mason Center
Held at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, the annual Big Book Sale will feature over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories.
Potrero Hill Festival
Potrero Hill, 20th Street between Missouri and Arkansas Streets
The Potrero Hill Festival returns with a full day of fun, food, music and community activities. There will be special activities for the kids, including a puppet show and a petting zoo.