SAN FRANCISCO, CA - As a true Gay Mecca, San Francisco can sometimes overwhelm visitors with its vast number of activities which appeal to the LGBT Community. Often referred as the "First Lady of San Francisco," Donna Sachet’s more than 20 years of experience and affiliations with a broad spectrum of the LGBT Community will guide you through the year’s highlights. From entertainment to fundraisers, from small events to major galas, and from the Castro to the entire City, Donna is tapped into everything that is happening in San Francisco and she will share the "what, when, and where" with you in her quarterly updates.Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, A New Musical: The reviews are in and this production of the American Conservatory Theater is a smashing success. This highly anticipated new work traces the intersecting lives of its characters against the backdrop of 1970’s San Francisco. With a libretto by Jeff Whitty of Avenue Q fame, music and lyrics by John Garden and Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, an award-winning cast and vivid sets and costuming, Tales of the City has taken San Francisco by storm and is extended through July 31 at the American Conservatory Theater on Geary St. Catch it before it takes off for Broadway. www.act-sf.orgBarbara Eden at the Castro Theatre, Sunday, July 10: Out of the bottle and into the Castro... Mark Huestis hosts another crowd-pleasing evening at this legendary theater, saluting I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden with a Jeannie Look-Alike Contest, career highlights reel, guest performers and a live on-stage interview. If you’ve never attended one of these unique star tributes, you’ll be amazed and delighted. Barbara Eden has Bay Area roots as Miss San Francisco 1951 and will be autographing her recently released book Jeannie Out of a Bottle. www.ticketfly.comAIDSWalk San Francisco, Sunday, July 17: This year’s SF AIDS Foundation’s fundraising walk through Golden Gate Park has special significance, since it has been 30 years since a mysterious ailment was first reported which later came to be known as AIDS.
As with similar fundraising efforts across the country, the participants started as largely members of the LGBT Community, but have grown to include a broad spectrum of the larger population determined to remember those lost to disease and committed to ending the stigma and suffering. In its history, AIDSWalk has raised nearly $74 million for the AIDS Foundation and other Bay Area organizations. Individuals and teams of all skill levels are welcome. www.aidswalk.net Up Your Alley Street Fair, Sunday, July 31: Often called the step brother of the later Folsom Street Fair, this smaller annual South of Market street fair is not for the faint of heart, celebrating the Leather, BDSM and fetish Community with stages, demos, merchandise and information booths. Many locals find Up Your Alley more authentic and approachable, dating back to the origins of the SOMA leather scene on Dore Alley. Donations are collected at the gates for local charitable causes. www.folsomstreetevents.orgHelp is on the Way XVII, Gala Celebration, Sunday, Aug. 21: The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation raises money for Bay Area AIDS service organizations through top quality performances and this is their annual signature event. Scheduled entertainers for this Herbst Theatre evening include Susan Anton, Carole Cook, Shirley Jones, La Toya London, Lisa Vroman, Tim Hockenberry, Patrick Cassidy, Jai Rodriguez and Paula West. A lavish VIP reception and silent auction precedes the show and a dessert party afterwards offers a chance to hob-nob with the performers and fellow audience members. www.reaf.orgBare Chest Calendar Dinner Date Auction Gala, Tuesday, Aug. 23, and Starlight Magic, Sunday, Aug. 28: Last year’s San Francisco Bare Chest Calendar raised more than $100,000 for AIDS Emergency Fund and Positive Resource Center through various events throughout the year. Here’s the chance for a dinner date with one of the hot 2012 calendar models presented in a fashion show format at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. On Sunday, the winners will dine at Scala’s Bistro in Union Square, followed by a lively cabaret show at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room hosted by Donna Sachet. The event promises gorgeous men, delectable food, generous cocktails and fabulous entertainment. www.barechest.org/auctiongala
In its history, AIDSWalk has raised nearly $74 million for the AIDS Foundation and other Bay Area organizations.Folsom Street Fair, Sunday, Sept. 25: This is known to be the largest street fair in the world, encompassing 13 city blocks, numbering more than 400,000 people and welcoming a broad spectrum of South of Market lifestyles, including Leather, BDSM, uniforms, fetish and other alternatives. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. enjoy two live stages with 16 separate acts, more than 250 informational and retail booths, hot food and cold drinks, artists and more. Donations at the entrances benefit local charitable causes. Saturday night, Sept. 25, is Magnitude the no-holds-barred dance party at 525 Harrison St. from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. with DJs Ted Eiel and Joe Gauthreaux. www.folsomstreetevents.orgThe Pacific Coast Association Castro Farmers’ Market: Located in the heart of the Castro on Noe St. at Market, this open air market opens every Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m., featuring farm fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, artesian cheeses, flowers, meats and more. Why eat frozen when you can gather the makings of a fresh, wholesome meal right in the Castro, while ogling the hot neighbors and visitors doing the same. After selecting your bounty, visit the surrounding shops offering unique items, enjoy a drink at one of the neighboring bars, or relax with a latte or cappuccino at one of the curbside tables of a local café. www.pcfma.com.
The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko: For an intimate evening of entertainment from cabaret to Broadway, comedy to jazz and legendary performers to newly discovered talent, nothing beats The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko. Located right downtown, with 150 or so seats, a light dinner menu, and complete bar, you’ll think you are in a posh New York club. Upcoming performers include Andrea Marcovicci, The Kinsey Sicks, Bobby Caldwell, Judy Collins and Thunder From Down Under. www.therrazzroom.com
The San Francisco Travel Association continues its LGBT tourism efforts in concert with title sponsor Here Media, official sponsors American Express and Kimpton Hotels, and community partner the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), the country’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Travel packages, including hotel stays, may be booked through San Francisco Travel at www.sanfrancisco.travel or by calling 800-637-5196. A link from the San Francisco Travel home page takes visitors to the gay travel section.
The San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide is available at the Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., at the corner of Powell and Market streets, lower level, Hallidie Plaza. A visitor’s kit may also be ordered online at www.sanfrancisco.travel, by phone at 415-391-2000, by written request to San Francisco Travel, 900 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Domestic and international shipping charges apply.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop links with more than 31 international points on 30 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with more than 71 cities in the U.S. on 18 domestic airlines.
For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. SFO was voted "North America’s Best Airport" by passengers for its outstanding customer service and amenities.