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LGBT Autumn in San Francisco

Friday Oct 14, 2011
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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.

OCTOBER 2011

Celebrity Pool Toss: One of San Francisco’s wackiest fundraisers occurs on Oct. 11, 2011 at the Phoenix Hotel when an eager crowd gathers pool-side to bid on the chance to toss well known local individuals into the water. This year’s "victims" include CEOs, entrepreneurs, a celebrity photographer, Team Twitter and a San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim. Many local restaurants provide delectable cuisine, wineries pour their products and cocktails flow. Proceeds benefit the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. www.tndc.org

Masquerotica: Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., Masquerotica brings sexy back to Halloween at the Concourse Exhibition Center with nine exotic playgrounds, VIP areas, red carpet photo shots and celebrities galore, including DJ Jamie Sanchez, Chi Chi LaRue, Sister Roma, Suzan Revah, and up and coming local band Ejector. Costumes are mandatory and the kinkier, the better. Partial proceeds benefit the It Gets Better Project. www.masquerotica.com/fresh

Halloween 2011: Don’t expect the hundreds of onlookers of the past invading the Castro on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, 2011. Halloween in San Francisco has returned to its roots with local parties in all the neighborhoods. Find out what is going on in your area, put together a fun costume and let out the child inside you. Otherwise, for a bit more formality, GLAAD hosts an upscale Halloween event at Robert Fountain’s Studio on Saturday, Oct. 29, with copious food, generous drinks and creative costumes, all supporting the important work of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. www.glaad.org

NOVEMBER 2011:

Dancing with the Drag Stars III: After two wildly successful seasons, Dancing with the Drag Stars, a campy take-off of the popular television show, is back by popular demand. On Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011 at Ruby Skye, watch in awe as internationally recognized professional dancers are paired with prominent and courageous local drag performers to compete for the coveted mirrored ball trophy. Celebrity judges, glamorous costumes, guest entertainers and an enthusiastic audience make this a must-see event to benefit the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation. www.reaf.org

Dining by Design: The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS announces their 11th Annual Dining by Design at 101 Henry Adams St. Talented local businesses and individuals create unique dining environments, from luxurious to simplistic; sleek modern to rich antique and sublime to hilarious. On Wednesday night, Nov. 16, table-hop at a preview cocktail party from 6 to 10 p.m. On Thursday, Nov. 17, dine in the setting of your choice from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Either way you may get new decorating ideas while helping a great cause. www.diffasf.org

Castro Holiday Tree: On Monday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m., join the Castro neighborhood as they light their holiday tree in the middle of this historic district, accompanied by music from the Lesbian/Gay Chorus, the Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band and assorted special celebrity guests. The crowd grows every year for this seasonal event. Immediately afterwards, start your holiday shopping in the great variety of shops nearby, offering classic gifts and unique selections. www.castromerchants.com

19th Annual Songs of the Season: The intimate Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko again hosts this charming musical variety show, Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 28 - 30, 2011. Created by local drag artist Donna Sachet, Songs of the Season has become the kick-off to the holiday season for many in the LGBT community. Lu Conrad presents Opening Night, featuring a Taste-catered reception. A hosted Barefoot Cellars sparkling wine reception follows all three shows. Previous guest performers have included Abigail Zsiga, Sharon McNight, Connie Champagne, Paula West, Kim Kuzma, and Val Diamond. Don’t expect the typical Christmas carols, but rather a spirited celebration of the warmth and gaiety of the season, benefiting AIDS Emergency Fund. www.songsoftheseason.net

DECEMBER 2011:

SFO was voted "North America’s Best Airport" by passengers for its outstanding customer service and amenities.

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes: If you love the iconic television series The Golden Girls, you will love this hilarious live re-enactment starring four of San Francisco’s most popular drag queens, Heklina, Cookie Dough, Matthew Martin, and Pollo del Mar. For six years, this troupe has played to sold out houses bringing the classic characters to life, complete with theme music and period commercials, as the audience mouths the words and laughs out loud. Now, they move into larger quarters at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St., every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Dec. 1-23 at 8 p.m.. www.trannyshack.com

Dance Along Nutcracker, Clara’s Magical Mystery Tour: The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, conducted by Jadine Louie, returns to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Dec. 10 and 11 for a unique twist on holiday traditions, inviting the audience to leave their seats and join in self-expressive abandon, as the band plays rousing music from The Nutcracker and other seasonal favorites. Festive costumes are encouraged and even available on site. Saturday night’s show is geared to a more adult audience with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Sunday’s matinee and evening performances are for the whole family, welcoming children of all ages. www.sflgfb.org

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Yes, Jewish comedy at Christmas in a Chinese restaurant. Local comedian Lisa Geduldig assembles a hilarious cast of nationally known and local comics for this unique blend of laughter, food, and ethnicity, Dec. 23-25, at New Asia restaurant in Chinatown. With press coverage from the "New York Times" to the "Chicago Tribune," this event has to be witnessed to be believed. Partial proceeds benefit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. www.koshercomedy.com

Home for the Holidays: There is nothing like the historic San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at the iconic Castro Theatre on Christmas Eve and this will be the first under the baton of celebrated new Artistic Director Tim Seelig. Pick from three scheduled concert times, 5, 7, and 9 p.m. and relish in favorite seasonal carols, boisterous sing-alongs, hilarious comic routines, and heart-warming family moments. Celebrity guests often appear. www.sfgmc.org

This release is currently posted on Gay Travel section of San Francisco Travel’s website http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/Whats-New-LGBT-Visitor_Oct-Dec-2011.html

The San Francisco Travel Association continues its LGBT tourism efforts in concert with official sponsors American Express and Kimpton Hotels, and community partner the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), the country’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

For general information on hotel packages and reservations; events; activities and transportation in San Francisco, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel. For lodging reservations, call 800-637-5196 within North America or 415-391-2000 or 415-392-0328 (TTY/TTD) elsewhere.

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 virtual edition of the guide is also available online: http://guides.weaver-group.com/sf/ovg/2011.

A visitor’s kit may also be ordered online at www.sanfrancisco.travel, by phone at 415-391-2000 or 415-392-0328 (TTY/TTD), by written request to the San Francisco Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to vic1@sanfrancisco.travel. 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.

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