SF weekend: Goatchella returns, Cherry Blossom Festival, Thai New Year food festival, more

Photo: CUESA & The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market/Facebook
By Mike Pinzuti - Published on April 11, 2019.

With a rain-free weekend ahead, fill up your calendar with plenty of outdoor activities, including free outdoor movie screenings, a goat-centric farmer's market, the largest cherry blossom festival on the West Coast and a pedestrian-friendly Thai New Year bash in the Tenderloin.

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

Free Outdoor Movie in Hayes Valley


Spring brings the return of outdoor movies across the city, and Proxy's Outdoor Cinema Spring Series is kicking things off this Friday in Hayes Valley. Swing by 432 Octavia to claim your spot on the lawn, grab some food-truck eats and beers from Fort Point Beer Company, and enjoy a free showing of Bisbee '17, an acclaimed documentary that recreates a century-old immigration and deportation saga on the Arizona-Mexico border.

When: Friday, April 12, 6 p.m.
Where: 432 Octavia Street
Price: Free

10th Annual Goatchella Festival


Water is wet, the sky is blue and everyone wants to pet a goat. These are just the facts. And CUESA has you covered on all three, as it brings back its annual goat festival to Ferry Building on Saturday, complete with sunny skies in the forecast, and a Bay view. 

On top of sampling local artisan goat cheeses, meeting ranchers and checking out a number of giveaways, you'll be able observe and pet baby goats from Toluma Farms and Tomales Farmstead Creamery. The bad news: tickets to pet the goats are already sold out. The good news: there's a wait-list option to gain last-minute access, and, if that doesn't pan out, there's a free goat viewing area, too.

When: Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Ferry Building Farmers Market, Market and Embarcadero
Price: Free admission, goat-petting tickets are sold out but there's a waitlist

Cherry Blossom Festival


Washington, D.C. might get all the cherry blossom glory, but Japantown is home to the largest cherry-blossom festival on the West Coast, which kicks off its two-week run on Saturday.

Celebrating Japanese culture and the Japanese-American community, the festival will feature vendors selling food, art and other retail products, as well as cultural performances, martial arts performances, an origami exhibit, bands, a nod to the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and even a special appearance from the Hello Kitty Cafe food truck.

Check the festival map and schedule for more information.

When: Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 21
Where: Various areas around Japantown
Price: Free admission, some events require an admission fee.

Renegade Craft Fair

PHOTO: renegadecraft.com

Craft lovers, rejoice! The annual Renegade Craft Fair returns for the first of three separate weekends, featuring local artisans from around the Bay Area. Hit up Fort Mason on either Saturday or Sunday to meet over 250 artists and designers and try out their innovative creations, with special deals on food and cocktails. Check the festival directory to map your shopping route.

When: Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Where: Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd.
Price: Free

Sunday Streets in the Tenderloin


It's that time again to clear out the cars and let pedestrians, strollers and bikers take over the streets in the Tenderloin. With activity hubs set up at Ellis and Jones, Golden Gate and Jones and Civic Center Plaza, the event will feature everything from arts and cultural exhibitions, civic engagement presentations, food, music, art and a kids and youth play zone.

The event is timed to coincide with Larkin Street's first-ever Thai New Year (Songkran)festival, featuring 15-20 food booths, live music, a Muay Thai boxing demonstration, traditional dancers, a fashion show and a beer garden. (For more on that event, check out our story.)

When: Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Ellis, Golden Gate and Civic Center Hubs, see map
Price: Free admission

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