5 Best Things to do This Week: April 8–14
Hand-picked events and happenings you won't want to miss.
In the Bay Area and beyond, cherry blossoms are synonymous with spring time, but what exactly makes these little pink blossoms so important? In Japan, the cherry blossom tree symbolizes the beauty and fragility of life, as it is at once beautiful and unfortunately short. But also notable is how commercialized the cherry blossom has become in its home country. Every year the sakura (cherry blossom in Japanese) reigns as the official seasonal beverage flavor of Japanese Starbucks, basically making it the equivalent of our infamous autumnal pumpkin spice latte. Here in the States, the Cherry Blossom Festival began in 1912 when Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gave the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington D.C. Ever since then the annual event has spread beyond the capitol and continued to serve as a celebration of the friendship between the two countries. San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom festival is second in size only to the National fest — attracting over 200,000 spectators and participants — and boasts an abundance of activities and ceremonies. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on the second Sunday of the festival, beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown.
2. Cider Summit
California's leading artisanal cider festival Cider Summit returns to San Francisco's historic The Presidio for its 6th annual showcase of Northern California's foremost craft ciders and international classics at the Presidio Civil War Parade Ground (Main Post) on Saturday, April 13. With over 50 exclusive cider makers — the majority of which who are based locally in the Bay Area — featuring nearly 200 premium ciders, Cider Summit is the West's best-in-show festival for handcrafted ciders. Among the new attractions for the 2019 festival include a "Heritage Cidermakers Pavilion" that highlights brands that utilize traditional cider apples and production methods. Another is the Oregon Fruit Products "Fruit Cider Challenge" which features pilot batch ciders from a dozen cider makers with a "People's Choice" award garnered through text message voting.
This scenic 6.2 mile loop course starts and finishes in the center of The Barlow, an artisan marketplace located in downtown Sebastopol, California. The course takes runners out on country roads past farms, vineyards and open space fields, and then brings them back into town on the paved West County and Rodota Trails for a picturesque finish on McKinley street. Set in the heart of Sonoma County, this one-of-a-kind event celebrates the NorCal craft brew scene.
Mark your calendars to participate in the spring sidewalk sale on Saturday, April 13. The event will stretch from downtown 4th Street to the West End Village. More than 60 merchants and restaurants are gearing up to offer special items, entertainment and an opportunity to enjoy San Rafael’s lively community.
Among the attractions:
- Live Music, Popcorn and deals at Red Hill Pet Center
- Art demos at Riley Street Art Supply
- Live Music and a "Garage Sale" at Bananas at Large
- Demos at T&B Sports
- Beer tastings and bites at Iron Springs Pub
Relax and don't worry about parking — it's free in the City garages on C Street, A Street and the West End lot at 1550 4th Street during this event.
The craft fair landscape is getting more dense with each passing season. A decade ago, craft fairs were generally small, novel affairs, often held in churches or elementary school multipurpose rooms (MPRs to the initiated) on weekends with nary an advertisement save for a clip art flyer. Presently, they’ve gone the way of the farmers’ market — i.e. from being obscure, truly insider events, to the hip place to be seen at. And look at the advertising. It doesn’t get much cooler than than minty waves and muted pink circles. But in the sea of current craft fairs, Renegade Craft Fair has the distinction of being among the first — a herald of sorts. It is returning to San Francisco with a celebration of contemporary handmade featuring the country’s foremost voices in craft and design. Guests are invited to shop emerging and established Makers’ goods, discover rarities and remixes from local DJs, get creative while workshopping, eat from exceptional food trucks and end (or start) the day with a cocktail.
All listings are correct at the time of posting. Please be aware that events may occasionally be canceled or postponed. We always suggest contacting the promoter or venue to confirm details haven’t changed since the of publishing.