Multicultural San Francisco

And finally we’ve arrived at the last issue of the 2009-2010 academic year. It’s been great gabbing about global pop culture with you these past few weeks. To top it all off here are some of San Francisco’s upcoming cultural festivals to check out in between cramming for finals and fantasizing about the soon to come summer-time debauchery…or a responsible summer job if life is cruel to you too. Most of the festivals are free and they’re a great way to get to know San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods like North Beach, the Mission and SOMA. Good luck with finals! In no particular order:

1. San Francisco Carnaval- A celebration of Caribbean, Afro-Fusion and Latin American cultures takes over the city with dancing, food and all day entertainment.

When: May 29/30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: On Saturday the party will be hopp’n on Harrison between 16th and 23rd streets. On Sunday the Grand Parade starts at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets. It will travel west to Mission Street and from there, the parade heads North on Mission down to 17th Street.

2. Buddha’s Birthday Celebration (presented by Buddha’s Light International Association, aka: the BLIA) – In celebration of Buddah’s Birthday there will be ceremonial blessings, vegetarian food, games and more.

When: May 16, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Where: the San Bao Temple of Fo Guang Shan on Van Ness Ave.

3.  Bolly Weird Street Fair- This is pro-peace extravaganza/freak show/street party. There’s a promise of 10 stages, each with its own set of musical performers and hopefully a new world record for the largest synchronized Bollywood dance number.

When: May 9

Where: Howard and 2ND Street

4. Cinco De Mayo- Celebrate Cinco De Mayo and the cultural connection between Mexico and San Francisco with performances, crafts and eats.

When: May 5

Where: Dolores Park

5. North Beach Festival – One of the largest outdoor festivals, the North Beach Festival takes over takes over the location famous as San Francisco’s Little Italy and home of the beats. With over 125 craft booths, food and cooking demonstrations, it’s a great way to spend a day. And it’s free!

When: June 19/20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: North Beach District

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