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.