Things to Do in San Francisco This August
The temperatures may be on the cool side in August, but we make up for it with some very hot things to do, including foodie favorites and Outside Lands.
Jerry Day as in Jerry Garcia
San Francisco’s Excelsior District honors one of their own, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, with several events in August. On Aug. 1, 2017, have fun at the Dark Horse Inn (942 Geneva Ave.), 6-9 p.m. located just one block from Garcia’s first childhood home. On Aug. 3, 2017, the San Francisco Giants will host Jerry Garcia Tribute Day at AT&T Park. The giveaway is a Dancing Bear bobblehead. Prefaced with the dedication of a plaque honoring Garcia at 10 a.m. near his childhood home at Amazon and Mission, the 15th annual Jerry Day concert begins at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2017 in Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park. Performers include Melvin Seals and JGB, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, and Midnight North. Order a picnic basket from their online vendor, The Dark Horse Inn, and don’t forget to top off the day with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. If you want to brush up on your Grateful Dead history, join former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres on Aug. 12, 2017 at 4 p.m. at the Excelsior Library, 4400 Mission St.
PIER 39 Offers Summer Crafts and Free Movie Night
Craft Day is Aug. 4, 2017 at PIER 39, and the pros from the Museum of Craft & Design will be at the Entrance Plaza from 1-4 p.m. to teach kids of all ages some new skills. Later in the month, Aug. 10-11, head to the Alcatraz Gift Shop for a book signing with Jim Albright. The last guard on Alcatraz, Albright tells the story of life on The Rock in Last Guard Out. Check out “Reverse Happy Hour” on Aug. 18, 8-11 p.m., and Outdoor Movie Night on Aug. 25 for a screening of “Inside Out.”
American Craft Show Draws 225 Top Artists to Fort Mason Center Aug. 4-6
The American Craft Show returns to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Aug. 4-6, 2017. As the largest juried fine craft show on the West Coast, the three-day show will showcase more than 225 of the top contemporary craft artists from across the country all under one roof. Craft collectors and design enthusiasts will also have a chance to engage in four special showcases: Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft, Style Slam, Let’s Make, and Hip Pop.
Nihonmachi Street Fair
Head to America’s oldest Japantown and one of only three remaining in the U.S. for the annual Nihonmachi Street Fair, Aug. 5-6, 2017. Highlights include “The Art & Soul of J-town,” which showcases Asian artists. The “Sounds of Thunder Car Show,” featuring 15 muscle cars and vintage trucks rolls, in on Saturday and Sunday. The Doggie World parade on Sunday, Aug. 6 will feature a “yappy hour” and doggie portraits.
AfroSolo Arts Festival Opens Aug. 5, 2017 at Yerba Buena Gardens
The AfroSolo Arts Festival opens with an outdoor jazz concert, featuring Charles Hamilton and the Charles Hamilton Quartet, on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 at Yerba Buena Gardens. A Black Voice performance series is scheduled for the African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., in late October. A visual arts exhibit will be installed at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Aug. 26-Dec. 15, 2017. For more details and upcoming activities, visit AfroSolo website.
Shows To Go To
The American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory presents “Homefront,” Aug. 8-19, 2017 at the Strand Theater. The play tells the story of young people fleeing Germany and resettling in southern Illinois to escape World War I. SHN brings “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in concert to Davies Symphony Hall, Aug. 12-13, 2017. This concert will feature a live symphony orchestra performing every note from the movie. Be prepared to laugh at “Something Rotten!” at SHN Orpheum Theatre, Aug. 25-Sept. 10, 2017. Brothers Nick and Nigel set out to write the world's very first musical…in 1595.
S’more, S’more. We Want More, More!
The Girl Scouts came up with this brilliant treat idea in 1927, and on Aug. 10, 2017 campers and restaurants around the U.S. will celebrate 90 years of finger-licking goodness for National S’mores Day. You can pick up a kit at Recchiuti Confection or Dandelion in the Ferry Building or put together your own mix at local grocers. Ghirardelli Chocolate has the perfect accompaniment - their Squares which come in more than a dozen flavors. Get a bag and then head for one the fire pits at Ocean Beach and catch the sunset on the Pacific.
Outside Lands Festival Returns to Golden Gate Park Aug. 11-13, 2017
The lineup notwithstanding, even if you didn’t listen to a note of music, you’d have a great time at Outside Lands. The folks behind this annual three-day concert have put just as much thought into food and beverage as they have into headliners--which include, among others, Metallica, The Who, Gorillaz and Lorde. For the 10th anniversary Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park, fans will have access to more than 80 restaurants, 40-plus Northern California wineries and nearly 30 breweries. GastroMagic, a stage dedicated to culinary and performance art, and The Barbary, a variety tent devoted to top names in comedy, podcasts, music and improv, are both returning. Public transit is always your best option to get around San Francisco. There will be a pre-paid three-day motorcoach shuttle service from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (Civic Center BART station) for those who prefer to transfer from and/or park in the Civic Center area.
Music in the Streets
Listen up! There are two street music events you’ll want to make note of. The eighth annual Chinatown Music Festival will celebrate the alleyways of Chinatown in the festival's new location on historic Waverly Place on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The free afternoon music festival will bring together San Francisco residents and visitors alike and will feature an eclectic and inclusive mix of traditional and contemporary artists, performances, and art. On Aug. 19, 2017, Noise Pop’s free 20th Street Block Party will take over 20th and 19th streets between Bryant and Harrison, as well as Florida and Alabama Streets in San Francisco’s Mission District, from noon-6 p.m. Headliners include Neon Indian and Kilo Kish.
Pistahan Celebrates Filipino Culture and Cuisine
On the weekend of Aug. 12-13, 2017 San Francisco’s Filipino culture and cuisine will be celebrated with a Saturday parade and a two-day festival in Yerba Buena Gardens. The parade begins at 11 a.m. in the Civic Center and will travel down Market Street to Fourth Street. Colorful floats; a giant human Philippines flag, made up of the next generation of FilAm leaders; high school bands; dancers and dignitaries are part of the lineup. Seven pavilions dedicated to various aspects of Filipino culture will blossom in Yerba Buena Gardens over the weekend.
Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour Comes to AT&T Park
Lady Gaga heads to AT&T Park on Aug. 13, 2017 as part of her Joanne World Tour. The one-of-a-kind artist and performer has amassed 30 million global album sales and is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Her fifth studio album, “Joanne,” debuted at #1 on Billboard Top 200. Show time is 7 p.m.
Food Fests Coming in August
Noe Valley is one of San Francisco’s most charming neighborhoods. On Aug. 17, 2017 explore the area from 4-8 p.m. when the Noe Valley Wine Walk unfolds. Merchants will be offering wine samples and special treats inside their stores on 24th Street from Diamond to Church and on nearby Castro Street.
Chefs, wine and spirits are celebrated at Eat Drink SF, Aug. 24-27, 2017, an interactive urban food and wine festival featuring local talent and regional ingredients in a series of tastings, classes, dinners and events at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.
Undiscovered SF: August Night Market at Old Mint
On Aug. 18, 2017, “Undiscovered SF,” a curated collection of emerging artists and merchants celebrating the rich heritage of the SoMa Pilipinas district, located in the heart of San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, will debut at the Old Mint, 88 Fifth St. from 6-10 p.m. Slated for the third Friday of every month, the market has 40-plus vendors, including food purveyors representing the “third wave” of the Bay Area’s Filipino food movement.
Celebrate “High-Tech on the High Seas” at Festival of the Sea
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park will celebrate the evolution of “High-Tech on the High Seas” on Aug. 19, 2017. Come explore the past century of shifting maritime technologies as well as the cultural and sociological implications of this evolution. Make maritime-themed children’s crafts, enjoy traditional music and explore the C.A. Thayer. Admission to Festival of the Sea is free.
Bay Area Brew Festival Returns to Pier 35 Aug. 19
This sudsy salute includes 70 breweries, hundreds of beers, food trucks, a DJ and much more. Admission includes unlimited beer samplings. Hours are noon-4 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Funny Business: Desi Comedy Fest
The largest annual South Asian comedy festival in America, Desi Comedy Fest will showcase 40 comedians of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan descent on Aug. 20, 2017 at Marines Memorial Theatre. There are also shows throughout the Bay Area and at these San Francisco venues: Cobb’s Comedy Club (Aug. 10) and Doc’s Lab (Aug. 14). The festival also includes comedians from other minority groups and the LGBTQ community. “Raw and hilarious,” the comedians include a wide variety of credits in their resumes from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival.
Great American Eclipse
Alas, San Francisco will not be in the direct path of the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the U.S. since 1918. However, there are local connections to this show of a lifetime on Aug. 21, 2017. The Exploratorium, along with NASA, will be filming the event from two locations and share it via live stream. There will also be a special eclipse- day program. If the weather cooperates at the California Academy of Sciences, there will be solar telescopes on the roof and East Garden. If the sky is not clear, a live feed will be available.
Giant Race(rs), On Your Mark!
The eighth annual San Francisco Giant Race half marathon, 10K, 5K, kids race and family relay is coming up on Aug. 27, 2017. The Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K courses tour the scenic San Francisco waterfront. Participants receive a shirt, finisher medal and exclusive runner bobblehead featuring a Giants player. Kids Race & Family Relay participants receive a medal and bobblehead. All races finish on the field at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.
Summer of Love Vibes
New additions to the Summer of Love 50th anniversary calendar include Feinstein’s at the Nikko’s August slate: The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young, The 5th Dimension’s Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., folk singer William Florian and “Hair” in Concert. These are the final weeks for “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll," ending on Aug. 20, 2017 at the de Young, and “Love or Confusion: Jimi Hendrix in 1967,” ending Aug. 27, 2017 at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD). MoAD and the California Historical Society, whose exhibit “On the Road to the Summer of Love” closes on Sept. 10, 2017, team up on Aug. 10, 2017 for a panel discussion followed by live music on “Psychedelic Soul: Black Cultural Awakening during the Summer of Love in San Francisco 1965-1969.”
SOMArts Celebrates Black Women
Billed as not only an exhibition but also as a movement-building platform, “The Black Woman is God: Divine Revolution” at SOMArts through Aug. 26, 2017 dismantles the racist and patriarchal notions that devalue the contributions of Black women to society. The group visual art exhibition features more than 60 intergenerational artists working in sculpture, painting, new media and photography to create new myths to challenge Eurocentric notions of God.
For Your Listening Pleasure …
“Soundtracks” at SFMOMA is the museum’s first large-scale group exhibition centered on the role of sound in contemporary art. Spiraling out from Floor 7 to multiple locations throughout the museum, the show takes its point of departure from key works in the media arts collection. Select pieces address the association of “soundtracks” with film scores in unexpected ways, while others take various approaches to visualizing the relationship between sound and space. Resolve to visit this exhibition before Jan. 1, 2018 when it closes.
The large scale exhibition featuring five works by internationally acclaimed French artist Sophie Calle installed at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC), closes on Aug. 20, 2017. While you’re in the vicinity, check out the latest show at SFMOMA’s Artists Gallery: “Life & Death” by Gabrielle Anderman which closes on Aug. 25. MoAD’s current shows are closing on Aug. 27, 2017 to make way for “EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean,” which opens on Sept. 20, 2017. Their six-week lecture series with John Santos, "Sounds of Resistance," starts on Aug. 3 and runs through Sept. 13, 2017