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Bay Area Fun This Weekend (October 6-7): Fleet Week, Baseball Playoffs, Parades, Concerts, Festivals, Fairs, Football & More

2012-October-5
By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

The San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with unsurpassed beauty, perfect climate, topographical variety, professional sports, outstanding universities, and technological prowess. There is never a lack of events and activities to keep you busy. This weekend it is even more so.

We have the culmination of fleet week this Saturday and Sunday with the Blue Angels’ air show; the America’s Cup World Series; the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park; the Italian Heritage Parade; the S.F. Giants National League baseball playoff games; a S.F. 49er game; and if you are looking for something a little different… head over to the Castro District for the Castro Street Fair.

The weather is going to be perfect this weekend and no doubt a couple of million people will be cramming into San Francisco for the next two days. I do hope you get out and enjoy this amazing weekend of activities, but, before you go, you may want to print out this useful flyer made especially for this weekend. It contains very useful maps and information about the events, mass transit, parking, biking, and many other useful city resources.


Fleet Week & Air Shows

It is that time of the year again, Fleet Week in San Francisco, something most Bay Area residents look forward to every year.


Blue Angels Music Video


My favorite part is always the air shows, but especially the breath-taking performance by the Navy’s Blue Angels. The airshow runs from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday (October 6-7), followed by *fireworks at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, as well as other activities on Sunday.

Don’t forget, however, the entire weekend is replete with many other great fleet-week-related events from morning to night, including ship tours, bands, concerts, parades, and displays. (Check: Fleet Week Events)

[*Note: On Saturday, the America’s Cup World Series Semi-Final Race is at 4:00 p.m. and the Final Race is at 6:00 p.m., in case you are already out there staring at the ocean.]


Castro Street Fair

The first Sunday in October (this year, October 7) is the Castro Street Fair, founded in 1974 by Harvey Milk, a civil rights leader for gay rights, to bring more customers to the Castro District. Although Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978, his legacy and his street fair live on.


Harvey Milk Hope Speech


The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., located at the intersection of Market & Castro Streets, including the surrounding area. (See map for location, venues, and street closures.)

Hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople, bands, performers, and organizations will be lining the streets to celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. Numerous stages with live entertainment and dancing will be found throughout the fair.

Check out the 2011 Castro Fair Photo Gallery and join the fun this Sunday. (All profits go to charity.)


Italian Heritage Parade

If you happen to be in the mood for a little Italian, how about the oldest Italian Heritage Parade in the country? In 1869, San Francisco held the nation’s first Columbus Day celebration to honor the accomplishments of Italians and Italian-Americans, and it has been going strong ever since.


2011 SF Italian Heritage Parade


The parade starts on Sunday, October 7, at 12:30 p.m. at Jefferson and Stockton Streets in Fisherman’s Wharf. It proceeds south through North Beach on Columbus Avenue, and ends in Washington Square in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church. Admission to all the Parade activities is free, including the Ferrari Sports car display in Washington Square Park and a variety of hands-on activities for children and families.

Highlights of this year’s event will include dozens of handcrafted parade floats featuring Bay Area businesses, community groups, and Italian organizations; local high school Italian clubs and marching bands; special appearances by “Christopher Columbus” and Queen Isabella and Her Court; festive open-air dining and Italian wine and food specials at North Beach restaurants lining the Parade route; performances by a variety of traditional Italian musicians and performance artists; and special appearances by Bay Area and Italian-American celebrities.


America’s Cup World Series

If seafood is more your thing, how about the America’s Cup World Series, the oldest active trophy in international sports? It runs from October 2-7, same week as Fleet Week, with ticketed seating available.

The event can be viewed from San Francisco’s Marina Green, a beautiful 74 acre expanse of land between Fort Mason and the Presidio, providing great views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, and parts of Marin County.


Recap: ACWS October 4, 2012


The America’s Cup Schedule includes quarterfinals, which will begin shortly at 4 p.m. today, Friday, October 5, (Pacific Time) and will be broadcast Live on YouTube (click to watch).

On Saturday, October 6, the semi-finals will take place at 4:00 p.m. and the finals will begin at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).

On Sunday, October 7, at 4:30 p.m. the prizes will be awarded to the winners. You can also watch the entire race from the comfort of your home on your big screen TV on Sunday, starting at 1:30 p.m., but what’s the point? You won’t be able to feel the wind in your hair and smell the salt in the air.


Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

If you think watching a bunch of boats race on water will make you seasick, how about something a little more down-to-earth?

The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is a three-day event (October 5-7) in Golden Gate Park’s Hellman Hollow, formerly Speedway Meadow, with six stages and nearly 100 acts… oh, and it is completely free!


Warren Hellman Memorial Service


The Festival was founded and financed more than ten years ago, in 2001, by Warren Hellman, a San Francisco financier and philanthropist. This will be the Festival’s first year after his passing away from leukemia last December 2011. Mr. Hellman has financed the festival for 15 more years after his death.

The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is one of the largest music festivals in the United States, with more than 600,000 people attending last fall. It has become known nationally for its eclectic mix of American roots music. “Performers such as Elvis Costello, MC Hammer, Conor Oberst and Broken Social Scene have played alongside acoustic icons Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Gillian Welch, Allison Krauss and others. Audience members have grown to expect the unexpected — country music’s Ricky Skaggs jamming with Bruce Hornsby or T Bone Burnett hanging out onstage with John Mellencamp.” (The Bay Citizen)

If you are unable to get out to Golden Gate Park this weekend, one of the six stages, the Arrow Stage (click to watch), is streaming live all its performances, all weekend.

The Festival’s Schedule includes acts like Elvis Costello, the Chieftains, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith, Patty Griffin, the Civil Wars, Dwight Yoakam, Soul Rebels, and so many more.

Come out and enjoy the park, the music, and the food!


Play Ball: Baseball

What can be more exciting than to have your two professional baseball teams, across the bay from each other, make it into the post-season?

We have the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants that have clinched the American and National League West titles, respectively, and are heading to the playoffs.


1989 Battle-of-the-Bay
Game 3 Starting Line-Up


This weekend, the Giants will host Cincinnati in playoff games on both Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m in AT&T Park.

The A’s will be on the road playing the Tigers in Detroit, Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m., but you can always cheer them on (quietly) by watching on your smart phone as you enjoy the San Francisco weekend events. If you want to watch them play, then wait until Tuesday when they will be hosting the Tigers at home at 6 p.m. in the Oakland Coliseum, and Wednesday and Thursday, if necessary.

Good luck to both teams!

(Crossing my fingers for another Battle-of-the-Bay World Series… without the earthquake this time. We really don’t want to go through that again.)


Play Ball: Football

If baseball is not your thing, no worries, we’ve got a football game this weekend, as well. The San Francisco Forty-Niners will be hosting the Buffalo Bills at 1:25 p.m. at Candlestick Park.

This may be the last year that the 49ers will play at the historic park, so you may want to catch one of the Niners’ last games at The Stick. Next year, the Niners will move to the new (currently being built) Santa Clara Stadium.




So, as you can see there is a lot to do this weekend… Fleet Week, America’s Cup, The HSB Music Festival, The Columbus Day Parade, The Castro Street Fair, The Giants Baseball Games, and The Forty-Niner Football Game and I haven’t even mentioned all the usual tourist attractions, restaurants, museums, parks, zoo, beaches… hmm… on second thought, I wonder what’s going on in Carmel this weekend?

Whatever you do, have a great and safe weekend! -Martie


Resources | SF Events: October 6-7, 2012

  • Bay Area’s Big Weekend Map (PDF)
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency: Maps and Information
  • San Francisco Fleet Week 2012
  • Blue Angels Air Show
  • America’s Cup World Series
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
  • Italian Heritage Parade
  • Castro Street Fair
  • Castro Street Fair Map
  • Harvey Milk – Times Topics | New York Times
  • S.F. Giants Schedule
  • Oakland Athletics Schedule
  • MLB 2012 Post-Season Schedule
  • San Francisco 49ers Schedule
  • Future Home of the SF 49ers: New Santa Clara Stadium



  • Martie Hevia (c) 2012 – All Rights Reserved

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