Each year, the days surrounding the Fourth of July are packed with an exciting mix of indoor and outdoor, family-friendly and over-21 events — and this year is no exception. There’s no reason to limit yourself to pool parties, barbecues and fireworks; instead, you can choose between any number of one-of-a-kind outings, ranging from a night spent watching opera on a baseball field to wandering the streets of San Francisco at a free jazz festival.
June 30, Don Giovanni at AT&T Park
Experience the classic Mozart opera “Don Giovanni” like never before — sitting under the stars at AT&T Park in San Francisco! The San Francisco Giants have teamed with the San Francisco Opera to simulcast the performance of the opera at the War Memorial Opera House to the screens at the park, where admission is free and around 30,000 people will gather to watch from either the stands or the field.
The simulcast begins at 7:30 p.m, runs for three hours and 20 minutes, and you can register for early entry on the San Francisco Opera’s website, allowing you to enter at 5 p.m. Pre-show and intermission festivities will be hosted by KDFC’s Dianne Nicolini and Hoyt Smith, while Beach Blanket Babylon’s Tammy Nelson will reportedly lead the crowd in an operatic rendition of the classic tune “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (titled “Take Me Out to the Opera”).
July 1 & 2 — Fillmore Jazz Festival
Over the weekend, the annual Fillmore Jazz Festival will take over San Francisco’s Fillmore Street (between Jackson and Eddy streets). This year’s theme is “Summer of Love Revisited” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic summer of 1967, in which thousands of young people flooded into San Francisco and transformed it into a hippie mecca unified around the message of compassion and community.
The festival is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast, and features multiple stages for live music, booths hosted by artists and local craft artisans, and plenty of food. The festival’s music lineup can be found on its website.
July 3 – Smash Mondays 31! Smash Bros Tourney
A free-admission video game event self-described by its organizers as “One part nerd, one part slurred,” the “Super Trashed Bros” is a tournament held at Brewcade, featuring comedians Justin Gomes of Sylvan Productions and Tirumari Jothi of Komedio Comedy as well as streamer Derek Lipkin.
Anyone can participate in the tournament (platform: Wii U Super Smash Bros) by signing up on the event’s website, but non-players are also encouraged to attend — prizes are awarded for the loudest cheering and cleverest jeers, and viewers (both live and online) suggest new rules and gags as the tournament progresses. This event is 21-plus.
July 5 – Ballet for Dancers of Color: 8-Week Ballet Series
Hosted at the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, this eight-week exploration of ballet technique is taught by Alyah Baker, a professional dancer and former member of the Oakland Ballet. Set to contemporary music, the workshops specifically focus on stretching and strengthening, bending, balancing and releasing — with the explicit intention of creating an exploratory space for black and brown bodies.
“The ballet world has historically lacked diversity, and many dancers of color have felt unwelcome,” explains Baker in the event’s description. “My dream for the workshop is that participants leave feeling empowered and affirmed, and that their love of ballet grows with the technique.”
July 5 marks the first part of the series, which runs through August 23, and the cost is assessed on a sliding scale, from $120 to $150 for the full series and $16 to $20 for drop-in entrants.
July 6 & 7 – “The Music of John Williams” with the San Francisco Symphony
John Williams has crafted some of the most iconic film scores of all time, and symphony orchestras around the country have in recent years taken to producing performances of his works. On July 6 and 7, the San Francisco Symphony is presenting “The Music of John Williams” as part of its “Summer with the Symphony” series. It’s a great way to experience the skill and talent of the group with a set of easily recognizable, classic tunes — including the theme from “Jurassic Park,” the imperial march from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Hedwig’s Theme” from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Tickets for the performance are available on the San Francisco Symphony’s website, and currently start at $35, with some sections sold out and others nearly sold out.