|by Justine Sharrock||Art + Culture, Festivals, California, San Francisco||5|
Head out to Treasure Island for a prime vantage point as 80 teams of paddlers—each moving to the beat of the boat's drummer—face off at San Francisco's International Dragon Boat Festival, September 25-26.
The free festival also includes aiko drumming, lion dancing, acrobatic martial arts, and dance performances. International food stands will keep crowds sated with a choice of Thai, Vietnamese, Hawaiian, barbecue, and seafood options.
Sunday is family day, with magicians, dragon puppeteers, and Chinese stilt walkers roaming throughout the area. The kids' Dragon Land area will host arts and crafts activities like creating dancing dragons out of chopsticks, bracelet making, and face painting. Snoopy and Nickelodeon's Kai-lan costumed character from TV show Ni Hao, Kai-lan will both be on hand for photo ops.
Treasure Island, California Ave. and Ave. D., free parking. Free shuttle buses leave from Chinatown (Kearny and Jackson Sts.) and downtown (San Francisco Marriott, 55 4th St., at Mission St.) every 15 to 20 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.