Travel

Endless LGBT Summer Fun in San Francisco

Sunday Jul 1, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - As a true gay Mecca, San Francisco can sometimes overwhelm visitors with its vast number of activities which appeal to the LGBT community.

Often referred to as the "First Lady of San Francisco," Donna Sachet’s more than 20 years of experience and affiliations with a broad spectrum of the LGBT community will guide you through the year’s highlights.

From entertainment to fundraisers, from small events to major galas, and from the Castro to the entire city, Donna is tapped into everything that is happening in San Francisco and she will share the "what, when and where" with you in her quarterly updates.

One Night Only with the cast of American Idiot, Sunday, July 2, 2012: Hollywood’s hilarious Bruce Vilanch hosts a night of comedy and music with the touring cast of this award-winning musical, Sunday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre. Cast members enjoy the chance to perform music not from their nightly show and the audience is treated to world class entertainment, benefiting the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation. Internationally acclaimed singer Paula West also joins the cast. A reception with the performers follows the show. (American Idiot plays at the SHN Orpheum Theatre through July 8, 2012). www.reaf.org

AIDSWalk San Francisco, Sunday, July 15, 2012: Since 1987, AIDSWalk has supported the work of the SF AIDS Foundation and other Bay Area organizations with a leisurely walk through beautiful Golden Gate Park. The participants started as members of the LGBT Community and have grown to include a broad spectrum of the larger population, determined to remember those lost to disease and committed to ending the stigma and suffering. This year’s record-breaking teams include Target, The Gap, Levi’s, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Twin Peaks Tavern in the Castro. Since its inception, AIDSWalk has raised nearly $77 million. Individuals and teams of all skill levels are invited to register. www.aidswalk.net


Flagging in the Park, Saturday, July 28, 2012: What could be more inspirational and liberating than meeting in the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park, surrounded by swirling fabric, transported by dance music and enveloped by athletic bodies. Join this free-spirited group celebrating the art forms of flagging, fanning and spinning 1-4 p.m. on July 29 and again Saturday, Sept. 8 and Oct. 6, when San Francisco weather is at its best. Each event benefits a different local charity. www.facebook.com/#!/groups/fitpsf

Up Your Alley Street Fair, Sunday, July 29, 2012: Many locals find this event, often called the stepbrother of the Folsom Street Fair, more authentic and approachable, dating back to the origins of the SOMA leather scene on Dore Alley. Definitely not for the faint of heart, Up Your Alley celebrates the Leather, BDSM and fetish community with stages, demos, merchandise and information booths from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Donations are collected at the gates for local charitable causes. Other events include the popular Bay of Pigs dance and fetish party, this year with DJs Russ Rich and Phil B. at 525 Harrison St., 10 p.m - 4 a.m. Saturday, July 28, 2012. www.folsomstreetevents.org

Help is on the Way XVIII, Gala Celebration, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012: Don’t miss the annual signature event of the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation at Herbst Theatre in the War Memorial Building Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. to raise money for Bay Area AIDS service organizations. This year’s announced entertainers include Carole Cook, Loretta Devine, Sam Harris, Lisa Vroman, Maureen McGovern, Jason Brock, David Burnham, Paula West and members of the touring cast of Les Miserables. A lavish VIP reception and silent auction precedes the show followed by a dessert party and chance to hob-nob with the performers and fellow audience members. www.reaf.org

Folsom Street Fair, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012: The largest street fair in the world, Folsom encompasses 13 city blocks, numbers more than 400,000 people and welcomes a broad spectrum of South of Market lifestyles, including leather, BDSM, uniforms, fetish and other alternatives.

Enjoy two live stages 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. with 16 separate acts, more than 250 informational and retail booths, hot food and cold drinks, artists and more. Donations at the entrances benefit local charitable causes. Saturday night, Sept. 22, is Magnitude the no-holds-barred dance party at 525 Harrison St. from 10 p.m.- 4 a.m. with DJs Ted Eiel and Jack Chang. www.folsomstreetevents.org

The Pacific Coast Association Castro Farmers’ Market: Only in the Castro would a Farmers’ Market also be happy hour. Located in the heart of the Castro on Noe Street at Market, this open-air market occurs every Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. and features farm fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, artisan cheeses, flowers, meat, fish and more.

Plan a fresh, wholesome meal from the bountiful selection, while ogling hot neighbors and visitors doing the same. Afterwards, visit the surrounding shops offering unique items, enjoy a drink at one of the neighboring bars, or relax with a cappuccino at one of the curbside tables of a local café. www.pcfma.com

Castro Neighborhood is alive and well. When in San Francisco, don’t miss the most clearly identified LGBT neighborhood in America, where a huge Pride flag waves over Harvey Milk Plaza. There is truly something for everyone here, including 15 gay bars, more than 10 gay-friendly restaurants, numerous coffee shops, spas and beauty spots, pet supply shops, clothing stores, florists, a Metropolitan Community Church, the legendary Castro Theatre, and the Cliff’s Variety Store, where you can pick up a hammer or false eyelashes.

Don’t miss Under One Roof with a variety of gift items whose proceeds benefit local AIDS charities and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender History Museum on 18th Street with a constantly changing display of memorabilia. New Castro attractions include Mudpuppies pet care store, Dancing Pig barbecue restaurant and Fork American café. Catch one of the popular walking tours or wander at your leisure. www.castromerchants.com


Juanita More! - Local drag icon adorns signature handbag. Rickshaw Bags just released a special edition city tote with artwork from local artist Jim Winters featuring a comical rendition of beloved Juanita More! atop a San Francisco cable car. Twenty-five percent of the sale price of each bag goes to support the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. The bag, which is available in two colors, may be the new "must-have" item of the year. www.rickshawbags.com/more

The San Francisco Travel Association continues its LGBT tourism efforts in concert with title sponsor GayCities, official sponsors American Express and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and community partner, the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), the country’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide is available at the Visitor Information Center, temporarily located on the lower level of the Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market St., while the permanent location near the Powell Street cable car turnaround at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, is being extensively remodeled.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 31 international points and more than 70 non-stop cities in the U.S.

For up-to-the-minute information on the Bay Area’s largest airport, visit www.flysfo.com

For information on reservations, packages, activities and more, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel or call 415-391-2000.

Join more than 450,000 people who follow San Francisco Travel on Facebook at www.facebook.com/onlyinsf

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