2012 Summer Fairs and Festivals

Carnaval, Maker Faire, Eat Real, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Folsom Street Fair ... Our annual comprehensive guide to outdoor and community affairs

2012 SF Carnaval King Roberto and Queen Ashlee


Through May 20

San Francisco International Arts Festival Various venues. (415) 399-9554,www.sfiaf.org. Check website for prices and times. Celebrate the arts, both local and international, at this multimedia extravaganza.


May 19

Asian Heritage Street Celebration Larkin and McAllister, SF. www.asianfairsf.com. 11am-6pm, free. Featuring a Muay Thai kickboxing ring, DJs, and the latest in Asian pop culture, as well as great festival food.

Uncorked! San Francisco Wine Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF. (415) 775-5500,www.ghirardellisq.com. 1-6pm, $50 for tastings; proceeds benefit Save the Bay. A bit of Napa in the city, with tastings, cooking demonstrations, and a wine 101 class for the philistines among us.

May 19-20

Maker Faire San Mateo Event Center, San Mateo, www.makerfaire.com. $8–$40. Make Magazine's annual showcase of all things DIY is a tribute to human craftiness. This is where the making minds meet.

Castroville Artichoke Festival Castroville. (831) 633-2465 www.artichoke-festival.com. 10am-5pm, $10. Pay homage to the only vegetable with a heart. This fest does just that, with music, parades, and camping.


May 20

Bay to Breakers Begins at the Embarcadero, ends at Ocean Beach, SF, www.zazzlebaytobreakers.com 7am-noon, free to watch, $57 to participate. This wacky San Francisco tradition is officially the largest footrace in the world, with a costume contest that awards $1,000 for first place. Just remember, Port-A-Potties are your friends.


May 21

Freestone Fermentation Festival Salmon Creek School, 1935 Bohemian Hwy, Sonoma. (707) 479-3557, www.freestonefermentationfestival.com. Noon-5pm, $12. Answer all the questions you were afraid to ask about kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, and beer. This funky fest is awash in hands-on demonstrations, tastings, and exhibits.


May 26-27

San Francisco Carnaval Harrison and 23rd St., SF. www.sfcarnaval.org. 10am-6pm, free. Parade on May 27, 9:30am, starting from 24th St. and Bryant. The theme of this year's showcase of Latin and Caribbean culture is "Spanning Borders: Bridging Cultures." Fans of sequins, rejoice.


June 2-3

Union Street Eco-Urban Festival Union Street between Gough and Steiner, SF. (800) 310-6563, www.unionstreetfestival.com. 10am-6pm, free. See arts and crafts created with recycled and sustainable materials and eco-friendly exhibits, along with two stages of live entertainment and bistro-style cafes.


June 9-17

San Mateo County Fair San Mateo County Fairgrounds, 2495 S. Delaware, San Mateo, www.sanmateocountyfair.com. 11am-10pm, $6–$30. Competitive exhibits from farmers, foodies, and even technological developers, deep-fried snacks, games — but most important, there will be pig races.


June 8-10

Queer Women of Color Film Festival Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF. (415) 752-0868,www.qwocmap.org. Times vary, free. Three days of screenings from up-and-coming filmmakers with unique stories to tell.


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