San Francisco events, festivals, things to do – August 2018

San Francisco
calendar of events

August 2018
best events in San Francisco

Jewish film festival

August 1 - 5, 2018 (begins July 19)

Bay Area theaters

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival screens dramatic and documentary features, television and web series, experimental and animated features and shorts about Jewish history, culture, and identity.

Reggae up north

August 2 - 5, 2018

195 miles north

Billed as America’s longest running reggae festival, Reggae on the River is a joyful music festival with camping on the Eel River near Garberville.

Scrapbook Expo

August 3 - 4, 2018

42.4 miles south

Scrapbookers will find classes, vendors, and crop parties at the Stamp & Scrapbook Expo at Santa Clara Convention Center.
CityPass San Francisco

Craft fair

August 3 - 5, 2018

2.3 miles north

Shop from 230 contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists at the American Craft Council San Francisco Show in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center.

Classical music

August 3 - 12, 2018

multiple locations

Celebrate Baroque music and culture at the American Bach Soloists Festival, which offers concerts, classes, and lectures at San Francisco Conservatory of Music plus St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

Hawaiian festival

August 4 - 5, 2018

21.2 miles south

Enjoy Hawaiian food, music, dance, and vendors at Aloha Festival at San Mateo County Event Center. Admission is free but not parking.

Jerry Garcia day

August 5, 2018 (uncertain)

5 miles south

Arrive early or buy a reserved seat for Jerry Day when the Excelsior District celebrates its native son Jerry Garcia (a founder of the band Grateful Dead) with music at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. Free.

Forest run in Woodside

August 5, 2018

33.3 miles south

Run on park trails and dirt roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Crystal Springs Trail Run, which has a kids’ run plus distances from 5 to 30 miles. No dogs.

Free concerts

August 5, 12, 19, 2018 (2 p.m.)

5.2 miles SW

Arrive early to hear concerts at Stern Grove Festival at Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove. Free.

Tasting in Walnut Creek

August 9, 2018

24.2 miles NE

A ticket to Gourmet Gallop gets you 15 tastes in shops and restaurants within a walkable seven-block area of downtown Walnut Creek.

Jazz festival in San Jose

August 10 - 12, 2018

48.4 miles south

See 120 shows on 10 stages around Plaza De Cesar Chavez Park at San Jose Jazz Summerfest, including jazz, blues, R&B, funk, Latin, New Orleans, and zydeco, and then join an evening club crawl.

Forest run in Oakland

August 11, 2018

15.2 miles east

Run on park trails and dirt roads in the Oakland Hills on the Cinderella Trail Run, which has a kids’ run plus distances from 5 to 30 miles. No dogs.

Japanese festival

August 11 - 12, 2018

28.3 miles NE

Enjoy Japanese dancing, drumming, martial arts, calligraphy, flower arranging, games, and authentic food during Summer Festival at the Diablo Japanese American Club in Concord. Free.

Apple fair

August 11 - 12, 2018

56.6 miles north

Gravenstein Apple Fair is an old-fashioned festival with two stages of live music, arts & crafts vendors, a children’s corner, heirloom apples, artisan cheese, local food, wine, cider, and beer at a Sebastopol park.

Wine walk

August 16, 2018

2.4 miles SW

Get a ticket to taste wine in shops along 24th Street during Noe Valley Wine Walk. Repeats in Dec.

Golden Gate Bridge Swim

August 18, 2018

5.5 miles NW

Watch swimmers dive in at Ft. Point Beach and cross the bay in the 3K Golden Gate Bridge Swim. Free.

Vegetarian festival

August 18, 2018

54.4 miles north

Sonoma County VegFest features delicious food, knowledgeable speakers, drinks, vendors, cooking demonstrations, and free samples in Santa Rosa.

Zucchini festival

August 18 - 19, 2018

24 miles SE

Hayward Zucchini Festival offers live music, arts & crafts, a kids’ town, and zucchini foods (bread, fries, cakes, and cookies) at Kennedy Park in Hayward.

Accordion festival

August 18 - 19, 2018

46.5 miles north

Fans of the squeezebox will be in heaven at the Cotati Accordion Festival at Laplaza Park. No dogs.

Car show

August 24 - 26, 2018

36.2 miles SE

See 3,000 American hot rods, customs, muscle cars, classics, and trucks at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals, which includes 200 vendors and a swap meet at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Art festival in Palo Alto

August 25 - 26, 2018

32.4 miles south

Join 150,000 people shopping from 300 artists at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, which includes chalk art, musicians, a kids’ art studio, gourmet food, wine, and beer on tree-lined University Avenue. Free.

Festival in Bodega

August 25 - 26, 2018

62.5 miles north

Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival features seafood dishes, beer & wine tasting, fine art and crafts, three stages of entertainment, and kids’ activities in Sonoma County. No pet dogs.

Santa Cruz festival

August 25 - 26, 2018

75 miles south

Tequila & Taco Music Festival [sound] has live music, gourmet tacos, and beer, plus tequila sampling on Saturday and margaritas on Sunday at San Lorenzo Park.

Wine weekend in Sonoma

August 31 - Sept. 3, 2018

47 miles north

Rub shoulders with winegrowers, winemakers, and chefs on Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at tastings, barbecues, and dinners in Rohnert Park.

Free films

August 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

Film Night in the Park presents hit films “on a giant outdoor screen in beautiful park settings.” You are encouraged to bring a picnic and a blanket. Free.

People in the street

August 2018 (undated)

San Francisco neighborhoods

Walk, bike, or roller skate on a city street when most cars are banned for Sunday Streets, which are held about once a month from March to October.

Philippines weekend

August 2018 (undated)

0 miles

Pistahan Parade & Festival starts at the Civic Center with a colorful parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday and ends at Yerba Buena Gardens in a two-day festival with Filipino art, dance, music, and food. Free.

Improv festival

August 2018 (undated)

0.7 miles NE

Enjoy live entertainment by dozens of performers at San Francisco Improv Festival at Pianofight.

Paper-folding festival

August 2018 (undated)

1 mile NW

Origami-Palooza celebrates the ancient Japanese art of folding paper, with an exhibit of amazing origami, instructors showing new folds for all ages, a table where you can fold paper cranes for the World Tree of Hope in City Hall, and prizes by age for the best paper airplanes and origami at Japan Center.

Asian fair

August 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles NW

Nihonmachi Street Fair features Asian artisans, performers, and food, plus a muscle-car show and a children’s area in Japantown. Free.

Union Square entertainment

August 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles NE

Union Square Live is a series of summer concerts and dances, and even a circus act in Union Square. The first event is May 4, 2018. Free.

South Asian comedy festival

August 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles NE

Comics from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. poke fun at American culture (and their own) at Desi Comedy Fest at Marines’ Memorial Theatre.

German Beer Tasting

August 2018 (undated)

1.4 miles NE

German Beer Tasting features a selection of German beer styles ranging from Kellerbiers to Helles, Marzens to Bocks, hand selected by Bay Area German Beer Cellar and held at Goethe-Institut San Francisco.

Italian festival

August 2018 (undated)

2 miles NE

Festa Coloniale Italiana features Italian food, wine tasting, music, vendors, and stage performances for all ages on Stockton Street (from Union Street to Filbert Street). Free.

Video-game expo

August 2018 (undated)

2 miles NE

Play 50 new games from developers at the San Francisco Game Expo at Google Launchpad.

Festival of the Sea

August 2018 (undated)

2.1 miles north

Hear traditional sea music, watch demonstrations, and do kids’ crafts at Festival of the Sea at Hyde Street Pier. This year’s theme is “High Tech on the High Seas: The Evolution of Maritime Culture and Technology.” Free.

Food festival

August 2018 (undated)

2.3 miles north

Eat Drink SF is a food, wine, and spirits festival that features 160 chefs, local restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries, with tastings, classes, demonstrations, and parties at Fort Mason Center.

Music and beer party

August 2018 (undated)

2.3 miles north

Tour de Fat is “a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs” with Fat Tire beer and music by Vintage Trouble at Fort Mason Center for age 21+.

Concerts in the park

August 2018 (undated)

3 miles west

Golden Gate Park Band plays a variety of music (classical, marches, opera, swing, and show tunes) at Spreckels Temple of Music in Golden Gate Park. Free.

Neighborhood garage sale

August 2018 (undated)

3.2 miles south

Shop at dozens of participating garage sales when Hillwide returns to Bernal Heights. Free.

Cannabis event

August 2018 (undated)

3.7 miles west

Although the theme is marijuana, none is allowed at The 420 Games, which has a 4.2-mile walk/run, beer tasting, music, comedy, speakers, and exhibitors in the Music Concourse area at Golden Gate Park.

Music festival

August 2018 (undated)

4.4 miles west

Outside Lands features an amazing lineup of 70 music artists and great food at Golden Gate Park.

Fort Point event

August 2018 (undated)

5.5 miles NW

Tour the West’s largest Civil War fort, watch actors recreate the life of a Civil War soldier, visit medical and household exhibits, watch a cannon drill, and learn why California mattered to the Union cause on Fort Point Living History Day in January & August. Free.

Shakespeare in the park

August 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

Watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare in a park outdoors. Free.

Oakland festival

August 2018 (undated)

10.4 miles east

Join the crowds at Art + Soul enjoying blues & gospel music, a world dance festival, a circus stage, art activities, art vendors, a family zone, BBQ, beer, and wine in downtown Oakland.

Festival in Oakland’s Chinatown

August 2018 (undated)

12 miles east

Taste Asian food, shop for Asian art & crafts, hear live music (pop, rock, R&B, soul), watch ethnic acts (Chinese lion dance, Japanese taiko drumming, Polynesian dance), and visit the kids’ area at Oakland Chinatown Streetfest. Free.

Sidewalk art + chocolate tasting

August 2018 (undated)

14.5 miles NE

Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival offers chocolate samples for sale, sidewalk chalk for sale (or bring your own), and live music (jazz, bluegrass, violin), at Shattuck Avenue & Vine Street in Berkeley. Free entry.

Outerspace festival

August 2018 (undated)

25.7 miles north

Meet astronauts, see lunar module and lunar rover replicas, view a real space suit, and explore airplane and rocket exhibits at the Novato Space Festival at The Space Station Museum. Free.

Taste of Petaluma

August 2018 (undated)

38.8 miles north

Spend an afternoon walking around Petaluma and tasting samples from 40 chefs and food purveyors, and visiting wine & beer gardens at Taste of Petaluma.

Anime convention

August 2018 (undated)

42.4 miles south

Crunchyroll Expo has exhibits, screenings, panels, and special guests from the world of Japanese animation and pop culture at Santa Clara Convention Center.

Hispanic day at Great America

August 2018 (undated)

43.2 miles south

Fiesta Hispana promises “multiple stages of live music, delicious Latin food, and theme park fun while being immersed in a celebration of Latin culture” at Great America in Santa Clara.

San Jose taco festival

August 2018 (undated)

47.7 miles south

The family-friendly Silicon Valley Music & Taco Festival has taco trucks, local restaurants, mixologists, 12 bands, a mechanical bull, Lucha Libre (wrestling), a silent disco, and a taco-eating contest at St. James Park.

Concerts at the vineyard

August 2018 (undated)

48.2 miles SE

Concerts at Wente Vineyards feature world-class entertainers at an outdoor amphitheater in Livermore.

Renaissance fair

August 2018 (undated)

48.6 miles south

San Jose Renaissance Faire has 800 performers in Shakespeare-era costumes, knights jousting on horseback, 50 artisan vendors, food booths, and three stages of entertainment at Discovery Meadow.

Sonoma County Fair

August 2018 (undated)

54 miles north

Arrive early to avoid crowds at Sonoma County Fair [website has sound], which has live music, fair food, farm animals, carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, and a flower show in Santa Rosa.

Art festival in Los Gatos

August 2018 (undated)

57 miles south

Fiesta de Artes features 150 artists, food trucks, wine, beer, live music, and a children’s area. Free.

Strawberry festival

August 2018 (undated)

87.7 miles south

Watsonville Strawberry Festival includes a carnival, arts & crafts, entertainment, food, a beer garden, and strawberry treats. Free.