SF weekend: 100,000 tulips in Union Square, Black Cuisine Festival, Russian cultural festival, more

By Mike Pinzuti - Published on February 28, 2019.

Brave another wet weekend while enjoying food and cultural celebrations in Pac Heights and Bayview, plucking some free flowers in Union Square and viewing a classic science fiction film with a symphony backdrop. 

Here are our top picks for getting out in San Francisco over the next few days.

2019 Russian Festival


Kick off your weekend in style with the annual Russian Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday in Lower Pacific Heights. There's little bit of something for everyone: Russian food like piroshki and borscht, a vodka tasting bar, locally crafted Russian jewelry, art and souvenirs — including a variety of Matryoshka dolls — and face painting for the kids. Did we mention there's a blini booth, too?

Visitors can also enjoy traditional Russian music and dance performances, from ballet to folk songs, along with concerts from St. Petersburg's Konevets Quartet and the SF-based Slavyanka Russian Chorus.

When: Friday, March 1 - Sunday, March 3, 5-7:15 p.m.
Where: The Russian Center of San Francisco, 2460 Sutter St.
Price: $12

'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' with the SF Symphony


Are aliens scary if they're accompanied by an orchestra? Find out for yourself as the San Francisco Symphony (a Hoodline advertiser) performs John Williams' score to Close Encounters of the Third Kind while you watch the film on the big screen. With its Oscar-winning visual effects, this Steven Spielberg-directed tale of a man pursuing the truth about UFOs is an all-time favorite for sci-fi fans. 

When: Friday, March 1 & Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m.
Where: 201 Van Ness Avenue
Price: Tickets start at $75

Black Cuisine Festival


Now in its 39th year, the annual Black Cuisine Festival honors the cultural contributions of African-American foodways. Visitors can sample dishes like barbecue, fried fish, soul food, pig feet and chitterlings, purchase take-home treats from a marketplace of local vendors, or compete in a free cooking contest (meats, baked goods and specialty sides are all accepted.

The festival will also feature child-friendly games and performances from Tom Brown, Jamica Funkk and other local artists. All proceeds benefit the programs at Bayview Senior Services.

When: Saturday, March 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Dr George W. Davis Senior Center, 1753 Carroll Ave.
Price: Free admission, with food for purchase. A discounted book of coupons for vendors can be purchased for $20.

Free Tulips in Union Square


March 2nd is Tulip Day, and to celebrate, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco will blanket Union Square with 100,000 of the flowers. Drop in to wander through this pop-up tulip garden, learn more about how to care for the popular Dutch flower, and even take a few tulips home with you. 

When: Saturday, March 2, 1 - 4:30 p.m.
Where: Union Square
Price: Free

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