Thanksgiving in San Francisco
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a season of festivities and the annual family reunion. This emphasis on family and friends getting together in a spirit of gratitude makes it a quintessential and much-loved American holiday.
How to Enjoy Thanksgiving in San Francisco
Many San Francisco residents have come here from other places, and return to their families in other states and cities on this holiday. Add to that, the day is devoted to visiting people’s homes for the Thanksgiving meal, it’s really a pretty quiet time in the city. November is the beginning of the rainy season in California. If it is not raining, the weather is mild and pleasant and perfect for long walks and strolling around the city at its least crowded.
TALK San Francisco students will have had their Thanksgiving party at the school prior to the day and will get together with each other or make other plans with host families and new American friends.
This is not really a holiday associated with public events. There is, of course, Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is a huge shopping day and if you want to join the throngs of bargain shoppers and hard-to-resist deals in Union Square, it’s quite a tradition to witness.
Following your shopping, attend the annual tree lighting which takes place at 6 pm the same day – Friday after Thanksgiving Day – in Union Square. Admission is free.
To round off your day, why not then go to Union Square ice-skating rink, or at the one in the Embarcadero Center?
There is one interesting and lesser known event we discovered in the course of researching this piece – and that is the UN- Thanksgiving Day Cruise. This is held the day before the holiday. On a day where there are no ferries to Alcatraz Island, there is one – it is called the unThanksgiving Day Cruise, and upon reaching Alcatraz Island, you join the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering. This is hosted by indigenous peoples in the area to commemorate the 1969-71 occupation of Alcatraz by the “Indians of All Tribes”. It’s a different kind of Thanksgiving experience, but a chance to learn about the history of the occupation of Alcatraz and also about this holiday from the perspective of indigenous Native American communities.
Whatever you do around Thanksgiving, we wish you a wonderful day!