Start the Year of the Rat at SF’s Chinese New Year parade, considered to be one of the best parades in the entire world thanks to stunning floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, and the famous 288-feet-long Golden Dragon that is carried by over 180 men and women through the streets. If you don’t want to arrive early for a prime viewing spot, you can reserve a seat in the bleachers.
Cost: Free to $55
Make Westing, Oakland
Cupid’s Undie Run is a “brief” (mile-ish) run followed by a huge dance party all to raise money that goes towards finding a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic tumor disorder that affects 1 in every 3,000 births.
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
There will be over 7,000 entries at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and on the day of the Grand Tasting, you can taste a bunch of ‘em. This includes more than 1,500 gold-medal winners all paired with delicious food (and then see which ones the judges pick as winners).
Cost: $75 to $95
February 21 - 22
Marines’ Memorial Theatre
This irreverent and hilarious play that combines satire with theater will make you laugh, think, and wonder who around you is getting offended about the commentary on sex, race, religion, politics, and the media. There are only three performances, so get your tickets now.
February 20 - March 22
Golden Gate Theatre
“The Last Ship” is a musical starring Sting and features his original music, including a few of his most-loved songs. The production is inspired by his 1991 album “The Soul Cages,” as well as his childhood experiences and the demise of the shipbuilding industry in northeastern England.
Cost: $70 to $275
February 24 - March 1
Venues throughout the Bay Area
The Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival is one action-packed week of independent films, concerts, art shows, and happy hours all over SF and the East Bay. This year’s line-up features Raphael Saadiq, Maya Jane Coles, Best Coast, and plenty of others. Get a badge and gain access to every single one of the 90+ events, or buy tickets to individual events.
Cost: $179 to $399 for badges
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a boisterous block party
Irish Bank, Royal Exchange, Taverna Aventine
Take your pick from one of these three SF St. Patrick’s Day block parties, all of which will be raucous affairs with live music, food, and lots of drink specials. Check The Irish Bank, Royal Exchange, and Taverna Aventine websites closer to the date for more info.
Cost: Admission is free