September 2-6
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The 129th edition of the Greatest Show on Earth returns to San Francisco with daredevils, acrobats and flyers, complemented by wildlife from around the world. Cow Palace. (510) 762-BASS

September 2-October 3
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Relax in a tranquil environment and enjoy Shakespeare’s classics. Starts Labor Day and runs every Saturday and Sunday through October 3. Free. Golden Gate Park. 422-2222

September 2-4
Absolut A La Carte, A La Park. Featuring over 40 of San Francisco’s most highly regarded restaurants and chefs, a delightful selection of wines and more than 20 craftbrews, Absolut a La Carte, A La Park has become one of the Bay Area’s most popular Labor Day week-end events. Golden Gate Park. (510)763-BASS

September 2-4
Sausalito Art Festival. Top-rated fine arts festival on the West Coast with more than 20,000 original artworks; music and food. Sausalito. 332-3555

September 7-17
San Francisco Fringe Festival. A non-juried, non-censored marathon of 260 performances by 50 local, national and international theater companies in several locations in downtown San Francisco, with a broad spectrum of classic theater, performance art and outrageous comedy. Various venues. For information 931-1094; for tickets 673-3847

September 9-10
Festival of the Culinary Arts. Join this culinary block party outside the California Culinary Academy, taste gourmet food prepared by master chefs, enjoy a farmer’s market and arts and crafts. Polk and Turk streets. 982-6306

September 9-10
Autumn Moon Festival. Multicultural entertainment, traditional lion and dragon dances, Chinese costumes and children’s activities. Grant Avenue between California and Pacific. 982-6306

September 9-10
Festival of the Sea. Re-live San Francisco’s seafaring past with a tugboat rodeo, free boat rides, hands-on activities, a boat-building contest, hands-on crafts demonstrations and much more. Hyde Street Pier. 561-6662

September 9
Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival. A chocolate lover’s dream. Sample various chocolate treats including chocolate-covered strawberries, brownies, chocolate cheesecake and more. Proceeds benefit Project Open Hand. Ghirardelli Square. 775-5500

September 16-17
Viva Las Americas! Hispanic Heritage is the focus of this event, featuring music and dance performances commemorating the artistry of Mexico, Central America and South America. PIER 39. 705-5500

September 17
Latino Summer Fiesta. Latin American food and arts festival celebrating Latin American Independence days. Mission District. 826-1401

September 22-25
San Francisco International Art Exposition. 100 fine art galleries will exhibit, representing the work of 1500 artists in painting, drawing, sculpture, prints and video art. Fort Mason Center, Herbst and Festival Pavilion. (312) 587-3300

September 23-24
San Francisco Blues Festival. The oldest blues festival in America presents some of the best blues musicians in the world. Great Meadow at Fort Mason (tentative). 979-5588

September 30-October 22 (weekends)
25th Annual San Francisco Open Studios. The public gains free access to the studios of over 700 artists. A unique opportunity to enjoy an intimate glimpse into the working process of some of San Francisco’s most creative citizens. Visitors can peruse paintings, sculpture, mixed-media, ceramics, printmaking, furniture, glass, jewelry and photography. 861-9838

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