April showers have brought May flowers and May flowers have brought plenty of events and celebrations to the Bay Area! With festival season officially underway, we get to enjoy the beginning of summer with some of our favorite annual happenings — celebrating everything from food and wine to music and film.
We rounded up 20 of our most anticipated events and if you’re feeling ambitious, you may even be able to make it to all of them!
For more events throughout the summer, check out 19 Bay Area Summer Festivals for Music Lovers which includes the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and BottleRock Napa Valley which are also happening this May!
April 28 – May 28
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Decorator Showcase
One of the West Coast’s premier design showhouse events, the San Francisco Decorator Showcase transforms an entire home each year. In 2018, the home at 465 Marina Boulevard has been reimagined by Northern California’s top interior and landscape designers. Admission tickets range from $35 – 40 and proceeds support the San Francisco University High School Financial Aid Program. Buy yours at the door or online here.
May 1 – 8
For the fifth year, MEXAM celebrates Mexico as a country of innovation and as a leader in arts and creativity. Special events include the ongoing Chicano Art Exhibit at The Mexican Museum in SF, a Cinco de Mayo wine tasting at Robledo Family Winery in Sonoma, a film screening at Roxie Theatre, community celebrations in The Mission and Richmond and more!
Benefitting Daniel Webster Elementary School, Taste of Potrero showcases San Francisco’s best restaurants and bars. With more than 40 participating eateries in 2018, bartenders and chefs, you can look forward to flavors from Dynamo Donut + Coffee, Laughing Monk Brewing, STEM Kitchen & Garden, Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream and more!
Produced by Mission Neighborhood Centers, the annual San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Festival is a family-friendly celebration in the Mission District. Offering a diverse array of Mexican and Latino foods, live music performances, dance and artistry, there will be fun for all ages!
May 5 – 6
Photo courtesy of Miramar Events
For more than 20 years, this annual spring festival has been taking over the streets of Downtown Mountain View. The festival includes live music entertainment, more than 200 professional artists and craftspeople showcasing their creations, local food and drink, the Mountain View Certified Farmers’ Market, a classic car show and the Super Duper Kidz Funzone complete with a 24’ rock climbing wall, caricature art, a bungee jump and more!
The 19th Annual How Weird Street Faire will be a parody of the 1970s — a time of high weirdness and a lot of dancing. Mark your calendars, get your bell bottoms out and tease your hair for this whacky community event!
May 10 – 24
This celebration of Asian and Asian American film, music and food includes live concerts and shows, film screenings, educational food events and more. The lineup includes presentations of more than 100 works in San Francisco and Oakland! Films range from documentaries and shorts to exciting narratives and Bay Area premieres. Learn more and get tickets on the website.
May 10 – June 17
For more than 20 years, this annual festival has celebrated the creators of the Bay Area. Over the course of an entire month, you can enjoy Best of PlayGround, two full-length commissioned plays, a series of staged readings and performances by the finalists of the Young Playwrights Project. Get the complete schedule and buy tickets here.
May 12 – 13
Photo courtesy of Silicon Valley Irish Fleadh
The Gaelic word Fleadh, pronounced “Fla”, is a celebration of Irish culture and traditions that brings people together to share in the festivities, happiness and joy. The Silicon Valley event will feature traditional and modern Irish performers, Irish dancers, Irish arts and crafts, Irish food vendors and a Kids’ Zone so everyone can join in the fun!
May 12 – 13
This Bay Area Mother’s Day tradition welcomes spring with a variety of food and beverages, arts and crafts booths, live music, and a play area for kids. Bring the whole family to Downtown Alameda’s Historic Park Street District; admission is free!
If you’re 21 years of age or older, don’t miss this wine extravaganza! Stroll Pier 39 and stop by participating businesses to enjoy tastings, light bites, exclusive discounts and live music from 4 – 8 p.m. on May 18th. Guests will receive wine tastings, discounts at participating businesses, a commemorative wine glass and more! You can buy your tickets online.
May 18 – 20
Maker Faire is a fantastical science fair and a spectacular show and tell wrapped into one. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors will come together this May to learn, to be wowed and to experience hands-on creations. Buy tickets for the 13th annual event here.
May 18 – 20
The 46th Annual Oakland Greek Festival brings the culture of Greece to the East Bay. Showcasing a history that goes back over 4,500 years, you can enjoy savory foods, drinks, authentic music and live performances over an entire weekend. Buy your tickets online here.
Photo courtesy of Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
The lineup at this premier Bay Area wine festival includes over 60 established and small production wineries as well as food items like ahi poke, oysters, fresh pasta, cheeses and more. With live music and a silent auction as well, this is a can’t-miss event in Downtown Tiburon! If you’re over 21 years of age, be sure to purchase your tickets online in advance.
May 19 – 20
Every summer since 1983, Berkeley’s Live Oak Park has become a marketplace of culture. In 2018, the event will include over 100 shops, live music, Tarot, Ayurveda, a Himalayan kids’ craft table, Momos freshly made by the local Tibetan community, and fresh, authentic Nepalese and Indian foods. Vendors come from as far as Kathmandu!
Since 1912, Bay to Breakers has been taking to the streets of San Francisco to celebrate history, resilience and character. Beginning just blocks from The Embarcadero and running west through the city, racers will wind through SF and finish at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach. Be sure to register online before May 17th!
May 24 – June 3
The Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and the Eyes and Ears Foundation present the San Francisco International Arts Festival from May 24 to June 3 this year. The 2018 festival is dedicated to 50 years of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and will feature 40 artists from the Bay Area and 7 other countries across the festival’s stages.
May 26 – 27
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, San Francisco’s Carnaval will include the annual Grand Parade and a two-day festival! All weekend, you can enjoy global cuisine, international music, dance, arts, crafts and entertainment. Then, watch the procession of multicultural themed floats and performers during the parade on Sunday!
Photo courtesy of Fremont Burger & Brew Fest
For the fourth year in a row, Downtown Fremont’s Burger & Brew Fest will celebrate Northern California’s outstanding craft breweries and local businesses. Purchase your tasting package today to enjoy beer tastings, burgers and sliders, gourmet snacks, local business booths, art and craft vendors, and live entertainment. The special event lineup includes The Burger Throwdown, a lively burger cooking competition!
May 30 – June 3
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival is a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about silent film as an art form and as a culturally valuable historical record. If you’re a fan of film, art, education and discussion, check the line-up and buy your tickets!
Where will you be?
If we missed your most anticipated event this May, give it a shoutout in the comments below!