San Francisco Festivals in May 2023: Carnaval, Bottlerock, & More

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: May 5, 2023

San Francisco festivals in May 2023 offer you the chance to celebrate the Latin culture, sample local wines, and enjoy independent films. You can also listen to music, sample traditional Asian cuisines, and enjoy Bottlerock in Napa.

Read on for details about this month's annual events.

San Francisco Festivals in May: Calendar of Upcoming Annual Events.

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Carnaval Festival & Parade

Dates: 5/27 & 5/28

One of the largest San Francisco festivals in May is the Carnaval celebration in the Mission District. The event lasts for two days over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The colorful, lively Sunday morning parade brings Latin American and Caribbean traditional dances to the streets of SF's largely Latino neighborhood.

There is also a massive street fair spread out along eight city blocks, featuring food, more music and dance, and arts and crafts.

>> This year's event details

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Dates: Several in May

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is an ongoing summer festival of free performances that opens this month. From May to October, this cultural center provides five to seven shows a week—many on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but also some on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the afternoons.

The performances include jazz, classical, and world music concerts, as well as traditional and contemporary dance. This festival gives you lots of great excuses to take an hour or two out of your day and relax on the grass at these gardens in the SoMa District.

>> This year's schedule & event info

Bottlerock in Napa

Dates: 5/26 - 5/28

One of the biggest music festivals in Napa is Bottlerock. This three day event is the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.

It's a great time to sample local wines, enjoy gourmet treats, and listen to some of the top international bands on stage. 

Past performers (to give you an idea on what to expect) include artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Lizzo. Others from previous years include Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, and P!NK. 

You can purchase tickets for one, two or all three days.

All performances are at the Napa Valley Expo which is near downtown Napa. 

>> More fun things to do in Napa in May

Cinco de Mayo Festival

Date: TBD

As Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday this year, the annual Mission District festival will be held all day the Saturday before. The street fair will transform one of the city's trendiest and most lively strips of shops and restaurants—Valencia between 21st and 24th Streets—into a family-friendly celebration of Mexican and Latin American cultures. It runs from 10am to 6pm.

Enjoy authentic food, music, dance, and art in SF's traditionally Latino neighborhood.

>> Learn more about this fun event

Taiwanese American Cultural Festival

Date: 5/13

The Taiwanese American Cultural Festival is another one of the San Francisco festivals in May that celebrates the traditions of a particular cultural group and proudly shares them with the broader community.

At this annual event in Union Square, you can taste delicious Taiwanese cuisine, admire the folkloric costumes and dances, and get involved at the interactive booths. Learn about the history and customs of this island nation and maybe even get your fortune read.

>> Visit their site for more details


Dates: 5/11 - 5/21

The CAAM Fest is another one of the fantastic cultural San Francisco festivals in May, this one featuring art from the Asian American community. The festival offers more than 120 film screenings, several concerts, and great food.

The Opening Night Gala will take place at the Asian Art Museum, and every piece of art included in this festival sheds light on the complex cultures of Asia.

Growing Together Day

Date: 5/20

Come out to Candlestick Point, a waterfront park on the southern side of San Francisco, for this free Saturday community festival. The event is perfect for families looking to spend a day outdoors celebrating art, nature, and community. 

From 10 am to 3 pm, there will be live music and entertainment, food trucks, guided nature walks, local artists and vendors, activities for kids and adults, and more. 

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