Bless one and all at North Beach Festival this weekend

This weekend’s 54th annual North Beach Festival, sponsored by Precious Cheese, features arts and crafts, cuisine and entertainment reflecting the spirit of the distinctive San Francisco neighborhood. Highlights include a celebrity pizza toss with multi-award-winner Tony Gemignani and arte di gesso, or Italian street chalk art. In addition, popular animal blessings take place at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi at Vallejo Street and Columbus Avenue. All pets are invited.Also, a special memorial blessing will take place for pets that have died. Participants may bring a photo.

Festival events continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Washington Square Park (Union Street and Columbus Avenue) and Grant Avenue (1200 to 1500 blocks), San Francisco. Admission is free. Call (415) 989-2220 or visit www.sfnorthbeach.org.

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