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More than a state of mind, San Francisco's youthful exuberance is reflected by the diverse festivals, entertainment, sporting and cultural events  it offers each year. This is a city that knows how to party.

January to March: Chinese New Year

With the highest Chinese population outside of mainland China, people flock to Chinatown each March to see the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year in a kaleidoscope of colour and firecrackers.

April: San Francisco International Film Festival

The city's love affair with the lens also extends to celluloid film. Each year film aficionados flock to the San Francisco Film Festival, the longest running in North America. Jammed-packed with screenings of feature films and documentaries, audiences also hear presentations made by actors and filmmakers.

May: Mardi Gras

San Francisco's version of Mardi Gras draws upon thousands of free spirits, with two days of dancing, music and celebration. There's a Carnaval King and Queen competition and a flamboyant Grand Parade that weaves through the streets of the Mission district.

June: San Francisco Jazz Festival

"SF Jazz" is acclaimed as one of best in the world. A trailblazer for new talent it also draws in the legendary masters.

June: North Beach Festival 

Insiders will tell you that the North Beach Festival is considered to be the city's best. Artistically-driven with street painting, gourmet food booths and live entertainment, the community's Italian roots and avant-garde spirit lives on.

August: San Francisco Street Food Festival

Dining out now extends to the great food festivals. The Bay Area bristles during the San Francisco Street Food Festival, a two-day event held that attracts celebrated chefs; each offering their own interpretation of global foods and taste sensations.

September: Opera In The Park

Puccini in the park? Absolutely. Opera in the Park is one of the most anticipated outdoor venues to the city. Attracting over 50,000 opera buffs each year and held in Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park, the incredible line-up of performances are only matched by the views. Make sure you organise a picnic hamper with a bottle of wine between engagements.

October: Castro Street Fair

The city's real cultural hub are the street fairs; most notably the Castro Street Fair where art booths, live entertainment and dancing form the reverie.