San Francisco International Film Festival
April 23-May 7
The San Francisco Film Society presents 180 films in two weeks. Closing night is Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder, about Stanley Milgram’s famed experiment that tested humans’ deference to authority, in which people believed they were giving electric shocks to others.
At various venues in San Francisco and the East Bay. Ticket prices vary.
San Francisco Decorator Showcase
April 25-May 24, Tuesdays-Sundays; & May 25
A 9,760-square-foot Presidio Heights mansion designed by Julia Morgan gets a make-over from more than three dozen interior and landscape designers. Oooh and aahhh over the furnishings, décor, grand staircase, six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and wine room. Benefits the financial aid program of the private San Francisco University High School.
At 3630 Jackson St., San Francisco. Tickets $30, 35.
Cinco de Mayo Festival
May 2, at 10 am-6 pm
A day of Mexican and Latin American cultures, with mariachi music, ballet folklorico, Latin jazz, salsa bands, food and a kids' area.
On Valencia Street between 21st and 24th streets. Free.
Ritual Coffee, Timbuk2, Blackbird Guitar, Mission Bicycle Company, wineries and other San Francisco manufacturers and companies offer factory tours, demos, tastings, sales and hands-on workshops.
Throughout San Francisco. Ticket prices vary (most tours $5).
San Francisco International Beer Festival
May 9, at 5-11 pm
Sample the products of about 100 breweries, ranging from local to international, supplemented with bites of food.The annual festival began in 1984 and is a fundraiser for the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School.
At Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco 94123. Tickets $75, 175. Ages 21+.
Bike to Work Day
Ditch the car. Join a morning convoy to pedal from your ‘hood to downtown, organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. During the morning and evening commutes, 26 pit stops around town are stocked with free snacks and beverages.
Asian Heritage Street Celebration
May 16, at 11 am-6 pm
This festival to mark Asian Pacific American heritage month includes bands, DJs and taiko drumming; a parade; health screenings; a kids’ area; and community and nonprofit groups, arts and crafts and food at booths. Free admission to the Asian Art Museum, which hosts Southeast Asian music and dance and the Center for Asian American Media’s films.
At Civic Center and on Larkin between Grove and Ellis streets, San Francisco 94102. Free.
May 16 & 17
Paradise for tinkerers and DIYers. Ogle and test home-made musical instruments, rockets, drones, flying machines, fiber-optic tuxes and all sorts of robots. Learn about bees, Raspberry Pi, neuroscience, and how to make everything from airplanes to chocolate.
At San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Dr., San Mateo 94403. Ticket prices vary.
City Not For Sale
May 16, at 6 pm; May 17, at 2 pm
The 200 students of Children's After School Arts sing and dance in an original musical about the city's housing and history from the Gold Rush to the present. The annual musical is a benefit for the after-school program at at SF's Rooftop Alternative School.
At Lowell High School, Carol Channing Theater, 1101 Eucalyptus Dr., San Francisco 94132. Tickets $12-28.
Small Business Week
San Francisco (and other U.S. cities) focus on the little businesspeople this week, offering networking mixers, leads and advice. Free workshops on May 22 cover technology, branding, management, the sharing economy and other topics. Various neighborhoods host sidewalk sales on May 16 and 23.
At various venues in San Francisco. Most events free.
Bay to Breakers
May 17, at 8 am-12 pm
A truly only-in-San-Francisco event, this 103-year-old tradition is a 12K fun run dressed up as a zany costume contest and block party. (To the seeded few, it’s a serious road race). As in previous years, floats, anything with wheels other than wheelchairs (e.g., shopping carts, strollers, roller blades, skateboards, bikes), alcohol and unregistered runners are not allowed on the race course. Bags, backpacks and containers are also banned from the race course unless they are see-through and no larger than than a ream of paper (8.5”x11”x4”)
Starts at Howard and Main streets; ends at Great Highway. Good viewing is usually on Howard between 1st and 9th, at Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley, the top of the infamous Hayes Street hill, along the Panhandle, at Golden Gate Park’s Conservatory of Flowers, and at the finish line. Check the race course map. Registration $32-139.
San Francisco Ballet School Student Showcase
May 20 & 22 at 7:30 pm; May 21 at 6 pm
See a full range of dancers in training, from beginning to advanced students, perform repertory pieces and ballets.
At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., San Francisco. Tickets $40, 50.
Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Exhibitions
May 22, at 5-9 pm; May 23, at 1-3 pm; May 26, at 5-7 pm
Michael Arcega, Ma Li and Eden V. Evans spent four months rummaging through the dump to make sculptures and installations out of plastic water bottles, 2x4s, window blinds, cardboard tubes, a wicker love seat and other materials. Come see the results and meet the artists. May 26 includes a gallery walk-through with the artists.
At Recology’s Art Studio, 503 Tunnel Ave., San Francisco. Free.
San Francisco Carnaval
May 23 & 24, at 10 am-6 pm
With the drought-appropriate theme of agua sagrada (sacred water), this two-day explosion of Latin American and Caribbean cultures includes dancing galore (samba, tango, salsa and cumbia, to name just a few varieties), drumming, music, food, arts and crafts and children’s activities. On May 24, Sheila E. leads the popular Carnaval Grand Parade, which takes off at 9:30 am from 24th and Bryant and prances west to Mission Street, then to 17th Street to South Van Ness.
On Harrison between 16th and 24th streets. Free.
Mongol Art World Tour
May 25, at 7 pm
This evening of Mongolian culture, art and history features contortionists, throat singing and other traditional music and dance, video images of Mongolia’s landscape and a runway show of traditional and contemporary fashions. A DJ-led dance party follows at 9 pm-12 am.
At Ruby Skye, 420 Mason St., San Francisco 94109. Tickets $60-100.
Moonalice at Union Square Live
May 27, at 6-8 pm
Moonalice is a Bay Area psychedelic rock band that mixes genres and plays extended improvisational jams. For every show, the band commissions an original art poster to give out to attendees.
At Union Square Park, 333 Post St., San Francisco 94108. Free.
Labor in San Francisco - Before and After 1915
May 28, at 6-8 pm
Local historians and professors talk about the city’s distinctive labor and working class history from the 1890s to the 1920s.The panel discussion is one of the California Historical Society’s events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
At the California Historical Society, 678 Mission St., San Francisco 94105. Free-$5.
San Francisco Silent Film Festival
May 28-June 1
Films from a bygone era (the 1910s and ‘20s) from the US, China, Germany, Norway, France and Sweden, including All Quiet on the Western Front, Sherlock Holmes and Ben Hur and starring such icons as Greta Garbo and Harold Lloyd.
At the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco 94114. Tickets: Free-$22.
San Francisco Green Film Festival
May 28-June 3
More than 60 films from around the world. The festival theme is “Changing Cities,” with many films exploring housing, slums, revitalization, transportation and quality of life. Other films are about species extinction, global warming, the founding of Greenpeace, food and food waste.
At the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., San Francisco 94103, and other venues in San Francisco and Berkeley. Tickets: $13-15.
BottleRock Napa Valley
May 29-31, at 11:30 am-10 pm
Imagine Dragons, Robert Plant, No Doubt, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, Gipsy Kings, the Avett Brothers, Foster the People, Moonalice and Doobie Decibel System are among the musicians performing over three days. Celebrity chefs and gourmet food, wine and brews, too.
At 575 3rd St., Napa 94559. Ticket prices vary.
Treasure Island Flea
May 30 & 31, at 10 am–4 pm
The open-air flea market (that refuses to put “market” in its name) celebrates its fourth birthday with live music, a kids’ area with pony rides, jump houses and magic, drink specials, food trucks, and of course, dozens of Bay Area artisans and vendors offering new and vintage clothing and accessories, antiques, specialty foods, artwork, home décor items and other miscellany.
At Avenue of the Palms, Treasure Island. Admission free-$3. Free parking.
San Francisco Botanical Garden Community Day
May 31, at 10 am-5 pm
The garden marks its 75th anniversary with free admission and special activities including morning yoga, various docent-led walking tours, world music and dance performances, a photo booth, a sing-along, crafts, and nature-themed readings.
San Francisco Botanical Garden, Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 94122. Free.