KQED Guides

Tour the Globe in Your Own Backyard

Updated: June 2, 2014

Flickr:ganeshaisis

Who needs a passport to see the world? The Bay Area has one of the most diverse and vibrant populations in the world and, thanks to these cultural festivals, you can learn J-Pop dance moves, hear unique music from around the world, and try exotic foods for the first time for less than the cost of a cab ride to the airport.

Nihonmachi Street Fair

NIHONMACHI STREET FAIR
Japantown Peace Plaza, San Francisco
August 2-3, 2014
FREE

This annual festival celebrates Asian/Pacific communities in the Bay Area with live music, dance performances and food. The fair also features handmade crafts from Asian artisans like Waka Ozawa, Pomegranate designs, Kayoko Designs and more.

FESTA COLONIALE ITALIANA
September 13, 2014
San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, 1630 Stockton Street
FREE

Join the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club at North Beach for a fun-filled day celebrating the rich Italian culture that has existed in San Francisco for generations. Indulge in this free mouth watering festival that’s the only one of its kind!

Flickr: Kennejima

J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
July 19 & 20, 2014
Japantown & Union Square
FREE
A collaboration between New People, the Japantown Merchants Association, and interested vendors, the J-Pop Summit Festival presents handmade arts and crafts, modern Japanese films, fashion, music, art, retail design and pop culture. The event includes exclusive celebrity appearances and film premiers. You’ve also got contests for Pocky-eating, “Odottemita” (Dance karaoke. Google it.), “J-Pop Idol,” and a cosplay masquerade.

Check out KQED Arts for more arts-related ideas.
– By Nicole Zeichick and Adrienne Blaine