San Francisco Festivals October-December

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Sacred Thread of Yoga Festival

With world-renowned teachers and intensive workshops for every level of practitioner, the Sacred Thread of Yoga Festival in San Francisco is the leading Northern California yoga festival. For a week in October, the festival does a five-day Iyengar Yoga Intensive series, followed by a weekend of open classes for those who would like to explore health & wellness or meditation, or for those who couldn’t make it for the Iyengar Intensive.

Castro Street Fair

The Castro comes to life all over again in this street fair featuring arts and crafts, music, dancing and food.

San Francisco Jazz Festival

October-November; San Francisco CA

Arguably one of the world’s best jazz festivals, the San Francisco jazz festival celebrate traditional and groundbreaking figures in the jazz movement bringing local and national musicians to venues throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area. This three-week event also showcases the work of visual and performing artists in photography and dance, among others.

Oktoberfest By The Bay

San Francisco morphs into a mini Munich at this annual San Francisco festival, complete with singing, dancing, food and, most importantly, pints and pints of beer. This year, the noted Chico Bavarian Band headlines this San Francisco festival. Admission is $12 for adults, children 12 and under free. The festival runs Friday from 4pm-midnight, Saturday from 11am-11pm and Sunday from 11am-7pm.

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Ghirardelli Square

Thanksgiving week – 900 North Point at Larkin, San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.775.5500Ghirardelli Square kicks off the holiday season with its 39th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The spectacular 50-foot Christmas tree will be lit with sparkling lights and adorned with red ribbons, ornaments, decorations and oversized Ghirardelli Chocolate bars. Enjoy the Ghirardelli Christmas carolers’ performance and stop in for a visit with Saint Nick. If it gets too chilly for holiday revelers, they can warm up with Ghirardelli hot chocolates at the nearby Ghirardelli cafe. The Square’s festivities begin at noon with a musical theatre performance, puppet shows and stilt walkers until the tree lighting ceremony.

Holiday Festival: Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Cow Palace Exhibition Hall, 2600 Geneva Ave at Santos St., San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.392.4400. Sat and Sun, Nov 29-Dec 30, 11am-8pm, Admission $16-$6Impress your high school english teacher by visiting the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, where visitors are encouraged to dress as literary characters from Charles Dickens’ novels. Visitors can sample an assortment of Christmas delicacies, holiday spirits and drink. Entertainers will also be on hand costumed as characters from the pages of A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities. If you have Great Expectations, you won’t be disappointed as you weave your way through this Dickens Christmas Fair while celebrating the late author.

Holiday Festival: Celebration of Craftswomen

Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center (Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd.), San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.383.3470; Nov 29-30, 10am-6pm. $5-$7 (kids free)A holiday gift and art crafts show presented by talented artisans celebrating the feminine spirit. This year marks the 25th anniversary as San Francisco’s top holiday crafts show. Here you will find one-of-a-kind gifts for that aunt who has everything. More than 300 of the world’s finest craftswomen will display their original handcrafted wares such as decorative ceramics and glass, sculpted wood and metals, art sculptures, photography, paintings and children’s toys. Live music, gourmet specialty food and a silent auction and benefit raffle further entertain holiday shoppers.

Holiday Festival of Lights

Nov. 26th-Dec. 31st, ongoing. Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco CAFisherman’s Wharf may be a favorite tourist spot for your cousins from Cleveland, Ohio, but San Francisco locals know the holidays take place a t the Wharf from Nov. 26th-Dec. 31st. Bright lights outline the building and decorations line the inner and outer lagoons. Get an early start on your shopping with four major outlets: The Anchorage Shopping Center, The Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. Nearby, pick up world-famous sourdough bread from Boudin’s (they ship worldwide). The Christmas tree beneath the Fisherman’s Wharf sign is a great way entrance to the shops and restaurants on the Wharf.

Holiday Festival: Marin Art and Garden Center

Sat & Sun, Dec 6-7, 10am-4pm. 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross CA; Tel. 415.925.9186A weekend drive across the Golden Gate Bridge will not only provide beautiful scenic views but give Marin visitors a chance to stop at the Marin Art and Garden Center. On Saturday, on display is a baked goods sale that features holiday delicacies and treats. As visitors stroll and shop through the fair, they enjoy live theatre performances on the hour. Children take photo opportunities with St. Nick and shoppers buy fresh wreaths, ornaments and kissing balls available at the “fresh greens” sale.

Macy’s Union Square Tree Lighting Ceremony

Thanksgiving week — Union Square (at Geary & Powell Streets) San Francisco CA; Tel. 415.781.7880. Free.Macy’s Union Square hosts its annual the “Day After Thanksgiving” holiday season kick-off with all-day festivities beginning at noon. The Square will feature artisans displaying their holiday crafts as well vendors selling their San Francisco souvenirs. There will be free entertainment throughout the day to entice shoppers and tourists to take a break from their Macy’s shopping marathon. San Francisco shoppers and visitors can relax and over cappuccinos from Emporio Rulli Il Cafe atop Union Square. The day culminates with a spectacular tree lighting ceremony in the evening.

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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