Photo by Bailey Greenwood
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Festivals rule in San Francisco this week. Whether it's ten days of music, eight days of film, or one fully packed parade day, there's a celebration to be had every day. Chappelle's Show alum Donnell Rawlings chimes in with two nights of hilarious stand-up, and the Silicon Valley ballet offers a reprieve from the big city shuffle.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
February 18–21 | Comedy
Though best known for his hilarious sketch work as part of the Chappelle’s Show ensemble, Donnell Rawlings has also demonstrated his serious acting chops with unexpected roles, such as a corrupt senatorial aide on dramatic series The Wire. This week, he’s showcasing his funny bones as he takes to the stand-up stage for some raw and uncut comedy.
Times vary | 915 Columbus Ave., San Francisco | (415) 928-4320 | From $20 | website
February 18–25 | Film festival
Mostly British Film Festival
The eighth edition of the Mostly British Film Festival showcases 28 films from the United Kingdom, Ireland, India, and Australia—so perhaps it should be called the Hardly Strictly British Film Festival. In any case, the program includes an “Irish night” featuring a Q&A with Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen as well as a slate of documentaries, including Women He’s Undressed, a look at Orry-Kelly, the Australian costume designer who outfitted Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot.
Times vary | Vogue Theatre, 3290 Sacramento St., San Francisco | (415) 346-2228 | From $12.50 | website
February 19–21 | Escape the city
Silicon Valley Ballet
Fresh from performing in Spain, the Silicon Valley Ballet returns home to perform selections from the favorite ballets of Artistic Director José Manuel Carreño. They’ll perform multiple works by various choreographers, chosen in order to show off their versatile styles. That includes the company premiere of Prism, a show set to music ranging from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Philip Glass to Keith Jarrett.
Times vary | San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose | (408) 288-2800 | From $25 | website
February 19–28 | Music festival
Noise Pop 2016
The 24th annual Noise Pop Music Festival returns with more than 50 events over 10 days, including concerts from artists such as pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, rapper Vince Staples, live disco band Escort, and jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington. This year, they’ve added a new mobile app called DoStuff to help you streamline your schedule and get up-to-the-minute alerts on the best way to venue-hop this citywide festival. There’s also a schedule of related films, happy hours, and cultural events to consider.
Times and locations vary | website
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February 20 | Parade
Chinese New Year Parade
One of the few parades worth marking your calendar for in San Francisco is this year’s Chinese New Year Parade. The annual tribute to the city’s bustling Chinatown has been coming alive for more than 50 years, highlighted by intricate floats, lion dancers, acrobats, and the epic 268-foot Golden Dragon. Attendees have the choice to follow along for free or grab a ticketed seat in the bleachers for prime views.
5:15–8 p.m. | Market and Second to Kearny and Jackson Streets, San Francisco | Free | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.
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