With its slew of outdoor festivals and performances, September 2012 still seems like summer in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a big month for Chinese culture, with the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival one weekend and the Autumn Moon Festival the next. You also have your pick of creative and fun fundraisers, with headliners like Lady Antebellum and Allen Toussaint, that benefit everything from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to AIDS service organizations to Louisiana’s wetlands. For events during the first weekend of September, please see our separate guide to Labor Day Weekend.
San Francisco Fringe Festival
See more than 40 original, edgy theater shows, mostly from the Bay Area, at budget prices. All of the box office take goes to the performing groups.
At EXIT stages (156 Eddy St. and 277 Taylor St.) and 50 Mason Social House, 50 Mason St., San Francisco 94102. Ticket prices vary.
Hillsborough-San Mateo Fall Garden Tour
Sept. 8, at 10 am-4 pm
Admire six stunning private gardens, including a Japanese garden that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was created by the designer of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden. Expers are on hand to answer gardening questions.
Starts at Kohl Pumphouse, Central Park, 101 Ninth Ave., San Mateo. Tickets $35, 40.
Bay Area Video Coalition Open House
Sept. 8, at 12-4 pm
Schmooze with tech employers and professionals, get tips on starting a tech business and find out about TechSF, the city-led effort to groom residents for tech jobs. Get 50% off if you enroll in BAVC classes
At Bay Area Video Coalition, 2727 Mariposa St., San Francisco 94110. Free.
San Francisco Opera in the Park
Sept. 9, at 1:30 pm
Stars of the opera’s 2012 fall season sing arias and other excerpts in the open air, accompanied by Nicola Luisotti conducting the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.
At Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park. Free.
Macy’s Passport Presents Glamorama
Sept. 14, at 8 pm
“British Invasion: The Music Then. The Fashion Now!” is the title of this year’s annual fundraising show, with performances by R&B star Robin Thicke and Karmin and fall fashions from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Material Girl, Diesel and Nicole Richie. The benefit for AIDS service groups, now in its 30th year, was formerly co-chaired by Elizabeth Taylor .
At Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market St., with after-party at Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco 94102. Tickets $79-1000.
Sept. 14 at 1-8 pm; Sept. 15 & 16 at 10 am-6 pm
Adopt a critter from the SPCA for free. The free-adoption weekend starts with a Friday evening party (4-8 pm) with free wine and snacks. An animal behavioral vet answers questions on Sunday at 2-3 pm.
At San Francisco SPCA, 250 Florida St., San Francisco 94103. Free.
San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival
Sept. 15 & 16
The festival has 120 teams from across the U.S. and Canada competing in this fast, furious and raucous sport. On shore, there’s taiko drumming, martial arts performances and other entertainment, games and activities for kids, health screenings, food and vendors of everything from handmade crafts to athletic gear.
At California Avenue & Avenue D, Treasure Island. Free. From 9:30 am-4:30 pm, free shuttle service from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm to race site from 4th and Mission and from Kearny near Sacramento street.
See next page for festivals, events & activities in the second half of September, such as Lady Antebellum's benefit concert and the Folsom Street Fair --->