SF Weekend: Fleet Week festivities, Italian Heritage Parade, moreFleet Week. | Photo: Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr
Nathan Falstreau
Published on October 04, 2018

Here are our top picks for entertainment options in San Francisco this weekend: an annual aviation show, a philanthropic sailor-themed event, urban beekeeping and an Italian cultural parade. 


Fleet Week (Marina Green and Aquatic Park)

It's that time of year again, as members of the military community and revelers flock to the city for the annual Fleet Week celebration. 

The festivities kick off on Friday at 11 a.m. with the Parade of Ships, which enter the bay under the Golden Gate and park at piers to be open to the public throughout the weekend. 

Photo: Naotake Murayama/Flickr

But the pièce de résistance is the air show that runs Friday–Sunday from 12–4 p.m. The show will highlight the Navy Leap Frogs, the Patriots Jet Team, Ace Maker T33 jets and the Blue Angels, among others. 

High school marching bands, free live music and a veterans resource fair will also be joining the lineup. 

Friday, October 5

Spinsters of San Francisco present: Fleet or Flight

Continue the Fleet Week conviviality Friday night by helping to raise money for food incubator La Cocina, which helps low-income immigrants and women start their own food businesses. 

The Spinsters of San Francisco are hosting a nautical-themed "Fleet or Flight" fundraiser at Cow Hollow's Sabrosa (3200 Fillmore St.), with free signature drinks for ticket holders from 8–9 p.m., a prize raffle, and costumes. 

Photo: Spinsters of San Francisco/Facebook

"Don your best sailor attire [and] sport your favorite aviators," write the organizers. Don't have the proper threads? Sailor hats are available for purchase with your ticket. 

Entry to the event runs $10-45, and military discounts are available as well. More information about Fleet or Flight is available here.

Saturday, October 6

Introduction to urban beekeeping 

If you'd rather avoid the parades and get back to nature, head on over to Alemany Farm (700 Alemany Blvd.) to learn all about urban beekeeping from 10 a.m.–noon. 

Taught by instructor Fernando Aguilar (former SF Beekeepers Association Board Member), the class explores bee biology and habits, essential hive equipment and responsible beekeeping basics. 

Photo: Alemany Farm/Facebook

Students will also get a chance to take a peek at an observation hive and the Alemany Farm apiary, as well as have a taste of local honey. 

The farm suggests a donation of $20 for the class, but no one will be turned away for a lack of funds. All proceeds support the farm. More information about the workshop is available here.

Sunday, October 7

Italian Heritage Parade 

Wrapping up a weekend of celebrations is North Beach's Italian Heritage Parade, which for the first time ever, happens to coincide with Fleet Week. The country's longest continuously running Italian Heritage Parade, it features floats, dancing, traditional music and more. 

The parade begins at 12:30 p.m. at the foot of Jefferson and Powell streets in Fisherman's Wharf, and then heads through North Beach along Columbus Avenue to its terminus at Washington Square Park. 

In true North Beach fashion, six Fernet-Branca "pit stops" run along the route, at local watering holes like Gino & Carlo, Columbus Cafe and Tony Nik's, among others. 

Photo: San Francisco Italian Heritage/Facebook

This year's parade marshals are Carmen Policy (former San Francisco 49ers executive), Peter Pace (former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and Thomas "Tippy" Mazzucco (San Francisco Police Commissioner). 

See parade route maps and additional information here.