Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Arts & Culture
Published on May 15, 2024
Upcoming Castro Events Aiming to Increase Foot Traffic & Neighborhood VibrancyImage courtesy of Castro CBD

Over the next few weeks and months, a handful of Castro neighborhood events aim to increase foot traffic and liven up the neighborhood.

Castro neighborhood leaders and boosters have scheduled various events throughout the neighborhood meant to draw visitors and shift the perspective that the Castro is a fun place to visit and spend time.

Festivities begin with Castro Merchants launching Castro Stroll on Sunday, May 19 from 12 to 5 p.m. The event will center on Castro from Market to 19th Street, and on 18th from Hartford to Collingwood streets.

Castro Stroll will feature LGBTQ artists and live music every third Sunday through November.

"Join us for a day filled with music, delightful shopping, talented artist and maker vendors, delectable dining at local eateries, and endless fun," said event organizer Diana Brito.

"We are working to bring fun and vibrancy back to the Castro," added Castro Merchants president Terry Asten Bennett. "We have seen that when we bring fun energy to our streets, people want to be here."

Castro Stroll also coincides with Harvey Milk Day which runs from 1 to 5 p.m. with events planned outside Queer Arts Featured (Milk's former camera shop) and a procession to Jane Warner Plaza.

Later this month, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District (Castro CBD) will continue the activities with Brite Night on Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m.

The Castro CBD has partnered with Burning Man camp Comfort & Joy for the event funded by a $5,000 grant from the Civic Joy Fund.

Local businesses and attendees are encouraged to light themselves up in glow-in-the-dark attire.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed celebrating Castro Farmers' Market's 15th Anniversary. | Photo: Castro Farmers' Market/Facebook


Castro CBD executive director Andrea Aiello tells Hoodline they wanted to do something similar to the multiple night markets across the city, but without shutting down the street. "We thought let's try something to do at night that livens up the Castro, will keep the street open, and make the Castro have a fun vibe," said Aiello.

"We want people to come to the Castro and have fun," added Aiello.

Next month includes the annual memorial for the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12 sponsored by the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District.

A week later on June 19, the LGBTQ+ film festival Frameline48 kickoffs with a special Juneteenth holiday street party and screening of Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero at 8 p.m. Castro Street will be closed from Market to 18th from 2 p.m. to midnight.

"By celebrating the intersection of Blackness and queerness, Frameline48 reaffirms its commitment to bringing visibility, joy, and essential stories to the communities it centers," said Frameline in a release.

Ongoing Castro events will continue to take place including the weekly Castro Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and monthly Castro Art Walk on first Fridays.

Castro Merchants have partnered with a new event production company CGE to take over its seasonal events on Noe between 16th and Beaver including Pride, Halloween, and winter events.

Looking towards the fall, Castro Street Fair organizers are already well into planning the 50th Anniversary of the event on October 6.

"Fun energy is a win for everyone," said Asten Bennett about all the scheduled events. "Activity reduces and discourages negative street behaviors and encourages people to eat, drink, shop, and stay in the Castro."