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September 1, 2016

Things to Do in San Francisco This September

It’s that time of year. The 800-page September issue of “Vogue” just arrived and in that vein we’ve got some fashion tips for you if you’re into the vintage look. And speaking of vintage, it’s harvest time in the wine country. We’ll toast to that!

Fashion in Flight at SFO
Dior, Balenciaga, Yves St. Laurent, Oleg Cassini, Vivienne Westwood and others are among the designers who have been tapped to design apparel for female flight attendants. Presented by SFO Museum, 85 years of airline fashion are now on view at SFO. The creations of more than 30 renowned fashion houses and designers are represented in the exhibition which runs through Jan. 8, 2017. The exhibition is presented in four galleries; all are pre-security.

There Goes the Emperors’ Treasures
Don’t miss the “Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei” which closes on Sept. 18 at the Asian Art Museum. This once-in-a-generation show featuring some of the finest works of art from the “Louvre of the East” showcases the unique tastes of nine of China’s monarchs spanning more than 800 years. 

Architecture and the City Festival
Celebrating San Francisco’s unique built environment and design community, Architecture and the City offers more than 40 programs including tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures and more through Sept. 1-30, 2016. Presented by the American Institute of Architects and the Center for Architecture + Design, the festival theme “Resilient City: Strength by Design” features walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more. And while not part of the festival, the annual Sausalito Floating Homes self-guided tour on Sept. 24, 2016 offers a rare opportunity to visit some of the most unique homes in the world. Billed as “smaller and more intimate than ever before,” organizers are recommending that tickets be purchased in advance. 

Shakespeare in the Park
The final weeks of the free Shakespeare in the Park season are coming up. Performances of “The Winter’s Tale” are scheduled at 2 p.m. at the Presidio Parade Ground Sept. 3-18, 2016 on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday and McLaren Park’s Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, Sept. 24-Oct. 2 on Saturdays and Sundays plus a special performance on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

AT&T Park San Francisco Fest
Journey, Santana, Miller Band, The Doobie Brothers and Tower of Power will appear in concert on Sept. 4, 2016 at AT&T Park. This “ultimate homecoming show” according to Journey will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these iconic San Francisco Bay Area bands performing on the same bill. Paying homage to the legendary “Day on the Green” concerts which began in the 1973 and continued into the early ‘90s, the concert will start at 3 p.m. 

Seasons Come and Seasons Go
Autumn is when a number of San Francisco’s performing arts groups and companies open their 16-17 seasons including the San Francisco Symphony on Sept. 7 with special guests Renee Fleming and Susan Graham, San Francisco Opera on Sept. 9 with “Andrea Chenier,” followed by the world premiere of Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng’s “Dream of the Red Chamber, Sept. 10-19, 2016. The 50th season of the American Conservatory Theater launches on Sept. 14 with “King Charles III,” and New Conservatory Theatre Center opens on Oct. 7 with “Casa Valentina.”

The Reel Deal in Bernal Heights
In one neighborhood profile published on, Bernal Heights is described as a “quaint urban village that seems forgotten by time.” And it’s also referred to as “Maternal Heights,” because of the number of young families that live there. Visitors will discover cafes, coffee shops, markets and a dog-friendly haven in Bernal Park. From Sept. 8-10 and Sept. 29, 50 films will be screened in a variety of locations ranging from the Bernal Library to Precita Park, 416 Cortland Ave. The Film Crawl on Cortland Avenue on Sept. 9 features film screenings at six locations.  

More Reel Deals …
Hong Kong Cinema produced by the San Francisco Film Society will celebrate work from one of the world’s most exciting filmmaking hubs, Sept. 23-25, 2016 at the Embarcadero Center Cinema. The Napa Valley Film Festival, one of the last of the festivals before Oscar nominations, unfolds Nov. 9-13, 2016 at 13 venues in four cities: Calistoga, Napa, St. Helena and Yountville.

All That Jazz!
Artists have been announced for the opening week of SFJAZZ Center’s 2016-17 season and they include guitarists from different generations: Pat Metheny, Sept. 8-11 and the Julian Lage Trio and drummers leading their own bands, Sept. 15-18. The season continues with five all-star shows and everything from appearances by living legends such as Van Morrison to “A Christmas Celebration” with Aaron Neville. Jazz fans will also want to head south for the Monterey Jazz Festival, Sept. 16-18, 2016. Attracting the top names in jazz and boasting art exhibits, jazz clinics and seminars, the festival features more than 500 artists performing on eight stages throughout the Monterey County Fair and Event Center. 

Fringe Benefits
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, San Francisco Fringe Festival brings fresh and daring theater of all varieties to open-minded audiences, Sept. 9-24, 2016. Thirty-eight shows will be staged at the EXIT Theatreplex and PianoFight. Most performances run under an hour and Fringe fans amble from venue to venueseeing as many shows as they can in one day. 

Eastern Persuasions
East meets West here, there and everywhere this month. On Sept. 10-11, 2016 there’s the AT&T Autumn Moon Festival in the heart of Chinatown. The Autumn Moon Festival opens with a grand parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. on California and Grant. Over the weekend there will be non-stop entertainment, traditional lion and dragon dances, and children's activities. At the Dragon Boat Festival, Sept. 17-18, 2016, more than 120 dragon boat teams and 3,000 paddlers from across the U.S. and Canada will race in 40-foot boats on Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Coming up in October: San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries host one of its signature events, Passport, on Oct. 23, 2016. Passport attendees can create a limited-edition artist’s book by collecting original, artist-designed stamps in a customized “passport” notebook by following a designated route through the heart of Chinatown, noon to 4 p.m. 

How Sweet It Is!
The annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival on Sept. 10-11, 2016 will feature the return of the Ghirardelli Chocolate & Wine Pavilion and Ghirardelli Earthquake Ice Cream Eating contest. For the latter six people will be recruited to eat one of Ghirardelli’s famous “Earthquake” sundaes as fast as they can without using their hands. Chocolate School will be in session lead by Chocolate Professor Steve Genzoli and samples from more than 50-plus vendors all add up for a very decadent weekend. All profits from this event go to Project Open Hand.

Home Land Security
Starting Sept. 10, “Home Land Security,” a new FOR-SITE exhibition, will bring together works by contemporary artists and collectives from around the world to reflect on the increasing complexity of national security. Occupying a suite of former military structures at Fort Winfield Scott in the Presidio overlooking San Francisco Bay, the exhibition will include 16 featured artists and extends FOR-SITE’s focus on provocative art about place, inviting viewers into decommissioned batteries, an administrative building and a chapel – some of which will be open to the public for the first time.

Home Run!
On Sept. 11, 2016 the Giant Race will draw walkers, joggers and racers to its annual half-marathon, 10K and 5K runs along San Francisco’s Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf. The kids race will be the day prior. More than 20,000 participants will join the race which ends at AT&T Park.

Opera in the Park
Opera in the Park, Sept. 11, 2106 at 1:30 p.m. will feature Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducting the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Orchestra and stars from the fall operas. Bring a picnic to Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park and enjoy an afternoon of thrilling performances with friends and family. Food and beverages will also be available for sale at the event. Concert attendees are encouraged to use

Sumo Champions Visit Japantown
U.S. and Japanese sumo wrestlers will be featured in a series of matches on Sept. 11, 2016 in the Japantown Peace Plaza. The fifth annual exhibition will include Byamba, a four-time World Sumo Champion; Yama, two-time World Sumo Champion; Roy, two-time U.S. Sumo Champion and Ramy, African Sumo Champion. Learn about this ancient Japanese tradition and martial art in the heart of the oldest Japantown in the U.S. 

Brews on the Bay
Brews on the Bay, one of the most unique beer festivals in the U.S., returns on Sept. 17, 2016. Now in its 13th year on the storied World War II merchant marine ship, SS Jeremiah O'Brien, Brews on the Bay will feature more San Francisco breweries this year than ever before. Brewers from 28 breweries will pour more than 70 beers aboard the O’Brien which is docked at Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf.

All Steamed Up
Don’t miss the 13th annual Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival on Sept. 18, 2016. A seven-ton, 1924 Buffalo-Springfield coal powered steamroller will be enlisted to press oversized linocuts right on Rhode Island Street, between 16th and 17th streets. Sponsored by the San Francisco Center for the Book, the festival has become a popular tradition in San Francisco’s Do.Re.Mi (Dogpatch-Potrero-Hill-Mission) Arts District, attracting art, printmaking and book art enthusiasts of all ages.

Strut Your Mutt
This is no ordinary dog walking event. Interactive games and activities for you, your dog and the whole family are part of the “Strut Your Mutt” fundraising festival. From noon to 4 p.m., enjoy a variety of activities including a “Smooch Your Pooch” photo booth at Marina Green on Sept. 18, 2016. Looking for more dog-friendly events? Check out Movie Night at The Yard which will be screening “Dodgeball” at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 or take in the Presidio Twilight series every Thursday on the Parade Ground through Oct. 6 from 5-9 p.m. Lantern-lit dining cabanas, blanket-side cocktail service, fire pits, live music and views of the sun setting over San Francisco Bay make this a must for when Indian summer arrives in the “cool, grey city of love.”

The 10th annual WhiskyFest San Francisco will be held Sept. 23, 2016 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The longest-running and best-attended whisky festival in the U.S. offers the opportunity to taste more than 300 whiskies from around the world, including John Dewar & Sons blended and single malt scotches.

Yes, We Have Oktoberfest (in September)
The three pillars of a successful Oktoberfest will be in play this September at several locations: tasty food, cold beer and sizzling oompah music. The popular Oktoberfest by the Bay returns to Pier 48 on Sept. 23-25, 2016. Nonstop music, singing, dancing and the very best in German food and drink will be celebrated in the same spirit as Munich’s famed festival. Need a little warmup? Schroeder’s, 240 Front St., in the heart of the Financial District, will offer an outdoor biergarten on Front, 3-8:30 p.m., on Sept. 16, 2016.

Sentimental Journeys
On Sept. 24-25, 2016 the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and their historic preservation partner, Market Street Railway, will roll out a fleet of historic vehicles for the fifth annual Muni Heritage Weekend. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Muni’s first trolley coach line and vintage buses will serve double duty as “galleries on wheels” featuring historical photos. For Muni Heritage Weekend only, vintage buses will run special, free exhibition rides; the departure point is the San Francisco Railway Museum on Steuart between Market and Mission Streets. Select historic streetcars will also be free; however, fares will be required on F-Line stops between Jones and Beach and 17th and Castro Streets. 

Folsom Street Fair
Another mainstay of San Francisco is the Folsom Street Fair. This leather pride event, the largest of its kind, is Sept. 25, 2016 and centers around the BDSM community through 200 vendor booths, live music performances, demo stations and exhibitors. 

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
The perfect ending to the month comes in the form of the annual free, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass gathering, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016. Featuring more than 100 artists on seven stages in Golden Gate Park, past performers have included Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss & Union Station.

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